Monday, June 27, 2011

Obama's Astonishing Economic Ignorance

Last week President Obama made a detour from his usual practice of blaming all America's economic woes on his favorite whipping boy, George W. Bush. Instead, he blamed the invention of ATM's for high unemployment.

Any first-year economics student could tell you that that was pure Luddite nonsense, but the Democrat-Media Complex ignored this stunning lack of basic economic ignorance because it did not fit their preconceived notions of "Democrats smart, Republicans stupid."

In this video, Senator Ron Johnson, who is built a successful manufacturing business and then defeated Russ Feingold in Wisconson, gives Obama the lashing he so richly deserves. This video is short and to the point:

I hope America puts the adults in charge of its economy - before it is too late.

The Convergence of Liberalism and Socialism in the Twentieth Century: A Conservative Analysis

Since the Progressive Era, classical, 19th century liberalism, which emphasizes individual liberty, free markets and small government, has been on the decline in America. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries two different trajectories have been followed.

On the one hand, the cultural elites have increasingly rejected orthodox Christianity in favor of one sort of secularist ideas or another. The influence of Darwinism, German higher criticism, and scientific positivism led to the abandonment of basic Christian doctrines, especially in the liberal Protestant denominations.

On the other hand, liberalism's concept of equality before the law or equality of opportunity, was increasingly put on the defensive by the Marxist concept of equality of outcomes embedded in the welfare state ideal. Progressives, whose philosophy was rooted in romantics like Rousseau and Marx, pushed the idea that government should ensure social equality and the catchy phrase that came to express this idea was "social justice," which was seen as clearly superior to plain old-fashioned "justice."

This new notion of equality came to be treated as equal in importance to liberty; thus we see the philosopher John Rawl attempting to square the circle of having two at least partially incompatible first principles in liberal political philosophy in A Theory of Justice. His grand attempt was a failure and showed that when push comes to shove, liberals had nothing more substantial than utilitarianism to serve as a basis for resolving conflicts between equality and liberty. Alasdair MacIntyre shows in After Virtue that this utilitarianism resolves into emotivism and depends on social consensus for its legitimacy. When social consensus breaks down, as for example on abortion after the Supreme Court's ill-considered ruling in 1973, which did so much to call into question the legitimacy and impartiality of the judiciary, emotivism serves as nothing other than a mask for a Nietzschean will-to-power.

But if the new "social justice" liberalism or "socialist liberalism" was increasingly incoherent in terms of philosophical foundations, the old, classical, 19th century liberalism suffered from a similar deficit of philosophical foundations. The problem here was the drift of the cultural elites in America away from Christianity during the Progressive Era and the inadequacy of liberal democracy without a religious foundation was exposed. Liberalism is a fine social philosophy except when it loses a pre-political concept of the Good, which was supplied in the 18-19th centuries by Christianity. This is the significance of Tocqueville's remark in Democracy in America that the American constitution was fit for a religious people and no other. It is only safe to have a constitution that fails to name the highest Good as the foundation of society if the people for whom that constitution is designed share a common faith in God, morality and the soul that provide a commonly agreed upon core of behavior that all agree is basic to political life. The classical 19th century liberalism, which left individuals freer to pursue their own ideals than any political philosophy before in history only worked because a Christian culture made it "ordered liberty" rather than something more like amoral social Darwinism.

The intellectual incoherence of liberalism, as criticized by, for example, Louis Groarke in his article: "What is Freedom? Why Christianity and Theoretical Liberalism Cannot Be Reconciled," meant that liberalism increasingly became suspect for Christians and, at the same time, increasingly vulnerable to the arguments of socialists that equality can supply the missing content in an increasingly vacuous liberalism.

Some Christians, faced with the emptiness of liberalism and lacking the courage to advocate for the Judeo-Christian worldview as the necessary basis for Western culture in an increasingly secularized social context, were seduced into thinking that the Marxist idea of equality could make the empty liberalism (often scornfully known as "neo-liberalism," especially in Europe) more humanistic. They thought that the Marxist idea of equality could serve as a substitute for the Judeo-Christian doctrine of man created in the image of God. Just as Christianity had provided a moral foundation for 19th century liberalism, so Marxism might be able to provide a moral foundation for 20th century liberalism, they thought.

After the collapse of economic Marxism in 1979 as the Soviet Union dissolved and the Chinese Communist Party embraced a kind of "crony capitalism" or "state capitalism" in a series of pragmatic reforms that recognized the necessity of the market in wealth creation but retained the dominance of the Party in Chinese society, it seemed to some that Marxism was dead. But this was an illusion. Marxism continued to serve as a substitute religion for Western liberal elites who could no longer believe in traditional Christianity by purportedly contributing to political philosophy the ideal of equality of all as the raison de etre of the state.

Liberalism in the 21st century is really an amalgam of classical liberalism (J. S. Mill) and socialism (Karl Marx) and its intellectual incoherence, unresolved by the heroic efforts of John Rawls, remains problematic. Conservatives are those who believe that 19th century liberalism plus the West's Judeo-Christian heritage provides a way forward that marries tolerance and cultural creativity with solid pre-political, religious foundations.

The Conservative critique of contemporary liberalism is that of Dostoevesky in the Grand Inquisitor scene in The Brothers Karamazov: that the West is being tempted to give up freedom in exchange for security and equality. The Grand Inquisitor represents the State which has assumed religious functions to itself and presents itself to the populace as the Great Liberator and Provider which can be relied upon to make life safe and secure. Conservatives fear that the end point of contemporary liberalism is a soft totalitarianism of the sort described in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Western culture, having roused itself for one last heroic battle against the hard totalitarianisms of Fascism, Nazism and Communism in the mid-twentieth century, is now exhausted and slowly declining into the soft totalitarianism of the welfare state. The current teetering of the Euro, the decline of Europe in general and the sovereign debt crisis threatening the Western world as a whole, however, make the West vulnerable to a new hard totalitarian threat in the form of militant, oil-money fueled Islam.

The liberal response to the conservative critique is simply to say: "Don't ask us to believe in Christianity again because we can't." Yet, one get the impression that the main problem they have with Christianity is not metaphysical or scientific in nature, but simply a refusal to give up the personal anarchism (let's not dignify it with the label of freedom) of the sexual revolution. They are open to believing in any god that allows sexual license, which makes pantheistic nature-worship attractive to some and a vague moralistic therapeutic deism attractive to others. But these gods do not provide a moral core of doctrine or a theory of human nature that could fund a reinvigorated political liberalism.

So debate about whether or not Obama is a socialist is moot. It is as equally meaningless to scornfully dismiss the idea that he is a Marxist Leninist as it is to dismiss the idea that he was not born in the United States. Of course, he is not a 1930s Stalinist and of course he is not an alien. But to think that saying this means that he is not an enemy of classical liberalism or a proponent of a socialist-shaped kind of liberalism is equally ridiculous. He is a product of the 20th century fusion of the socialist ideal of equality with a drifting, incoherent political liberalism, which has been detached from its Christian roots.

What contemporary liberals need to understand, and often don't, is that the conservatives are as strongly opposed to contemporary progressivism (contemporary socialist-shaped liberalism) as they are to Marxism itself. The critique is not just about levels of taxation, amount of government regulation or social conservative moral views. The critique is far deeper and more profound that that. The basic critique of contemporary liberalism is that it lacks the philosophical foundations that are necessary to resist creeping soft totalitarianism and therefore it is inadequate as a cultural foundation for the West going forward. It is shallow, out-of-date, and dangerous, and represents a hollowed-out, secularized form of Christianity that is merely a pale reflection of the real thing, a reflection that is rapidly fading into history as the West continues its long, sad, decline.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pious Hypocrites

It's old news now, but in case you haven't heard the Irish rock band U2 has decided to move its corporate headquarters out of Ireland to avoid paying sky high taxes. For this they must be mocked:

Poor old Bono. You spend your life campaigning against poverty and injustice, and making some pretty good music along the way, and what thanks do you get?

U2 played the Glastonbury Festival in Britain for the first time last night, and their performance was briefly disrupted when a group protesting about the band’s alleged tax avoidance inflated a large balloon carrying the slogan ‘U Pay Your Tax 2′.

Of course, no conservative is going to quibble about the band’s right to take all legally-available steps to minimize their tax liability. The trouble is, such business dealings sit rather uneasily alongside Bono’s repeated calls for Western governments to send more money to developing nations, and write off outstanding debt.

From the conservative point of view, if Bono devoted his energy to encouraging private individuals and business to hand over their cash to charities, there wouldn’t be an issue here; the problem is, if governments are to send more money to Africa they need to get it from someone, and that someone is you, me and U2.

Yup. If your whole schtick is built around how the government should give more money to corrupt, socialist, third world governments headed by kleptomaniacs with Swiss bank accounts and it says right in the Bible (somewhere) that we must, then said governments are going to need tax revenue and a lot more of it. So, pay up or shut up.

Timothy Noah quotes "Mr. Justice Issue" as follows:

"Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market … that's a justice issue," Bono said at a prayer breakfast attended by President Bush, Jordan's King Abdullah, and various members of Congress earlier this year. Preaching this sort of thing has made Bono a perennial candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. He continued:

Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents ... that's a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents ... that's a justice issue.

And relocating your business offshore in order to avoid paying taxes to the Republic of Ireland, where poverty is higher than in almost any other developed nation?

It seems odd to me that millionaires and billionaires who campaign for governments to spend more of other people's money on their pet projects and publicity-generating schemes don't want to pair their "fair share" of taxes in their own home countries. Surely they understand that there is a direct correlation between their redistributionist schemes and the high rate of taxes they have to pay, don't they?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thank-you Notes

Thank-you to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for taking a pass on the lewd, crude, celebration of vice known as "Gay Pride Parade." It is no place for a mayor. Toronto feels just a little bit more like an adult city as a result.

Thank-you to Barbara Kay for supporting Mayor Ford with a great piece in The National Post.

Thank-you to the homosexual activist blogger who admitted out loud that people like him want to indoctrinate our children whether we like it or not. It is good to have the issues right out on the table.

Thank-you to Senator Rand Paul for expressing my sentiments exactly to the head of the TSA in a recent hearing by calling the TSA "clueless" for patting down a six year girl.

Thank-you to President Barack Obama for explaining the cause of high unemployment (automated tellers) and demonstrating how utterly like the TSA he is about economics.

Thank-you to Geert Wilders for giving leadership to those who love freedom by influencing the Dutch government to start the inevitable process of moving away from multiculturalism.

Thank-you to Michelle Bachmann for standing up for Israel.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What is Racism?

The use of the word "racism" is getting very confusing.
  • If you are a member of the Tea Party and you stand for lower taxes, smaller government and a leaner social safety net based on means tests instead of universal social welfare programs then you are a racist.
  • If you are not a Marxist redistributionist, you are a racist.
  • If you criticize Islam as a totalitarian ideology disguised as a religion, you are a racist.
What is going on? What is the meaning of the word "racist" as used in these sentences? Why does the term "racist" get tossed around so loosely in so many contexts? Are Leftists really seriously concerned about racism or is this word just a focus-group tested, guaranteed negative emotion-producing evocation without specific meaning?

Let me tell you what I think racism means. It means the belief that members of one race are superior to the members of another race instead of judging each individual on his or her own specific merits. There can be black racism (against Jews, for example) and Asian racism (against blacks, for example) and white racism (against native people, for example). Racism is prejudice, which means literally to pre-judge, that is to look at the color of someone's skin and make assumptions about what he must be like in terms of his character. That is racism and it is evil.

Now, this definition does not fit into any of the sentences above. For months now, the Democratic-Media complex has been screaming and frothing about the Tea Party being racist. But the Tea Party contains various races working harmoniously together and is open to individuals who agree with its conservative political philosophy, just as the Democratic Party itself is.

So why do smug lefties turn up on TV and in print all the time perfectly confident that the Tea Party must be racist? They don't give evidence and they don't feel they need to do so. They just know.

How do they know?

Well, they are operating on the basis of a set of hidden assumptions that they believe and which I reject. But their standard operating procedure is to speak and act as if all educated/smart/cool etc. people accepted those assumptions. And some of the assumptions are Marxist. Here is how it works.

The assume (1) that the gap between rich and poor in terms of income is immoral and needs to be narrowed; this is what they mean by "social justice." They further assume (2) that the State is the entity that should redistribute the wealth by taxation and social welfare programs. They also assume (3) that since blacks in America, on average as a group, earn less than whites, they must be oppressed by whites and should have their incomes raised - or failing that, whites should have their incomes reduced by higher taxation.

Now, as I say, I reject all three assumptions. I don't think the gap between rich and poor is itself necessarily immoral. If wealth is acquired honestly by hard work, innovation and entrepreneurship, then there is nothing wrong with it. Rich people create jobs for others and invent/produce things others gladly use and they also pay taxes on top of it. What is wrong any of that? If Bill Gates is a bazillionaire, that does not hurt me. I'm glad personal computers were invented and I quite like using Windows, thank you very much. He can have enough money to fly to the moon for all I care.

Of course, when it comes to people who don't have the basics of food and shelter I think charity is an obligation. But I feel no obligation to ensure that the street person makes this or that percentage of the income of the wealthiest among us. These are two completely different things which get conflated by Marxists trying to confuse the rest of us. I object to Leftists pretending that it is wrong not to support the kind of irresponsible socialist policies that are currently pushing Europe to the brink of a financial crisis.

And the idea that if I take this non-socialist view of government and taxation, then I must do so because I think blacks are inferior is just absurd. I think they (the leftists) are the real racists because they apparently think that blacks - as a group - cannot and should not compete and work and try to get ahead because they are somehow inferior. The leftists think that the nanny state must look after black people because they - for some reason - need looking after.

Racism and political/economic philosophies are different things. I'm as sure that some conservative Americans are racists as I am sure that most are not. But that has nothing to do with the ideals for which the Tea Party stands. And I'm sure that many on the left are racist too.

As for the idea that one is a racist for criticizing Islam as Geert Wilders has done, that is just absurd and shows a lack of critical thinking. For example, I quoted Reuters in my last post:
Minorities groups said they would now take the case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing the ruling meant the Netherlands had failed to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination.
Whichever Muslim said that is not a very good Muslim because Islam claims not to be the religion of just one ethnic group but a universal religion for the entire world. There are Muslims found in many different ethinic groups around the world.

What the person might have meant is something like this: "In the Netherlands, most Muslims are of a certain ethnic minority and Wilders is actually a white racist who hates colored people but does not come right out and say so for fear of being labeled a racist and instead uses "Islam" as code for "Moroccan" or whatever."

If that is the argument one wants to make, then go ahead and make it. But citing his anti-Islam remarks and denying his right to criticize Islam does not make those arguments. For that you would need some sort of evidence that he actually despises people of color. And there is no such evidence.

What Wilders is being persecuted for is criticizing Islam and the reason he has a 24 hour bodyguard is because he is under threat from radical Muslims for criticizing Islam. This is what is at stake: can one freely criticize political religions or not? Can totalitarians who want to squash all criticism of their political ideology shut down critics using spurious appeals to a mythical racism that is presumed, not proven and not visible?

What is racism? It used to be a form of prejudice to be named, shamed and rejected by decent people. Now it is a tool of the Marxist-inspired left used to attack conservatives. Somewhere along the line the leftists discovered that we conservatives actually loathe racism and therefore take accusations of being racists very seriously. It stings to be accused of something like that. So, from the leftist point of view, the good news is that it works as a tactic!

Charges of racism against anybody should be examined carefully to see whether the issue is actually racism or a disagreement on economics/politics or multiculturalism. To be a capitalist or to think that English Common Law or Western liberal democracy is superior to Shariah Law have nothing whatsoever to do with racism.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Geert Wilders Acquited! Good News for Freedom of Speech in Europe

Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician on trial for criticizing Islam as a totalitarian ideology bent on world dominion, has miraculously been acquited by an Amsterdam court!

I have previously blogged about this trial and Wilders' fight for free speech in the Netherlands and the West generally. The first link gives the transcript of his closing remarks at the trial:

European Freedom on Trial

Defending Free Speech Against the Hard Left and Islam

Geert Wilders' Speech in Rome: Facing the Potential Fall of the West without Giving Up Hope

The Voice of Freedom in Europe: Will It Be Silenced Forever?

German Reporter Claims Jesus Taught Violent Jihad in Wilders Interview

Geert Wilders' Speech at Ground Zero on 9/11

Robert Sibley on Geert Wilders and Freedom

Rick Moran at American Thinker describes the victory and the Muslim response. Unsurprisingly, they will continue the lawfare by going to the United Nations. They do not believe that European nations should have the sovereign right to make their own laws because they ultimately do no recognize any law but Shariah.

Predictably, some Muslims groups were outraged:

Minorities groups said they would now take the case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing the ruling meant the Netherlands had failed to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination.

"The acquittal means that the right of minorities to remain free of hate speech has been breached. We are going to claim our rights at the U.N.," said Mohamed Rabbae of the National Council for Moroccans.

No doubt they will get a sympathetic hearing at the UN with the anti-Semites, anti-Western, anti-Christian representatives becoming enraged at the result of the court case.

But what can they do to the Netherlands? Not much, which means their efforts will be for PR purposes and nothing more.

Note that they, like Marxists, have become adept at utilizing the rhetoric of rights and multiculturalism,(in which they do not believe), against their Western enemies. Posing as persecuted minorities they try to stamp out all criticism of Islam and restrict free speech for their own totalitarian purposes. They have not embraced Western ideals of free speech and tolerance; they scorn such ideals even as they use them against us in order to undermine those ideals and eventually stamp them out.

No country in the world dominated by Shariah law has religious freedom, freedom of speech or individual liberty (especially in the case of women). Any Muslim who wishes to live under Western law and according to the Western political philosophy of limited government, separation of church and state, etc. is welcome in the West. But a significant minority of Muslims - largely supported by Saudi oil money - are anti-Western and seek to overthrow the West and impose Shariah. They are enemies and must be resisted.

Geert Wilders has been persecuted by the Left in his country because he insists on standing up to the latter group, while having no problem with the former group. He claims that Islam is a totalitarian ideology and history is on his side. The only debatable point is whether a given Muslim group is willing to give up Islamic ideology and adapt to the ideals of the West or not. When you see honor killings, anti-Semitism, and support for radical organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas, and creeping Shariah, you know which kind of Muslim group you are dealing with.

The entire Western world owes Geert Wilders a debt of gratitude for having the courage to stand up to thugs and totalitarians who want to sell out liberty for peace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moral Clarity and the Lack Thereof

Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) tells it like it is in this statement from his website on his resolution calling on Hamas to release Corporal Giliad Shalit.

“I think it is absolutely essential that the United States keep faith with our Israeli allies and stand with them in calling for the immediate release of IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit. The terrorists in Hamas, it should be recalled, snuck into Israel proper and attacked a group of IDF soldiers for the purpose of kidnapping Corporal Shalit in order to hold him hostage. Descending even further into subhuman barbarity, they have forced him to appear in propaganda videos, they have denied him visits from the Red Cross, they have denied him medical attention, and they have prevented him from sending even so much as a postcard to his parents, or allowing them to contact him.

Hamas’ stooges can say whatever they want about this blood-soaked bunch of terrorists, but their behavior, in the form of unrelenting violence against Israeli civilians and the disgusting anti-Semitism they spew, shows their true beliefs and their real values. These are not partners for any kind of peace. These are thugs hiding an agenda of hate behind a façade of religious devotion.

“Congress must stand with Israel in calling for Corporal Shalit’s immediate and unconditional release, and I expect many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this resolution and call for its consideration and adoption by the House.” [my bolding]

I guess he must just be some ignorant, Southern, Baptist, redneck - no, wait he is a Democratic congressman from a blue state!

Meanwhile the White House is still putting pressure on Israel to negotiate with Hamas and simultaneously stating that its policy is that Israel cannot negotiate with a negotiating partner which denies its right to exist. (See this post by Jen Rubin on the Obama administration's incoherence on Hamas.)

So what is the difference between Rep. Gary Ackerman and Barack Obama? Moral clarity and the lack thereof.

Michelle Bachmann on Israel

Here is a speech by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, on Israel. It is only five minutes long but it is clear, cogent and compelling. She is a great speaker and has a positive and forward-looking attitude.

I think she may very well win Iowa and that could propel her candidacy int0 the top tier. If I were Mitt Romney, I would worry more about her than any other current declared candidate.

Maybe it is time for a woman leader of the free world, providing she is one with conservative views like Bachmann's.

163 Million Missing Girls: Feminism and Population Control

The Wall Street Journal has an article entitled "The War Against Girls" which reflects on the fact that since the 1970s over 163 million girls have been aborted by parents seeking sons. It elaborates:

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

- - - snip - - -

Ms. Hvistendahl argues that such imbalances are portents of Very Bad Things to come. "Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live," she writes. "Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent." As examples she notes that high sex ratios were at play as far back as the fourth century B.C. in Athens—a particularly bloody time in Greek history—and during China's Taiping Rebellion in the mid-19th century. (Both eras featured widespread female infanticide.) She also notes that the dearth of women along the frontier in the American West probably had a lot to do with its being wild. In 1870, for instance, the sex ratio west of the Mississippi was 125 to 100. In California it was 166 to 100. In Nevada it was 320. In western Kansas, it was 768.

The contraceptive mentality says that we should be able to control our fertility without controlling our sexual urges. This encourages us to think we can get away with being selfish and the more selfish we become the the more killing unwanted children becomes feasible in our thinking. The idea of spacing out children by using natural family planning requires responsible and mature patterns of marital communication and self control. But contraception eliminates all need for communication or self-control and creates an entitlement mentality where we feel entitled to all the selfish pleasure we want with no consequences. The problem with that approach to sex is that it reduces it to an individualistic way of gratifying our own lusts instead of making it personal communication and and expression of personal commitment.

Gratifying our selfish lusts as individuals also is morally corrosive in a broader sense. It does not contribute to the self-discipline necessary for true community, but actively reduces such self-discipline. Abortion is basically an act of selfishness and no where is this more obvious than in sex-selection abortion.

The fact that feminism as a political movement will not oppose sex-selection abortion is telling. It shows that feminists understand that opposing abortion for any reason is fatal to their cause because all the major reasons for abortion are essentially selfish. If you start distinguishing between "legitimate" and "illegitimate" reasons for abortion, pretty soon most abortion will clearly appear to be illegitimate and feminists dread that outcome most of all.

Yet feminists claim that abortion "empowers" women. The use of the word "empower" suggests that the fundamental feminist worldview understands life to be a continuous struggle for survival and power. Contemporary feminism would not be possible without social Darwinism and Nietzschean ethics as its background. That is why it is open to eugenics and population control, as well as the agenda of eco-fascism.

Al Gore recently has been talking up population control as a logical extension of his eco-fascist alarmism. The pseudo crisis of overpopulation becomes a justification for elites using governments to seize control of the fertility of the population, which is to invade even the privacy of the family in order to exert control. The more they can move reproduction into the lab and under government regulation and thus destroy the family, the more totalitarian the rule of the social engineers can be. Here he is caught on camera talking about population control.

You will notice how glibly he uses the language of "empowering women and girls" as if he was liberating them from the oppression of the family. Of course that is how he thinks; he is a feminist. But notice what the real world outcome of the contraceptive mentality he is pushing actually is: 163 million murdered girls.

I don't know how anyone can regard being aborting as being "empowered." But what we need to understand is why feminists like Al Gore can remain unperturbed by sex-selection abortion even while pushing a population control agenda based on the contraceptive mentality as liberating. The key question is: "Liberating for whom?" Who get liberated? All women. No, just those who are strong enough and ruthless enough to impose their will on the weak, the young and the helpless. But if imposing one's will on those who are weaker is the meaning of liberation, how can it apply to all women? Of course, it can't. Not all women are going to be liberated if feminism wins.

This fact has become glaringly obvious in the way the liberal, feminist establishment has gone beserk in its hatred for Sarah Palin and other conservative women over the past few years. "Palin Derangement Syndrome" is the tag for a well-known, widespread phenomenon that at first glance is confusing. Why would women prostitute themselves for the leftist ideological cause by turning against another women who just happened to be running for the "wrong" party? Aren't feminists supposed to be for women? Isn't feminism more than partisan politics? It is only when you realize that feminism is anti-women that you can make sense of all this.

Feminism is essentially an expression of modern, Enlightenment, hedonistic, hyper-individualism. It is rooted in the ideas of Rousseau, Darwin and Nietzsche and it constitutes a clear rejection of natural law, absolute morality and Christianity itself. Trying to compromise with it is not likely to be any more successful than was the German Christian attempt to find common ground with the Nazis because it is inherently opposed to ideas that are basic and integral to Christianity.

The only force in the world that will stand up for the right to life for girls is the Christian Church. It won't be Islam, it won't be Enlightenment secularism, it won't be postmodernism and it certainly won't be feminism. Only the Christian Church has, as part of its bedrock teaching, the idea that procreation is not entirely under the control of individual humans, but involves a cooperation of the married couple with God. This conviction makes procreation mysterious and holy and it prevents all attempts to to reduce it to technology. And only when we see the conception and birth of children as a mysterious, holy, act of God in which we are privileged to participate then we do not see ourselves as manipulators and as in control.

To kill the innocent is to separate oneself from God and to incur Divine judgment. To advocate for an evil ideology that justifies killing the innocent for one's own convenience is to place oneself in opposition to Jesus and the love commandment. To go through the verbal and mental contortions necessary to turn prejudice against girls and women into the "empowerment of girls and women" is to display a capacity for self-deception that Romans 1 attributes to persistent, unrepentant, deliberate idolatry. The problem with feminism is is that it is a form of self-worship, idolatry of the self.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rowan Williams: Marxist Subversive

Rowan Williams' recent intervention in partisan politics on behalf of the Left has prompted journalists to do a little digging on his past political views as background for understanding his present views. A story in the Telegraph by Jason Lewis and Jonathan Wynne-Jones (HT Virtue Online) gives interesting background on Rowan Williams' radical, neo-Marxist past:
When he launched a stinging attack on the Coalition government over policies "for which no one voted", the Archbishop of Canterbury put himself squarely in the centre of a political storm.

Critics accused him of political bias, claiming it was a throwback to the days when his predecessors regularly clashed with past Conservative administrations.

But perhaps they should not be too surprised, as it can be revealed that the Archbishop has a long-standing left-wing political past.

The young Rowan Williams was once labelled 'a subversive' by a senior MI5 officer over his involvement with a group of Marxist, Trotskyite and socialist campaigners.

The secret briefing papers were seen by then Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher and circulated to MPs.

Last week Dr Williams, who describes himself as a "lapsed" Labour party member held private talks with Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, in the wake of his New Statemsman article which attacked the coalition.

The future head of the Church of England first came to the attention of the Security Service when he helped found a left-wing Christian group during his student days at Oxford University.

He wrote the original manifesto for the Jubilee Group, claiming capitalism was in its death-throes and 'threatens to inflict even greater violence on manking (sic) than it has done before'.

Rubbing shoulders with left-wing politicians such as Tony Benn and the late Eric Heffer, he wrote: 'We must make our stand with the oppressed'.

The Jubilee Group was identified as a "problem" neo-Marxist organisation in confidential intelligence documents drawn up by MI5 officer Charles Elwell.
This is interesting as it shows that his left-wing bias is deep-seated and long-standing. His main beef with New Labor seems to be that it was not left-wing enough. The article goes on to give some of the most illuminating quotes from documents authored by the "red" Williams.
Dr Williams was a leading member of the radical Jubilee Group's executive committee during the 1970s and 1980s alongside Mr Heffer, Mr Benn and Communist priest Rev Alan Ecclestone.

The archbishop, an Oxford graduate, was ordained a priest in 1977 but spent almost all of his clerical career until he was consecrated a bishop in 1991 as a lecturer at Cambridge and Oxford universities.

In 1974, he had co-written a manifesto for the group with his friend John Saward, now a Catholic priest, in the Horse and Jockey pub on Woodstock Road, Oxford. They claimed: "We are "subversive contemplatives". We are not shallow activists."

Their manifesto railed against "the ruthless pursuit of private gain" and the "idolatry of profit" adding: "We cannot...feign neutrality, or remain uncritical, in the face of a society based upon the ruthless pursuit of private gain and unlimited consumption."

It concluded: "We do not run away from history. We know what the present crisis of capitalism demands of us...we are in the death-throes of late capitalism, which threatens to inflict even greater violence on mankind than it has done before, we must make our stand with the oppressed, with the movement for liberation throughout the world."

According Rev Dr Ken Leech, the group's founder member, the manifesto was never formally adopted. He said: "It reflected our thinking at the time, but the view was it was too much of a rant. It was a fascinating document, but rather triumphalist, and we rejected it."

He added: "At the time we had never heard of Rowan Williams. He was introduced to us by John Saward. But he became very involved, regularly attended meetings, running our literature committee, giving lectures and writing pamphlets."

Together they edited a series of essays "Catholic and Radical" for the group, and the Rev Dr Leech is still in regular touch with the Archbishop who hosted a 70th birthday party for him at Lambeth Palace last year.

He added: "I would not want to commit Rowan to the language of 1974...but it does really show the heart of the theological focus of the man and this has not changed."

- - - snip - - -
During this period Dr Williams was arrested for "singing Psalms" at a CND demonstration outside RAF Lakenheath, a nuclear weapons base in Suffolk, and questioned Baroness Thatcher's references to her religious convictions to back her political views.

In a speech at Edinburgh University in 1989 he talked of "the alarming religiosity of Ronald Reagan (then US President) and Margaret Thatcher."
So he is anti-capitalist and anti-American and he worked for unilateral Western nuclear disarmament at a time when Soviet expansionism was at its height and the Soviets dreamed of conquering Western Europe. He also criticized Thatcher and Reagan for being too religious, which is code for being orthodox, rather than liberal. When politicians are left-wing politically and liberal theologically, they can be as religious as they like and Marxists never criticize them for it.

I don't know what you would call a person with such views but some would call him a traitor to his country and to the West. Maybe one couldn't quite go that far, but I think it puts his left-wing, anti-biblical and anti-traditionl views on sexuality in a very interesting light. There are many non-Marxists who have, nonetheless, fallen for the cultural Marxist line, but there are very few Marxists who have not adopted the cultural Marxist line as a matter of course.

The goal of cultural Marxism is the infiltration of Western institutions, including the Church, and the gradual destruction of the philosophical, ethical and theological bases of Western culture. This will inevitably lead to the erosion and collapse of the family as the main bastion of resistance to the total state, which is necessary to implement socialism and destroy capitalism.

It seems to me that the crying need of our age is for Christians to understand and oppose cultural Marxism and to understand the revolutionary implications of the sexual revolution.

The promotion of anarchy, as in the recent riots in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup finals and the G-7 meetings in Toronto, is the Marxist method of putting strain on civil society and pushing toward a breakdown of order that will provoke an authoritarian backlash. This backlash will be useful to the Marxists in one of two ways: it might be seized by them and become a vehicle for the revolution or, alternatively, if they cannot get control of it then they will hypocritically criticize it as fascist and pose as the forces of liberation.

In any case, Marxism is Marxism. It is heretical and dangerous to a free society. Unfortunately, churches like the Anglican Communion are infested with Marxists to the very highest levels. One of the benefits of schism may well be to isolate the Marxists in their own dying institutions until they die out instead of allowing them to control the entire communion.

Evangelical churches need to be on the look-out for heresy and need to understand the various forms Marxism takes. This is a subject that should be discussed and debated far more than it is among conservative Christians of all denominations. We can be grateful for newspaper articles like this one, which bring to light the sources of the left-wing bias exhibited at the very top of the Church of England.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Sixties: A First Hand Account

National Post reporter Peter Kuitenbrouwer is in the middle of publishing a five-part series entitled: "In My Father, His Firebombs and My Messed Up Sixties Childhood" in the Post. Part 2 appears today. Peter's father, Paul, was a 60s hippie and the series probes the issue of what it was like to grow up as a child of real 60s hippies.

The series is remarkable for its honesty and insight. It shows how disfunctional the radical movement was and how downright squalid and dirty the lifestyle was. It was a case of children parenting children and, from this distance, clearly more a matter of arrested adolescent development than a counter-culture.

I encourage you to read it and ponder the degradation and disintegration that went under the banners of "peace and love."

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. The complete series is here.

The Feminist Shell Game

Jenny McCartney, in her Daily Telegraph blog, is unimpressed by the hand-wringing over a new "syndrome" discovered by hard-working feminist psychologists and revealed to the world in an article entitled: “Seeing the Unseen: Attention to Daily Encounters with Sexism as a Way to Reduce Sexist Beliefs” published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly by Julia Becker and Janet Swim. This new "syndrome" is called "benevolent sexism."

You got to love the way the article's title comes right out and admits that the goal of the authors is thought control. There was a time when feminism was identified with equal rights for women and the focus was on things like being denied admission to university or sexual harassment - actions that actually harmed women. Although I don't like feminist ideology, I have to admit that a lot of people (including me) actually admired feminism for trying to stop actions that hurt women and so feminism built up a not inconsiderable amount of moral capital as a result of that defense of women's rights.

But the capital is being spent down quickly. The focus is no longer on helping women but on controlling the way that women and men are allowed to think. The ideological mask slipped off a long time ago and the goal for second-wave feminism (roughly from the 60s on) is not making the world safe for women but re-making the world according to a new dogma: the dogma that men and women are identical in every way and so any religion or philosophy that claims that women and men are of equal value but have differences rooted in biology that make them different in significant ways must be exterminated from the face of the earth.

The idea that women should be respected and not mistreated (call it Idea 1) and the idea that sexual differences are meaningless (call it Idea 2) are not the same, but two very different ideas. There can be and should be great debate about how they relate. The dogma that the latter is required for the former is obviously untrue, in my opinion, but that point could be debated openly. But the feminist shell game is to mix up the two ideas in such a way that people lacking in critical thinking skills are misled into believing that the first idea cannot be implemented without the second.

That is what is being done in this article. But McCartney is not falling for it.

“Benevolent Sexism” is a form of patriarchal control designed to promote sexist attitudes in a pseudo-friendly way. Manifestations of it – as identified by the authors – include calling women “girls” but not men “boys”; believing that women should be cherished and protected by men; helping a woman choose a laptop computer in the belief that it’s not the sort of task for which her gender is suited; and complimenting a woman on cooking or looking after children well because that is behaviour especially suited to a woman.

It is a curious melange of complaints. I, for one, have no objection to being cherished and protected, within reason, by anybody: if mild cherishing is on offer, you can generally count me in, unless you’re a dead ringer for Lenny from Of Mice and Men. I would be equally keen to get not only some masculine help with my laptop, but also that abiding trouble with my BT broadband connection set-up, if you’ve got a few minutes to spare. But we can agree that there is the germ of a point buried deep within Becker and Swim’s largely impenetrable prose. If a man comes to dinner and says to a woman: “You’re a great cook” it’s a welcome compliment. If he says: “You’re a great cook, and thank God you’re right where any little lady should properly be, working away at the stove” it’s going to sound weirdly antiquated. Most of us can understand that, thanks, without an academic article analysing and amplifying the bejaysus out of it.

McCartney distinguishes between being polite and considerate, on the one hand, and not allowing women to have a job outside the home, on the other. It is not a difficult point to grasp - unless you are a feminist psychologist, apparently.

As an aside, there is, I believe, a very good reason why articles like this are always written in "impenetrable prose" and that is because the point is not to elucidate but to mislead. The goal is to make the reader think the authors are liberal when in fact they are totalitarian. Turgid prose has been the friend of fanatical totalitarians everywhere. It assures that only ideological sycophants will persevere to the end while critics will give up without understanding the real point. That is helpful because to come right out and say "I'm going to force you to think like I do in the name of your freedom!" just fails to convince most people who are not already ideological sycophants.

McCartney goes on:

Much more serious, however, is the damage that this sort of overwrought hand-wringing does to the name of feminism, by making people believe the old canard that it’s all about women scowling if a man is courteous enough to hold open a door for them. There is plenty of material for both women and the numerous men who care about the dignity of women to get properly angry about. Here, just off the top of my head, are a few: the prevalence of female circumcision and its attendant health miseries; child marriage; the enforced wearing of the burqa; the trafficking and use of women for prostitution; the prevalence of rape as a weapon of war; and the proliferation of images of extreme sexual violence in films and on the Internet. Not to mention the fact that so many Western women now apparently find it necessary to cut and re-stitch their faces or surgically insert silicone bags into their breasts in order to render themselves physically acceptable to the wider world.

Given these concerns, it might really be some time before feminism should devote its energies to worrying about “Benevolent Sexism”. Indeed, I am inclined to think that when one finds a man who believes that women should be cherished and protected, it would be a good idea to send him forth to encourage the others.

McCartney speaks the unspeakable when she points out that many non-Western cultures treat women in much worse ways than poor, old Western culture ever did. This point does not fit into the feminist, anti-colonialist, anti-racist ideology in which the West is always the villain and always wrong - kind of how the Indians are always the bad guys in the old Westerns. Which makes one think that feminists are less concerned about helping women than about undermining the West by hollowing out its religious and philosophical foundations.

But just as the West is not all bad and other cultures not all bad, so not all feminists are actually busy with commendable work like striving to see that women are free from fear of real oppression and exploitation. Indeed, most ideological feminism today is really totalitarian and more interested in Utopian social engineering than in equal rights. Kudos to Jenny McCartney for pointing out that there is no pea under any of the shells.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homosexuality, Biblical Interpretation and the Christian Mind

As I noted in my last post, the moral and theological clarity of the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of homosexuality, as in the case of the formidable Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, is commendable. Unfortunately, the Protestant trumpet blows with a rather uncertain sound.

Evangelicals, for the most part, are standing firm on Scripture, but have failed to reflect theologically on the doctrine of human nature. As a result, the secular disciplines of psychology and sociology often exert more influence on Evangelicals' understanding of human nature, including sexuality, than Scripture, Tradition or systematic theology. This is a worrisome fact for the future of Evangelical faithfulness.

But if Evangelicals have a weak understanding of human nature, Liberal Protestants have completely abandoned the Christian doctrine of the human person and embraced a heretical tradition stemming from Rousseau, Marx, and Dewey, which views humans through the mechanical philosophy of Bacon, Newton, Kant and Nietzsche.

In Modernity, human nature is conceptualized dualistically as matter plus spirit. Matter is seen as completely under the control of blind, mechanistic, natural forces, while spirit is the realm of freedom. However, many moderns are not convinced that the human soul is anything more than myth. Those who do believe in the soul tend to reduce it to matter in various ways.

As a result of this kind of dualism (which is very different from the dualism of orthodox Christianity), Modernity is fundamentally confused about human nature, ethics and natural law. Modern dualism posits an agonistic conflict between the realm of freedom (spirit) and the realm of necessity (matter). They are related in a mysterious and tragic manner. But Christian dualism views the realms of freedom and necessity as intimately and harmoniously related to each other and the dissonance (perceived in both Modernity and Christianity) is caused, not by agonistic metaphysical mystery, but by sin. So the fundamental conflict in Christian anthropology is not between nature and freedom, but between the obedient and joyful will and the bent and destructive will (i.e. between love and sinful rebellion).

For Moderns, the assertion of will is not the natural function of the human being in the service of joyful obedience to the law, but essentially rebellion against nature. For Modernity, nature is incoherent chaos, not creation. Modernity seeks to rebel against nature in the name of humanism and thereby feels itself to be both noble and anti-Christian simultaneously for it cannot understand how or why Christianity can be so peacefully accepting of God's creation as revelatory of the plan of the Loving Creator. For Modernity, nature is to be feared, tamed and ultimately overcome. For Christianity, on the other hand, love brings nature and human freedom into harmony.

Liberal Protestantism has completely embraced the Modern understanding of human nature, God and creation. Therefore, it is no longer Christian. We have moved beyond differences of understanding of one theological reality into the realm of the denial of the Creed itself. While the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Evangelicalism all remain within the realm of orthodoxy, Liberal Protestantism has separated itself from the Church universal and embraced heresy. Anyone who embraces the Liberal Protestant heresy is no longer a Christian except in the sense of having some sort of vague Christian heritage. The best name for this position is "post-Christian."

It is confusing for the general public, journalists, politicians and others who wish to know what Christianity thinks of public policy issues like abortion, homosexuality, marriage and so on. It is confusing because non-Christians have seized control of the denominational machinery, endowments and institutions of formerly Christian denominations. They still spout a lot of Christian phrases and slogans, but they have denied the content of the orthodox faith contained in Scripture and affirmed by all true Christians down through the centuries. Is it too radical to imagine that this shell of a religion may form the outward trappings of the anti-Christian religion that will be used by Satan and his minions, including the Antichrist, to deceive as many as possible in the last days?

What is the significance of the embrace of homosexuality by liberal Protestantism? It goes far beyond disagreement on just another ethical issue. Scripture itself clearly indicates that only a mind that is far gone into rebellion against God and the Truth can possible be so self-deceived and corrupt as to call homosexuality good. Romans 1 is often debated as to its meaning, but its real hermeneutical and theological significance is seldom appreciated.

I want to make three points that come out of Rom. 1:18-32, which is probably the most important passage in the Bible on the issue of homosexuality and hermeneutics. If you are not familiar with this passage, please go and read it carefully right now. What follows is not a complete exposition of the passage but just some important points it teaches.

1. In vv. 18-22 the Holy Spirit informs us that the natural man is under the wrath of God because of his rejection of natural revelation. Even apart from any knowledge of Scripture, the gentiles have rejected what can be known of God and human nature from creation and have thus incurred the wrath of God. As a result of this, we read in vv. 21-22:
"For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools." (ESV)
So the first thing this passage says is that sin makes us stupid, or rather, that by sinning we make ourselves stupid. This is why what seems perfectly natural and common sensible is turned upside down by people professing to be religious, educated and intelligent.

2. The second point we need to note from this passage is the triple "God gave them up" in vv. 24, 26 and 28. It says that God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts in v. 24, to dishonorable passions in v. 26 and to a debased mind in v. 28. In v. 18 it says that men suppressed the truth and failed to honor God. In v. 25 it says that men exchanged the truth of God for a lie and in v. 27 it says that men gave up natural relations with women. So we see here a pattern in which men reject the truth and God rejects them. There are three stages. First, men reject the truth itself and then they reject the behavior which is the living out of that truth. Finally, they lose the ability even to know or understand the truth itself: their minds become darkened and they begin to call good evil and evil good.

3. The third point I wish to emphasize from this passage is that this rejection of the truth results in a generally debased mind which is no longer able to function properly as God intended. Conscience is seared, the mind is darkened and people can no longer perceive reality clearly. Those in this condition are untrustworthy guides to the interpretation of Scripture as a whole.

This "debased mind" is the opposite of the "Christian mind" that is needed in order for the interpreter of Scripture to discern correctly the meaning of Scripture. In vv. 29-31 we find those who have this debased mind no longer able to understand right from wrong and in v. 32 we find them giving approval to actions that lead to death. Such people are a menace because they advise the unwary to engage in actions that lead to death. These people are extremely dangerous spiritually because they have an appearance of religion and learning, but they are incapable of perceiving the truth.

Those liberal Protestants (and their Catholic fellow travelers) who have gotten to the place where they actually think that evil is good and good is evil actually encourage those who depend on their advice to do evil. Their darkened minds prevent them from interpreting Scripture according to its center in Jesus Christ; instead, they impose ideologies derived from modern philosophies upon Scripture and call it interpretation. Like the Gnostics of the second century, they actually make the philosophical systems derived from pagan culture the framework into which Scripture is pressed and distorted.

A good rule for lay people to follow in matters of religious authority is to let their common sense and Christian Tradition guide them in matters of Scriptural interpretation relating to obvious evils like homosexuality and to be very wary of religious teachers who try to invert morality as liberal Protestants do. In other words, if someone is so far out of touch with reality that he tries to convince you that up is down and homosexuality is normal, then have nothing to do with such a one. Such a person is unlikely to understand the Bible at all.

Peter warns the laity of the church that false teachers will rise up and bring in secret heresies. (II Pet. 2:1) Likewise Paul warns the Ephesian elders that after he is gone, wolves will come in speaking twisted things and draw away many. (Acts 20:29-30)

When Christians leave liberal Protestant denominations that have embraced homosexuality they are only doing what is logical and safe for the souls entrusted to their care. Pastors and parents must answer for how they shepherd their flocks and families and exposing them to religious leaders who have rejected Christ, the Gospel and the authority of Scripture in order to embrace modern heresies is irresponsible. As important as Christian unity is, we must realize that there can be no Christian unity between Christians and non-Christians. And heretical religious leaders who have rejected God and truth and twisted Scripture into a pretzel trying to justify their rejection of truth are not Christians.

Homosexuality is a kind of bright red line beyond which difference of interpretation between Christians mutates into a clear rejection of God. Beware especially of those who claim that homosexuality is just a minor issue about which Christians who agree on everything else can agree to disagree. This tactic buys time for the heretics to gather strength until they can impose their doctrine on the denomination or institution as a whole.

Also watch out for those who claim that you can't love someone unless you accept their sin as normal. No one does this consistently. In fact, no religious group in the world is more judgmental, moralizing and condeming of the politically incorrect than liberal Protestantism. When they plead with us who are orthodox and traditional not to judge or condemn those who engage in sexual vices, they are utter hypocrites and their arguments fall flat.

In short, homosexuality is a canary in the coal mine when it comes to Scriptural interpretation. It is an issue which reveals the condition of the mind of the one who discusses it more clearly than most specific issues. Homosexuality itself is rather beside the point; what is important is the kind of mind that could be confused about something as obvious and clear cut as this issue is.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Archbishop Dolan of NY Stands Up to Government Overreach: Blessings on Him

In this Catholic News Agency story we have an update on the culture wars in New York state as the assault on marriage by cultural Marxists and Progressives continues relentlessly.
New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan is concerned that state senators might “re-invent the very definition” of marriage—society's basic institution—as five more lawmakers pledged to support a same-sex “marriage” bill.

“Not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a ‘right,’” the archbishop explained in his June 14 blog post titled “The True Meaning of Marriage.” True freedom, he said, is not “the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought.”

Later that day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented the “Marriage Equality Act” to the state legislature after a key Republican senator voiced support for it. Four Democrats who previously voted against same-sex “marriage” said on June 13 that they would support the bill.

Governor Cuomo's administration is reportedly pursuing a strategy of gradually pressuring lawmakers to give their support.

“We’re in a very precarious situation,” New York Catholic Conference director Dennis Poust told CNA on June 15. According to a New York Times tally, the law needs only one more committed vote to ensure its passage.

“We are doing everything we can to convince the remaining 31 senators who have not said that they are going to vote ‘yes’ that this bill is a terrible mistake, and we have not given up,” Poust explained. “There is still hope, although certainly it is hanging by a thread.”

If the bill does pass, “there is very little that can be done,” he said, because New York does not have a system of initiatives and referendums like California and some other states do.

As always, this attack on the two institutions that stand in the way of the totalitarian state, marriage and the Christian Church, has nothing really to do with so-called "homosexual rights" and everything to do with renouncing natural law, attempting to impose the triumph of the human will over reality itself and making the State (controlled by an elite class of bureaucrats) all-powerful. The Leviathan - the State without limits - seeks to take the place of God. And just as the idea that two men can "marry" each other is a lie, so is the idea that the State can be God.

Notice how destructive of marriage and family this attack is:

Archbishop Dolan warned that the proposal would exert government control over an institution more fundamental than the state itself – a prospect that he compared to the communist regimes of China and North Korea.

“In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law,” he observed. “There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”

The bill under consideration in New York specifies that no religious institutions will be forced to honor or facilitate homosexual “weddings.” However, it will eliminate all gender-specific language regarding the rights and responsibilities of individuals and couples.

The whole idea is (1) to marginalize, de-legitimize and minimize marriage as the foundation of the family and (2) to assert the authority of the State over all other social institutions and realities - even natural marriage and family. Since the Church seeks to protect the priority and rights of families, the homosexual "rights" campaign can be used simultaneously to weaken and persecute the Church. This is why homosexuality is such a huge issue; it is not about homosexuals, it is about destroying all opposition to the Progressive agenda and its vehicle the State.

Archbishop Dolan is to be commended for centering on the crucial issue:

Archbishop Dolan also responded in his blog post to those who say the Church discriminates against homosexuals. He pointed out that the Church seeks, rather, to maintain the truth about human nature, sexuality, and the family.
The issue is the truth about human nature. The Church did not invent this truth; rather, she discovers and submits to it in both creation and revelation. The truth is prior to human decision and impervious to human will. No society can remain free and healthy if it denies the truth and the denial of the truth will always lead to oppression, de-humanization and tyranny.

The culture wars were not started by Christians, but by those who seek to attack the truth. In this case, it is heartening to see the Catholic hierarchy defending the family, marriage, the truth about human nature and the freedom that comes from believing the truth.


(By the way, the fact that this assault on the truth is being facilitated by individuals claiming to be members of Christian churches and in some cases by clergy or even whole denominations is confusing to casual observers and simple-minded people. This does not change the reality that the assault is ultimately the work of Satan and his puppets. This aspect of the situation will be discussed in another post.)


Blogging has been sporadic and light recently and will continue to be so until June 20 because I'm on vacation visiting my grandchildren in Alberta. We just got back from Banff - what a beautiful place!

I hope all my readers have a great time of rest and recreation sometime this summer too.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Defeating Obama in 2012: What is the Best Strategy?

Charles Krauthammer has a terrific article in National Review on how the Republicans should approach the 2012 campaign against Obama entitled: "Is it Incompetence or Ideology?". He notes that the 2010 midterms were based on ideology:

The Republicans swept November’s midterm election by making it highly ideological, a referendum on two years of hyper-liberalism — of arrogant, overreaching, intrusive government drowning in debt and running deficits of $1.5 trillion annually. It’s not complicated. To govern from the left in a center-right country where four out of five citizens are non-liberal is a prescription for electoral defeat.

Which suggested an obvious Republican strategy for 2012: Recapitulate 2010. Keep it ideological. Choose a presidential nominee who can best make the case.

But, he notes, the situation has changed. The Democrats have driven the Republicans onto defense by demagoging Medicare and refusing to pass a budget so they can focus on attacking Ryan's budget.

But he latest economic numbers are dismal and present the opportunity for the Republicans to attack Obama as incompetent on the number one issue: the economy.

As in 1992, it’s the economy, with everything else a distant second. The economic numbers explain why Obama’s job approval has fallen, why the bin Laden bump disappeared so quickly, and why Mitt Romney is running even with the president. Romney is the candidate least able to carry the ideological attack against Obama — exhibit A of Obama’s hyper-liberalism is Obamacare, and Romney cannot rid himself of the similar plan he gave Massachusetts. But when it comes to being solid on economics, competent in business, and highly experienced in governance, Romney is the prohibitive front-runner.

The changing nature of the campaign is also a boost for Tim Pawlenty, the successful two-term governor of a very liberal state, and possibly for another ex-governor, Jon Huntsman, depending on who he decides to run as.

Nonetheless, despite the changed conditions, I would still prefer to see the Republican challenger make 2012 a decisive choice between two distinct visions of government. We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation debate about the nature of the welfare state (entitlement versus safety net) and, indeed, of the social contract between citizen and state (e.g., whether Congress can mandate — compel — you to purchase whatever it wills). Let’s finish that debate. Start with Obama’s abysmal stewardship, root it in his out-of-touch social-democratic ideology, and win. That would create the strongest mandate for conservative governance since the Reagan era.

His conclusion is pure genius. Defeat him as incompetent on the economy but link that incompetence to his outdated left-wing ideology. That would give the Republicans the opportunity to roll back the welfare state and make it a safety net rather than a universal entitlement. The result could be a conservative revolution more significant than the one led by Ronald Reagan.

With the talk of Rick Perry getting in the race and the longing of many for Paul Ryan to enter the race, the focus of the discussion of which candidate is best should revolve around two things: (1) who can serve as the clearest alternative to Obama's hapless economic incompetence and (2) who can be relied on to effect fundamental change in a conservative direction once he or she is president?

When Politics Replaces Religion: The Irrelevance of Rowan Williams

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams thought it would be a good idea to guest edit a left-wing magazine and take a few potshots at the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in support of his beloved Labor Party. He resorted to a lot of cliches about "fear" and called for more "discussion" before the government implements his policies; Global Anglicans have heard this sort of claptrap before. He also attacked the education policies and the spending cuts policies of the government, the former of which holds the potential of giving poor children a possible way out of poverty through a high quality education and the latter of which just might allow the country to avoid the agonies for the poor that would inevitably accompany national bankruptcy, or the threat thereof. It is simply impossible to take this man seriously as a practical political thinker.

However, my complaint is different. In my opinion, the main problem with his frequent incursions into partisan politics is that it gives the impression that the Church has nothing unique to say about the contemporary cultural and political situation, that is, nothing that the Labor Party does not say better and in more detail. This was the main point of the comparison between Williams and the man who appointed him, Tony Blair, in the Guardian this week.

The Guardian article basically said that if you want to listen to a left-wing politician, you might as well listen to a successful one. Blair won three majorities and held his party together despite everything. Williams is presiding over a disintegrating Communion and an increasingly divided and discredited Church.

But Williams never seems to have anything to say about spiritual reality, the need for conversion or the truth of the Gospel. When it comes to theological matters, say universalism or homosexuality, he is given to nuance, qualification and "on the one hand . . . but on the other" kind of statements. His religious utterances are usually couched in paradox and leave one scratching one's head wondering just exactly what he was driving at. However, when it comes to politics, he is clear as a bell. Whereas in religion he tries to be neither conservative nor liberal, in politics he leaves no doubt that you are to vote Labor and take a leftist line on just about everything.

As Stephen Glover puts it:
'Even if Dr Rowan Williams' remarks had been uncontroversial, his decision to be guest editor of the Leftist New Statesman would still be hard to understand'

Even if Dr Rowan Williams' remarks had been uncontroversial, his decision to be guest editor of the Leftist New Statesman would still be hard to understand.

I would say the same if had he been asked to edit a Right-wing magazine. The primate of the Church of England, and the leader of the 70million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion, should not enter the hurly-burly of political journalism.

In the event he has gone much further in his two-page editorial in the New Statesman.

By seemingly questioning the legitimacy of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition, and by criticising its policies, he has created a storm that may harm his office and the Church of England, and will dismay many churchgoers and others.

Of course, prelates should speak up for the poor and excluded, but they run a terrible risk when they stray from general arguments about society into making party political interventions.

I doubt any archbishop in modern times has been so specific in his political point-scoring as Dr Williams.
Damian Thompson at his Daily Telegraph blog can't help contrasting Williams' ineptitude and irrelevance to the leadership exhibited by Pope Benedict XVI.

It’s one thing to dismiss the Big Society as a meaningless slogan (though I don’t think it is). It’s quite another to suggest that it’s an “opportunistic” excuse for spending cuts. Do you remember Dr Williams protesting when Gordon Brown was hosing down the public sector with money, fundamentally weakening the economy – and the weakest people in it? Me neither.

Here’s the reality. The Anglican Communion has disintegrated on Rowan Williams’s watch, partly thanks to his habit of saying one thing to fundamentalist Africans and quite another to liberal Americans. His own bench of bishops is hopelessly divided on key moral issues, and Rowan’s hand-wringing isn’t uniting them.

Out of four bishops commissioned to look after traditionalist congregations, three have left the C of E to become Catholic monsignors. Over fifty Anglican ministers are being ordained RC priests this month.

You may or may not sympathise with their decision. But one thing’s for sure. When Pope Benedict is confronted by a major crisis in his Church, he doesn’t take time off to guest edit a secular magazine in the hope of impressing his mates.

Others have speculated that Williams' retreat into leftist politics is a way of evading the difficulties of his ecclesiastical work and saying things that will garner plaudits from the chattering classes that Williams respects. I think he actually thinks that leftist slogans is all the Church has to say to the world.

And that is the tragedy of his leadership and the cause of its failure.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feminists are Enablers of Male Chauvinism: That Makes Them Anti-Women

I can't be a feminist because I respect women and oppose society allowing powerful men to exploit, use and discard women for the gratification of their own, perverted, uncontrolled lust. Feminists want to make the world safe for such men, which makes them anti-women.

You can't even call them hypocrites; they are totally open about it. For the official feminist movement, keeping abortion legal is more important than defending women who are exploited by men.

This became clear when Bill Clinton's reckless womanizing with a 21 year old intern was accepted as just fine by the feminist movement. We see the same pattern with Anthony Weiner. This is now an established pattern, the normal way feminism reacts to the exploitation, humiliation and manipulation of women.

Jill Stanek lets them have it:
What’s more important, abortion or equal rights for women? Though they would have you believe otherwise, liberal feminists do not consider the 2 synonymous. And to answer the question, in case you didn’t know, it’s abortion.

This 1st became clear when Monica Lewinski’s blue dress caught Bill Clinton red-handed.

But because Clinton supported abortion, feminists excused the fact that he clearly used his authority to sexually exploit a young woman. It helped that he was at the time the most powerful man in the world, although this fact only spotlighted the national security threat feminists also ignored of his being placed in a vulnerable position to be blackmailed.

So I’ve been watching with interest to see how feminists would respond to Weinergate, another example of a powerful man exploiting young women in this case he wasn’t even positive were legal adults, and displaying almost inconceivable stupidity in the process. And they did not surprise. Feminists for Choice was particularly frank, if not pathetic:

In situations like these, I think feminists are in a bit of a hard place. As women, we’re sort of grossed out and annoyed by the fact that he would send anyone a (hopefully solicited) picture of his junk, but ultimately, I think we realize that it’s just another part of the role that patriarchy has created for men….

There is the bigger issue at hand, here…. Anthony Weiner is a progressive beacon in a House of Representatives full of a bunch of Tea Party wackos – we need him there.

Weiner has a 100% pro-choice rating from NARAL, a history of voting for women’s issues, LGBT issues, and just progressive politics in general. Again, progressives and women need Rep. Weiner in the House.

Keeping abortion legal, that’s what it’s all about for liberal feminists.
Read the whole thing here. It can't be stressed enough: you can be a feminist or you can be respectful of women but you can't be both.

Feminism retains and supports the worst features of patriarchy while attacking and despising the aspects of patriarchy that served to honor, protect and respect women. By creating this false "patriarchy versus feminism" construct, feminism strives to identify its views with the interests of women and the views of patriarchy with those of men. But this is a ridiculously overly-simplistic construct. It is really an ideology that masks the exaltation of the will to power for amoral and self-centered women and men and the denigration of the Christian ideals of mutual respect, loving inter-dependence and sexual complementarianism.

The "patriarchy" that contemporary feminism spends all its time attacking had, by the 1950s, created a society that treated women better than any other society in the history of the world - bar none. You cannot go to any other culture in any other period of history and find women with a more exalted place than in the early 20th century West. Since the 60s, with the triumph of the ideology of feminism throughout the Western world, the status of women and children has declined. Feminism is responsible for the breakdown of the stable family structure, a huge increase in poverty for women and children and for encouraging and enabling the lowest and basest instincts of men. The ideology that says that feminism is about elevating women hides an ugly truth. Feminists think men are superior to women and that is why they want to imitate men in every possible respect; they are anti-women.

Feminism or the respect for woman: that is the choice.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do You Really Want to Be More Like Europe?

It is generally acknowledged (except by White House message minders wary of electoral prospects) that the direction Barack Obama is taking the United States is toward becoming more like Europe in a myriad of ways. He would have Americans stop clinging to their guns and religion, expand the welfare state, raise taxes, accept slow economic growth and high unemployment as permanent, make marriage a pale shadow of the institution it was a few decades ago, and further implement the culture of death through the expansion of abortion and euthanasia.

Western academics are extremely romantic and naive about the European welfare state. They constantly invoke it as the prime example of "social justice" in the world today. They think a culture in the midst of committing demographic suicide is a model to be emulated.

My question is: "why would anyone want to imitate Europe?" Europe is a dithering, sick, old man and more like the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century than like the dynamic engine of enterprise and scientific advance it was at the end of the 18th century.

Victor Davis Hanson, at Real Clear Politics, invites us to give our heads a shake and see Europe for what it really is:

The European Union, like the 19th-century Congress of Vienna, can point to one achievement -- a general absence of war in Western Europe for more than 60 years. Otherwise, almost all its socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before their eyes.

The higher taxes go, the more people cheat on them, the less revenue comes in. There are sometimes two prices in Italy (and often elsewhere in Europe) -- the official price that includes a high value-added tax that the unwary pay, and the negotiated, under-the-table, tax-free discount that the haggling shopper obtains.

Europe is essentially defenseless, as governments further trim defense budgets to keep shrinking spread-the-wealth entitlements alive. The French and British -- the continent's two premier military powers -- have been trying for nearly three months to defeat Muammar Gadhafi's ragtag nation of less than 7 million, itself rent by civil war. The ancestors (sic) of Wellington and Napoleon so far seem no match for Gadhafi or the Taliban. Both nations will soon be leaving Afghanistan in frustration.

Subsidized wind and solar power have not led to much of an increase in European electricity supplies, but they helped to make power bills soar. Highly taxed gas runs about $10 a gallon, ensuring tiny cars and dependence on mass transit. Central planners love the resulting state-subsidized, high-density European apartment living without garages, back yards or third bedrooms. Yet the recent Japanese tsunami and accompanying nuclear contamination have reminded European governments that their similarly fragile models of highly urbanized, highly concentrated living make them equally vulnerable to such disasters.

Popular culture may praise the use of the subway and train. But about every minute or two, some government grandee in a motorized entourage rushes through traffic as an escort of horn-blaring police forces traffic off to the side. A European technocratic class in limousines that runs government bureaus and international organizations -- for example, disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn -- lives like 18th-century aristocrats at Versailles as they mouth socialist platitudes.

Read it all here.

How about maybe waiting a decade or so and watching to see if there still is a Euro before jumping on the European bandwagon? My bet is that that will sound like a good idea to the majority of Americans on voting day in November 2012.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It Can't Happen Here - The Mystery Deepens

This story keeps getting more and more weird. Now the Education Department is (sort of) denying responsibility for sending in the SWAT team.

Wright told the station that the Education Department was after unpaid federal loans owed by his ex-wife. "They busted my door for this," Wright says. The claim has been repeated by numerous news outlets who picked up the story, including Fox News, The Huffington Post, and Gawker. (UPDATE: The station has replaced the story with a newer version that does not make the claim the raid was for late loan payments.)

But Education Department Press Secretary Justin Hamilton said in a statement to The Lookout that the department "does not execute search warrants for late loan payments." He said the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) "conducts about 30-35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds." Hamilton said the department cannot comment on this particular case until the investigation is over, but did add that the claim the warrant was executed for late loan payment is untrue. The raid was related to a criminal investigation of Wright's wife.

The OIG lists some of its recent investigations on its website, including the case of a Boston man who was sent to prison last month for lying on a federal student aid form.

About 8.9 percent of all federal loan recipients (about 330,000 people) defaulted between 2008 and 2010, the highest percentage in more than a decade. Unlike students who have some types of private student loans, borrowers with federal loans can't declare bankruptcy as a way to get out of repayment, no matter how dire their financial situation.

Still, Wright was not the subject of the agency's investigation, and he is demanding an apology for being treated like a criminal in his own home. He animatedly explains in this video that he was handcuffed while still in his underwear and was made to wait in a police car for several hours with his three young children while the 15 law enforcement officers searched his house.

The Stockton police said the raid was not initiated by them, but by the Department of Education. The Department of Education says it did not execute the search warrant, but it might have been another government department, the Office of the Inspector General. The OIG website says it does investigate cases of "lying on a student aid form." The Education Department, which does not deny any of Kenneth Wright's story, says the raid was related to a criminal investigation of Wright's wife.

All I can say is "Wow!" That woman must be a serial murderer and terrorist who has blown up multiple buildings killing dozens - in between having 3 children that is.

The burning question though, is where was the SWAT team when a congressman lied aggressively and impudently to reporter after reporter last week denying that he has an internet sex problem? Probably out raiding the former homes of people who falsified a student loan application and treating innocent family members like criminals, I guess.

But still, why do you get handcuffed in your underwear for six hours just because your estranged wife lied on her student aid application? And then let go? I don't suppose any government agency would care to comment on that?