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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 6, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For May 6, 2015

May 1

To Gavin Ortlund and his blogpost on when a leader falls. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Perhaps leaders letting us down is a reminder of how their pedestals should never be higher than a step or two.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost on how same-sex marriage threatens Christian Schools. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

There is a broader problem here. The Conservative Christian reaction against same-sex marriage has, for the most part, revolved around how its legalization will affect Conservative Christians. Very little attention is paid to issues of equality and how same-sex marriage has the potential of reducing promiscuity in the LGBT community which, in turn, could reduce the transmissions of STDs. Nor is there any discussion about the religious rights of those in the LGBT community who are not atheists and who believe that God blesses same-sex marriage.

This primary concern for how same-sex marriage affects us does not lead outsiders to want to hear the Gospel more objectively. The stance of many fellow Christians of associating calling homosexuality sin with marginalizing those in the LGBT community in society by not recognizing their equality is what will cause problems for Christians if same-sex marriage deemed constitutional. That is because this marginalization was a push on the pendulum and now the pendulum is returning to swing the other way.


May 4

To Daniel Darling and his blogpost claiming that we cannot escape from the culture war. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Though I wouldn't classify poverty, racial injustice, and the need for prison reform as part of a culture war, at least these issues are being addressed along with same-sex marriage.

A culture war exists when one group's dominance is challenged. Usually, the challenger wants more than just deliverance from oppression, it wants to reverse the direction of the pendulum. And thus, instead of referring to culture war, we might want to itemize the wars around the issues they address and thus call them culture wars. And with some of those wars, we might want to consider engaging in a peaceful coexistence than a war. That, IMO, should be the case with the conflict over same-sex marriage.

But other things can't be tolerated such as racial injustice, prison conditions and incarceration rates, and poverty. And behind those issues are the bigger issues of economic exploitation, destruction of the environment, and war and militarism. On a personal level, it was Martin Luther King Jr who identified a thing oriented society as being behind much of the evil he opposed including racism. And he defined a thing-oriented society as being one where gadgets, profits, and property rights were more important than people. And thus, any culture war has to challenge the dominance of treating things as being more important than people.


May 5

To Joe Carter and his blogpost about foster care rules restricting the religious freedom of foster parents to discuss the sexual orientation of their foster kids. This appeared in the Acton blog.

There are a number of sides to this issue. One is that the religious views of more than one group should be protected by the state. And the religious views of some people allow for, if they do not embrace, the sexual orientations of those in the LGBT community. And since foster parents have a position of power over foster children, a necessary line must be drawn to prevent the abuse of that power. We could  debate where that line should be drawn, but line's existence is necessary. 

In addition, what we in the religiously Conservative Christian Church need to wake up to is that we have, and continue to do so, relied on marginalization and shame to inhibit people from acting on their own sexual orientations. We have wanted people who have different sexual orientations than ours to not just feel estranged in the Church, we wanted them to be marginalized in society too. And perhaps, that is a reason for why the above mentioned line is drawn where it is. In any case, we can't wash our hands from the current situation because our past actions have helped to create it. 


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost parsing free trade. This appeared in the Acton blog.

We should note that our choice is not between free trade and no trade. And we should note that free here means that the voices and concerns of the communities involved in the trading have been silenced for the sake of those profiting from free trade. This trade is called "free" because the restrictions that might come about from the hearing of these voices are never considered. We should also note that free trade isn't always free trade. Many times, "free trade" agreements have pitted subsidized goods, such as our agribusiness products, against locally made goods and have thus benefited imports over a region's or nation's ability to provide for themselves.

But what most advocates of free trade fail to acknowledge is that the globalized labor market that comes from free trade has, by increasing supply, held stagnate or lowered wages of many working people. In addition, this expanded global labor market has caused many to lose their jobs and communities to lose their economic base. In the meantime, those controlling the terms of free trade prosper.

Examining the tradeoffs involved in free trade must be able to look out to horizon and see how all of the stakeholders of free trade are affect rather than just ask the political question: What is in it for me?


To Michael Severance and his blogpost comparing May Day and the feast of St. Joseph the worker. This appeared on the Acton Blog.

Here the question becomes this: If St. Joseph was being exploited for his work, separated from his family because of the need to travel to work, and was being abused by the police, how would he be celebrating May Day/ And why is it that, on this blog, the economic exploitation of both workers and the environment and the abuse of power never comes into consideration?

It seems to me that if one wants to honor Labor Day, one would insist that laborers be treated justly, that immigrants would be welcomed especially when they come here to escape violence and/or deprivation, and that abuse of police power would be challenged.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost about how raising the minimum wage will cause unemployment. This appeared on the Acton blog.

What is also priceless is the system that gives you a choice between being paid wages that require you to get gov't assistance and losing your job. Why is it that minimum wage is being challenged rather than the system?

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