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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, May 21, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For May 21, 2014

May 17

To R. Scott Clark and his heidelblog podcast on political correctness. This appeared on the Heidelblog

The Left has been aware of how political correctness has been around for decades and started during Wilson's administration as soon as the  controlling public opinion became a priority. During WWI, everything German was the target. After WWI, Bolshevism was targeted. There was the Hollywood blacklist of the 1940s and 1950s along with McCarthyism. There was firing of at least one professor from a tenured position for participating in and supporting students who were standing up against segregation. And then there was the FBI harassment of Civil Rights and antiwar activists. Then there was the harassment of antiwar activists during the Bush years along with the Obama Administrations possible ties to dismantling the Occupy encampments.

The test of our commitment to civil and religious rights is whether we will defend the rights of those with whom we disagree. So the ACLU defense of the speech and assembly rights of neo-Nazis, with whom they vehemently disagree, shows a true commitment to civil rights. Likewise, we would be showing a commitment to civil and religious rights by defending the rights of homosexuals to marry while disagreeing with homosexuality because of what the Scriptures say.

On the other hand, we have to consider that any political correctness pressure to condone accepting  homosexuality could be partially be due to our past intolerance and legislative persecution of gays. In other words, we have no problems when we can control them but we cry coercion if the favor is returned. Such shows a commitment to partisanship, not to principle, and those seeds of partisanship have found their place in other gardens.


May 18

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on globalization and the reduction of world poverty. This appeared in the Acton blog.

There is a problem with linking globalization with the reduction in world poverty. The problem is that globalization means different things not just to different parts of the world, but to different countries as well. To show this, all we need to do is compare two neighboring countries and what globalization meant to each. To India, as to the West, globalization means neoliberal capitalism--note that India has been starting to introduce some new controls. To China, globalization a liberalizing of the economy but that is relative to what the economy was. It is still pretty much controlled.

But problems loom for both countries. For example, not all sectors of India's economy have profited from globalization. The number of its farmers who went deep into debt as the result of the free market has resulted in the number of suicides to measured in the tens of thousands. In addition, air pollution in India, which was already a problem prior to globalization, has increased due to industrialization. In China, air pollution is a very serious problem.

But other problems have arisen with the increase of globalization is income disparity. That income disparity has significantly increased in the West is beyond dispute. Part of that is that income many Americans, for example, has stagnated or dropped. Part of that is due to the technological unemployment and the outsourcing of jobs to other countries.  In Europe, we also have austerity cuts. The combination of these two factors could suggest that  what we are seeing with the reduction of poverty is a shifting wealth from American middle and even lower classes to other countries.

Part of the global alleviation of poverty is the result of the increased labor supply which has lowered pay in the West while allowing for the existence of sweatshop labor conditions in countries like China. Here, sweatshop labor is defined not by pay but by working conditions and violations of labor law. So those working in sweatshop factories might be lifted out of poverty by their jobs but the working conditions are abusive if not dangerous or deadly.

Another problem with globalization is the multiple use of the term "comparative advantage." This has referred to a country using protectionism to build up an industry and then forcing free trade on other countries for products made by the newly established industry. This drives foreign companies involved in manufacturing the same kinds of products as the protected industry out of business in their own countries as they are forced to compete with the once or still protected foreign industry. We should note that comparative advantage is sometimes currently used to assign specific contributions a country can make to the global economy. These assignments are not made by the country itself but by the leaders of the global economy. Here we can see certain sectors of a country's economy disappear making that country dependent on the world to even feed itself. Haiti  found itself in that situation when in around 2008 when fuel prices rose, Haiti suffered a food crisis because its farmers had already been put out of business.

In addition, part of what was just said leads into the next problem with our current form of globalization. That problem is that foreign investors begin to accumulate power in foreign countries. Thus, the citizens of a given country lose democratic control over their economy and are thus ruled by foreign investors.

We could go on with other concerns but the point is when people try to present overlysimplistic cause and effect relationships between desired results and single variables, we should remember the saying:

Beware of Geeks bearing gifts


May 19

To Greg Forster and his article on separating marriage from the state because of society's new view of marriage. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition's website.

To me, it seems that the first front in the battle over marriage is status of our own marriages and those of our friends. But something has to be added when talking about the battle over marriage in the state. What needs to be added is that we live in a kind of democracy. Democracies can be  measured by the effectiveness that democratic procedures have in controlling the gov't and they can be measured by the degree to which the country belongs to all of the law biding citizens. So once we start using legislation to prohibit same-sex marriage and that is done for religious reasons, we are telling those outside our group that the country belongs more to us than to others.

But if we defend the equality of homosexuals while preaching the Gospel, won't we be fighting the battle over marriage while preserving/enhancing our democracy?

I hate commenting on this so much but it seems that we conservative Christians are obsessed with the subject and what others are doing behind closed doors.


May 20

To R.R. Reno and his blogpost on the Nationalism. This appeared in the First Things blog.

Are we forgetting American nationalism and how we call it patriotism? True, our nationalism does not revolve around ethnicity and there is a dispute as to whether it is to revolve around religion. We should note that nationalism is merely an instance of something more abstract. What is more abstract is that people tend to congregate in groups for obtaining significance and security. And that is a human trend. Where it becomes a problem is when loyalty to that group whether it be national identity, ethnicity, religion, race, or whatever, trumps commitment to principle. That is one kind of nationalism.

Another kind of nationalism involves group ownership of nationally located,  jointly needed resources. Here, we are talking more about self-sovereignty than compromise of principle. And this is where we should favor nationalism over the control of resources by financial elites. And we should note that the apartheid congregation of elites is based on the same principles of group identity that nationalism is based on. That is it is based on a search for significance and security, as stated above.

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