I’m not a big fan of podcasts. Listening to something that isn’t music for more than 10 minutes goes against my nature. Even when I have time to kill, say on a walk or at the gym, I find that a Mozart opera will benefit me much more than the latest musings of this or that influencer.

However, I do have a soft spot for Auron MacIntyre. I am no longer on Twitter, due to various real-life responsibilities, but when I was on Twitter, I’d sometimes follow Auron’s engagement path and end up listening to his broadcasting. He actually explains his business model in one of his sessions, which is interesting in its sincerity.

Anyhow, before we get to the turd in the turd sandwich, let’s continue with the bread: MacIntyre often covers interesting topics that have pointed me in the direction of meaningful books. For instance, I discovered Fustel’s The Ancient City thanks to his show. I might have even read Burnham following his exposition, but maybe that was somebody else’s recommendation.

Anyhow, and here’s the turd, after a few listenings you get to figure out what Auron would refer to as his own “metagame.” Meaning, his system of winning or playing the engagement game. One aspect of the metagame is stylistic: always speak with great confidence about everything (including Brazilian and Argentine politics), yet without ever providing any of those pesky little “sciency” things called numbers. Another stylistic aspect that seems to not come easy to Auron, a gamer geek, is an appeal to rage. He often prefaces his words with things like “OK guys, so here is why you should totally be enraged about XYZ.” In Auron’s defense, I don’t think *he* has ever been enraged about anything. He seems very sweet and innocuous with his swarthy yet presumably Scottish visage.

More turd. As common sadly on the RW/DR/MAGA/Frog sphere nowadays (here‘s Bronski’s analysis), he often simply exaggerates. His very sincere episode linked above about how to use social media probably provides more than a clue as to why.

Anyway, here is a recent example. I was stuck in traffic on my way to a client, was done with my Handel sing-along, and so I popped the old Auron on Spotify. The topic was compelling – do US churches adopt liberal positions to align with the powers that be? Do churches admit homosexuals and trans-sexuals because they self-discipline based on the demands, explicit or hinted, of the American progressive establishment?

It seems to make sense. We all realize what’s best for us, including pastors and priests, and so we align with the demands of Power (with a capital P!). Auron’s guest, an extremely eloquent Twitter persona named Kryptos (I think?), added that even conservative churches capitulate to PPPower, only they make up sly and nice-sounding excuses such as “love the sinner, hate the sin,” or trying to do “outreach” or being “pastoral,” but in fact those are just excuses to cover for cucking, capitulating, and not getting into trouble.

For a minute that made sense to me, but then I felt a bit uneasy. Why? Because our little family actually goes to a pretty conservative church (through marriage I have one foot planted in the Christian side of things). The occasional homosexual does appear. But I never suspected our rector of capitulating to anything. Could there be other explanations? Well, within about another minute I was able to think of at least three more.

  1. Who cares? Our priest often says that his role is to make it to heaven and take with him as many of us as he can. When this is his lofty purpose, why would he care about the occasional Big Gay Al pracning on the way to receiving communion? He has more important things to worry about.
  2. There is much precedent for admitting less-than-holy people to church. One may begin with Mary Magdalene, but nowadays as well, all sorts of types – divorced women, tattooed men, drunks, rakes, and wretches – come to church and receive communion. This is hardly a theological change of the Vatican II style. Drunkenness is not encouraged by any church I am familiar with yet churches allow a drunk person to express penance and thanksgiving and make an attempt at a closer relationship with God.
  3. The change in church-going demographics may also be a simple change in… demographics. Before there were divorced women and tattooed men, you wouldn’t see them in church. Now there are many divorced women and tattooed men, so you see them even in church. The same applies to homosexuals. The 1960s happened, there are homosexuals out there, and so they will be seen in church too.
  4. As Paul the Apostle explains, receiving communion in a sinful or unrepentant state is *personally* damaging. And so a church that administers communion to the sinful is not endorsing sin, but simply putting the honus on the sinner. Big Gay Al may pass through the eye of God or not.

So let’s assume all these explanations are more or less as probable, including Auron’s. That gives us only a probability of 20% for Auron’s self-confident argument. OK, let’s give it 30%, let’s say it’s more probable (although I don’t think it is). Make it 40%. Make it 50%. Still, given the other hypothetical explanations are not completely improbable, we have no justification for that kind of absolute and simplistic self-confidence. It’s not *obvious*.

As I commented elsewhere, this notion that all is governed by PPPower and only a few prophets retain a connection (through “elite theory” or whatever) to the Truth is Gnosticism. In many ways lack of nuance *IS* Gnosticism. Christianity without nuance *becomes* Gnosticism – this is the biggest warning against nuanced thinking.

But let’s close the turd sandwich with a slice of fine, fresh bread. I probably agree with Auron on most issues, though it requires a process of filtering of the type I demonstrated above. I suppose I can do that because I have others means of income than generating engagement on a daily basis whereas he, until he makes the big bucks, is locked in an audience-pleasing loop. Who knows! In any case, with the right application of filters, the Auron MacIntyre Show is at least a good primer into interesting authors, even though it weirdly oscillates between Candace Owens, Nick Land, and De Maistre.