And Nothing but the Whole Elephant

 

Jesus said to them, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before you. If you were from this world, the world would be fond of its own. But the world hates you for this reason: that you’re not from the world. No: I chose you out of the world.” John’s gospel account 15: 18-19

~~~

From the many conversations I have had on Twitter, the word on the street is that “God is love and is all about love. We love, so we are doing what God accepts.” So, where does the world’s hate come in?

The hate spoken of in John’s gospel is generated by a protection of one’s place in the world against “outsiders”. Over and over again I have had that hatred and vitriol directed at me on Twitter. I cannot show you the Tweet replies. They are vulgar and pernicious. The replies come from a place beneath this world.

The hate-filled replies occur when I say something other than what is considered loving by those protecting their place in the world. Replies are derived from a worldview. And, one’s worldview depends on whether you accept being called out of this world knowing that that those in the world will hate you or if you are in this world for its approbation:

Called-Out Ones worldview: “For God so loved the world, that He gave…”

Social Justice Warrior (SJW) worldview: “For the world so loved me, when I…”

In order to make the world-accepted SJW worldview sustainable, mainstream churches create a Jesus who is palatable, marketable, consumable and renewable. The ministers do this by parsing Scripture into love notes. Their resultant Scripture messages, whether in a sermon or in a blog or on Twitter, remind me of a bag Valentine Sweethearts – candy hearts.

These churches promote “inclusion” because in a consumer-driven society, choice of how you live, choice of what you accept and who you accept, choice of right and wrong-choice becomes the ultimate approbation in this world.

~~~

Coming to a church near you: a populist theology which promotes the acceptance of the gay lifestyle, universal health care and illegal immigration all as works of Christian charity from the pulpits of body-of-Christ-divisive politics (race, gender, class, sexuality, etc.). This populist theology uses the high-sounding term “social justice” so as to neutralize detractor’s objections and to force a consensus, a groupthink around the premise of political correctness redefined as God’s love.

I encounter this populist theology every day now. If you are on Twitter “fighting the good fight”, you may receive the same replies from Catholics that I did. They go something like this:

1.       “God is love. I know many committed gay couples who love each other.”

2.      “Jesus never talked about sexuality or homosexuality, therefore it is a non-issue. If Jesus was concerned about homosexuality he would have said something.”

3.      “Jesus is about loving your neighbor. Jesus is not judgmental. Jesus is fully accepting, inclusive. He’s about loving the homosexual. Who are we to judge?” (from Pope Francis’, “Who am I to judge?”).

4.      “Loving your neighbor means universal healthcare. You are not charitable if you are against universal healthcare. You must be a Conservative who hates people.”

5.      “Jesus and Paul are not the same. Jesus is love and Paul is rules. Jesus is universal love. Paul, on the other hand, is a picayune fundamentalist and fundamentalists are authoritarians. Jesus would say “Live, love, eat, pray and let live.”

6.      “Jesus is social justice. He talked about helping the poor. Dorothy Day is a hero. Many of our heroes are beatified saints, saints who did good deeds while alive. Jesus demands good works from us. “Faith without works is dead”.”

7.      “Women are talking in church. Women are being ordained. Scripture is being updated and should be inclusive of homosexuality, as well.”

 

My first thought when I encountered these replies: “The Catholic church has done great harm to its charges by not teaching the whole of Scripture, the whole council of God.” Scripture has been defined down to a constructed abstraction of Jesus’ words.

One of the main reasons the populist theology has taken root in the Catholic and all (yes, all) of the mainline churches, I believe, is the lack of Scripture knowledge coupled with a deficit of personal faith-history. Deism is pervasive in the church: “God and His Word are far away from reality and not relevant to what I am experiencing”; “You don’t understand same-sex attraction. You can’t change me so, accept me for what I am.”

Post-modernist pop-theologians rightly question history and what has been passed down through millennia but without a sufficient regard for and knowledge of the discipline of the study of history – factual non-repeatable events. Their pick-and-choose history approach leads to utter confusion about who Jesus is, what happened the first century and to whether or not Jesus even existed. I have witnessed such dissociative history making on Twitter. Such groping at history and at Scripture reminds me of the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant: each of the blind men encounter a different part of the elephant (trunk, tail, etc.) and then return home and proceed to project their ‘understanding’ of the elephant as the elephant while claiming the other five blind men must be mistaken. Blind_men_and_elephant2

Populist theology also has historical Leftist ties (“Unconstrained vision” is the term used by Economist Thomas Sowell to define the philosophy of the Left). Political philosopher Jean-Jacque Rousseau wrote, “man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.” Another philosopher, Marquis de Condorcet, believed that men in their natural state with a “natural inclination” would seek out the social good. For them, man’s nature was not the problem. Rather, institutions needed to be reformed so that man’s better nature would come out. Hence, pop-theology presses for reforms: the church must be reformed to help men to realize their better nature. “We are so much smarter now,” is the inference.

Enter the church’s “social justice” moment. And the “social justice” proffered is done under the guise of the common good but it is in reality a narrowing of focus down to subjective individual rights and individual happiness, in parallel with what is happening politically in Europe and the U.S. currently. The “common” part of their “common good” are those who share the same self-directed interests. Others must conform to their self-interests for the common good.

My second thought after reading the above replies: “It is time for another reformation – putting the Bible (again) into people’s hands and teaching them how to read it for themselves.”

It would seem that many of the above respondents view Scripture through the lens of a post-modern Epicurean Catholic world view, a worldview which replaces historical narrative (in this case, derived from the “faith once delivered”) with a relevant “social gospel” or populist theology promulgated as authentic Christianity. And with little knowledge of Scripture many Catholics are ‘falling’ for what they have been taught by the top-down government and media of the Catholic church and its social justice-primed priesthood.

When they do (see replies above) they end up with a Jesus who is fantasy blend of Dorothy Day, Ghandi, Mr. Rogers and a Democrat with a Jesus bleeding heart – an ends-justifies-the-means person. In other words, they end up not with a literal historical Jesus, but rather a figurative Jesus and one disposed to making you and your world feel good about doting on yourself. And, if you can get other people to dish out love and charity and “understanding” and, most importantly, cash, then you have done right by pseudo-Jesus.

Every self-designated Catholic I have encountered on Twitter appears to know little or nothing of Scripture. For them, it seems, raw Scripture, ‘unrefined’ by the Catholic priesthood, seems to be tied to evangelicals who are considered fundamentalists and therefore, presumptively, not connected with their Jesus’ all-assuming love. What they know and repeat is what a priest or Jesuit tells them, and their reply is usually about social justice, a catch-all for not being judged but for being loved.

Without making this post too long, here are some of my quick replies to the above points. Feel welcome to add yours in the comment section below.

1.      The plea bargaining “God is Love” defense is foiled when you define love, not in terms of codependence and sexuality, but as desiring the ultimate good for another. This of course leads to a definition of what is good. I reply with Jesus’s request of the Father, “Set them apart for yourself in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

2.   When someone says that Jesus never talked about homosexuality I remind them that Jesus’s mission was to the lost sheep of Israel, the ones who were supposed to be “a light to the Gentiles”. The Israelites knew the law, the Torah. The law forbids homosexuality. This was common knowledge in the first century. Jesus did not need to repeat it. Paul, on the other hand, an apostle to the Gentiles did need to speak about the matter (e.g., Rome, Ephesus, etc. had temples to pagan gods which involved all manner of sexual immorality.)

3.   Here we have justification by plea bargain. Jesus prays for his own that they will be sanctified, separate – taken “out of the world” worldview.

4.      If you know Scripture then you know that Jesus did not heal everyone in the world during his earthly time. He told us that we can do the same and greater things than he has done when filled with the spirit. Beyond the fact of outright healing, there is the matter of personal healthcare. Universal healthcare replaces a person’s personal responsibility for their health with a non-caring impersonal government bureaucracy. This costly tax-payer bureaucracy will need to control your behavior, your paycheck and the doctor’s practice to control costs. As such, it is loving to not desire socialized coverage.

5.      When I hear someone say that Jesus is Gospel and Paul is not relevant I remind them that Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. In the fullness of time Jesus encountered Paul. I remind them that Paul right then and there became an eyewitness of Jesus and therefore an apostle. I remind them that Jesus sent Paul to be Jesus to the Gentiles – the heathen, the pagans, the unclean. I tell them that Paul wrote the theology of the newly established Kingdom of God on earth in his letters to the infant churches.

6.      I remind them that the gospel is “Jesus is Lord”. All else falls in line and in order under this proviso:  salvation, sanctification (called out of the world) and then social gospel (to affect the world under the direction of the Kingdom’s Lord.)

When Jesus tells the rich man “Sell all you have and give it to the poor” we understand the means to the rich man’s salvation: renunciation of his coveting relationship of wealth- a relationship which came between Jesus and the rich man, sanctification (separation from the love of his money and the hold it had on him) and then faith with works – a complete detachment from self-preservation- giving his wealth to the poor, a product of the new Kingdom focus.

7. Women vs. gay acceptance and Scripture: I remind them that there is a difference between culturally defined and morally defined. There is a difference between cultural practice and culturally-imposed taboos and doctrinal principles and God-directed temperantia-God’s ordered structure for the being of man. Paul wrote about the former in his letters to the church at Corinth. Anything perceived as ambiguous was directed back to a person’s Holy-Spirit directed conscious.

 

It is no secret that the Evil One’s mission from the very beginning is to ask, “Did God really say you couldn’t…?”

Pop-theology proposes to modernize and conform the church to be a welcoming inclusive place for whatever the prevailing winds of PC doctrine bring to the church’s door step. Be it known:  the called-out ones – the ecclesia – will remain faithful under the Lordship of Jesus.  The churches that wallow in the world will have their candlestick taken away. In the dark their mutual admiration society will be left grappling with elephant parts.

 

 

Added 10-4-17:

Utopia Has No Room for You… in the Inn

 

Utopia comes from the Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) and means “no-place“, a non-existent place.

…..

And now a few clarion words from Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Angelo M. Codevilla:

 

“This dismissal of the American people’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral substance is the very heart of what our ruling class is about. Its principal article of faith, its claim to the right to decide for others, is precisely that it knows things and operates by standards beyond others’ comprehension.

While the unenlightened ones believe that man is created in the image and likeness of God and that we are subject to His and to His nature’s laws, the enlightened ones know that we are products of evolution, driven by chance, the environment, and the will to primacy. While the un-enlightened are stuck with the antiquated notion that ordinary human minds can reach objective judgments about good and evil, better and worse through reason, the enlightened ones know that all such judgments are subjective and that ordinary people can no more be trusted with reason than they can with guns. Because ordinary people will pervert reason with ideology, religion, or interest, science is “science” only in the “right” hands. Consensus among the right people is the only standard of truth. Facts and logic matter only insofar as proper authority acknowledges them.

That is why the ruling class is united and adamant about nothing so much as its right to pronounce definitive, “scientific” judgment on whatever it chooses. When the government declares, and its associated press echoes that “scientists say” this or that, ordinary people — or for that matter scientists who “don’t say,” or are not part of the ruling class — lose any right to see the information that went into what “scientists say.” Thus when Virginia’s attorney general subpoenaed the data by which Professor Michael Mann had concluded, while paid by the state of Virginia, that the earth’s temperatures are rising “like a hockey stick” from millennial stability — a conclusion on which billions of dollars’ worth of decisions were made — to investigate the possibility of fraud, the University of Virginia’s faculty senate condemned any inquiry into “scientific endeavor that has satisfied peer review standards” claiming that demands for data “send a chilling message to scientists…and indeed scholars in any discipline.” The Washington Post editorialized that the attorney general’s demands for data amounted to “an assault on reason.” The fact that the “hockey stick” conclusion stands discredited and Mann and associates are on record manipulating peer review, the fact that science-by-secret-data is an oxymoron, the very distinction between truth and error, all matter far less to the ruling class than the distinction between itself and those they rule.

By identifying science and reason with themselves, our rulers delegitimize opposition. Though they cannot prevent Americans from worshiping God, they can make it as socially disabling as smoking — to be done furtively and with a bad social conscience. Though they cannot make Americans wish they were Europeans, they continue to press upon this nation of refugees from the rest of the world the notion that Americans ought to live by “world standards.” Each day, the ruling class produces new “studies” that show that one or another of Americans’ habits is in need of reform, and that those Americans most resistant to reform are pitiably, perhaps criminally, wrong. Thus does it go about disaggregating and dispiriting the ruled.” (emphasis added)

Beyond the excerpt:  I commend Codevilla’s entire article to you.  In fact, I urge you to click on the link and print out the article.  Sit and read it and be forever changed by its content. I pray that the article opens your eyes and that moral courage arises in your heart.

America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution by Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Angelo Codevillano_room_at_the_inn_postcard

 

Now, perhaps, you know these culprits,  the Unconstrained Visionaries, by their characteristics:  snobbish, name-calling bullies; cliquish; desiring kinship w/other like-minded people; seeking power by government association; demanding rule by ‘right’; believing themselves morally and intellectually right; saying “You must obey us because we know better”; blinded to their  ‘well-intentioned’ actions leading to horrible unintended consequences; believing they know better than you; applying a “living constitution” template to every legal decision; using science as leverage without any depth of scientific knowledge; posturing “settled science” to quash dissent;  believing they “have the one true faith”; deeming that intentions and not results matter most; obtaining snobbery wielding government power;… combining attitude with government power, coercive.

Utopia Has No Room for You (and Swaddled Truth) in the Inn.

Us Christians, we abide in Christ wherever we are.  We’ll leave the Light on.

Background on the Constrained and Unconstrained Visions, the intuitive assumptions that shape our worldview:

Tea Party Playwright Between the Lines

Below is a video of David Mamet, a well-known contemporary playwright, discussing his conservatism.  There is much more detail of how he came to be a conservative as well as essays of his well thought out viewpoints to be found in his book, The Secret Knowledge. The book is quoted in the video. I highly recommend it to you.

I post this interview not for the sake of the underlying political ideology that I as a thinking Christian would certainly endorse.  Rather, I post this so that we as Kingdom Venturers will gain understanding of our culture. More importantly I post this to gain one Jew’s perspective; to understand a modern Jew who has left the liberal Jewish fold- the world of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and the Hollywood decision makers-with a deliberateness based on definitive forethought.

If you are not familiar with Mamet’s work, then I would suggest starting with the movies Glengarry Glen Ross and Homicide. You will soon become aware of his fast-paced, tight, street-wise “Mamet Speak” dialogue.

Caveat:  I do not agree with Mamet’s description of the Torah, the Jewish Canon, as a bunch of good stories and fables about humanity.  Instead, the Torah, the Law and the Prophets and all of Scripture in a matter-of- fact way reminds us that God keeps his covenant promises. He keeps his word even though we like sheep have gone astray ~ perhaps it is the “tragic” humanity part that Mamet (and Thomas Sowell, an atheist) refers to. The Scriptures also, both Old and New Testament, point to the Kingdom of God coming to earth.

I do agree with Mamet that the Torah, the Scriptures, are inspired, but not in a “this-is-a-unique-and-special-compilation-of good drama” way.  Rather, the Scripture, the entire canon of 66 books bound in Old (39 books) and New Testament (27 books) are God breathed-inspired. In other words, God by the Holy Spirit spoke through men’s words, their personalities and their time and place in the world to give us his space/time understanding and to give us His ordinances leading to a life in relationship with him.  

 In the Scriptures we read that God breathed out creation~theistic evolution~ and I believe most likely through the Big Bang.  God goes on to breathe spirit and soul into mankind and then write His Law onto men’s hearts. We learn that God spoke his Ten Commandments to Moses and to his chosen people the Jews. God later ‘inspires’ prophets and evangelists alike to speak the good news of his son Jesus to all who would become one of God’s chosen through faith in his promises. God would send the world a surprise that would forever change our lives via his Son’s Kingdom on earth.

 The Kingdom of God on earth was inaugurated when Jesus Christ, very God, became incarnate and was born to Mary. 

 Though never mentioned in our church creeds, Jesus lived for over thirty years a holy, completely sinless life according to the Law and the Prophets ~ a Kingdom Life.  Then, as prophesied throughout the Old Testament, Jesus died on a cross as the perfect sacrificial Passover Lamb of God. 

The Messiah did this to ensure that His covenant promises would be upheld ~ that all the world would be saved, that Abraham’s descendants would be as many as the stars and that all who have faith in him would become Abraham’s children.  he did this so that his covenant with King David would be fulfilled~one of his descendants would be a King forever ~ Jesus would be crowned Lord of all.

Before his death Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.”  As promised the resurrection of Jesus took place three days after his death. We are now walking around on resurrection ground.

Now to a most interesting interview:

Think Progress?

Obama:

Fast and Furious cover up

Benghazi cover up

Solyndra bankruptcy

GM

Bail outs

Big Banks

Wall Street

Cronies

Golf Buddies

Cover Up

Chicago Politics

Drones

Higher Taxes

Less time with family

Division

Rancor

Class warfare

Racism

Obama

Obama:

Fast and Furious cover up

Benghazi cover up

Solyndra bankruptcy

GM

Bail outs

Big Banks

Wall Street

Cronies

Golf Buddies

Cover Up

Chicago Politics

Drones

Higher Taxes

Less time with family

Division

Rancor

Class warfare

Racism

Obama

Obama:

Fast and Furious cover up

Benghazi cover up

Solyndra bankruptcy

GM

Bail outs

Big Banks

Wall Street

Cronies

Golf Buddies

Cover Up

Chicago Politics

Drones

Higher Taxes

Less time with family

Division

Rancor

Class warfare

Racism

Obama

Obama:

Fast and Furious cover up

Benghazi cover up

Solyndra bankruptcy

GM

Bail outs

Big Banks

Wall Street

Cronies

Golf Buddies

Cover Up

Chicago Politics

Drones

Higher Taxes

Less time with family

Division

Rancor

Class warfare

Racism

Obama

ObamaNation to “Lean Forward” into Dependency, Poverty

Zerohedge has the article:  Subsidy Addiction:   Job vs. Foodstampsfoodstamps%20vs%20payrolls

The Fog of Controversy Has Lifted Leaving Us With…

   …Obamacare in the light of day:  “…the bill is substantially more expensive – twice as much as the original $900 billion price tag.” (emphasis mine)

Move over Greece, Portugal and Europe.  The US will join you soon with its own version of bankruptcy, a bankruptcy due to the ill-advised actions of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrat Party.

What good is democracy when you use it to f— yourself and others!

Democrats like to think of themselves as touchy-feely people who care about things (“things” being the operative word).  The “things” they care about are rights, animals, abortion (a fetus is a “thing” to them), licentiousness and the environment.  They are so focused on how their world is affected by these “things” that the never look beyond their own stage one thinking to see the consequences of their voting actions.  They shoot themselves and others in the foot when they elect politicians who pass bills which do so much more harm than good.

A vote for Obama and the Democrats in the 2012 elections will keep the continuum of STUPID in place.

***

That was the bad news.  Here is the worse news, as reported by the CBO (emphasis mine): 

Obama’s budget would increase the size of the national debt held by the public from $10.1 trillion today to $18.8 trillion in 2022, according to CBO. “

tête-à-tête

Though I am a political and social conservative with a strong libertarian streak I often read the opposition’s pabulum in order to discern whether I am holding on to what is good.  This deliberate questioning of my conservatism has helped me to further understand my own ideology and has helped put into contrast the false thinking that is prevalent today, most notably found in liberalism, progressivism and atheism.

 It should be noted here that I came to my understanding of my conservatism/libertarianism through my own reading (early on, Milton and Rose Friedman’s book Free to Choose) and by listening to programs such as Firing Line with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr..  My conservative ideology, as I told my attorney recently, is not the result of my viewership of FOX news. FOX News only highlights what I already know to be true and false.

An aside:  My attorney who is a Democrat once told me how he picks jurors for his accident injury trials:  The attorney asks perspective jurors if they watch FOX News or listen to Rush Limbaugh to determine if they are Republicans or Democrats. He pejoratively calls such Republicans “Rush Limbaugh Republicans”. The reason for his disdain of these Republicans:   he said that most Republicans believe in torte reform and ridding the courts of frivolous lawsuits.  My attorney won’t pick them to be a juror. They would likely vote against a substantial injury award. Ergo, my attorney wouldn’t win enough money for his client or himself (usually 40% take of the award compensation)

My attorney didn’t describe the Democrat jurors. He left me to believe that they were the opposite of Republicans with regard to willingness to make someone pay out.  Many attorneys are liberal Democrats (including their well-known lobbyists Obama, Eric Holder, Rahm Emmanuel, etc.). Many of these attorneys use frivolous lawsuits to make a living.  They are called the “ambulance chasers” (or, in Obama’s and Emmanuel’s case, the “crisis chasers”).

I let my attorney know that I did watch Fox News but that I didn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart or to Bill Maher. I told him I was my own conservative:   I related to him that I was a William F. Buckley Jr.-Milton Friedman-Neal Cavuto-Christian conservative. I wasn’t bought by what money I could weasel out of someone’s pocket. (BTW, as a Conservative I am not against accident lawsuits, only injustice.)

That aside, beyond my own research into political ideology, economics and morality, in school I also studied economics, finances, accounting and business among other related courses. These studies helped me see that free market enterprise and capitalism creates the most opportunities and the most wealth for everyone. And, that charity is both what you have to give (maybe a widow’s mite) and the desire to give.

 My belief in God came through my reading of the Bible and, specifically, the eyewitness accounts recorded therein. The historically factual account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as recorded in the Gospels was sufficient proof for me.

 I am currently reading two books:  essays by Christopher Hitchens in a book titled Arguably, copyright 2011, and The Thomas Sowell Reader, copyright 2011.

 Christopher Hitchens is a well-known left-winger and atheist, born in England and living in America.  He became an American citizen in 2007.  He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate and The Atlantic. His books include, among many, Thomas Jefferson: Author of America and God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

 I am reading Hitchens’ book even though I do not agree with his positions on most issues and most decidedly his atheism. His pronouncements against the fascism of Islam I do agree with.  I do like his breadth of knowledge in literature and his love of the English language. I enjoy his way of writing and his way of stating things. And, as I read I do make marginal notes wherever I disagree with his thinking. As a writer I continue to learn a lot about the art of essay writing from Hitchens.

 Here is a blurb about Hitchens’ book, ARGUABLY, from the Richard Dawkins Foundation website:

 The first new book of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, ARGUABLY offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad. Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for the enduring relevance of Karl Marx. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. In this fashion, ARGUABLY burnishes Christopher Hitchens’ credentials as-to quote Christopher Buckley-our “greatest living essayist in the English language.” (emphasis mine)

 Regarding this blurb, while I would certainly disagree with the relevance of Karl Marx as an answer to anything I would agree with what is said about Hitchens’ art. It is a product of one of the greatest living essayists in the English language.

 About Christopher Hitchen’s athesim, I believe that those who are most adamantly opposed to knowledge of God are often those who are the closest to the Truth, as was the case of another profound English writer and apologist, C.S. Lewis.  Lewis was an atheist turned agnostic turned believer.   Lewis’s writings are characterized by a lightly carried erudition, critical thinking, psychological insight, humor and sympathy. 

It is my prayer that Christopher Hitchens will someday soon come “kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of God” just as Lewis, a reluctant convert. (Update:  Hitchens died recently.)

 Christopher Hitchens currently has throat cancer. He has difficulty speaking and certainly cannot lecture.  From a lover of the  English language perspective, this throat business must give him great pain and a deep sense of loss. Pray for him.

 Turning to Thomas Sowell’s The Thomas Sowell Reader I find a treasure trove of wonderful essays and articles written by a well read economist, social theorist, political philosopher and conservative Black American. Sowell uses easy to understand commonsense language in his writings. Most would find this book accessible and informative. It is this simplicity which more than anything defines truth and true conservatism. Liberalism, much like in Hitchens’ writing, seeks to overwhelm the reader with its own great knowledge and pompous profundity. Not so with Thomas Sowell. His plain spoken and humble writing speaks louder than any hubris.

 Here are some excerpts from a chapter titled The Survival of the Left, from The Thomas Sowell Reader:

 Biologists explain how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment.  The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields I which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine—and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up.  It should not be surprising that all other fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination of the left on campuses across the country

 You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted.  Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected.  Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.

 Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it..

 Nor is economic failure the worst of it.  The millions slaughtered by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot for political reasons are an even grimmer reality…

 Academia is only one of the places where totally subjective criteria rule—and where leftists dominate.

 Sowell goes on to list these “places”:  foundations, museums, cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities and taxpayer supported “public” TV and radio.

 These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway.  Although show biz faces the financial need to get an audience, the truth of what they portray is hardly crucial.  If they can make it punchy and sexy, then those who complain about historical inaccuracies and ideological bias can be dismissed as irrelevant pedants.

 Why are leftists able to crowd out other kinds of people from these places?  Because those who are willing to subject themselves to the test of reality, whether as a businessman in the marketplace or as surgeon in an operating room, have many other places to work and live.They do not need special sheltered niches in which to hide and to cherish their precious notions.

 Darwinian adaptation to environment applies not only to nature but also to society. Just as you don’t find eagles living in the ocean or fish living on mountain tops, so you don’t find leftists concentrated where ideas have to stand the test of performance. (emphasis mine)

I have to get back to my reading… Here’s Christopher Hitchens and William F. Buckley Jr. in conversation.

The Blood-Dimmed Tide

Referring to a prophetically ominous poem written by William Butler Yeats (The Second Coming) and to modern liberalism’s effect on America legal scholar Robert Bork wrote in 1996,

 (Yeats) can hardly have forseen that passionate intensity, uncoupled from morality, would shred the fabric of Western culture.  The rough beast of decadence, a long time in gestation, having reached its maturity in the last three decades, now sends us slouching towards our new home, not Bethlehem but Gomorrah.

From the opening of Slouching Towards Gomorrah:  Modern Liberalism and American Decline by Robert H. Bork, copyright 1996

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

 

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Bureaucracy Speaks

Paradise News Release (PNR):

On Thursday, Sept. 8th, 2011, Bureaucracy To Speak Before a Joint Session of Bureaucrats:

Using the core principles of Newspeak Barrack Hussein Obama or The Bureaucrat of the ruling class inner party, is expected to deliver a moving speech (hopefully avoiding teleprompter whiplash), before a joint session of bureaucrats. Directors of the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of Plenty, The Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Love will all be in attendance.

Before his fellow bureaucrats Obama will present the reasons for the economic problems at hand: you, me and a dog named Boo.  Tilting at windmills, he will verbally attack the America-loving Tea-Party. He will blame them for making his bureaucracy so difficult to maintain. He will remind us just how hard he has worked for our benefit. And, with Big Brother love he will tell us that he only wants the best for us, that only he knows what is best for us. He is a community organizer after all, born and bred by the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and a host of Radical Progressive myopians. He wants us to understand that he is just one of us born to rule.

Our Dear Leader will remind us that we the people even managed to interrupt his vacation with our concerns about Hurricane Irene.

In his ineffable non-partisan way Obama will pronounce that Republicans and Tea-Party Proles are to blame for the economic mess we are in. He will also invoke the force majeure clause in his contract with America. (BTW: for atheistic and agnostic Americans, it’s still God’s fault.) And, he will remind us that the bureaucratic buck should never stop long enough to stick to him. He’s from Chicago.

Obama will once again play the Bush card by telling us that he inherited his problems from W.  He will say this while asking to pile on more debt via more stimulus money in a move reminiscent of his own first two years in office.

Obama won’t mention that his aunt and uncle are in the US illegally. He doesn’t want to inherit any of that.

In a nod to the Outer Party (those who have been under liberal university tutelage) Obama will tell them to continue to Lean Forward.  A sign that he wants them to embrace the Rainbow Peacock just as he has done.

His speech will include class warfare indictments against those rich people with teleprompters of their own (not state-owned) and against those who use corporate jets to take vacations (this type of luxury is reserved only for bureaucrats of his stature and for those up and coming bureaucrats in the Outer Party).

On that night, our Beloved Leader, Barrack Hussein ‘Moses’ Obama will speak to us about the Progressive Land of milk and honey based on his dream of wealth re-distribution rationing.

In order to spur the damaged economy, he will offer higher taxation on taxes – if you pay taxes you must pay more taxes. He will clean up government waste by hiring only union sympathizing bureaucrats for any bureaucratic position. He will bring in a new economist to his financial team who will tell him he was right all along.

He will offer ‘Green’ jobs (actually, ‘greenbacks’ or patronage ) as a means to get our country (actually, those close to him) out of the economic mire it is in.

In typical grandiose fashion Obama will offer his own alternative energy jobs plan:  build wind towers. (a project that he and Jeffrey Immelt of GE fully approve of)

Obama, confident in his appeal, will remind us that we need to create jobs to get people back to work. And, that we each need to do our part.

Finally, Obama is expected to talk down to the Prole class.  After all, they are too stupid to know better than that Someone who has no experience but lots of campaign money and connections

Let the bureaucratic babble begin! After the speech, celebrate with some Victory-gin!

Your faithful and obedient reporter, Winston Smith.

*******

“Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me—“

 from 1984 by George Orwell

History as Cynicism

Imagine a popular American history book that never mentions Christianity or conservatism. Pull the lever and out comes the pellet –  Howard Zinn’s  A People’s History of the United States, 1492-Present.

Here is a passage from Michael Kazin’s article in Dissent Magazine, talking about this cynically myopic book:

“(Howard Zinn’s) failure is grounded in a premise better suited to a conspiracy-monger’s Web site than to a work of scholarship. According to Zinn, “99 percent” of Americans share a “commonality” that is profoundly at odds with the interests of their rulers. And knowledge of that awesome fact is “exactly what the governments of the United States, and the wealthy elite allied to them-from the Founding Fathers to now-have tried their best to prevent.”

History for Zinn is thus a painful narrative about ordinary folks who keep struggling to achieve equality, democracy, and a tolerant society, yet somehow are always defeated by a tiny band of rulers whose wiles match their greed. He describes the American Revolution as a clever device to defeat “potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.” His Civil War was another elaborate confidence game. Soldiers who fought to preserve the Union got duped by “an aura of moral crusade” against slavery that “worked effectively to dim class resentments against the rich and powerful, and turn much of the anger against ‘the enemy.'”

Nothing of consequence, in his view, changed during the industrial era, notwithstanding the growth of cities, railroads, and mass communications. Zinn views the tens of millions of Europeans and Asians who crossed oceans at the turn of the past century as little more than a mass of surplus labor. He details their miserable jobs in factories and mines and their desperate, often violent strikes at the end of the nineteenth century-most of which failed. The doleful narrative makes one wonder why anyone but the wealthy came to the United States at all and, after working for a spell, why anyone wished to stay.”