White Christian Privilege?

On April 5, 2016, there was an Excellence in Leadership Seminar at George Washington University:

Christian Privilege: But our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!

How do Christians in the USA experience life in an easier way than non-Christians? Even with the separation of Church and State, are there places where Christians have built-in advantages over non-Christians? How do we celebrate Christian identities and acknowledge that Christians receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country? Let’s reflect upon ways we can live up to our personal and national values that make room for all religious and secular identities on an equal playing field. All are welcome!

Learning Objectives:
• Participants will be able to describe what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically.
• Participants will be able to describe the role of denial when it comes to white privilege.
• Participants will be able to differentiate between equality and equity.
• Participants will be able to list at least three examples of Christian privilege.
• Participants will be able to list at least three ways to be an ally with a non-Christian person.

Presented by Timothy Kane, Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC)

First, how about some context. Who is Timothy Kane? According to his LinkedIn profile, he is The Associate Director, Inclusion Initiatives at The George Washington University, [I] Direct the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center and oversee Religious Life since April 2011. He has Graduate Certificates from GWU for Islamic Studies, International Education, and HIV-AIDS Studies; A Masters of Theology, Justice and Peace Studies from the Maryknoll School of Theology; Master of Divinity, Justice and Peace Studies from Harvard University; Bachelor of Arts, Religion/Religious Studies from Hamilton College.

He is also the President and Co-Founder of Niche2Norm Consulting which deals in “LGBT, Interfaith & Civic Engagement.” Also, on his LinkedIn page, he displays videos of presentations made to a couple of US Embassies on the topic of LGBTQIA – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. I suppose topics of interest to the State Department.

According to The College Fix:

“Kane also hosts the “heterosexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “abled-body privilege,” and “socioeconomic privilege” workshops. White privilege is a specific focus in each of these training sessions, according to the multicultural center’s website.”

The College Fix also points out that his online Bio states he is a “proud gay member of the LGBT community.” I’ll have to take their word for it because the link to his online GWU Bio currently brings up page not found. Isn’t that typical?

What are peace and justice studies. According to Creighton University’s description of their program:

The Justice and Peace Studies Program uses theology and the social sciences to explore the systems, structures, and policies that can advance justice and peace in the world, and helps students discern how to live their vocation as men and women for and with others.

According to Harvard Divinity:

The walls of HDS are porous. The worlds within them flow from and to the worlds beyond them. Throughout every academic year, the desire to redress systemic injustice and to ease its myriad sufferings lives vibrantly in the projects and concerns of our student body. While religious conviction fuels this desire for some of us, our common human hope for a world of integrity and peace often provides enough common ground for us to make common cause with one another. Peace and Justice Studies Harvard Divinity School

That almost made me swoon.

I tried to find the Maryknoll description for peace and justice studies. All I could find was they canned their program in 1994.

Peace and justice studies sounds a heck of lot like Liberation theology to me:

Liberation theology, religious movement arising in late 20th-century Roman Catholicism and centered in Latin America. It sought to apply religious faith by aiding the poor and oppressed through involvement in political and civic affairs. It stressed both heightened awareness of the “sinful” socioeconomic structures that caused social inequities and active participation in changing those structures. …

… Because of their insistence that ministry should include involvement in the political struggle of the poor against wealthy elites, liberation theologians were often criticized—both formally, from within the Roman Catholic Church, and informally—as naive purveyors of Marxism and advocates of leftist social activism. By the 1990s the Vatican, under Pope John Paul II, had begun to curb the movement’s influence through the appointment of conservative prelates in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. Encyclopedia Britannica

We looked at all of that to surmise that Mr. Kane is a subsidized social justice warrior at an institution where the undergraduate 2018-2019 tuition and fees is estimated at $57,533. Shoo Lawdy! As they say over here in the hills.

Once upon a time, I asked a trusted member of the clergy about Liberation Theology and other variations one encounters, like peace and justice, in the new age. His response was clear and concise. To paraphrase him, Theos is God. A good way to remember it he said is The One. Logos is the study of God. Theology is the study of the one God as learned from Biblical scripture. Adding to or taking away from that is false theology. Simple enough for me.

Some years ago, I read David Limbaugh’s book Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christians. It is a thoroughly sourced account providing example upon example of how In America Christian exercise of religious liberty, especially any public exercise, is routinely challenged. If you want to have a view from the other side of Christian Privilege, or more definitively “White” Christian Privilege and in some articles that nearly made my eyes bleed further defined down as “White Male Christian Privilege”, this may be a good place to begin. If you prefer to remain close-minded on the topic, just type Christian privilege into your favorite search engine. There you’ll find a plethora of one-sided Christian privilege offerings. In the days of liberally controlled Internet search engines it is not surprising that a critical look or opposing view cannot be found on the first five pages of search results. It’s an effective way to suppress conflicting views as most look no further than the first or second page. Want to be the next billionaire? Figure out how to get around Google, Facebook, and Twitter and provide a tool and space to people who want to hear everyone’s view – equally. As I read the various takes on the topic, there remains burning questions. Are non-white Christians also privileged? My non-white Christian wife demands an answer.

Can we just remove the façade? This is not about Christian privilege or any of the other “privileged” groups Mr. Kane speaks about. It is just another war front in the decades old attacks on our national culture and heritage. It is also further attempt to eradicate the Moral authority that directly opposes everything Mr. Kane supports. Mr. Kane and others who share his views are given platforms at our nation’s most prestigious universities. They prepare students who with their impressive academic credentials will move far up the socioeconomic chain including politics and government. If a prominent opposing voice attempted to speak at one of these institutions there would be riots.

According to Mr. Kane, everyone is privileged except the groups he defends. For him and others like him, what is boils down to is in the United States of America you are disadvantaged unless you are a white male heterosexual Christian. Interesting to me how a white homosexual working at a prestigious university is disadvantaged. The Supreme Court says he can get married and if the Christian baker or Christian photographer refuses to promote his homosexual wedding he can successfully sue them into oblivion. Are there any white heterosexual Christians at George Washington University given the platform to provide reasoned opposing views?

Is this stuff dangerous? It is interesting to read that the Jews of the day discounted Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kemph and particularly his views toward the Jews.

Letter to Adolf Gemlich, September 16, 1919:

Anti-Semitism as a political movement should not and cannot be determined by factors of sentiment, but only by the recognition of the facts. These are the facts:

To begin with, Jewry is unqualifiedly a racial association and not a religious association. . . . Its influence will bring about the racial tuberculosis of the people.

Hence it follows: Anti-Semitism on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of pogroms. Rational anti-Semitism, however, must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges which Jews hold, in contrast to the other aliens living among us (aliens’ legislation). Its final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether. Only a government of national vitality is capable of doing both, and never a government of national impotence.

Source: Jewish Virtual Library

I do not mean to imply that Mr. Kane is a NAZI or Adolf Hitler. But according to his views, a large part of American society is privileged and this case white and Christian. What then is his ultimate objective? What is his solution to the white Christian privilege problem? Is it “legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges… in contrast to the other(s)… living among us” or is it the removal of the [white Christians] altogether?

I’m betting he favors gun confiscation too.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

Over at the schoolhouse

Teachers are like any other professional service group. You can expect about 10 percent to be exceptional in competence and achievement. You can expect about 10 percent to be literally worthless to their profession. Of the remaining 80 percent some will work hard and get the job done competently. Others will make it through their days by doing only what’s is necessary to get by. Their product is typically representative of the makeup of the group.

Here in wild and wonderful West Virginia, our public school teachers were on strike for 9 days for a pay increase. In our state, the average teacher salary for 2016 was $45, 662. The median household income for our state from 2012 to 2016 was $42, 664. Median means that half the state makes more than that, half makes less. On the average, school teachers earn more than half of West Virginians. The per capita income here is $24,002. You get that when you divide the state’s total income by its population. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,600 per year. Not only is our per capita income below the federal poverty level, nearly 18 percent of our state (17.9 for 2016) actually lives below the poverty level.

Sources:
National Education Association Rankings and Estimates Report
United States Census Bureau Quick Facts

The bottom line is teaching jobs in West Virginia, compared to the remainder of the population are good jobs. Yet, they went on strike for 9 days and were rewarded with a 5 percent pay raise. I may have missed it, but I did not hear of teachers demanding increased school safety. Now on strike for better pay are teachers in nearby Kentucky and out in Oklahoma. Maybe West Virginia finally leads in something.

I know the state ranks near the bottom in teacher salary, but comparatively in practically every major economic category including income, so does the rest of the state. Our taxes pay school teacher salaries. That leaves the question doesn’t it. Unless we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, if there was not enough revenue to give them a 5 percent pay raise then, how can there be enough now?

Before you start chucking spears at me, understand my belief that our public school teachers are the backbone of our society. They are the teachers of our children, more so than many parents. Some are overburdened with home spun discipline issues and the neglected. I was fortunate to spend my first year out of the Army at a high school. In 2000, I wrote I watched your kids today noting a rather typical day. Everything in the article actually happened. I don’t believe my classroom was an anomaly, but more than one teacher assured me, “We are glad to have the JROTC program. If we didn’t, those kids wouldn’t have a place to fit in.” I had some excellent students who’ve done well in life, but I had others who were funneled into JROTC by counselors, “because they didn’t fit in.”

I believe most teachers follow the curriculum, I am just concerned about within those parameters what they’re teaching. Recently, we’ve seen kids that do not know American history, do not know how our government works and who are admittedly taught that socialism is a better form of government than our representative republic without being taught about the failings of socialism. And most of them can’t explain what a representative republic is. It is not democracy, while most think and are clearly taught that is exactly what it is.

We’ve also heard example after example of teachers in the classroom degrading the military, raving against the President, and ranting about social justice issues. I do not think this is the norm for every school or every teacher, but the evidence we see on our television screens and in our streets should make all of us question the product coming out of our public school systems.

I never thought teachers were paid sufficiently for what we ask of them and it’s a solid maybe that we get what we pay for. Maybe it’s time to look at how education is delivered. Maybe we need to develop a business model for schools. One with a merit based promotion and pay system tied to measurable effectiveness of the product and the demonstrated competence of the teacher. We need a model with firm, unannounced performance evaluations for all teachers conducted by people not directly affiliated with public school systems. We need to separate competent teachers from political activists and the incompetent. We need to teach American exceptionalism, the evils of Communism and Socialism, the value of free enterprise capitalism, American history, American government and reading, writing and arithmetic. For students, we need technical and academic tracks. Students in technical tracks could spend some of their educational time in apprenticeship programs.

Fire teachers who cannot meet established competency standards. Do no promote kids through school or into life who cannot function. The other option is the speed train to third world status with a ruling majority who can’t even spell constitution much less know what’s in it.  They will, however, be able to deliver a fiery speech as long as they can find someone to write it for them.

© J. D. Pendry 2018

 

Welcome to my identity crisis

Every day, because of what I believe, other people seem hell bent to label me. They want to attach to me a strawman identity. They need a boogie man, so they create one they can degrade and beat on at will. I suppose spewing anger makes them feel better. At least better about themselves. After all, they’re slaying monsters.

If I do not agree with the viewpoint of a person of color, some call me a racist. If I do not agree with a woman, I’m called sexist. If I do not agree with homosexuals, I am a homophobe and a bigot. If I do not agree with Islam, I’m called Islamophobic, a racist and a bigot and probably a right wing fundamentalist proselytizing Christian that should never again be heard from. If I do not support abortion, I am against women’s rights. If I do not support illegal immigration, it’s because I’m a racist bigot. If I support the right to keep and bear arms, I have blood on my hands and the responsibility for every gun related death ever recorded. If I think using kids to push gun control, or any political action for that matter, is not the right thing, I am accused of lashing out at grieving children. With my southern heritage and twang, I must be a supporter of the KKK, a redneck, a white supremacist, racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot.

Those who know me personally may believe I’m some or none of that. These days, I cannot be too sure about who believes what. I am secure in who I am. But, those who proclaim loudly that diversity and inclusiveness are important (not to imply they aren’t) are many of the same people who work hard everyday to divide us by categories or identities that combine to make up Americana – our national identity. They do not give a rat’s rear end about your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual persuasion, religion or anything else about you. All they care about you is how you think and if you do not buy their ideological groupthink, they’ll come after you. Their playbook insists that dissenters be labeled. After all, who wants to hear the opinion of a racist bigot. This excludes of course the members of Congress who hang out with Louis Farrakhan. They not only want to silence opposing viewpoints they want to control commerce by attacking sponsors of the purveyors of those viewpoints. It’s also known as fascism. Unfortunately, it is being embraced by many who would willingly surrender their Constitutional freedoms.

I was born and raised in West Virginia’s coal mining communities. I spent some of my teenage years on the mean streets of Chicago. At age 16, I left the social experiment called Chicago public High School and became a minimum wage factory laborer. At age 18, I became a Soldier for the following 28 years. On nights and weekends, time permitting, I earned a college degree because I was conditioned through life to believe it necessary. In the Army, I succeeded. After the Army, I succeeded. In retirement, I am relativity comfortable. Some want you to think any success gained was not due to work ethic and personal drive, instead it was due to my white male privilege.

Some who know me may accept that privilege got me to the middle rung of middle class retirement. Honestly, I am not sure what anyone believes these days. I do know some “friends” abandoned my friend ship in recent years while other “friends” came aboard. It’s getting harder to know who my friends are. I may be simplifying some haughty doctoral theory, but I am an unpretentious man. I can only interpret the plain language message I receive. The message that says everything was given to me, nothing was earned. I never received any participation trophies. You can bet your hind end on that.

I’ve been quite physical most of my life. From heavy work in a factory to my years in the Army and life after. Although nowadays it consists of milder visits to the gym and mowing the yard. I just read the news report where the Army deems it necessary to toughen up basic training. Seems new Soldiers are not disciplined or physically tough. That caused me to look at the sweat stained campaign hat hanging on the bunker wall and wonder what happened. When I went through basic training, it was tough. It was tough because the Drill Sergeants were tough and unbending when it came to standards, discipline and fitness. In those days, they ran us in combat boots with full load bearing equipment and weapons sometimes until we lay in a puddle of our own puke. When running, company formations made U-turns to pick up stragglers. That could turn a short run into a long one and intensify peer pressure to suck it up. That is the mindset I and others carried with us when we became Drill Sergeants. I suppose they purged “toxic masculinity” from basic combat training. Apparently, toxic masculinity is holding some people back. I must admit, I think masculinity is a good thing just as is femininity. Strong men, strong women conditioned to be warriors at heart. In my day, that’s how the Army went rolling along.

What is our American identity these days. Into what category must one try to fit. Can’t I just be a God-fearing American? One who may disagree with you, but who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to defend our great land. On top of that, I most want to be Grandpa to my raving beauty Granddaughters. I refuse to be categorized or labeled. Unless we remove all of that garbage from our daily discourse, we will continue eroding the glue holding our country together until we become something wholly unrecognizable. That, my friends, is the goal of the people who work to divide us. If we continue to follow their rulebook, we’ll cease to be….

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

 

 

Saving lives?

In the 1960’s, I was a high school teenager. Routinely, there were school walk-outs and sit ins and protests of about every variety. Along with being the hippie, psychedelic, pot smoking, hallucinogenic drug generation we were also the protest generation. Typically, they were anti-war protests, but almost anything else would do. Most of us had no idea or didn’t care about the purpose. We were malleable kids and these were fun social gatherings. We were tools used by political activists. Some of them were actual protestors or at least they were the ones who passed out the flyers inviting the rest to walk-out. Our social media was mimeographed paper invitations passed out in the hallways of the school. The large remainder were like my friends and me. We were happy to skip classes en masse with the “protestors” and not get into to trouble over it. We had our celebrities too. Communists lake Jane Fonda and liars like John Kerry and on the political side the likes of Ted Kennedy and others. As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun.

Kids of my day thought they were helping stop the carnage of war. What they helped accomplish was ginning up hatred for the military. It was an unwarranted hatred. They reveled in denigrating the young men who chose to serve their country when called. Young men who were welcomed home by the same idiotic protestors carrying signs calling them baby killers. Even in those days, the media could make a tiny percentage of protesting Americans appear to be the majority. Especially when the media, from top to bottom, agreed with them. It was a media quite capable of turning victory into loss and a Democrat war into Nixon’s war.

Many of the young men fighting and dying in Vietnam’s jungles were under age 21. In their time, not even old enough to vote. The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution permitting 18-year-olds to vote was ratified July 1, 1971. By then, Vietnam was in drawdown. Interestingly, the most prominent argument at the time was if someone was old enough to go to war they should be old enough to vote. Being 18 at the time, I agreed with that argument. Looking back, I had no business voting. The influences on my thinking were not yet tempered with real life. Vietnam Veterans scarred by war returned home to what appeared an ungrateful nation. The experience hardened some of them and broke others. This is the legacy owned by my generation. Nowadays, there is no compunction about sending heavily armed teenagers into combat yet we won’t let them buy a beer and don’t want them to buy a firearm until they are 21. How many more of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are we to assign an age limit?

Now, 17-year-old foul mouthed children, political tools of the day, vilify members of the National Rifle Association and promise to vote against any Republican and our Constitutional liberty. Sad thing, they know nothing about either. In one year, lacking any life experience and demonstrated ignorance of the significance of the bill of rights and history, our 17 -year-old will step into a voting booth. This is what brain washing looks like. No different from the Hitler youth of their day. Who, by the way, were also used by Hitler to promote gun control. That turned out well. If you want to see how Hitler did it, read How the Nazis Used Gun Control, Stephen P. Halbrook, National Review, December 2, 2013. Then get the image of the snot-nosed teenager doing the Nazi salute and inviting his comrades to the revolution.

A couple hundred thousand were out marching they declared to “save our lives.” They received wall-to-wall media coverage. Once again, the slanted media is able to make a tiny percentage of Americans appear as the voice of the majority. Saving lives is the mantra and the way to accomplish that is by removing the means of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.

There was another march not long ago. It too was, quite large. It did not garner wall to wall media coverage. It did not have any big named foul-mouthed celebrities or teenagers making speeches. But, it truly was a march for life. Collectively, since 1973, Americans are responsible for the deaths of 55 million children. The evilest societies on earth responsible for genocide into the millions cannot compare to the atrocity we’ve committed under our man-made law. According to the Congressional Research Service on Gun Control Legislation, from 1993 to 2009, there were 544,006 firearms related deaths for people of all ages. The majority of these deaths were result of legal interventions, suicides, accidents, and other unknown causes.

The ancient religion of Baal, whose last known remaining temple was destroyed by ISIS, sacrificed their children and worshipped with sex acts performed by male and female prostitutes. So, what are we doing? As a people, we are asked to hate the National Rifle Association (NRA) who, as far as I can find, is not responsible for the death of anyone. The NRA does not receive any tax dollars. It stresses and teaches firearms safety. It is an effective advocate for the 2nd Amendment right of US Citizens to keep and bear arms. In our country, Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 abortions each year out of the more than 900,000 that occur. They also sale body parts of fetuses. We Americans give them 500 million dollars of taxpayer money each year to help them commit this atrocity.

It is almost a certainty at least some of the children marching to save lives from gun violence had a brother or sister aborted. One would think that if life is truly important to our children protestors then the thought of ripping a defenseless baby to pieces is exceedingly more violent and evil than gun violence where the victim at least had the possibility to fight back. And it happens in greater numbers each day than those who are victims of gun violence.

We’ve built ourselves a sex-centered society and our young anti-gun spokesman cannot complete a sentence about his parents without lacing it with f-bombs. Around our country we pay for the temples that sacrifice our children. Gun control is not a solution to our problems. Basic human decency is. God is.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

Morality

Typically, in a flurry, I write about what’s on my mind. Being my own editor, publisher, and CEO and the business manager of a blog that makes no money I can get away with it. My method will never endure me to professional pontificators or those who pretend journalism while reading scripts someone else wrote. But that’s okay. Life is good.

Writing in whatever form it takes is just talking to yourself. If you’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop nursing a cup of Joe, using the free WIFI, and pecking away at your laptop most will not think you’re crazy. Adding to the aura of genius, plug some ear buds into your phone, and every so often pretend to take a call responding, “Really, Hmmm, OK, got it!” Then pull out your pocket notebook that’s crammed full of notes (mostly meaningless doodles), scribble down something, stuff it back into your pocket and continue typing. But if you are sitting there having an oral conversation with the introvert inside your head, the barista (who has no clue what a cup of Joe is) might call the cops on you. That’s binding of course on whether the coffee shop allows cops inside. I don’t frequent coffee shops anyway, that’s just one of those literary metaphorical thingies. Krispy Kreme? Well now that is a different story. Just as a public service announcement, a can of compressed air will not remove doughnut glaze from your keyboard, but it does fairly well with confectionary sugar.

Some topics however demand more than a flurry. I started this essay a while ago. In progress, I received an invitation from the Army’s NCO Journal to contribute to a future Journal article on the Army’s Core Values. Nearly nineteen years past retirement I was somewhat surprised yet honored they asked. I stopped writing this essay and spent several days on the NCO Journal values contribution. It is an important topic for an extremely important audience. There was a little unavoidable spillover from one essay to the next. The NCO Journal contribution was a more focused response to questions posed by the editor while this one may run all over the ball park before it stops. Guess I’ll have to wait and see what survives the NCO Journal Editor’s pen. Here, it all survives.

With that completed, I came back to finish this. It intrigued me though. Out of the blue, while writing about values and morals for my blog I was asked to write about values for an Army audience. I do not believe in coincidence. Do you? I don’t believe we move through this life by happenstance. In the eyes of some I’m weird that way. Looking back over life, including my Army time, there are too many unexplainable right time right place occurrences. There are also too many unexplainable rescues from situations that could have gone south. I’ve had doors close before me that caused me to move in another direction only to find success in unexpected places. I believe there is a plan for each of us. I also believe in guardian angels, although I’m not too sure I merit one. And, if I do have one he or she (not certain about angel gender) is probably worn out. If in the middle of the snooty coffee shop I’d announced that, rolling eyes and snickering would abound. While aiming their pepper spray, they would have probably asked me to vacate the premises. And I’m not even a cop.

For the record, the last article I had published in the NCO Journal was somewhere in the 90’s and my last article published in any professional military journal was in the November-December 2000 issue of Military Review. It was an article they held for several years before publishing. Apparently, they needed some filler for that issue and plopped in the Reader’s Digest version of mine. With the exception of my book, The Three Meter Zone: Common Sense Leadership for NCOs, and the dwindling numbers of military members who still subscribe to my blog, I have been out of sight out of mind for nearly 2 decades. Being asked to write for an Army audience consisting primarily of Noncommissioned Officers is certainly an honor. I hope my contribution serves them well. For now, let me get back to where I was before I got where I am.

****

Have you heard about the culture war? It’s the epic conflict whose first engagement took place in the Garden of Eden, not in the 1960s. Evil encountered good and set out to transform human culture into one that ignores bothersome things like natural law, civil law, and utterly detests moral authority. In the garden, the continual war for souls of people and nations began.

It’s a war where an unscrupulous force endeavors to live in the shadows removing borders and eradicating identifiable cultures, nations, and human freedom. It is a vicious and unrelenting war. If it is not countered, the most violent, ruthless, murderous and Godless of us will dominate. And then they will try to exterminate the rest. It is not the pined for utopian serenity constantly spoon fed to the emotionally vulnerable – like submissive school children. It is a quest for absolute power and dominance. The battle lines are ever present. Around the globe nations are being overrun. They are headed for moral abyss and their cultures are being consumed. Here in the land of the free, we teeter on the edge of descent.

The descent to hell is easy, and those who begin by worshipping power soon worship evil. – C. S. Lewis

Beyond the supernatural skirmishes for our souls, there are mortal pawns in the battle for the morality of humankind – in our case the humankind that makes up the United States of America. There are religions of multiple varieties, atheists, anarchists, globalist patrons of the one world order, a failing education system, the entertainment industry, the media with the advent of social media, news media, the opinionated who have giant megaphones with which to spread their views, political activists purposely dividing the people into manageable groups, those who would brainwash children under the precept of educating them, people who earn their living through the human sacrifice of children … you name it.

Deceit, disrespect, name calling and profane language are the norm. Don’t like someone’s point of view? Riot and destroy half the town and college campus to prevent them from sharing it and then call them fascists while declaring that you are merely exercising your guaranteed freedom of speech. It is something you are unwilling to forfeit for yourself but are readily prepared to violently take from others.

Hollywood created a violent and sexualized entertainment culture then feigned disgust when it became public knowledge and a shock to no one that they were and are still living it – everything from casting couch auditions to alleged pedophilia. And they are the ones who complained about it? Sincere, you reckon? Between sex scenes and barrages of profanity, they put automatic weapons in the hands of every action hero and bad guy too and with never a thought about the impact their entertainment may have on our devolving culture.

How long has it been since you saw a cigarette in a movie or television program or even a commercial? I miss the Marlboro man. The flip-top box in my teenage shirt pocket was a symbol of individualism, also of ignorance and stupidity. Thankfully, I learned that, but only after someone I loved dearly died early from a lifetime of smoking. Dean Martin with a glass of whiskey in one hand and a smoke in the other wouldn’t be allowed on TV these days. Maybe the entertainment industry could apply the same standard to sex, language, and guns as they did to smoking. Nowadays, smoking pot is normal though – even glorified. People take it for medicinal purposes as alcohol was once prescribed:

Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 1 Timothy 5:23 (NIV)

We all know how that turned out.

Are we okay with the trends of the day? Are we trying to invent a new moral code to replace the ageless? Are we aiming to make the unnatural natural? As a nation, have we abandoned the idea of a higher moral authority?

The man [country] without a moral code, like the animal, is free from moral problems. – C. S. Lewis Christian Reflections

I don’t think we are trending toward a new moral code, but rather toward no moral code. A past President declared that we are no longer a Christian nation. Are we running as fast as we can toward a post-Christian America. Are we being pushed to accept new moralities. Is a post Christian America our national aim? If so, C. S. Lewis questions do we want to:

…neglect not only the law of Christ but even the Law of Nature as known by the Pagans. For now they do not blush at adultery, treachery, perjury, theft and the other crime which I will not say Christian Doctors, but the pagans and the barbarous have themselves denounced.

Are we casting aside natural human values and trying to invent new ones. On issues of human morality, C. S. Lewis (As you might have gathered, I am fond of Mr. Lewis’ works.), the most logical mind on the subject I’ve encountered, points out:

Let’s get two propositions written into our minds with indelible ink.
(1) The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary colour in the spectrum.
(2) Every attempt to do so consists in arbitrarily selecting some one maxim of traditional morality, isolating it from the rest, and erecting it into an unum necessarium [the one necessary].

Without suggesting concrete interpretation of the thoughts of Mr. Lewis, World War I Veteran, Philosopher, Atheist turned Christian Apologist, and prolific author with a gigantic brain I’ll offer my unassuming perspective. Human values are the common thread that runs through all cultures. It’s the firmware installed on the human package. Don’t murder, don’t lie, don’t steal…. A culture may choose to ignore them, but they cannot change them or invent new ones. Neither can they pluck one from the range of human values and declare this is the one, even if we discount all others, by which we must abide. The ones in which we choose not to abide are still there.

First… human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.

Secondly… they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

We know how to behave, but we don’t. We know the Law of Nature and we break it. We know, yet we allow societal influences and the human desire for acceptance to push us away from what is right. From the time we exit the womb, cultural influences begin to tinker with our firmware. Wayward parents raise wayward children. Unscrupulous educators along with other societal influences attempt to indoctrinate the rest. We are in a headlong fall into a lawless, valueless world ruled by the lawless, valueless, and Godless. History has proven time and again that it is a world where one group always tries to exterminate the rest. In our world exists the manmade power to send any nation back into the dark ages. It is a place where most of us will not survive. It is time for us to make a real value check and compass adjustment before we devolve into daily life of basic human survival.

If God doesn’t soon bring judgment upon America, He’ll have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah! Mrs. Ruth Bell Graham, circa 1965, wife of Reverend Billy Graham

In America, we claim to value freedom. From the beginning, we professed to believe freedom is God-given. It is a desire imprinted on the hearts of all people. We codified that ideal into our Constitution and made it the law of the land. Yet every day it’s a battle as freedom dwindles – not taken away but forfeited to an ever more smothering government. If you can believe the people who complete the surveys, most Americans profess belief in God and identify as Christian. Sometimes our Christian pacifism might be well blended with a little nationalism.

In our country, we cannot and should not be able to tell people how to live their lives. What we can and must do is insist by legal means granted to us by the law of the land that our government not write into law the unnatural. We cannot forever buck nature’s law endowed to us by our Creator. You can reroute a river, but someday it will return to its natural state. The result is generally devastating to those who chose to live where the river once ran.

Our country has been richly blessed of God, yet many are dissatisfied and cry out to be like other nations. Unimaginable, but not unordinary. The human race simply cannot be content. Why? It is because the heart runs after things of the world, which fail to satisfy; so the chase will continue until the end of time. – Reverend Billy Graham Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond

Until the end of time… This war does end. I plan to be on the side that wins. Eternity in asbestos underwear doesn’t appeal to me. But, I’m weird that way.

Don’t worry about me. I’m just having a nice self-chat. I can’t save the world. Ultimately, none of us can.   I do vow that my values including the God-given free will to choose my path can never be taken from me nor will I forfeit them. Even if that vow angers you enough to burn down your town.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

 

 

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