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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For March 18, 2015


March 10

To R. Scott Clark's response to my comment comparing his list of references for settled science vs the list of scientists who are convinced that climate change is caused by human activity. This appeared in the Heidelblog's article on Settled Science

Dr Clark,
The problem with your answer to BD is that it is first based on a false assumption and second, it filters out the details. 

Now to clear things up, BD was actually me who was visiting my daughter and didn't realize her logged-in status on her blog would be recorded as the sender of the message. For that I apologize. It was inadvertent. 

The false assumption was that you thought that the 97% was based on a NASA article. Actually, it is based on  a National Academy of Sciences article. The link is 

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full

Please be specific in detailing your scientific objections to the study's methodology--that is if you so choose to, I understand if you choose not to.

Second, there was no systematic documentation for giving a specific figure by the NASA article. However, by simply saying it was unscientific, you waved your hands at the number of scientific  organizations that do recognize climate change as being caused by human activity. 

Now again, compare those organizations with the single reference you gave in the 1970s about the coming ice age being settled science and tell me how the two different sets of references are comparable. Note that the list of scientific organizations that are convinced by the evidence is also not the same as any list of media outlets that report a story. The NASA link is below:

    http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

Finally, what conservatives are not upfront about are the personal issues involved in acknowledging the possible reality of climate change. The quote comes from Naomi Klein.

it is always easier to deny reality than to allow our worldview to be shattered

We should note that the above objection to acknowledging the possible reality of climate change is often the same objection made by many who reject the truth of God's Word.

Finally, I am not clear on your view of climate change. Do you deny that we are experiencing human activity caused climate change or are you saying that it is possible but that the jury should still be out? 

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Not sure when this happened, but the status of the comment below has been changed from awaiting moderation to published

To David Robertson and his blogpost on a secular organization's argument against Christianity. It has to do with alleged sexual misconduct of a Christian. This blogpost appeared in the Wee Flea blog.

We have to realize that as cultural values drift further and further from Christian values, the greater the change which is called for by the preaching of the Gospel. And the greater the change called for, the stronger the resistance will be. Therefore, examples of hypocrisy will have their significance magnified. 

Sex is not the only issue which opponents of Christianity are blaming the Church for. The Church has also been portrayed as an oppressor of man's creativity and freedom. And one of the ways the Church has done this is through doctrine.

We should also note the Church's past history at playing the hypocrite. Think of how much scorn the Church earned for itself prior to the French and Russian Revolutions by aligning itself with wealth and power.

Yes, we preach a stricter code of sexual ethics to the world and some, perhaps with some merit, will link how we have taught sexual ethics with the sexual misconduct by some of our own. And since we are calling for bigger and bigger changes in people's lives as cultural values continue on their present course, we should expect the kind of reaction described above.

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March 14

To Russell Moore and his blogpost on the changing status of Christianity in America and how we can react. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

There are some good observations made in this article especially in the section titled, 'Path Forward.' But there is something missing as well. For not only must we consider how to advance the Kingdom of God in America, we must also decide on how we will share society with others. We must determine how we will share society with others because society has joined us with others. Thus, choosing how to share society is a responsibility.

In the past, Christians sought and maintained a privileged position in society in that we had the biggest voice in determining its laws and mores. But we should note, lest the less than honest comparison between Muskogee and Woodstock gives us a false sense of superiority, who was marginalized when Christianity was the dominant force in society. Minorities were not just marginalized, they were persecuted. Homosexuals have shared their own version of that marginalization and persecution as well. Those belonging to other political ideologies, such as socialists, were marginalized and sometimes persecuted. The list could go on.

The fact that we call the recent turn in events a culture war shows how oblivious we have been of our privileged position. For the current culture war more resembles the conflict portrayed in the first Star Wars movie. We had a rebellion against an empire where, in America, the empire stood for Christianity and its values.

There is a way to end the current culture wars while optimizing our ability to advance the Kingdom of God. That way is to share society as equals. And in sharing society as equals, we commit ourselves to including those groups whom we have, in the past, either worked to marginalize or neglected their marginalized status. Working to share society as equals rather than as a chosen few will reduce the number of stumbling blocks we set before those to whom we wish to preach.

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March 17

To Elise Hilton and her blogpost on Christian persecution and our loss of liberties. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The trouble with this post obviously is not the recognition that some other Christians have it worse than American Christians or that we should try to better the plight of both Christians in Islamic countries and those here. The trouble is that, besides not being specific regarding the troubles Christians have here, there is no context provided for why Christians here are "losing" liberties here. Certainly some have lost jobs because of their views and citing those actions are legitimate citing of lost liberties by a few number of particular Christians. 

Other than that, we really haven't lost any liberties; but we are seeing a pendulum swing. That pendulum swing is returning from a period where Christians had a privileged place in society. And while we had that privileged place, there were those who suffered marginalization. For many, especially America's Indigenous people and Blacks, we ignored their suffering and disenfranchisement, or some of us even pushed for, their discrimination. For homosexuals, we continue to push for both their marginalization and our right to estrange them. Much of that revolves around our opposition to same-sex marriage and, in some states, our reactionary attempts to pass Jim Crow like legislation against them. In fact, homosexuals are still subject to marginalization through legally protected harassment and job firings in some states.

Now the pendulum is slowly starting to swing the other way and we feel "persecution." Certainly our trials here are not comparable to the persecution Christians in other areas of the world are subject to. But neither is our persecution comparable to what we've put, and still do, homosexuals through. Which makes us think whether the current persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, some of which consists of horrific atrocities, are a sinful reaction to what Christians there have done. We should note that for protection payment, some, not all, Christians in the Middle East have supported tyrannical regimes. Two nations where this has occurred are Syria and Egypt. All of which points to our need to be able to step back from our proclivity for myopia to get a wider perspective.

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To Joe Carter and his blogpost citing Acton colleague Samuel Gregg's assertion that our understanding of God shapes us and society. This occurred in the Acton blog.

The trouble here is that we often measure civilization by how we treat those in our own group while neglecting to mention how we treat those from other groups. Thus de Tocqueville was so impressed with how civilized British Society was that he neglected to consider how the Brits treated those in their colonies. 

So when we examine the main premise, what does the history and present of our nation's treatment of nonWhites, both here and abroad, say about our understanding of God?







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