October 30, 2019

Evoking Jesus, Obama said: "If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far."

There's a lot of good in his call-out of call-out culture:



Some transcription at Business Insider:
"This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly. I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, that the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that's enough. Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right, or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because: 'Man, did you see how woke I was? I called you out.' The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids and, you know, share certain things with you. That is not activism. That is not bringing about change. If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far."
I think the "casting stone" metaphor is a deliberate evocation of  John 8:
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 
In that story, "casting stones" was no mere criticism. It was an execution method. Jesus showed people why they should not participate in the stoning — because they too were sinners. Obama spoke of casting stones as ineffectual: "If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far." That is, you need to do more than cast stones.

Both Jesus and Obama are inviting people to be self-critical, but Jesus disperses an activated crowd and demands that all of them individually should go live their lives and attempt to be virtuous.

Obama seems to think that the individuals in the group are not pulled together into activism, but are lazily merely verbally calling out another person for sinning. That won't "get [you] that far."

What would getting that far mean? Obama seems a bit hesitant and confused. Maybe if, like Jesus, he'd taken the time to stoop down and write on the ground, he'd have spoken more clearly and confidently. It sounds as though he's asking the moderately heated-up individuals to pull together more and to take more action against the social ills they perceive.

But I'm going to give him a sympathetic reading — sympathetic as I see it, which is in line with Jesus — and that is to say that they should not pull together but disperse. When they see themselves focusing on a target — the sinner — it should remind them of their own imperfection, and they should retreat into their own individual lives and find the ways to improve themselves.

Footnote: I'm just guessing that some of you are about to question what Jesus was writing on the ground and tell me about the movie "King of Kings." This is a topic I discussed at some length — here and here — back in 2013. My view is that Jesus was contemplating what to say, and his writing on the ground was a way to concentrate and to exclude the noise of the crowd.

144 comments:

stevew said...

Another Boomer heard from... 🙄

But he is, of course, correct.

Mr Wibble said...

This is, in many ways, the platonic ideal of Obama: spend eight years encouraging these nutjobs via your admin policies and your own rhetoric, then try to position yourself and the "moderate" voice against it, and in doing so say something trite with a reference that sounds nice, but actually completely fails to understand both what you're discussing and the reference itself, demonstrating your faux-intellectualism.

Rick said...

And yet Obama enabled first Russlynn Ali and then her successor Catherine Llamon to illegally corrupt Title IX which began call out culture. Their framework transformed deviation from far left ideology into harassment while using government authority to coerce punishments.

So let's not call him our savior because a decade later he wants credit for slightly toning down his own creation.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"he who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock"

-- from the New American Woke translation

Ken B said...

Give him credit, Obama has consistently been good in his pronouncements on free speech and debate.

Ann Althouse said...

"he who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock"

Let's at least all agree that the pronoun should be "him."

"let him first cast a stone at her" — KJV

so: "Let him who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock."

There's no disputing the grammar once you take the time to think about it.

Let me help you. Not: Let I help you.

Fandor said...

Former president Obama has a lot to answer for in the course of justice.
He's throw rocks and started landslides of racial hatred.
Obama and his selected crook crony administration provided succor for our enemies both foreign and domestic.
Yes, Barrack, talk, gesture and smile away and see if you can finesse your way out of the storm coming.
Hopefully, there is going to be hell to pay.
Like a bloated corpse in the bottom of a river, the truth about you will rise.

Bay Area Guy said...

Obama is the opposite of Trump. His style is measured and dignified, and his substance is 3rd grade triviality.

Beasts of England said...

It’s not like the Lightbringer ever said ‘If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.’

Bay Area Guy said...

Call me when Obama mentions the word, "Antifa" in a public forum.

Unknown said...

Civility bullshit. Or just bullshit.

Hunter said...

Let us agree.

Let we agree?

May we agree.

M Jordan said...

Is this the same guy who called me a bitter clinger? Who mocked Trump repeatedly? Who lied to get his health care passed? Who lied about Benghazi?

Sorry, Barack. Not buying it.

Nichevo said...

He who laughs last, laughs loudest.

Not him.

iowan2 said...

I will give Obama his due. As halting as his oration was, he "called out" todays woke crowd. I caught the hashtag reference. Immediately remembering his wife started a hashtag movement for girls abducted by Boko Haram.

To my take, our host delves much deeper than Obama was thinking. I took it to mean social media is not the way to advance a cause. Sweat, and shoe leather is required. Take action, real action, not a twitter crusade. Back to the example of Jesus: For as the body without the spirit is dead, "faith without works is dead"

Obama also pointed out that humans, we, are all flawed, yet are capable of doing great good for others. I see that as maybe a re-examination of looking backward, trying to find past sins of people doing good today. Like Confederate Generals. Great individuals that owned slaves, A college kid that raised $300k for a children's hospital but tweeted stupid stuff when he was 16. Do YOU want to cast that first stone? Because your soul is so pure?

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

"Let's at least all agree that the pronoun should be 'him.'"

Assuming gender! 15 yard penalty!
Assuming pronouns! Automatic ejection!

I hope you can afford the fine from the commissioner.

[My pronouns are U, S, and A].
-h/t Michelle Malkin

SeanF said...

I'll dispute the grammar, because I've thought about it.

"He" (or "him") is not the object of the verb "let" in that sentence, so your analogy of "let me" or "let I" is invalid.

The object of the verb "let" is the entire clause "he who has no sin".

Question - would you say "let whoever has no sin..." or "let whomever has no sin...", and why?

AlbertAnonymous said...

“Go, and sin no more”.

Equally as important ...

Hunter said...

Let us agree that it's good to read charitably. But this is Obama, and we already know he has a habit of casting stones -- of impugning opponents' motives and misrepresenting (caricaturing) their positions.

He's a politician, so this is nothing special or unique. Nor are most politically vocal people innocent of that sin. Some of us seem to try harder to avoid it than others.

Rit said...

If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far. That's why it's so important to have others cast the stones for you.

There. I fixed it for our former president.

readering said...

Hopefully a post that doesn't trigger a lot of stones being cast at he (or me).

M Jordan said...

As for the “He who is without sin cast the first stone ...” it is usually misapplied. People use it to defend themselves (Jesse Jackson famously did). To his credit, Obama uses it here in a closer sense to how Jesus used it.

Jesus was without sin. Therefore he had the full right — and the Mosaic law to back him — to cast stones. He chose to forgive the woman and to make it a teaching moment to the Pharisees. Fact is, he loved them as much as her. Remember John 3:16? Jesus was forgiving their sin — that of hypocrisy — in the same moment he forgive hers.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I doubt if Obama has much influence on woke culture.

doctrev said...

It takes brass ovaries to try and improve one of the most iconic sayings of all time, Professor. And as it happens, you're beating a strawman by correcting the misquote. From the KJV:

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Earnest Prole said...

No “civility bullshit” tag for Obama and Jesus? I’m beginning to suspect Althouse lacks the courage of her philosophical convictions.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Most Muslims are unfamiliar with the New Testament.

johns said...

To me it was very clear and a familiar Obama refrain. He means that rather than criticizing others on social media, you should get politically involved. That is how he sees himself. He wanted to transform America, and he set about to do it. He is unhappy that the woke citizens of the internet are not out knocking on doors and working for candidates.
I wonder which candidate he prefers. Probably none, because they don't measure up to his own self image.

M Jordan said...

Ann, I’m not sure about your grammar. It’s a case of whether or not the He/him is in the subject or object case. Usually a noun that precedes the verb is subject, hence “he.” But the entire phrase “He who is without sin” is functioning as the subject.

Been awhile since I taught this stuff. Maybe I’m missing something.

66 said...

Civility bullshit?

zipity said...


So.....Obama is invoking himself, the Obamessiah.

Annie said...

Says the man who not only cast many stones against police or his political opponents, but weaponized federal agencies to intimidate, harass, or investigate those opponents.

MikeR said...

Not my religion, but I think I agree w Mr. Obama. Let he who is full of sin do the best he can anyhow. He may need to punish others as part of his job.
Don't fool yourself and try not to fool others.

tcrosse said...

Meanwhile,
"Maybe we can take a stand and do what’s necessary without discounting the cost; go low when it’s required without reveling in the other side’s pain, taking care we don’t get stuck down in the dirt."

TJM said...

Obama is a left-wing loon and so is his "wife" who just today attacked Whites for White-Flight from Black neighborhoods. Is their mansion on the sea located in a Black neighborhood?

AllenS said...

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." -- Obama

Fuck off Obama.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

you need to do more that cast stones. Bring a knife.

Ken B said...

M Jordan
Ann is right. Parse it this way: Let him (who is without sin) cast the first stone. The (who is without sin) is the subordinate clause, and in it the subject form of The Who/whom pronoun is indeed used. But the main pronoun belongs to the sentence not that clause.
He who is without sin is permitted to throw stones. Let him do so.

Michael K said...

Amusing that Ann seemed to miss the implication of the "bike lock."

Obama is still a phony although now a rich phony. Funny how that happens in politics all the time.

Howard said...

Since Barack Hussein Obama is essentially Jesus Christ, then he is just quoting himself

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Blogger Char Char Binks said...
"Most Muslims are unfamiliar with the New Testament"

Super solid!

Rare sense from Bark. Now go back to sandbagging your mansion.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The left will hivemindedly lash out at Trump, each new day, for each new Trump-sin. The Trump-sins - oh they are vast. Trump-sins --trumped up by the Pharisee-media. The left will rarely if ever take stock of the Hillary sin.

It's not the latest news-cycle. Old news and unsolved crimes are smothered by layers of Pharisee-media.

Lurker21 said...

Actually good advice and not so poorly said. He's reproaching the left-wing of his party and the woke young progressives.

One might take this - "People who you are fighting may love their kids and, you know, share certain things with you" - as a belated ... not an apology actually, but a conciliatory gesture after the "bitter clingers" remark. Maybe we need a word for the opposite of "microaggressions" that would mean the tiny conciliatory gestures politicians make that still don't win over opponents.

But #sententiousObama and #emptysuitObama have become so familiar that it's hard to listen to the guy. If you can't stand him, bear in mind that you aren't the audience he's primarily addressing here.

BTW, His wife has put on weight (is it sexist to say that?), so if there was ever any doubt (there wasn't) she's really and truly not running for anything.

Amadeus 48 said...

I think I’ll study John 8.

As to Obama, I am not sure how far I want his audience to get. They seem like people who have little respect for the rights of others, and I doubt they would admit to any sins. Quite to the contrary.

As to Jesus, both he and I don’t want the crowd to stone the woman, and Jesus wants her to go and sin no more. As to the crowd, Jesus has caused them to reflect on their own shortcomings, which is good.

So, I end up here where I always end up. Jesus gives me a lot to reflect upon, and Obama comes up intellectually and emotionally short.

Obama is no Jesus.

Amadeus 48 said...

Howard—I know Jesus. I have worked with Jesus. Jesus is a friend of mine.

Barack Obama is no Jesus.

Yancey Ward said...

Okay Boomer.

Yancey Ward said...

F*** it! First comment beats me to it!

JGH said...

Civility bullshit?

JGH said...

Civility Bullshit?

CWJ said...

Still and all.

I'm glad he said this, rather than egg on the mob.

sunsong said...

Well done Obama! Thank you for being a grown up.

jimbino said...

Of course, you need to use good grammar yourself, but you still need to call out the bad grammar of others, especially if they publish lest bad grammar along with "absolutely," "awesome" and the singular "they" will proliferate to the point that all the linguistic descriptivists and n-gram begin to treat bad grammar as acceptable.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

since we were quoting from the New American Woke translation,

the pronoun issue is whatever you feel. Or are there still standards?

"It's 'Xim', not 'Xe', you dummy!"

johns said...

grammatically, "let him who is without sin" has an implied "you." so since it is "(you) let him (do something)", "you" is the subject, "let" is the verb, and "him" is the object, so "him" not "he".

jimbino said...

Barack is one of the worst grammar sinners. I can't imagine how many people have learned to say along with Obama, "The problem is is that...."

Achilles said...

Obama is a piece of shit.

He is going to be outed as one of the main co-conspirators in the coup attempt.

He explicitly sought aid from foreign agents to undermine and attempt to remove a lawfully elected president.

If Obama spent half the intelligence resources hunting ISIS that he spent trying to frame Trump and Flynn and other domestic political opponents Baghdadi would be dead years ago.

But we all know who the leftists consider their true enemies.

Jail is too good for him.

etbass said...

This man presided over the greatest scandal in U.S. government history. I don't want to hear any reproaches from him, whatsoever.

Drago said...

Howard: "Since Barack Hussein Obama is essentially Jesus Christ, then he is just quoting himself"

See, this is one of your better trolling efforts.

Try to keep it on this level from now on and do not revert back to the sexual innuendo/locker room nonsense.

Drago said...

Ken B: "Give him credit, Obama has consistently been good in his pronouncements on free speech and debate."

obama routinely attempts to use "gee whiz, heck, can't all us folks do what is right" jargon and terminology to hide his Alinsky-ite nature.

Do not fall for the What Wonderfully Creased Slacks obama. He's Cloward-Piven all the way through and he's simply using rhetoric to try and make up for what he did for 8 years in case Michelle jumps into the race in 2020 or 2024.

Bay Area Guy said...

Obama has been ex-President for nearly 3 years.

He has spoken out on public issues maybe 3 or 4 times. He has not endorsed his former VP Joe Biden, but he felt the need to tweet an endorsement of Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.

He could, if he wanted, speak out on all sorts of issues and topics. Yet, he is mostly silent on 99% of the issues of the day.

What does that tell you?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

An unemployed rodeo clown could not be reached for comment.

Seeing Red said...

You keep falling for the purty words.

He helped orchestrate a coup.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Pure speculation, but I like to think that Jesus was writing the names of the Pharisees' mistresses in the dust.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

President Drone Strike, like most people on the Left, is immune from cancel culture. It's newsworthy when someone on the Left is harmed by it.

I mean, President Kids-in-Cages officially opposed same sex marriage until, what, 2004 or later, right? Not being a full-throated supporter of the current day's LGBTQIOP+ values is enough to ruin the career of a normal person, but President Fast & Furious doesn't have to worry about that.

It is endlessly amusing that cancel culture was A-OK right up until it started claiming one or two Democrat scalps, but I'm afraid this is just another one of those "say the safe thing once it's safe to say it" kind of moments that is, I guess, the best we can expect out of our revered elites.

Stunning & brave.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sorry if I was to cynical there; I give President #BringOurGirlsBack all the credit President SyrianCivilWarBooster deserves for saying the right thing. President LibyanSlaveMarkets may have taken full advantage of the forces behind cancel culture while he was in office, but President LostUkraine at least now is speaking out against them.

Hey remember when he wore that tan suit?! What a scandal.

Nonapod said...

Mr Wibble said...This is, in many ways, the platonic ideal of Obama: spend eight years encouraging these nutjobs via your admin policies and your own rhetoric, then try to position yourself and the "moderate" voice against it, and in doing so say something trite with a reference that sounds nice, but actually completely fails to understand both what you're discussing and the reference itself, demonstrating your faux-intellectualism.

I suspect that the rise of SJW/Woke cultural among the current crop of youth has become a big concern for Obama because it is undermining what he imagines as his great legacy, which is advancing the cause of Progressivism in the United States.

The reason for this is that Wokism is scaring away the adult middle American independent/swing voters that the Dem party desperately needs. It also allows people on the right to easily characterize the Democrats has lunatics. And it has pushed the party too far too the left too fast. I mean, look at the current crop of Dem presidential candidates, they keep trying to one up each other by advocating more and more extreme positions.

Obama won the presidency by appearing to be a reasonable, middle of the road candidate. He knows damn well that America hasn't change that much since his time. He knows you have to at least have the appearance of being somewhat moderate to win the US Presidency, even if you really aren't.

AvoCat said...

Althouse's grammer is correct: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

However: "He who is without sin may cast the first stone."

Ann Althouse said...

“ Amusing that Ann seemed to miss the implication of the "bike lock."”

Amusing to expose yourself as amused by something you have no reason to assume.

The post itself recommends sympathetic reading. But go ahead and model thinking other people are missing things. Is that how you want to be thought of or do you think it’s amusing that Althouse doesn’t seem to have heard of the Golden Rule?

Ann Althouse said...

@ doctrev

I can’t understand your criticism. I myself was quoting the KJV as I indicated. I isolated the relevant phrase. Are you under the mistaken impression that the inclusion of the whole sentence changes the analysis of what is the correct pronoun?

rhhardin said...

You have to decide whether "let" is an introductory particle forming optative mood, or a main verb. Let us decide. (optative)

Bill Peschel said...

"He wanted to transform America, and he set about to do it. He is unhappy that the woke citizens of the internet are not out knocking on doors and working for candidates."

And yet, the Washington Post published an article in which Democratic congressmen complained that Obama wouldn't work with them on legislation.

Oh, he knows what's the right thing to do: He just won't do it.

In Texas, they'd say he's all hat, no cattle.

Roger Sweeny said...

"And if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

tim maguire said...

While it is clearly a biblical reference, I can't help but hear this as I read it:

"But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow"

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

I'm with Allen S.

The LAST... yes, LAST... person from whom I'm interested in hearing from is Obama. It's hard to put into words how much I despise him.

joshbraid said...

“2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. 4 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. "
Matthew 23:2-4

SeanF said...

This is the biggest problem with the moderated comments. You can see that Comment B was written long after Comment A, but it's quite possible that Commenter B had no idea Comment A had been made at the time.

To anyone who says it should be "Let him who has no sin...", I'd like you to tell me if you'd say "Let whoever has no sin..." or if you'd say "Let whomever has no sin...", and why.

Ann, you attempted to correct the grammar of "Let he who has no sin...", but that's not the KJV version. The KJV (correctly) says "Let him cast the first stone," but that's a different sentence structure.

"Let him cast.." being correct does not imply that "Let him who has no sin cast..." would be correct.

doctrev said...

I see, Professor. You correctly saw that "let him first cast a stone at her" is the grammatically correct line from the KJV. Ingaschuck was tying the line to a more commonly referenced, if grammatically incorrect, version. You correct the grammar, but Inga was faithful to that particular translation.

My impulse is to defend the Bible, regardless of the grammar used in newer translations. It might get me in trouble, but there are lots of people who will defend their religion, even when the rules of the language are not on their side.

Laslo Spatula said...

I see a similarity here between Althouse and Obama.

Please note I do not intend this as snide or harsh -- it is simply an observation that may or may not hold water.

Both Obama and Althouse are what I would consider 'moderate' progressives: they have a confident belief in what is socially right, and support pushing the Zeitgeist that brings it closer.

They would like change to a point they can agree with, then get out of the car: upon arriving at their preferred destination they would like chaos to stop and for things to now become 'boring'.

However, many of the fellow-travelers in this progress have no intention of stopping at a 'moderate' point: they have taken over the vehicle, and they are not letting anyone off. Hell, they will gladly crash the late-90s Impala to teach you a lesson about who is in charge. For them it is a Joyride, not a Destination.

And when you're in the backseat and the people around you start pulling out the guns, maybe having gotten into the car with today's Weathermen was a bad idea in the first place.

But the law now sees you as an accomplice.

I am Laslo.

JimT Utah said...

I have been teaching Sunday school for fifty years now. I concluded long ago that what Jesus was writing was the names of the mob leaders' girlfriends.

Mr. D said...

Obama saw The Lion King. He knows what happened to Scar in the end. Hyenas are woke.

Jonathan said...

"Clearly, the police acted stupidly"......

robother said...

I swear the first time I read Ann's "let's at least agree it was a him," I took it as some kind of feminist comment on the predictable gender of the rock throwers.

Jim at said...

You built this, Obama.
Own it.

Gusty Winds said...

Free Speech requires tolerance. It is the "intellectual" left that labels anything they don't like to hear as hate speech. Through this, they created the modern cancel culture. Obama can't and doesn't even want to redirect the disciples he created. They are now too far down the Warren/Sanders/AOC path.

His failed use of government agencies and the deep state to consolidate power and turn us into a totalitarian socialist state was diabolic.

Obama doesn't believe anything that comes out of his own mouth.

Jesus did.

Fernandinande said...

Obummer sez: "That is not bringing about change."

He's wrong as usual because the woke call-out culture is indeed bringing about change; a lot of people have been shunned, fired or even arrested for innocent but non-PC speech.

'If all you're doing is reading Obama's pabulum, you are probably not going to get that[sic] far.'

++

"he who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock"
Let's at least all agree that the pronoun should be "him."


"He" is correct because there's no "let"; but "swing" should be "swings" or "swung".

I myself was quoting the KJV as I indicated.

Your link is to the NIV version, which says "throw" rather than "cast".

It's a dopey story and statement in any case because it implies that nobody should be punished for crimes.

Otto said...

Obama is pissed not because his people are casting stones , but because his people are not unified in the casting of their stones at the right object (conservatives).
An Ann tries to riff off of this canard to say " hey layoff calling out sinners because we all are sinners". Do you really think she is being a true Christian here and that she follows the teachings of Christianity - my arse. If so then Ann should erase this post, and quickly pray to God for forgiveness of her sins. Typical 60s liberal ploy to get rid of Christian mores. Believe me folks this gal is no swing voter, she is a progressive to the bone.

Ken B said...

Drago
I said he talked the talk pretty well. I was careful to specify pronouncements. Walking the walk is not implied. At that he was not so good, eg IRS.

Wince said...

"Everybody must get stoned."

- Bob Dylan

Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good
They’ll stone ya just a-like they said they would
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to go home
Then they’ll stone ya when you’re there all alone

But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ ’long the street
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to keep your seat
They’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ on the floor
They’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ to the door

But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

They’ll stone ya when you’re at the breakfast table
They’ll stone ya when you are young and able
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to make a buck
They’ll stone ya and then they’ll say, “good luck”
Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone you and say that it’s the end
Then they’ll stone you and then they’ll come back again
They’ll stone you when you’re riding in your car
They’ll stone you when you’re playing your guitar
Yes, but I would not feel so all alone

Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone you when you walk all alone
They’ll stone you when you are walking home
They’ll stone you and then say you are brave
They’ll stone you when you are set down in your grave
But I would not feel so all alone

Everybody must get stoned

Bay Area Guy said...

I see a similarity here between Althouse and Obama.

In style, yes.

In world view, partially yes.

But in substance and intellectual rigor, heck No.

Analogy: Obama admires a nice house; can talk intelligently about the closets, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the decor, the finishes, the crown moldings, how it looks, what he likes, etc, etc.

But Althouse can build the house.

Obama is the powerful successful lawyer who never once tried a case. It shows.

Tom said...

There’s a scene where Master Yoda appears to scribble on the ground with his cane as he contemplates what’s next with Luke. I wonder if this bible passage inspired that in Yoda.

Ann Althouse said...

“ Ingaschuck was tying the line to a more commonly referenced, if grammatically incorrect, version. You correct the grammar, but Inga was faithful to that particular translation.”

I quoted the King James Bible. There’s no more respected English Translation. What is “more common” that you’re talking about? I can’t believe someone is fighting me over my choice of translation!

Roughcoat said...

I can't escape the sense that Althouse uses Christian scripture as a stick for switching religious Christian conservatives. She's not herself a believer and she's convinced that most people who say they are, aren't. Yet she writes more than the occasional post in which she uses New Testament scripture and the words of Jesus to make her point. I'm uncomfortable with that, to the point where I think there's something cynical and exploitative about it.

alanc709 said...

Althouse: "But go ahead and model thinking other people are missing things. Is that how you want to be thought of..."

Personal foul, dangling participle. Fifteen yards and first down.

tim in vermont said...

Tell us again about the weatherstripping, Barrack!

bleh said...

Funny that there was almost none of this garbage in November 2008. Wonder what happened between then and now.

tcrosse said...

Jesus never evoked Obama.

Sebastian said...

"If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far."

Of course, this does not condemn the casting of stones; it just means that to get "far," you have to have a plan for what to do when the casting is done. The standard prog response would be that the casting of stones, i.e., the crushing of all enemies, is the necessary condition for progressive change--not sufficient, but necessary.

Sure, O sounds like a slightly more reasonable prog here. But to be really reasonable, he should ask what it is about progressivism that makes woke cancel culture so appealing. Answer: it seems to work, and it gets you pretty far in scorching the earth, eliminating deplorable elements, and winning the culture war.

404 Page Not Found said...

And yet Obama had no problem ordering the illegal spying on American citizens, including Trump.

I don't think any decent person should consider him to be a role model.

Sebastian said...

"No “civility bullshit” tag for Obama and Jesus? I’m beginning to suspect Althouse lacks the courage of her philosophical convictions."

Hey, hey, if Althouse likes it, it can't be bullshit.

Ken B said...

My translation of choice for most purposes is the ESV, which is a descendant of the KJV. Who wants to arm wrestle over it?

Last time I was in church they did not use the KJV, and it was cringe inducingly awful. “Forgive them father because they don’t know what they are doing”, like they were doing crucifixions all wrong and needed lessons. Brrrrr. So if you ever invite me to a service, use the KJV please!

narciso said...

he encouraged this woke culture, but they are unsubtle in their ways, make no mistake he has no objection with their goal, which is to silence political speech,

rhhardin said...

To anyone who says it should be "Let him who has no sin...", I'd like you to tell me if you'd say "Let whoever has no sin..." or if you'd say "Let whomever has no sin...", and why.

It's let whoever has no sin. The relative pronoun takes on the case of its function in its clause.

The rule is made complex here because whoever means "the person who." The "the person" part would be in objective case (from the "let") but the ruling rule is that the "who" part has to be "who," as the subject of "has."

"Let" is often something of a special case, being not quite a modal, called a pragmatic particle. Its particular grammar is taking an objective case noun that is the subject of the following verb. If they think they can pull it off, let them come. It takes on the grammar of "let" as a main verb but it has a different meaning.

Jupiter said...

I think you miss the subtlety of Christ's response. He was not merely calling upon his listeners to consider their own failings. He was saying that one of them must publicly declare himself to be without sin, by throwing the first stone. It may be that all of them wished that the stone should be thrown. But none of them were willing to be the one to throw it, and proclaim himself free of sin.

Obama is not acting like Christ. He is acting like the people who wanted the stone thrown, but did not want to be held responsible for throwing it. He is kind enough to suggest that us bitter clingers may still harbor some residual moral feelings, such as concern for our children. Thanks for that, Barky. Too bad your Dad didn't give Fuck Zero for you, right?

jk said...

"OK Boomer"

Darrell said...

Get a free Taco Bell® FREE Doritos® Locos Taco, today Oct. 30 between 2PM and 6PM. This is a tie-in to the World Series and a stolen base in one of the games. Don't say I never gave you nothing.

rhhardin said...

Not reading the KJV in school to start each day has left us with a generation that can't conjugate old-timey verbs.

bagoh20 said...

I think the message has been repeated often, but it takes on a certain power when said by a powerful and respected leader like either one of these men:

https://youtu.be/lA5UqUyFmT0

bagoh20 said...

So it seems that the way to determine the correct grammar is to just say it and see if it sounds right? That's not gonna work for us hillbillies.

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: What is “more common” that you’re talking about?

The expression in question is very rarely quoted as "He who has no sin, let him cast..." It is much more commonly quoted as "Let he (or him!) who has no sin cast..."

rhhardin - I agree with you that it is "whoever". I disagree that if you replace "whoever" with "the person who," you can separate "the person" from "who" and make the former objective but the latter subjective. It's separate words (as opposed to "whoever") but I think still a single object within the sentence.

However! I just came across this example: "The Lord puts on him who has no sin the sin of us all." I have to agree that saying "The Lord puts on he who has no..." just doesn't sound right.

On the third hand, this is referring to a specific individual (Jesus) and not a hypothetical. It can therefore be parsed as "The Lord puts on him (who has no sin) the sin of us all" which does allow for separating those words.

So maybe I'm okay after all. :D

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

fortunately for all, the only one who could throw stones didn't--

... Instead, took the "stones" upon himself for our sake

I'm Full of Soup said...

Obama never really says anything significant except when he slips up. He did not slip up here - he just filled a bit of air time for some seminar.

DavidUW said...

He’s right, to paraphrase Obama don’t bring a stone to a gunfight.

Amadeus 48 said...

KJV forever.

Isn’t the subject of the sentence, which is imperative, the elided [you], and “him” is the object of let? So the sentence is, “[You] let him (he who is without sin amongst you) first cast a stone at her.”

Amadeus 48 said...

By the way, this discussion shows why there are so many Protestant sects. Every man a priest!

Laslo Spatula said...

Bay Area Guy said...
"In style, yes.

In world view, partially yes.

But in substance and intellectual rigor, heck No."


I will not argue that.

My thinking was mostly about those who proceed as if 'progress' can be brought in for a safe landing.

The plane always gets hijacked.

I am Laslo.

doctrev said...

"I quoted the King James Bible. There’s no more respected English Translation. What is “more common” that you’re talking about? I can’t believe someone is fighting me over my choice of translation!

10/30/19, 2:19 PM"

I know you did. And I know Ingachuck quoted a different version. I'm hardly fighting over your choice of translation, having realized where you both got your versions of the same idea from. I am fighting, perhaps out of reflex, over the notion of "correcting" a holy Scripture. No matter how much I admit it doesn't meet the standards of modern grammar.

It may mean nothing to you, of course, but it means a lot to many people, including myself.

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse needs a new tag:

"Smooth-Talking Civility Bullshit"

Birkel said...

Did he give anybody the finger while pretending to scratch his cheek while calling out others for call out culture?

Mutaman said...

"Obama is the opposite of Trump. His style is measured and dignified, and his substance is 3rd grade triviality."

"Grab em by the pussy" ? Some substance.

narciso said...

putting it another way:


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+3%3A10-12%2CPsalm+14%3A1-3%2CPsalm+53%3A1-3&version=NIV

caplight45 said...

1. I never think of the Professor as being a Progressive. I see her as a classic liberal.
2. As Christian I have never sensed her use of scripture to be cynical. At the very least it is an acknowledgement of the richness of the literary contribution to Western culture. My guess is that she understands the foundational role Christianity plays in the development of that culture.
I have never felt that she had demeaned the Christian Faith. And I’ve been reading her almost from the beginning. It may be that a degree of respect for Christianity leads her to call out Christians in their hypocrisy from time to time.

vanderleun said...

"I think the "casting stone" metaphor is a deliberate evocation of John 8:"

That's the kind of cutting edge insight and scholarship that keeps everyone here coming back again and again. And then your fantastic "parsing" out of different translations in the comments, well, what can one say except Salieri."

I wonder what you could do with something even more challenging such as: "Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity."?

AllenS said...

Roughcoat said...
I can't escape the sense that Althouse uses Christian scripture as a stick for switching religious Christian conservatives.

That has been my thoughts also. The possibility that either of them are religious is ridiculous, and that their attempt to have us think that they are living their lives according to the Bible is nonsense.

Amadeus 48 said...

Casting a stone vs. throwing a rock.

Obama grew up among the stone casters. Trump is a rock thrower all the way.

SeanF said...

Amadeus 48: Isn’t the subject of the sentence, which is imperative, the elided [you], and “him” is the object of let? So the sentence is, “[You] let him (he who is without sin amongst you) first cast a stone at her.”
Sure, but the question is what you're going to do with both a "him" and a "he" when you get rid of the parantheses.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

as far as we can tell, Our Most Gracious Host does not use scripture
as a cudgel, nor does she denigrate people of faith. We are glad for
the times she places it in the discourse.

M Jordan said...

Blogger HoodlumDoodlum said...
An unemployed rodeo clown could not be reached for comment


I loved this comment.

GingerBeer said...

"...the wrong verb..."? From the guy who relocated the Maldives to the South Atlantic Ocean and singlehandedly created the Austrian language and eight new States, this isn't really surprising.

Nichevo said...

Yet she writes more than the occasional post in which she uses New Testament scripture and the words of Jesus to make her point. I'm uncomfortable with that, to the point where I think there's something cynical and exploitative about it.


Not from any Bible but from one of its authors:


The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice


As for Obama, he just wants to cut down on red-on-red incidents. Pas d'ennemis à gauche, and all that. If Teddy Kennedy was alive and molesting women with one hand, chugging bourbon with the other, and promoting D legislation with his teeny peenie thumping the voting button, O woukd tell people to lay off him, because he was an effective L voice. No more leftists must be taken down with penny ante bullshit.

If he's a D, hold your fire! That's all he's saying. Dressed up in Bible talk like he thinks will make him look good.

This endeth the lesson.

Nichevo said...

Thus, dammit. Stupid Android.

Ken B said...

Compare and contrast, one of the most theologically important bits of the NT.

KJV: “He that believeth In me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
One version I heard in church: “If you believe in me and die you will still be alive.”

Gack.

Ken B said...

I saw an interesting idea. The media are trying to essentially ban memes, by creating a taboo. I think most in the media really would like to see memes disappear.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Obama:
"This idea of purity, and you're never compromised, and you're always politically 'woke' and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids and share certain things with you."


I'm now thinking this is Obama's way of telling the followers to understand Joe Biden did, in fact, use his power to enrich his son, but come on, we all make mistakes. He's still good people.

Unknown said...

He knows the Radicals don't care what he says

Any more than the Muslims care about our infidel views on Islam

So for whom is he putting on the bible thumping show?

Mrs Whatsit said...

Well, good for him. He's right, and eloquent, and it's time that some Democrat said so, and I hope somebody's listening.

But it also has to be said that he was one of the most negative and accusatory politicians I have ever seen. Division and destruction was his modus operandi, while he pretended to be inspiring and elevating. Remember when he accused doctors of performing tonsillectomies and diabetic amputations to make money so that he could promote ObamaCare? I wonder if he has any self-awareness about that at all.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Sure, but the question is what you're going to do with both a "him" and a "he" when you get rid of the parantheses."

Not to be too pharisaical about this, but I don't think we can apply modern punctuation conventions to the KJV. In my view, the introductory clause is in effect parenthetical. "He that is without sin among you" is an introductory clause defining with particularity the "him" who may cast the first stone at her.

The sentence is grammatically obscure, but it is beautiful, precise, and perfectly balanced.

It has been said the the King James Version is the greatest product ever produced by a committee. Amen.

Michael K said...

He knows the Radicals don't care what he says

He's starting to worry that the crazies are going to kill the party.

He's right.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Obama was herald and point man in creating the call-out culture.

Thanks for the video clip. I had forgotten what an incoherent speaker is Obama when not scripted.

RichAndSceptical said...

Is having the IRS abuse conservatives (Tea party) the same as casting stones?

The Crack Emcee said...

Mr. Hit Back Twice As Hard is a hypocrite.

Kassaar said...

I have no trouble interpreting “swing” in “he who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock” as a subjunctive form, but the above discussion suggests to me that native speakers of English are not likely to share this interpretation. However, change the sentence into a subordinate clause introduced by “that” (as in “it is necessary that she see a doctor”) and the subjunctive mood becomes evident: “... that he who is without sin swing the first bicycle lock.”

Wa St Blogger said...

Having read the comments all the way up to 6:44 am, I revised my original impression of Obama's comment from: "he was limp-wristedly trying to calm the excesses of call-out culture, but meant well." To a much less generous reading.

Obama has come from a social and political culture designed to tear down and destroy opponents. He has demonstrated knee-jerk condemnations of people based on a very superficial us verses them mindset. He has allowed, without comment, the destruction of conservatives, both political and civilian. He not only threw stones but held the cloaks of those who who threw stones. Obama has not had a "road to Damascus" moment, so I don't see his comment as saying "can't we all just get along". I think he is trying to reduce blue on blue. If he really wanted to invoke the the no-stones approach, he should first acknowledge his own part in this, apologize, explain why he was wrong, and THEN he MIGHT have the moral authority to comment on the subject.

Instead, I think he THINKS of himself as a great sage, rising above the petty squabbles, and dispensing knowledge from on-high. He has not earned that right. He has not demonstrated it in his life. It is Civility bullshit.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Thanks Wa St Blogger. Could not focus earlier on mo major gripe with the clip.

Often the case with Obama speaking, there is/are unstated premises. Obama says call-outs are an ineffective activism tool. The unstated premise is that activism (bringing about change) is the desired objective.

This is classic in-your-face Obama. Your behavior/speech/thoughts are not acceptable to ME. You must change. Fine, if it is about compliance with established law. Just plain offensive when it is about e.g. personal preferred pronouns, animal rights, veganism, global warming.

Bilwick said...

Isn't Obama the second coming of Jesus? That seemed to be message from the MSM, when Red Diaper Barry was running for president.

Bilwick said...

Isn't Obama the second coming of Jesus? That seemed to be message from the MSM, when Red Diaper Barry was running for president.