Saturday, August 27, 2011

This is Very Telling

Rick Perry has surged to the lead in the Republican race for the presidential nomination. Polls have not just moved; they have absolutely turned upside down in just two weeks. Romney always was a very weak frontrunner and to see him slipping is no great surprise. But still, the speed by which Perry has moved to the top is startling.

Obama's numbers, on the other hand, are in free fall. His campaign team must be about ready to panic. Recent polls in Pennsylvania and Florida and the success of the Republicans in Wisconson bode well for the Republicans in 2012. The decision of Russ Feingold not to run for Senate or Governor in 2012 is a sign of Democrats with common sense hunkering down and waiting out the Obama disaster.

David Brooks, who used to be a conservative but now is a progressive, is enamored with Obama and would like nothing better than to see him re-elected. Failing that, he would like to see the least conservative Republican possible nominated. Since Huntsman is going nowhere, that means Romney. So what is his advice to Romney on how to beat Perry? Notice both the advice itself and Brooks' assessment of the situation, as summarized by Jeff Poor of the Daily Caller:

In an appearance on Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks explained that Romney will have to “do something aggressive” to remain formidable.

“He has only been in the race a couple of weeks but the polls moved to a degree that is almost unprecedented. He has catapulted and catapulted along all wings of the party. He is the guy they were waiting for — somebody who has a harder edge. Somebody who has very strong conservative credentials but who has been elected, run a major state, and I think Mitt Romney has to be thinking ‘I’m an outsider now. I’m behind and I have to do something aggressive to try to get back.’”

Brooks seems to think that Perry is not just a Tea Party conservative like Bachmann and that he is gaining support from throughout the party. This makes him dangerous. The last real conservative to do that was Reagan.

So how is Romney going to win?

And times have changed, Brooks says. Had this been the 2008 cycle, a candidate like Romney might stand a chance with an electorate that nominated a moderate like Sen. John McCain.

“But, if this was 2008 with the 2008 electorate, Romney would win because there are a fair number of moderates who voted — about 40 percent of the people in the Republican primary were moderates in 2008. But the 2012 electorate is not the same as 2008. It is much more conservative, it’s much angrier. Rick Perry sort of fits the mold. So I think he’s real. I think he has to be considered the frontrunner.”

However, later in the segment, Brooks explained it would take a different strategy for Romney to beat Perry at this point in the game.

“Yeah, I — we’ll see,” Brooks said. “It’s very tough to do. But I more or less agree with Mark [Shields],” he said. “I would give Perry a couple debates to implode. Give him a chance, couple weeks. There are three debates next month. If he doesn’t implode then then you have to go after him. But you can’t try to pretend you are as conservative as he is. If Mitt Romney does that — it’s disastrous. It’s artificial. It won’t work. You can’t really attack him for being conservative the way [Jon] Huntsman has tried to do because that is where the party is.”

What would that take? Brooks said it would take something scandalous involving Perry’s campaign funds — which Brooks said wasn’t necessarily a far-fetched possibility.

“That is where the party is, so you don’t want to offend them,” he continued. “Somehow you have to shift things. And I think the most fruitful lines of attack are to say, ‘This guy is Tom Delay,’ which is to say he uses campaign money in funny ways to – not for principled reasons but for political reasons, to feather his own nest and his buddies. And I do think he’s vulnerable on that. And the second thing is you have to remind people what are we fighting about here? We’re fight being America’s role in the world. It’s not Washington we have to fundamentally worry about. It’s competition there China and India and the new global economy. He’s got more credibility talking about how to create an innovation economy than Perry does. He has less credibility in fighting Washington.”

So the essence of the strategy to stop Perry is to ignore the issues and to ignore the will of the party and to try to make Perry seem corrupt.

This is very telling because it means that Brooks has analyzed the situation and concluded that Perry is the candidate the party really wants and one who can win in 2012. Since Brooks (like progressives in general) want something the Republican Party and voters in general don't want, the only way to get what they want is to frustrate the democratic process by creating a false impression about Perry's honesty thus eliminating him as a viable candidate.

This is a long way from an honest election in which the issues are on the table, the candidates take positions and the electorate chooses based on the issues. Brooks does not say that Perry is any different from any other politician. Goodness knows Obama has been handing out goodies to his base ever since he got elected. Unions and Wall Street never had it so good. But what Brooks is suggesting is that the cultural elites who supposedly know better than ordinary Americans what is best for them should essentially manipulate the election so as to cause the result they want against the will of the people.

As the 2012 campaign progresses, it would be good to keep in mind this unwitting confession from a moderate progressive of what is really going on. Amidst the fog of (electoral) war it is difficult to separate truth from fiction. Conservatives should be prepared for a lot of manipulation and not expect a fair fight. Something tells me that Rick Perry just might be the exact kind of candidate conservatives need at this point in history. At least, David Brooks is doing a good job of convincing me that that is, indeed, the case.

Are You Atheistic Enough to Be Fit For High Office?

You can tell the secularists are getting nervous about their hold on power with the rise of Governor Perry as a leading Republican contender for the nomination. The Tea Party and Michelle Bachmann was bad enough, but this guy doesn't seem to care what the liberal establishment thinks about him or his views - which is unsettling to them. He seems to have the crazy idea that if he refuses to pander to the liberal media elite he might win more votes than if he panders. What if he is right?

So Bill Keller, writing in the New York Times Magazine, calls for the media to lead the charge in asking pointed, loaded questions of the Republican candidates in this article. Read it if you want; it is nothing but standard, boiler-plate liberal prejudice against Christians - pretty boring and predictable.

But this response by Anthony Scarmone is a must-read: "The NY Times/Bill Keller Irreligious Litmus Test." It is brilliant and entertaining, not to mention devastating. Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Biden's Capitulation Before China's One-Child Policy an Embarassment to America

The controversy over Joe Biden's statement that he does not "second guess" China's one-child policy continues to escalate.

John Boehner and Mitt Romney immediately criticized the Vice President and then a Biden staffer attempted to walk back the offensive words. But let's put this in a larger context. Biden is not just speaking deplorable moral relativism; he is engaging in a far-reaching reshaping of long-standing American foreign policy.

From the Heritage Foundation's blog, The Foundry:
Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden unnecessarily acknowledged and condoned communist China’s one-child-only policy in a speech to Chinese leaders while visiting the country to speak on U.S.–China relations.

Biden admitted he does not “second-guess” the horrific, decades-old policy, which often forces women to undergo unwanted abortions and sterilizations. His careless remarks singlehandedly compromised the U.S. position on human rights as it relates to population control. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–OH) rightly called on the White House to issue a “clarification or correction.” A Biden spokesperson has since issued a statement saying he finds the policy “repugnant.”

Ironically, Biden has some history of opposing unethical abortion practices similar to the one-child policy, including a 1981 amendment that bears his name, which states that U.S. funds may not be used for biomedical research related to abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Until 2009, the Kemp–Kasten Amendment denied federal funding to organizations or programs that supported any kind of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. Unfortunately, after a long legislative battle, the Obama Administration restored funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports Chinese family planning initiatives in certain parts of the country and claims it plays no role in coercive practices.

And while “coercive” abortion is technically illegal in China, it’s clear that abuses continue. The annual State Department country report on human rights, published this past April, says regarding China and its one-child policy:

…intense pressure to meet birth limitation targets set by government regulations resulted in instances of local family-planning officials using physical coercion to meet government goals. Such practices included the mandatory use of birth control and the abortion of unauthorized pregnancies. In the case of families that already had two children, one parent was often pressured to undergo sterilization.

By resuming U.S. funding to the UNFPA, the United States undoubtedly signaled reduced concern about these fundamental abuses of human rights. Vice President Biden’s remarks can only reinforce that message.

The Obama administration is by far the most pro-abortion, anti-life administration in American history and it is moving official American foreign policy radically leftward.

John Boehner's office responded to the attempted walk-back by Biden's staff as follows. (via John McCormack at the Weekly Standard)

Boehner's office responds that Biden himself, not a spokesperson, should "publicly state the new words his staff has used" and that the Obama administration should cut off U.S. taxpayer funding of the UN Population Fund:

It’s welcome news that a White House spokesman has clarified that the Vice President opposes China’s repugnant “one-child” policy, as Speaker Boehner said Monday he hoped the White House would. But now that such a clarification has been offered, the Obama administration needs to back its backpedaling with action.

There are two things the Obama administration can do immediately on this front. One is for the Vice President himself – the individual who holds the office, and who uttered the damaging comments Sunday – to publicly state the new words his staff has used. The other is for President Obama to announce the United States will stop contributing money to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports China and has been linked to implementation of the one-child policy. Until the administration takes these actions, the clarification issued by the Vice President’s spokesman Tuesday will ring hollow.

The most radically pro-eugenics administration in US history will not likely make a U-turn now. The only hope is to limit the damage they do until election day in November 2012 and pray that they will be defeated decisively.

When Will the Arabs Recognize the Legitimacy of Israel?

Palestine Media Watch is an Israeli organization that provides an essential service by monitoring what the Palestinian Authorities officials and ordinary citizens are saying publicly in Arabic. What they say in English for the consumption of Westerners is often very different from what they say among themselves. And, of course, the left-leaning Western media never dig for the truth and so we live with systemic disinformation. That is why the PMW is so important.

The real reason why there is no peace in the Middle East is that the Arabs will not accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state on her ancient, ancestral homeland. They want one State of Palestine with a ruling Arab majority and they want Israel to be destroyed as a Jewish State. This is because of Islamic supremacism, which proclaims that Islam supersedes both Judaism and Christianity as the one true religion. It not only wants to exist and be left alone; deep in its DNA is a thirst for domination and world rule. In this it resembles Communism and some of the ancient empires of world history.

Here is a sampling of what the Palestinians say among themselves, which shows that Israel has no partner for peace. From the PWA website:
Official PA daily calls Israel "the territories occupied in 1948":

"Under the slogan, 'Palestine is closer: Lod shall remain', the 'Khutwa' youth group, in cooperation with a group of Palestinian youth from the West Bank and from the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., Israel), held a charity performance to support the resolve of our people in the occupied Palestinian city of Lod...
Manal Taha, one of the organizers of the event... [said that Israel's aim is] to threaten the resolve within the occupying entity, which continues through the actions of the authorities in Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, Jerusalem, and other occupied Palestinian cities. She added, 'Through this event we hope to turn the spotlight onto the suffering of our people in the Interior (i.e., in Israel). In addition, we aim for this event to be a first step on the road to restoring the spiritual connection between Palestinians wherever they may be, by carrying out other activities in the future for these purposes. Taha called upon everyone to participate in this activity, whose aim is to energize the connection between the Palestinians of the territories occupied in 1948 and [those in] the territories occupied in 1967."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 23, 2011]

Official PA daily states that Israel - "the territories occupied in 1948" - is "currently under the rule of the occupation":

"If you climb the Khirbat Safa Hills [in the West Bank] and look with your eyes towards what the Israeli occupation and its settlers have seized, your eyes will well up and cause you to weep twice: once over the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., year of Israel's creation), which are currently under the rule of the occupation. The Safa Hills look out over wide expanses of these territories, and sometimes you can see the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Ashkelon (i.e., Israeli city), and even Tal Al-Rabi'a "Tel Aviv", upon which the occupation has consolidated its control."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 31, 2011]

The following are examples of the PA calling Israel "stolen":

In a 12th-Grade schoolbook published by the PA Ministry of Education, and in use today:

"Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel."
[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, p. 104]
You can read more of this sort of documented evidence here.

Constant hectoring from Obama, the UN, the Europeans etc. of Israel to compromise and to negotiate is worse than useless under these conditions. All that amounts to is a demand for Israel to unilaterally surrender.

Anyone interested in peace in the Middle East should be pressuring the Arabs to accept a two-state solution with guaranteed security for Israel. Anyone who pressures Israel to compromise when the Arabs refuse even to recognize the Jewish state as legitimate is really on the side of the anti-Jewish, Muslim extremists who are determined to finish what Hitler started. The issue really is that stark.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do You "Believe" in Science?

Well, I don't. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe in God the Son. I believe in the Holy Ghost. I believe in the holy catholic Church.

But science? Heck, no - asking someone to believe in science is like asking someone to believe in the existence of the United States. It is a fact, an empirically observable fact. Believe in it? Heck, I've been there! No need to believe in it; it just is a scientific fact. To demand "belief" in science is a category mistake.

So why do some people go around in pairs knocking on doors handing out "Believe in science or be doomed forever" tracts? Beats me, but it happened the other day in New Hampshire to Rick Perry. Here he was minding his own business campaigning for president of the United States when one of these secularist fanatics ambushed him using her child as a prop. (See video from ABC News here.)

Eric Kleefeld summarizes what happened:

Rick Perry is sure about a lot of things. But the theory of evolution, or even how old the planet Earth is, are not on that list.

A woman who will probably not be supporting the Texas governor brought her young son along to a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, and had the boy ask Perry his views about science. "How old do you think the earth is?" the boy asked. This was an apparent allusion to how fundamentalist Christians often insist that Earth -- and indeed, the whole universe -- is about 6,000 years old.

"How old do I think the earth is? You know what, I don't have any idea," Perry responded. "I know it's pretty old. So it goes back a long, long ways. I'm not sure -- I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely hold the earth is.

Perry then steered the conversation to some questions the boy's mother had been asking him, about evolution.

. . .

"Here your mom was asking about evolution. And you know, it's a theory that is out there -- it's got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure--"

The mother cut back in: "Ask him why he doesn't believe in science."

Perry continued: "Because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

Rick Perry, open-minded skeptic, meets "True Believer."

As Ben Smith at Politico points out, this was a trap. She hoped to get a quote out of Perry to make him look ridiculous to New England secular materialists. She is probably a Democratic Party supporter.

As Kevin Williamson points out, the questioner is not at all interested in science; the question is blatantly political and rooted in the issue of worldview.
The broader question, however, is: Why would anybody ask a politician about his views on a scientific question? Nobody ever asks what Sarah Palin thinks about dark matter, or what John Boehner thinks about quantum entanglement. (For that matter, I’ve never heard Keith Ellison pressed for his views on evolution.) There are lots of good reasons not to wonder what Rick Perry thinks about scientific questions, foremost amongst them that there are probably fewer than 10,000 people in the United States whose views on disputed questions regarding evolution are worth consulting, and they are not politicians; they are scientists. In reality, of course, the progressive types who want to know politicians’ views on evolution are not asking a scientific question; they are asking a religious and political question, demanding a profession of faith in a particular materialist-secularist worldview.
This is exactly right. The issue has to do with a materialist-secular worldview that claims to be based on science, but actually is not. It could not be based on science because science is limited to empirical questions of fact and cannot tell us answers to metaphysical or religious questions. The materialist-secular worldview gives answers to such questions, which is why it is something other than science.

There is a particular kind of voter (probably no more than 20% of the American electorate) for whom adherence to the materialist-secular worldview is all-important. These people have worked hard for a century to establish this new (actually as old as Epicureanism) religion as the de facto "State Religion" of America. In Europe their co-religionists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in establishing the materialist-secular religion as the official religion of Europe instead of Christianity. But America is proving to be a tougher nut to crack.

This kind of question is not about science and people who accept the validity of natural selection as an efficient cause of evolutionary diversity can be on both sides of the worldview question. What divides Christians from materialist-secularists is the question of whether the universe is fundamentally personal and intelligently designed by a God or not. For the materialist-secular worldview, the denial of a Creator is essential to its project of human liberation from natural law, morality, traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life, with its limitations on the freedom of individuals to do anything they want up to and including aborting their babies and euthanizing their parents.

If God exists, then evolution or no evolution, the materialist-secular worldview is a dangerous delusion. Since evolution is denied by many Christians, the secularists think that by demanding that everyone accept evolution as "scientific" they can bludgeon believers into giving up faith in God. Of course, they are making numerous logical mistakes here. Evolution could be an accurate scientific theory and could be guided by Divine Providence in such a way as to maintain the sovereignty of God. Or, alternatively, evolution could be a mistake and simply the only conclusion one can come to if one begins by rejecting the existence of God.

But the real issue is which religion, going forward, will influence public policy decision on abortion, the sexual revolution, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, capital punishment, just war, religious freedom etc.

Clearly, the secular-materialist establishment is spooked by Rick Perry. He represents a challenge to their hegemony and they hate him. It is going to be a long, hate-filled, dirty campaign precisely because there are two different worldviews on offer here. Unlike the recent UK elections where the choice was between secular socialist and even more secular socialist, this election is a choice between the Judeo-Christian religion that built Western civilization and the materialist-secular worldview that is tearing it apart.

As the materialist-secular experiment in Europe continues to implode, it behooves Americans to be extremely skeptical about the wild-eyed fanatics who want to misuse science as a crutch for their irrational, immoral, anti-humanistic political agenda. They want us to "believe in science" but I think I'll stick with believing in God the Father Almighty.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do Only Republicans Care about Human Rights for Women?

Further to the last post, here is some reaction from Speaker John Boehner and Mitt Romney as summarized by Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) condemned the remarks. (“I’m deeply troubled by the comments reportedly made by the Vice President yesterday regarding China’s reprehensible one-child policy, which has resulted in forced sterilizations and coerced abortions and should not be condoned by any American official. No government on Earth has the authority to place quotas on the value of innocent human life, or to treat life as an economic commodity that can be regulated and taken away on a whim by the state.”) He called for clarification or retraction.

Mitt Romney had this swift retort in a statement to Right Turn: “China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric. Vice President Biden’s acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American. Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms. There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control.”

I guess Democrats, feminists and liberals just don't care.

Biden on China's One Child Policy: A Shameful Way to Ingratiate Yourself to Dictators and Murderers

In 2008 I wrote on this blob that if left-wingers like Jim Wallis and Brian McLaren got their way and Barack Obama was elected, the outcome would be that the wars they supposedly opposed would continue in the same way as if a Republican and, in addition, we would get the most pro-abortion administration in American history. Well, three years later Obama is involved in three wars, which is one more than George W. Bush was involved in. But the anti-war rhetoric from the anti-war Left has been moderated considerably, actually pretty much abandoned.

Still, the Evangelical Left (which purports to care about women, children and the poor so much) can take pride in one accomplishment: they got a Vice President who went to China and assured the Communist dictators that their coercive one-child policy is just fine by him. This is an improvement on George W. Bush? No, it is a moral embarrassment to all who care about oppressed women and unborn children.

Here are some excerpts from Joe Biden's speech on Aug. 21: [Warning: contains extreme moral relativism instead of the usual Biden profanity]
China has followed a very different economic and political path to prosperity, enhancing some aspects of a free-market system, while resisting political openness and maintaining the state’s deep involvement in economic affairs. That's a decision for you to make.
What is a little thing like human dignity and liberty between trading partners?
Maybe the biggest difference in our respective approaches are our approaches to what we refer to as human rights. I recognize that many of you in this auditorium see our advocacy of human rights as at best an intrusion, and at worst an assault on your sovereignty. I want to tell you directly that this is not our intention. Yes, for Americans there is a significant moral component to our advocacy. And we observed where we have failed, as well. But it is who our people are.
"What we refer to as human rights"? What the heck is he trying to say? "It is who our people are"? Sounds like a concern for human rights is an American quirk that other nations cannot be expected to care about. Well, that sets up the context pretty well for the big bombshell:

In answer to a student's question about the US debt, Biden said:

What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing -- of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.

So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that's much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that. [my bolding]

Maybe we can learn from China and its one-child policy? This guy is a disgrace to his religion (he is Roman Catholic), to his country and to his office.

Rep. Chris Smith, a stalwart pro-life leader in the House of Representatives was interviewed by Laura Ingrham on this issue. Here is a clip of the interview.

Here are some of Smith's remarks from the show transcript:

This is just exposing what this administration has been doing from day one. Just like the eight years of the Clinton administration, and that is to enable dictatorship, to enable forced abortion and forced sterilization. Let's not forget that at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, forced abortion was properly construed to be a crime against humanity. It is no less a crime against humanity today and there is our Vice President saying that he fully understands the one child per couple policy that has made brothers and sisters illegal in China.


Hillary Clinton, en route to Beijing, after being selected as secretary of state, said, I'm not going to allow human rights to interfere -- her words -- with selling or peddling our debt, as well as global warming. Obama -- when he had Hu Jintao in town, who ought to be held for genocide and crimes against humanity at the world court, he said nothing, had a state dinner for this man who ought to be behind bars, be held to account for these atrocities, including those focused on women.

Obama, Biden, Clinton - none of them care about the rights of women and children. They ought to be ashamed of themselves and no Christian ought to have anything whatsoever to do with supporting politicians like them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Will the Republicans Fall for This Old Trick Again?

Every presidential election cycle the same talking points are repeated by the Democratic propaganda machine, also known as the liberal media. Candidate X (the current Republican candidate) is so scary, stupid, radical and far right, unlike the moderate, reasonable, sensible, intellectual President Y (the last Republican president). Honestly, do they think everybody was born yesterday?

Toby Harnden writes in The Daily Telegraph:

In the past few days, Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s long-time consigliere and an erstwhile hate figure on the Left, has been welcomed back into polite society. Democrats who previously thought the only place Rove should be was in jail have been murmuring approvingly about his wisdom and moderation.

At the same time, Left-wingers whose only debate about Bush over the past decade has been whether he was stupid, evil or a lethal combination of both, are suddenly recalling the former president’s “compassionate conservatism”. The Huffington Post’s Howard Finemann noted that he was better read and more thoughtful than previously given credit for and now seemed “like Pericles”.

The change of heart has been prompted by the appearance on the national scene of Governor Rick Perry.
Pericles?! Better read?! Come on now Finemann, you sound like you have been hitting the bottle rather hard. Karl Rove is moderate? Who says so? Progressives? Really? Who knew?

I find it amazing to see how utterly shameless these liberal media types are in contradicting themselves for the sake of whatever short term tactical advantage they think they can gain. It really is off-putting and has utterly destroyed whatever credibility they may have had left.

The moral of this story is: "Take how conservative a given candidate is (i.e. far-right, extreme, blah, blah, blah) and discount it by about 150% to get some idea of how conservative a Bachmann or a Perry actually is."

Goldwater was demonized. Reagan was demonized. Bush was demonized. None of them were especially "far-right" or "extreme." All had mainstream, if not majority support within the American political spectrum. It is fine to say that you hate moderately right-wing conservatism and prefer Jacobism or Communism or Social Democracy or Progressivism or Maoism or whatever your poison is. But it is laughable to breathlessly claim that people like Reagan are outside the boundaries of what is acceptable in American political discourse. (It is also laughable - no, pathetic - to see Barack Obama trying to insinuate that he is Reaganesque. Just imagine Reagan dealing with the Iranian fanatics over nuking Israel!)

My advice to Independents and Moderates is to look at whoever the Progressives seem to hate the most and assume that person is the one they fear the most in a general election. They don't fear Bachmann because they think they can "Palinize" her and they don't fear Romney because they think they can discredit him with the Republican base. They are talking right now about how badly Perry would fare well in a general election and it is not because they are trying to be helpful to the Republican Party.

This is the year that the extremism of the Democratic Party and the attempted lurch to the left under Obama, Reid and Pelosi opens the door for the Republican Party to nominate a winning candidate who is a much more consistent and principled conservative than at any time since Reagan. The Republican Party can win 2012 with a more conservative candidate than is usually the case. They could nominate somebody who might actually cut federal spending, not just the rate of spending growth. This is their chance. The Democrats' over-reach has opened to door to Republicans possibly beginning the historic task of beginning to roll back the welfare state.

They should not fall for this old trick this time. The conservative base is big enough and the progressive base is dispirited enough for the Republicans to elect a real conservative this time around. If they miss this opportunity, they will live to regret it.

What is needed is not a cautious, flip-flopping Mitt Romney. What is needed is a principled conservative, a brilliant intellect, a sharp debater and the true leader of movement conservatism in America today: Paul Ryan.

Failing that, Rick Perry would do. But here is hoping that Paul Ryan runs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Child Abuse and the Sexual Revolution

Europe is in the latter stages of cultural breakdown in many ways, but the on-going sexual revolution and its exploitation and degradation of women and children continues to get worse and worse.

Having rejected procreative sex and re-defined sex as merely recreation, boredom looms as the big problem. Stripped of the real emotion that accompanies the true commitment of a man and woman to each other unconditionally and deprived of the meaning that arises from the man and the woman together bringing forth new human life, sex becomes trivial and shallow - cheap entertainment. Boredom is always present threatening to render it completely unattractive. A sexually promiscuous society is a sexually bored society.

This is why the rejection of the procreative, unifying, family-creating, natural meaning of human sexual intercourse always, necessarily, leads to pornography, promiscuity, homosexuality, orgies and various other forms of sexual perversions too revolting even to mention. Boredom leads to experimentation and there is a cheap and temporary thrill derived from pushing the boundaries. But as the boundaries evaporate, the thrill dissipates. But, disgusting or not, we must mention one of these perversions because it seems to be the next frontier of the sexual revolution: pedophilia - adults having sex with children. It begins, of course, with fantasizing about children as sexual objects. And the French media seem to be ready to facilitate such fantasies.

What is up with France? Oh, yes - it is the central part of Western Europe and it is more or less Ground Zero of the sexual revolution: the Spirit of '68 and all that sort of thing. And, after all, the violent, ugly, upheaval that was the French Revolution serves as a symbol of the revolt of Modernity against natural law, absolute morality and God.

So, just a week or two after the uproar over the French Vogue pictures of sexualized girls, we have a new story about the French fashion industry's new openness to pedophilia. (To see an example of the infamous pictures of the 10 year old girl exploited by Vogue, go here to an article entitled: "Yes, It's Porn." Today, the Globe and Mail reports:

A marketing campaign for a new line of French lingerie for four- to 12-year-olds is raising new concerns about how young girls are portrayed, along with questions about the role modern mothers play in sexualizing their daughters.

The Internet campaign for the company Jours Après Lunes features girls in lace-trimmed bras and panties, some wearing pearls and sporting Brigitte Bardot-inspired hairdos. One girl is reclining in a lounge chair and another strikes a coquettish pose in front of a mirror. Ads for a line of lingerie for tweens show older girls hugging teddy bears while dressed in skimpy underwear.

The article goes on to say that the ads have attracted little attention in France. So, does this mean that the French are now as relaxed about pedophilia as Western media elites as a whole are about adultery and homosexuality? Is openness to pedophilia what it takes to stay on the cutting edge of the sexual revolution today?

Although the ads have attracted little attention in France, the fashion world outside Europe was quick to condemn the campaign as exploitive and “creepy.” And a spokesperson for the prominent French feminist group Ni Putes Ni Soumisessaid it was time for mothers to own up to their responsibility in a trend toward portraying very young girls as sex objects.

“I don’t think a five-year-old is going to ask for this stuff, so it’s the parents who will ask for it,” said Gabrielle Apfelbaum. “It’s important for the parents to understand what their role is and what their child’s role is and that sharing stuff with your children does not mean sharing your lingerie or your sexual abilities.”

When even the feminists start talking common sense, maybe it is time someone was alarmed. The point about the parents' responsibility is the key point here. Today's parents of children aged 4-12 are in their thirties and forties and grew up taking the sexual revolution for granted and being taught in school that sex is fine as long as you use a condom. We have now entered a new phase of the sexual revolution. It used to be the schools marginalizing the parents to corrupt children; now it is corrupted children having grown up corrupting their children.

It is just like physical or emotional abuse (in fact, it is a form of abuse). It runs in families as dysfunctional parents raise children who themselves become dysfunctional parents. We often hate ourselves for making the very same mistakes our parents made, but often we find we can't help it - at least not without outside help.

The sexual revolution has caused various forms of child abuse over the past half-century. Fatherlessness is child abuse. Poverty caused by family breakup is child abuse. Girls who live with step-fathers or mothers' live in boyfriends are at much higher risk of sexual abuse than those who live with their biological fathers.

Now the next step in the sexual revolution is to move from abusing children to arguing that making them the playthings for bored men is not abuse.

Progressivism versus the Rule of Law

This article on Obama's support among Hispanics contains a telling snippet that explains what is wrong with the Progressive view of government in a nutshell.

After noting that Obama's approval rating among Hispanics has fallen from 85% to 49%, the article goes on to report a new "policy." Read this carefully; if you don't you might not get what it is actually saying.
Obama’s declining approval among Hispanics came before the administration announced a new policy on Thursday that will allow Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to suspend deportation proceedings against illegal aliens if she does not deem their cases sufficiently serious to require enforcement of the immigration law or if she believes their continued presence in the United States will not be a threat to national security or public safety. [my bolding]
Now there is a reason why illegal aliens are called "illegal" and it is that they are breaking the law. Other people obey the law and perhaps as a result they never get the privilege of immigrating to the United States, but illegal aliens do break the law and enter the country illegally. This new "policy" allows political appointee Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, to "suspend deportation proceedings" if she decides their cases are not "sufficiently serious." So, instead of being a public official who is sworn to uphold the law, she get absolute power in her own grubby little hands to apply the law selectively.

What we have here is the clear abolition of the rule of law. After eight centuries of English common law tradition in which the hard fought and hard won principle gradually emerged that all people are to be treated equally before the law, the Obama administration just violates that principle without even blinking. "Policy" trumps "law." No longer are people treated equally before the law; now those who the one in charges favors get special treatment.

And the motive is utterly transparent and completely despicable; it is merely a vote-getting scheme. Many Hispanic Americans vote Democratic because they perceive the Democratic Party to be softer on illegal immigration and, indeed, on immigration in general. Since they often want to see their friends and family join them in the US, this makes them lean Democratic.

But the Great Recession is causing astronomically high rates of unemployment among minority communities and so many Hispanics are gravitating toward the Republican Party, or at least very dissatisfied with President Obama. And Obama is looking over his shoulder at a new Republican challenge, Rick Perry, who got 39% of the Hispanic vote in his last election as Texas Governor.

So, this new "policy" is designed to placate Hispanics and draw them back to the Democratic Party. The Obama administration tried and failed to change immigration laws so it is now trying by the back door of regulation to accomplish what it could not accomplish by the front door of legislation. And the real beauty of this "policy" is that Napolitano can dispense her favors selectively. If she wants, she can let illegals who have Democratic allies or supporters stay in the country and thus curry favor with her constituency while letting illegals who are part of Republican-leaning districts to get slapped with the full force of the law. Nothing like a few deportations to teach them who to vote for, eh?

This is despicable, open to abuse, contrary to the rule of law and tyrannical. But we need to understand that it is not some sort of exceptional instance. Rather, it is typical of the Progressive approach to government. It is part of the Progressive faith that the role of government is to ensure equal outcomes - not equal opportunities - and that the bureaucrats know best how to bring about the best outcomes. There simply is no commitment to the rule of law.

Progressivism is lawless and tyrannical. It may be a "soft despotism" in Paul Rahe's term, but it is not freedom. Only people who live under a system that respects the rule of law are truly free.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Conservatives and Progressives: The Guardian Mixes Them Up on Purpose

The famously, progressive, left-leaning newspaper in Britain, The Guardian, believes that conservatives are always uncaring individualists who hold back progress and that progressives are leading us toward a more collectivist and equal future. But when they start talking about the collapse of that great progressive experiment, the Soviet Union, they get all twisted into knots.

Here is a paragraph from a story about Mikail Gorbachev, one of their heroes. Read it slowly and let it sink in.
By the spring of 1991 Gorbachev was caught between two powerful trends which were narrowing his room for manoeuvre. On one side conservatives and reactionaries in the party were trying to reverse his policies; on the other were progressives who wanted to establish a full multi-party system and take the country towards market reforms.
Huh? Let's read that again and see if it said what it seemed to say first time through.

So . . . Gorbachev was trying to end Communism and bring about economic and personal freedom (which is liberalism) and opposing him were Communists, that is, the progressive forces who seized control of Russia in a revolution against the conservative, Czarist regime. But The Guardian calls these leftists: conservatives. Then, how do they refer to the liberalizing forces who were fighting for free markets? Why, as progressives, of course!

So, in America if you are for free markets, limited government and representative democracy, then you are a conservative. And if you are for social democracy or even outright socialism, then you are a progressive. If you are in Congress, you could even join the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where you could join the socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, and his fellow-travelers in the House in the fight against free markets and for building up the welfare state to Soviet levels (they have already achieved Soviet levels of deficit spending).

But if you are in Russia and you are for free markets, limited government and representative democracy, then you are a progressive, not a nasty old conservative. And if you are for socialism, you are a nasty old conservative.

By now, you might be thinking that the Left is out to hide something with its completely dishonest misuse of the terms. And you would be right; this level of confusion has to be deliberate. The progressives in America today would rather you did not associate them with the nightmare that was the Soviet Union, even though they promote policies that veer as close to outright socialism as they think they can get away with in the context of a center-right country.

This is a rather different stance than Western leftists took during the 1920s and 1930s when they hailed the Soviet Union as the incarnation of Progress and saw it as the wave of the future. How times change. I think the official word for this kind of stuff is "propaganda." You have to wonder how long before the party line changes again.

But look, let's be honest. To call Communists "conservatives" and conservatives and liberals "progressives" is the absolute height of hypocrisy. To re-phrase Sarah Palin, "Hey, if we were really Communists, they would want to pal around with us!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ed Shultz Falsely Accuses Perry of Racism and Tries to Brazen It Out After Getting Caught Twisting His Words

Wow! As I noted yesterday, Ed Shultz was caught red-handed by Breitbart TV selectively editing a clip of a Rick Perry speech and then accusing him of racism on the basis of something he never even said. So, having been caught red-handed on tape with the whole world able to see what he did on the internet, what does Shultz do?

He should have been suspended from MSNBC or, more appropriately, been fired. But no, all he did was apologize for selectively editing the clip and playing the unedited clip. But he never said a single word about his unfounded, unjust, slanderous, false accusation against Perry! He never even acknowledged that he called him a racist. He just left that little detail out altogether.

All I can say is: wow! If this is a taste of what is to come, the Republicans had better buckle up their seat belts. The Obama hate machine is oiled and tested and ready to go. Civil discourse? Not from the liberal side I'm afraid. It is open season on conservatives.

Liberal Theology Has Nothing to Say to the Dying (Which is Actually Every One of Us)

This is a great clip from a TV show I have never watched, but which I understand is (or was?) quite popular. If there was more of this sort of thing on TV, I might actually watch it. Let me know if that ever happens, please.

HT - Keith Brooks at City of God.

Next Stop on the Slippery Slope: Pedophilia

The culture wars still rage in the US over homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but the next step on the slippery slope is already coming into view. Once homosexuality is successfully mainstreamed, the next frontier inevitably will be pedophilia.

The Daily Caller reports in an article entitled: "Conference aims to normalize pedophilia":

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013. Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists. According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

As you may recall, this is exactly the same tactic used to get the APA to drop "homosexuality" from its list of mental illnesses and add "homophobia" instead. Nothing changed in terms of research or understanding of homosexuality; a group of political activists simply co-opted science through methods of intimidation. Now it is happening again.

Note that academics from major universities are involved in promoting this horrible evil.

And if you think that social disapproval of pedophilia is so strong it could never be overcome by activists, please remember that millions of people said the same thing about homosexuality as recently as 20 years ago. There are definite signs that our society's hatred of pedophilia is diminishing. How could it not in such a relativistic climate?

Check out this recent picture from a recent issue of the French Vogue magazine. The girl is ten years old and already an erotic object for men.

Pedophilia is just another step down the ladder of sexual perversion and is inevitable when a society refuses to acknowledge the plan of the Creator for the expression of sexuality within a loving, permanent, heterosexual marriage that is open to new life.

Katherine Birbalsingh Wonders if We Can Have Morality Without God

Katherine Birbalsingh is an educator who is opening a school for underprivileged youth in London. Her blog post today is an astonishingly open and honest reflection on the connection between the recent riots in London, morality and God. Although she is not a believer, she appears to be wrestling with the biggest and most important questions of life such as "Can we have morality without God?"

She writes in her post, "UK riots: Tariq Jahan's inspiring faith makes me wonder if atheists have got it wrong":

I’m sitting in the Green Room waiting for some media thing and I meet these two young black men. They are reformed gang members and yet they can’t be more than 20 years old. One of them has a child and is doing his best now to be a proper father. I’m impressed. I ask him what has changed his life and he points to his mentor on the other side of the room and speaks highly of the organisation that has supported him through the transformation. He then explains that he has changed his life because he has “found God”.

I wince at the idea of “finding” God as if God were a lost dog, and smile, thinking as I always do, well, if it works for him, then great. If God can make you fix your life up, then I’m all for Him!

The following day, I hear Tariq Jahan, the father in Birmingham whose son was killed, speak eloquently about honour, forgiveness and destiny. He explains that his religion gives him the strength to see through the death of his dearly loved boy and accept that this was his son’s fate. I look on in admiration because I exist without that sense of certainty, and I find his certainty mesmerising.

Next, I’m being interviewed by a Russian journalist who is fascinated by these riots. I explain that I believe our culture of moral relativism is to blame, that no one believes in right and wrong anymore, that everything is subjective, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that we don’t believe in an objective morality. She frowns.

“So you believe in God, then?”

I shake my head. “No. But I do believe in an objective morality.”

She nods. “Ah. So you believe in the state then?”

I try to explain that I don’t believe in either the state or God, but back and forth we go for what seems to be forever, locked in this gripping cultural clash. When I talk of my objective morality, she continually cries out, “But where does it come from?” I have no answer of course. “I just know what’s right and wrong,” I say. “Someone taught me when I was young. You don’t need God to have morality.”

Quite literally, she is unable to understand what I’m saying and as we go on, I’m beginning to wonder whether I understand it myself. As I walk away from the journalist, I begin to think. Is belief in God part of the solution? Are we having all of these problems these days because no one believes in God? Perhaps we think we can live without Him, but that simply isn’t the case.

I heard her interviewed on the radio the other day and her common sense and conservative wisdom about educating inner city young people shone through. Let us pray that she too will find the God of creation, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you Katherine, even before you believe in Him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Francis Schaeffer Hit Piece in the New Yorker

The liberal media elites who think they run America really seem to hate Evangelicals. But that is not surprising to me; what surprises me is that they simultaneously think that Evangelicals are the single biggest threat to their Progressive vision for America and at the same time not worth studying or even attempting to understand. More American progressives speak Arabic than Baptist. They wouldn't know the difference between a Southern Baptist and a Pentecostal or between puritanism and pietism.

Therefore, whenever they venture into the "expose" mode of breathless reporting how a secret Evangelical cabal is right on the verge - on the verge I tell you! - of turning America into a Puritan Theocracy, they come off sounding like lazy Jr. High schoolers who got some stuff off the internet the night before and threw together a history essay. They make the Czarist authors of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion look like master historians.

Ryan Lizza is out to get Michelle Bachmann, as any card-carrying member of the media elite (AKA the Obama communications team) would be. And he thinks he has some real down and dirty dope on her due to her connection to a shadowy, theocratic, underground figure no one has heard of but who, he Lizza, is about to reveal to the world. Not since Hilary blamed the "vast right wing conspiracy" for Bill not being able to keep his zipper up, has such shocking evidence of the anti-liberal, anti-progressive, anti-all that is good and sweet in the world right-wing, male, homophobic, bigots (which is, admittedly, to indulge in serial redundancies) emerged. The Dominionists are coming! And it is not an invasion of Canadians, either.

Lizza is smacked down by two excellent articles. First, Joe Carter at First Things administers a little lesson in journalism. This article is too good to summarize. Read it here.

Here is a sample of one of Carter's lesson:
If Lizza had done his homework he would have found that Diamond’s mid-1980s “scholarship” is neither timely nor credible. For example, Diamond bases her contention that Schaeffer is a “dominionist” on his book A Christian Manifesto. The problem is that rather than claiming that “Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns”—Schaeffer says exactly the opposite:
[W]e must make definite that we are in no way talking about any kind of theocracy. Let me say that with great emphasis. Witherspoon, Jefferson, the American Founders had no idea of a theocracy. That is made plain by the First Amendment, and we must continually emphasize the fact that we are not talking about some kind, or any kind, of a theocracy.

In the Old Testament there was a theocracy commanded by God. In the New Testament, with the church being made up of Jews and Gentiles, and spreading all over the known world from India to Spain in one generation, the church was its own entity. There is no New Testament basis for a linking of church and state until Christ the King returns. The whole “Constantine mentality” from the fourth century up to our own day was a mistake. . . . Making Christianity the official state religion opened the way for confusion up till our own day. But through the centuries it has caused great confusion between loyalty to the state and loyalty to Christ, between patriotism and being a Christian. We must not confuse the Kingdom of God with our country. To say it another way: “We should not wrap Christianity in our national flag.”
By the way, the first paragraph of this quote can be found on the Wikipedia page for Schaeffer. Had Lizza merely been as diligent as a college freshman plagiarizing a term paper he would have discovered his error.
Barry Hankins, who has written a good book on Schaeffer, which is critical but fair, has his own piece here. Here is my favorite quote from his article:
The truth quite different from Lizza’s macro-indictment of all things evangelical. Schaeffer had a brief flirtation with Rushdoony's thought in the Sixties, but not with the Reconstructionist/Dominionist vision of Old Testament civil law. Rather, like some other evangelical figures, Schaeffer was enamored with Rushdoony's analysis of where, when, and how western civilization allegedly abandoned the moral standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Shocking, isn't it? Thinking that the West has abandoned the moral standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Simply preposterous. So, I wonder if Ryan Lizza thinks that John Paul the Great and Alexander Solzhenitsyn are also Dominionists because they believed that Western civilization abandoned the moral standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition because, as Solzhenitsyn put it in his famous Harvard Commencement Address, A World Split Apart: "men forgot God."

I guess it's a good thing John Paul the Great and Solzhenitsyn are dead; the republic can rest easy - except for that pesky woman from Minnesota who won't shut up, which is the only reason Lizza is ploughing through all this dumb theology in the first place.

When so-called "journalists" jump from "Michelle Bachmann likes Francis Schaeffer" to "Francis Schaeffer is a dangerous theocrat who wants to overthrow the government" to "anyone who supports Bachmann is a threat to America," - the end is nigh.

Ed Shultz Deliberately Twists Perry's Words to Make Him Appear Racist

If you want to see how dirty the upcoming US presidential election is going to be, just watch Ed Shultz brazenly edit a clip of a Rick Perry speech to make it appear that Perry said something he never said. Watch it here.

MSNBC, or as it is better known, the communications department of the perpetual Obama election campaign, is not only slanted and biased. It is downright deceptive and evil. This sort of accusation - racism - is effective because conservatives are fundamentally decent people who despise racism and take accusations of racism very seriously. This makes us susceptible to the big lie when it comes out of the Obama propaganda machine.

From now on we should assume, as our default position, that liberal attacks on conservatives as "racist" are mere projection from the other side. They actually are the ones preoccupied with racial issues. It was Biden who said that a negro who is clean and articulate is a 'dream.' It was Chris Matthews who said that when listening to Obama he forgot he was black. It is liberals who favor reverse discrimination (affirmative action) and who stand for racial quotas on everything.

No one should believe them and no one should be intimidated by their shrill, crude, amateurish attempt to push the "Big Lie."

I am disgusted by Ed Shultz. If Obama does not denounce him and disassociate himself from this kind of twisting of the truth, but simply chooses to profit from it and keep quiet, then Obama is nearly as bad as Shultz himself.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peter Hitchens on the Riots in London and Their Underlying Causes

The Gospel is Good News. But before there can be good news there must be bad news. Unless we understand our true plight, we naturallly will not appreciate the solution God offers us. If we do not understand the spiritual roots of the recent events in London and their implications for Western culture, then we will never really understand the good news either.

Peter Hitchens' piece on the London riots does not flinch from telling the uncomfortable truth about the situation in which we find ourselves. It is entitled: "Police water canon and plastic bullets? After 50 years of the most lavish welfare state on earth? What an abject failure."

He begins:

Bitter laughter is my main response to the events of the past week. You are surprised by what has happened? Why? I have been saying for years that it was coming, and why it was coming, and what could be done to stop it.

I have said it in books, in articles, over lunch and dinner tables with politicians whose lips curled with lofty contempt.

So yes, I am deeply sorry for the innocent and gentle people who have lost lives, homes, businesses and security. Heaven knows I have argued for years for the measures that might have saved them.

But I am not really very sorry for the elite liberal Londoners who have suddenly discovered what millions of others have lived with for decades.

The mass criminality in the big cities is merely a speeded-up and concentrated version of life on most large estates – fear, intimidation, cruelty, injustice, savagery towards the vulnerable and the different, a cold sneer turned towards any plea for pity, the awful realisation that when you call for help from the authorities, none will come. . . .

No doubt they will find ways to save themselves. But they will not save the country. Because even now they will not admit that all their ideas are wrong, and that the policies of the past 50 years – the policies they love – have been a terrible mistake. I have heard them in the past few days clinging to their old excuses of non-existent ‘poverty’ and ‘exclusion’.

Left-wing parties all over Europe are losing elections because they are out-of-touch and because their big idea - the welfare state - is outdated. It does not work. Why not? Because it is based on a false view of human nature; it simply does not conform to reality.

It believes that people are basically good, though corrupted by society. These Leftist Utopians read Rousseau and Marx and think they sound like they know what they are talking about when, in fact, they are completely detached from reality. The welfare state ideology assumes that the main problems people face are material in nature, in other words - poverty. "Solve" poverty and we will have a good society, they say. How do they propose to solve poverty? Do they have a way to make people hard-working, educated and productive? No, they propose a short-cut; just take from the rich by redistributive taxation and give to the poor. Problem solved. But moving money from bank account to bank account does not alter human nature. It does not solve depression, sin, pathological behaviour, immaturity, disrespect for the law and lack of care for one's family.

Pentecostalism is growing so fast in Latin America - Brazil for instance is on the verge of becoming a majority Protestant country - because it does what the welfare state cannot do. It makes men stop drinking, take their pay cheque home, put their children in school and stay married. Now that is revolutionary!

The welfare state could be viewed as a demonic parody of the church and socialism as a demonic parody of Christian theology. The message of Marx could be seen as a demonic parody of the message of the Gospel. The fruits of the preaching of the Gospel and revival are life, but the fruits of the socialist, welfare state ideology are the culture of death.


Hitchens then turns to the actions of Prime Minister David Cameron, whose response to the crisis is to talk tough. But he is such a fraud, that no one in his right mind would buy the act. Hitchens writes:

Take our Prime Minister, who is once again defrauding far too many people. He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public-school command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person. But it is all false. He has no real idea of what to do. He thinks the actual solutions to the problem are ‘fascist’. Deep down, he still wants to ‘understand’ the hoodies.

Say to him that naughty children should be smacked at home and caned in school, that the police (and responsible adults) should be free to wallop louts and vandals caught in the act, that the police should return to preventive foot patrols, that prisons should be austere places of hard work, plain food and discipline without TV sets or semi-licit drugs, and that wrongdoers should be sent to them when they first take to crime, not when they are already habitual crooks, and he will throw up his well-tailored arms in horror at your barbarity.

Say to him that divorce should be made very difficult and that the state should be energetically in favour of stable, married families with fathers (and cease forthwith to subsidise families without fathers) and he will smirk patronisingly and regard you as a pitiable lunatic.

Say to him that mass immigration should be stopped and reversed, and that those who refuse any of the huge number of jobs which are then available should be denied benefits of any kind, and he will gibber in shock.

Yet he is ready to authorise the use of water cannon and plastic bullets on our streets (quite useless, as it happens, against this sort of outbreak) as if we were a Third World despotism.

Read it all here.

It is rather hard to bear talk of morality from a man who, as Prime Minister, has demanded that the Church of England embrace sodomy. David Cameron is an opportunistic vote-chaser without a principle to his name. The very idea that such a person could lecture either hoodie thugs or parlimentarians who abuse their expense accounts with moral indignation is laughable.

What is the point of abusing David Cameron? Well, it isn't personal; the point is simply that England has the leadership it deserves. An immoral, undisciplined, selfish, hedonistic, narcissistic population naturally throws up political leaders who tell it what it wants to hear and perpetuates the welfare state, multiculturalism, moral relativism, the sexual revolution and equality.

If there is hope for England (and there is) it does not lie in the politicians or the ruling class in general, but in the middle classes and particularly the lower middle classes influenced by Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism. Hope will bubble up from there as it did in the 18th century.

Mass evangelism, conversion, revival and the social reforms that flow from such a work of God changed England, Wales and Scotland in the 18th century and then crossed the Atlantic to shape the future United States of America decisively.

I just happened to be reading David Lyle Jeffrey's excellent historical introduction to his English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley last night and was intrigued at how much the early 18th century resembles the 21st century in terms of immorality, hostility to Christianity and alcoholism. After the persecution of both Catholics and Dissenters during the Restoration in the second half of the 17th century the situation became desperate. But out of this persecution came the spiritual masters who would later influence the Wesleys, Whitefield, John Newton, Wilbur Wilberforce et. al. Privately, quietly, working without acclaim, writers like Isaac Watts, Elizabeth Singer Rowe, William Law and Philip Dodderidge wrote hymns, prayers, journals and other spiritual works that would later exert great influence.

This quartet was something of a bridge. They looked back to the deeply authentic Catholic spirituality of the Middle Ages and early modern period (such as St. John of the Cross) and they mediated such spirituality in an Evangelical form to the later, more activist, revivalists. Jeffrey's important point is that the later "missionary spirituality" that took the form of revival preaching and conversion followed by social reform was rooted in a "contemplative spirituality" that was fostered by people who lived outwardly uneventful lives but who were immersed in the reality of God and who linked up to the Great Tradition of Christianity that stretches from the Bible to the Fathers to Augustine to Aquinas to Calvin. (Note to Wheaton Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Evangelicalism at its best has always been Catholic.)

If the UK is to survive, it must be reconnected with its spiritual roots. It must undergo revival and reform. This is not optional or a best-case scenario; it is the only alternative to utter and complete social and cultural collapse. But the good news is that it happened before and it can happen again, Lord willing.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What Britain Needs is Another John Wesley

Melanie Philips is anathema to the liberal elites of Great Britain because she tells the truth. In her column on Aug. 11 entitled, "How the liberals ruined Britain," she asserts that the real reason for the recent riots is not poverty, but moral collapse:

So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.

The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.

Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.

Now we can see what they have brought about in the unprecedented and horrific scenes of mob violence, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting.

What is most astonishing about this is it was not accidental, but planned. Policies were enacted which anybody with common sense could see would lead to this outcome, but they were enacted anyway. It is not a matter of out-of-control young people, but rather it is a matter of a population (including the political class) that is immoral.

What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies.

There has been much bewildered talk about ‘feral’ children, and desperate calls upon their parents to keep them in at night and to ask them about any stolen goods they are bringing home.

As if there were responsible parents in such homes! We are not merely up against feral children, but feral parents.

The Archbishop of Canterbury finally, after four days of rioting finally got around to making a speech in the House of Lords and what pitiful, fluff and insubstantial bromides he offered up. It is enough to make one gag: no gospel, no call to repentance, no mention of Divine judgment, no offer of Christ's power to change lives. Instead, he called on the government to solve the problem despite overwhelming evidence that the government is a big part of the problem. He said:

The tragedy of the events of recent days is that those who will pay the heaviest price are those who most need stability and encouragement in local communities - people who run small local businesses, people who need efficient emergency services, people, old or young, with limited mobility. In no imaginable sense does the violence we have seen help anyone; those who have been involved have achieved nothing except to intensify the cycle of deprivation and vulnerability.

That being said, we now have a major question to address, which is how to combat the deep alienation we have seen, the alienation and cynicism that leads to reckless destruction. The Government has insisted on the priority of creating stronger, better‑resourced local communities. This priority is now a matter of extreme urgency. We need to see initiatives that will address anxieties and provide some hope of long‑term stability in community services, especially for the young. Meanwhile the Church will maintain its commitment to all communities at risk, and is ready to offer its help and solidarity in every possible way. [my bolding]

You can see why people in the UK might wonder why, since we have a welfare state, we need a bunch of old moral scolds in funny clothes, who appear to have no function except to urge the government to do something. Do you really need all the paraphernalia generated by a State Church just for that?

Britain needs moral transformation and governments cannot do that. And dead, liberal Protestant churches with no Gospel to preach cannot do it. Only a revival of the Church in which the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives is made manifest is sufficient. Perhaps, if it gets bad enough and people get desperate enough they just might show the cultural Marxists the door and get themselves to church. It has certainly happened before and we pray that it happens again.

But the awkward question is, will there be anyone preaching the biblical Gospel if they go to church? If only God would raise up another John Wesley.


Apparently, I'm not the only one to whom John Wesley's name has come to mind recently. David Virtue offers his concept of the speech the Archbishop of Canterbury should have given here. It is heartbreaking to read simply because it puts into sharp focus how far the Church of England has fallen. But if the C of E won't preach the Gospel, God is capable of making the stones cry out.

The Humanistic Argument Against the Welfare State

I've just finished reading Mark Steyn's new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and it is simultaneously hilarious and frightening. His previous book, America Alone, argued that the West, with the sole exception of the US, was in serious decline and that the last battle for the humanistic ideals of the West would be fought in the US. His prophecies of the semi-Islamization of Europe were at first dismissed, then laughed at, then said to be true but further off than he claimed. Now they are simply coming true before our eyes.

And his argument that it is Western weakness, lack of cultural self-confidence and multiculturalism, rather than any external force, that is causing the West's decline appears more obviously true every day. The message of this new book is that the US is joining in the general Western decline and going downhill much faster than Canada or Europe.

Despite his hysterical critics on the left, Steyn is no national socialist (or any other kind of socialist), but rather a humanistic liberal who simply declined to evolve into a social democrat as almost all liberals have done in the twentieth century.

As it happens, I don't think he actually has any answers to offer those who accept the main premises of his cultural analysis. The real engine of humanism is Christianity and the whole reason most liberals became some sort of cultural Marxist or neo-Marxist or democratic socialist is that secularized liberalism is unsustainable. It contains a contradictory notion of freedom and so the idea of freedom gradually recedes and the idea of equality takes its place. Liberalism has no basis for actual humanism and therefore it must necessarily decline into the will to power. We see this decline everywhere today. But until Steyn is willing to admit that nothing short of a revival of Christian faith will save Western civilization, he is fated to be a critic with no alternative except his own brand of stoic decency.

But the most important idea Steyn has latched onto is a very big one: the most important critique of the welfare state is the humanistic one. The welfare state was and is justified by appeals to compassion and care for the poor and needy. But, in fact, it is the poor and the needy who suffer the most from the welfare state.

In his column yesterday in the Orange County Register, Steyn puts it this way:

This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the British welfare regime in 1942, his goal was the "abolition of want" to be accomplished by "co-operation between the State and the individual." In attempting to insulate the citizenry from life's vicissitudes, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. As I write in my book: "Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity." The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays and Muslims. From page 204: "For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ's Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population."

I believe it is regarded as a sign of insanity to start quoting oneself, but at the risk of trying your patience I'll try one more, because it's the link between America's downgraded debt and Britain's downgraded citizenry:

"The evil of such a system is not the waste of money but the waste of people."

Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically. Within living memory, the city in flames on our TV screens every night governed a fifth of the Earth's surface and a quarter of its population. When you're imperialists on that scale, there are bound to be a few mishaps along the way. But nothing the British Empire did to its subject peoples has been as total and catastrophic as what a post-great Britain did to its own.
A system which brings you the highest rate of single mother families, the highest abortion rate, the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease and the highest rate of drug use can not, except by the most Orwellian misuse of language imaginable, be described as "liberating." It is precisely the opposite; it is enslaving and demeaning. It is not good for the poor and bad for the rich; it is bad for everybody, but especially the poor.

There are many reasons why the welfare state is bad, but the most serious one is that it wastes people. This is the humanistic argument against the welfare state.