WHAT'S NEW

About
My Other Blog
Blog Schedule
Activism
Past Blog Posts
Various &
a Sundry Blogs
Favorite
Websites
My Stuff
On The Web
Audio-Visual
Library
Favorite
Articles
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

SEARCH THIS BLOG

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For March 23, 2016

March 16

To Scott Sauls and his blogpost about the nonpartisan politics of Jesus. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.


I want to pick at one statement made in the article:

We should feel “at home” with people who share our faith but not our politics even more than we do with people who share our politics but not our faith. If this isn’t our experience, then we may be rendering to Caesar what belongs to God.

The statement should be far more nuanced than it is. Why? It is because sometimes it is more than evident that one's political values contradict the Christian faith while, because of Common Grace, the political values of nonbelievers can be more in line with the Christian faith. Political values on war and militarism, economics and poverty, and Civil Rights should be highly influenced by the Scriptures for all Christians. That doesn't mean that they will agree on the analysis and implementation of problems. It does mean that Christians who too easily support wars, exploitive economic and political systems, and believe that people's rights in society depends on which groups they belong to are usually not letting the Scriptures adequately influence their political values.

One other thought. The title reminded me of when I first read Noam Chomsky. Why? It is because what I first observed about his writings is that all groups and nations should be judged by the same standard, or at least by the standards they judge others by. We could call this approach politics without borders.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

March 18

To Daniel Mahoney and his blogpost that questions our commitment to Democracy when such can change the country’s commitment to traditional values. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

There are several things to say here. First, the Founding Fathers are portrayed as a monolith and they weren't. Second, they put on a pedestal they do not deserve. It is clear from history and strongly indicated by the words of The Constitution itself that this document was written to preserve the status quo despite widespread dissent in troubling economic time and Shays Rebellion. In addition, many of the Founding Fathers were slaveowners who had an eye toward westward expansion despite what that meant to the Native Americans.

If we look at Tocqueville, it is clear that he had elements of racism in his writings as seen in what he wrote about Native Americans, Blacks, and the supremacy of British culture.He is often quoted as an authority whose words are not to be questioned. But for what reason?

Also, while conservatives point to losses in the "culture wars," what is really driving this nation asunder is its growing wealth and power disparity. Wealth disparity continues to increase as seen in the identity of those who benefited most from the economic recovery while some have reclassified the US as being an oligarchy rather than a democracy (see http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746 ) because of the increasing power disparity that those with wealth have over the government in contrast to the power that can be exercised by the rest of us. We should note that growing wealth and power disparities prove that we are not suffering from any kind of extreme egalitarianism. We should also note that those who manage this oligarchy as well as most, if not all, others in the power structure of our nation were raised in far more traditional settings than what exists today.

So other than trying to ind an apologetic for supporting a Conservative Christian/Catholic ethnocracy in America, what is the purpose of this article? BTW, the term 'ethnocracy' comes from Israeli activist Jeff Halper. It is used to describe a nation where democratic processes are used by some ethos in the nation to gain a privileged ruling role over the rest of the people.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Denny Burk and his blogpost encouraging people to never vote for Trump even if he wins the Republican nomination. This appeared in Denny Burk’s blog

The reason why we are where we're at is because the Republican Party has used the abortion issue as a voting straight jacket for religiously conservative Christians. So now that there is a real potential for viable alternatives to the eventual Republican nominee, there are none to be found.

In addition, though everything written above about Trump is true, it misses the point. If you want to stop Trump in the primaries, you must make Trump supporters your main audience. And to do so one must focus less on ideology and more on the legitimate discontentment that is driving Trump's anti-establishment campaign. For unless holes can be made in the anti-establishment support he is receiving, there is a significant possibility that he will become the Republican nominee. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To William Smith and his blogpost that supports the establishment in contrast to supporting either Cruz or Trump. This appeared in the Just A Curmudgeon website.

The problem with the above praise of the establishment is that it doesn't distinguish establishments that promote justice and help those in need from establishments that are tyrannical. The real problem that the Republican Party has right now it that its members are being asked to  choose between the truth about the establishment as told by a dangerous candidate and the same old, same old. BTW, I don't consider a candidate who has ties to Goldman Sachs and who will continue American Imperialism as anti-establishment. As for his relationships with other Republicans, we could easily say that Cruz is just socially impaired.

At some point, the Republican Party will have to offer acceptable anti-Establishment alternatives to the current anti-establishment candidate. That will include an admission that the Establishment has failed the people. In addition, conservatives will have acknowledge that the "culture wars" were nothing more than a diversion to distract us from the performance of the establishment.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Rosaria Butterfield and her short video on what Christians don’t understand about those in the LGBT community. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website

I think the following about the three points she made about LGBT folks.

1.  People are people: this is true. We should note that not only do those from the LGBT community face the same issues and perform the same tasks as we do, they have contributed to our lives as individuals and by their contributions to society. Thus we need to think about how we should rethink how we should share society with them. Should we share society as equals or as wanting to stand over them telling them what they can do. I, myself, prefer the first option.

In addition, people have multiple identities, not just one. Yes, the identity that Rosaria gives is the overarching identity for all of us, but that doesn't prohibit us from having other identities.

2.   When thinking about the sins of others, remember the parable of the two men praying. The result of remembering that parable is that we will understand how we stand in equal need for God's mercy and grace as our neighbor does regardless of our neighbor's sins.

3.   We should not only share our Christian worldview, we need to expend more energy to listen to the worldviews of others. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

March 21

To Bruce Frohnen and his blogpost criticizing the notion that our nation is responsible for the terrorist attacks others have visited on us. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

One of the problems with the article above is the title. The problem is in the word 'all.' Would the title be true and thus the article be revised if we substituted the word 'partly' for the word 'all'? After all, sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of children and a brutal occupation that has decimated a people are no small matters and understandably can cause anger in those who have ties to the victims.

The second problem is consistency. If we don't want our nation to accept any blame for the terrorist attacks  on because of our policies, then do we allow others to blame us only for our interventions in other countries? For who is to blame for the first 9-11 attack, that is the military coup that overthrew a democratically elected leader of Chile only to replace him with a military tyrant. That occurred on 9-11-73. Of course there are other interventions to question as well like the coups in Iran ('53) and Guatemala ('54) that saw the replacing of democratically elected leaders with tyrants. Or what about the rule of the military junta in Greece in 1967? Or what about our war in Vietnam? Who is to blame for that if we put all of the blame for the 9-11-2001 attacks on the terrorists?

Finally, we should note that the negation or opposite of moral equivalence is moral relativity. That is because the rejection of moral equivalence is to give oneself permission to do unto others what one condemns others for doing to oneself.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Marc Vander Maas and his blogpost consisting of an interview with Joe Carter who alleged that Donald Trump was a ‘folk Marxist.’  This appeared in the Acton blog.

It seems to me that Carter is as confused on Trump as he is on Marxism. As a result, Marxism, or 'folk Marxism,' becomes a way of making Marxism a pejorative and by associating that with Trump, he hopes to kill two birds with one stone. In addition, he also hopes to discredit the notion that the upper class ever tries to suprress the lower class.

Is Trump tapping into class warfare sentiments? Absolutely not. For if he did, he couldn't run as a Republican candidate. Rather, Trump is tapping into big government resentment and his challenge all along has been that of blaming gov't for our woes today. Se he promises his supporters that he is going to put in competent people in the gov't; he is not promising to tear down the upper class. In fact, he alleges that an incompetent government has caused businesses to hurt the lower classes in order to survive the real world. Since Trump is targeting gov't with his critiques, he is not targeting the private sector elites, known as the 'bourgeoisie'  Thus, in Marxist circles, he couldn't be adequately accused of being a Marxist in any sense of the term.

Second, Marxists not only want to bring down the current system, they have replacements in mind. Before Lenin hijacked the Russian Revolution, Socialists wanted either the Russian Constituent Assembly or they wanted the soviets to take the place of the Provisional government--the government that replaced the Tsar in the February, 1917 Revolution. In the Paris Commune and the Spanish Revolution, councils of workers and soldiers replaced their respective governments. What Marxists of all shades want is not just to tear down the system, they want to replace the current system with a stronger worker presence in both the leadership of businesses as well as the government. While the tired Conservative mantra of equating big government with socialism is manipulatively repeated, the Marxist notion is that it isn't the size of the government that is the issue, it is the identity of those running the government that is the issue. And for Marxists, the identity of those in charge of the government must be workers rather than the owners.

Third, one has to wonder if in his fast and loose use of labels, Carter is trying to defend the class rule of the private sector elites by trying to deny it exists. One indicator that we have class rule can be seen in the volatility of working and even middle class jobs and the stagnation of wages. The volatility of jobs is due both to the offshoring of work to nations some of which allow the use of sweatshop, trafficked, or virtual slave labor and the pace of the increase in the use of technology to replace workers. In fact, we have instances of trafficked and slave labor existing here in America such as in the agriculture sector where some of the people who harvest our crops. We also have sweatshop labor in textile industry in this nation. 

Another indicator that we have a class struggle/war going on has to do with the state of our democracy. According to one study, we no longer have a democracy since the opinions of the people have little to no effect on decisions and policies made by our government (see http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746 ). Rather, the only opinions that matter to our elected officials according to this study are the opinions of the upper class.

So it would be enlightening to see the research Carter conducted and the sources he drew on for the interview he gave.





No comments: