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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For August 17, 2016

Aug 3

To Barry Corey and his blogpost that tried to explain why he and some religiously conservative colleges and individuals are opposing a California state bill that would protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation by institutions that receive state assistance.This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

I understand why some in California are fighting against a state bill that would force religiously conservative colleges into accepting certain behaviors by its employees and students that violate Christian morals and the Scriptures. I understand and agree with their opposition to the new law. However, I am not sure if people like Barry Corey fully understand what they are fighting against. That is because part of what they are fighting against is a pendulum swing. When the pendulum was going the other way, there was no concern expressed by religious conservatives about the religious freedom of those who believed differently about same-sex marriage, homosexual rights at the work place. There was no concern for the religious liberties of what would become the LGBT community especially when homosexual acts were counted as crimes. Likewise, there is no concern for the religious liberties of those who believe homosexuality is accepted by God in those states that are or are currently trying to  pass anti-LGBT laws--the reverse in the pendulum swing hasn't hit those states yet.

And as people like Barry Corey do not fully understand what they are fighting against, neither do those who are pushing the pendulum the other way understand what Barry Corey et. al. are fighting for when they make their case. And unless us religious conservatives acknowledge how wrong it was to push the pendulum in the other direction, it will be difficult for those in charge of the current direction of the pendulum to recognize how wrong they can be as they currently push the pendulum.

Should be noted that there is an immediate solution here for schools like BIOLA. It could refuse to receive state assistance. This appears to be one of the focal points of the bill. That if an institution receives state assistance, the state gets to set some parameters regarding its operation.

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Aug 4

To Joseph Pearce and his blogpost containing his analysis of Vladimir Putin. This appeared on the Imaginative Conservative blog.

When comparing Putin to Russia's past, the more appropriate comparison would be to the Tsars rather than the Soviet premiers. We should note that Russia had empire that had swallowed many of the nations that were part of the Soviet Empire prior to the emergence of the Soviet Union. We should also note that the kleptocracy that preceded Putin occurred during the reign of the Western favored leader, Boris Yeltsin. And we should note that Yeltsin used to the military to dissolve the Russian Parliament while he was pushing his neoliberal Capitalist agenda. And if you want to excuse some of Putin's approach and performance because of what he inherited, then the same should be done for Lenin and I am saying this as someone who has great disdain for Lenin and his government.

We should keep in mind the alleged connections between Putin and certain assassinations such as that of Anna Politkovskaya and a number of other journalists. And we should note his brutal policies in Chechnya when evaluating him. The Left has problems with Putin in other areas besides the Orthodox Church favored antagonism against the LGBT community. There is no leftist traits in Putin's rule and any alleged similarities between Putin and the Left because of the use of "big government" is based on a flawed definition of the Left and Socialism as well as a failure to recognize that since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has more-less a Capitalist economic system. Putin's initial relationship with the Oligarchs resembled the Roman Church's relationship with Germany's Nazi government as spelled out in the 1933 Konkordat. The oligarchs were free to conduct business as they wanted as long as they did not venture off into politics. A number of things did change and one was the fear that Russian energy companies were being sold out to foreign and multinational corporations. This was an affront to Russia's and Putin's nationalism. So the state bought controlling interests in these companies.

The above takes us to Russia's newest initiative to reprivatize its energy companies and guess who is in line to help seal the privatization deal? The move to sell has to do with the slumping price of oil and concerns over the state budget. Finally, we should understand the emphasis on nationalism and the tight connection between the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church that paints Russia as a picture of what some religiously Conservative Christians want America to be only with the conservative Church taking the Orthodox Church's place as having the ear of the government. So the analysis of Putin given in this article on the Imaginative Conservative website is understandable.


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August 11

To Joe Carter and his blogpost that discussed on the impact that technology has on employment. This appeared in the Acton blog.

This article, along with the article it cites, are inadequate in their references to both the negative impact of technology and the reasons for losses in certain kinds of jobs. Unimployment is not the only negative impact that the new technology causes. Difficulties in relating to both others and ourselves as well as fewer opportunities to develop some logical skills have been negative impacts of technology observed by Sherry Turkle, s sociologist atMIT. She writes about this in her books Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together. And these problems are not brought about by technology per se, but by the uncritical embracing of each new technology.

As for the lost of manufacturing jobs, technology is not the only culprit. The offshoring of jobs in order maximize profits is probably as big a reason for the drop in manufacturing jobs here as technology is. And these jobs are often shipped overseas to places where labor and environmental regulations are less stringent to the point that both workers and the envirionment are often exploited.

So why shortchange the discussion on both technology and the causes for unemployment? 


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To Joe Carter and his blogpost on annoncing the coming review of non major party candidates and parties. This blogpost's subject is the Libertarian Party. This appeared in the Acton blog.

This is a welcomed post because by shedding light on third parties, it is encouraging more voter independence.

At the same time, a basic tenet of the Libertarian Party must be challenged. That tenet is to take an almost all-or-nothing approach to individual liberty. It not quite all-or-nothing becaue it recognizes how one can't use their individual liberty to 'forcibly' infringe on the rights of others. However, there are ways in which individuals can infringe on the rights of others without resorting to force.

At the very beginning of the Liberatarian Platform is the following statement  (see https://www.lp.org/platform ).:


We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

What is missed is the ability to recognize a cult of the individual. This is especially true in a society and world where there is an ever growing interdependence. But what is also missed with its emphasis on the individual and their liberty is another kind of freedom. That other kind of freedom is a group freedom. It is the freedom of the group to determine the laws that will instruct us on how we are allowed to treat each other. In our country, such a group freedom is called Democracy. And when a democracy is properly functioning, the power of individuals is limited by the decisions of the group--that is society. And there must be a balance between individual liberty and democracy lest either one oversteps its bounds. We should note here that there are some who write for the Acton blog who, in previous correspondence with myself, have denied the existence of this group freedom.

Finally, to show how the basic tenets of the Libertarian Party takes too many absolute and inflexible positions, note the following line:


We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution.

We should ask libertarians if the above platform line of theirs requires the Gov't to abolish the FAA. For if it does, we have a mess with potentially deadly consequences.  But if not, then why is the IRS being abolished too? For won;t we have a government and national economic mess without those who collect taxes.

In short, the Libertarian Party's flaw is not wrong in its beliefs in liberty. Its flaw is its near all-or-nothing approach to individual liberty that blinds the party from both recognizing the group freedom that comes with democracy as well as being flexible enough in its approach to The Constitution so that it can be applied to the ever changing world rather than pretending that the world must always be seen as being too simplistic for us to have to keep adjusting to an ever changing set of affairs. However, such is my interpretation the Libertarian Party and its Platform and people who care about America should read the whole Libertarian Platform as well as the platforms of other third parties for themselves.


https://www.lp.org/platform 

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To Joseph Sunde his blogpost and its video on how job of flipping hamburgers can glorify God. This appeared in the Acton blog.

We might ask if it glorifies God to pay those who flip hamburgers poverty wages especially when we consider the changing demogrpahics that such jobs have undergone. Those demographics show that jobs such as flipping hamburgers are no longer kids' jobs because of the lack of other economic opportunities that exist.
 

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August 14

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote that tries to distinguish Christianity from the American optimism of people like Norman Vincent Peale. This appeared in Heidelblog

What we also need is to distinguish Christianity from any American conservative political ideology. That does not mean that there are no elements in that conservative political ideology that are valid. Rather, what it does mean is that Christianity or Christian politics cannot be identified with that conservative political ideology so that there are Biblically supported tenets from political liberalism and leftist political ideology that have biblical support.


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