In the last post in this series, “THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 3, we considered subject of illegal immigration, and we reviewed our trade policy with China. We looked at how much trouble some government officials are willing to go to — their willingness to sacrifice the interests of the United States — for the sake of cheap labor for plutocrats. So Americans are starting to complain, and we have elected an unusual president. Rich? Yes! But still someone who seems to put America first. So we have a dispute that is now out in the open, and we can see that both sides are riled.
We live in a divided nation. How divided? Probably not as divided as we think. If we look at our divisions as this article suggests, Red states and blue states (en.wikipedia.org) (see the figure above), then we appear starkly divided. However, if we consider the vote in more granular detail, Purple America (en.wikipedia.org) (see the figure below), we lose the false clarity that comes from oversimplification.
Nonetheless, we are divided. The anger over politics is real, and our national feud seems to grow in intensity with each election cycle. Why? What is going on?
The Moral Issues That Led To This Mess
What is “this mess”? What are we fighting about or fighting over? Well, some people will try to give us a simple answer. Others will provide us a very complicated answer. I think the truth is this.
- We each have our own reasons for fighting with our families, friends, neighbors, and countrymen.
- We each have our own reasons for picking the side, or the party, that we choose to align ourselves with.
Therefore, before we can “fix” other people and bring peace, we have to understand our own motivations and repent of our own sins. That is, the first battle we must fight is with me, not with “they”. Before we can help our neighbor remove the speck from his eye, we each must remove the log from our own eye (Matthew 7:1-6).
Does beginning with a self-examination sound absurd? Then consider the Confederate Army in 1861. Relatively few Southerners owned slaves. Yet the South managed to field a large and highly motivated force. The South did not lose the Civil War because of a lack of effort. The South lost because the North managed to field a much more powerful force.
What does a self-examination look like? We can direct our focus inward, but love of neighbor forces us to look outward as well. A self-examination should not be all about me and what “I” believe, not if “I” want what “I” believe to have a close relationship with the truth. To begin to understand the truth, we must consider the view from eyes other than just our own.
So what is the truth? What are Americans fighting about? Since we cannot read each other’s minds and do not well understand our own minds, that is not as obvious as we might think. Consider Doug’s observation.
The point is that the Conservative right does tend to use the flag and other American symbols for political expression… typically some level of nationalism. Same kind of thing when Trump hugs the flag… or right wing demonstrators dress in flag clothing or wrap themselves up in the real flag as if it were some moral shield to protect them. Sorry, Tom.. it’s the Conservative right that thinks the flag is all about them… and THAT disgusts me. (from here)
Does the flag disgust ? That is the conclusion many Conservatives would make. Here is how I replied.
The average Conservative thinks it is the flag that disgusts you. Why? The flag is a symbol of our nation. To most it represents what America has traditionally stood for. When generations have been taught that America is evil by those who run our schools and the mainstream news media, it is not surprising that many hate the flag.
Think about Obama’s promise. He was going to fundamentally transform America. Think about Trump’s promise. He promised to make America great again. Then consider that you brought up the flag and what you have said.
What does it mean to transform America? What does it mean to make America great again? Would we strive to fundamentally transform something we love? Would we try to make great again something that we love?
What is it that drives the opposing sides? We each have our own ideas. So we scratch around, trying to define and understand their differing ideologies.
Hence, Conservatives try to understand and define “Globalism”.
- Why the Worldwide Left Is So Opposed to Donald Trump — Aug 15, 2019 (rushlimbaugh.com)
- Who Makes the ‘Rules’ in a ‘Rules-Based’ Liberal Global Order? (amgreatness.com) by John Fonte.
Hence, with The New York Times leading the charge the Liberal Democrat news media tries redefine and reunderstand America.
- The 1619 Project (nytimes.com)
The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
- New goal for New York Times: ‘Reframe’ American history, and target Trump, too (washingtonexaminer.com)
- The New York Times Unites vs. Twitter (slate.com)
We are suppose to define concept of America around the enslavement of a small portion of the population? If globalism sounds weird, the 1619 Project is not even more ridiculous?
As WHEN DO THE PEOPLE STEAL THEIR OWN FREEDOM? (citizentom.com) observes, the Bible says the truth sets us free. The truth sets us free from sin. Because America has a Christian heritage, we have a better government than we might otherwise have. Christianity requires us to serve each other, not to abuse and enslave each other. Jesus exalts humility, not haughty pride.
Because this generation knows little about Jesus, some argue we are losing the freedom that once characterized America. In Ideological fascism at American colleges and universities (washingtontimes.com),
As a lifelong educator, I look at my academic peers in today’s colleges and universities and I can’t help but ask myself, “has our own way resulted in what we expected when we told our father we wanted to move out of his house?” Did we get what we wanted when we spent our inheritance? Is our chosen path as liberating as we hoped?
Have “our wildest dreams” led us to where we expected or have we stumbled into a nightmare, wading in fields of pig slop and eating the “corncobs” of abuse, dysfunction, selfishness and addiction? Did we get the freedom we hoped for when we left home or have we become slaves to the consequences of frivolous spending and childish irresponsibility? (from here)
As any reasonable understanding of history would suggest, the Bible provided the philosophical foundation of Western Civilization. Therefore, it is the height of irresponsibility to allow any student to graduate from a public school without a good understanding of the Bible. Without a good understanding of the Bible, we cannot even begin to understand origins of our cultural heritage. Of course, it is not the state’s responsibility to make anyone believe the Bible. Yet if we insist that our government run our schools, then we must insist our government teach the Bible. Unfortunately, if we believe in freedom of religion, government-run schools creates a huge conundrum.
So what have we done? Supposedly, for the sake of freedom of religion, we have secularized our schools, but that has led to another problem. If we give up Christianity, what belief replaces it? Robert Knight suggests this, Democrats ready to replace worship of God with worship of the state (washingtontimes.com). Knight contends that choice will only create more problems.
That’s because the U.S. Constitution’s design for maximum human liberty works only when the people have a moral compass beyond their own appetites. Absent that, we can rationalize anything.
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,” George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address. “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”
Based on concepts enshrined in British Common Law, which the great English jurist William Blackstone traced to the Bible, Christians led the campaign to end the slave trade. Across the world, Christians created hospitals and clinics. They criminalized infanticide, child marriage, child and spousal abuse, gladiatorial combat, death games and immolation of widows, to name a few reforms. Some also behaved very badly, justifying their inhumanity by misusing the Bible. (from here)
Is Knight right? Since what we believe does not actually depend upon a party label, individual Democrats have to decide for themselves, and so do individual Republicans.
Every choice is a religious choice. We spend our time doing whatever we think most needs to be done at that moment. What we think most important depends upon what we think is the purpose of life. It is this purpose that loving parents most want to bequeath to their children.
Much is made of inclusiveness, but religious freedom is not about being inclusive; it is about the right to make our own exclusive choices. We each have the right to choose our own path in this life. We don’t have the right to force others to choose our path, and almost all Americans once believed that it is an abuse of government power to force our own chosen path — our beliefs — upon others.
Do public schools, colleges, and universities have some justification? It does make sense for the government to make certain parents do not abuse their children by failing to educate them. All children should learn the 3R’s. Nonetheless, making certain that children learn the 3R’s does not require government-run schools. Private schools funded by school vouchers could easily accomplish the same purpose. Forcing taxpayers to finance colleges and universities that they cannot even get into is just wrong.
Unfortunately, instead of a school system that supports religious freedom, letting parents decide who teaches their children and what beliefs their children learn, we have put politicians in charge. So, many parents pay for a school system they don’t like and don’t want to use, and we impose a penalty on those parents who seek escape from these Secularist public institutions. Out of their own pockets these parents must pay for both an alternative to Secularist public schools and taxes for the more expensive Secularist public schools.
Why then do we have a Secularist public school system? Human pride. Our egos drive us to elevate our own choices over other people’s choices. Therefore, we are happy to indoctrinate other people’s children with our own beliefs.
Historically, Christians have tended to be “unreasonable” about publicly supported religious indoctrination. Most of us understand that if we want the right to make our own choices we have to let others make their own choices. Therefore, if we want the responsibility for educating our children, we have to trust other parents to do a good job educating their children.
The alternative is what we have now. Consider this question. If Christians are so unreasonable and parents cannot be trusted to educate their children, how can we elect decent people to run Secularist public schools? Well, I suppose the results of our elections speak for themselves. You are a big fan of Donald Trump? Barack Obama? If either of these men strikes you as a bad leader, then you may wish to consider the benefits of letting your fellow citizens run their own lives. Only then will you be allowed the right to run your own life.
- King Solomon, Robert Frost’s ‘Rhetorical’ Path Choice? (rudymartinka.com)
- Groupthink part 2: YouTube censors; 1619 project lies about USA. (curmudgeon550.blog)
- IRON SHARPENS IRON (familyallianceonline.org)
- Theology 101 (thelionsden98.wordpress.com)
- Why Children Shouldn’t Vote (johnbranyan.com)
- California Dreamin’ (freedomthroughempowerment.wordpress.com)