Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gregg Frazer's Thesis For Evangelicals:

I have many evangelical "friends" (in an Internet sense) on WorldMagBlog. I have shared with them Dr. Gregg Frazer's thesis, with mixed results. Many agree with it entirely; many resist its implications vehemently, and many are on the fence. Here is an example of a note I shared with them on today's open thread:


Here again I reproduce p. 12 of Dr. Gregg Frazer (history/political philosophy at The Master’s College) PhD thesis from Claremont Graduate University where he takes all of the established churches in late 18th Cen. America (save the Quakers who had no creed), examines their creeds, and forms a 10 point lowest common denominator among them as to what it means to be a “Christian.” Question: [When it comes to defining "Christianity," h]as this test really changed at all? Is there anything you don’t agree with in this test?

I’ll recite the 10 points: 1) the Trinity; 2) God active in human affairs; 3) the deity of Christ; 4) original sin; 5) virgin birth; 6) atoning work of Christ/satisfaction for sins; 7) resurrection; 8) eternal punishment for sin; 9) justification by faith; and 10) inspiration/authority of scripture (i.e., its infallibility).

His research shows that of the “key Founders” (Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, G. Morris, Wilson, and Hamilton before his deathbed conversion to Christianity) they provably believed in one maybe two of these 10 points and hence were not “Christians” according to the late 18th Century understanding of the concept EVEN IF most of them presented their personal theology (which also happens to be America’s Founding political theology) under the auspices of “Christianity.”

I would note that one probably could disbelieve in points 4) (as the capital O Orthodox Church does) 8) (many Christians hope for a universal reconciliation) and 10) (many Christians also question whether the Bible is infallible even if they believe most of it was dictated by God) and still qualify as a “Christian.” However, the other 7 tenets (those found within the Nicene Creed) seem non-negotiable to Christianity’s historic dominant teachings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Forrest Church RIP:

Forrest Church has died after a long battle with cancer. He was pastor at the Unitarian Church of All Souls on the Upper East Side of New York. He wrote notable book on America's Founders and religion entitled "So Help Me God."

He was truly a remarkable man.

One critique of present day Unitarian Universalists is that their beliefs are too "wishy washy," and that too many of them are atheists, agnostics or non-theists. But not Rev. Church. He was a devout believer in God, how belief in God brings meaning to life, and he faced death his death with a remarkable attitude. (I would say on par with Randy Pausch).

Here is the Rev. Church on death:

And you can read more on Rev. Church and America's Founders here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "Orthodox" on Joseph Priestley:

Lots of great new stuff -- primary sources in the area of history that I research -- continues to be uploaded. Expect much more like the following. In this book of correspondence of Rev. Joseph Priestley's, we see him communicating with an "orthodox" figure named "Dr. Kenrick." They discuss Priestley's potential to "convert" "infidel" philosophers like Hume to "rational Christianity":

"As to your concern for the conversion of infidels, I look upon it as the cant of a philosophical crusader, and am sorry I cannot coincide with you in your projected conciliation of the rational truths of philosophy, with the mysterious truths of Christianity. I am apprehensive that it is impossible, without endangering the cause of both, to bring them into too close a contact....It is a moot point with me, whether the really thinking and intelligent philosophers, whom Dr.Priestley wishes to convert, are greater infidels in their present state of unbelief, than they would be, if converted by him into rational Christians,..."

This is notable because the heterodoxy in which Jefferson, J. Adams, Franklin and probably others believed in (i.e., Joseph Priestley, Richard Price influenced theology) didn't present itself as "deism" or "infidelity" but "rational Christianity." But to the "orthodox," this "unitarian" "rational Christianity" was not much different than the "infidelity" of strict deism. Still it enabled Jefferson, J. Adams and Franklin to couch their political-theological plans under the auspices of "Christianity." Their republican project wouldn't have succeeded if done otherwise.

Priestley later explains (scroll down a few pages) what "rational Christianity" is all about:

If, for example, bread and wine, philosophically, i.e., strictly and justly considered, cannot be flesh and blood, the popish doctrine of transubstantiation cannot be true. So also if one cannot be three, or three, one, mathematically considered, neither can the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity be true. It certainly, therefore, behoves every rational christian to prove the consistency of the articles of his faith with true philosophy and the nature of things.

This also, to me sheds light on Leo Strauss' argument that, however much they may agree on some or many things, reason and revelation ultimately boil down to inconsistent teachings.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gregg Frazer Recommends Book:

Dr. Frazer sent me this note along for my readers:

“The Liberty Fund, Inc. has just published a book that is a really valuable resource for readers of this blog. It is a huge collection (712 pages) of primary documents on religious liberty and church and state from the colonial and founding eras edited by Daniel Dreisbach and Mark David Hall. It is entitled The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding. It includes a number of previously unavailable, rare, and hard to find primary documents. Whatever one’s position on religion and the founding, this extensive collection of primary sources will be a valuable resource. For those who don’t know Dreisbach, he is perhaps THE foremost expert on religion and the founding and has a very balanced view. I heartily recommend this for those who rely on primary sources.”
Mormonism & "Judeo-Christianity":

Here's one other important note I mentioned in the Kenneth Anderson thread about Mormons and religious tests. It relates to the concept of "Judeo-Christianity." Many in the "Mormons are not 'Christians'" crowd interchangeably use the terms "Christianity" and "Judeo-Christianity." And they also tend NOT to approach Jews, with whom they likewise disagree theologically with the same invective against those doctrines of the Jewish people with which they disagree.

Anderson explains this dynamic in the comments section:

[T]he opinion surveys in which large percentages of Evangelicals rejected Romney on account of his religion had no problem with a Jewish practitioner - meaning here, not simply a Jew ethnically or culturally, but as a matter of religious practice and affiliation. That was fine. Mormonism was regarded as specifically offensive because it was either pagan, polytheistic, or heretical in the specific sense of spreading false doctrine in the name of the faith. It was not the case that they required a person of their religious beliefs. Mormonism was specifically out of bounds as a faith that actively led people astray because it claimed to be Christian but was actually something deceptive. Not just false, but deceptive.

And I noted in a subsequent comment how an analogous dynamic existed during the American Founding:


Your comment about "deception" is important. I often hear evangelicals interchange "Christian" with "Judeo-Christian" in terms of "foundations" in which they support. Many of these are the same folks whose support for Israel and the "Jewish people" has something to do with end times prophecy. Note, I'm not an "anti-zionist" (I tend to support Israel as well); I'm just making an observation. When I press them for "definitions," "Judeo-Christianity" usually means orthodox Christianity where Jews get to tag along for fun or for some *other* special reason.

I think this again relates to the Founding. From John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, they more likely defended their understanding of the "true religion" in which they supported under the auspices of "Christianity" and not some anti-Christian Deism (ala Thomas Paine). But their understanding of "Christianity" was unitarian, and tended to be naturalistic, rationalistic, and generic in its moralization of the Christian faith (i.e., if you were a good person and acted like Jesus -- the world's greatest moral teacher -- you were a "Christian" regardless of your views on original sin, Trinity, Atonement, etc.).

It wasn't exactly Mormonism; but the same "deception" issue was involved. By the time unitarians Richard Price and Joseph Priestley (whose influence on the "key Founders" cannot be emphasized enough) began to speak out, the "orthodox" critics responded with the same "this isn't Christianity, it's a false system that calls itself 'Christianity'" to them as they today do with the Mormons.

For that and a number of other reasons I think Mormons (and other "outsider" religious groups) should feel an affinity for the American Founding.
Ken Anderson on the Mormons/Christians Controversy as it relates to American Public Office:

That title speaks for itself.

You can read his post and his links to his thoughtful thesis here.

On a related note, I made a number of comments on that thread (scroll down). See for instance, this comment where I explained the difference between "unitarian" and "Unitarian":


I write with the lower case u for a very important reason. Many "unitarians" from the America's Founding era were NOT members of churches that called themselves "Unitarian" in an official denominational sense.

For instance, Thomas Jefferson, the militant unitarian he, never joined a "Unitarian" Church. John Adams, as well, was a "unitarian" since 1750 and claimed his church had a unitarian minister since that time.

However, his "Congregational Church," at that time (1750), was still formally affiliated with a trinitarian creed (and had many trinitarian church members; back then the unitarian preachers tended to keep the unitarian and trinitarian members together by simply refusing to discuss orthodox trinitarian doctrine).

I'm not sure of the exact date that Adams' Congregational Church officially became "Unitarian," but I think it was sometime in the early 19th Century (around the time when Harvard officially became Unitarian).

One thing that makes this (when "unitarianism" becomes "Unitarianism") hard to determine exactly is that U/unitarians are loath to recognize formalities as a matter of theological doctrine!

It's interesting to note, though, that J. Adams' Congregational Church had had a unitarian preacher since 1750, the date Adams claimed he had converted to unitarianism.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Irving Kristol:

Other than criticizing the excesses of Great Society lefty liberalism, I didn't appreciate much the neoconservative politics of the late Irving Kristol. The Strauss influenced neocons have been pretty disappointing as policy wonks. However I am a big fan of their work on the political philosophy of the American Founding.

The dialog between the East Coast and West Coast Straussians is very important in this regard. I think the truth of the American Founding is somewhere in between what the two camps argue. Kristol was part of the Eastern camp that saw the Founding as atheistic/materialistic/hedonistic through John Locke's esoteric plans.

Here West Coast Straussian Harry Jaffa recounts his dispute with Kristol:

Here is how Irving Kristol refers to the "moral truths" of the Declaration to which John Paul is a witness.

To perceive the true purposes of the American Revolution it is wise to ignore some of the more grandiloquent declamations of the moment (7).

That "all men are created equal" is of course the most grandiloquent of the aforesaid declamations. Kristol has a habit of asking us wisely to ignore whatever he does not like. In the same essay he refers to Tom Paine as "an English radical who never really understood America [and] is especially worth ignoring."

But Tom Paine gave the decisive impetus to independence in the winter and spring of 1776. Early in the year, General Washington toasted the King's health in his officers' mess, until he encountered the "sound doctrine and unanswerable reasoning" of Common Sense. What finally turned George Washington to independence is what Kristol asks us to ignore. It is also worth mentioning that this man who is said never to have understood America, carried a musket in the battle of Trenton.

In 1976, Tom Paine was Kristol's surrogate for Thomas Jefferson. Recently, however, Kristol has lost all restraint in belittling, not only Jefferson, but the entire Founding. The authors of the Constitution, he now says,

were for the most part not particularly interested in religion. I am not aware that any of them wrote anything worth reading on religion, especially Jefferson, who wrote nothing worth reading on religion or almost anything else.

For more context on Kristol's rant, one must understand that the East Coast Straussians of which he was one viewed the American Founding -- or least its natural rights rhetoric -- as flawed. They defend the constitutionalism of the founding, strictly construed, and grounded in a slow moving tradition, sans the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Congrats to Jim Babka:

Congratulations to my friend and co-blogger Jim Babka for his outstanding appearance on Judge Andrew Napolitano's "Freedom Watch" that streams on
Say it Ain't so Snopes:

As a hard-nosed, but reasonable skeptic, I love So many urban myths, so little time. I generally appreciated learning all the things they debunked that I believed as a teenager. But with the death of Mary Travers I checked up the "Puff The Magic Dragon" tale, one I was sure was true, and alas found out that it was an urban myth. It turns out Robert De Niro's character on "Meet the Parents" was right.

But then again, John Lennon insisted that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was NOT about LSD and I for one don't believe that for a second.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Buddy Rich:

Earnestly deserved his reputation as an SOB.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Protestant Minimum:

My co-blogger at American Creation, Tom Van Dyke, has a good post on the Protestantism that prevailed during America's Founding. It reminds me somewhat of the late Avery Cardinal Dulles' outstanding article "The Deist Minimum."

We hear a lot of terms thrown around; America had a “Christian” Founding, an “Enlightenment” Founding, a “Judeo-Christian” Founding, a “Protestant Christian” Founding…everything depends on what those terms mean. My biggest problem with "Christian Nationalists" is that terms like "Christian" or "Protestant Christian" get read as a D. James Kennedy kind of "Christian"...or even worse a John Lofton type of "Protestant."

Sure those kinds of Protestant Christians existed in more than nominal numbers during the Founding era. But they probably didn't form a statistical majority of the population; or if they did, there is no way to prove it (you'll have to ask God that question when you meet him).

But using modern dialog Van Dyke accurately captures what I see as the "Protestant minimum" of America's Founding:

A man [or woman] had the Bible, and they made of it what they would or could, and God help the clergyman who got in the way. If anything, the Founding generation and their ancestors fled Europe's clergy and their politics as much as they fled Europe itself.

No surprise, then, we ended up with the First Amendment, and that's largely what Dr. Shain means by "Protestant"---decidedly not Roman Catholic, but other Protestants too are kindly invited---keep your hands off my religious conscience!

Do you believe Jesus is God?
---I dunno. The Messiah, probably. You know, special.

That Jesus died for our sins?
---Mebbe. But mebbe he died for ALL men's sins. The Bible's a little unclear on whether there's definitely a Hell. My mother didn't believe in God much, but I'd still like to see her in heaven, y'know? Hate to think of Mom burning in Hell.

Is Christ present in the Eucharist?
---I have no idea. Tastes weird to me.

Is the Bible true?
---Sure. But people might have messed it up. People are people. And when it comes to interpreting the Bible, Rev. Smith is an idiot like Rev. Mayhew says---as if Romans 13 says I have to believe Charles II was some sort of saint, and now I have to obey King George III, who's a total bastard.

Look, the wife takes care of religion for the both of us, and I got a field to plow. Whatever. Just Don't Tread on Me, OK?

It went down sorta like that.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Steven Waldman on "Judeo-Christian Heritage":

I missed this when it first came out. Read it here. It's good. A taste:

I want to unpack this phrase Judeo-Christian heritage, which is both empty and wrong.

Sure, we were deeply influenced by some Biblical principles. The idea that we had immutable rights to liberty -- that couldn't be taken away by a King or a parliament -- came from a religious conception of man as created in God's image. Those rights were, therefore, "endowed by our Creator."

But the construction of our government was also influenced by Rome, and yet we don't talk about being influenced by the Zeusian-Ceasarian heritage. Locke and Montesquieu influence the Founders views greatly yet we don't applaud our Anglo-French Heritage. Obviously some folks focus on the Christian influences in the hope that it can ward off either pure religious pluralism, secularism or excessive separation of church and state.

Nonetheless, let's go further and posit that of the many influences on our nation, religion was one of the most important.

But "Judeo-Christian"? Nuh uh. First of all, the Judeos were not really at the table. As of the Constitution's ratification, most American states didn't allow Jews to hold office.

Second, the religious tradition that influenced the American founding was not Christianity in general but Protestantism in particular -- often in fervent opposition to Catholicism....

If we're going to talk about the important religious influences of the Founding Era we should be referring to our "Protestant heritage," which was quite significant, not our Judeo-Christian heritage....

I think this is more or less correct. We could speak of a broadly defined "Judeo-Christian" or narrowly defined "Protestant Christian" component to the Founding. There was also an Enlightenment component, a Whig component, a Greco-Roman component, an Anglo-Saxon component and so on.

Even the term "Protestant Christian" heritage can mislead. Some folks hear that as the nation was comprised by a vast majority of "born again" Calvinistic reformed Protestants. Nope. Sure there were plenty of them. There were also plenty of nominal Christians who were unchurched and more likely to be in taverns on Saturday nights than churches on Sunday mornings. "Protestant Christian" as a heritage is more important in a cultural, identificatory and minimalistic sense; most folks of that era -- probably around 98% -- thought of themselves as "Protestant Christians" and this includes the uber-orthodox Timothy Dwight as well as Thomas Jefferson who rejected every single tenet of Christian orthodoxy. Both of them could be united under a minimalistic "Protestant Christian" identity. John Adams, a self defined lifelong "Unitarian," bitterly rejected and often mocked doctrines like the Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement and eternal damnation, but was culturally in line with the Puritans of Massachusetts -- his heritage. That's about as far as I am willing to endorse Barry Shain's "Protestant Christian America" thesis.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kimota: The Holy Grail of Comics is Coming:

Miracleman/MarvelMan is going to be release by, ironically Marvel Comics. I wrote about the complicated IP mess of MM here (so I need not rewrite it here). The "irony" is "Marvel" legally sued to prevent Alan Moore's "Marvelman" from being released in the United States because of trademark issues. The result? It was released as "Miracleman" and Moore has never worked for Marvel Comics since (given his godlike status as a comic book author, their BIG loss). Moore sees the comedic irony in Marvel Comics publishing the book and he has no problem with it. Moore won't take a penny of profits from the reprint, will not let his name be associated with it, and is happy that the bulk of the royalties is going to Marvelman's original British creator, now in his 90s with a sickly wife.

I own and have read the first 8 or so issues. Ironically, the later issues in the run are harder to get and more expensive because fewer of them were printed. MM is as good as Watchmen; in fact it was Moore's first effort at "deconstructing" the Superhero genre. And Moore quite properly deals with Nietzsche and Heidegger (the original of our modern deconstructionists) in the MM series. Especially if you liked Chapter VI of Watchmen you'll love MM. This also reminds me of Allan Bloom's observation that so much Nietzschean and Heideggerian thought over the past 50 years or so has been given to us from the egalitarian Left with a watered down or non-existent abyss. But Nietzsche's call was from the Right and he was the antithesis of an egalitarian. And Bloom's properly observed that plunging into the abyss takes us into very dark places in the soul (a place where Nazi Germany is as likely to result as democratic-socialism).

In this sense Moore, in MM and Watchmen, more authentically represents Nietzsche and Heidegger than most present day left wing Nietzsche and Heidegger scholars.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Romans 13, Rebellion and Incest:

I'm glad I caught your attention with that title. I've long followed the debate on whether Romans 13 -- a passage in the Bible where St. Paul sounds like he commands unlimited submission to any government -- ever permits rebellion/revolution or is an absolute categorical norm. If absolute, all revolt is forbidden, even to Hitler or Stalin. That's quite an unpalatable outcome. But so what? The fundamentalist (the Bible is the inerrant infallible Word of God) fatalistic mentality is supposed to be immune from such a "reductio ad absurdum." Yes, submitting to Hitler or Stalin seems bad; however the notion that the overwhelming majority of folks spend eternity in Hell because they didn't accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior is worse.

The same kind of reasoning that leads believers to explain away such an absolute interpretation of Romans 13 (because of the undesirable outcome) just as well leads other believers to reject the idea that folks who don't accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, 2nd person in the Trinity who made an infinite Atonement (i.e., the overwhelming majority of humanity who ever lived, including arguably the majority of self professed "Christians") spend eternity in Hell. Indeed, the pro-revolt theologians of the American Founding era tended disproportionately to believe in theological universalism (and unitarianism) for that very reason, i.e., "we cannot accept a result so absurd, regardless of what the Bible on its surface seems to teach." Look for a more "reasoned" interpretation. This is America's Founding political theology 101. This is why evangelicals and fundamentalists especially should reject the idea of a "Christian Nation."

I have seen folks try to argue the Bible (Sola Scriptura) permits rebellion; but such citations of verses and chapters of scripture do not convince. There simply is NO POSITIVE RIGHT to rebel (that is try to overthrow, not simply disobey) EVER to be found in the text of the Bible alone, if one properly understands the context of said passages. However, if one looked "outside" the Bible to "nature" via man's reason and "found" a right to revolt and then went back and put various verses and chapters of scripture into "context," while holding the right to rebel as an a-biblical a-priori, one could make a "reasoned" case for a God given right to rebel against tyrants. This is what the pro-revolt preachers of the American Founding did. Sola Scriptura, however, just won't do it.

Some have tried; for instance see Joe Farah's attempt and failure to make a "biblical case" for rebellion. He might as well try to make a biblical case for incest. Essentially what the pro-revolt evangelical theologians do is look to stories in the Bible where characters seem to or supposedly rebel against authority. The problem is, the Bible is full of characters -- characters who loved God and vice-versa -- who do sinful things. Simply noting a biblical character did X (i.e., rebelled against authority, committed polygamy, incest or even MURDER) does not mean the Bible approves of X.

What brings this specific example, incest, to mind is the debate Frank Zappa had with John Lofton. In short, Lofton supported censorship of rock music, in part because it advocated such evil things as "incest." Zappa replied that if we are going to ban discussion of incest why not ban the Bible because look at what Lot did after Sodom and Gomorrah. Lofton replied that such passages were not about "advocacy" of incest. (And I'm not sure the rock lyrics that Lofton wants to censor were about advocacy of incest either.)

So the biblical examples that figures like Joe Farah use to argue for "righteous rebellion" against government, inevitably yield one of two outcomes: 1) they are not talking about rebellion; Moses didn't rebel against Pharaoh -- he and his people just left and God did the rest of the work. Or 2) the context of the Bible DOES NOT suggest God approves the rebellion against authority. I.e., it's Lot committing incest with his daughters. Yes the characters may have done X; but the context doesn't suggest that God approved of the sinful act of resisting authority any more than God approved of the incest Lot had with his daughters.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mary Thompson Writes:

A short while ago, I posted a list of Books and Pamphlets on Religion and Philosophy in George Washington’s Library from Mount Vernon's website. The list was compiled by Mount Vernon researcher Mary V. Thompson and corresponds with a book she has written on GW's religion.

I am remiss to say that I haven't yet read her book, published in 2008, but I note that it is on my reading list. It is published by University of Virginia Press and endorsed by Frank E. Grizzard, one of the most fair and knowledgeable GW scholars, especially as regards GW's religion.

The thesis of Thompson's book rightly challenges the idea that GW was a "strict deist" (an idea too often posited by the secular historical academy) but also doesn't overly stress Washington's "orthodoxy" and rejects (or at least doesn't endorse) the idea that GW was a "born again Christian" who believed the Bible the inerrant, infallible word of God (i.e., an evangelical Christian). In this sense, Thompson's thesis is not unlike Michael (and Jana) Novak's.

Anyway, Ms. Thompson emailed me regarding how to access other files on Mount Vernon's website. There is much more than what I reproduced in my original post!

These various lists, she informs me, are works in progress and will be updated as new material is found.

Dear Jon,

Thank you for putting the link to the list of Washington’s books on religion and philosophy on your blog. I don’t know if you found the other materials relating to religion on our website, but, in case you didn’t… They can be accessed by getting on the Mount Vernon website (, clicking on “Learn” in the middle of the page; then clicking on “Collections” in the middle of the page; and finally clicking on “Staff Research” on the left-hand side of the page (then just scroll down the page).

You must be swamped with the start of a new semester!


Swamped I am indeed.
Livgren Suffers Stroke:

Kerry Livgren of Kansas suffered a massive stroke earlier this week; though he is still among the living. If you think prayer works, please pray for him. The news made The Huffington Post.

Though the author has an unusual appreciation for Livgren's Kansas music. He cites the band's post Steve Walsh Christian rock work. The band's 1982 album Vinyl Confessions, a good album and their first release AFTER Steve Walsh left (with Christian vocalist John Elephante replacing Walsh), signified the end of the original Kansas. Likewise the albums that Steve Walsh made when he reformed Kansas in the mid 80s sans Livgren, were also good, but lacked the original authenticity.

I consider Kerry Livgren to be like an Aaron Copland of progressive rock composers. They were America's version of British progressive rock (though you wouldn't necessarily know it with the two big hits with which most folks are familiar). They injected a heavy dose of Americana into that British genre.

The lives of Livgren and Walsh charted drastically different courses; indeed they are two very different people. In their heyday in the 70s, they all abused drugs (mainly coke); but once Livgren and original bassist Dave Hope became born again Christians in the early 80s, those two stopped. Walsh continued to abuse drugs and had run ins with police until the mid 90s. But he's also a fitness fanatic; as of the early 2000s, Walsh reportedly regularly ran 20 miles at a time (I wonder if he is still doing that). No wonder he is so trim for a man in his late 50s.

Anyway even though Livgren no longer tours with Kansas (he doesn't have to because he gets the publishing royalties from "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind") he did reunite with them for their upcoming symphonic DVD to be released later this month. This may well be Kerry's last live recording. Here is a taste below. Livgren is one with the big handlebar mustache and sunglasses.