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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, April 26, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For April 26, 2017

April 24

To Jim Campbell and his blogpost stating that Christians should support the religious freedom of all. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

The issue here isn't whether Christians should support religious freedom for all, the issue is whether Christians here are supporting religious freedom for all--that is for all whose religion doesn't call on them to steal from or hurt others. And it is clear to see that the opposition to same-sex marriage by many of us religiously conservative Christians indicates that we don't support religious freedom for all.

Another indicator of our opposition to religious freedom for all can be seen in our response to the refugee crisis that stems from the wars in the Middle East. Those who oppose the influx of these refugees because of the either their fear of a possible change in religious demographics in our nation or their religious prejudices and xenophobia do not support the religious freedom of all. Rather, they support a maintenance of a certain demographic status quo.

What should be added to the second paragraph is this: the refugee crisis that has involved Europe and the Americas with allowing refugees and immigrants from the Middle East to enter started with the American invasion of Iraq. A parallelism between that and our problems with illegal immigration from South of the border because many of the illegal immigrants come from nations that saw either US supported regime changes or trade policies. How is it that in the name of maintaining a preferred status quo or demographic edge can we turn away those who come here because of what we have visited on their nations?


April 25

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote of Stella Morabito in Clark’s assessment of political correctness. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

But not only has freedom of speech been under attack, so have certain groups of people like those belonging to minority races, the LGBT community, and even real political leftists--this does not include the Democrats.

In other words, some use their freedom of speech to marginalize others and deny them of enjoying equality in society.
The real problem with political correctness is like the problem of how society embraces new technologies and social media. The problem is that we embrace these things in an all-or-nothing manner. After all, who objects to political correctness when it prohibits people from using the n-word on Blacks or racial slurs for those from other races? Or how many would object to political correctness when it prohibits people from using slurs on the LGBT community? Only those who engage in the same kind of thinking as those who exponentially increase the number of ways we can hurt the feelings of marginalized groups that don't exist. Regarding political correctness, are our only choices that exist are being either a hardcore bigot or an oversensitive snowflake?

It is only in the extreme applications of political correctness where people are robbed of either their equal rights or their freedom of speech. So perhaps we need to apply more wisdom to political correctness before we experience its real value


To Joe Carter and his blogpost on discussing economic equality vs economic fairness. This appeared in the Acton blog.

But what is economic unfairness? And can wealth disparity be indicators of economic unfairness?

As for the first question, is it fair for stockholders to receive preferential treatment over workers? Is it fair to pay at least some of the full-time workers poverty wages and rely on government assistance programs to make those wages survivable in order for stockholders to get higher dividends? And doesn't the concept of treating the stockholders as the only important people make those stockholders very similar to absentee landlords?

Or what about the communities in which manufacturing places or offices are located. They build infrastructure to provide for operation of company workplaces and their workers despite the fact that the location of those workplaces can change in order to increase stockholder dividends?

Or what about the environment and the impact that workplaces have on the environment? What is fair about companies not reducing their environmental impact in order to increase the returns for stockholder? How fair is that for the communities that bear brunt of the environmental impact workplaces have on them?
All this vague talk about economic fairness is only mentioned in the context of economic equality as if that is the only concern economic fairness runs into. There is wealth disparity, which is not the same as economic equality, poverty wages and business's dependence on government assistance, community investments in infrastructure for workplaces which makes communities more dependent on these same workplaces to maintain that infrastructure, and there is the environmental impact that company workplaces have on communities all of which relates directly on economic fairness especially when stockholder interests compete with these concerns.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost praising Walmart for helping the poor. This appeared in the Acton blog.

And yet, one word that seems to escape Carter's description of Walmart is the word 'tradeoff.' For example, the choices for shoppers increased with the introduction of a Walmart into a small town as they would with any town. But what about Walmart's choice of vendors for its own products? Do the workers for Walmart's vendors get paid living wages? How many Walmart vendors offshore at least some of their work? And what about Walmart's workers? We should note that its low wage workers cost the public billions of dollars in public assistance (see https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/#994d091720b7  ). Now the question becomes whether what Walmart paid in taxes fully pays for the pubic assistance that its workers rely on? If not, how is it that Walmart is not cheating the public by paying its low wag workers such low salaries and wages? And what about the mom and pop stores that Walmart drives out of business in more populated areas?

All too often cases are made by filtering the evidence. In this case, the only data looked at to consider Walmart's worth was that which made Walmart look good. However, in the business world, no product or, in this case, company, comes without tradeoffs. So why is it that Carter did not bring up the tradeoffs that occur with the operation of Walmart stores?


To Joseph Mussomeli and his blogpost on whether Russia is enemy or a friend. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

This article started strongly. It attempted to balance the polar views of Russia. It also mentioned how Russia is not alone in some of its deeds. But then something went adrift. That something was the defense of America's moral superiority to Russia.

We should note that insisting on the moral superiority of America despite its faults still allows us to adopt the role of the pharisee from Jesus's parable of the two men praying. But it does so with a twist. For while the pharisee from the parable proclaimed his own righteousness in absolute terms, insisting on America's moral superiority to Russia while admitting to having our own flaws is to play the role of the pharisee only in relative terms. "Compared to Russia, we are righteous" is the sentiment expressed here. Such a sentiment allows us to minimize our own faults by sweeping them under the carpet of a bigger sinner than us.

As for Russia, it has a history of changing the facade of its authoritarianism. The Tsars were followed by Lenin and Stalin. And while Gorbachev started to reduce the government's use of authoritarianism, Yeltsin and Putin reestablished that authoritarianism. In the US, we have built our society on the model that comes from the Hunger Games movie series. We have the Capitol being served by the districts. And we prefer to judge our nation by looking at the Capitol only. But that means that for those from the districts to claim any significance, they must do so vicariously by pointing to the Capitol. For example, how many times have conservatives defended the pre-Obamacare healthcare in our nation by pointing out that people from other nations come to America in order to be treated for serious illnesses without mentioning that most of those who come here for that purpose are wealthy? What those same conservatives did not point out were the outcomes for many not so well off Americans or that healthcare costs was the number 1 reason for personal bankruptcy.

We should also note what was not mentioned in the above article was when the US was entertaining the idea of introducing missile defense bases in nations that bordered Russia, several high Russian military officials threatened the introduction of such bases with the use of tactical nuclear weapons. We should note something else that the above article doesn't: that the introduction of our missile defense bases posed a significant threat to Russia's nuclear deterrence.

The point being that there is too much evil on both sides to want to claim who is morally superior. When there is enough evil on both sides, it is imperative for the people on each side to take the evils of their own nation seriously by trying to eliminate them instead of minimizing those evils by pointing fingers at other nations.


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