Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Society’

Bloodless Moralism – First Things Magazine

August 25, 2015

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/02/bloodless-moralism

Helen Andrews writes an interesting article about moral decisions in First Things magazine.  It essentially is a treatise on the current method of justifying moral decisions on the political and social theory level using statistics and heresy, and contrasts it with how the same decisions are made on the personal level. It implies that over-reliance on the statistical method can lead to absurdity. I agree. Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:

“We are hesitant, almost to the point of paralysis, about making moral claims on moral grounds.”

“During the Depression, the problems that government sought to address had mostly been brought to its attention by cries from below, expressed by people who could see the problem with their own eyes. From Kennedy’s presidency onward, bureaucrats armed with national statistics—then a fairly new phenomenon, not coincidentally—began searching their data for problems to solve, whether popular demand for such solutions existed or not.”

“When professionals put such zest and seriousness into persuading people that they have a problem that can be solved, several things can go wrong. It may be that the targets of their attentions have a problem that cannot be solved. It may be that they do not have a problem at all. Or it may be that they do have a problem and it can be solved, but it would be better for them in the meantime to be able to appreciate, relish, draw from, or find the richness in their problem instead of simply deprecating it. The professionals’ response to each of these three possibilities ends in false hope, false despair, or false resentment for the sufferers, yet ever greater self-satisfaction for their would-be saviors.”

“If the governor of New York were to promise to abolish stupidity within ten years, anyone hearing him would think, “Physician, heal thyself.”

“Membership in the lower class, for example, has never been a picnic, but it used to be something that a person could draw from and take pride in. Described in the terms that politics permits us to use today, as “socioeconomic disadvantage” (or worse, “lack of privilege”), it sounds like nothing more than a list of things to complain of.”

“During the Cold War, especially its early stages, the books written in defense of the Soviet model fairly bristled with statistics. Wisely, the West’s more effective defenders did not attempt to refute tractor-production figures from the Ukraine with tractor-production figures from Moline, Illinois. They made more fundamental points, like the difficulty of collecting accurate statistics in a police state, or the conclusiveness with which even accurate statistics are trumped by the brute fact of mass starvation.”

At a more Kirkian level of abstraction, there were such simple observations as: Our people are free, yours are not; we produce poetry, you produce propaganda; our cities are beautiful, yours are hideous. The equivalent arguments in the modern context might be (1) no amount of creative accounting will convince a sane person that you have made a money-saver out of a vast new entitlement like Obamacare; (2) no study could ever refute the fact that character is both a cause and a casualty of government-subsidized poverty; and (3) I will listen to econometricians as soon as you show me one that can write with more fluency than a high school sophomore.”

“…they have an idealized picture of the sciences as a self-policing community of disinterested truth-seekers with laboratories and databases and state-of-the-art modeling programs.”

Advertisements

Perhaps the Day of Purification has Arrived

June 29, 2015

I have done very little posting on this or any of my other blogs since the re-election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States in 2012, due in great part to the overwhelming sense of rejection I feel from my own fellow American citizens.  On 26 June 2015, only two and a half years after that, the final blow to the American version of Western Civilization was delivered.  Somehow, someway, the haters of God have succeeded in turning not only Godliness but the very course of nature on its head, and have twisted the holy relationship of marriage into an unholy deformity of the original meaning of that God-Ordained institution.  The relationship between the Church and American society and its government is now officially broken.  Maybe now Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists will cease the blind patriotism that this wicked nation’s politicians has exploited.  The United States and well as modern Israel are wicked nations that have been promoting homosexuality for at least six decades, if not longer; yet even with the homosexualization of the military itself, Christian young people are going into foreign lands to fight wars that have ambiguous goals, to be injured or killed for reasons that are either kept secret or are arbitrary, for a nation that exalts wickedness as a virtue, and shames Godliness as a vice.  The Beast is already mandating its mark; to “buy or sell”, one must bear it.  Can worse things be very far behind?  No.  And shall you and I stand on the day of our trial?  Well, according to scripture, God desires “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”  Perhaps the day of purification has arrived.

No Customer Service for the Regular Folks – Enough Already!

February 8, 2011

Customer Service for the average citizen and consumer today may be summarized in three phrases:  One size fits all, get in line, and do it yourself.

One begins to wonder just who is behind the continuous dis-improvement of the products and services offered up by both government agencies and businesses.  Try calling a government agency and see if you can reach someone that even cares about your problem, or can even understand your problem, much less someone that can actually solve your problem.

And don’t look for relief amongst the commercial interests of the free market.  Just try to get someone on the phone (forget ever going into a business PLACE to get service) that can speak English well enough to be understood.  If the customer is #1, why can’t we get customer service after the sale?

There are exceptions, of course.  One I know of is USAA.  I have several accounts with them, and I have never had a problem with customer service with them.  They are friendly; they are Americans; they seem to care about my problems; they always solve the issue and communicate it in a way I can understand.  — AND THEY MAKE A PROFIT!!

So if USAA can make a profit while providing superior service to every customer, why can’t other businesses do it?

It seems to be either a matter of pure choice, or perhaps certain the government provides businesses with certain incentives to hire minimally trained, broken-english-speaking foreign workers to provide customer service.

No doubt some business managers are scared to death they might spend a penny more than they have to for customer service.  And I am certain that there are government-subsidized incentives to encourage them.

But what do we do about it?

One thing we can do is to speak out against it.  Refuse to accept it.  When we get a customer service rep on the phone that cannot speak clearly, or does not have the ability to help you, or the desire to help you, demand to speak to a supervisor.  There’s the old-fashioned letter to the editor, or to the Company President.

It’s time to stand up to the continuous minimalization of service birthed by the World planners.  Whether it’s TQM, Peter Drucker, ISO 9000, or whatever other program that’s behind the destruction of decent society, we’ve had enough of it, haven’t we?

Whatever we’re doing, it ain’t working…

March 30, 2010

…as evidenced by the random acts of violence in Philadelphia recently.  See the story here:

http://m.philly.com/phillycom/db_/contentdetail.htm;jsessionid=4D4566DBB359EC137A09460E46BFF4BD?contentguid=2aai3X72&full=true#display

If things were better before 1968 – and they were – why aren’t we looking at that bygone society and emulating it?

Douglas Wilson on Popular Culture

August 7, 2009

Disclaimer:  I don’t follow Federal Vision theology. 

However, Douglas Wilson, who does, is a brilliant communicator of truth nevertheless. 

The following articles is a peak into this great mind speaking on a rather tired yet ever-important subject.

The article is copied from the blog “Blog and Mablog”, found at:  http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=6807.

 

 

Unleashing Your Inner Fundamentalist

Topic: Sex and Culture
Suppose that John R. Rice, during his Sword of the Lord days, accidentally took a couple hits of acid, and prophesied wildly about what would happen down the road if women quit wearing their hair in a bun, and started wearing slacks like crazy. Suppose he got really out there, and promised us all that the day would soon come when men would be marrying men, and women women. He said that people would begin paying surgeons to cut perfectly good organs off so they could justify wearing a dress, and that Secular Man, in solemn assembly, would pronounce the results to be a surgically-altered good. And the evening and the morning were the weird day.

Suppose he had done that. The results have refuted his predictions exactly . . . how? If we added up all the dire predictions that the fundamentalists have made down through the years, what about them didn’t happen? Fundamentalists are the cassandras of American cultural life. Back when everything seemed so stable in its Eisenhowerishness, the fundamentalist would say that everything was soon to be headed for hell in a handbasket. Ho, ho, ho was the cogent reply. Now here we are bouncing along in the handbasket, with some of the more gifted of our number getting grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to puke over the side of the handbasket as we bounce along. “This small performance is one I like to call ‘Seasickness Against the Absolute.’ Thank you, thank you!” And a fundamentalist in the corner says, “You know, I don’t see how you can call that art.” Everybody, all together now, ho, ho, ho!Fast forward to our day. When people object to tattoos, or jewels stuck in odd places, and someone objects to the objection by saying that back in the day they used to object to slacks for women, what about this makes it seem like a strong argument? Now before anyone rushes to the keyboard in order to type I can’t believe . . ., let me say that I do believe the fundamentalist argument is simplistic and inadequate. But compared to the arguments for getting the tats and other badges of the moment, the fundamentalists come off looking like Derrida on one of his subtler days.

A fundamentalist woman in a sun bonnet and a gingham dress, who gets a wicker basket to go pick blueberries, so she can bake her man a pie, with a golden crust, the kind he likes, may be a little bit hokey for your tastes, and certainly for mine. But at least she is trying to achieve an effect that the Bible says women should strive for — she wants to be modest and discrete. She is not trying to achieve an effect that the Bible never urges women to strive for, as in “edgy.” Or “provocative, but not too skanky for an evangelical.” She may be playing the instrument badly, but at least she is playing the right one. Suppose the Bible tells women to play the piano. This does not make every woman an accomplished pianist, but I do have respect for every woman who practices the piano, blunders and all. But the women who show up with a leaky concertina they got at Goodwill are trying to do something else. In other words, let us make a distinction between doing the right thing badly, and doing the wrong thing well. And, as Herodotus might say, so much for the fundamentalists.

Let’s talk for a moment about establishment worldliness, as distinct from organic food, tattooed, burlap shopping bag, NPR-listening worldliness. There is country club worldliness, and there is earth muffin worldliness. When I tag tats and odd jewelry as worldliness, as I have most certainly done, the response is often that women who have their nails done by Pierre at the salon for six hundred dollars a minute can be worldly too. There is a two-fold response to this. The first is sure, worldliness is quite possible there, and at this ostentatious level, inevitable. But what is that to you? You follow Christ. The fact that she shouldn’t be at the salon doesn’t mean that you get to go to the tattoo parlor. And secondly, this kind of monied worldliness is the result of a real failure in the right area, as opposed to success in the wrong one. Bear with me for a minute.

The Bible calls upon women to be sober (Tit. 2:4) and discrete (Tit. 2:5). They are to live in a way that provides no occasion for others to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14). Their demeanor should be characterized by shamefacedness (1 Tim. 2:9) and sobriety (1 Tim. 2:9). It is important to note that the word translated shamefacedness is aidous, which does not denote an Islamic browbeaten demeanor. That said, neither does it constitute an invitation to go ahead and buy a halter top that is two sizes too small. The word is not that elastic, unlike the halter top. In this same verse, the ESV says that women should wear respectable apparel. The word is one of those judgment-call words.

Who makes the judgments? The Bible says that older women should teach younger women how to achieve that effect, an effect we can sum up with the word respectable. Strikingly, it does not call upon the younger women to push the envelope until the older women finally say something critical about it. Again, the older women are to help the younger women try to achieve a modest respectability. The younger women are not called upon to demand the older women prove that something or other is not positively disreputable. According to the Bible, respectability is the goal. This means that the wife of the country club president is being worldly as she tries too hard to be respectable, with results that are too flashy. And she shouldn’t do that — she is playing the piano poorly. But a woman who is schlepping around the supermarket in sweat pants is playing the concertina, and it doesn’t matter if she is playing poorly or well.

Clothing and jewelry are all forms of communication. They are a form of language. Some elements of communication and language are universal — such as laughter or weeping. Other forms are culturally determined, such as a phonetic collection of sounds that mean an obscenity in one language and doorknob in another. When someone inveighs against tattoos, as I am more than willing to do, the resultant dispute often gets dragged into a debate over whether there is a deep structure to this, like laughter (as I believe), or not. But this usually happens with the objectors bringing an assumption that if it is not a universal sort of thing, then it is entirely arbitrary, and nobody can say anything about it. But the fact that English obscenities are not obscenities in every language does not grant one the right to stand on the street corner, yelling them at the passing motorists.

There is a deep, human way of showing respect, and there are particular linguistic ways of doing so. The Bible requires us to use both and to honor both. And the Bible says that younger women should learn about respectability from older women, and not the other way around. Any system of propriety-definition that has to say that the younger women know more about it than do the older women has scratched at the starting line. Whether we are talking about creational language or cultural language, showing honor and respect are the fixed goals. We shouldn’t be distracted by the creational/cultural debate such that we allow in a different goal entirely just so long as “it is not a sin in every culture.” A Christian woman may not adorn herself in a way that is flippant, lazy, disrespectful, or irreverent. And if she has an honest question about something that seems on the line, she should ask her grandmother, not her fourteen-year-old cousin.

Now I am prepared to argue that bodily mutilation and tatting is a necessary manifestation of cultural unbelief (Lev. 19:27-28; 1 Kings 18:28; Gal. 5:12). Idols always bring the knives with them. God created man in His image, like a priceless Durer woodcut, and so the devil brings the marker pens to doodle with. But suppose for a moment that this is all wrong, and that hypothetically and postmillennially there could be a culture someday in which tatting up your thirteen year virgin with dragon pictures was a practice that God the Father thought was swell, and about time the Holy Spirit added, encouragingly. It still remains true that in our culture, in English, nothing says trailer trash like a halter top and a tat. And when you get a nose stud, you are a lot closer to Brittany and Paris Hilton than you were before, and farther away from all the fifty-year-old church ladies. Which, come to think of it, may have been the whole point.

Posted by Douglas Wilson – 8/5/2009 5:51:27 PM

The Supreme Court and Child Raptists: Has America Sinned Itself to Death?

February 3, 2009

There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.   1 John 5:16

Sometimes I don’t know if I should pray for my country or not when I consider that our Supreme Court justices – those who are supposed to be the wisest among us – have determined that the “rights” of a child rapist is more important than the justice due the victim of that despicable act.  It may be time to throw in the towel on America.

Maybe Reverend Wright, the now-infamous former pastor of President Obama, was right after all.  How can we honestly petition God to bless such a wicked nation?  It seems we’ve gone beyond wicked to outright insanity.

The case in point is officially known as “Kennedy vs Louisiana”, which was decided on Jun 25, 2008.  It is odd to me how such a landmark decision made it under the media radar.  Most people haven’t even heard of it to this day.

But on that day, the Court ruled in a five to four decision that applying the death penalty to perpetrators of child rape to be unconstitutional.  The majority opinion – held by justices Kennedy, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer – ruled that the death penalty is “cruel and unusual punishment” and is therefore unconstitutional under the eighth amendment of the constitution.

These five – alleged to be actual human beings – even they admit to the great repugnancy of the crime at hand (child rape), and the outrageously heinous nature of the particular incident over which this decision was made.  I could not include in this article the details of the crime without violating the sensibilities of even the most thick-skinned among us.

And yet for all that, they perceive to themselves a duty to protect the guilty and deny the innocent the justice they deserve.

And what is the rational given by the five animals to justify this insult to humanity?  Here it is in the words of Justice Alito who spoke for the four dissenting members (Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas):

The Court today holds that the Eighth Amendment categorically prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of raping a child. This is so, according to the Court, no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be. The Court provides two reasons for this sweeping conclusion: First, the Court claims to have identified “a national consensus” that the death penalty is never acceptable for the rape of a child; second, the Court concludes, based on its “independent judgment,” that imposing the death penalty for child rape is inconsistent with ” ‘the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’ ” (underlines added)

 

Can you believe it?  The Supreme Court makes rulings based on their opinions of what constitutes a “national consensus”!  And if that were not enough of the mind of human depravity, they further reveal their hatred of everything decent by stating that the death penalty for a child rapist is “inconsistent with evolving standards of DECENCY”!!

Words of protest fail me at this point.  I can only stand like the perplexed Habakkuk with mouth agape in wonder at the contradiction of it all.

 If the Lord delays His coming, the day is surely coming in which decent people will be forced to keep silent.  Although we already face the ridicule and scoffing of a self-absorbed and nihilistic world, at least we still have some remaining modicum of freedom to speak out against the encroaching darkness.

There is a Supreme Court in Heaven to which the Supreme Court of the United States must answer.  God has made is ruling on the issue:

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  (Romans 13:4)

 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.  (Psalms 9:17)

Marraige for Robots in Dallas

November 13, 2008

From the Dallas News:  Dallas Area Pastor Issues Sex Challenge (link provided below). 

God may have rested on the seventh day, but the Rev. Ed Young wants married couples to have sex all week long.  Once a day. Beginning this Sunday.

I cannot think of a better example of what happens when a depraved, weak human mind tries to do God’s work without God’s words.  Scripture does not minimize the holy marriage relationship down to mechanical prescriptions such as “have sex some number of days.”

 What are we?  Robots?

In fact, nothing could be more harmful to a marriage than to substitute animal desires for sacrificial commitment. 

This pastor goes on to say: 

…the embracing of sex is about nurturing and strengthening marriages.  Sex is like Super Glue. It’s a spiritual thing, an emotional thing.

If sex is a spiritual thing, I guess we should start spending our Sundays in Las Vegas.  Of course, people who know their Bibles and some religious history will immediately recognize in this the philosophy of pagan religions with their groves where one could achieve contact with the spirit world through the ecstasies of bodily pleasures aided by the temple prostitutes.  This is nothing more than Baal worship in the name of Jesus.

But wait!  “Pastor Young is not promoting prostitution or anything like that but is promoting monogamous relationships.”  Okay, fine, he is not outrightly promoting such things as mentioned, but how is he “promoting” monogamous relationships when he equates the health of a given relationship with a strong sex drive?  Isn’t it more likely that a hyper-active sex drive will result in adultery or variant behaviours that may destroy the relationship?  Isn’t adultery the leading cause of divorce?  Shouldn’t we be learning restraint rather than fueling the flame of the disastrous fire that already burns in nature?

I, like many others, wonder what the motivation of this absurd “pastor” can be.  My gut reaction to such nonsense amounts to “stupid, stupid, stupid!”  But maybe it’s not stupidity at all, but on the contrary, a very clever maneuver by a brilliant manipulator, as Jim Dale has it figured:

Jim Dale of Coppell said he figures the pastor is trying to create more buzz for his five-church mega-ministry. “Draw ’em in, no matter what or how,” wrote the Coppell resident in a posting on dallasnews.com. “Sex? You betcha. That’ll pack the pews (or theater seats).” Mr. Dale, author of a book about individual relationships with God, said he has attended Fellowship Church a few times. And he offered some praise: “I’ve got to hand it to them, they are brilliant marketers.”

In view of the continuing desire of “church” to get along with the depraved world, I predict that divorces within churches will not decrease, but will plateau at the current level, as they have in the wider society due to couples simply living together without getting married.

As long as people think that sex satisfies their spiritual needs, they have no hope for a deep abiding relationship with either God or mankind.  

Marriage is the perfect institute whereby sexual desires are not only expressed, but they are also controlled.  The Bible says that married couples are to “render due benevolence” within the context of mutual love and patience.  A normal couple will have sex thousands of times over the course of a lifetime together without ever being commanded to “do it” by some self-important preacher.  But what today’s sex-obsessed religious leaders don’t seem to understand is that sex does NOT satisfy man’s deepest needs and desires, and that it is possible for couples to be completely happy in a relationship that minimizes sex.

But hay, who am I?  I don’t pastor a MEGA-CHURCH, and have a MEGA-EGO.  All I have is the unmerited grace of God, who has chosen to give me a wife of almost 32 years, and a relationship that has endured every temptation that Satan can dish out.  Who am I to say how a relationship works?

There are two things the old folks never talked about:  1) divorce, and 2) sex.  Do you think that’s a coincidence?  No, it’s not a coincidence, because in their day, divorce was the unspeakable destruction of a family and was to be avoided at every possible cost; and relationships were to never be reduced to the animal sex act.  And in spite of that, if you’ll notice, the old folks had no problem making babies and staying committed to each other.  We ought to think about that.  We ought to think about that.  Really, we ought to think about that.

Link:  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-sexweek_12met.ART0.State.Edition1.4a9d7c4.html

Executive Orders and Abortion

November 12, 2008

When Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, he issued an executive order which provided funding for abortions in certain underdeveloped foreign countries.  When George W. Bush was elected, he immediately issued an Executive Order rescinding Clinton’s Executive Order.  In all this talk about President-Elect Obama “reviewing” the Bush Executive Orders, I can’t help but wonder if that particular one is being targeted for a renewal of the funding of abortions.

It will be interesting – no, heart-wrenching – to see how Obama’s anti-birth agenda plays out. 

I realize that perhaps I and others like me are fighting a futile battle.  Americans that are not outright pro-abortion have in large part become indifferent to the cause.  We are worn down from losing ground with every compromise made by our “conservative” politicians.  President W. Bush tried to turn liberals into friends and they burned him.  In compromising with liberals, he forsook his conservative base.  The Republican Party left us with no one to vote for.  We could either vote for a liberal, or a liberal – choose one.

The average American does not support abortion on demand, welfare for the lazy, gun control, and any number of other liberal positions.  The liberals in both major parties are well aware of this, and play a master political chess game in getting unpopular policies passed into law time and time again.  The giant federal bailout bill stands as the clear example of the unity of the two parties in doing that which the American people do not support.  And the federal bail-out pig trough is so sweet that word is getting around – now the automobile manufacturers want their share of the pig slop.  Just keep dipping into federal funds – why not?  They can print the money at will, or they can raise taxes at will (which is really what printing money is – a tax increase).

So how long are we average American going to take it on the chin before we stand up?  Every time a political candidate begins to move in our direction, the big new media outlets label them “populists” (which is supposed to be some demonic being although I don’t know exactly why), and if they get to popular, they destroy them by finding some misdeed in their past to embarrass them into withdrawal, or draw them into alliances that betray them, or they just make up lies about them and repeat them over and over until the people are duped.

Ronald Reagan was the most popular president since FDR, and it just grinds the belly of the big media to admit it.  Reagan was not a compromiser.  His message was, “here’s what the people want – let’s get to it.”  He never said, “I have to make friends with my enemies.” 

It appears that the conservative battle is lost.  Not just the battle, but the war.  We have no candidate.  But let us pray that God may yet send us a Josiah to overthrow the sodomites and false gods.

Everywhere I Look, Love has Grown Cold

August 29, 2008

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Divorces, profaning the most Holy of human loves

Pornography, profaning the most Holy of human desires

Infidelity, profaning the most Holy of human unions

Factions at work, factions at Church, bickering and gossiping

Cursing on the roads, cursing on the television, cursing at each other

Ambitious leaders, authoritarian and determined

Impersonal economic and political systems

Digital voices on the phone when we need human care

Customer service – who is the customer and where is the service?  Minimal effort is the rule

Foul-mouthed, violent heroes

Teenage rebellion run amuck, institutionalized in emergent gatherings

Post-modern and post-love, where iniquity abounds

Children are in our way, and the silvery head is despised

The individualist must keep his silence or be shunned – His ideas are a threat to the progress of the collective good

We have become a bickering, violent people

The love of sin and the love of God and our neighbors cannot thrive together      

O God, Our Father, we plead – pour out your Spirit upon our nation and bring real revival to this world.  In Jesus Name, Amen.