My Other Blog
Blog Schedule
Past Blog Posts
Various &
a Sundry Blogs
My Stuff
On The Web
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 14, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For June 14, 2017

June 10

To Joe Carter and his blogpost accusing Senators Sanders and Van Hollen of being ignorantly intolerant of orthodox Christian beliefs when they accused Russell Vought of being intolerant for expressing the belief that Jesus is the only way to God. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Yes, Sanders and Van Hollen exhibit an ignorance of basic Christian doctrine in their statements against Vought. So does the ACLU. But didn't Vought display intolerance and the same regarding Larycia Hawkins when he suggested that Hawkins, a Christian, did not have a 'prayerful and faithful relationship' with God? After all, Hawkins was explicitly clear in saying that whether one can say if Muslims worship the same God depends on the context of the statement. And yet, most Christians ignored the distinctions and contexts of which Hawkins spoke. After all, in one context, Hawking said something very orthodox regarding the faith and her other statements, because of the context of her statements, did not contradict the statements she made that was orthodox.

We might also look at acts of intolerance religiously conservative Christians have associated with Christianity by the stands they have taken. In particular, many of us religiously conservative Christians have shown intolerance for refugees, despite the fact that it is America's foreign policies that have caused the refugee crisis, and  the LGBT community. The intolerance for the latter was shown by opposing same-sex marriage in society. So now, why shouldn't Sanders and Van Hollen see intolerance in Vought's statements? Yes, we know that Vought was theologically correct in saying that Jesus is the only way to God--though his statement failed to observe that Hawkins agreed with him on that point because he failed to see the distinctions she was making. But having associated other Christian beliefs with intolerance means that belief in Jesus as the only way to God will be viewed with suspicion and greater vigilance than normal.

Yes, we religiously conservative Christians have been exhibiting intolerance toward others in some of the practices and beliefs we have been practicing and promoting. So should we be surprised by the views  Sanders and Van Hollen exhibited in their judgments on Vought?


June 13

To Joe Carter and his blogpost supporting Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords and how it is human creativity, rather than government agencies, that can help us produce a cleaner environment. This appeared in the Acton blog.

By itself, Trump's withdraw from the Paris Accords is ambiguous. But along with his dismantling of regulations, including environmental regulations, and his tax cuts, the purpose of his withdrawing from the Accords becomes more and more obvious. Add to that his mistake in using a MIT study on the environmental impact of the Paris Accords in his speech(see [sent invalid link]), his intentions are clearer and clearer. Businesses are not to be hampered or constrained by regulations meant to protect the environment in their search for increased profits.

But something should also be said about the title of the article above. For it presents a false dichotomy between employing human creativity and technocrats. Aren't the technocrats those from agencies like the EPA whose study of the environment produce regulations? And without the regulations, who says that the human creativity involved will be directed toward reducing a business's environmental impact especially where ever increasing profits for shareholders trump most, if not all, other concerns?

It's not that government agencies like the EPA  don't commit errors when producing regulations. But it is that the government can provide a buffer between the people and the business world where government can represent the concerns of the people to the business world. Ideally that is how it is suppose to work. But in today's society where everybody, both big business and the little individual, is on the take, we find that those with the most wealth get the most representation by the government and the rest of us have to live with that.


To Donald Devine and his blogpost discussing the ideological splits in Conservatism partially caused by Trump’e election and Presidency. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

Three points here. First, it seems that in an effort to categorize all of the ideologies that could be associated with conservatism, Devine overlooks a group of neverTrumpers. That group consists of those who, for personal and moral reasons, found themselves opposing Trump. For them, character mattered more than any pretense to a conservative ideology.

Likewise, some who voted Trump because they were voting against the person of Hillary are also overlooked. It isn't just the promise to help that swayed their votes, it was, again, the character of a candidate whom they could not trust.

The short of it is that some who found either candidate too personally objectionable were leery of associating their ideology with character flaws. And so they vote for the other candidate.

Second, the conservative attack on entitlement programs are not very honest. They don't talk about the lack of economic opportunities that some on entitlements face. For example, they don't talk about how gov't assistance programs subsidize corporate payrolls because of the poverty wages being paid by those corporations for certain jobs. In addition, while conflating all entitlement programs together in order to say that we can't afford these, we forget that two entitlement programs are financially self-funded. And both are threatened by corporate interests. Social Security for example is totally self-funded and the only risk it faces is due to the fact that it is the largest holder of federal debt--it even holds more of our federal debt than the Chinese. Since some of this debt was used to pay for unfunded wars where the use of private contractors spiked as well as the use of goods and services from the Military Industrial complex, what we are seeing is the transfer of public funds into private coffers.

Medicare is also self-funded however it is, by law, prohibited from negotiating for lower pharmaceutical prices. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry also gains unnecessary profits at the expense of public funds.

In addition, by longing for the days that preceded the New Deal, one is pining for the conditions that led to the Stock Market collapse of 1929 and the subsequent depression. We should note that the economic collapse of 2008 saw either a prohibiting of regulations that would oversee new financial products or a lack of enforcement of existing regulations. In the end, the bailout given to the financial sector also saw a transfer of public funds to private coffers.

Finally, the assumption made by Conservatives who want to limit government is that government will be run by elites. And thus, to restrict the power of elites, government must be restricted because one cannot guarantee that the right elites will be in power after any given election. And there are liberals who also make the same assumption except that they don't believe in limited government. The condition that allows a democratic nation to be run by elites is that the populace must embrace a passive authoritarianism. This authoritarianism not only promotes loyalty and obedience to elites, it sustains divisions by groups who adhere to different elites.

Now if we, the people, could see our way clear of this passive authoritarianism, both conservatives and nonconservatives would benefit by gaining a measure of independence for the two corporate major political parties: the Republican and Democratic Parties. In addition, if we could free ourselves from this authoritarianism, instead of placing too much reliance on elites, we could see a more participatory political system. And such would ease the need to restrict the power of government lest the wrong group of elites take power.


To Joseph Sunde and his blogpost claiming that free trade is fair trade. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Free Trade is fair trade for those who benefit the most. But what about those who don't?

Proponents of free trade forget that the United States, with all of its emphasis on freedom by the founding fathers, did not practice free trade at first. Rather, protectionism was employed to allow for American industries to start and become competitive. Without that protectionism, our nation would not have developed its industries either as fast or as far as it did.

Those who would force free trade on undeveloped nations are not promoting fair trade. They are not allowing nations to develop past their current capabilities. Rather, they are 'kicking away the ladder' that allowed their own nation to develop its industries. And by doing so, they are, at least in part,  promoting an economic caste system on undeveloped nations. Undeveloped nations need to use protectionist measures that would allow desired industries to get off the ground, succeed, and then become competitive with their counterparts from the more developed nations.

And it isn't just the undeveloped nations that could benefit from protectionism. Nations that want to revive dead industries because such industries gives balance to their economic portfolio should also be free to employ protectionism.

In the end, it is not the case that either free trade or protectionism are always right or wrong. It is the case that depending on the economic needs and goals of a given nation, both free trade and protectionism have their roles to play in helping a nation develop and sustain a healthy economy. To force free trade on a nation, especially an undeveloped nation, makes that free trade neither free nor fair. After all, is kicking away the ladder fair?

No comments: