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Carly Fiorina Spars With the "Lemons" of The View | Main | Politico Takes Its First Walkback Step in Ben Carson Hitpiece; Now Admits Fabricated Lie That Ben Carson "Admitted Fabrication" About West Point
November 06, 2015

AoSHQ Podcast #123: Ben K.

Coblogger Ben K. joined Ace, Gabe and Drew to discuss the week's events and get on their Star Wars geeks on a truncated episode this week.

And by truncated, I mean it just ends in the middle of Ben's quick hit. Looks like we had some technical difficulties at the end.

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Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.

Open thread in the comments.

Edited to add [Gabe]:

We got a thoughtful response to our questions about Carson's pyramid theory and, with permission, I have reprinted it here for the edification of all. Thanks, Caleb!

Hey guys,

With regards to Carson's pyramid comments maybe I can fill in what he was getting at.

So Joseph is the son of Jacob who's considered the central father figure (the patriarch) for the people of Israel. (Israel is in fact another name for Jacob)

Joseph was sold into slavery (in Egypt) by his brothers. Through a series of events he becomes Pharaoh's right hand man, and because of his great stewardship skills he is able to greatly increase Egypt's grain supplies.

Then there's a famine in Canaan so his family flees to Egypt for food. In a classic scene at the end of Genesis the family is reunited and Joseph utters this famous phrase: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."

Exodus picks up hundreds of years later, Israel has grown to be a large group of people (perhaps millions) and they are now enslaved and persecuted by the Pharaoh. From there you probably know the rest.

Carson's argument seems to be that Joseph was responsible for building the pyramids to house the grain. It's a strange argument, but for conservative evangelicals who frame most of their life according to the stories in the bible it makes a certain kind of sense.

The reasoning would go like this: Joseph followed God, and because he did so he was able to accomplish great things - like build the Pyramids. This isn't good history, but it does say something important about Carson that I hadn't realized.

Conservatives have not always been good at constructing a positive narrative to frame their beliefs. It tends to be very negative (government is incompetent, liberals are utopian, etc...) But a positive narrative is essential. You can see Trump tapping into this with "make America Great again" ideas.

For Carson it's apparently more subtle. Though this theory appears bizarre it does demonstrate two things: (1) Carson is intimately familiar with the details of these stories - his religious beliefs are apparently quite genuine (I think Carson is wrong about this pyramid idea - but what he said is dog-whistling to me because it leverages a shared knowledge one picks up from years of Bible studies) and (2) he's able to construct a positive narrative that could be very appealing to religious conservatives (ie like Joseph we can build great things in this country)

I think in American history there is some precedent for this - many politicians have been capable of leveraging biblical stories to frame current events. For example Lincoln's "a house divided cannot stand" (a quote from Jesus) and references to Providence (a theological idea found throughout the Bible). Or from another side - a lot of what MLK had to stay comes directly from the pages of the New Testament. (or even prohibition - a sort of extreme religious movement)

Americans today aren't nearly as biblically literate, so I'm not sure that message can be generally effective (though there are still quite a few conservative evangelicals out there... so who knows). For a lot of people it's just going to sound bizarre. Still maybe it indicates there's more to Carson than I originally thought.

- Caleb

Just Tossing This In [ace]: via Hot Air, the new international Star Wars trailer.

digg this
posted by Andy at 03:35 PM

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