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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


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block from Their Blogs For Jan 1, 2014

This is a new category of posts. It is dedicated to those conservative blogs that have blocked my comments for various reasons. IMO, they have blocked my comments because they don't want their readers reading my criticisms of their conservatism. It is for those blogs that I am creating this new kind of post. This post will be posted on Wednesdays.

Finally, since comments are not edited as well as blogposts, please excuse the grammatical errors that will occur more often with the comments.

Dec 20

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on Duck Dynasty's star being fired for comments about homosexuality in the Gospel Coalition Blog

Part of the problem here is a pendulum swing, homosexuality use to be a crime, and part of it is that we don't know how to respectfully oppose homosexuality in a public forum. During an email discussion at work, a colleague called for either me to apologize for saying homosexuality was wrong or for the school to fire me. There was no threat to my job because I stated my views showing respect to homosexuals as equals and that is how the administration saw it as well as my colleagues who disagreed with me. 

I don't think we can respectfully oppose homosexuality while comparing it to bestiality or other gross sins. It is comparable to adultery and fornication, however. And in comparing it with adultery and fornication, we can speak to homosexuals as equals not because we have engaged in those sins, but because many of us have been tempted to engage in them.
In addition, we cannot respectfully oppose homosexuality by opposing same-sex marriage out of fear that its legalization will normalize homosexuality. Should we oppose freedom of religion because it normalizes other faiths besides Christianity? And how do we deal with that kind of normalization? See, we cannot respectfully oppose homosexuality if we insist that society stigmatizes gays. That is to have society treat gays as less than heterosexuals. 

If we want to publicly oppose homosexuality while minimizing society's scorn, we need to speak to gays respectfully and as equals realizing that past Christians have made gays victims of injustice. 


It seems that the interview was an attempt at damage control. In paragraph 56 of his Apostolic Exhortation, the Pope wrote the following:

This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control.

There is no way to get around the meaning of what the Pope wrote. The problems which the Pope has observed are due to "the autonomy of the marketplace" and the rejection of the right states to hold the marketplace accountable. But the participants in this interview seem to deny both of these points as well assert that it only the marketplace that can correct the errors. Perhaps we could call this approach, "Marketplace Utopia"


Dec 31

To Marc Vander Maas's comment on Joe Carter's blogpost on minimum wage and family values

I should note here that Acton has just begun to publish my comments again. But the publishing of my comments has sometimes been delayed so what is written below might still appear but is so far blocked. I wanted the comment below to be published especially because of the 2nd to last paragraph. That paragraph is crucial in understanding the differences between some political-economic conservatives and myself.

I read a number of conservative sources including this blog. And they are consistent in saying that the raising of the minimum wage results in the drop in employment rates. 

But I haven't read a conservative who publicly writes about this saying that raising the minimum wage will result in a drop in the employment rate under the current conditions. The conservatives I have read and heard universally declare that employment rates are inversely related to the minimum wage and thus if we raise the minimum wage, we will put more people out of work. It is from that that the connection which the conservatives I read and hear make between minimum wage and employment rates sounds like exploitation or blackmail. And perhaps those who belong to the working poor see that connection in the same way I do. I know that the ones with whom I marched with on Dec. 5th feel that way and their experiences, feelings, and views are often ignored in these discussions.

Also, the only conservative I know who favors raising the minimum wage believes that such a raise should depend on the living expenses of the region so that it should be regionally based--something I agree with. In fact, I believe I even mentioned this, or tried to, before. This conservative doesn't write on the blogs or uses a public podium to express his views. But he is both a business owner and a good personal friend and we debate economics all of the time. 

Now if there are conservatives who publicly support the raising of the minimum wage whom I don't know about, cite them. That would be a useful and appreciated correction.  For the observations I have made about conservatives here are based on exposure. The ones to whom I have had access warn against raising the minimum wage because of the consequences they foresee. Unfortunately, these same conservatives say little about the current drawbacks of keeping the minimum wage where it is.

Finally, I believe that the real crux of our disagreement has to do the belief held by many, but not all, conservatives, that individual liberty is the only liberty. Such a view sees democracy as being one of several threats to liberty. So when I write that we should listen to the facts on the ground, I am writing from a perspective that says that we should use democratic mechanisms and procedures to both listen and respond. This allows for more stakeholder participation in the governing of our economy. So I agree with you when you write that Hunter Baker approaches listening to the facts on the ground from a different perspective. And I strongly disagree with him on whether raising the minimum wage is a family value. 

And Marc, thank  you for responding.


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