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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Friday, September 22, 2017

Should Nations Consist Of Birds Of A Feather Flocking Together?

According to conservative commentator Victor Davis Hanson (click here for a bio), it's diversity, not familiarity, that breeds contempt, especially within a nation. And thus, diversity and multiculturalism always, with 2 historical exceptions, cause and signal a nation's demise. It does so by either causing a nation to either implode from internal violence and strife or making a nation become too vulnerable to other nations (click here for the article).

Hanson gives several examples, and with some he exaggerates their problems, to ponder including Ancient Greece, the Balkans, Europe during its religious wars, the Middle East, Japan, and Germany. The two exceptions to the rule are the Roman Empire and the United States with the last one beginning to teeter.

And thus Hanson calls on the U.S. to let it go, with it = multiculturalism, while embracing being multiracial so that the U.S.  can continue its experiment where all people are equal regardless of their race. Basically, what Hanson is calling for is a ethnocracy. An ethnocracy is best defined by American-Israeli activist Jeff Halper as the following (from Jeff Halper's An Israeli In Palestine, page 74):

An ethnocracy is opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when a particular group--the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia (and, more evidently, in the former Soviert Union), the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi'ite Muslims of Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US--seizes control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society.  Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationaism, privileges ethnos  over demos, whereby one's ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to who a country actually "belongs."
What is interesting in above statement is that democracy is not defined by the presence of political devices that allow people to choose leaders or laws. Rather, democracy is a state of being that is defined by how different groups within a nation share that nation with each other. If a given nation can be said to belong equally to all of the people, we have a democracy. If not, we don't.

Thus, if democracy represents an equal sharing of the nation with the different cultural groups that exist, and multiculturalism is shown to be an actual source of weakness for a nation, then democracy, as a nation's state of being, must also be seen as a weakness for any nation.

So what Hanson wants the U.S. to do is to eliminate its multiculturalism while holding on to its multiracial character. The latter trait is to be maintained so that America can continue to act as that location in the world where it treats all races equally as it was originally founded to do. We should note that at this point, Hanson seems to view the U.S. through the rose colored glasses of American conservative idealism while at the same time acknowledging some of the racial strife and battles that have plagued our nation throughout its history.

Hanson believes that if America isn't to succumb to the lessons of history, it must do the following:
In sum, the United States will at some point have to subordinate the fad of multiculturalism to the ideal of multiracialism: many different-looking Americans who are nonetheless one in their shared customs, citizenship, and culture, while holding diverse political and cultural views not predicated on identity politics.

The problem with the above statement, aside from the double, and thus, ambiguous use of the concept of culture, is that since one's culture often relies on a geographical location where a particular race holds a dominant position, one can't necessarily separate multiculturalism and multiracialism. There are many Americans, especially those who are politically and/or religiously conservative, who think that America was founded as a European Christian nation and that identity must be maintained. And we can't  substitute such a view of America for our multiculturalism while, at the same time, work to make America a multiracial nation.

But our problems get worse. As with any nation that strongly identifies itself with a particular culture, to eliminate multiculturalism within one's borders does not eliminate conflict with other nations that possess different cultures especially when those other nations possess an ample amount of natural resources coveted by business. For what could be said about a single nation can also be said about the world. And if the presence of other cultures is perceived as being weakness or obstacle to what one wants, it doesn't matter whether those other cultures exist within one's borders or not, they will be violated.

Thus, what is needed is for every nation in the world to embrace a multiculturalism and multiracial character. And unless that occurs, the competition for resources and treasures will result in conflicts and wars until we can no longer afford to fight. At this point, we have two different realities pressing in on us from two sides. There is Hanson's side where history teaches that in most cases, multiculturalism weakens a nation. And Hanson can provide plenty of historical examples to support his contention. But there is another reality pressing in on us. That reality says that unless we can embrace multiculturalism  stopping engaging in conflicts and fighting wars, because technology makes the proliferation of WMDs inevitable, we will find ourselves in an exchange of WMD's with the possibility that we will not know how to stop that exchange.

Thus, it is not multiculturalism that is the enemy here, it is our reaction to multiculturalism: our intolerance of others and our refusal to create a state of democracy, as defined above, that stands, not as an weakness, but a threat to our existence.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For September 20, 2017

Sept 19

To Collin Hansen, Tim Keller, and Russell Moore and their blogpost video discussion of how sharing the Gospel is different today than it was in the past. This appeared on the Gospel Coalition website.

I think Keller's observations about sharing the Gospel today are very good. I would add an emphasis on the focus on the failures of the Church because of today's post modernism. Post modernism employs an negative outcome-based truth system so that if a belief contributes sins like marginalizing others, dominating others, and so forth, it cannot be true. We need to realize that past sins like marginalizing others, dominating others, war and such has greatly disillusioned people so that post modernism has become a natural reaction to those institutions that practiced those sins. Post modernism expresses the betrayal people feel toward those who claimed to know the truth. This is why the faults of the Church eclipse its contributions to society.
What we Christians could learn from the post modern rejection of the Church is to increase our revulsion at the same sins that so bother post modernism.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost that contains a praeger video that boasts about charter schools. This appeared in the Acton blog.

First, Charter schools have a mixed record when examining the effects on the students. Though there were some reported improvements in certain areas, there were reported problems as well in terms of school accountability, college preparation for the students, the ability to remain open, and regular public schools being deprived of necessary funds.

If we take college preparation for example, the LA based Alliance College-Ready Public Schools stated that 95% of their low-income students go to college, around 75% did not finish (see https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/14/charter-schools-college-degrees/99125468/ ).

In addition, administrators of charter schools are as liable as administrators of regular public schools of making significant financial blunders. And, as mentioned before, some charter schools don't make it through the school year (see http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-charter-schools-2016-8 ).

Additional problems include fraud and racial segregation (see http://www.salon.com/2014/05/07/charter_schools_are_cheating_your_kids_new_report_reveals_massive_fraud_mismanagement_abuse/ ).

But perhaps the biggest problem with charter schools is that it is designed to work on a faulty analysis. That analysis states that lack of competition is what hurts education in the public schools especially in some urban areas. But when one talks to teachers who teach  in inner city schools, their teaching performance is hampered by economic-induced instability in the homes of many of these students. Teachers sometimes design their course so that all work is done in class rather than splitting work up between in class and homework. And that doesn't include whether students get adequately fed before and after school.

Much of the instability is due to economic conditions that are described by many as hopeless. For what jobs do exist pay poverty wage even for those who have already take some college courses. Basically the economic system has abandoned certain areas of our city and that leaves people less able and motivated to get married and start traditional families.

So instead of pouring resources into urban areas that would provided economic hope for the residents by way of living wage jobs, charter schools are being formed as a way to help students escape their neighborhoods. And that is precisely the problem that is being overlooked here. That for many inner city neighborhoods, an individual's success is measured not by returning to the neighborhood to maintain a healthy status; it is measured by the ability to escape one's neighborhood. Such an approach facilitates a systemic abandonment of many inner city neighborhoods.


To R. Scot Clark and his blogpost that quotes Carl Truman as he sides with a liberal who condemns liberal Christianity for both  not being able to cope with sex and its concern for the social consequences of those who approach sex in nontraditional ways. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

I am not sure that religiously conservative Christianity can adequately cope with sex either when one considers the sexual abuse of children in the Roman Church and  in the evangelical churches (see http://www.catholicconvert.com/blog/2016/11/25/sex-abuse-scandals-catholic-protestant-and-secular-you-may-be-surprised/  and  https://newrepublic.com/article/142999/silence-lambs-protestants-concealing-catholic-size-sexual-abuse-scandal  and   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/protestant-sex-abuse-boz-tchividijian_n_4019347.html ).

What seems to be a main point of emphasis both in what was quoted above and in the article cited is the animosity expressed not necessarily at sexual sins themselves, but at those who want the marginalization of the LGBT community in society to end. Pointing out that marginalization, as well as the marginalization of others, has more often than not been met with dismissiveness and derision by many religious conservative Christian leaders, one must wonder what happened to those who react that way and why aren't they  conscious of the Scriptures that warn us not to judge others because of our own sins and not to act like the Pharisee from the parable of the two men praying.
In fact, when we look at signs of the authoritarian personality type, obsession with sex is one of those signs along with hostility toward those who challenge tradition (see https://www.psychologistworld.com/influence-personality/authoritarian-personality ). And if we note what was just written, that obsession with sex can come out in abusive ways and that hostility toward others forgets or even denies one's own sinfulness and need for mercy and compassion.

The PCUSA concern about the marginalization of people, the LGBT community is not the only group studied, is Biblical. We are to care about the vulnerable. But many of us religiously conservative Christians have caused  Christians, both fellow conservative Christians who are also millennials and some more liberal Christians into a corner where they must pick between either marginalizing others in society or compromising Biblical standards on sex. Considering the post modern influence on conservative millennial Christians, we can understand how many millennials might be more prone to compromise those Biblical standards.
Yes, we need to warn ourselves and others about the the physical and spiritual problems that come with violating what the Bible teaches about sex. But we also need to be careful about how we warn ourselves and others and how we can respond when we do violate what the Bible teaches so that we can repent. It seems to me that too many religiously conservative Christians, such as Carl Trueman, have paid enough attention to the need of warning himself and others but have taken a 'damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,' approach in making such warnings.

We should also note that while many of us religiously conservative Christians are so focused on the sexual sins of today, we are unwittingly or intentionally following a historical flaw that other religiously conservative Christians have made: we have sided with those with wealth and power. We should note what happened to the predominant branch of the Church during and after the French, Russian, and Spanish Revolutions because they did side with wealth and power before those respective revolutions.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Elevating Ourselves By Judging Others

Being A Red Sox fan has allowed me to see an illustration of a certain truth. That illustration is found in comparing last year's and this year's batting performances of certain players. Take Mookie Betts for example. Last year he batted .318 and hit 31 home runs. And though this year is not yet over, it looks like he will not come close to last year's average though it is somewhat possible for him to come close to hitting the same number of home runs. For he is batting .263 and has hit 22 home runs.

Or take Jacking Bradley Jr. for example. Though the disparity between his last year's batting average and this year's average is not as large as it is with Mookie Betts, his number of home runs is down from 26 to 17. And his number of other extra base hits is down significantly as well.

What has caused the drop off for these two players? There are obviously a number of factors, but one of them is context. Last year, David Ortiz also played for the Red Sox and he deservedly became a very feared clutch hitter who batted over .300 and hit over 30 home runs. But without his presence in the lineup, how pitchers could pitch to the other players, like Betts and JBJ, changed and that contributed to how their batting performances changed.

The above is rather a simple illustration, but we should realize that much of how we behave is determined by the context of our lives. This is a fact of life we prefer to remember when we come face to face with our own sins and faults, but we forget to return the favor when judging others, especially those who commit egregious sins. When it comes to people like gang members and terrorists, our attitude is to judge them as if they lived in the same context we did. And in so doing, what we also do is to elevate ourselves. For we say that we would never do what they did as if we grew up in the same family.

Jason Burke, in his book on Al-Qaeda, makes a point that when one considers what is involved with terrorism, that terrorists are made, not born. The context we don't see often involves oppression, marginalization, extreme abuse, deprivation, death of loved ones, and political hopelessness. And all of that has been experienced by either the terrorists themselves or people with whom they have a significant affinity. 

The context is similar for many American young men who join gangs or who otherwise commit violent crimes. Many of them grew up in single-parent homes where the remaining is sometimes on drugs. They must deal with a political-economic system that has abandoned them. They are profiled and sometimes abused by the police and discover that survival of the fittest describes their life in the hood.  And many of the drugs of choice they take to escape the reality that we would call hell  are illegal while those of us with enough wealth and privilege can hide from reality by immersing ourselves in banal entertainment.

Though we won't admit that context plays a significant role in the life choices of those we consider undesirable, how we treat our friends and family and how we raise our children shows what we really think. We read books on parenting, make sure that our kids hang out with the right people and are involved in the right activities, and we try to send them to good schools. These behaviors show how much we attribute behavior to context. But we only do so for our own. And we do so so that we can elevate ourselves when we see others sin.

This principle of context greatly influencing actions just doesn't affect those who are violent, it affects all of us. It affects duplicitous politicians, corrupt bankers, coldhearted corporate executives, dishonest lawyers, and ordinary sinners like ourselves. That context greatly influences our actions is a truth for all of us. And thus, though we would prefer to condemn people right away, we need to understand the contexts of those who cross us or do what is wrong in order to see if the context of their lives could change in ways that would help them do better.



Monday, September 18, 2017

ONIM For September 18, 2017

10 Best Fact Checking Sites Found Here.

If you are not sure about the validity of a news story linked to below, you can use  mediabiasfactcheck.com to check out the credibility of the source of most of the stories linked to here.

Christians News

World News

Israel-Palestine News

Natural Disasters News

Donald Trump News

Pick(s) Of The Litter

Friday, September 15, 2017

It's Denver VS Nashville In Statements On Sexuality

Just recently, we've seen two statements written by groups that claim to be Christian. Both statements concern themselves with sexuality, including relations,  orientation, and gender identity, as is being experienced and promoted in America today. And both statements are reactionary in nature. The Nashville Statement (click here) consists of a preamble and 14 article statement that serve as a reaction to sexual relations and gender identity as is practiced and experienced in 21st century America. The Denver Statement (click here, note that the copy linked to also contains the contents of the Nashville Statement) is a reaction to the Nashville Statement and thus consists of an alt-preamble and 14 alt-articles plus a bonus article. For both, each article contains expressions of what is affirmed and what is to be denied. And whereas the Nashville Statement challenges popular notions about sex and gender issues as well as sexual practices as celebrated in our culture and seen in society, the Denver Statement challenges what is declared in the Nashville Statement. And whereas the Nashville Statement was written by and endorsed by religiously conservative American Christians, the Denver Statement was written by members of both the LGTB community and the straight community.

When reading these statements side-by-side, it is not enough to summarize these statements by noting that one statement challenges the society's current mores while the other one lends support to society's approval of each individual's own direction in sexual self-discovery.

But the statements' different reactions to culture and society are not the most significant differences between the two statements. Rather, it is the different views of mankind that best distinguishes and explains the two statements. We should note that the writers of both statement acknowledge that people sin. The difference lies in the fact that the writers and supporters of the Nashville Statement believe that human nature has fallen into sin. What follows is the need for God to reveal both Himself and how He wants us to live. In contrast, the writers and supporters of the Denver Statement, though acknowledging the fact that people sin, do not seem to look at human nature has having fallen from a sinless state. Sin seems to be a natural result of being an imperfect creature. What follows that is the belief that mankind is in a constant discovery mode about himself and God. And so what each person discovers must be not just respected, which means not challenged or disagreed with, but supported as well.

So while the Nashville Statement does an admirable, but not inerrant, job at expressing the Biblical view of sexual issues such as sexual practices, sexual orientation, and gender identities, the Denver Statement serves as an apologetic for society's current support for the right of each person to explore how to live as a sexual being to the criticisms of the Nashville Statement.

With the two statements, is there any context in which we could perhaps create some kind of hybrid of the two statements? Except for Article 10 of the Nashville statement, I believe that is possible. For if we define the sphere of influence of the Nashville Statement to be that of the Church and what the Church will preach to society while the sphere of influence in the Denver Statement to consist of what will be regarded as legal in and accepted by society, we could perhaps make up a partial hybrid of the two statements. That is we could except for Article 10 of the Nashville Statement. For Article 10 says the following:

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

For such a statement suggests that the answer to the possibility of creating a rough hybrid of the two statements is a definite 'NO.' For Article 10 fails to make a distinction between public approval of sexual practices, sexual orientations, and sexual identities in society from a public tolerance of the same in order to promote and protect the full equality of the LGBT community in society. This is where Article 10 of the Nashville Statement needs revision. After all, we know from the exclusionary claims made by Christ, that we are not to publicly approve of any religion that does not make Christ its only Lord and Savior. And yet, we vigorously defend freedom of worship and religion even for those faiths that we consider to be outside the Christian Church. Why can't we make the same distinction for the sake of those whose sexual practices and views with consenting adults vary from those taught by the Scriptures?

The lack of nuance that is part of Article 10 will unnecessarily cause  great confusion for many a young, religiously conservative American Christian. Why? Because while Article 10 seems to suggest that the Church must forever work to marginalize, at least to some degree,  those from the LGBT community in society, Millennial Christians know that such marginalization is a form of oppression and is thus wrong. They understand that some who promote such marginalization do so out of a fear-inspired hatred for those from the LGBT community. And thus, Article 10 draws a line in the sand that seems to say that one must continually work for at least some degree of marginalization for the LGBT community in society or one must see oneself as being outside the Christian faith. And thus the choice some of these religiously conservative American Millennial Christians will make is to believe that God must approve of the unbiblical kinds of sexual practices, sexual orientations, and gender identities otherwise they must  oppress those from the LGBT community.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For September 13, 2017

Sept 11

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on the similarities in beliefs between today’s American Protestants and American Catholics. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

One problem with the study is that Protestants are only being compared with Catholics. What if their similarities were affected by outside Church influences? What if what is affecting the beliefs of both Protestants and Catholics is society and culture? That means that not only are more Protestants are not Protestant than realize it, the same could apply to Catholics.
Another reason for the similarities between Protestants and Catholics might lie in what Protestant leaders are teaching their followers about what is justification and what is sanctification. This especially applies to what is taught about sanctification and what deficiencies a person has is tolerated in the Church and what deficiencies disqualifies one from Church membership.


To Rev. Ben Johnson and his blogpost on distinguishing the difference between how economic inequality is perceived and how it is experienced. This appeared in the Acton blog.

If we are going to use Germany's economy as an example, please note that they have mixed some actual socialist means into their economic system. In what is called codetermination, all companies that have 500 to 2,000 employees must allow for workers, who are elected by peers, to make up 1/3 of each company's supervisory council. For companies over 2,000 employees, almost half of the supervisory council must be made up of peer-elected workers.

Our economic system here is quite different. Here, owners, either private or majority shareholders determine who makes up the equivalent of a company's supervisory board. So what we learn from Germany does not necessarily translate the same to other nations.

Regarding whether economic inequality is increasing or decreasing, that depends on one's source and the statistics one is measuring (see http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/global-income-inequality-is-indeed-falling-but-we-should-still-be-wary-a6831056.html  and  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/08/global-inequality-may-be-much-worse-than-we-think   and  https://unu.edu/media-relations/releases/global-income-inequality-unu-wider-press-release.html#info ). The last reference makes a point that Global inequality has been measured as both falling and rising depending on which measurement one uses. If one uses a relative measurement, then global economic inequality has falling, but that is very much influenced by the economic changes that are occurring in India and China. When the absolute measurement is used, global economic inequality is growing significantly. And just for North America, the study found that both the relative and absolute measurements indicated a growing economic inequality. We should note that economic inequality has an inverse relationship with economic growth for developing nations (see https://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/Global_Inequality.pdf  ). In addition, wealth can greatly influence political decisions (see http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746 ).

In addition, we should note that whatever economic measurement we use to discuss poverty, it is inadequate either by itself or in conjunction with others in defining poverty. We cannot really understand what poverty is except to seriously study the lives of the poor and the deprivations they suffer because they are on the downside of economic inequality. At that point, what is considered to be poverty in Germany might cause Americans, who feel economically and morally superior to the rest of the world, hang their heads in shame at what we tolerate for the poor in our own nation.

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost consisting solely of a picture that presumedly is of 9/11 wreckage. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

We should never forget 9/11. The pic above is of United Flight 93's crash site. BTW, I knew someone on that flight. And certainly we should never forget what happened then because of the atrocities visited on our nation. But we should also never forget the atrocities that our nation has visited on others from the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans from the land to the enslavement and harsh persecution and oppression of Blacks  here to how  our interventions often replaced democratic regimes with dictatorships in other nations.
A selective 'never forget' attitude where we focus solely on the atrocities forced on us is nothing more than an exercise in a self-induced martyr complex and an exhibition of self-righteousness. We must also include the atrocities we have visited on others in our memories as well lest we continue to repeat them causing many others to suffer.


Sept 12

To Sarah Stanley and her blogpost on how the US should respond to North Korea. In that blogpost, she interviews Suzanne Scholte who is an expert on North Korea. This appeared in the Acton blog.

What is missing from the interview is broader perspective regarding WMDs. The interview focused too narrowly on the region. We need to realize that technology makes the proliferation of WMDs inevitable. Thus, we can look at North Korea as a window into the future. And in such a future, the reliance on the rule of force ends in mass mutually-assured suicide for the people of all nations.

And though working through the UN to resolve the crisis with North Korea is appropriate, we should note that we don't rely on and submit to UN decisions on a consistent enough basis. Otherwise, our policies in the Middle East would have been far different even from what they are today. And perhaps now is the time to bring all of our policies under the guidelines set by the UN and answerable to the ICC. In addition, we need to insist that all of our allies do the same. Perhaps then constructive examples of what it means to be powerful nation could be on display for emerging nations to follow.

While the above might sound too idealistic to become a realistic possibility, what is even more idealistic, and thus more unrealistic, is to think that we can survive while continuing on our current course of relying on the rule of force to get our way while living in a world where the proliferation of WMDs is inevitable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pronouncing Judgments While Pretending To Be God

It happens with almost every disaster. Except for Hurricane Irma, which has just tragically pummeled islands in the Caribbean and now Florida, almost every natural and man-made disaster has been used by some of my fellow religiously conservative Christians to selectively preach repentance to America. And by selectively I mean that the LGBT community has been blamed for some disaster and challenged to repent. There are a number of disasters for which the LGBT community has been blamed (click here for list). Most prominent on that list are hurricanes. And the most reasonable answer for why those hurricanes caused the damage is because of climate change. And yet, the LGBT community was blamed.

The day this post is being written is an appropriate day for mentioning the above is because today is 9/11. And we should note that some religiously conservative Christians, including Jerry Falwell, blamed the 9/11 atrocities on the LGBT community. They, like their counterparts today, believed that God made a deal with America to protect it from harm because of America's religious beginnings. And so as we stray from our religious past, we venture out of God's protection for America. We should note that such a belief has no Biblical justification.

While so many families in our nation are currently suffering from catastrophic losses due to rains and floods in the South and to fire in the Northwest, there are two horrible things that are going on when some of my fellow religiously conservative Christians scapegoat the LGBT community for these disasters. First, they are employing what Chris Hedges has been saying they employ: 'magical thinking.' In order to confirm their theology and maintain their manipulative hold on people, these religiously conservative Christians are associating two things that are not in anyway related: natural disasters and the sexual orientations and practices by certain people. But because they claim to represent God, they have proven that our natural disasters and the sexual orientations and practices of certain people are related.

Even on a biblical level, such an association should not be used. For when one of God's people could identify the cause for a disaster, it was because of God's revelation and how He spoke to people back then. But such is not the case now. So those who are claiming that God is visiting natural disasters on us because of the LGBT community have no Biblical support for doing so. That lack of Biblical support isn't because the Bible doesn't speak against homosexuality, it does. It is because God doesn't speak to us the same way now as he did during the Old Testament times and the times of the Apostles.

The second horrible thing that is going on here is that because some religiously conservative Christians are scapegoating that community for the disasters hitting our nation, they are calling for judgment on this community. But, ironically speaking, it isn't God's judgment they are calling for, it is people's judgment. They want people to punish the LGBT community for the disasters that hit our nation. And hopefully, on their part, that punishment will move those in the LGBT community to repent. Ar least that is how the logic should work. But one has to wonder, with the vile ways in which some religiously conservative Christians speak about the LGBT community, whether some religiously conservative Christians just want to see those in that community to suffer because of their hatred for them.

 A significant amount of our nation is suffering from natural disasters. Our first concern when such disasters hit are the people who are suffering. That should be our first concern. If we are to have a second concern, then that should be about what, logically speaking, appears to be the cause of the disasters. Logically speaking, the cause of the disasters we are seeing is climate change. It is not certain that these hurricanes were stronger because of climate change and that the fires in the Northwest are because of climate change. But that is where the evidence points to. And so if we are going to repent in response to these disasters, our repentance should be over our contributions to climate change.

In addition, it isn't that hurricanes shouldn't remind us to call out to God for help. And it isn't that the Bible doesn't speak against homosexuality. It is though that those who blame our natural disasters on the LGBT community are revealing what is in their own hearts rather than why God allowed the hurricane to come. And what is in their hearts is a hatred for those they are commanded to love and to share the Gospel with. Thus, those who blame our nation's disasters on the LGBT community are among the first who should be repenting here.