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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, April 22, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For April 22, 2015

April 15

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost on how much scientific evidence is required to accept what is said about global warming. This appeared in his Heidelblog.

And those who resist accepting as even a possibility what much of the evidence points to do so because they know that doing so calls on them to change. And that change would be drastic and would involve one of their most sacred cows: their prosperity and way of life. To be a responsible member of society and to accept as being probable the evidence regarding man induced climate change means some cutting back on both consumption and some producing along with doing more sharing of what we already have.  And they don't want to make those changes. Well, none of us do.

And lest anyone look down on them for not wanting to risk their prosperity for what they accept about man induced climate change, we all have key issues on which we must make tough decisions. And sometimes we are responsible and sometimes we aren't. We're equals here.

BTW, there is a difference in comparing Einstein's theory of relativity and man induced climate change. The former carried with it no sense of urgency because nothing was risked. The latter involves a limited window in which to act in order to avoid serious, if not catastrophic, future losses.


April 21

To Joe Carter and his blogpost video on the importance of property rights. This appeared on the Acton blog

There seems to be a false dichotomy here between having property rights or not having them at all. Also, It isn't just having property rights that is the issue, it is the priority they are given in society. And considering that the presenter described property rights as the path to peace, he seems to put a very high priority on those rights. Finally, the hypothesis of property rights providing the path to peace needs to be test in reality.

So there are property rights. The issue is how important are such rights--realizing that property here involves more than just land. Martin Luther King Jr. said the following:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

To King, property rights existed in a larger context. How these rights are used depends on the orientation of society. When the use of property rights hurt people but gain a profit, we learn whether we are 'thing-oriented' or 'person-oriented.' If we are thing-oriented, then we will use property rights to get more stuff regardless of how that affects the property of others. We should note that property rights were used to foreclose on homes during the bubble. And we should note that laws that explain property rights are written by people some of whom have a self-serving agenda. We should note here that the name 'property rights' is empty in terms of revealing what those rights should be. These rights are based on man-made laws.

Finally, we need to ask if property rights provide the path to peace. Here we should note that the U.S. can be viewed as a champion for property rights. In fact, much of The Constitution was written to protect property rights. And here we should note how many of its writers owned large quantities of land. Yet, with all of those property rights, as a nation, we lead the world in the ratio of lawyers to people. And we see a large number of lawsuits regarding property.

But not only do we have the highest percentage of lawyers, we've been in wars for over 200 years of our nearly 239 years of existence, we have been involved in armed conflicts or wars. The wars started here with one of the reasons why we fought the Revolutionary War: westward expansion. And in expanding westward, we took property from America's Indigenous people. So does the theory that property rights lead to peace match the practice? That might be a hard sale to make.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost on the upcoming Encyclical on the Environment. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The issue with 'demonizing Captialism' has nothing to do with creating a partisan document. Rather, the issue would revolve around the accuracy of such an analysis of Capitalism. 

In addition, acknowledging that climate change exists but doing nothing gains nothing. And who is giving an exact formula for confronting climate change? No one that I know of. 


To Joe Carter's criticisms of liberal Christians' support for the Iran nuclear agreement. This appeared in the Acton blog.

I am not sure of the reasons why Conservatives oppose the framework. If they think that they can forever prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons, they are foolish. We should note that Iran has a right to use centrifuges to enrich uranium and enriching uranium does not imply that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

IMO, the real objection to Iran's developing nuclear technology is that it challenges Israel's adaptation of the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East. Applying that doctrine makes Israel leery of any substantial technological development in the region.

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