LOVE, TRUTH AND MARTYRDOM

Stoning of St Stephen (circa 1660) by Pietro da Cortona (from here)

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, 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.

WHERE WAS EVERYBODY?

Here is the last of my posts on the special election we had yesterday for the Prince William County’s Clerk of the Court. Our choice was between these two people.

Who won? Well, our “objective” local newspapers reported it this way.

Prince William County has long been friendly territory for Republicans when it comes to off-year special elections. Not this time.

Democrat Jacqueline Smith beat long odds and big money today when she emerged victorious in the special contest for Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk, a low-profile, eight-year post that rarely gets much attention amid other races in Virginia’s off-off-year local elections.

Smith’s opponent, Republican Del. Jackson Miller, was widely favored to win today’s election both because he had the name recognition of elected office and a lot more cash. (continued here)

After eight years of rule by the likes of President Barack Obama, we should know what we are going to get from anyone calls themselves a Democrat. Yet we are still electing Democrats.  What is sad of about this election is how few people cared. With 13,905 votes, Smith got almost 54 percent of the vote.

Jacqueline C. Smith 13,905 53.93%
Jackson Hunter Miller 11,871 46.04%
Write In 9 0.03%

(from here)

What is sad is only 25,785 people showed up to vote. There are 270,703 people registered to vote in Prince William County (from here). Even if we just consider the 256,468 listed as active, that means only 10.05 percent of us showed up to vote.

Much is being made of the special election in Georgia (see Ossoff falls just short in Georgia special election as GOP gets wakeup call), but what that election shows is the importance of runoff elections. What the election of Democrat Liberal Jacqueline Smith illustrates is the importance of paying attention and showing up.

What were the stakes in special election we had yesterday for the Prince William County’s Clerk of the Court? What do Democrat Liberals have a reputation for? Don’t we know that what the law says does not much matter to Democrat Liberals? Doesn’t that mean that every time we elect a Democrat Liberal we risk electing an official who will abuse his political office? Don’t we know Democrat Liberals will twist the law to mean whatever he or she wants it to mean?

Are you a Republican, maybe even a Conservative Republican? Then please start looking ahead.

6/13/2017: June Primaries – Governor, Lt. Governor, House of Delegates, and Local offices

11/7/2017: General Election

(from here)

Can we count upon a biased news media to inform us? No, but we can check occasionally to see what is on our ballot (see => http://www.elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/whats-ballot.html). We can also occasionally visit the Prince William County Republican Committee‘s web site (here) and see what’s happening.

We can look into the records of the candidates and our elected officials. Here in Virginia our governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general are all Democrat Liberals. Have the actions of these men honored the rule of law or have these men blatantly twisted the law to get what the want?

What should motivate us?

  • Those parts of government which touch us most often and most deeply are state and local government. State and local government are also those parts of government which we can most easily control. We can actually talk to state and local politicians. We can also most easily organize with neighbors either to help them get elected or to defeat them. If we want public officials who will protect our rights instead of trying to enslave us to their wishes, we must participate in state and local elections.
  • Our constitutional republic depends upon an informed, active, and honorable citizenry. When we throw up our hands and quit — give up — we allow people who just care about benefits them to seize control. We allow the selfish and self-righteous to enslave our family, friends, and neighbors.

We never forget why constitutional republics are so rare. Such a government requires a people who honor the rule of law.  Such a government requires a moral people who respects each others God-given rights.

We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. — John Adams, 1798, Address to the militia of Massachusetts (from here)

So think again. Did you forget to vote yesterday? Odds are good you will regret it.  Somehow, some way the Office of the Clerk of the Court touches all our lives, and we could have elected someone who would just done the job properly. As it is we elected yet another Democrat Liberal. Therefore, repent. Participate in the next election. For the sake of your family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen, please become an informed and active citizen.

WHO? ME? I AM NEVER TEMPTED! I HAVE TOTAL SELF CONTROL. NOT!

The Proposition (1872), William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) (from here)

In my last post, THIS WAS PREDICTED AND ENTIRELY PREDICABLE, we considered the wisdom of putting young men and women together in combat units. We noted the inevitable result.

Why do some people refuse to see the problem? Check out Wikipedia’s article on the subject, Seduction. The word “sin” is not in it. Neither is the word “ethics”. Christianity is mentioned, but that is with respect to seduction as a motif in literature.

Apparently, Seduction is a highfalutin academic article written in an ivory tower. Here is a relevant sample.

Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their “sexual emancipation”. Some sides in contemporary academic debate state that the morality of seduction depends on the long-term impacts on the individuals concerned, rather than the act itself, and may not necessarily carry the negative connotations expressed in dictionary definitions. (from here)

“Sexual emancipation”? Seducing someone is doing them a big favor, right? Well, that is the attitude some people have.

So what happened when Vice President Mike Pence made it publicly known that he will not eat alone with any woman except his wife. Well, those renowned for their tolerance denounced and ridiculed the man. Of course, Pence was being intolerant. Here are some examples.

What is the problem with Pence’s critics? It seems they don’t have the wisdom to accept things they cannot change. Instead, so that they can live as they choose, they insist the rest of us adopt their preferred moral standards no what it costs.

  • Don’t female officers want to advance in rank? Therefore, ALL women must be subject to a military draft.
  • Don’t female business people want to wine and dine with the boys so they too can do business deals that way?  Therefore, any man who doesn’t want to worry his lady is a sexist pig (Go figure that one out.).

Is it not foolish to regard sex as just a marvelous recreational pleasure without long-term consequences? Don’t we risk thinking of others as objects that exist for our pleasure? Isn’t the only person who is not subject to temptation the one who has already given in?

So what about those of us who regard our bodies as temples, places where we want the Holy Spirit to live? If we choose to unnecessarily subject ourselves to temptation, sooner or later we will give in. Sooner or later we will grieve the Spirit. Therefore, we should thank Pence for setting a good example for the rest of us.

We should also pray for the wisdom to withstand our critics.

Serenity Prayer

– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

Update: It occurred to me after I published this post that some might think I blamed women for this problem. No. I think that men are equally to blame. Men have a responsibility for protecting their sons and daughters from temptation, but we have not done that. Yet by the time our children are becoming subject to sexual temptation, we certainly ought to be able to understand our own weaknesses and be able to anticipate their weaknesses. Yet instead of rejecting conventional wisdom and accepting a bit of ridicule, we have succumbed to the temptation to say nothing.

THIS WAS PREDICTED AND ENTIRELY PREDICABLE

Do you care about our military? Do you care about our nation’s ability to defend itself? Then read this.

A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness. Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.

Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy. The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016. (continued here)

Men and women are different. Each sex is equal before the law, and the Bible says God loves both men and women. Nevertheless, men and women have different roles. Men do some things better than women, and women do some things better than men.  A man cannot get pregnant. A woman has no business trying to be a soldier. Can women perform the functions of a soldier? In theory? Yes. In practice? No. Pregnant soldiers don’t make good soldiers.

Think about this little doozy of a navy regulation: 6701 – Maternity Uniforms. It includes this guidance.

6701.  GENERAL (MATERNITY UNIFORMS)

1.  WEAR.  Certified maternity uniforms are mandatory for all pregnant women in the Navy when a uniform is prescribed, and regular uniforms no longer fit.  Personnel are expected to wear regular uniforms upon return from convalescent leave, however, commanding officers may approve the wear of maternity uniforms up to six months from the date of delivery based on medical officer diagnosis/recommendation.

Are we going to send pregnant women into combat? Of course not! Then what is the point of pretending it makes any sense to put women in combat units?

Think I am biased? Fine. Check out what some women think of the idea of women in the military. Click on the following: