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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 26, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For March 26, 2014

March 20

To R. Scott Clark's blogpost on the Millennials and work. This appeared in the Heidelblog

A few comments here. First, millennials have been in the job market far longer than Obamacare has been in existence. To place any kind of blame on Obamacare seems to be opportunistic seeing that Obamacare officially started less than a year ago.

Next, it's not just the education system that has failed millennials, it their parents and themselves. Parents are as much to blame for our educational system's failures as anyone else because parents put a great deal of pressure on the schools and teachers to give their kids passing or even good marks. This happens even in college and the workplace and I witnessed the former personally before retiring from teaching. The kids themselves have been raised on electronics and entertainment and the people raising them on this are their parents, the schools, society, and our economic system.

I always cringe when I read or hear someone attribute today's problems to Marx. First, those who do so have, at best, done a mere cursory reading of Marx. Second, attributing something to Marx is usually done as a pejorative. And third, it is our capitalist society that has been telling our kids that with the right mix of work and investments, with an inordinate amount of stress on the latter, they can retire early and in complete security and luxury. 

BTW, I've been reading Marx and have found that Conservative citations of him to be usually misleading and out of context. In addition, I would recommend Martin Luther King's review of Marx. It is simply the best because he gets at the key problems in Marx's thought while being able to identify where Marx can legitimately challenge our current system.

The millennials' tolerance of same-sex marriage might be due to the fact that they live in a pluralistic society and have learned to welcome diversity. And while they have learned to welcome diversity, us religious conservatives have failed to provide many examples of how to tolerate differences in society while not compromising our own standards. We all too often associate not compromising with intolerance.

Finally, we should note that the job market is much tougher now than before. In addition, businesses have been relying of gov't assistance programs to subsidize their payrolls. Even many military families live on gov't assistance. 


March 22

Joe Carter's blogpost on if companies can be African American, why can't they be religious. This appeared on the Acton blog.

First, there are Christian companies. Many of them publish materials and sell books and other things while there might be a few hospitals.

But there seems to be a potential comparison of apples and oranges here. For in the example above, what is being questioned is whether a business was denied the opportunity to provide services. What is being asked for with Christian businesses is what rights can they deny others either in employee benefits or in refusing services. I have great understanding in not wanting to pay for healthcare that includes abortion. I have some understanding in Christian businesses not wanting offer services to same-sex weddings. But we have to understand that these are not the issues Black businesses are dealing with.

So if we want to compare apples to apples, we would be discussing discrimination against Christian companies that are being denied the opportunity to provide services, not the right to deny them. 


March 23
To R. Scott Clark's blogpost on Science and the audio broadcast linked to in the blogpost. The audio calls the current climate scientists who warn about environmental problems because of our greenhouse emissions a cult. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

Remember Luther's and Calvin's geocentricity. Machen's view of how the Scriptures talked about what appeared to be the case meant nothing to the Christians in the days of Calvin and Luther. That scientists back then had it right while our most esteemed theologians had it wrong should cause us to approach all other discrepancies between scientists and our spiritual leaders with an open mind. And calling the large body of climate scientists who can easily point to indisputable physical changes in our environment a cult because of both their agreement and that their methodology was different from other scientific studies is irresponsible.

Climate scientist are considering multiple models for the future so what this says is that that they don't know the ramifications of our path. But, again, they can easily point to current changes and denying those current changes would indicate that one is submitting to a cult more than whatever faults you can find in the climate scientists.

So with regard to the climate scientists, perhaps the lack of tolerance of has to do with the available evidence as well as what is being risked. To do nothing, in light of the observable evidence  and not the conclusions or interpretations, is to at least flirt with disaster. And why studies contains a blind or double blind models depends on the studies themselves. One cannot enforce a single model on all studies.

Finally, if you want to say that the hiding or blocking of data indicates shenanigans, then we must question this blog because of the comments challenging what has been claimed about socialism and climate science which have been blocked from appearing here. And that has occurred multiple times. 


March 25

To Joe Carter's Blogpost on providing a Common Grace apologetic for Disgust. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition blog.

What people find to be disgusting varies so that just because someone is ok with what I find to be disgusting doesn't imply that they believe in a world where everything goes. The burning of the bodies of aborted babies is probably disgusting to more people than abortion is itself. And that brings up an interesting inconsistency that we should explore. And generalizing from that specific application, it is easy to find how the above post can equip us in challenging culture but that wasn't the only point of this post. 

Another point was to challenge Christians who sabotage the emotion of disgust by criticizing fellow Christians for "implying any sinful behavior can be disgusting." 

Whether what someone does is disgusting to us is related to several factors. And one of those factors is practicality while another is identification. What are the effects of being disgusted by every sin practiced by others? Can one really function in society while being that sensitive? Will such an emotion cause us to be intolerantly intolerant of others? 

Or perhaps our disgust is because we indulge in or want to practice the same sins that disgusts us and our expressed emotion distracts attention from us? And are we afraid that we will slide down the slippery slope of sin if we fail to react? And there are many other questions we can ask. 

Now if the effects of rampant individualism is another significant concern here, then we should look for accepted cultural practices and sacred cows that might be promoting such individualism. And, based on what Karl Marx and Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, one such culturally embraced practice that affects our moral values is the free market. For in the free market, our strength and our conscience is self-interest. We are told that in the free market, self-interest is what both drives and guides us. That concern for others is not necessary and may even frowned on frowned on at times when working in or determining the rules for the free market.

We certainly cannot reduce all of the current radical individualism that is causing our society to self-destruct to the free market. But we have to admit that with the rewards to be found there, the free market possibly encourages more individualism than is healthy for a society.

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