“My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace…A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five…A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands, or buts…This grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us…Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough…Jesus is enough.” ― Brennan Manning, All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir
That said, I have not counted myself as a Catholic for a very long time and I’m not much of a believer. I think the Catholic mass is the most beautiful of the Christian services, followed closely by the Anglicans, the latter having much better music. The CoE also does a first rate job designing churches. Those big red doors are striking.
Black churches are the most entertaining and have the best food. It’s not even close on the food side of things. The mail order theologians I see on TV like Joel Osteen strike me as creepy and weird. I suspect they are just con-men without a lick of faith, but I have no proof of that. I could be completely wrong, but that’s my hunch.
Having said all that, I wish you nothing but the best if you find peace of comfort watching Joel Osteen or attending a non-denominational quasi-Christian service down at the motor lodge. A world run by the followers of Joel Olsteen would be a better world than one run by Progressives. In the former you get to say “no thank you” and close the door when they knock. In the latter you better open the door and do what they say – or else.
That buildup is a lead in to some comments regarding this post Rod Dreher linked to the other day.
One of the great Evangelical leaders of the twentieth century, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and signatory of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, published a small booklet in 1952 entitled Four Spiritual Laws. It was used for over six decades as an evangelistic tool by literally millions of Christians worldwide. And it had – indeed, continues to have – a profound and lasting impact on Evangelicalism and the way in which that movement presents the Gospel to unbelievers and those who have strayed from their faith.
Even though I count myself among those whose spiritual journey was shaped by Bright’s vision and his call to share the good news of Jesus with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, I have come to believe that Bright’s first spiritual law – “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life” – presents a misleading depiction of what it means to follow Jesus.
I’ve known a great many Evangelicals and I have attended their services and even some of their Bible classes. This passive, feminine view of Christianity has always struck me as anti-Christian. It is occassionalism, the antithesis of Christianity, to believe man does not play a defining part of his destiny.
Logically, it is even nuttier simply because God’s plan could be that you have to figure it out on your own. Put another way, His plan may be for you to create your own plan. Simply blaming things on God and his plan for you sounds like an excuse to me. It also sounds like paganism, where the fates determine the course of your life.
But the decades long near-absence of the truth of the cross and the Gospel of suffering and transformation – that following Jesus is as much about getting heaven into you as you getting into heaven – resulted in generations of American Christians who spend half their Sunday services singing “hymns” to a Jesus that sounds more like their boyfriend than their Lord.
For this reason, as the hostility to Christian faith continues to mount in the United States – especially on issues that will require government coercion in matters of religious conscience –many of our fellow believers, unwilling to entertain the possibility that they must suffer as Christ suffered, will continue to acquiesce to the spirit of the age and construct a Jesus that conforms to that spirit. This Lord will wind up agreeing – or at least, not disputing – any of the pieties of the secular intelligentsia.
The economic, social, and familial pressures will seem so unbearable – so inconsistent with that “wonderful plan for your life” – they will quickly and enthusiastically distance themselves from those brethren who choose to pick up the cross and not check the “like” button. Whatever it is that hangs in the balance – professional honor, academic respectability, securing a lucrative business contract, or thirty pieces of silver – it will surely be described as the place to which “the Lord is leading us.”
Although they will claim to be devout “Evangelicals” or “Catholics,” they will nevertheless embody the beliefs that H. Richard Niebuhr once attributed to what was at the time the most dominant religious force in America, Liberal Protestantism: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
This is already on display as many Evangelicals adopt the pagan beliefs of environmentalism. You can be sure that they will quickly buckle to pressure on gay marriage. There are already many out celebrating the love that won’t shut the hell up. How long before Joel Osteen is sporting a rainbow tunic and pointing out passages in the Bible he say are in support of sodomy?
It’s why I say Christianity in the West is in permanent retreat. Sure, there will always be people kicking around calling themselves Christian. There will be churches with decent crowds on Sunday. But, in the face of the Fosterite Cult of Modern Liberalism, it will be nothing more than Mercerism, a harmless pastime at best. A tool of social control at worst.
From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/
Luke 21 (ESV)
Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution
10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers[c] and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
The Coming of the Son of Man
25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
Romans Chapter 1 (KJV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
2 Timothy 3 King James Version (KJV)
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
By Rod Dreher who is a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative.
Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now
No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.
It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.
The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision “a threat to democracy,” and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.
It is now clear that for this Court, extremism in the pursuit of the Sexual Revolution’s goals is no vice. True, the majority opinion nodded and smiled in the direction of the First Amendment, in an attempt to calm the fears of those worried about religious liberty. But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.
Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito explicitly warned religious traditionalists that this decision leaves them vulnerable. Alito warns that Obergefell “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy,” and will be used to oppress the faithful “by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?
For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.
For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives. The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society. After today, all religious conservatives are Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla who was chased out of that company for supporting California’s Proposition 8.
Third, the Court majority wrote that gays and lesbians do not want to change the institution of marriage, but rather want to benefit from it. This is hard to believe, given more recent writing from gay activists like Dan Savage expressing a desire to loosen the strictures of monogamy in all marriages. Besides, if marriage can be redefined according to what we desire — that is, if there is no essential nature to marriage, or to gender — then there are no boundaries on marriage. Marriage inevitably loses its power.
In that sense, social and religious conservatives must recognize that the Obergefell decision did not come from nowhere. It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution, which valorized erotic liberty. It has been widely and correctly observed that heterosexuals began to devalue marriage long before same-sex marriage became an issue. The individualism at the heart of contemporary American culture is at the core of Obergefell — and at the core of modern American life.
This is profoundly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. But this is the world we live in today.
One can certainly understand the joy that LGBT Americans and their supporters feel today. But orthodox Christians must understand that things are going to get much more difficult for us. We are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country. We are going to have to learn how to live with at least a mild form of persecution. And we are going to have to change the way we practice our faith and teach it to our children, to build resilient communities.
It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue, the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said “a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict.”
Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.
I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts. How do we take the Benedict Option, and build resilient communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? I don’t know. But we had better figure this out together, and soon, while there is time.
Last fall, I spoke with the prior of the Benedictine monastery in Nursia, and told him about the Benedict Option. So many Christians, he told me, have no clue how far things have decayed in our aggressively secularizing world. The future for Christians will be within the Benedict Option, the monk said, or it won’t be at all.
Obergefell is a sign of the times, for those with eyes to see. This isn’t the view of wild-eyed prophets wearing animal skins and shouting in the desert. It is the view of four Supreme Court justices, in effect declaring from the bench the decline and fall of the traditional American social, political, and legal order.
We live in interesting times.
Anyone who has played sports knows that strange feeling where you look up and see you’re not just losing but getting clobbered, despite feeling like you were doing well. Maybe the last time you looked up it was close and now it is a blowout. Perhaps you feel like you’re competing, but the other side just keeps pulling away. When you’re in the heat of the battle, it is easy to not only lose sight of the bigger picture, but get a wildly incorrect view of that bigger picture.
Reading conservative sites the last week, I’m getting that vibe from both the chattering skulls and their readers who show up in the comments. There’s a state of shock at what has transpired over the two weeks.Their preferred party sold them out to please global finance. The court untethered itself from the English language and made itself the enforcer for the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Not only was the Right not winning, they were blown off the field.
As I pointed out the other day, the gay marriage ruling is the biggest assault on religious liberty in the history of the nation. One cannot read the majority opinion without wondering how long before the courts declare Christianity illegal.
The ObamaCare decision is the most radical in the history of the court. Judge Roberts literally declared that the English language is no longer a constraint on the court, which means they no longer have to read the relevant laws in future cases.
Most of the Right is in shock, unable to muster more than the old complaints that sound rather silly given what has just transpired. Surprisingly, Rod Dreher gets it, as far where things stand for people of his faith. That’s a well written essay displaying the right amount of sadness for what he and his coreligionists face in the coming years.
No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.
It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.
What Rod and others got wrong is they thought they were in the fight. They truly thought they were giving the other side a battle over who will control society. The fact is, they never had a chance. They were getting their butt kicked for decades. The last week is just the part where the other team does the outrageous celebration on the loser’s team logo.
Last week was part of the mopping up phase of the culture war. The major institutions of the West have all been converted to the Cult of Modern Liberalism. There are no cultural institutions that stand in opposition to any of this stuff.
Their breathless support is seen in the speed with which retailers banished the rebel flag. A white guy shoots up a black church and the Cult demands a sacrifice in return. Hours after the gay marriage ruling major companies were celebrating it in TV commercials. You would not be cynical to think that maybe this has all been coordinated.
It’s tempting to think that normal people will resist, but history says otherwise. The Catholic Church is maneuvering to join the Cult on global warming. The Pope has already made noises about embracing the homosexual agenda. Everyone with something to lose is figuring out that it is time to join the winning side. You can be sure that the rest of the Christian sects will follow the Catholics into the abyss.
I received an e-mail from Paul Gottfried a while back, in response to one I sent him. I don’t know Professor Gottfried and he does not know me. I doubt he knows of this blog. Today, no one thinks twice about firing off an e-mail to a stranger and I’m no different. I sent off my query after reading this column.
It occurred to me that we are losing a lot of important knowledge as the geezers of the Old Right die off. They are the last ones to remember the old fights and why we find ourselves where we are. Professor Gottfried would do us all a great service by putting together a list of writers and books that the next generation could use in the resistance.
He was not interested and sounded a bitter tone in his response. Professor Gottfried, like many on the Old Right, has been shunned and forced to live on the fringes. The fringes of the public intellectual space, that is. Almost all of these guys used to write for mainstream publications and conservative publications with wide circulations. One by one they were proscribed starting in the 1980’s.
I really don’t blame these guys for being bitter, assuming they are bitter. They were right from the start. In the 80’s, when being Right was suddenly cool, all sorts of faddish sorts jumped on board, but few possessed the social core required to carry the fight to the Progressives. Instead they went in for whatever was fashionable to sell books, radio shows and ugly ties. Instead of building a movement that could displace the Left, they sucked it dry. The so-called paleo-cons predicted this result.
That’s all water under the bridge now. There’s value in learning from past defeats, but the time for that has passed as well. The only job left is to pack up the old books and articles in the hope that some future generation, looking for a way out, discovers them and find some inspiration.
From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/
After The Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council declared marriage, as we have known it for 10,000 years, to be null and void, most of the chattering skulls on what passes for the Right these days went into predictable hysterics. Progressive lunatics decorated themselves in rainbows, celebrating without fully understanding what it is they are celebrating. They just like gloating.
So far the only chattering skull to sort of get what’s happening is David French at National Review.
The most striking aspect of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, was its deep emotion. This was no mere legal opinion. Indeed, the law and Constitution had little to do with it. (To Justice Kennedy, the most persuasive legal precedents were his own prior opinions protecting gay rights.) This was a statement of belief, written with the passion of a preacher, meant to inspire.
Consider the already much-quoted closing: As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
“Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.”
This isn’t constitutional law, it’s theology — a secular theology of self-actualization — crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, “What decent person can disagree?” This is about love, and the law can’t fight love. Justice Kennedy’s opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that).
It has always been theology. The striking thing about the century long battle between the Cult of Modern Liberalism and the American Right is how uneven the fight has been. One side is focused, never losing sight of the bigger goals. The other side is composed of blithering idiots convinced they can talk their opponents out of destroying them.
And destruction is the only end possible. The Cult never loses sight of their main targets. The health care bill was mostly changes in the law to interfere with the free exercise of religion. Forcing some Christians to pay for abortions, for example, is forcing them to violate their faith. Do that enough and even the faithful give up. History is clear. Conversion is always compulsory.
This piece in America’s Newspaper of Record shines the light on what comes next.
On Friday, in a momentous decision, the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriages nationwide. But the fight over how those weddings are accommodated or recognized, particularly by religious organizations, is far from over.
Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent noted the many outstanding issues, which is why he would have preferred states passing laws allowing gay marriage, rather than judicial fiat. For Roberts, only legislation or voter initiatives signal “true acceptance.” Also, “respect for sincere religious conviction” led to “accommodations for religious practice” in every jurisdiction to democratically adopt it.
Those religious-liberty protections make clear that pre-existing bans on sexual-orientation discrimination — which provide sorely needed protections to LGBT individuals in housing, hiring and public accommodations — do not inadvertently spill over to a religious sacrament like marriage.
For example, in DC, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington, marriage counseling provided by churches could continue to cater exclusively to heterosexual couples. After extensive hearings, legislatures in four states expressly provided that religious social-services agencies could continue to place children exclusively with heterosexual married couples, although in three states, such placements may occur only if the program receives no public money.
The First Amendment, courts agree, means churches can refuse to conduct religious ceremonies for same-sex partners if it conflicts with their belief. But what if, say, a couple wants to hold a reception in a church basement? Can they be refused?
The dissenters skewered Justice Anthony Kennedy for trivializing the impact on religious believers. Kennedy says, “The First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.”
Clarence Thomas countered that “individuals and churches [will be] confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples,” an “inevitability” that the majority’s “weak gesture toward religious liberty in a single paragraph” is wholly insufficient to address. Samuel Alito worried that “those who cling to old beliefs . . . risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
At oral argument, Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli the question nagging many religiously affiliated educational institutions — the fact that Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status in the 1980s because it opposed interracial marriage. “So, would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?”
Verrilli conceded that tax exemption is “certainly going to be an issue.”
Of course it is going to be an issue. It has always been the issue. The whole point of gay marriage, after all, is to further bust up the traditional family and to marginalize Christian churches. A central tenet of the Cult of Modern Liberalism is the first and only loyalty of the people is to the state. The state is not just a government but the entirety of life. Nothing is outside the state, including God. This reads like it was written yesterday by Barak Obama for a reason.
What will happen from here is a wave of lawsuits against anyone and everyone holding out against the Homintern. This will include churches. Initially the courts will try to beat back this assault on the First Amendment, but in a decade the cost of not embracing the sodomite banner will break the remaining holdouts. Churches that refuse to perform gay weddings will lose their tax exempt status. Many will close. Being a Christian will be equated with being in the Klan.
From The Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/
Posted on | June 27, 2015
By Stacy McCain
“Politics is downstream from culture,” Andrew Breitbart often said. This was why I spent Thursday writing 4,000 words — “Let’s Bring Back Guilt and Shame” — in preparation for the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage which, as anyone who had been paying attention could have predicted, was a 5-4 decision with Justice Kennedy as the decisive vote. What we may discern from reading Justice Kennedy’s ruling is the same thing we discern from reading vulgar expressions of “gay pride” on Tumblr blogs. In both instances, we are confronted by irrational sentiment that not only refuses to recognize the potential for harmful social consequences, but which further insists that opponents are motivated by ignorance and prejudice. The Obergefell decision is not so much a legal argument as it is an accusation of bigotry against American society, an indictment of a nation that imposed a “demeaning” stigma on homosexuals. The decision declares that “marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order” (p. 4) before proceeding to declare that this social order must be destroyed because . . . well, why exactly?
There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle . . .
(What principle? Never mind. Justice Kennedy’s on a roll now.)
. . . yet same-sex couples are denied the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage . . .
(You see that, in Justice Kennedy’s enlightened mind, the “benefits” of marriage are supplied by government, rather than being intrinsic to the nature of marriage.)
. . . and are consigned to an instability many opposite-sex couples would find intolerable. . . .
(How dare you “consign” them to “instability,” you haters!)
It is demeaning to lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the Nation’s society . . .
(They’re locked out of the institution — by haters!)
. . . for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage.
(My wife has “transcendent purposes” for me to take out the garbage.)
The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.
What can anyone say in reply to such a lecture, except to wonder how or why this alleged “inconsistency . . . is now manifest” in a way it was not manifest at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was drafted and ratified by legislators who never so much as hinted any intention to alter the definition of marriage? Quite obviously, what is at the heart of this specious reasoning is a determination that gay people must be granted access, via marriage, to that “constellation of benefits” of which Justice Kennedy spoke. That is to say, insofar as the Welfare State doles out taxpayer dollars to straight people because of marriage, gay people must also be cut in for their share of the government-provided loot, and who cares what the larger consequences may be? We may expect, for example, that this will hasten the bankruptcy of Social Security as gay “widows” qualify for survivors benefits, but it is clear that Justice Kennedy would never pay heed to any such practical concern.
“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. . . . The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
— Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting
Equality with a capital E and Progress with a capital P are the inspirational touchstones of Obergefell. The past is a museum full of obsolete prejudices, where ideas that “may long have seemed natural and just” are dismissed as inferior to the ideas of our Enlightened Arbiters of Social Justice, these robed judicial eminences who are authorized to lecture us about the central meaning of fundamental rights. We can read the Constitution the same as they can, but only they are endowed with the extraordinary insight necessary to find “manifest” there a “principle” which had hitherto escaped our feeble perception.
The quasi-religious devotion to Equality and Progress that animates Obergefell moved Justice Kennedy to a mood of poetic rapture that reaches its ecstatic climax in his conclusion:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
One imagines the pages being stained and stuck together after Justice Kennedy finished writing that paragraph. Then he smoked a cigarette, got dressed in a hurry, put a $100 bill on the night stand and left quietly, while the Constitution cried herself to sleep.
@AceofSpadesHQ I’m amazed at the people swooning over the dreck as if they fully expect it in a SCOTUS opinion.
anthony kennedy writes opinions on gay sex like he was a Hallmark Card copywriter bucking for a raise @EdB_Ohio
About 20 years ago, when liberals began their push for gay marriage, it struck me as an absurd idea. I’m sure most other Americans felt the same way about it, and the social conservatives who took it seriously at the time seemed like hysterical alarmists. Certainly if anyone had told me, circa 1995, that we would reach this point so quickly, I would not have believed them, for I simply could not imagine that we would ever reach this point at all. Trusting in the basic common sense of the American people, I underestimated the persuasive power of the media and the entertainment industry, which have been playing the role of cheerleaders at the LGBT pep rally for so long. Also, I underestimated the extent to which the liberal gospel of Progress and Equality had taken root in the minds of people who, wishing to avoid serious thought about politics and social order, were content to go along with the crowd.
Conscientious people did not want to make themselves unpopular by resisting too loudly this lemming-herd stampede toward the cliff. If you do not wish gay people to be “condemned to live in loneliness” — note well Justice Kennedy’s accusatory implication that opponents are engaged in wanton cruelty — then you must Do Exactly What They Say and Give Them Exactly What They Demand. Thus we arrived at a 21st-century cultural Munich, where marriage was the Sudetenland.
Do you suspect that this will not be the totalitarians’ Final Demand? Well, you’re just a hateful homophobe, aren’t you?
What next? Ace of Spades ponders this briefly:
Now come the knock-on cases, where they ban federal funding of religious schools that don’t recognize gay marriage.
This is obvious enough, and there are many more equally obvious ramifications of Obergefell. The angry LGBT mob, full of destructive rage, will seize the whip they’ve been handed by the Supreme Court and employ it to inflict their sadistic revenge on America.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Despite today’s Supreme Court ruling, heterosexuality is still legal, except on college campuses in California.
From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/
I wonder if Christ will ever be understood.
For it’s not just the priests and nuns: Christ Himself comes across as nasty, if you read the Script — judgemental, strict, confrontational.
And when people dishonour his Father’s house — perfectly nice people for all we know, just trying to make a living — he becomes downright violent. Fashions a whip, turns over their stalls. No table manners at all. Garish talk about body and blood. Nice & nasty : Essays in Idleness
Found at AD: http://americandigest.org/
Proverbs 1 Living Bible (TLB)
1 These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel, David’s son:
2 He wrote them to teach his people how to live—how to act in every circumstance, 3 for he wanted them to be understanding, just, and fair in everything they did. 4 “I want to make the simpleminded wise!” he said. “I want to warn young men about some problems they will face. 5-6 I want those already wise to become wiser and become leaders by exploring the depths of meaning in these nuggets of truth.”
7-9 How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord!
Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honors.[a]
10 If young toughs tell you, “Come and join us”—turn your back on them! 11 “We’ll hide and rob and kill,” they say. 12 “Good or bad, we’ll treat them all alike. 13 And the loot we’ll get! All kinds of stuff! 14 Come on, throw in your lot with us; we’ll split with you in equal shares.”
15 Don’t do it, son! Stay far from men like that, 16 for crime is their way of life, and murder is their specialty. 17 When a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away, 18 but not these men; they trap themselves! They lay a booby trap for their own lives. 19 Such is the fate of all who live by violence and murder.[b] They will die a violent death.
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets for a hearing. 21 She calls out to the crowds along Main Street, and to the judges in their courts, and to everyone in all the land: 22 “You simpletons!” she cries. “How long will you go on being fools? How long will you scoff at wisdom and fight the facts? 23 Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise. 24 I have called you so often, but still you won’t come. I have pleaded, but all in vain. 25 For you have spurned my counsel and reproof. 26 Some day you’ll be in trouble, and I’ll laugh! Mock me, will you?—I’ll mock you! 27 When a storm of terror surrounds you, and when you are engulfed by anguish and distress, 28 then I will not answer your cry for help. It will be too late though you search for me ever so anxiously.
29 “For you closed your eyes to the facts and did not choose to reverence and trust the Lord, 30 and you turned your back on me, spurning my advice. 31 That is why you must eat the bitter fruit of having your own way and experience the full terrors of the pathway you have chosen. 32 For you turned away from me—to death; your own complacency will kill you. Fools! 33 But all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.”
The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying
I was on the phone with a good friend the other day. After covering important topics, like disparaging each other’s mothers and retelling semi-factual tales from our college days, our conversation turned to the mundane.
“So, how’s work going?” he asked.
For those of you who don’t know, I make money by teaching leadership skills and helping people learn to get along in corporate America. My wife says it’s all a clever disguise so I can get up in front of large groups and tell stories.
I plead the fifth.
I answered my buddy’s question with,
“Definitely feeling blessed. Last year was the best year yet for my business. And it looks like this year will be just as busy.”
The words rolled off my tongue without a second thought. Like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or placing my usual lunch order at McDonald’s.
But it was a lie.
Now, before you start taking up a collection for the “Feed the Dannemillers” fund, allow me to explain. Based on last year’s quest to go twelve months without buying anything, you may have the impression that our family is subsisting on Ramen noodles and free chips and salsa at the local Mexican restaurant. Not to worry, we are not in dire straits.
Last year was the best year yet for my business.
Things are looking busy in 2014.
But that is not a blessing.
I’ve noticed a trend among Christians, myself included, and it troubles me. Our rote response to material windfalls is to call ourselves blessed. Like the “amen” at the end of a prayer.
“This new car is such a blessing.”
“Finally closed on the house. Feeling blessed.”
“Just got back from a mission trip. Realizing how blessed we are here in this country.”
On the surface, the phrase seems harmless. Faithful even. Why wouldn’t I want to give God the glory for everything I have? Isn’t that the right thing to do?
As I reflected on my “feeling blessed” comment, two thoughts came to mind. I realize I’m splitting hairs here, creating an argument over semantics. But bear with me, because I believe it is critically important. It’s one of those things we can’t see because it’s so culturally engrained that it has become normal.
But it has to stop. And here’s why.
First, when I say that my material fortune is the result of God’s blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers. I can’t help but draw parallels to how I handed out M&M’s to my own kids when they followed my directions and chose to poop in the toilet rather than in their pants. Sure, God wants us to continually seek His will, and it’s for our own good. But positive reinforcement?
God is not a behavioral psychologist.
Second, and more importantly, calling myself blessed because of material good fortune is just plain wrong. For starters, it can be offensive to the hundreds of millions of Christians in the world who live on less than $10 per day. You read that right. Hundreds of millions who receive a single-digit dollar “blessing” per day.
During our year in Guatemala, Gabby and I witnessed first-hand the damage done by the theology of prosperity, where faithful people scraping by to feed their families were simply told they must not be faithful enough. If they were, God would pull them out of their nightmare. Just try harder, and God will show favor.
The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture.
I’ll take door number three, please.
If we’re looking for the definition of blessing, Jesus spells it out clearly (Matthew 5: 1-12).
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,
2 And He began to teach them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I have a sneaking suspicion verses 12a 12b and 12c were omitted from the text. That’s where the disciples responded by saying:
12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about “blessed art thou comfortable,” or 12b “blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?”
12c And Jesus said unto them, “Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut.”
So there it is. Written in red. Plain as day. Even still, we ignore it all when we hijack the word “blessed” to make it fit neatly into our modern American ideals, creating a cosmic lottery where every sincere prayer buys us another scratch-off ticket. In the process, we stand the risk of alienating those we are hoping to bring to the faith.
And we have to stop playing that game.
The truth is, I have no idea why I was born where I was or why I have the opportunity I have. It’s beyond comprehension. But I certainly don’t believe God has chosen me above others because of the veracity of my prayers or the depth of my faith. Still, if I take advantage of the opportunities set before me, a comfortable life may come my way. It’s not guaranteed. But if it does happen, I don’t believe Jesus will call me blessed.
He will call me “burdened.”
He will ask,
“What will you do with it?”
“Will you use it for yourself?”
“Will you use it to help?”
“Will you hold it close for comfort?”
“Will you share it?”
So many hard choices. So few easy answers.
So my prayer today is that I understand my true blessing. It’s not my house. Or my job. Or my standard of living.
My blessing is this. I know a God who gives hope to the hopeless. I know a God who loves the unlovable. I know a God who comforts the sorrowful. And I know a God who has planted this same power within me. Within all of us.
And for this blessing, may our response always be,
Since I had this conversation, my new response is simply, “I’m grateful.” Would love to hear your thoughts.
Scott Dannemiller is a writer, blogger, worship leader and former missionary with the Presbyterian Church. He writes the blog The Accidental Missionary, where this post first appeared.
Transgenderism: A Return to Pagan Mythology
By Fay Voshell
A great prophet once asked the question, “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?” Later, Jesus Christ asked, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”
The prophet’s questions were meant to cause the listener to think about the nature of reality and human inability to change certain realities by fiat or wishful thinking. Declaring one’s self to be other than what one is created is an assault on material and human reality — an exercise in magical thinking that is bound to run up against the reality of the created order, including the reality of humankind created as male and female.
Yet a recent article in the Daily Beast contains a complete glossary of gender options. The glossary is currently comprised of 51 genders, among them an option to be “gender fluid,” that is, having the ability to flit from one gender to another according to what the individual would like to be. The idea is that though biologically one may be born with male or female parts, gender is a choice, not a fixed category. Instead, gender is determined by how an individual feels about his or her self.
According to the latest gender-bending theology, apparently each of us is able by mere wishful thinking about to transform ourselves from man to woman and from woman to man. It’s a bit like Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland: “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then.”
The quote from Alice in Wonderland encapsulates via satirical means the theology of gender promoted by the increasingly radical left. And, yes, “genderism” is theology, as it deals with the intrinsic nature of human identity, humans’ place in the universe and humans’ concept of God.
The fact is that the Left’s struggle against the clear-cut distinctions between the sexes is not about civil rights. It is not about equality. The struggle amounts to a religious war between the Jewish/Christian view of humanity and the pagan view of mankind.
The belief that magical transformation of material reality, including the material reality of the human being can be accomplished by magical thinking of gods and goddesses is characteristic of the pagan worldview, a world the West left behind centuries ago, but to which it is rapidly returning. To believe the material world, including the human being, is infinitely malleable and capable of instantaneous transformation belongs more to the thought of ancient Greek and Roman mythology than it does to the Western concept of reality as defined by the Judeo/Christian tradition and modern science. The left’s current belief in human’s ability to achieve metamorphosis at will owes more to Ovid’s Metamorphosis than it does to Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Paganism believes in metamorphosis by an act of will, human or divine. Transformation from one form to another is a constant theme in Greek mythology. The gods could become whatever or whomever they wished, often because they wished to have sex with humans who were unaware they were about to be raped by a god who had chosen the disguise of an animal. Zeus became a bull in order to seduce Europa. Once she was captured, Zeus returned to human form and raped her. The gods could also transform humans into flowers and trees. Ovid wrote that Apollo changed the nymph Daphne, with whom he wanted to have sex, into a laurel tree. Hyacinth suffered a similar fate. He was turned into a flower by the god Apollo, who fell in love with the youth’s beauty. The enchanting Leda was seduced by Zeus, who took the form of a swan.
In brief, pagan mythology is characterized by the extreme malleability of material reality, including the malleability of human beings and animals. It is anti-Christian and anti-science. The pagan viewpoint is the current mythology of the Left and is the dead end of the sexual revolution begun in the sixties and now culminating in the abolition of man and woman. The chief difference is that today’s gods and goddesses are human beings who abrogate to themselves the ability to metamorphose into whatever form (sex) they choose. The mantra “You can be whatever you want to be” has expanded to include transforming one’s self into a man or woman by proclamation of the divine, autonomous self. Self-will is as effectual as the will of the gods and goddesses of Greek and Roman mythology.
Add to the pagan myths of metamorphosis by an act of the will of gods the religion of gnosticism, which ran alongside of Greek/Roman mythology. Gnosticism proclaimed material reality is lower than spiritual reality, and that humans are trapped in a lower form. Thus the person who says he’s trapped in a male body by mistake and wants to change into a woman sees himself as ascending to a purer and wholly spiritual reality. Each of us can, at will, shake off this mortal coil of sex for a better state of being, becoming as gods.
What about us mere mortals who accept the reality of their God-given sex? What about the vast majority of us human beings who not only accept the reality of male and female, but actually rejoice in the fixed distinctions between the sexes as a blessing from the Almighty?
As it turns out, we are the ones who are regarded by the Left as delusional, hate-filled people. Though we align ourselves with the scientific knowledge that the human race is divided into male and female, though we believe that “gender” is not infinitely malleable; though we align ourselves with the knowledge every civilization past and present is built on, the Left regards us as delusional and lovers of myth. We are children who don’t realize the emperor really is clothed, not naked; that he is an android, not a man at all.
Like all mythical delusions and fantasies the Left embraces, force is required in order to get the common sense populace who believe in material reality to knuckle under to nonsensical myth. Political fantasies about reality always lead to tyranny.
The uppity person who notes the emperor has no clothes or that a man claiming to be a woman is in the ladies bathroom exposing himself is quashed as a bigot. How dare anyone question the made up reality of the Left’s gods or goddesses? That is not really a man you see. It is a woman. You, dear reader, are crazy, not the gods. You are no longer sane enough to be a member of the Planet called Fitness. Further, your pizzerias will be shut down if you don’t bow down to the gods of the Left. In the long run, you hate-filled people who don’t buy into the multitudinous fantasies of the gods — fantasies more than fifty-one and counting — must be destroyed entirely because you don’t agree with the Left’s religion. You are the problem because, as Carroll notes, you “don’t believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
In sum, we common sense religious types who believe Jewish and Christian theology actually matches reality — “male and female created He them” — are the ones who are guilty of magical thinking, not progressives. It’s the bitter clingers to religion who are certifiably insane, not the Left. It’s those who believe there are two created sexes and that marriage is between a man and a woman who are nut cases. We are the ones who are out of touch with reality. We should be as “logical” as the Left. We should be like Alice in Wonderland, who said:
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
“Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”
Ultimately, the dead end of the sexual revolution is accession to the Devil’s lie to Adam and Eve when he urged them to eat the forbidden fruit and thus poison themselves with sin against the Reality of Good, Truth and Love: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
There can scarcely be a more deliberate attempt to separate ourselves from the God who created us than the attempt to reverse or annihilate the creation of humankind as man and woman. The hubris to claim we can by fiat reverse the image of God as man or woman by decree is insanity. We are not gods, even if we proclaim ourselves gods.
As theologian Paul Tillich wrote, we are inclined toward idolatry, including idolatry of self-worship — what Pastor David McGee and others call the unholy trinity of Me, Myself and I. Tillich writes that humans are inclined to worship anything but God, thinking we can “we ourselves can produce the presence of the divine Spirit.”
Or, to put it another way, the modern conceit is that we ourselves can be divine when we are actually mere mortals, male and female, in dire need of the divine intervention of redemption, wherein lies true freedom to be man and woman as God means us to be. Therein lies freedom and sanity. It does not lie in the insane idea that our identity as man and woman is completely fungible and can be created by the will of gods and goddesses.
The Left probably will not stop thinking like children who believe myths and fairy tales unless those with a grip on reality confront and demolish the mythology now mesmerizing the so-called “civil rights” movement.
As C.S. Lewis noted, even “A child can only indulge his imagination if he has the rock of stability to return to.” If the rock of reality of humanity as man and woman is destroyed, so is freedom to be human. There is no hope of freedom when magical thinking parades as logic and the natural order is repudiated in favor of myth.
Finally, the West cannot go the way of India without winding up with a sexual caste system comprised of multitudinous genders. India’s Supreme Court has created an official third sex for eunuchs and transgenders, saying, “It is the right of every human being to choose their gender.” There is absolutely no reason why the new gender caste, which is to be afforded special entitlements in government jobs and university placements, cannot expand into fifty-one or more privileged castes based on self-affirmed gender identity. All the new castes could be created out of thin air, with as many gender castes being created as there now are ethnicities — all clamoring for entitlements.
As the article states, “India’s transgenders include those who feel they were born into the wrong sex, men born with deformed genitals and effeminate boys disowned by their families and sent to live in eunuch colonies.”
While one can only feel compassion for those mutilated by their fellow men and those born with deformed genitals, the category to note is “those who feel they were born into the wrong sex.”
In the long run, the fabled ability to achieve self-metamorphosis provides opportunities as limitless as the stories in Greek mythology, but it may well lead to a new caste system similar to that so detested by the hated colonizers and Christian missionaries who repudiated reincarnation of the human race in favor of redemption of mankind through Christ. To divide society among variants of gender is to invite total disintegration of Western society because the variety of such categories is almost infinite, confined as they are only by imagination and not the reality of the created order.
The West must seek to return to and to vigorously defend the Christian view that the material world, including the human being, is designed by God; and that the created order of man as man and woman as woman cannot be changed without extreme spiritual and societal deformation.
It is one thing to wish to be like God.
It is quite another to wish to be a god.
Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, where she received a prize for excellence in systematic theology. Her articles have appeared in American Thinker, National Review, PJMedia, RealClearReligion and many other online publications. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
From AD: http://americandigest.org/
Chrislam is the merging of apostate christianity and the ideology of Islam, and it is truly a pit of serpents and devils. One of the main founders of Chrislam and one of it’s main drivers is Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in Southern California. Warren at the same time passionately denies his connection with Chrislam while at the same time promoting it through his many ministries and outlets.
To understand where it all started, journey back with us to 2009 where Rick Warren addressed a the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America. He opened by telling the audience how much he had in common with Muslims and the ideology of Islam. He preached a pro-globalization message of uniting together at any cost by laying down our differences.
He quoted no scripture from the bible, and only mentioned the Name of Jesus Christ once in passing. But what he did repeat over and over was how Muslims and Christians needed to “band together” and start work right away on “interfaith projects”. Warren poured out his interfaith slop, and the Muslims ate it up.
By the time he was done speaking, Chrislam was born. But Warren was only just getting started. The Yale Covenant was right around the corner.
A Common Word Between Us and You
Around this same time, Rick Warren was instrumental in the creation and signing of the Yale Covenant Between Islam and Christianity. This is the preamble to that covenant:
As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. “A Common Word Between Us and You” identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism. Jesus Christ’s call to love God and neighbor was rooted in the divine revelation to the people of Israel embodied in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). We receive the open letter as a Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians worldwide. In this response we extend our own Christian hand in return, so that together with all other human beings we may live in peace and justice as we seek to love God and our neighbors.
Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship; their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility. Since Jesus Christ says, “First take the log out your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world. Yale Covenant
You will note that the Yale Covenant preamble ends with this esteemed board of Laodicean apostates asking for “forgiviness from the All-Merciful One, Allah”. They have placed the Muslim moon god on the same playing field as the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob from the bible. This Covenant was signed by hundreds of religious leaders from all across America.
So though Rick Warren issues a constant stream of denials about his role in Chrislam, everywhere you look there he is. All the evidence always leads back to him. And he has recruited many others to join him.
Today in 2013, Chrislam is rising rapidly. John Hagee’s son Matthew has a ministry that uses the crescent moon of Islam and the christian cross as a logo.
Glenn Beck went to Israel and made a video promoting a universal religion with Christianity and Islam as its core. Note how he equates the God of the bible as the same as the moon god of Islam, this is the essence of what Chrislam is all about.
Beck’s universalist message is in perfect harmony with Rick Warren’s global interfaith vision of Chrislam. We are seeing more and more pastors getting in line behind Warren’s demonic vision.
By David Warren
“Security questions” were the reason so many Christian students were massacred in Kenya this week. This analysis dominates the headlines, as I write, of the BBC, CNN, and so forth. Owing to “security questions,” Christian students were separated from Muslim students at the Garissa university campus (many of the former identified because they were praying). By some strange and unaccountable coincidence, only the former were slaughtered. But wait, but wait, there were Muslim victims, too! At least four of them: wearing suicide vests, who blew themselves up at the end.
All the dead died because of these “security questions,” which are raised by liberal journalists to deflect attention from the Muslim killers to the Kenyan government. In extenuation, it must be remembered that the typical liberal journalist is also, thanks partly to environmental influences beyond his immediate control, a malicious idiot. He has no clear idea what he is doing. In this case he probably thinks he is promoting multicultural harmony. He is not: Western Christians know perfectly well who is killing whom around the “bloody borders” of the Dar al-Islam, but do not habitually retaliate against harmless and defenceless Muslims in the West.
The truth is that the “liberal” mind (I am using the term in its current sense; or if gentle reader prefers, “progressive” means the same thing) spontaneously identifies more with the perpetrator than the victim, and thus devotes most of its cruelly limited wattage, like the criminal himself, to finding someone innocent or uninvolved to blame.
Of course the Kenyan security agencies are “incompetent.” So are all security agencies, by the standard of Omniscience. They had not yet increased the number of armed guards on that particular university campus, even though they had received intelligence (mostly in the form of threats) that there would be more attacks on Christians in Kenya. As intelligence of this nature is received constantly, today, and the attacks also continue, one may pretend that the security agencies are always to blame. Constant repetition of this vicious lie has conditioned much of the public to react in that way: to blame, without thinking, anyone but the perpetrator.
The secondary level, in the media analysis — that this hit was “payback” for Kenyan government attacks on Muslim terrorists in Somalia — notably cancels the first. For the Kenyan “security questions” are indeed doing what they can. They are tracing their problem of Muslim terrorism to its root cause, which is Muslim terrorists — in this case coming mostly from Somalia.
Godspeed to them in their task, which requires courage from the least of them, along with skill in the use of firearms.
Then we get to the third and most abstract level of this analysis, which takes us out of the direct news reporting, to the cloud cuckooland of liberal pundits and White House flacks. “Poverty and unemployment” accounts for this terrorism. This is fatuous to an extreme that beggars comprehension. It is opposite to the truth at so many points that I’m tempted to write an Idlepost simply listing them. Suffice to say, terrorists seldom come from impoverished families, and even if they did this would not explain why the impoverished, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, so seldom become terrorists. Or, why the ones who do are almost always Muslim.
I find this “media selectivity” — which is to say, constant semi-conscious lying and misrepresentation — almost annoying. Honest reporting in this case would shine light on al-Shabaab, and the explicitly Muslim ideology which accounts entirely for their choice of targets. But I’ve been a journalist myself, and have many years of aggregate experience in newsrooms, and I have observed the root cause of this problem. It is the liberal ideology, or in a word, liberals. They long for destruction of what remains of Western civilization in the same way al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda long for it, but being pant-wetted cowards they restrict their activity to what is within current law. Notwithstanding, at a deeper level, they share with the murderous an allegiance to the “culture of death,” and peristent opposition to the “culture of life.”
The liberal mind naturally identifies with the criminal. This is why, for liberals, freedom of speech and press means licence for pornographers, and human rights reduce invariably to permission for “the transgressive” against civilized norms. They instinctively identify with Muslim fanatics because they share a common enemy: Christians. But when the terrorists do things so utterly repulsive that even they are appalled, they do not attack the motivating Muslim ideology, or a Shariah which is simply a rotation of their own political correctness, but instead “religious fundamentalism” — intending to tar all faithful Christians with the same stinking brush.
We are not dealing here with “another point of view.” We are dealing instead with the satanic. It takes many forms, but when “Allah” is deemed to have commanded massacres of the harmless and defenceless, it may be seen that devil-worship is directly in play. For the poisonously befogged liberal mind, demonic service is less conscious. The liberal is not so much the Devil’s worshipper, as the Devil’s plaything. But this may be rationally demonstrated, by the consistency of his support for the more evil of any two rival causes — for whichever side promises the greater reduction of human life, up to the stage where it becomes so visibly icky that natural mechanisms are triggered, and he throws up.
Jesus was not a conservative, incidentally. He was, and He remains, very purposefully, off the political chart. The true opposite of liberalism is not conservatism, but instead the apolitical — the taking personal responsibility instead of assigning it to others. The trap of liberalism is that only through politics can the political agenda be fought.
And as for Jesus: He is dead at this liturgical moment, the Nietzschean position in the Christian calendar, when one might even say that, “God is dead.” This gives us a chance to consider what is implicit in that proposition. We are in mourning for a Christ who has been judicially murdered. But, too, for a Christ who caught even His own Apostles by surprise, as we will recollect tonight.
If liberals did not love death, they would not so consistently encourage it.
If God did not hate death, He would not have defeated it.
Remember that, and remember that the latest Christian martyrs in Kenya are not dead, despite the terrorists’ best efforts. Like the good thief, they will rise with Our Lord.
From David Warren: http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2015/04/04/holy-saturday/
That conclusion is you cannot have freedom of any sort without freedom of association. If you must get permission from the state to associate or disassociate from others, you have no freedom. The state may allow you some options, but everything you do must come with a permission slip. Otherwise, putting two people who hate one another in the same room ends up with blood on the walls.
Here’s a recent screed from National Review struggling to avoid stating the obvious.
Policies come to us with principles attached to them, and when debating public policy we should consider the principles not only of legislation that has passed but also of legislation that has been rejected. No one to my knowledge is discussing where the principles implied in the Left’s rejection of the RFRA lead. Responsible statecraft entails an examination of a principle’s logical conclusion. In the case of liberalism, the conclusions to which its principles lead help us see just how deeply opposed those principles are to the constitutional order we’ve inherited.
When the Left rejects the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it invites compelled speech. When photographers are forced under threat of fines to shoot weddings or religious services that they believe are immoral, the assumption is that we are sometimes legally bound to participate in certain kinds of speech, and the state becomes the arbiter of what that speech is in specific instances.
Well, no. Forcing someone to work for someone else is not forcing them speak. It is forcing them to participate. Put another way, it is compulsory association. The state is saying to the photographer, “We really don’t care about your opinions of these people. You must do what we say, act as we say or else.”
Of course, the reason Andrew Walker of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the guy who wrote the piece in question, must fetishize speech is he cannot mention association. To do so, to draw the obvious conclusion from the events in Indiana and elsewhere, would risk his job and career. Rand Paul almost saw his career come to end in 2012 because he dared utter this conclusion.
The reason, ostensibly, is that letting stores refuse service to homos would lead to stores not serving blacks. That has things exactly backwards. Separate public accommodations in the South were falling apart on their own. Basic economics makes such practices self-limiting and self-destructive. The reason Progressives pushed through laws against private discrimination was to eliminate private association.
It’s rather amazing how easily Americans were willing to surrender their liberty, but there it is. Now, there’s no reason to think things like Christianity, private clubs, fraternities, etc will hold up much longer. After all, if you cannot deny admissions based on your own peculiar criteria, why have an organization at all?
The thing I think is vexing to the professional Right is the mounting proof that they were wrong about the Left. They were convinced that the “other side” (as if there are only two sides) was acting in good faith, but just need convincing. Recent events show that to be nonsense, but Conservative Inc. can’t bring itself to admit it.
Which leads to my final point. When the Left rejects the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it invites the imposition of state-enforced morality. The Left requires obedience and punishes dissent. It insists that all citizens must, against their will, act only in a manner that liberalism judges to be accommodating and politic. Anyone acquainted with progressive thought knows that it is founded on unexamined assumptions, but seldom until now have we seen its unhinged hostility unmasked, as the Left reacts to our defense of a cherished freedom written into our Constitution.
There’s no evidence from Progressives that they see any of this as a flaw or even unintentional. Yes, they fully expect to impose their morality – at gunpoint if necessary – on the rest of us. That’s how political cults operate. Hell, it’s how Christianity operated for over 1,000 years. But, admitting this is the case would point out that Conservative Inc has been wrong for thirty years now.
From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/
Posted on | April 1, 2015
That’s how Alyssa Marino “reported” a story Tuesday on ABC affiliate WBND-TV in South Bend, Indiana, with the result that a firestorm of hatred came raining down on a pizza shop:
There were no complaints nor denials of service to anyone ever, but because of their religious beliefs, Memories Pizza stands in ruin and the family who owns it has had their lives threatened countless times. How did the O’Connor family, owners of Memories, find themselves in this situation? They were honest with a reporter in search of a story to fit the media’s narrative.
Alyssa Marino is a reporter with ABC 57 News in South Bend, Indiana. With her state in the center of a hurricane over religious freedom, Marino must’ve thought she’d had a coup – a devout Christian business owner willing to speak on camera about their religious beliefs and how it impacts the operations of that business.
The issue of gay marriage is not one that generally comes up when talking about a pizzeria. Neither is straight marriage, for that matter. Local pizza joints aren’t generally hotbeds of wedding receptions. Yet, Marino found herself wandering into Memories Pizza to get the unsuspecting owners to weigh in on an emotional issue which has never come up in the course of the business’s nearly 10 year existence.
When owner Crystal O’Connor told Marino, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” she had to know she’d struck gold.
You know what would be awesome right now? A fresh hot slice of Indiana pizza, with pepperoni, mushrooms and FREEDOM!
Legalize sodomy, and next thing you know, it’s illegal to disapprove of sodomy. How long until taxpayer-funded compulsory sodomy?
At what point did Americans begin to believe they had a “right” not to be offended?
Liberals always demand “tolerance” until they get enough power to silence their opposition. Then dissent is banned as “hate speech.“
In 2015, Democrats are calling in death threats to a pizza shop whose owner agrees with what was Barack Obama’s official position in 2008.
Democrats have succeeded in fostering violent hatred against Christians, capitalists, heterosexuals and fetuses.
Death threats are only publicized to the extent they can portray the left as sympathetic victims.
When the left threatens to murder political opponents, the media covers it up.
The Democrat-Media Complex has hyped this Indiana RFRA controversy into an LGBT lynch-mob scenario that compares to nothing I’ve seen since the L.A. riots in 1992. Some people seem to have lost their minds over this:
A Concord High School coach has been suspended after she tweeted about arson in relation to a Walkerton pizzeria whose owners told the media they agree with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Jess Dooley, who is the head coach of the girls golf program and also an assistant coach with the softball and girls basketball programs, took to Twitter Wednesday, April 1, to voice her opinion about the RFRA.
She was adding to the conversation about Memories Pizza, a Walkerton restaurant whose owners announced in a television news segment that they would not cater gay weddings.
Her tweet read: “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?”
Hey, arson advocacy, public education, to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to, right?
People: Calm down. If your TV is making you crazy, turn off the TV. If the Internet is making you crazy, get off the Internet.
Except this blog, of course.
This blog will continue providing all the high-intensity craziness anybody could ever need. Because we know you need it.
From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/
Two Years Later, You’ll Still Be Made to Care
By Erick Erickson
They have suddenly discovered Jesus dined with sinners. They just ignore that he said “go and sin no more.” There is no evidence Jesus baked a cake to celebrate sin, but the media wants you to think he did. Just pay no attention to the guy in the Bible who spoke the most about hell fire. Oh wait, that would be the very same Jesus.
Two years ago this week, I coined the phrase “you will be made to care.” The media have long served to push along the leftwing agenda. Their reporting on Indiana is a greater mythological fiction than how they view Jesus. In light of the press’s advocacy, not reporting, in the last twenty-four hours in defense of hypothetical gays shut out of hypothetical businesses, it is worth revisiting the genesis of “You Will Be Made to Care.”
First, you are not loving your neighbor if you are cool with them going to hell. Do you want to go to hell? No? Well then how are you loving your neighbor as yourself if you’re cool with him going to hell? Leading people to Christ requires leading them to ask Christ to forgive them of their sins. It requires a deeper understanding of what is a sin. The Bible is clear. Same sex sexual relations is a sin, as is lying, greed, gluttony, adultery, etc. — no more or less worse than any other sin — and Christ himself is clear that marriage is between one man and one woman.
My church does not treat marriage as a sacrament, but it would be a sin to alter that which God himself ordained and established as an institution. Active sin without repenting, and without even feeling the need to repent, should be a big red flag on anyone’s salvation.
Gay rights advocates on the steady march toward and past gay marriage will make you care. They will not give you room to sit on the fence.
Tim Keller got a lot of heat two years ago for saying that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” He was not talking about himself. He was talking about the compromise many young evangelicals are making.
Some, though, are going the next step to “I. Do. Not. Care.”
The left will allow no fence sitting. You may not believe me. You may think me hyperbolic. But the history of the world shows this. Events ultimately come to a head. They boil to their essence. And at that point you must choose.
That is why so many Christians are fighting. Because we see in Europe and Canada what will happen here. Christianity is a religion of the city square. Christ compels us to “go forth and teach.” It is the Great Commission. We cannot go forth and teach when the left bars us from the town square.
Many people say we should have legal gay marriage, but not have religious gay marriage. The left will not honor the distinction. Look to Canada. Preachers can be brought up for hate crimes charges merely for discussing passages of the Bible that deal with same sex sexual relations. You may not care that it is a sin, but the world surely does. Look at Louie Giglio, who could not honor the President at his inauguration because of his orthodox Christian beliefs on this subject.
In short, you may choose not to care and in so doing sit on the sidelines or give aid and comfort to the open minded and tolerant who want gay marriage so everyone can have equal rights.
But the world will one day make you care. Your church, should it open its doors to all, but refuse to perform a same sex wedding, will be accused of discrimination. In some places, the church will be forced to stop performing weddings. Many churches will lose their tax exempt status. The costs of sharing the gospel will go up.
Already Christians are being harassed by fellow American citizens for not wanting to participate in a gay marriage.
The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care.
We are not using the state to enforce the commands of Scripture. We are using the state to protect our ability to preach the scripture under the first amendment. If the state has the power to change the definition of an institution that it did not create, but that God himself created, the state can compel and coerce the church to honor that definition or sit on the sidelines and shut up.
A Christian on the sidelines is a Christian not going forth. You can be a sincere Christian and support the idea of gay marriage. But you would also be foolish to ignore what is going to happen to the church once the state decides something is a matter of equal protection. You can dismiss me now, but you are ignoring what’s already happening.
Keep in mind as well that many of those who you may look to for reassurance that I’m wrong are hostile to the church already and will not be on the side of the church as the equal protection arguments against it grow.
The state did not create marriage and it should not now exert the power to change the definition of that which it did not create. Those of you who are Christians who support gay marriage will one day have Archbishop Chaput burning in your ears. He said that evil peddles tolerance until it is dominant then seeks to silence good. That’s why Christians fight on this issue. It is not to force themselves on others, but to protect themselves from others being forced on them.
“Green Alarmism does not derive from science. It comes from a religion, the faux pagan worship of Gaia, the earth goddess. She is angry and must be propitiated by the sacrifice of human babies. The white liberals who are votaries of this religion have chosen brown and black babies to be the victims of the rituals of “population control”, “zero population growth” and “reproductive choice”.
“Why has this bizarre cult arisen among what are supposed to be our most intelligent and skeptical class?
“First we must observe the collapse of Christian belief in this class.
“They are all Marxists now, not industrial grade Stalinists, but cultural Marxists theorized by Adorno, and Gramisci, and the French lumpen-philosopes such as Foucault and Derrida. But, even those variants of Marxism demands atheism.
“Also atheism, especially, the nasty anti-intellectual atheism of Dawkins et. al., allows them to indulge their favorite passion — Contempt for the unwashed masses of Americans — the obese bitter clingers who inhabit fly-over country and cling to their guns and religion.
“Having chosen atheism does not mean that they believe nothing. As Umberto Eco wrote:
“G K Chesterton is often credited with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.
“The “death of God”, or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church …”
— Posted by: Fat Man in comments on The Top 40: The Green Left’s Fascist Roots
From AD: http://americandigest.org/