Author Topic: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments  (Read 13352 times)

James J Eivan

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #75 on: June 27, 2020, 12:11:32 PM »
Thanks for this reply, Pr. Fienen. BTW, only on this forum do I have to preface my comments with "I'm not a Marxist, but..."
  The tragedy Rev Staneck is that, unless the search function has failed, you NEVER have prefaced your comments with “I am not a Marxist, but ...” unless you wish to count the above response to a post that did not include a direct reference to Marxism what so ever. 


What is gained by feigning ‘prefaces to you comments’ that don’t really exist?

Matt Staneck

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #76 on: June 27, 2020, 12:14:23 PM »
Thanks for this reply, Pr. Fienen. BTW, only on this forum do I have to preface my comments with "I'm not a Marxist, but..."
  The tragedy Rev Staneck is that, unless the search function has failed, you NEVER have prefaced your comments with “I am not a Marxist, but ...” unless you wish to count the above response to a post that did not include a direct reference to Marxism what so ever. 


What is gained by feigning ‘prefaces to you comments’ that don’t really exist?

I think you're a clown. And clowns are for birthday parties, not conversations. So unless I see you at a birthday party I won't be engaging you in conversation.

Save your energy.

M. Staneck
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

James J Eivan

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #77 on: June 27, 2020, 12:18:58 PM »
Thanks for this reply, Pr. Fienen. BTW, only on this forum do I have to preface my comments with "I'm not a Marxist, but..."
  The tragedy Rev Staneck is that, unless the search function has failed, you NEVER have prefaced your comments with “I am not a Marxist, but ...” unless you wish to count the above response to a post that did not include a direct reference to Marxism what so ever. 


What is gained by feigning ‘prefaces to you comments’ that don’t really exist?

I think you're a clown. And clowns are for birthday parties, not conversations. So unless I see you at a birthday party I won't be engaging you in conversation.

Save your energy.

M. Staneck
No Pastor ... tragically your name calling and personal attacks ... and as evidenced above your less than honest posts strongly indicate you have little tolerance for those who disagree with you.


Why claim having to preface comments as you did above when you have NEVER done so?  Whose the clown,   The one making disingenuous statements ... or the one calling attention to them?


Do you really have to resort to name calling and personal attacks?

Dan Fienen

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monume
« Reply #78 on: June 27, 2020, 12:26:52 PM »
Peter, surprising as it may seem, I don’t have the time, but I could find equally atrocious examples among the flocks of Trump supporters and the people defending the statues. We already know there are Trump supporters who believe the virus is a hoax perpetrated by Democrats.
Do you want a picture of them? And a quote from them?
I think we could find equally atrocious examples from among elected officials who are on a certain side of the aisle.
By the way, some of these examples would come from older white men, not from black gay women.
I just don’t see that throwing quotes accomplishes very much.
And did you notice that I find the quotes from the woman who attracted your attention atrocious?
So, your defense is, "Look at them, they do it too"? I seem to remember someone on this forum vociferously complaining about those who defend Republicans by pointing what Democrats have done. Perhaps he'll complain about you using the same tactic.
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Charles Austin

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2020, 12:28:24 PM »
James writes:
Conveniently is is forgotten or overlooked that the bus boycott was peaceful .... as were the marches that Dr King led. What has changed is a lack of patience.  Yes ... Dr King wanted needed change ... but he did NOT resort to violence when change did not come fast enough.
I comment (Fearfully as usual):
The was violence, lots of it, in response to the bus boycott, and people suffered, were terrorized and harmed. But the violence came from the racists. Dr. King did not advocate violence, and Gandhi did not either, but it knew that some of their followers would use it.

James:
Today we encourage violence ... we ‘understand destructive frustration’ rather than punish wonton destruction of public property. 
Me:
Who is the “we” here? I first asked that we understand those who resort to violence. Then I note that in our history, there have been times when the best of the patriotic Americans have used violence Or at least very strong protest to influence our government or to gain what they think is right.

James:
It’s easy to place the ‘militarization’ of police departments everywhere but where it belongs.  The race riots and ‘68 Democratic convention riots were wake up calls to law enforcement that they had to do more to protect themselves.  If they are unable to protect themselves, they cannot protect us. The increase in ‘militarization’ has the primary purpose of protecting the law enforcement community that serves us.
Me:
Utter nonsense! I was at the 1968 democratic convention. In Chicago. On the streets. For several days. Police protecting themselves? You’ve got to be kidding! The police were under no danger at all. And on that famous night, I watched and then ran as they came at us with their clubs. I got hit twice. And I was with the crowd of reporters. Our press tags meant nothing. Did you conveniently forget that the Kerner report later called it a “police riot“? Today, the new weapons that the police have been given or not for defense, they are for attack.

James:
As to community policing ... it may work in a society that has respect for the law ... tragically as evidenced by some of this forum’s contributors, violence, mayhem, destruction, and disrespect for law enforcement is ‘understandable’ behavior given certain circumstances .... and by knuckling under to rioters demands, the conduct is legitimized. Community policing cannot exist apart from respect for law enforcement.
Me:
Again, you have it backwards. Community policing is designed to build respect for the law. It is most needed in the places where the law does not receive proper respect. Good community policing understands the frustration, even the hatred that members of the community may have for the cops.
Maybe you could please forswear your usual snarky responses such as those you just gave to Pastor Stanek who tried to engage you in conversation, For I can see that my attempts are probably doomed to failure. So I guess my words are really for others here, not you.

Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dave Benke

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2020, 12:29:42 PM »
Regarding community policing:

This week the former Inspector at our local precinct, the 75, Jeff Maddrey, who had been elevated to the Chief of Brooklyn North, was named Chief of the Community Affairs division of the NYPD.  He was in East New York/75 for six years, and all community leaders and pastors got to know him well.  He's specifically been chosen for this time because of his affinity for community policing, his ability as a black man to take a knee with protesters after George Floyd's murder, and his love and respect for those under his charge.

With regard to community policing and respect, those who actually perform policing in this way understand that respect is a two way street.  As someone said at the community leaders' meeting with the officers in the 75th on Thursday, in life and fact if there's a 2% problem in the police department with bad cops involved in bad practice, and the 98% desire nothing more or less than to serve those among whom they work, there is a mirror image of that 2% in the community.  98% are law-abiding citizens, 2% are out of line and lawbreaking.  The 98% do not want to be seen in advance as lawbreakers in the same way that the 98% of the police do not want to be seen as the 2% bad cops. 

In this conversation, what takes place is the grounds for mutual respect.  The officers, who want to be police in this way, and that's the overwhelming majority, welcome that avenue - mutual respect.  The police themselves, and this came out over and over again, do not see or want to see themselves as an occupying army, as Roman soldiers in Israel.  They desire to walk among, not over.  And the community desires exactly the same thing at the 98% level.

Dave Benke

Charles Austin

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2020, 12:31:23 PM »
No, Pastor Fienen, you missed the point again.
I see no value in throwing “they did something awful” quotes back-and-forth across the aisle. And I don’t care who does it.
The whole point of my recent comment was to say that I could do that in response to Peter’s Posting about the professor in Wisconsin, but that I thought that was not a good thing to do.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dan Fienen

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #82 on: June 27, 2020, 12:38:42 PM »
James, perhaps Pr. Staneck misspoke and what he really meant was that only on this forum does he feel the need to preface his comments with, "I'm not a Marxist, but . . .." that hasn't actually done so is a measure of his trust in us to reasonably understand his viewpoint.


Matt, I know that you don't believe that frustration excuses every action by protesters. As my sainted mother would say, "That may explain it but it doesn't excuse it." Unfortunately that level of discernment has been far too often lacking in the national discussion.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #83 on: June 27, 2020, 12:41:09 PM »
No, Pastor Fienen, you missed the point again.
I see no value in throwing “they did something awful” quotes back-and-forth across the aisle. And I don’t care who does it.
The whole point of my recent comment was to say that I could do that in response to Peter’s Posting about the professor in Wisconsin, but that I thought that was not a good thing to do.
Ah yes, the famous pay attention to me not dignifying this with a comment, but if I were to comment, this is what I could say.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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peter_speckhard

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #84 on: June 27, 2020, 01:05:25 PM »
No, Pastor Fienen, you missed the point again.
I see no value in throwing “they did something awful” quotes back-and-forth across the aisle. And I don’t care who does it.
The whole point of my recent comment was to say that I could do that in response to Peter’s Posting about the professor in Wisconsin, but that I thought that was not a good thing to do.
But you can't. There are literally zero professors at any major universities on record saying anything remotely as absurd and vile on the other side of this controversy.   

Charles Austin

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #85 on: June 27, 2020, 01:18:21 PM »
Well, Peter, I'll be there are, but we don't have contact with every professor at major universities and I was referring in general to the supporters of this administration, folks both high and low.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 01:21:00 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #86 on: June 27, 2020, 01:22:52 PM »
BTW, only on this forum do I have to preface my comments with "I'm not a Marxist, but..."


 ;D :-\
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James_Gale

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #87 on: June 27, 2020, 01:23:23 PM »
There’s a couple things going with respect to the monuments.

First, in order to have a serious discussion about the confederate monuments in particular we have to stop insisting that these things teach history. They don’t. They were established during the Jim Crow era as part of an intimidation campaign. They also don’t bear anything on them that says, “This monument/statue depicts a man who was an insurrectionist in order to preserve the institution of slavery.”

Secondly, the targeting of even non-confederate statutes shows how far the frustration has come. Folks are not using the political process to remove statues because the political process has ignored those calls for decades. A good example of this is a statue of the first grand wizard of the KKK in the Tennessee state capitol. Just last week Republicans in the state house voted overwhelmingly to keep the statue in place.
M. Staneck
I see your points,  especially about the Confederate monuments.  There has been a lot of historical revisionism going on over the last century and a half to hide the cruel reality of slavery and the war that was waged to preserve it. I can also understand frustration. But at some point somebody is going to have to say enough. As you note, non-Confederate monuments are being targeted. Shall we allow or even encourage anyone with any grievance to have torn down anything that in any way offends them? Are you planning to trash any image of Jesus in your church that does not meet the standards of activists? What if the Cross is deemed a symbol of oppression for some?


We need to come to terms with the darker aspects of our national story. At our best our heroes, we as a people, have been flawed. Great things have been done, but those same people have also done great bad. Sometimes they didn't know better but acted in accord with the general thinking of their times. Often, they still should have known better. So, shall we heed the voices that would have us completely reject the United States experiment because it did not live up to its ideals and proved itself flawed, tear it all down in favor of some new and perfect form of nation based on a radical ideology that should, if everyone can be made to comply, bring about Utopia? Or more likely a nation reformed according to an old utopian ideology that has never worked when tried but of course will this time.


Some monuments need to come down, others need more contextualization. We need to acknowledge the errors and crimes of the past, even as we seek to ameliorate the lingering effects. We need to come to terms with the fact that none of our heroes were in fact perfect and find a way to celebrate their greatness and the great things they have done while recognizing their flaws and even the flaws in those things for which we celebrate them.


Even more difficult, I believe. is for each of us to come to grips with our own flaws, errors, and misdeeds. Perfectionism haunts our appraisal of people. We want to believe that those we admire, and institutions we support of essentially perfect with at most only minor and negligible flaws, easily and properly overlooked. Or we,want people to be so fatally flawed that they can be relegated to the scrap heap along with anyone who might find anything that they have done in any way admirable. Washington owned slaves, therefore he was a human monster with nothing that an enlightened, moral person should admire or memorialize. The nation he helped found has done bad things - tear it down as an evil empire.


The fundamental rub is that we tend to want to view ourselves and our comrades the same way. We want to think of ourselves as basically all good with only minor flaws that really aren't so bad, done for really good reason, and eminently excusable. Not like those despicable people over there so different and therefore so much worse than us. The hubris that Americans are so often criticized for is also so often found among her critics. We have a hard time dealing with the fact the people, all people, even I, are mixtures of good and bad, and that we are all not only capable of doing great good and great bad, but that we actually do both good and bad. We have a hard time standing with St. Paul in Romans 7 but we must.

Thanks for this reply, Pr. Fienen. BTW, only on this forum do I have to preface my comments with "I'm not a Marxist, but..."

By your thoughtful reply I'm getting that you understand I'm not in search of a utopia. When you cite the tension of Romans 7 that's exactly where I'm coming from. The lectionary is always timely! We need to be honest about our history and we also need to hear the hurts of those that have been injured due to that history. Do we want to live in a country where people just tear down things they don't like? No, of course not. So the question for me becomes what is the path that will prevent such a country from being birthed into existence? Is it doubling down on keeping lost cause monuments up for the sake of "history?" Is it doubling down on utopian symbols of decent, but flawed, historical figures?

The only ones I see looking to preserve utopia are the ones who can't bring themselves to understand that America was founded in spite of its ideals. America is not a shining city on a hill, it is Babylon. It may be one of the best Babylons we've got going (at least on literal paper), but it's still Babylon. Romans 7, indeed.

M. Staneck


Matt --


I think that you've got things wrong when you argue that "America was founded in spite of its ideals."  It seems to me that it was founded with a clear understanding of a set of ideals (principally that all are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights) that should be pursued but that would and could never be fully realized.  The ideal would always remain aspirational.  We would strive for it.  But in each of us, power corrupts.  And none is pure of heart.  The founders therefore designed a government replete with checks and balances that prevented any attempt to impose utopia.  Indeed, America was conceived as a clear counterpoint to Utopia.


The notion of "America" as a "shining city on a hill," at least as employed by JFK and Reagan, did rest on an idealized version of our country.  However, it was never utopian.  It was always about hope for the future and our obligation to be shining city on a hill.  The realization always lurked that the city was not yet fully lit--and never would be. 


The meaning and importance of different monuments is varied and complex.  They often symbolize different things to different people.  Utopian visions may sometimes come into play, I suppose.  But I don't think that Utopia plays a role on any side of the current situation.  Ultimately, though, the decision as to what monuments will stand (or be built) ought never be decided by mobs.  I hope that we all can agree on this.


Jim 



James_Gale

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #88 on: June 27, 2020, 01:24:49 PM »
Well, Peter, I'll be there are, but we don't have contact with every professor at major universities and I was referring in general to the supporters of this administration, folks both high and low.


Can you find ten?  five?  even one?

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Destruction and Defacing of Monuments
« Reply #89 on: June 27, 2020, 01:28:53 PM »
https://www.thecollegefix.com/u-wisconsin-madison-professor-cheers-protesters-tearing-down-statues-honoring-abolitionist-womens-progress/

What strikes me is what passes for a "professor" at UW-Madison. Read her quotes.

Um, yeah.

It seems to me that iconoclasm is almost always problematic. Once it begins, there is no end to it.

To no pertinent purpose, but I recall an amusing story I heard long ago. Man and young son go for a walk in the park, and every morning the educationally-minded father says, as they pass a statue of Robert E. Lee astride his horse, "Good morning, Robert E. Lee!" The son dutifully repeats the greeting. Then they are going to move to another city, so on their last day, the father says, "Goodbye, Robert E. Lee," and the son repeats. As they exit the park, son says, "Daddy, who is that man always sitting on Robert E. Lee?"
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