Tag Archives: Morals

The Power of the Purse – Use it

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While this occurred in May 2016, I only recently became aware of action taken in Tennessee where Republicans finally grew a spine and used their brains to fight against anti-Christian and immoral social progressivism.

We often get myopic about how we can combat the things going on around us, leading to a feeling of helplessness and despair.   While we all know that we can pray and trust in God, we often act as if that’s an afterthought rather than our first line of defense.    God works in strange ways and in uncertain timelines, so us mere humans can sometimes get the feeling that our prayers are not heard if they are not immediately answered.   It’s a somewhat natural reaction, which is why faith and trust are often sheer acts of will as opposed to nice and comfortable emotional joyrides.   I sometimes contemplate the little chicken-and-egg type of sayings, like “I pray because I trust.  I trust because I pray.”   Well, which is it?    It’s both, of course.   I sometimes wonder if the very reason for a seemingly unanswered prayer is either because I didn’t trust enough that God would or could grant my request, or if He needs to test me by fire a little bit – force me to continue to trust even without getting exactly what I want.

So, while it is certainly fine that relying on prayer is a welcome myopia, at least as one of the actions we need to take, we often fail to use our brains in finding other ways to make a difference.

Let’s focus on some of the social issues around us and how we seem to never gain any ground – and in fact we always seem to lose ground.    Whether it’s abortion or same-sex marriage, or whether it’s the new pet of the progressive left, transgender issues (or definition of what gender is, period) we seem to really rely on elections, laws, and Supreme Court decisions.    If we lose an election at the federal level then, well, there’s nothing we can really do.  Worse yet, there seems to be this reluctance to actually stand up for anything when we do have the chance to do it out of some fear of losing power.    We continue to trade moral issues away out of some argument that this will preserve our power so we can do good in other areas.   It’s not exactly the wisdom of Solomon.   It’s the fear of a miser.

Lawmakers in Tennessee disagreed earlier this year.   And it’s a great example of using the power you have to impact behavior.

Here is a story on the subject:  Link to article

Notably, from the article, the bill

Bans UT from spending state funds “to promote the use of gender-neutral pronouns, to promote or inhibit the celebration of religious holidays, or to fund or support Sex Week,” most of which had already occurred.

What happened here is that the UT-Knoxville “office of diversity and inclusion” went off the rails of what they consider to be diverse and inclusive.   Which isn’t particularly surprising.    Many of these kinds of offices in Universities (as well as corporate America and government offices) long ago went off the rails.    And until now most of the response has been “if you don’t like it, don’t go there.”   Fair enough, but it’s also hypocritical.   These are entities that receive public funding (i.e. tax dollars) and the people making these arguments would be the first to go apoplectic if someone on staff uttered the words “Merry Christmas.”

The office of diversity and inclusion apparently believes that banning all gender-specific pronouns like “he”,”she”,”him”, or “her” so as not to offend anyone struggling with gender identity.   They also picked and chose acceptable and unacceptable religious holidays to make any sort of reference to, and they hosted what can only be called a completely offensive and inappropriate “Sex Week.”

So, the funding arm of the state Congress in Tennessee finally grew a pair and said “enough.”   All funding to that morally bankrupt department goes to actually helping minority students pay for school.    It was the right move, and a good move.   One hopes that either this entire office goes away completely or it rediscovers its actual purpose – which is to actually promote real diversity, encourage dialogue – not just liberal mantras – and be fully inclusive (including Christians and those who want to use boy pronouns to talk about boys.)

I hope this helps set precedent and embolden other legislative bodies.   We can push back – we don’t just have to accept cultural decay.   We might not be able to do it everywhere, but we can do it in a lot of places.   It’s time to use all the tools at our disposal.

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Under Chastisement (Part 2 of a YUUUGE series)

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Forget the title.   I couldn’t help myself.   This isn’t really a series, this is more of a follow-up from my previous post on considering what the nature of chastisement is.

Basically, the prior post says that, yeah, we’re being chastised, and lays out Romans 1 to indicate why.

I won’t rehash that all here, since you can move that thing on your desk called a mouse, click on the previous post, and read it.

For this post, I just want to muse a bit about the general nature of chastisement and the current indicators that this is, in fact, what is happening.   While I believe there are things happening all around the globe that indicates this is a global in scale, I’ll focus on The U.S. because that’s where I am and it’s my immediate perspective.   Others can fill in from around the globe.

I think most everyone thinks of Chastisement as fire and brimstone, wars, plagues, death, destruction…   you know, all the stuff that makes Hi-tech movies with mundane plots otherwise entertaining.   And sure, ultimately the pinnacle of chastisement probably does play out that way when it’s one of the “biggies.”    But even then, it’s usually us giving it to ourselves…   maybe not in the plague area, but certainly in the war area.

Anyway, whatever you might believe about what constitutes a divinely guided day of wrath as opposed to the natural consequence of our own stupidity in a world that has pushed God aside while pursuing a utopia engineered by human brains, the one thing that seems to be clear is that when God decides to pull away, all sorts of weird stuff happens.   Sexual immorality, homosexuality, greed, hate, lack of respect for family and parents, and so on.

I think one can see that we’ve checked most, if not all, the boxes on the list in Romans 1.   What Romans doesn’t talk about is an election cycle that leads to division, confusion, and despair.

Let’s face it – this whole Presidential election is embarrassing.   The stuff released on Donald Trump is unsettling, crude, and unpresidential.   The stuff dropped regarding Hillary is infuriating, criminal, and corrupt.   And with every passing day, more and more and more is released and another shoe drops.

Our political system is broken and corrupt.   It is my belief that this election cycle is a chastisement of sorts.   Layering on top of the cycle is all the division it is causing.   This is not simply differences of opinion between friends – there are very raw beliefs and emotions in play.   This election is driving divisions between family and friends.   One only wonders what will happen after the election in this country, regardless of who wins.

 

This also happens as gang violence soars in certain cities, as high-profile police shootings in turn led to violence against police, concerns about increasing drug use and angst over terrorism threats continues.

 

We don’t need a comet or an asteroid.   We’re doing fine all by ourselves.

The Fall of Elites and Persecution

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One of the things that has been evident throughout the year 2016, if one follows current events, is what seems like a sudden backlash against globalization.    The anti-elite/anti-globalist position is not new, but the sentiment has largely continued to be contained.   Those coming forth with an anti-globalism message have always been treated as something of a fringe group of extremists.

This isn’t entirely unfounded, to be perfectly honest.   The most ardent anti-globalists are found on both ends of the left/right spectrum.   The reasons are often completely different, so it’s not that both sides are envisioning the same utopian solution to the problem, but there is an alignment on sentiment.

For 60 years or so, the progressive elites managed to plod consistently along in their efforts to open borders, open trade, and incorporate a migration of progressive social norms and beliefs across regions of the world.    Many promises were made on all fronts about how wonderful it all would be.   Wars would cease, there would be a chicken in every pot, but no one person would have more than a few, and no one person would be without.  We could all have everything.

But eventually, the mask on these things falls away.   Underlying the very tenets of all of this was an anti-capitalism masked as a new kind of better capitalism.   Unknown to many was the subtle fascism that was taking place.    I don’t mean jack-booted thug reactionary fascism (which is more an eventual result of trying to maintain the status quo than an actual element of fascism itself) but the coordination and even co-ownership of government and corporations.    This includes more and more governmental aspects of the business world, over-regulation, over-taxation, partnership between government and the private sector and all that comes with it.    When this becomes predominant, the government can control and dictate all aspects of economic life, and in many ways our daily life.    Even when not directly controlling ownership interests, the quid pro quo aspect of allowing company mergers to create monopolies while relentlessly punishing independent small businesses has staggering implications.

The promise of free trade has strong capitalistic sentiments around it, but this too comes with major issues.    It requires all actors to cooperate on an equivalent level.  It also requires our government to not foolishly export the dollar and risk an inflationary backlash.   This care has not taken place, as the country’s debt skyrockets and the trade deficit looms.   We continue to export the dollar, hoping and praying it doesn’t suddenly get sent back to us in droves.

At the same time, progressives escalated all sorts of changes to social norms.  If the elites are not openly anti-Catholic or anti-Christian, they consider those who hold fast to certain beliefs as unworthy of any serious consideration.    The escalation in normalization of abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism comes with it the establishment of human rights tribunals that are now openly challenging traditional moral beliefs as thought crimes or hate crimes.   The message has been that such beliefs are hateful and not to be tolerated.   It’s OK to think those things to yourself in the privacy of your bathtub, but leave it there or face prosecution.

It seemed that until 2015 people were either ignorant, apathetic, or too frightened to push back on these continued developments.    During 2016, we have seen an amazing upheaval of the emboldened who have had enough.    More surprisingly is that this upheaval now counts among its ranks not just the marginally disaffected or the extremist wings of left and right, but an ever-growing element of the population that realizes that they are not extreme and are now being labeled as such because they don’t want to just continually move along with the ever-changing lines of what is considered appropriate decorum.   They have had it with political correctness.   They are sick of being labeled as racist or hateful because they have some sense of standard or principle.   They are tired of a good capitalistic system being completely perverted, and then the failings of the perversions being blamed on capitalism itself.   They are tired of government/corporate partnerships gaining monopolistic power and shutting down competition (crony capitalism).   People are tired of failed promises around free trade while there is no attempt to secure national borders.   People are tired of elitist, immoral, self-righteous, philosophical thinkers who have never worked a day in their lives telling us how to live, what to think, and what to say.

And so, Brexit happened.   And in many places in Europe there is discontent.   And populism arises.   And Donald Trump happens.

Don’t misunderstand me – not all of these developments are necessarily good.    Some may be good, some may be dangerous.    We are in a time where people have had enough and are now reacting.  Mini-political revolutions could eventually lead to real revolutions.   Nobody wants violence and bloodshed.   Nobody wants dicatatorships.   All these things are possible.

But why is it possible?   Because the elitists thought they had it all figured out and they pushed, and they pushed, and they pushed.   In many cases, they waited until they shaped the opinions of the majority so that they could maneuver with the tide.    But progressives are never happy, and they are not good at being patient.   When things don’t go their way, they do not always take it real well.   That’s because they know what’s good for us.   They are also emboldened by some success, which can lead to overreaching their mandate.

An overreach beyond where the public is at, along with evidence of actual failures now impacting the daily lives of the people, is what has happened in the last decade or so.   And now, people are pushing back.

And the elites don’t like that one bit.

Whenever someone starts to lose the grip of power, they seldom just let it happen.   There are scapegoats, they will lie, they will double-down, and they will fight.    We are in a perilous time.    The elites are coordinated, they are in all the highest levels of numerous governments, they control the central banks and the courts (I am not speaking of “control” in the conspiratorial sense, just in the sense of the reality of who is in what positions around the globe – these are almost all globalists and proudly and publicly so).

So, who is their scapegoat?

Perhaps there will be a number of scapegoats, but it really is quite simple.   Barack Obama considers those clinging to God and guns to be an enemy of progressivism.   This is a glib and simple summary of who can be expected to be the targets of elitist ire.

The unrest is out of the bag.   It will not be quelled naturally.   Not just in the United States, but globally, drastic measures will need to be taken by the elites or they will risk losing all they have worked to accomplish.   God only knows what those drastic measures will be.   But if you are not falling in line with their Credos because you actually have a moral base, and if you believe in your First and Second Amendment rights, then it’s highly likely that you will be a target.

It remains to be seen how that will happen, and how dramatically.   But keep your eyes open.

Crossing the Moral Rubicon

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Originally posted on http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on May 22, 2008.

In my previous post, A Discussion on God and Chastisement (A Precursor to “Crossing the Moral Rubicon”), I discussed the general concept of divine chastisement as a response to sin, and how controversial this topic can be.

If I may briefly summarize my own view, I conclude that such chastisements do, in fact, occur and are illustrated in Scripture in not just a past sense, but it is also clear that there are clear foretellings of future chastisements. I also conclude that these chastisements may not always be apparent, particularly to those who will generally dismiss such things. In addition, all this originally stems from the original sin that disordered creation to begin with. Also, as for the difficult concept of how these chastisements affect “good people” too, I don’t have a particular issue with that. As I pointed out, good and moral people suffer too, and we all die sometime. Balancing this with the additional caveats that I do not think that we’re particularly able to get inside the mind of God and explain with definitiveness that one particular sin was the reason for some chastisement on a particular locale, we also need to be careful. At the same time, chastisements can occur as the seeds of our own actions, and while these are allowed by God and occur as part of His creation, they are a result of our own doings (certain diseases, for example).

It is a complicated theological question.

Some have long believed that we crossed a line where God’s Justice would finally extend past His patience and Mercy when abortion became commonplace, socially acceptable, and eventually codified as a basic human right. In some sense, I believe that we have been and are being chastised for that, but this may well fall under the umbrella of the seeds of our own actions. Now, those who believe that people are the problem and that the earth cannot support more people will disagree with me, but I personally do not believe this at all. Our country has essentially exterminated 25% of what would have been its cohort group of 36 year olds and under (don’t believe me? Do the math. 40 million+ abortions in the USA since 1972 would be over 25% of the population of people aged 36 and under today. This doesn’t include chemical abortions that are not recorded). And yet, look at what has happened. Our society has eliminated all that knowledge, which if we were doing things God’s way, I suspect would have gone a long way towards solving whatever problems are perceived. In our wisdom, we have created an unprecedented demographic shift to those who need societal support, on top of the existing infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) whose burden will fall to a smaller percentage of people. Forced to rely on immigrants, we have accepted as common practice those who wish to reside in our country not as proud USA citizens, but as a segregated society – both legal and illegal. This is even more of a problem in Europe. Read the rest of this entry