Over the years I have noticed something mildly distressing. I receive the most compliments when I point my readers to other people’s blogs. So it is I have begun to understand why some writers become critics. Even if we cannot think and write as well as others, we can still criticize and receive praise for doing it. We just have to select better writers. So here are some pointers.
On Friday, I read this in the newspaper.
Conservatives have come to expect that they might be protested, ridiculed and disinvited when they venture to speak on college campuses, but the penalty for telling students something they disagree with has taken a more violent turn.
Buttressed by an ideology that views “hate speech” as violence and its suppression as self-defense, students increasingly are resorting to the destruction of property and assault to keep conservative speakers quiet. (continued here)
That news article went on to discuss an editorial in Free speech is not violated at Wellesley. That editorial contains this self-contradictory paragraph.,
This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better. (from here)
Fortunately, many (like that article in the newspaper) have begun pointing out that this excuse for hostility is just that, an excuse.
So how does that relate to some blogs I have read lately?
dpatrickcollins has written a couple of my favorite posts on this subject: A Social Justice Warrior Meets Jesus and A Social Justice Warrior Meets Jesus, Part 2. These posts provide a fictional account of irate students stifling free speech. Unfortunately, reality is stranger than fiction. posts stresses the inability of student Social Justice Warriors to argue their case, but this on only partly true. Because their instructors have taught them to be almost totally intolerant of “hate speech”, few students have practiced debating those they self-righteously hate. Yet there are those who have been, and we kid ourselves when we forget that. Therefore, when we read ‘s posts, we must not forget that the students protesting “hate speech” actually do possess a coherent ideology. However, because the mainstream news media supports and does not challenge the social justice ideology, relatively few students think deeply about it. So relatively few have the capacity to articulate what they believe. Most have been indoctrinated, but only a few have been educated.
From where did the social justice ideology originate? Oddly enough, I think it has its roots in a distorted version of Christianity. The Social Justice Warriors have made a fetish out being “nice”. It is love, love, love…. The great sin is offending or hurting anybody’s feelings. After all — goes the thought — Jesus would not do that. Jesus is not hateful. Jesus would not make anyone unhappy.
Are the Social Justice Warriors wrong? I think so. Jesus hated sin, and He angrily criticized the conduct of those He saw sinning. Rather than be silenced, He died on a cross.
Yet what is true Christianity? I have some definite ideas, but I don’t claim to have the one true vision of TRUTH that stands out above all the others. What is the problem? How would we know the TRUTH? We can each point to Jesus, but we don’t all see the same Jesus.
Some will say the TRUTH is the Bible. However, it is not quite that simple. We have to “interpret” the Bible. Consider, for example, Subversive Jesus by Mel Wild. reminds us that God is love. stresses how we must set aside our excuses and strive to love God and each other. Subversive Jesus (and the posts to which it links) focuses upon the fact God is love, and He expects us to be loving.
Does deal with the subject of God’s hatred for sin? That Jesus was not just about how we are supposed to be nice to each other? Yes. God said what?! – Part One begins a six-part series on the wrathful God of the Old Testament. However, does not accept what he calls the hidden underbelly of Scripture at face value. Instead, what his six-part series provides is a justification for interpreting scripture in a particular way.
In the series that begins with God said what?! – Part One, uses as his example God’s command to the Hebrews to exterminate the Canaanites. He quotes this verse.
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. (Deut. 7:1-2 NKJV) (from here)
finds such statements from the God of the Old Testament incompatible with the Jesus of the New Testament. So he is anxious to resolve the conflict, and he has adopted a method of biblical exegesis that allows Him to do that.
Is ‘s method of biblical exegesis correct? He has put much thought into it, but I have my doubts. When I read Romans 9:14-29, it occurs to me I am no position either to judge God or Scripture. Like I cannot help but wonder why God did some of the things He did. Nevertheless, God is the potter. In His Hands, we are only clay. So I am somewhat more inclined to swallow my pride, accept my ignorance, and be thankful God has chosen to be merciful to me.
Would agree with the student Social Justice Warriors? No. What ‘s posts illustrate is how we can develop a scheme for interpreting scripture that leaves us considerable leeway. As explains, each of us seek ways around the complex difficulties the Bible poses. Nonetheless, there is a profound difference between and the Social Justice Warriors. Whereas questions God’s call for violence in the Old Testament, the Social Justice Warriors seek an excuse for unjustified violence. What the Social Justice Warriors are looking for is anybody guess, but ‘s posts call for us to seek the narrow gate.