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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, January 3, 2018

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For January 3, 2018

Dec 29

To Rev Ben Johnson and his blogpost on how an economic principle could restore civil discourse. This appeared in Acton blog.

A significant part of the unfounded confidence in one's own views or the views of one's groups and the rising intolerance for the views of others comes from authoritarianism. The source of authoritarianism can come from cultural values as well as tribalism--we should note that tribalism is nothing more that group authoritarianism. We should note the following about authoritarianism:

1. Truth depends more on the credentials of the source than the facts and logic employed by the source.

2. Hostility and aggression toward those who question one's traditions and authority figures are natural reactions

3. The perception that the world is a bipolar place consisting of us vs tehm. Thus, truth, and the world, is very simple and black-white thinking is common.

The first studies of authoritarianism were prejudiced toward conservatives by listing conservative overreactions to other views as the list of traits for authoritarianism. This has changed because of the obvious existence of authoritarianism in non-conservative circles. We should note that religiously conservative Christianity tends to inadvertently promote an authoritarian culture for its adherents. And certainly, religiously conservative Christianity isn't the only religion/ideology that does so. As mentioned before, tribalism also incorporates authoritarianism. That is because the strong group loyalty that defines tribalism promotes authoritarian reactions to internal and external challenges to one's own group

The only way economics can help overcome this authoritarian-driven overconfidence in one's own view and hostility to the views of others is when hybrid economic systems are developed. For without hybrid economic systems, economic ideological tribalism reigns and incorporates the thinking that Martin Luther King Jr. attributed to the West in his speech against the Vietnam War (see http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm ):

The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

If we replace the word 'Western' with a fill-in-the-blank,' we can see how far reaching King's statement becomes even in addressing the subject of the above article. The question becomes for us religiously conservative Christians is this: Can we put aside some of our misinformed religious beliefs about the world in order to learn from others?


To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost on the similarities between defending slavery in the old South and defending abortion on demand. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

I don't see the degree of connection between defenders of a woman's right to an elective abortion and slavery that Clark does, but the denial of the humanity of slaves and the unborn child is a definite connection.
One has to wonder whether  the denial of the humanity of the child has to do with attempts to correct another abusive relationship: the dominance of men over women in society. And in the desire to eliminate all such domination, denying the humanity of the unborn child became necessary for some, not all, to eliminate all such dominance. This might be similar to some Zionists who deny equality for Palestinians because their Zionism is a correction for Anti-Semitism such as that which occurred during the Holocaust and those who oppose Israel's brutal occupation against the Palestinians who are tempted to deny the Holocaust because of how it has been used to excuse the oppression that occupation has caused. Here, both truth and people become collateral damage from attempts to correct the oppression and exploitation  of other people.

Thus, if we who oppose a woman's right to an elective abortion want to influence others, not only do we have to speak out for the unborn, we have to speak out for women who have been dominated by men either by individuals or through systems that run society.


To Viktor Orbán, who is the Prime Minister of Hungary, and his Christmas speech article that defends his nation’s treatment of refugees who were fleeing from the Mediterranean. Here we should note that the refugee crisis which has seen hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of refugees descend upon Europe was initially caused by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative Blog.

Christianity is a culture and civilization? And the commandment to love one's enemies involves a commandment to love oneself? Here we should note here that the Greek version of the whole statement does not command us to love ourselves. Rather, it assumes that love of self is a starting point. In addition, loving oneself is, by the Scriptures, contrasted with trusting God to take care of us. And then we are not to mix with people from other cultures lest we lose Christianity despite the fact that the Great Commission requires the Church to go out to the whole world to make disciples for Jesus? And what about the many Europeans who are not Christians? Are such people true Europeans? If not, are they a threat to Europe?
This article by Victor Orbán is a ruse for Christians to feel both free and obligated to lord it over others in society to the point of promoting discrimination and oppression against others. This article is really written as apologetic for Hungary's sometimes barbaric treatment of refugees whose plight was the result of their own doing. If Christianity is a culture and a civilization, as Orbán claims, then, since it also stresses salvation for the individual, is everyone who lives in a Christian culture and civilization saved? And does acknowledging that we Christians are not perfect really explain the centuries of religious wars within Europe, the almost 2 millennia of Anti-Semitism, along with European imperialism and colonialism that included Europeans lording it over those in far away land along with practicing ethnic cleansing?

We fulfill the Great Commission by preaching not commanding. We are called to serve others rather than presuming to be their masters. This message by Orbán is like a tick bearing Lyme disease. Only the malady being spread here is just another form of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is a disease that can easily result as a conservative Christianity subculture--note here that different forms of Christianity can have or promote their own cultures without Christianity being that culture. That authoritarianism not only shows little regard for those who are different, it is downright hostile toward them. And in that, we should recognize that the Christianity of which Orbán speaks is not the Christianity of the Bible.

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