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This Month's Scripture Verse:

Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless -- Ecclesiastes 5:10

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For July 1, 2015

 Since access to the comments on this particular post seems not to be working, there is a possibility that the comment below was not blocked.

June 23

To Christopher Yuan and his blogpost on how to discuss gay marriage. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

If there is no room for civil disagreement on homosexuality, could part of that be because of religiously conservative Christians who have sought legislation to either prohibit same-sex marriage or allow for Jim Crow type discrimination against those in the LGBT community? Perhaps some from that community should be interviewed here to see the varying reasons for why there is less room for civil disagreement.


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June 24

To R. Scott Clark and his short blogpost quote talking about the rights of those individuals and businesses that wish to practice business according to  their own views of marriage? This occurred in Heidelblog.

But are the people who are "standing up" for marriage infringing on the rights of others? In particular, are they infringing on the rights of those who wish to engage in same-sex marriage?


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To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote claiming that Francis does not understand the Gospel by how he speaks about the poor. This appeared in Heidelblog.

If the love of money is sin and preaching repentance from sin is part of preaching the Gospel, then perhaps those who exclude talking about poverty are the ones who do not understand the Gospel. For what does Jesus say at the beginning of his ministry? He read from Isaiah 61.

Though Francis is not correct in everything he says, he is addressing points which Protestants who fail to preach to those with wealth and power should be addressing. So perhaps Conservative Protestants who claim that Francis does not understand the Gospel should consider whether they are playing the role of the pharisee in the parable of the two men praying.

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June 26

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote about how our nation's founders believed in the principles of the Magna Carta. This appeared in Heidelblog.

But the liberties that the colonists lavished on themselves were shared with neither America's Indigenous people nor slaves. In fact, what liberties one enjoyed depended on economic class, race, and religion. At this point we need to realize that liberties - equality = privilege. And that is what most of our founders believed in: privilege.


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To Dominic Bouck and his blogpost on the end of democracy. This appeared in First Things.

Just as propaganda is defined by who is saying what, the presence of judialocracy is determined by one's disagreement with Court decisions. If we want to know what is destroying democracy, we will soon discover that it is the money spent on the executive and legislative branches that provides the biggest threat to our democracy.

Of course, another threat to our democracy is wearing rose-colored glasses to view our past. In reality, The Constitution was written in response to dissent and rebellion against the practices and policies of America's own elites--this stands in contrast to the Declaration of Independence which was written in response to the practices and policies of British elites. And the jest of The Constitution, when one reads about the historical context in which it was written and documents of that time, is easily understood as a protection of the status quo against which people were protesting. Here we should note that the Bill of Rights was not included in the original version of The Constitution. In fact, because of The Constitution, only 5% of the people were eligible to vote immediately after it became law. If we include the contents of The Constitutional debates with our understanding of The Constitution, we will discover that some key founding fathers opposed democracy and even the voting rights of all people.

When we finally add to the above the fact that The Constitution did not show kindness to people of color, we find that the founding of our nation well less based on law than we would care to admit.

It's the Supreme Court's job to analyze our legislation to determine if it violates The Constitution. That is a part of the structure of our gov't. And it poorly reflects on us when our opposition to the role played by the Supreme Court depends solely on our disagreement with its decisions.


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June 28

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quoting Justice Thomas on religious liberty in the light of the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage. This appeared in Heidelblog.

What is it that is being protested here? The right of those who disagree with the Biblical definition of marriage so that they can engage in same-sex marriage. So when will we discuss the religious liberties of those who disagree with us on same-sex marriage? Or are we the only ones with religious freedom?

BTW, where was Justice Thomas' reference to due process and the Magna Carta when Obama signed the 2012 NDAA. In that law, American citizens can be arrested without due process at the discretion of the President. This provision of that law was written as part of the war on terror.


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June 30

To Bruce Edward Walker and his blogpost about Biblical principles of environmental stewardship. This appeared in the Acton blog.


There are problems here. As in many Conservative Christian approaches to subjects, we've sometimes defined reality before facing it. And thus the facts on the ground challenge our definitions. As a result, sometimes the unbeliever is quicker at recognizing the discrepancies between what exists and our definitions.

For example, has, in Acton's Environmental Stewardship study explicitly stated specific problems that human activities have had on the environment. Has this study talked about the increasing number of dead zones in the ocean due to the ocean's absorption of CO and chemical runoffs from the fertilization and other treatment of farmlands? Has Acton's study included the environmental destruction and increased health risks seen in the Appalachians from the Mountaintop removal of coal? Has Acton's study  included the environmental hazards faced by local residents from the extraction of fossil fuels in Nigeria or the environmental problems that have come with fracking in the U.S.?

What have Acton's studies say about the consumption of fossil fuels and the growing environmental problems caused by such for both the present and the future?

By accusing the Constitution of vying for limited government power, is Acton aware of the context and purpose of The Constitution in that it was written to strengthen the federal government so that it could better respond to dissent and rebellions such what took place in Shays Rebellion? Is the Acton Institute aware of the following statement by Madison about the purpose of government?

They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.

We should note that part of what preceded this statement was an expressed fear of Madison about the possibility of voting being opened to all classes of people in England. Following Madison's convictions here means that only certain elites should have the right to vote.

And, btw, how much of Israel's OT government should we use as a model for our government here when Israel's government was a theocracy constructed for what was for the most part a homogeneous population? And was the gov't of OT Israel as limited as the Acton Institute stated?

And what about democracy and the rule of the people? Such a structure seems to be out of sync with either Israel's OT government--even in the Deuteronomy passages cited and were falsely claimed to support the electing of rulers-- or what was described in the NT?

And what if certain sectors of the private sector keep growing, shouldn't government also grow so that it could keep all from the private sector accountable?

It seems that here, the references to the Scriptures, The Constitution, and limited government are there for appearances and are to be self-congratulatory. This is especially true when we are facing serious problems with the environment and the consolidation of wealth and power seen in the private sector.

 

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