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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, July 20, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For July 20, 2016

Please remember that some of the comments that were blocked and are listed below do have some errors due to the lack of sufficient editing.

July 14

To Bradley Birzer and his blogpost on how the founding of our nation had many parts, some of which were in conflict with each other. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

That we don't look at the founding of America as a singular event and that we don't consider our nation's founding fathers to be a monolithic group are very valid points made in this article. Also the observation that the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists had more in common, Frohnen's observation, than they had in contrast is also an important point made here.

But if we reduce the founding of America to the conflict between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, we would have, however inadvertently, taken a racist view of the founding of our nation. For by reducing our nation's beginning to just the conflicts and agreements that existed between the two groups, we have left out all people of color who were involved in the founding of America. After all, Native Americans were already living here when the first colonists arrived and they not only eventually fought against those who founded America, they assisted them when they first arrived. And  the desire for their land was a key consideration in declaring independence since, at a certain point in time, the British had prohibited further westward expansion. Likewise, the British were growing leery of slavery, both in terms of its trade as well as its use, and it is possible that the colonists sensed that that would eventually become an issue here. But regardless of the validity of that point, our nation's founding greatly benefited, economically speaking only, from the allowing of people owning slaves and counting others as mere property. And yet, Blacks are also left out of the mix when talking about the founding of our nation.

Likewise, we just can't afford to reduce the issues of the creation of our federal government to that of the need for more Federal control and power vs concerns about the overreach of government on the states and the lives of individuals. What was well practiced but not considered to be an issue among the founders was how individuals abused and infringed on the rights of other individuals. And our founding fathers were quite aware of how individuals could infringe on the rights of other individuals because many of them, from both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist camps, owned slaves. And so it should not be surprising that our founding fathers did not put provisions into our Constitution or push for such provisions to be made in the Bill of Rights. The 13th Amendment was the only Amendment that directly protects the rights of individuals from being infringed on by other individuals. And yet, there are so many other ways besides slavery in which individuals could deny other individuals their rights.

In the end, even though there is an admission to messiness in the founding of our nation, that is an admission that our founding had warts, such is used to maintain the pedestals on which authoritarians make use of in talking about our founding. And they do so to prevent what the Federalists wanted to prevent from happening: the adoption of innovations. We should note that innovations were the ideas of those who were not in power just prior to the writing of The Constitution. In the end, The reduction of our nation's founding to the concerns of just the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists has one other flaw. That flaw is that it prohibits us from questioning the self-perceptions of these men regarding what they were trying to accomplish.


July 16

To Joseph Pearce and his blogpost on how imperialism and democracy don’t mix. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

We should note here that not all of our Founding Fathers were not lovers of Democracy. Some actually feared it because it had the power to change the status quo that so benefited them at the time. In fact, articles on this website are not always fond of Democracy as well.

But there should be a revision made to this article. Democracy is not at odds with big government and big government does not have to result in remoteness. If government is charged with protecting the people from their enemies both foreign and domestic, then government's size will be determined by the size and power of the enemies of the people. For here, government is like love in that size doesn't matter, fidelity does. And a government's fidelity often depends on whether the people can compete with the love of money in winning over the affections of their government.

Some think making all of our groups small is the answer to our problems. The problem with this thinking is that it is useless to close the barn door after the horses leave. When society must accommodate as many people as we have, you can't always get associations where there is a small number of people.

Having said all of that, I agree with Pearce's assessment of Britain's Brexit vote. The trouble Britain faced was not that the decision making in Brussels was remote; the problem is that the decision making there is not about people first, it is about wealth. And it is about the consolidation of wealth for an ever decreasing number of people. Greece's periodic debt relief aid packages paired with an increasing number of austerity cuts proved that. I also agree that imperialism and democracy do not mix well. This is a point that has been made by historian Chalmers Johnson a while ago. Though he didn't see the government becoming remote as posing a threat to democracy. Rather, the overhead of our that comes with fulfilling the ambition of those seeking power as well as the love of wealth and power were seen as the enemies of democracy.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost that cites an article from The Federalist which states that our rights come from Natural Law. The article cited states that the Left, by what it promotes especially regarding the redefining of marriage, is denying Natural Law. This appeared in the Acton Blog.

The article from The Federalist from which the quote in the blogpost above comes says that our unprecedented prosperity has come from our leaders' recognition of natural law. That article states that the recognition of unalienable rights was a reference to natural law. And what this natural law does is to provide rights for us by building fences that govern our behavior.

But history tells us that much of our nation's prosperity comes from denying other people their unalienable rights. For the rights spelled our Declaration of Independence were people of color when we ethnically cleansed the land of Native Americans and enslaved Blacks both before and after the Civil War. Their enslavement afterwards was part of our Jim Crow era. And now, Michelle Alexander points to a new Jim Crow era as having dawned on America. And it took a long time before these rights were fully extended to women and some would contend that they have yet to be so fully extended.  But not only that, our leaders have quite often denied people from other nations their unalienable rights through foreign policies that often replaced democracies with tyrannies because the tyrants were enriching our nation's coffers. So when the cited article from The Federalist appeals to natural law, the question becomes: Who is the keeper of natural law?

The article cited by this blogpost complains that when the Left works for the recognition of rights and equality  for the LGBT community, that it is taking down the fences of Natural Law that preserve our rights. So, in other words, natural law is being appealed to by that article as a vehicle for denying some the same rights and equality which are suppose to have come from natural law. So who is the keeper of natural law here? Here we should note that that homosexuality is practiced by animals from 1,500 species and that it brings benefits to those species?

When it comes to sexual issues, natural law has become a vehicle by which the religious views of some have been imposed on the lives of all including those who do not hold to those views. And all of this has been done  while we all are said to support the freedom of religion for people. In reality, when it comes to sexual issues, the appeal to Natural Law, which really does exist, by some conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage is a backdoor attempt to deny some people their freedom of religion. And to ensure that we submit to this effort to impose the religious views of some on all, those claiming to be the keeper of Natural Law assume the role of Chicken Little by saying that all that our nation has worked for and possess will become at risk if we take down the fence provided by their version of Natural Law as it pertains to sex. But History contradicts claims about our past being built on a recognition of Natural Law. So how is it that what we have becomes at risk now because our new sexual mores, supported by the Left,  is denying Natural Law?


To Tyler Groenedal and his blogpost stating that Christians should support markets and Churches rather than the big government of social democracy. This appeared in the Acton Blog.

While this article works to accurately describe Social Democracy and even Socialism, about which it is not entirely accurate, it never backs up its claim that Social Democracy is not the best way to promote human flourishing. Why isn't Social Democracy the best way to promote human flourishing? It is because of its reliance on government regulate things the economy. Rather, the claim made is that problems like poverty and and social issues are best solved by individuals collaborating through free markets and civil society. Thus, this article is rather empty.

At the same time, this article assumes the meaning of certain terms rather than provide definitions for them. For example, what is human flourishing and how do we measure it? What is government and what are the different ways government can interact in society? We should note that most conservative articles that speak against government intervention into entities like the market seem to assume the same meaning for government regardless of whether that government is democratically based or revolves around despots. For a government that is democratically chosen represents the people when working properly. And when that is the case, what is wrong with government intervening in society?

Also, a word must be said about the description of socialism given in this article. Socialism doesn't revolve around state control of things if we look at it from the Marxist tradition. Here we should note that Libertarian Socialism doesn't believe in the state. And the type of governing Lenin employed after the Russian Revolution was not considered to be socialism by a number of his contemporaries. Socialism, from the Marxist tradition, revolves around the control that workers have over the workplace and government. Thus, the existence of a strong centralized government does not imply Socialism because not all such governments give leading roles to workers.

In the end, all the above article provides is some assumed definitions and an unsubstantiated claim. And it seems to be in a long line of conservative articles that oppose a changing of the status quo.


July 18

To R. Scott Clark’s blogpost quote from Star Parker that lamented the belief that laws are no longer based in truth. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

At least the quote is better than the article from which it is taken. It might true that no force or gun-control legislation can helpwhen law is not based in truth; but that doesn't rule out the need for gun-control legislation  for when law is based in truth.

If we are going to really focus on law, then we need to be consistent. We need the principle of universality where what  we permit ourselves to do to others is what we give permission to others to do to us; and what we forbid others from doing to us, we prohibit ourselves to do to others. This principle has been absent from our foreign policies since almost at the time when we first became a nation. And we should note that the approach taken by our government in its foreign polices is becoming more and more the approach that domestic law enforcement is taking to us. That approach is for those in authority to assume impunity for their actions.

I believe it was JFK who said the following:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn101159.html

For the most part, movements like the antiwar protests of 2003, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), and Black Lives Matter(BLM) have been peaceful attempts that call for change for change. However, the response from both society and the state has been minimal at best. Now individuals outside of those groups are taking matters into their own hands and they are doing to the state what the state did to them. And now is the time to quote the old adage 'two wrongs don't make a right.' Perhaps it is time to start listening to those who nonviolently call for change. Not that these groups are without faults, but they do have truths to contribute to the discussion.


July 19

To Kevin DeYoung, Russell Moore, and Tim Keller and their discussion on evangelizing and influencing culture. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

There are two points that need clarification here. The first point concerns how should Christians seek to influence culture. It was said how Christians can accidentally influence culture as they become professionals in certain occupations and then beginning to influence culture by becoming elites or by working with them. But what should a Christian influence on culture look like?

Should Christians' influence on culture result in a new culture look more Christianized? Or should a culture influenced by Christians settle for looking more humane? Should a new culture work to marginalize certain groups of people like the LGBT community as was done in the past? We should note that as Christians do work to influence culture, the more we Christians can celebrate our agreements with nonChristians, the more opportunities we will have to share what the Bible says to them.

The second point has to do with Tim Keller's division between evangelicals and liberals. As I have been involved in nonconservatives causes and protests, I sometimes where clothing that identifies me as  a religiously conservative Christian. And I've had quite a few comments by political nonconservatives stating that they would like to see more people like me protesting joining them in their causes and protests. So there isn't always this sharp divide between political liberals and evangelicals which Keller suggested.

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