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Whoever loves money never has enough;
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For April 30, 2014



April 26

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost on Homosexuality in the New Testament. This appeared in the heidelblog


I wish we realize that one of the driving forces behind the questioning of whether homosexuality is biblically supported is the attempt to deny them an equal place in society. For as long as we so tightly bind the Biblical view of homosexuality with the denial of an equal place in society, we create dissonance for those who believe in equality and thus we push them to find ways to make the Bible either be silent on the subject or to condone it. As a result we see elite gymnastics level exegesis, or perhaps we should eisogesis, to support homosexuality. In addition, we are creating an unnecessary stumbling block to those who would hear the Gospel because we are associating the Gospel with intolerance.

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April 27

To Mark Movsesian's blogpost on 'Christian Nations'. This appeared in the First Things blog.


There are 3 problems with calling America a Christian country. First, there will be the view that Christianity is the civic religion of the United States. But when study what civic religions tell the citizens, most of the time the messages of such religions are based on flattery for it is flattery that helps maintain the unity of the people by giving them something in common to celebrate. When we study Christianity, the most flattering thing said about people is that they are sinners saved by grace, not by merit. So in this sense, Christianity risks compromise by being America's civic religion.

Another problem with calling America a Christian nation is that by merit or unprecedented suffering, Christianity, and thus Christians themselves, will be granted a privileged status in a democracy. These two concepts don't mix. For if any group acquires privilege, then, to whatever degree, that group becomes the ruling group over against all of the people. This is what American-Israeli activist Jeff Halper calls an 'ethnocracy.' It is the rule of an ethnic group, which is a group defined by either nationality or religion, over all other groups. Halper goes on to say that there might be some democratic mechanisms but that such a rule in contrast to democracy.

Early in American History, the Puritans assumed certain rights based on both merit and past suffering. After all, our nation is said to be found on religious freedom--that is freedom only for those coming over from England who were escaping religious persecution there. That liberty was not freely extended by those who came here seeking relief to all who were different. This will be touched on next. This article tried to support the definition of America as a Christian nation because of the merits of Christianity, which still continue according to the above post. So we see that behind an ethnocracy lies a meritocracy. Neither of these can be confused with democracy.

Finally, there is America's past to reconcile if America was a Christian nation. From the religious intolerance shown toward people of their own race to the racism found in the ethnic cleansing of the land of its indigenous people and the enslavement of Blacks, we must either ask how could America be called a Christian nation when such injustice was commonplace or what is Christianity in the first place? And we should note that the horrid living conditions left to the American Indian as well as the oppression or persecution of Blacks still continues today only in different forms from yesteryear.

I think that both America and Christianity are better off by not calling America a Christian country.

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To Joseph Sunde and his blogpost that states the purpose of laws is the glory of God. This was posted on the Acton blog


What is proposed above is appropriate for a theocracy, but not a democracy. In a democracy, people, for better or worse, rule because the country belongs to all of them, including those who don't believe in God and would propose or support laws that have no interest in the glory of God. And unless we want to claim that Christians should have a privileged place in society, because of some perceived merit(s), in terms of passing laws, then we have to return laws to being about fairness and justice only.

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April 29

To Bruce Edward Walker's blogpost against the "religious crusade" to hold energy companies accountable for their environmental impact. This appeared on the Acton Blog


Richer countries are greener countries? Does that include the U.S. and China, countries that have the 2 leading economies in the world? Aren't they the two leaders in CO2 emissions? 

Second, we should assume that allowing business to proceed will enable business to get to the point where they will begin to lessen the production of greenhouse gasses? Should we look at the environmental problems that result from the extraction of energy resources as a predictor of whether business will find ways to lessen their impact on the economy? For example, what has the BP oil rig accident, mountaintop removal of coal, and the most recent pipeline leakage disasters taught us about the sense of responsibility for the environment possessed by corporations today? Or what about the Chevron well accident in Pennsylvania and how Chevron addressed the public concern?

The article makes a valid point that there is a divide between those whose focus is on the environmental impact vs those whose focus is on the economic impact. And it seems that the assumption made by the latter is that business, when enabled by finances will cut greenhouse emissions. And yet, today's problems with the extraction of energy resources does not support that assumption. Rather, there must be pressure and strict accountability to control the leakage mentioned above and not just during the extraction process, controls must be put in place and maintained after wells are no longer being used. To not insist on that could indicate that we are only concerned with the immediate profitability while ignoring environmental accountability.




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