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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, June 7, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For June 7, 2017

June 5

To Allen Porter Mendenhall whose blogpost discuss whether President Trump endangers the rule of law within our nation. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

Seems like, to some, progressives and the left have a monopoly on the vices that threaten our nation. We should note that, as the article stated above, the rule of law is not fully enforced here. Take insider trading and Congress for example. Members of the House and Senate can call brokers to make trades on information that is not public (see https://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2011/06/01/insider-trading-rules-that-dont-apply-to-congress/#8c9e48c6167e  ). And this can occur as many times as possible. So while regular citizens and those working in the financial industry are subject to one set of laws, our elected officials are not.

But the  biggest breach is in international law where the US relies on the opposite of the rule of law in order to get its way. On the foreign scene, the opposite of the rule of law is the rule of force. And that has been a major part of US foreign policies for a very long time. Smedley Butler wrote about the American use of force to help American financial interests (see https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html  ). America would not tolerate that kind of use of force on itself, but it did inflict force on others to get its economic way.
Or we could talk about post WW II when we actually have a number of internationally accepted set of rules (Geneva Conventions, UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles) and even a World Court decision against the US in the case of its intervention in Nicaragua. In terms of foreign policies, the US does what it wants to when it can but holds other nations accountable they try to do the same.

Chalmers Johnson wrote that nations cannot keep a republic while maintaining an empire. He cited two examples showing this rule. Rome sacrificed its republic in order to maintain its empire while Great Britain did the opposite. Now it is America's turn to decide. And what we are seeing is a losing of our republic in order to maintain an empire much for the sake of our "national" (a.k.a., business) interests. It should not be a surprise that we don't operate by the rule of law. The real difference between Trump and previous presidents is that Trump shows no appearance of appreciation for the rule of the law and therefore the is the President who shows the least, if any, subtlety when exercising what is called above 'the rule of man,' which is reality the rule of force.


June 6

To Rev Ben Johnson and his blogpost on how redistributing the debt in the EU is not only bad economics, but leads to ‘moral problems.’ This appeared in the Acton blog.

Unfortunately, Rev Johnson paints an inadequate picture of Greece's economic problems and debt. It's not that Greece did not make mistakes before the economic collapse of 2008, but that collapse put Greece in a hole that started its current downward spiral. The bailouts for Greece, for the most part, never see Greece or its people. Rather, the bailouts are destined for Greece's lenders and the conditions for the bailouts, ever increasing austerity measures, hurt the economy so that Greece less and less able to recover. The IMF itself has concluded that Greece's austerity measures have hurt its economy (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/10/12/imf-austerity-is-much-worse-for-the-economy-than-we-thought/?utm_term=.28898f0c4f3a ).  One reason why austerity measures can hurt the economy is because fewer people have money to spend for goods and services.

Currently the global economy adheres to a Neoliberal Capitalist economic system. Under that system, not only has wealth disparity continued to grow in many nations, the wealth disparity between nations continues to grow. Of course the "only" option offered in place of the current global economy is a nationalist option. That is one of the reasons why Trump won the election, he offered a nationalist solution. However, his "nationalism" shared a major trait with the Neoliberal global economy: it featured elite-centered rule rather than democratic rule. Thus, Trump's "nationalist" approach is not really nationalist because not everyone in the the nation is included in the decision making and thus his economic approach is not designed to benefit the whole nation.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost quote of an Acton commentary on De Vos and a new model for public education. This appeared in the Acton blog

The problem with the above is that school choice exists without vouchers. To  say that one cannot be without the other is a marketing ploy. If applied to college, the school choice logic would demand that students going to more expensive schools than state schools be given enough state aid so that these students can choose the college of their choice. But such is not the case so why would we call vouchers "school choice" when applied to public education?

De Vos is not a reformer of public education. A reformer would change the public education system. By drawing funds from public schools, some of which are already strapped, De Vos shows herself to be an enemy of public education. For the way to destroy a publicly funded institution is to under fund it so that it no longer works. And yes, public schools do suffer significant problems. But a significant number of those problems lie outside of the influence of public schools.

What "school choice" is about is a transfer of public funds meant for public education to religious, especially Christian, institutions so that the government is sponsoring religious education. Such could destroy some public school districts leaving  kids without the opportunity for a serious education because charter and religious schools will  not be able to pick up the slack if a whole school district goes down. And an additional issue becomes will those charter and religious schools that receive public funds be held accountable to the same regulations that public schools are held to?


To Russell Moore and his blogpost on how the Church should respond to the Transgender Revolution. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

There are some weaknesses with the article above. One is the inconsistency in declaring that each person is a human who has a purpose. That message is repeatedly transmitted to the LGBT community but not to the business community that looks on its employees, especially those who have lower paying jobs, as disposable objects of profit. Many job situations are highly volatile where people can be displaced by either offshoring or replacement by technology. And as this occurs, the job market for low skill jobs in retail and food service becomes flooded thus keeping the pay for those who work in these sectors low. Some victims of offshoring have even been directed to train their replacements. In the meantime, some recipients of jobs that were offshored work in sweatshops or as slaves with the justification that they are being paid more now than before they received their jobs. Where is Russell's Gospel message to our economic system and those who look at employees as being disposable?

Other than that, we need to distinguish the Church's message to those who are transgendered from the state's message. After all, the Church is a voluntary organization that has rules more stringent than the state's rules because not the Church is not for everyone in society. So as long as we don't make the Church's message to the LGBT community the state's message, then much of what Russell says above has much validity.
But that is much of what he said. What should the Church do with those married couples who voluntarily choose not to have children? Should they be disciplined and possibly excommunicated because they have chosen not to have children and the Church teaches that raising children goes with marriage? Or should the Church deny those who cannot reproduce the right to enter into marriage?

I think that instead of castigating everything about the Sexual Revolution, we should pick our battles. Again, in criticizing the Sexual Revolution, we should note that what the Church can say is not necessarily what the state should say. And we also should note the valid concerns that the Sexual Revolution tried to address. In addition, we should note that during the time of the Sexual Revolution, the Church in America was divided on whether it should have supported the Civil Rights Movement and, for the most part, supported the immoral war against Vietnam. The Church, that is the predominant parts of the Church in America, like its ancestors in the pre-revolutionary times of France, Russia, and Spain supported wealth and the establishment regardless of the exploitation and oppression practiced by those respective establishments during those times

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