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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For June 24, 2015



May 27

The first entry here is not a comment blocked on a blog but an unpublished letter to the editor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church's monthly publication New Horizons

Regarding Carl Trueman's article on the Church in Exile because of society's changing moral values in June, 2015 edition of New Horizons

To The Editor,

Carl Trueman goes 1 for 2 in his article The Church In Exile. For while he scores points with suggestions about how we Christians could build our own identity, he seems to lack the curiosity to examine why opposing same-sex marriage would bring society's scorn.

My personal experience is that while some from the LGBT community will detest any opposition to same-sex marriage, most have not. Almost all of my friends who are gay respect my holding to Biblical convictions regarding same-sex orientation even after I have shared my beliefs with them. Yes, they disagree, but they respect me because we treat each other as equals. 

What we can conclude by comparing my personal experiences with how many Conservative Christians have reacted to same-sex marriage is that there are two ways to oppose same-sex marriage and equality for the LGBT community. Either we can oppose this 'identity' by sharing what the Scriptures teach but tolerate it in society or we can add to our words efforts to either legally prohibit same-sex marriage in society and deny its participants equal rights.

If we choose the latter option, note that people could be reacting to our attempts to at least partially do to the LGBT community what Dr. Trueman is warning that society might do to us for opposing same-sex marriage. And regardless of the model of thought we use to belabor the Christian view of marriage, promoting a dog-eat-dog relationship with others can only hurt our Christian witness.



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June 17

To Denny Burk and his blogpost mentioning the Southern Baptist Church's resolution on same-sex marriage. This appeared in Denny Burk's blog.

It seems to me that the Southern Baptist use of the notion of the 'public good' has a similar role to the Reformed use of 'natural law' with regard to this issue: it is a backdoor approach to Christian control of society.

At the same time, the Southern Baptists wish to defend the 'religious liberty' of those who agree with the Biblical definition of marriage. So here, the Southern Baptists seem unwilling to admit that it is not defending the religious liberties of others when it calls on the Supreme Court to uphold the traditional view of marriage.This practice of defending one's own liberty while denying that of others has an unfortunately sufficient history in the American Church. The same can be said of promoting Christian control over society. This exceeds the NT principles, such as what can be implied from Paul's comments in I Cor 5 or Jesus' comments about Church discipline, of the Church's role in society. 

And what is more injurious to our public witness to Christ is that while we do what we can to prohibit the liberties sought by some who disagree with us, we are silent on the economic exploitation that is part and parcel to America's capitalism, we show little regard for the destruction to the environment our way of life is causing, and we are afraid to speak out against nation's wars and militarism. In other words, we enthusiastically pile on the sins of the individual while we build fences to protect the societal and system sins from which we see an immediate benefit. And our self-righteousness prevents us from seeing the truth and thus the rub that is apparent to so many others.

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To George Weigel and his blogpost criticizing the Ireland's democracy for legalizing same-sex marriage. This appeared in First Things.

It is certainly true that democracy consists of more than just majority rule. Such can easily result in a tyranny of the majority as in an ethnic tyranny, religious tyranny, or an economic class tyranny. However, the missing ingredients to democracy need to be reconsidered. One reason why is because economic freedom can easily result in the last tyranny mentioned--economic class tyranny--even when a particular economic class is not the majority. And such is what we are witnessing today as economic interests have established undue influences on both how our elected officials behave as well as who is elected. We might also add that what is called a 'vibrant moral culture' must be better defined for moral claims to legislation can become backdoor approaches to establishing a religious tyranny. We should remember how our nation started when 9 of the 13 colonies had state churches or when some used religious beliefs to justify practices such as slavery and Jim Crow. Behind the calls unqualified calls to economic freedom and vibrant moral cultures can lurk the shadow of authoritarianism.

Perhaps what should complete a democracy is a public ethic that determines how we will share society. And that public ethic would state that all groups would seek to share society as equals rather than being determined by the survival of the politically fittest. For when how society is shared is determined by the latter principle, we only show that the values that run our society are more determined by the principles of our competitive, do-or-die economic system. Here, commitment to equality is discarded as a worship and embracement of superiority is welcomed. And we should note that it isn't ironic that the Weimar Republic elected a candidate who promised to rid the country of democracy and diversity in order to let the superior lead the country into glory. After all, didn't Germany see itself as being superior to other nations even before WW II. In addition, the party to which this candidate belonged campaigned on a return to traditional values. And we should note that the Roman Church agreed to a noninterference pact with this party in the name of anti-Communism.

Yes, democracy cannot be reduced to majority rule. But what needs to be added to majority rule to make a society democratic is much more and perhaps even different from what was added here.

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To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote of Stella Morabito who claims that logic is being killed resulting in the death of freedom. This blogpost quote appeared in the Heidelblog.

Reading the article linked to, one quickly realizes that the writer is practicing what he condemns: the use of propaganda to influence people. For unless he can build a case as to why same-sex marriage is a propagandized idea, not only does he beg the question he encourages an ideological tribalism that requires the use of propaganda. 

Such brings us back to a de facto definition of propaganda: Propaganda is what our opponents say. Of course there is logic in that statement, but here it is the motivation that is the problem, not the presence or absence of logic.

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June 22

To Russell Moore and his blogpost stating how the Bible and the Confederate flag are to antagonistic to each other to be paired together. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition Website.

I am thankful for the denunciation of the confederate flag. But those who would object to the U.S. flag can voice more objections than just slavery. In fact, racism still is a problem and it is partially supported by institutions though in a different way than supported before. Take a look at our current incarceration practices for example.

Or has America repented of its imperialism? Remember that it was George Washington who referred to our nation as an infant empire. That empire's expansion was first at the expense of America's indigenous people. Did our nation repent of that? And then we move across the seas to further expand our empire and made declarations such as the Monroe doctrine. Of course, we could ask if America has repented from supporting tyrants who either favor our business interests or have become proxy rulers?

Of course there are the military and other interventions in which our nation has participated. Sometimes the targets of these interventions are democratically elected leaders and democratic processes. We could mention the business-motivated pre-WW II interventions cited by former Marine Corp Major General Smedley Butler or the 50+interventions after WW II. Has our nation repented of its militarism?

And then there is our global capitalism. For that capitalism has quickly and dramatically increased the supply of low-skilled labor both globally and locally driving wages and working conditions down. And please read that the vast majority of the recovery from the 2008 crisis has gone to those who caused the problem in the first place.

And then there is the combination of our economy with our way of life and their effects on the environment. Have we repented there?

Other sins/problems could be cited and the question is where's the repentance? So perhaps those pointing the U.S. flag have a valid point when they equate it with the confederate flag. And just perhaps, like those past defenders of slavery and Jim Crow, we too have wed what the Scriptures teach with the sinful and harmful practices just listed.





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