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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, March 5, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For March 5, 2014

Below is a collection of comments which have been blocked by Conservative blogs. These comments are not as well edited as the posts, which still have mistakes, on this blog.

Feb 28

To Anthony Bradley and his blogpost that proposed we stop saying, "make a  difference." This post appeared on the Acton Blog.

The worst with which we can charge the phrase "make a difference" is that it is based on flattery. But other than that, such a charge is saying what the Church isn't saying. It is saying focus on others. Maybe how we are to make a difference is self-discovered, but that is far different than a charge that has no "real meaning" or is "narcissistic." BTW, Anthony, this charge of narcissism, which you flippantly throw out there every so often to describe only those with whom you disagree, is actually something very complex and usually doesn't involve people focussing on the needs of others.

Howard Zinn stated that History is a record of of avarice and empire on one hand as well as people behaving marvelously on the other. And the latter case doesn't have to consist of doing something extraordinary, but it could mean the accumulation of small acts which are both courageous and caring. But, the more we care about others, the more stress and anxiety we will experience, any parent could tell you that. And so could people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who decided that for him to live a meaningful life, he had to throw out the rule book and discover it for himself.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost challenging whether sexuality and race can be considered equal when there is discrimination. This appeared on the Acton Blog

Whether things are comparable depends on how one wants to compare them. And landlords aren't the model businesses can use to determine if they can discriminate. So whether we can compare/equate sexuality with race depends on how we want to compare it. But the same can be said about comparing religion with race.

One point we should make is that because  individuals are religions can define certain sexual practices between consenting adults as being immoral does not imply that the gov't can. And though landlords have some discretion, it isn't absolute and cannot be applied to other businesses. For example, a bakery was found guilty of discrimination against the KKK for refusing to provide services.

See the question is, does the gov't have a legitimate responsibility to protect gays, in this case, from discrimination practiced by some Christians and others who find homosexuality to be immoral? To answer that question with a "no" is to say that Christians can determine which group of people deserve to live through their own Jim Crow experience. If we examine the principles of Christianity, we would have to say that Christians having that power is horribly ironic. But when we look at History, we have to say that Christians having this power is nothing more than the same old-same old. And for Christians to dramatically react to any push back to this power provides more proof that there is something terribly wrong with such Christians.


Feb 27

To Joe Carter's blogpost claiming that there is a Christian defense for franking. This appeared on the Acton blog.

The above is not a Christian defense of fracking, it is a utilitarian defense. And it is a defense that does little to show the negative effects of fracking both to the residents in the area as well as to the consumption of the product. That fracking causes serious environmental problems should be enough to eliminate a Christian defense of it. As for the defense that is given, if not utilitarian, it is extortion for it says if you want jobs, you have to put up with the environmental damage in a world that is beginning to pay the price for its abuse of the environment. 


March 4

To Elise Hilton and her blogpost declaring that the significance of the citizen is inversely related to the size of government. This post appeared on the Acton blog

Government is like love in this way: size doesn't matter, fidelity does. Regardless of the size of government, if the government is first serving someone other than the people, size will be irrelevant. In addition, size can make the government impotent to stand up to elite private interests. On the other hand, if government is faithful in representing the people, a large government can mean a stronger people.

Finally, those who would direct our focus solely on the size of government are using slight of hand to distract us from government's infidelity.


To Joe Carter's blogpost on what is happening between Russia and the Ukraine. This appeared on the Acton blog

What is happening in the Ukraine as well as with Russia's intervention shows that what is complex can still provide a clear right or wrong judgment on certain actions. And neither the Ukraine's cutting of ties with Russia or spurning initiatives by the EU imply one option shows the other option to be the wrong one. Rather, neither option is in the Ukraine's best interests. This is what was written in the blogpost below:



To R. Scott Clark's Response to my challenging his post on climate change being a cult. This appeared on his Heidelblog

Dr Clark,
Line up the evidence between the number institutions making these claims to what you are citing. And as I wrote before but you did not post, I worked at one of those universities where the climate was put into question. The university did examine that work and confirmed  the research. 

If you want to say there is a scientific orthodoxy that silences criticisms, there appears to be a Christian one that does the same for denying climate change. And perhaps the reason for that denial of climate change from the Conservative Christian point of view because validity to the claim would challenge the conservative political views that have been wed with Conservative Christianity. 

Finally, one doesn't have to go to the extreme of calling the other side a cult to disagree. The list of scientific organizations that are pointing to climate change because of man's activities. The list indicates that the number of scientists who see the connection between climate change and human activity is too big to be called a cult.


To Joe Carter's blogpost that contains part 5 of a series telling liberal evangelicals about the economic views of Conservative evangelicals. This post appeared in the Acton Blog

The trouble with the conservative view of free markets is that it doesn't give sin its full due. Consider, for example, when Chile instituted the free markets of Milton Friedman, a free market economist admired by conservative evangelicals. To install such a market, the US tried first to destabilize the country and then finally resorted to a military coup where a dictator was used to replace a democratically elected gov't. Pinochet was ruthless in establishing Chile's free market and he persecuted and killed thousands of Chileans. BTW, at least one American company paid substantial money to help fund the takeover.

Why was a dictator needed to install a free market that is suppose to be a magnet for "virtuous" people? It is because free market means cutting the chains of social responsibility from big businesses. As the chains were cut, the people suffered economically as well as politically and physically. People had elected a gov't to make sure that big business would  have to meet their social responsibilities and the US helped install a dictatorship to dominate the people and liberate the markets--that is the markets of some. 

Argentina introduced the same kind of free markets through a coup and military dictatorship. Eventually, the military ruler was disposed by the people but only after much suffering and bloodshed had occurred which resulted in the people rising up in protest.

Or take the free market introduced to Russia. Yeltsin had to dissolve, in more ways than one, the Russian parliament, which opposed the neoliberal free markets. So free markets there were brought in with an iron hand. 

Free markets aren't always installed with an iron hand, but they are almost always forced on the people. For more information, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iW1SHPgUAQ.

Yes, free markets are the best way to serve free people. But when one looks at the massive wealth disparity in the US and how power follows wealth, we need to ask if free markets only serve elite group who are free, or to be more precise, privileged, and are they also subjugating more and more people as it serves the elites.

See, the problem with free markets is that they create the potential for or actual tyrannies. That is because they allow the top individuals to accumulate wealth, and thus power, by freeing them of social responsibilities. The freeing of businesses of social responsibilities is why we call these markets, 'free markets.' And one of the major troubles here is that conservative evangelicals are putting blind faith into an economic machine, kind of like Israel's neighbors who worshipped gods who could neither see nor hear.

Yes, many people in the US benefit from free markets but those working in sweatshop factories are enslaved. And yes, we can get free markets installed in other countries so that their local farmers can compete with our subsidized agribusiness. Of course the result is to be expected. Such farmers are driven out of business.

But what the free market does the best is to make labor more disposable than ever. For as gov't regulations are lifted, businesses are free to locate their manufacturing or service departments to where there are the fewest regulations used to guard the rights of workers and the local environment and thus save money on pay and other amenities. So workers can quickly loosed their jobs if workers in another country are willing to do the same work for even less money. And in fact, this has sometimes become necessary for companies to do because of how competitive the free market has become. So yes, there is a benefit for free, or privileged, people. But the free market must enslave others to function.

Carter has an easy job of showing his side of the story. That is because he only needs avoid showing the invisible people, the people who pay the highest price, to make his case.

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