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Written by Jason Montoya on . Posted in Content Roundup.

November 2023 Roundup: From Love's Radical Rebellion to the Depths of Political Power

This is the last catch-up post from my 2023 shared social media content. This content roundup is focused on resources I shared publicly in November 2023 and a few things from December (as I took a social media break).

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External Resources - Discovered Content

These are the most worthwhile resources I've collected around the internet. See all content recommendations here.

Articles, News & Podcasts

Defying Darkness: Love’s Radical Rebellion Against Global Discord

by Mark Vernon
“The ethical imperative to love not only friends but enemies is a related challenge. The person who loves those who love them is managing only what is natural. But the person who can return hatred with love is in the vanguard of changing the world.

Again, this happens not because love seeks to impose its view on others. Rather, it seeks the transformation of all by holding out for a different dynamic to break in. When that happens, this-worldly power structures are suspended. There can become present a freedom that is open and startling, a liberty to love what is transformative and so be readied to risk all for it. Such love is willing to die, not so as better to kill, but as a mark of complete devotion and tremendous trust.”

Assault On the Capitol: 2021, 1917, 1792

By Randall Collins

I'm reading a book by Randall Collins; Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory. It's an insightful read on understanding how violence is triggered and unfolds.

Here's an essay Collins wrote comparing Jan 6 to 1917 and 1792.

I found the following quote particularly interesting because of how much the radical left and extreme right both tend to downplay their respective riots as "mostly peaceful". CNN famously reported on a riot with the phrase on screen, "Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting" and Tucker Carlson describing Jan 6 as "Mostly Peaceful Chaos."

“…it is typical in riots that the great majority of the crowd are onlookers and noise-making supporters; only about 10 percent or less of the persons seen in riot photos are actually doing something violent, engaging the other side. It may well be the case that those who carry the battle are specialists in violence, as Charles Tilly calls them, tough guys, athletes and weapons specialists on either side of the law. (One of those charged at the Capitol was an Olympic gold-medalist swimmer.)”

Citizens are Stewards

By Gracy Olmstead

“Many European citizens had grown passive and apathetic, in Tocqueville’s eyes. They did not see town governance or maintenance as their responsibilities. Their role in the life of the township was that of a boarder or lessee: one who expects others to fix and repair things. They had no goals for advancement, nor did they concern themselves with the work of institutional or civic repair.”

Orcas sink another boat in Europe after a nearly hour-long attack

For the fourth time in two years, a group of unusually brazen orcas in southwestern Europe have sunk a sailing boat after relentlessly attacking it for almost an hour on Halloween.

The animals are rising, haha.

David Platt on the Idolatry of Personal and Political Convictions, How Politics and Division Are Fueling Deconversion, and How the American Gospel Hijacks Hearts

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

"The way I define the American Gospel... we've exchanged a Biblical gospel that exalts Jesus above everything in this world for an American gospel that prostitutes Jesus for the sake of comfort, power, politics, and prosperity in our country." - David Platt

The Transfiguration in the Garden of Gethsemane

by Jason Micheli

“The apostle Paul says that in Christ God emptied himself, taking the form of a servant. In Gethsemane, Christ empties himself even of that. He empties himself completely, pours all of himself out such that Martin Luther says when Jesus gets up off the ground in Gethsemane there’s nothing left of Jesus. There’s nothing left of his humanity. He’s an empty vessel; so that, when he drinks the cup of wrath he fills himself completely with our sinfulness.”

“Upon the cross Jesus does not epitomize or announce the Kingdom of God in any way. He becomes the concentrated reality of everything that stands against it.”

“He is every Pilate and Pharaoh. He is every Herod and Hitler and Putin, every Caesar and every Judas. Every racist, every civilian casualty, every act of terror, and every chemical bomb. All our greed. All our violence. Every ungodly act and every ungodly person.“

There's nothing "WEIRD" about conspiracy theories

by Scott Sumner

“Polls show that the views of Democrats and Republicans on the state of the economy immediately flipped after the 2016 election, before there was even time for the actual economy to change very much.”

“The internet… democratized information sharing all over the world. There are no more “gatekeepers”. Because less that 10% of the world’s population is truly WEIRD, the internet has made conspiracy theories the dominant epistemic style of the 21st century.”

“I doubt whether I’ll live along enough to see another president who is generally accepted as legitimate.”

“PS. Think about the bizarre coincidence that there’s almost a 100% correlation between people who believe an election was stolen and those who support the losing candidate. If you think that correlation is weird, then you are probably WEIRD. If you think that correlation is not in the least surprising, then you are probably not WEIRD.”

The War in Ukraine and the Question of Genocide

Timothy Snyder

“Your attitude towards a specific event in the past reveals your specific intent towards the future....

What do neo-nazis means when they say the Holocaust didn't happen?
They mean they would like for it to happen again.

When you deny a specific crime that people with whom you identify carried out in the past, you're affirming that crime.”

The Anti-Modern Marxism of Alasdair MacIntyre

Samuel Mcilhagga

“For MacIntyre, contemporary liberalism, heavily influenced by the social contract theory of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, is far too concerned with managing threats, internal and external, from its perceived enemies rather than advancing a positive vision of the common good. The limitation of this perspective is that, as Perreau-Saussine neatly puts it, “by keeping only to the perspective of what is evil, we run the risk of dangerously narrowing our range of vision.”

The January 6 Conspiracy Theories Are Still Dumb

Noah Rothman

The utter moral and intellectual poverty of Republicans. Crazy people are running our country in serious times. Let’s fire them.

"By dwelling so extensively on the violence and vandalism, they say, this congressional inquiry somehow failed the American people, whose attention should have been directed to the inconsequential banalities that also occurred on that day… The fact that millions of Americans brushed their teeth and walked their dogs on December 7, 1941, doesn’t undermine the horror of Pearl Harbor. Footage of the 9/11 hijackers uneventfully navigating though airport security doesn’t dilute the terrorism they would later commit…. At root, the effort to convince voters that they cannot trust their own eyes exposes MAGA supporters’ troubled consciences. Somewhere deep down, they understand that January 6 is a political weakness for which they must compensate. The fact that they’re going about that imperative in the dumbest ways imaginable is illustrative of the scale of that challenge."

Let the cognitive dissonance do its work and get off the Trump train to hell.

The Only Way to Slay the Dragon – Chaos Dragon E16

The Bible Project

"Following Jesus and trusting his victory over death, and his vindication into resurrection life and claiming that future and identity is absolutely crucial to gaining victory over the dragon in [our] life.

One way to think about the sermon on the mount is beginning to wean yourself off of the ways of the dragon.

It's very difficult, but actually living that way becomes a live option if [our] fear of death is no longer the biggest motivator in [our] life."

The Land of Authoritarian Politics with Brian Klaas

The Aaron Rupar Show

"You set up a worldview in which the sort of true believers are pitted against the [wishy-washy] fans.

The way you sort them out is by increasingly extreme lies. And the lies you buy into have some social costs outside of the movement.

So if you are one of the people who said, yes, this was the biggest crowd on inauguration day back on January 20th, 2017, that was the first lie. And they got much, much crazier over time.

People make their identity part of this member only group and they signal it.

Because they've bought into so many crazy lies and so much outlandish behavior, the breaking point becomes much higher. It becomes impossible for someone to jump ship. The cost it raises is so high, it creates cohesion."

One Year To Go: Will Trump Return to the White House?

Brian Klaas

“Then, there’s the power of cognitive dissonance: if you didn’t break with Trump over, say, January 6th, then every other transgression seems comparatively minor—and you’d have to admit that you were wrong, for years, in order to reposition yourself politically.

It’s less mentally taxing to just keep supporting him, no matter what.”

"Knowingness" and the Politics of Ignorance

“misinformation persists precisely because knowingness shields a person from learning.

There are two distinct subsets of knowingness in modern society.

Type 1: People who think they know but they don’t; and

Type 2: People who don’t want to know.”

US Political Conflict: The Odds of Smart Bipartisan Leadership Are Rising

Ray Dalio

"I believe that next year's US elections will be the most important in our lifetimes because their results will lead to either

a) dysfunctional fighting that will take us over the edge or

b) smart bipartisan leadership that will manage these challenges capably. ...

1) There is only one path to successful leadership in the United States and that is for there to be strong, smart, bipartisan leadership that works against the extremists to pull the country together and make major reforms to the system so that it works well for most Americans.


"The Republicans Replacing Trump with a Strong Candidate Who Can Work across Party Lines - Nikki Haley is the most likely contender and I believe she fits the bill because she is very smart, very practical, has a great moral compass, and can work well across party lines."


"The Democrats Replacing Biden with a Strong Candidate Who Can Work across Party Lines - there are already five contenders who are jockeying for position, one or two who would fit the bill of being reasonably smart, practical, and inclined to work well across party lines."


"So, in conclusion, while the odds are still in favor of a Trump-Biden rematch, I believe there is now a significant rising possibility that we will get the sort of smart bipartisan leadership that is needed and that most Americans want."

Will Republicans Defy Trump’s Authoritarian Cult of Personality?

Brian Klaas

“the MAGA base loves him, not Trump’s policies. That’s why they can chant “Build the Wall!” until they’re blue in the face, but then not really care that he didn’t. And they’re in so deep that it will take more than a lukewarm midterm election to break the spell he has over those voters who slap stickers of Trump riding an eagle in a Superman outfit on their pickup trucks.

The successful despots have learned a key lesson: if you make politics a devotional cult to one individual, and steadily increase the costs of abandoning that movement, then you can survive the inevitably choppy waters produced by incompetence. Trump understood this logic and exploited it.”

Mini-Blogs & News Commentary

These are mini-blogs and news commentaries that are too small to make into a blog post.

Pro-Israel teacher hides in Queens high school as ‘radicalized’ students riot: ‘They want her fired’

By Susan Edelman and Georgia Worrell

2020 election deniers on the right and Hamas sympathizers on the left. Yikes!

Let’s get off the crazy train.

A core issue I see on both sides seems to be people’s failure to know how (or don’t want) to find the truth and how easily we’re swayed by deception (because of fear, allegiances, and ideologies).

What Disqualifying Trump From the 2024 Ballot Would Mean for Election Law

Lawfare Podcast

What is true matters. If we act from a lie, that we think is true, we're still responsible.

It is our responsibility to get the truth.

This is why it is important to embrace the Glass box concept >> Effectively Test the Untrustworthy and Wisely Probe Trusted Authority (Including Yourself).

"The fact that Jan 6 participants firmly believe that they were acting for the good of the country is not a defense to insurrection but is actually proof that they were acting from an insurrectionally public purpose."

Quotes From Movies, Shows, Leaders, Authors, & Scriptures

The Lion King

“Everything you see — exists together in a delicate balance. While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.” - Mufasa

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 John 3:16


"My first time-- Afghanistan-- we were moving through a house-- a man was suddenly there-- and I shot him in the stomach.
That's a real war story.
They're never good stories, like in movies. They're shit. Man is there, boom, stomach.
I was so scared, I didn't pull the trigger again for the rest of the day.
I thought, well-- that's it, Bacho. You put a bullet in someone. You're not you anymore. You'll never be you again.
But then you wake up the next morning, and... you're still you. And you realize-- that was you all along. You just didn't know."- Bacho, Episode 4


"You don't understand, this place isn't what we thought it was. I was wrong. We were so wrong. We must leave!" - Elizabeth Shaw

Star Trek: Picard

"When we buried our son, I watched the coffin being lowered into the ground. It was only six feet, but it was so dark. It was like infinite emptiness. And you and I have traveled to the far reaches of space, and yet there is nothing, nothing to prove to me that there is anything after. And I have tried to shake that. Deanna, as you know, feels everything, but she couldn’t live with me feeling nothing and neither could I, which is why I left, and I came here. I was running from this, only to find it again." - Riker, Season 3

Star Trek: Voyager

"I wish it were as easy to stop hating as it was to start." - Chakotay

The Lion King

Scar [to mouse]: Life's - not fair - is it, my little friend? While some are born to feast - others spend their lives in the dark... begging for scraps. The way I see it, you and I are exactly the same, we both want to find a way out.


"I have been a part of this system for 44 years, so listen carefully. I have known braver souls than you, Khomyuk. Men who had their moment and did nothing, because when it is your life and the lives of everyone you love, your moral conviction doesn't mean a damn thing It leaves you. And all you want at that moment is not to be shot." - Boris Shcherbina

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt

"…within the framework of Totalitarianism ideology…

…if the inmates are vermin, it is logical that they should be killed by poison gas; if they are degenerate, they should not be allowed to contaminate the population; if they have "slave-like souls" (Himmler), no one should waste his time trying to re-educate them.”

Eichmann in Jerusalem

Hannah Arendt

“…so the law of Hitler’s land demanded that the voice of conscience tell everybody:

“though shalt kill,”

although the organizers of the massacres knew full well that murder is against the normal desires and inclinations of most people…

many Germans and Nazis… must have been tempted not to murder, not to rob, not to let their neighbors go off to their doom…”

Jon Acuff

"If I'm honest, sometimes I fill my schedule with so much chaos and commitments because then I can blame the busyness if a project fails instead of myself."

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

"A sense of righteousness is not incompatible with doing terrible things."

JK Rowling

“I will trust you—I will extend my hand to you-despite the risk of betrayal, because it is possible, through trust, to bring out the best in you, and perhaps in me.”

Jordan B. Peterson

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt

“Terror becomes total when it becomes independent of all opposition; it rules supreme when nobody any longer stands in its way. If lawfulness is the essence of non-tyrannical government and lawlessness is the essence of tyranny, then terror is the essence of totalitarian domination.”

Our Ultimate Refuge

Oswald Chambers

“My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me. My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me.” - ‭‭Job‬ ‭19‬:‭14‬, ‭19‬ ‭NLT

"The bitterest hurt in life is to be wounded in the house of your friends; to be wounded by an enemy is bad enough but it does not take you unawares, you expect it in measure...

...there is always an intangible something which makes a friend, it is not what he does, but what he is. You feel better for being in the presence of some men. Job is suffering because his friends have turned against him;" - Page 80

Suffering and the Heart of God

Diane Langberg

“Sadly, one of the most powerful weapons of deception is the use of spiritual language. It does, after all, carry the seeming weight of God behind it.

Whenever sin is exposed, it creates a crisis and crises do two things: they reveal character and they are also what we might call "separating" times. A crisis reveals character because in the moments of crisis we do what we have been practicing. We display what we have habituated. We demonstrate what or who we live in obedience to.

A crisis is a revealing time. It reveals what is in the person who has come to you; it will reveal the heart of the one who is accused; it will reveal your heart to you; and it will reveal the heart of the structure or organization that is threatened by the truth.”

Youtube Videos Worth Watching

The Problem in Our Politics | Michael Wear

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Created on January 29, 2024.
Last updated on January 29, 2024.