IF WE ARE ALL BIGOTS, WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD WE HAVE?

The_covetous_and_avaricious_VillainHere is another post on bigotry for Tony (last comment here) and other big government Democrats.

What I want everyone to do is consider how he responded to a comment of mine. First he quoted me and then he responded.

“Consider yourself. You can easily and enthusiastically attack your own countrymen as the most horrible bigots. Why? It appears to be just because they do not belong to a particular political party (i.e., they don’t belong to the party of your choice).”

I thought we were over this. We are ALL bigots. It’s facing our bigotries that I was talking about. Pointing out that Trump’s appeal is to our worst bigotries is only dishonest if it is not true and I knew it were not true. I pointed to several Trumpisms that are blatantly bigoted. They are I fact the definition of bigotry. I can find you many more if you like. Tell me how what’s obvious is not true? (from here)

Think about the fact Tony said we are ALL bigots. As Democrat, Tony cannot deny that being a bigot is awful thing. If you read his comments, bigotry is in fact his biggest charge against Donald Trump. Is Trump a bigot? Sure he is. I just think Hillary Clinton is a worst bigot and that she belongs in jail. Just consider two examples.

Anyway, Hillary Clinton is an unsavory character. What about Trump? Is he is as wildly bigoted as Tony claims? I don’t think so. I have been to his web site. I don’t like everything I see, but I don’t see much evidence of blatant bigotry. However, since we are all bigoted, I guess Trump bigoted too.

Why the accusations of bigotry against Trump? Well, Trump is campaigning to be our president. So he has to talk a lot, and the partisan news media is bigoted too. Therefore, many in the news media would love Trump to suffer the death of a thousand sound bites reported out of context.

Here is a press conference that Trump gave yesterday.

Journalists like those to be found NPR picked up one remark 13 minutes and 15 seconds into the press conference.

Since the press conference was quite interesting, it is worth listening to the whole thing, but don’t count on the news media to tell you that.

So what about the title of this post? What kind of government should we have? Well, given our tendency to make and believe outrageous accusations and nasty things about each other, we need a limited government. If we are ALL bigoted, who can we trust to run the government? No one. Therefore, we should not have anymore government than absolutely necessary.

What is among the worst abuses of government power? That is the power our government exercises to redistribute other people’s wealth.  The abuse of such power begins in covetousness. That’s a sin.

Exodus 20:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

When we desire what rightfully belongs to another, we justify our taking with hatred.

WHAT IS A BIGOT?

"All Is Vanity" by C. Allan Gilbert, evoking the invetiable decay of life and beauty toward death.
“All Is Vanity” by C. Allan Gilbert, evoking the inevitable decay of life and beauty toward death. (from here)

What inspired this post? As politely and sweetly as he could manage, a commenter called me a bigot (see here).

Am I a bigot? Yes. Everyone is a bigot. You. Your parents. Your brothers and sisters. Your friends and neighbors. Your countrymen. Everyone in the whole world. The only person who ever lived who was not a bigot was Jesus.

We all to some degree try to justify ourselves at the expense of someone else. If we can raise ourselves above another — if we can humble another — we think we must be better.  At least, that’s a very popular theory.

The Bible says we are each made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Even though we are puny, finite things, we should each be able see something divine — something we can love — in each other. But often we don’t.

Review human history. Read the newspapers. Consider the anger we sometime see simmering in each other. Remember the broken homes. Remember all the innocent children aborted, orphaned and forgotten, or just abandoned. Contemplate all the people who make you furious for no reason at all.

“I” am at the center of all “I” perceive. So it is we each tend to go through life thinking it must all be about us. Everything we do and all that is must be for our benefit. If we give something of ourselves to another then they owe us (whether they know it or not). That’s how the strong rationalize enslaving the weak. If the strong protect weak, then the weak must owe the strong something.  Thus, slavery began as a protection racket.

Yet I stray. What is a bigot? How is it we are all bigots? We each try to justify ourselves. I am a good person. I deserve good things. I deserve whatever good things other people have. I covet what others have that I don’t have.

We measure ourselves against each other, and we each want to be better than other people. We damn those who seem to have more. In the age of diversity, how is that done? We join in common cause with people who look like us, sound like us, dress like us, work like us, think like us,…., and sin like us. We organize with the people in our identity group, and we demand respect, our “rights” — and money.

Consider all the identity groups. There are trade associations demanding tariffs. There are unions demanding employer sanctions. There businesses too big to fail. There are racial, sexual, ethnic, and creedal groups demanding “affirmative action. There are groups preoccupied with sexual perversions demanding our affirmation. There are bureaucrats out to save the world demanding bigger salaries and greater powers.

Where does all this bigotry — this competition to make it all about ME lead?

James 4:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Pride Promotes Strife

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

How we can test ourselves? How we determine whether we are motivated bigotry? There is a simple way that works most of the time. If we are willing to debate the rightness of our cause without personally attacking our opponent, that is a good sign. That doesn’t mean you cannot point out something your opponent is doing wrong. For example, if your opponent is willing to twist the Constitution into a pretzel, that has to be noted because it is relevant. We are not suppose to do that. Unfortunately, because we are bigots, we don’t want to hear our sins called sins.

What is the best way to avoid bigotry? What is the best way to test ourselves? Instead of trying to justify ourselves, we must believe on Jesus; we must put our faith in God.  We obey His commands.

John 15:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

It is not our job or our right to make our neighbors behave as we think they should behave.  We have the right and the responsibility to protect each other from the brutes and bullies among us. However, so long as so-called brutes and bullies do not abuse our family, friends and neighbors; we have no right to use government power to attack those brutes and bullies. That sort of behavior that just makes us a brute, a bully, and a bigot.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MASCULINE?

Christ in Gethsemane, Heinrich Hofmann, 1890 (from here)
Christ in Gethsemane, Heinrich Hofmann, 1890 (from here)

In He’s Golden…, insanitybytes22 makes the following observation.

Nightwind wrote a post the other day, “Feature Friday”, about masculinity, what it is, what it isn’t. I have a hard time defining masculinity myself,  a somewhat amusing thing really, because I know it when I see it but how do you even describe it? I of course think immediately, confidence, protection, provision, safety. How blessed I am to equate men with safety, but those are very subjective perceptions of masculinity, how they relate to me personally.

‘ post is about her husband, and she uses him as an example of what it means to be the male head of a household, her family. In effect, defines masculinity by providing an excellent example.

Look up the term “masculine” in the dictionary. You will learn almost nothing. The definition of “masculine” may lead you to the term “manly”, but all that will tell you is that we expect men to be strong and brave. Since we also expect women to be strong and brave, that won’t tell you much.

So what does it mean to be masculine? 200 – 300 years ago America was hardly ideal, but men knew what it meant to be masculine, and women wanted a masculine man. They want a man with character who could be depended upon. A woman wanted a man who wanted to be the father her children. A woman wanted a man who would cherish and protect her and their children.

So why is that picture at the beginning of this post? Jesus never married. He never had a family, or did He? Are you a Christian? Then you are a member of that church that Jesus gave His life to save and protect.

When our military awards its most coveted medals, what are they for? They are for those soldiers who risk their lives for others.

John 15:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

If a man is willing to lay down his life for his friends, does that make him masculine? No. It is important, but a woman can lay down her life for her friends.

Ephesians 5:22-33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Marriage Like Christ and the Church

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

What makes a man a man is how he treats a woman. If he chooses one woman, and he gives his heart to her, and she gives her heart to him, a boy can become a man. If that boy has the virtue required to love, to protect, and to nurture his lady and their children year after year until their children are grown and death ends his marriage, then perhaps our Lord will declare him a man. If that boy is a man, then his children’s, his lady’s and God’s opinions of his masculinity will be the only ones that truly matter to him.

LOVE: IS IT OUR CHIEF IDOL OR OUR MOST PRIZED VIRTUE? — PART 3

Three wise monkeys, invoking a proverb, with no text.
Three wise monkeys, invoking a proverb, with no text. (from here)

In the last segment in this series, we considered How The Idolization of Love Corrupts Church and State. Here we will consider what others have had to say.

A Review Of What Others Have To Say

Googling The “Idolization Of Love”

If we google “Idolization Of Love”, we won’t turn up much, just nine hits including this blog. What follows are the few hits that have relevant content.

Chewing the Cud: Alcibiades and Socrates Talk Life, Love and Nietzsche By John Taylor looks to be interesting.  Google has put some of the book online as a teaser. Here Taylor puts these words into the mouth of Alcibiades.

AlcibiadesIf you ladies want to know where “Alcibiades” was going with that, I am afraid you have to get a copy of the book. The preview did not include the next page.

The most surprising hit turned up the quote below. Those are the words of a college student, a student athlete, in response to the question in bold print.

What is the most important societal issue facing college students?   The most important societal issue plaguing college students, in my opinion, is the idolization of love, superficiality and materialism, entitlement, and the infantilizing of the college student. Culture ingrains these things in all our heads and it hurts our worldview and affects our lives in a great many ways. The most pressing of these issues is the infantilizing of the college student. By coddling college students, it strips them of a meaningful education, cheats them of preparation for the real world, and prevents them from growing up. (from here (www.cacsports.com))

It is a personal prejudice, but the last thing I expect of athletes is thoughtfulness. It seems, however, that cross-country runners have plenty of time to think.

The most relevant hit? In the form of a debate between Rev. Scott Elliott and the blogger, duanetoops, Dialogues of a Christian Atheist, pt.2 gets into the subject of the nature of God.

Here is a sample of Elliott’s argument.

Rev. Elliott: I have yet to find a way to satisfactorily convey my conviction that this love siren and loving way we are drawn to can also –if we want or choose–safely, sanely, rationally be named God. This experience of being we are in has that siren you/we hear in it, and if we go to where it is beckoning we end up loving. We don’t have to call it God; we can believe it is not God. It only matters because it means (aside from semanitics) that we are on the same page, love is the point. And love by any other name is still love. (Or as this theologian spins it, if God is experienced as love –a very Biblically sound claim– then love by any other name is still God). (from here)

How did duanetoops sum up his opposition to that sort of argument?

Response: I would whole heartedly agree that the “idolization of love” ( I Love that by the way) is most central. It is compelling above all else. Here we are precisely on the same page, where we diverge perhaps is that I am content simply with “love,” this is a word powerful enough, that doesn’t necessarily need to be renamed. I love that you said “if we choose to” we can call it God, I can willingly admit that I “choose” to just let love be love and let love be enough. (from here)

What Is The Opposite Of Love

Why is the idolization of love so foolish? God is not just an emotion.  We cannot properly express love by just feeling. We express love by caring enough to behave wisely.

Consider how well this Bible passage describes modern America.

Revelation 3:14-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lukewarm Church

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

What was the problem in Laodicea? They knew the truth, but they didn’t care enough to do anything. God loved them. They were rich, and that was all that mattered to them. The Christians of Laodicea were indifferent.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. ― Elie Wiesel (from here)

In What Is The Opposite Of Love? A Bible Study, Jack Wellman ends his article with these words.

Love and discipline are joined at the hip and in a similar way, love and hate are closely related but the polar opposite of love is indifference or apathy. You could not care any less when you do nothing to help others. The opposite of love then is not hate, it is apathy or indifference, and it is one of the cruelest of all human responses. There is no excuse for us to not tell others of the coming Day of Judgment; it is one of the greatest acts of love you could ever display. The opposite of love is that you don’t even care, you are indifferent, and you are apathetic. In short, you have no love for others, only for yourself. I am thankful that Jesus didn’t act in such a way (John 3:16). (from here)

When we make love our idol, we set aside God Himself. We become so absorbed in the fact God loves us that we forget to love God in return. We don’t do what He told us to do, love each other.

A Smattering Of Related Posts And Articles

Before continuing, consider reading Psalm 96. As Christians, we have the opportunity to know God. We can declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples. However, to do that properly, we must take the time to know God.

Finding the True God by Fr. Stephen Freeman provides a viewpoint from the Orthodox Church in America.

Freeman has a legitimate concern. “Human beings have a tendency to invent idols.” Here he says something I think very good.

In order to know God, you first have to admit that you don’t know Him.

Belief in God is not the same thing as the acceptance of a set of propositions. Even if the propositions are “supported by the Scriptures,” that entire interpretive exercise is as subject to the imagination and idolatry as pure fantasy. Most Christians whom I know who have a very distorted view of God have Scripture to support their notions.

Christ makes a very key statement on the knowledge of God:

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Mat 11:27)

Since Freeman has contemplated the matter carefully, it is worth considering what else Freeman has to say.

Since we are all human, it is also worth considering what others have to say.

Do you have a primitive belief? by Colorstorm makes the point that the Bible’s age does not make it irrelevant. Its wisdom and what it says about God is timeless.

[Is] “God our Master” ? by altruistico considers The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-20) [Psalm 123:1-4]. observes what the story has to say about our relationship with God. The story compares us to God’s servants, slaves in that day and age. Since we like to see ourselves as free, that is quite disturbing.

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they should make an image” by Rob Barkman looks at Rev 13:14 KJV.  Just how seriously does God regard our idol-making?

The Byproduct Of Idolatry by compares the idolatry of today with the idolatry of ancient Israel. Be Still considers how the Bible describes God.

God Cannot be Mocked by Don Merritt points out a difficult truth. God expects us to make good choices. A Troubling Conversation illustrates the challenges involved.