Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why Do Secularists Make a Such a Saint Out of Darwin?

British political journalist Dennis Sewell has a new book coming out and a review of it is available in Time online here. Sewell is a Darwin iconoclast who views Darwin's influence as including a great deal of social and political harm, as well as some scientific benefit. He apparently is not saying that he disbelieves in biological evolution; he is saying that the effects of this new knowledge have been utilized for many bad ends, such as racism and eugenics. So, for example, when asked if we should re-assess Darwin's legacy, he replies:
"Bicentennial celebrations have portrayed Darwin as a kindly old gentleman pottering around an English house and garden. What that misses is the way his ideas were abused in the 20th century and the way in which Darwin was wrong about certain key issues. He asserted that different races of mankind had traveled different distances along the evolutionary path — white Caucasians were at the top of the racial hierarchy, while black and brown people ranked below. [Racism] was a widespread prejudice in British society at the time, but he presented racial hierarchy as a matter of science. He also held that the poor were genetically second-rate — which inspired eugenics."
When asked if, "all things considered, do you believe Darwin was a great luminary in the path of human progress?" he replied:
"What has the theory of evolution done for the practical benefit of humanity? It's helped our understanding of ourselves, yet compared to, say, the discovery of penicillin or the invention of the World Wide Web, I wonder why Darwin occupies this position at the pinnacle of esteem. I can only imagine he has been put there by a vast public relations exercise."
That seems to be just about right to me.

The book is The Political Gene: How Darwin's Ideas Changed Politics but it does not seem to be listed on yet.

If the Scientific Evidence for Global Warming is so Clear, Why the Need to Fudge It?

This is what ordinary people all over the world are asking themselves in the light of the scandal at the UK's Climate Research Unit of the East Anglia University last week. This editorial in The Washington Post summarizes the facts as known to date and asks the obvious question.
"Scientific progress depends on accurate and complete data. It also relies on replication. The past couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations about the baloney practices that pass as sound science about climate change.

It was announced Thursday afternoon that computer hackers had obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England. Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims.

Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, and professor Michael E. Mann at Pennsylvania State University, who has been an important scientist in the climate debate, have come under particular scrutiny. Among his e-mails, Mr. Jones talked to Mr. Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each series ... to hide the decline [in temperature]."

Mr. Mann admitted that he was party to this conversation and lamely explained to the New York Times that "scientists often used the word 'trick' to refer to a good way to solve a problem 'and not something secret.' " Though the liberal New York newspaper apparently buys this explanation, we have seen no benign explanation that justifies efforts by researchers to skew data on so-called global-warming "to hide the decline." Given the controversies over the accuracy of Mr. Mann's past research, it is surprising his current explanations are accepted so readily."

A second editorial in the Washington Times notes that science depends on transparency and the replication of experiments by scientists around the world:
"The climate-gate revelations have exposed an unprecedented coordinated attempt by academics to distort research for political ends. Anyone interested in accurate science should be appalled at the manipulation of data "to hide the decline [in temperature]" and deletion of e-mail exchanges and data so as not to reveal information that would support global-warming skeptics. These hacks are not just guilty of bad science. In the United Kingdom, deleting e-mail messages to prevent their disclosure from a Freedom of Information Act request is a crime.

The story has gotten worse since the global-cooling cover-up was exposed through a treasure trove of leaked e-mails a week ago. The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia has been incredibly influential in the global-warming debate. The CRU claims the world's largest temperature data set, and its research and mathematical models form the basis of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 report."

So the data our governments are relying on to make decisions about spending billions and billions of our hard-earned tax dollars to fix a problem that is only known to exist on the basis of that data, is in question. Does anyone besides me have a problem with that?

US Senator Jim Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee does. He thinks this scandal is the last nail in the coffin of US cap and trade legislation: "Ninety-five percent of the nails were in the coffin prior to this week. Now they are all in." This article from Real Clear Politics goes on to say:
"He's seen the back of three cap-and-trade bills, rode herd on an overweening Environmental Protection Agency, and steadfastly insisted that global researchers were "cooking" the science behind man-made global warming.
"This week he's looking prescient. The more than 3,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have found their way to the Internet have blown the lid off the "science" of manmade global warming. CRU is a nerve center for many of those researchers who have authored the United Nations' global warming reports and fueled the political movement to regulate carbon.

Their correspondence show a claque of scientists massaging data to make it fit their theories, squelching scientists who disagreed, punishing academic journals that didn't toe the apocalyptic line, and hiding their work from public view. "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," glumly wrote George Monbiot, a U.K. writer who has been among the fiercest warming alarmists. The documents "could scarcely be more damaging." And that's from a believer.

This scandal has real implications. Mr. Inhofe notes that international and U.S. efforts to regulate carbon were already on the ropes. The growing fear of Democrats and environmentalists is that the CRU uproar will prove a tipping point, and mark a permanent end to those ambitions."

Let us just suppose for a moment that the scandal is real and the data are fudged, which means that the world is about to spend billions of dollars, lower our standard of living and possibly create an economic recession - all for no good reason. Would it not be a good idea to halt before leaping off the precipice? Would it not be better to let real scientists with no axe to grind check and re-check the data without prejudice? Is it not suspicious that certain scientific conclusions are so heavily tied to left wing ideologies? Since when is science ideological? Is the fervor of climate alarmists like Al Gore who stand to make millions of dollars from the legislation they are currently lobbying for not a bit worrisome? In short, are there not a lot of questions to be answered before we all jump off this particular cliff?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Reasons Why Modernist Christianity Must Die

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a fine post listing 1o reasons why modernist Christianity (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) must eventually die out. The process take a long time (mostly because of endowment money that artificially prolongs the life of dead liberal churches) but it is inevitable.

I especially found #1, 2, 5 and 9 to be true in my experience. Modernism or Liberalism is really individualist and anti-supernaturalist in nature and it lacks joy. The good news is that liberals are contracepting and aborting themselves out of existence; apparently only seriously religious people find good reasons to have children in large enough numbers to replace the population.

Modernist Christianity is a very boring, scolding, joyless moralism that wears you down after a while. Listening to sermon after sermon about how "You must do A" "You must do B" "Saving the world depends on you doing X" just drains people. There is no grace, no good news, no joy, no wonder at what God has done and is doing. The Gospel is all about what God has done for me that I could never have done for myself, which is liberating, inspiring and motivating.

Much of Evangelical Christianist has bought into modernism as well as the dying formerly mainline Protestant churches. We need to recover the Gospel, not imitate the liberals in acting as if doing social work and fighting for equal rights were all there was to Christianity.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Royal Ontario Museum Makes It Big!

The addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, that ugly white pimple on the face of one of the most dignified buildings in our fair city, as I once described it, has now made a list of the Ten Ugliest Buildings in the World. It sits at #8, which suggests to me that it can't even be the best at what it is good at - namely, at being ugly.

Now that is what I call putting Toronto on the map. Ouch.

Virtual Tourist has pictures of the (shudder) whole list here. The picture from this website is bad enough, but the picture accompanying the Toronto Star article on it has the whole ROM leaning dangerously to the right like some sort of drunken sailor. Well, if I were a stately and dignified old building like the ROM and someone attached that monstrosity to my north side, I'd likely be looking for the bottle too.

The only question I have is why the Robarts Library of the University of Toronto, which is just down the street and around the corner from the ROM, is not on the list too? It looks like a Stalin-era, "subsidized apartments for the new Soviet man," concrete slab of human cubicles with no symmetry, form or balance. It looks like someone ordered a certain sized load of concrete and then they just stuck things on until the supply ran out and called it finished.

Why does a city like Toronto have so many inhumane and nerve-wracking buildings and why do all the human-friendly and nourishing structures date from the era of the "oppression" by Christian forces prior to World War II? It's just one of the little mysteries of life, I guess.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sarah Palin versus Barack Obama: Two American Originals

Rex Murphy lives up to his reputation of being someone who refuses to let the herd tell him what to think. He always has an interesting and contrarian perspective that is free of cant and politically correct mush. Here is his take on the Sarah Palin.
"There are two great political speakers in the America today. Sarah Palin is the other one. Barack Obama's speaking skills are his signature talent. He's a platform performer, a speechmaker in the great tradition, a kind of teleprompter Cicero. The campaign to become President owed more to Mr. Obama's oratorical mastery than to any other element. His speech on race in America, necessitated by revelations of the ugly thoughts and sentiments of his hometown preacher, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was the most important event of his campaign. If it had failed, his candidacy would have been doomed. Under pressure – the great test of the real speechmaker – he delivered.

The other great speech of the U.S. campaign season was Sarah Palin's on receiving the vice-presidential slot on the McCain ticket. This was a speech delivered under even greater pressures than that of Mr. Obama. John McCain's choice of Ms. Palin had been early and widely criticized, and in some quarters ferociously reviled. She had never really been under the national spotlight before. The entire media were focused on her with an intensity almost unseen in the annals of vice-presidential politics. If she'd been just “okay,” or messed up, John McCain's campaign was over. It was the highest of high-stakes gambles.

Did she deliver? She soared. She was the very acme of self-confidence and ease. She mixed a natural charm with a mischievous edge of sarcasm toward her opponents – even daring the unthinkable by pinging The One himself. It was her “first serve” on the national stage and she delivered an ace. The backwoods hick knocked it out of the hall that night – not only did she not sink the McCain campaign, she gave it the only real vitality and spark that gloomy, tight, fussy little campaign had from start to finish.

Her speech, in fact, was the rhetorical equivalent of Mr. Obama's crucial one. They do not as speakers, it is obvious, share the same idiom. Mr. Obama is utterly composed, deliberate down to gesture and word, very conscious that he is a “figure” on a stage. Mr. Obama “bestows” himself on an audience. Ms. Palin has none of that. She will never speak in front of faux Greek columns. She walks on the stage much the same way she'd go into a gas station. But she's shrewd in her choice of themes, has a marvellous feel for her audience, and a confidence that will never be confused with arrogance."

Murphy goes on to explain that all the incredible venom spewed out against Palin actually demonstrates how much liberals fear her.

"Ms. Palin is in the hurricane's eye again with the publication of Going Rogue. The Associated Press assigned no fewer than 11 reporters to “fact check” Ms. Palin's memoir, a concentration of scrutiny AP would never presume to exert over the man who's actually in the White House. Elements of the press mock and scorn her with a fury that is near inexplicable. Rather fewer extol her gifts. But pro or con, the media cannot get enough of her.

A truly dumb and witless person would not have the demure columnist David Brooks hissing dismissively, angrily in fact, on a Sunday morning talk show that Sarah Palin “is a joke.” Poor Mr. Brooks gets intellectual hives just thinking about her. Empty vessels do not inspire such venom and fury. . . . Those who call her a joke are expressing an anxious hope not offering a rational description."

Before Ronald Reagan became president he was attacked and mocked mercilessly by the liberal media. But by the end of his presidency he was regarded as one of the greatest presidents of the century. He was polarizing before he became a symbol of unity. And he had the same ability that Sarah Palin has to "connect" with the average American, which gave him the power to go "over the heads" of the media.

I think the fear and loathing (and desperation to bring her down) on the part of the liberal establishment arises from this same quality. They sense that she has the ability to disrupt business as usual and speak directly to the grass roots in such a way as to disrupt the script written by big government, big business and the media elite who do their bidding. So she is dangerous; which is to say that she is dangerous in every way that any populist is dangerous, except more so, because of her ability to speak over the heads of the media. Populist movements can be controlled, manipulated, distorted and hidden in plain view. But a leader and speaker who can personally embody populism is a different matter.

I think the Republican Party establishment is as afraid of her as is the Democratic Party. There is no telling what she will do. Support conservative candidates of both parties? Form a third party? Take over the Republican Party? Who knows? She is not a conventional politican who owes her importance to the Washington chattering class or the party bosses. Look at the simpering senators now being systmatically bought by Harry Reid to support his health care takeover with its stealth abortion expansion provisions (100 million was the price for the senator from Lousiana). They owe their souls to the money the Democratic Party establishment will gladly provide them with if only they vote as good little robots no matter what the polls back home say. Sarah Palin's popularity and power wasn't given by Washington and it can't be taken away by Washington, nor by Hollywood, nor by Wall Street.

No wonder she reduces the party hacks to whining, whimpering, slobbering attack dogs. Regardless of what happens to Sarah Palin, it's actually nice to see them sweat it out.

Mark Steyn on Obama's Bipartisanship

Sorry for the slow blogging this past week. I've been marking papers and that puts me in a certain kind of mood - let's just say the kind of mood that the public should never be allowed to see! Seriously, I've been snowed under, but stuff has been happening in the world that I want to comment on so stay tuned. Meanwhile: a little humour.

Mark Steyn's writing is funny enough that I could imagine even lefties secretly chuckling at some of his one-liners. Here is Steyn's description of Obama's bipartisanship:
"But Obama’s much vaunted “bipartisanship,” to which so many “moderate”
conservatives were partial a year ago, seems to have dwindled down to an
impressive ability to take one side of an issue in his rhetoric and another in
his actions."

Itwouldn't be so funny if it wasn't so true.

Friday, November 13, 2009

European Parliament Hears Warning of "Demographic Winter"

Zenit new agency reports that the Institue for Family Policies has presented an alarming report on Europe's future to the European Parliament. Here is a snippet:
"The data shows how the indicators of population, birthrate, marriages, family and home breakups have worsened over the last 28 years.

People who are older than 65 already outnumber by more than 6.5 million children under age 14, and every year fewer children are born.

Moreover, according to the IFP, there is "a collapse of marriages, with
increasingly fewer marriages and more broken ones -- one million divorces a year -- and with homes being emptied; two out of every three European homes have
no children.""

So-called private morality issues - sexual promiscuity, abortion, divorce etc. - turn out to have widespread social, political and economic implications:
"The president of the IFP affirmed that this "is causing evident effects, both in the economic as well as the social dimension."

He explained: "In the economic dimension, there is an increase in public spending because of the aging population, with an increase in investments dedicated to pensions and health expenses. Expenses that, added to the effects caused by the fall in public earnings due to the deficit of the birthrate can end by causing the reduction/elimination of social loans and, in the end, the bankruptcy of the welfare state.""

No matter how committed one is to the welfare state, one would nonetheless think that its looming bankruptcy would be a cause for concern.
"If the tendency is not halted, by 2050 the European population will have lost 27.3 million people, one out of every three persons will be older than 65 and only one out of every eight persons will be younger than 15, while the average age will be 46.7.

In regard to abortion, the IFP spoke of an "explosion" -- 28 million abortions in the EU since 1990, making it the first cause of mortality in Europe."

This is a picture of the culture of death in action. The most depressing thought that occurs to me reading this data is that the solution that will undoubtedly be brought forward is - you guessed it - more killing. Euthanasia for the lonely elderly who have no one to speak up for them will lengthen out the time it will take for the economy to crash and staving off the inevitable is apparently all the contemporary European mind is capable of engaging with any more.

Read it all here.

Italy Rebels Against Secularist Totalitarianism

The Catholic News Agency has a real "Man Bites Dog" story as ordinary Italians rebel against the top-down, totalitarian, secularism that the European Court of Human Rights is attempting to shove down their throats:
"A number of Italian officials have responded to the ruling by the European
Human Rights Court that ordered schools in Italy to remove crucifixes from the
classrooms by taking unprecedented measures to preserve the Christian symbol.

According to the Italian daily “Avvenire,” the mayor of Sezzadio, Pier
Luigi Arnera, has leveled a fine of 500 euros against anyone who removes a
crucifix from a public place.

Arnera explained that the displaying of the crucifix in “places other
than churches does not affect the dignity of anyone, because it is one of our
cultural references.” Likewise in the cities of Sassuolo and Trapani, officials have acquired dozens more crucifixes to display them in public schools.

In Montegrotto Terme, digital billboards that normally are used to inform
the public are now displaying the crucifix with the phrase, “We will not take it

It is about time. Doesn't a court have more pressing issues to deal with than attempting to eradicate every trace of Christian influence on European culture? Well, actually, for a certain kind of militant secularist there is no more important issue. Honor killings, trampling of free speech - trivial issues. But cleansing the public square of all traces of Christian culture: now there is a pressing issue.

Remember: they can only this to you if you choose to let them and if you let them they will strip away your culture, your past, your memory and your religion. They only want consumers with no culture and nothing that makes you able to resist manipulation through advertising and the media. They do not want Italians or Croats or Poles - only Europeans: one-dimensional material men, actually, last men.

The Economist on Falling Fertility

The influential British magazine, The Economist, has an interesting story on "Falling Fertility" in the latest issue. It is gratifying to (finally) see the mainstream media admit (after 50 years of saying the opposite) that there is no such thing as the population bomb, the world is not dangerously over-populated and the population explosion is a myth. So the story informs us (without a hint of irony or embarassment for doing a U-turn) that:
"Fertility is falling and families are shrinking in places— such as Brazil, Indonesia, and even parts of India—that people think of as teeming with children. As our briefing shows, the fertility rate of half the world is now 2.1 or less—the magic number that is consistent with a stable population and is usually called “the replacement rate of fertility”. Sometime between 2020 and 2050 the world’s fertility rate will fall below the global replacement rate."

Now the absolutely astonishing thing here is that The Economist has just stated that world population is about to start falling and it follows this frightening scenario with a yawn! It seems that it has yet to dawn on The Economist that this fact implies shrinking economies, scarcity of resources, fewer workers to support growing populations of seniors, and probably a collapse of the world economy. What kinds of social chaos will follow shrinking population and the shrinking economic growth that always accompanies drops in population? The Economist is oblivious and seems not to be concerned. Every country or empire in history that has seen its population decline has fallen. Then again, every empire that has fallen in to sensuality, decadence and luxury like our's has also fallen. So I guess we just eat, drink and be merry until we run out of food.

The complacency about falling population rates seems to go hand in hand with the fanatical obsession with global warming. For the same article goes on to say:

"Nonsense, say Malthus’s heirs. All this misses the point: there are too many
people for the Earth’s fragile ecosystems. It is time to stop—and ideally
reverse—the population increase. To celebrate falling fertility is like
congratulating the captain of the Titanic on heading towards the iceberg more

The Malthusians are right that the world’s population is still increasing and can do a lot more environmental damage before it peaks at just over 9 billion in 2050. That will certainly be the case if poor, fast-growing countries follow the economic trajectories of those in the rich world. The poorest Africans and Asians produce 0.1 tonnes of CO2 each a year, compared with 20 tonnes for each American. Growth is helping hundreds of millions to escape grinding poverty. But if the poor copy the pattern of wealth creation that made Europe and America rich, they will eat up as many resources as the Americans do, with grim consequences for the planet. What’s more, the parts of the world where populations are growing fastest are also those most vulnerable to climate change, and a rising population will exacerbate the consequences of global warming—water shortages, mass migration, declining food yields."

The Economist seems to be living in La La land on this issue. If anyone thinks that an irreversible fall in population is going to be a net benefit to the human race and to planet earth they are simply not able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Sure we need to think about climate change, but if we forget to think about the economy at the same time we will simply replace the cyanide with rat poison, we will simply exchange one global catastrophe for another. Pick your poison.

The world needs a stable population and a growing economy to support that population. We must remember that demographics (like climate) never stands still. Even if the population levels off it will still change for a few more generations as the percentage of seniors increases. The great danger is that the current trends will result, not in a stable population, but in a declining population coupled with a aging population and that is a recipe for economic disaster. We may get the population reduction so many of Malthus's pessimistic heirs long for all right - through mass starvation. If that is what the "Green" movement wants, then the "Green" movement is the enemy of mankind.

The population disaster won't wait until the climate change issue is resolved before it bites us. If we can't focus on two things at once we will inevitably leave one until it is too late. The Economist would do well to learn how to walk and chew gum at the same time - and quickly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Missional Folks Don't Do Global Missions

Ed Stetzer discusses a question I have wondered about for a long time in this post. He says:

"I am writing this post from Taiwan. As I have been working with both local
leaders and American pastors, I have been struck by a few things and thought I
would share them with you.

First, I have traveled to Taiwan as a part of the Upstream Collective. The
reason is to accompany American pastors with a desire to be missional on a
cross-cultural, international encounter. (You can scroll down the last few posts
to learn what we are doing in Taiwan.)

Each person on the trip has the missional impulse as part of their DNA, and
they are here to consider how they might join God on his mission globally. While
I admire the faithfulness of these men, I must admit my surprise to see that
there is not a bigger interest in such global concerns among American pastors in
general. My fellow travelers seem to be rare of a breed in ministry.

Second, when I blogged about this on Sunday, two readers contacted my
hosts-- one working with the Presbyterian Church in America and one from the
Oversee Missionary Fellowship (OMF). Why? Well, according to one email, the
author explained, "I'm particularly interested in attracting young missional
church planters here."

Third, I was recently told by a pastor who called himself "missional"
that his church needed to pull back on their global mission support to help
their people "be missionaries right here."

All this provokes me to ask, "Why are so many missional Christians uninvolved in God's global mission?" As the missional conversation continues and deepens, what has occurred that has led to our blindness to the lost world around us?"

You can read his five reasons here. I am not sure he gets to the heart of it in his explanation. He basically says "Do both: social work and gospel preaching." But we already supposedly knew that; or did we? Am I the only one who notices a lot of Evangelicals doing the social work but neglecting to preach the Gospel of personal sin and salvation?

I wonder if the word "missional" has any value anymore. If it comes to refer to the prioritizing of social work over evangelization, then it will be just another name for theological liberalism. Can the two be held together? I don't really know at this point. Ask me in ten years.

Marriage and Children Increase Happiness

Once agains, after much toil and struggle social science confirms common sense and affirms what we already knew. A British study confirms that getting married and having children increases happiness. The more children, the more happiness, especially for women. But did we all know that?

Apparently not, according to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi in the UK. He told an audience recently that old Europe is dying because people are too selfish to have children. He said:

"Parenthood involves massive sacrifice: of money, attention, time and emotional energy. Where today, in European culture with its consumerism and its
instant gratification ‘because you’re worth it’, in that culture, where will you
find space for the concept of sacrifice for the sake of generations not yet born?

Europe, at least the indigenous population of Europe, is dying, exactly as
Polybius said about ancient Greece in the third pre-Christian century. The century that is intellectually the closest to our own – the century of the sceptics and the epicureans and the cynics. Polybius wrote this:"The fact is, that the people of Hellas had entered upon the false path of ostentation, avarice and laziness, and were therefore becoming unwilling to marry, or if they did marry, to bring up the children born to them; the majority were only willing to bring up at most one or two."

That is why Greece died. That is where Europe is today."

You can read his entire speech, including his refutation of neo-Darwinism, if you click on this blog, the Hermeneutic of Continuity, and follow the link provided there.

It would appear that there is a happy convergence between having children and cultural flourishing - and a sad convergence between voluntary sterility and cultural decline. The command to be fruitful and multiply has never been rescinded and the culture of death is simply the product of unbelief and rebellion against the God of Creation. Happily, that is a rebellion that will never succeed. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall have them in derision." I can't wait util it is time to attend Handel's Messiah performed by Tafelmusik - our Christmas tradition. It is about the birth of a baby, you know - something God is highly in favor of - and the means by which salvation comes to this dying world.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Drive to Abolish Childhood in the UK

From the UK, news that the government is imposing sex education on children as young as 7 years old. Gerald Warner, in his blog at the Daily Telegraph, has a trenchant analysis of the never-ending drive of the Labour government to abolish Christian morals and entrench an ethic that holds promiscuity as the highest good in the UK. He begins:
"The drive to abolish childhood continues apace. The government is ordering “sex education” to be imposed on primary school children from as young as five. The premature sexualisation of children and the encouragement of prurient interest in sexual matters at a tender age has already provoked increasing numbers of underage pregnancies (which the hypocrites enforcing this degenerate agenda claim it is designed to reduce), but still the fanatics persist in destroying what little remains of childhood innocence in this decadent age.

While anti-paedophile hysteria prevents a mother from pushing her own child on a swing in a playground without undergoing criminal record checks, the most widespread child abuse in this country is being perpetrated by the government."

This is indeed systematic, institutionalized child abuse. But he is just getting warmed up. He notes the anti-Christian arrogance:
"A further aggression against conscience is the imposition on faith schools of a duty to teach this rebarbative curriculum. The cosmetic concession is that they may do so within the “tenets of their faith”; but they must impart the factual information on contraception, homosexuality, etc. So, are Catholic schools supposed to say to pupils: “Contraception is a mortal sin. Now, here are the methods and how to employ them…” or “The Church condemns sodomy as one of the Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance, but in case you are interested, here’s the deal…”?"

And why is the government doing this? Warner calls a spade a spade:
"If that seems insane, it is in fact simply a cynical method of enforcing anti-Christian values on faith schools. It will be interesting, however, to see how the government sets about the enforcement of such teaching in the more robust environment of Muslim schools. Suddenly, it’s fatwah time for New Labour…

This New Labour government has been the most virulently anti-family, anti-Judaeo-Christian ethic administration in British history. It has unravelled the whole fabric of society with its anti-family crusade. In this it betrays its Frankfurt School of Marxism agenda, which it shares with the EU. Compulsory sex education was always a major plank in the Frankfurt School’s programme."

As if the government bureaucrats and their political masters had the guts to try and impose this on Muslim schools. They won't. They wouldn't dare. The hypocrisy is breath-taking. They are doing this to Christians just because they calculate that Christians can be bullied and won't fight back - even at the ballot box.

Well, it is time for parents to rise up against the arrogant, child-abusing, Marxists and throw them out. Past time. Way past time. Memo to the formerly free people of the UK: no state will allow you to have freedom; you have to take it. .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Conservative But Not Republican: A Growing Trend

The polling numbers give the lie to two wrong impressions that are widely shared among many conservatives and many Christians today, as far as US politics is concerned. And these misconceptions affect the way many Canadian Evangelicals position themselves with regard to conservatism.

Myth #1: Conservative Christians have sold their souls to the Republican Party and are just voting robots who never question party orthodoxy.

This myth is widely promulgated by left-wing Evangelicals who wish to portray conservative Christians as uneducated, unthinking, and easily led. It serves as a backdrop to the argument that moving left is just what anyone must do who wishes to have any kind of influence in the world today. So the myth justifies the left-ward turn of certain Evangelicals in search of political "relevance."

The main problem with the myth is that it is not true. What is true is that sometimes Evangelicals have chosen to be part of a mainline party with a serious shot at wininng even though much of what that party stands for is alien to true conservative and Christian concerns. This is a strategic decision, which everyone in pratical politics has to wrestle with at times, and it demonstrates political maturity rather than immaturity.

Rasmussen Reports polls show that the majority of conservatives in the US do not call themselves Republicans (56%). This means that some conservatives vote for conservative Democratic candidates and that many others are independents. In fact, most Independents in the US are not poised half-way between conservative and liberal positions; they are actually mostly conservatives. Some conservatives typically vote Republican but do not call themselves Republican because they perceive the Republican Party as not conservative enough or not the right kind of conservative.

Myth #2: The Republican Party must "broaden" itself (meaning become less conservative) in order to reach out to moderates and have any chance of winning elections in the future.

This is probably exactly the opposite of what it needs to do in order to win. Rasumssen Reports shows that only about 20% of American self-identify as Republicans, with just under 40% self-identifying as Democrat and 30% as Independents. Yet, many polls show conservatives making up a majority of the voting population in the US. Obama won by convincing many of the Independents that he was not an extreme liberal and the swift drop in his approval ratings (from 67% in February to 46% now) are what one would expect to see once the extremity of his liberal policies - especially with regard to the economy - become clear. Obama's election was also helped by the number of conservatives who stayed home, rather than vote for a Republican party that had revealed itself to be too liberal for their tastes, especially on fiscal matters.

Rasmussen Polls also show that 73% of Republicans think that the party leaders have lost touch with their base. It would appear that the party leadership needs to re-think the question of whether or not it wishes to be the vehicle for conservatives to make their voice heard in Washington or if it does not. If not, it will lose conservative support and become unelectable. The Tea Party movement is targeting liberals from both parties and willing to support conservatives of any party. The Republican leadership should be worried about this kind of grass roots activism, which is more interested in the substance of policy issues than party labels or the careers of party hacks. All the talk from the likes of Rod Dreher and David Frum about moving to the middle is political suicide. What the Republican Party needs to do is re-define the middle further rightward in order to be in touch with the electorate.

Sarah Palin undoubtedly saved John McCain from being utterly humiliated in the 2008 election. If McCain had picked Romney or Gulianni as his running mate he might have lost by the biggest margin in history because the conservative base was fed up with the Republicans acting like a Democratic-lite party. The respectability of the margin was due to Palin's energizing of the conservative base at the last minute and what the Republican Party has to come to grips with is that to alienate this base again is to hand the next election cycle to the Democrats.

If they won't stand for principle, (which they should), they should at least act in their own enlightened self-interest to avoid political oblivion. There simply is no room in American poltics for a Republican Party that is neither conservative nor liberal. The lesson to be learned from Doug Hoffman's success in New York 23 is that the choices confronting the Republican Party are: (1) tack back to the right and shore up a base that may give it a chance to win or (2) tack to the left and witness the rise of a conservative third party that will split the conservative vote until the Republican Party itself sinks beneath the waves forever. There are no other choices.

The conservative movement in America has entered a phase of maturity with regard to intellectual and political matters that make it impossible for old-line, big-business, Northeastern, Republican Party bosses to manipulate it. Pundits who talk irresponsibly about the "death of conservatism" are out of touch with reality. America is not going to become Europe any time soon. I would be willing to bet that Europe is more likely to shift rightward in the next decade than America is to shift left-ward.

Obama is making the country more conservative the more he actually implements his big-government, tax and spend policies. The Value Added Tax he will need to introduce to prevent the deficit from destroying the economy will be the last straw and he will be gone in 2012. America cannot afford to be a military superpower and a welfare state like European countries. Canada, Europe and America all have similar levels of taxation; the difference is that what goes for welfare programs in Canada and Europe goes to military expenditures in America. I can't see Obama daring to gut America's military in the short term (although he clearly would like to do so in the long run), so the huge increase in Federal spending must be balanced with significantly higher taxation. What that will do to the economy is not pleasant to contemplate.

If you think that Obama can ramp up the welfare state to European levels, maintain US military dominance and keep taxes at current levels all at the same time, you are simply dreaming. In order for America to implement the liberal goals of the Obama administration, America would have to accept a policy of isolation, accept being held hostage by OPEC, accept the disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state, accept more than a few steps toward world government through the UN and accept the long, slow, decline of the American economy. I think America is a long way from being the kind of country that would accept all that. I think it is a lot more likely that Obama will be a second Jimmy Carter.