BECAUSE IT ISN’T LEGAL, IT IS IMMORAL

A flowering cannabis plant (from here)

I spent years in college dormitories during the 70’s.  At the end that period, I was not actually in a dorm. Instead I was in a two bedroom apartment. To deal with the overflow, the college put us up in an apartment complex and bused us to campus.  It did not take long before I saw my roommates taking advantage of the situation. After a pot party and waking up to find my roommate had a young woman in bed with him (two separated events), I decided to seek my own quarters. Why? I was not a Christian then, but I had been brought up as one. So that sort of behavior rankled. I liked my roommates, but I did not want to be forced to approve of blatantly bad behavior.

Could I have expressed my feelings back then? No. In fact, my thoughts were rather shallow.

  • I knew having sex with someone other than my wife was wrong, but all I thought of was the possibility of pregnancy and disease. I did not yet understand the importance or the significance of the two becoming one.
  • Smoking marijuana mostly struck me as foolish. It was not unusual to walk down a dorm hall and smell something that stank. Soon I figured out what that stink was, and then I had only one thought. People are inhaling that? I had watched what tobacco and alcohol had done to my father. So I wanted no part of a drug that combined the worst features of both, but I gave little thought of how such bad behavior might affect others.

Anyway, the focus here is on marijuana.  So how did — how does — the use of an illegal drug effect others? Well, I understand some people see nothing wrong with using marijuana. Supposedly, inhaling that reeking stench only puts thrill seekers temporarily and slightly out of their minds. Nonetheless, marijuana remains illegal, and that means that in addition to setting a bad example for the gullible (like college students), when we use marijuana and other illegal drugs we fund criminal networks.

Purchasing illegal drugs is an immoral act, regardless of where one stands in the legalization debate. When drugs are legally prohibited, criminal organizations assume control of production and distribution, making violence inherent in the process. Drug proceeds are used to fund criminal and terrorist organizations, enabling them to murder innocent people, attack police and military, bleed our tax dollars, and destroy the rule of law.

Drugs are a major source of income for terrorist groups and other criminal organizations, due to the high profit margins in these illegal markets. For example, one kilogram of heroin costs $2,500-$5,000 in Afghanistan and it sells for $60,000-$90,000 in the United States. That same kilogram is worth approximately $1.5 million after is it diluted and divided into individual dosage units. Profits made from illegal drug sales are also unreported income, allowing unlawful enterprises to remain in the shadows.

There is a strong nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. According to DEA’s FY2016 Performance Budget Congressional Submission, 22 of 59 designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations had possible ties to drug trafficking. This number is probably low, because evidence is difficult to obtain, and it doesn’t address two recently designated terrorist groups. As an example, Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opium, morphine, and heroin. In Afghanistan, drug producers, traffickers, and transporters have deep connections to the Taliban, Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. Drug traffickers use terrorists for protection and terrorists use drug traffickers to fund their activities. (from here)

 

 

WHY ARE WE SO CONFUSED ABOUT SCIENCE?

Here is some additional press coverage.

Fortunately, the folks demonstrating against Secretary Betsy DeVos behaved themselves.  Noisy, but not violent.

So why was I there?  I don’t think politicians should be running schools.  The public school system is a socialist system. A socialist system ends up serving the people who run the system, not the people that that system is supposed to benefit. Therefore, I am hoping Secretary DeVos will have some success as she advocates school choice.

Consider the problem of just getting a decent science education. Because of theories like Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution, politicians have politicized science. So we have this curiosity.

Yes, we do have scientists who have looked at some data asserting that theories like Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution have to be true because they explain the data, but the SCIENTIFIC method does not work that way. The scientific method does not permit us to equate an unproven hypothesis with a demonstrated theory.

scientific method  noun
a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.

Think about what it means to empirically test a hypothesis. If we have a theory of how a system works, then we have a model of the relationship between the causes and the effects that operate within that system. How do we test our model? We use our model to make a prediction. If we change this cause, we say, then this effect will result. Then we do the experiment and observe the results.

Unfortunately, with respect to Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution, we are incapable of such rigor.  We cannot experiment with the weather, and perhaps that is a good thing. Otherwise, we would have an awfully frightful weapon of war. Similarly our ability to conduct experiments in evolution are limited. We don’t live long enough.

The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Does this mean all scientists follow exactly this process? No. Some areas of science can be more easily tested than others. For example, scientists studying how stars change as they age or how dinosaurs digested their food cannot fast-forward a star’s life by a million years or run medical exams on feeding dinosaurs to test their hypotheses. When direct experimentation is not possible, scientists modify the scientific method. In fact, there are probably as many versions of the scientific method as there are scientists! But even when modified, the goal remains the same: to discover cause and effect relationships by asking questions, carefully gathering and examining the evidence, and seeing if all the available information can be combined in to a logical answer. (from here)

Think that definition from sciencebuddies.org is too off the wall? Then check out

Then consider this observation.

How can we prove that our new hypothesis is true? We never can. The scientific method does not allow any hypothesis to be proven. Hypotheses can be disproven in which case that hypothesis is rejected as false. All we can say about a hypothesis, which stands up to, a test to falsify it is that we failed to disprove it. There is a world of difference between failing to disprove and proving. Make sure you understand this distinction; it is the foundation of the scientific method.

So what would we do with our hypothesis above? We currently accept it as true. To be rigorous, we need to subject the hypothesis to more tests that could show it is wrong. For instance, we could repeat the experiment but switch the control and experimental group. If the hypothesis keeps standing up to our efforts to knock it down, we can feel more confident about accepting it as true. However, we will never be able to state that the hypothesis is true. Rather, we accept it as true because the hypothesis stood up to several experiments to show it is false. (from here)

Other Views

 

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.