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Whoever loves money never has enough;
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For December 10, 2014


Dec 4

To Dylan Pahman and his commentary on the movie The Hunger Games. This appeared on the Acton blog.


It's rather ironic that a site that puts in juxtaposition Judeo-Christian values with the free-market might look for some deeper meaning in any Hunger Games movie. Here are at least two reasons why. We should note that the more extreme the competition that exists in our capitalist economy, the more the actual Huger Games in the movie serves as a metaphor for our economy where one's survival relies on how one wins the games. 

But even more than that, the idea of dividing people in the differing districts where each district has its own function in feeding the Capital directly mirrors the practice of 'comparative advantage' that has been both used to serve the global market economy and extolled by this website (see http://blog.acton.org/archives/70406-christians-know-comparative-advantage.html). Note that for the poorer countries, this division of labor, which should be celebrated as reflecting God's diversity according to the just cited website, is both outside of their own choice and robs them of the ability to be self-sufficient. 

One more item, how is the empty lives of those living in the Capital not drawing our attention to our consumerism that leads to a thing-oriented, rather than a person-oriented, society? And yet consumerism is a result of the kind of Capitalist economic system so celebrated by this website. Again, thus the irony of this website drawing attention to the deeper meanings imbedded in the movie The Hunger Games


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Dec 6

To Chelsea Patterson and her blogpost on how suffering is for God's glory and our good. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

I think that a post like this needs both expansion and nuance. I say this because sometimes this teaching on suffering, which has a validity, is sometimes used by us Christians to decide to be passive in face of the different kinds of injustices we and nonChristians face on earth.

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Dec 8

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on the spiritual and economic indicators of unemployment. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Two items that are missing here are:

1.    Average and median pay of new jobs
2.    How underpaying employees or offshoring jobs to increase net profit reflects on the spirituality of the job creators/providers.

In the article linked by this post, the definition of under-employment is faulty. For being underemployed not only refers to the number of hours one is working, it also refers to the number of employees who work at jobs for which they are overqualified.

So it seems here that with regards to employment problems, not enough focus is being placed on the job creators/providers.


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To R. Scott Clark and his short blogpost quote on the current changes occurring in colleges. This appeared on the Heidelblog.

Using some different terminology, what is described above has already been commented on by Noam Chomsky in the article below:

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/corporate-business-models-are-hurting-american-universities/

What we should note is that the terminology used to describe the growing authoritarianism of our colleges and universities will differ according to whether one sees big government or corporations as posing the greatest threat, the move from any kind of democratization of educational institutions to elite-centered control is obvious to the faculty and some others. Before retiring, I remember having conversations with colleagues over this. And this was combined with the influx of not-ready-for-college-time students in order to meet some enrollment goal. IMO and that of some others, we believe that education is being deemphasized and is being replaced by a focus on the college experience. In the meantime, students are being more and more viewed as customers.

And if we follow the money, we will easily observe our educational institutions are putting their priorities.


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Dec 9

To Brian Stanley and his blogpost on 10 myths about World Christianity. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

If memory serves from a world religions course as well as some internet sources, not only is Christianity a Western religion, so is Judaism and Islam. This has to do with distinguishing these religions from the religions prevalent in East Asia. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam had their start in West Asia. These three religions are monotheistic religions and who claim Abraham as a key figure. Calling these three religions western does not necessarily mean that they began in Europe.

Regarding point #2, I believe Marx protested Western Colonialism and Imperialism as did those who followed him in some shape or form. In addition, victims of Western Colonialism and Imperialism protested it well before the late 20th Century. The question of who protested colonialism before the late 20th century seems very Eurocentric.

Regarding point #3, Western religion was certainly imposed on the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. The writings of Bartolomé de Las Casas, in his The Devastation Of The Indies documents how Western religion, as well as servitude, was forced on the indigenous people there even to the point of death. The Puritans looked at their portion of America as a new Canaan and themselves as the new Israel and thus participated in the ethnic cleansing of the land.

Regarding point #7, Christianity actually had a mixed record with regard to slavery in America. But not only that, it had a mixed record with regard to Jim Crow too. There were Christians who used the Bible to justify both sides of the fence in both of those practices. And that just is with regard to America. I cannot speak to how missionaries conducted themselves in other parts of the world. In addition, we have to remember that the merging of Church & State came from the same place where almost all Western Imperial powers came from: Europe.

Points #9 and 10 are very good points, however.




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