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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For April 8, 2015

April 2

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote of Kevin D. Williams about how there is an organized campaign to enforce ideological conformity. This appeared in Heidelblog.

What? Nothing about how our economic system is destroying the environment or exploiting workers? Nor is there anything about the wars that are going on or the reviving threat of a Cold War and possible nuclear exchange? I guess we certainly wouldn't want to challenge those with wealth and power on those issues from which they benefit the most.

As for the new ideological conformity, aren't our complaints similar to America's complaints about terrorism? That is because we've defined terrorism as what others do to us and our friends, not what we do to others. And think about it, wasn't homosexuality once criminalized? And weren't homosexuals so stigmatized in society that they were more threatened with physical abuse and even death more than they are now? And weren't, or should I say aren't, homosexuals still subject to job terminations because of their sexual orientations? And wasn't all of that suffering experienced by homosexuals due, at least in part, to Christianity's influence on society?

The pendulum is swinging the other way now and where it will stop, nobody knows. Just realize that what we see with the current pendulum swing is at least a partial reflection of what those in the LGBT community experienced with the pendulum swing was in the favor of conservative Christianity. Yes, people losing their jobs because they hold to a biblical view of sexuality is definitely wrong. But before we wring our hands over that and what may come in the future, isn't it time to reflect on how many of us conservative Christians handled the past? And, btw, the existence or lack there of of private property has nothing to do with what is going on here. This is especially true since the statement about there being no private property is a veiled reference to Marx and his belief in the abolition of private property without realizing that the reference shows no understanding of what Marx meant by the abolition of private property. Likewise, the refusal of Christian vendors to provide goods and services to same-sex weddings shows no understanding of a capitalist economy.

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To Joe Carter and his blogpost about the tragic attacks on Christians by terrorists in Kenya. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Isn't this a tragic repeat of history and more due to what Christianity has associated itself with than Christianity itself? After all, isn't Christianity associated with Western Civilization and hasn't both American and European history show that Western nations have used force to exploit and abuse those in the Middle East for the sake of greed? The West has drawn artificial boundaries for nations, invaded and/or attacked Middle East nations (remember that modern zionism is a European venture), overthrown democratically elected governments, supported tyrants, and supported terrorists And when Christianity does not protest and oppose these actions by the nations in which Christianity is dominant, then it is viewed as having supported them.

And so aren't these attacks simply at least a partial repeat of history once we study events like the French and Russian Revolutions? For who was the Church siding with during the times leading up to those revolutions?

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on how unemployment is an economic-spiritual indicator. This appeared in the Acton blog.

http://blog.acton.org/archives/77324-unemployment-as-economic-spiritual-indicator-march-2015-report.html

What is never pointed out here is that unemployment can be an economic-spiritual indicator of two groups: the unemployed and employers Those employers who dismiss or offshore workers in order to maximize profits are exhibiting a spiritual problem.  In addition, those who pay workers poverty wages, use sweatshop labor, and/or use trafficked or slave labor also show they have a spiritual problem. And we should note the growing wealth disparity and that the recovery has, for the most part, has gone to the wealthiest in the economy. And since many cost cutting decisions have been made to appease stockholders, we see that the unemployed are not the only ones with a spiritual problem.

In fact, in a global economy that is fueled by greed and driven by competition, what else should we expect?

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To John Couretas and his blogpost about how a Russian Bishop is blaming the West's past interventions and slow reaction for the Christian genocide in the Middle East. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Do the Bishop's criticisms of the West go far enough? And are there valid criticisms to lay at the feet of the Christians there? We should note that saying yes to the latter question does not justify the coldblooded violence practice against them.

If the Church would only look at the history of the French and Russian Revolutions to learn that, sometimes, one's friends may cause it to be rejected by others even be treated as an enemy. In those two revolutions, the Church aligned itself with wealth and power. As a result, revolutionary forces viewed the Church as an enemy, not a potential ally. We could fast forward to today where, because of the protection offered, Christians in Syria back a tyrannical  regime. The temptation to do the same exists in Egypt as, if memory serves, al-Sisi earned the votes of Christians because they viewed him as one who would protect them.

Now what is wrong with siding with those would protect you? If that is all there is, nothing is wrong. But when you support someone who oppresses others simply because your group is favored, then you have left principles and morals for security.

In addition, Christianity is strongly associated with Western Civilization and Western, especially American, policies. Western policies have favored economic and strategic goals over principles and morals. Thus, Western policies have overthrown an elected government, supported tyrants, supported terrorists, and supported Israel's brutal occupation of the Occupied Territories. And because the West, especially America, is associated with Christianity, Christianity, like in the revolutions mentioned, gets at least partial blame for hardships in the Middle East.

Thus, the question of whether the Bishop's criticisms of went far enough must be answered with a resounding 'NO!' Certainly, the Bishop was correct in what he said, he just could have said a lot more.

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April 6

To Thomas Kidd and his blogpost on why not many Reformed Christians have been pacifists. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

First, I think we should think about pacifism as being more on a continuum than in an absolute sense. Yes, there are those who are pacifists in all situations. But some are more pacifistic than others and why that is depends on what a person believes should justify a war.

Second, we should note that militarism and the desire for others to be punished depends on how authoritarian one is. And considering the number of authoritarian relationships we have in our lives, we tend to be very authoritarian thus it is sometimes difficult for us to turn off the authoritarian-switch in our thinking. And often, the acceptance of state authoritarian figures includes implications of  loyalty to one's nation. This authoritarianism plays against Calvinists being pacifists in two ways.  First, there is the desire to see others submit to the authorities. If they don't, then those who do not submit should be made to submit--punishment. Second, because there is the desire to submit to the authorities, will prohibit one from challenging leader's call to war.

Third, we tend to be literalists in that without any explicit Scriptural commands or exact examples from the scriptures to imitate, we tend to reject how those in society react to what they feel is unjust. Thus, many of us Calvinists end up trying to get people to adjust to any injustices by become spiritual spartans. After all, that is what we believe the apostles called us to do. And since we are trying to teach people to imitate us while we imitate Christ, we try to teach nonChristians to adjust to the world as Christians should.

Thus, Kidd is right in saying that Reformed Christians have felt too at ease with state violence done by their own state. It is unfortunate because that degree of ease has caused some very unfortunate associations to be made with the Gospel. And articles like this one are long overdue.

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