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Critical Thinking: Nationalism Definition—America First is One Nation Under God, NOT repeating Nazi History

Critical Thinking: Biblical Worldview Nationalism Definition—America First is One Nation Under God, NOT repeating Nazi History Three Cheers for American Nationalism Inoculate your Children against Socialism and Atheism HERE By Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Jewish Rabbi News flash to NeverTrumpers and neocons: … Continue reading

Critical Thinking: Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Critical Thinking:

Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Donald Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’

President Donald Trump defied the establishment media’s negative coverage of his acceptance of the term “nationalist” to describe his political beliefs.

The president made his remarks on Tuesday at the White House State Leadership Day for leaders of California, Alaska, and Hawaii after highlighting his new and renegotiated trade deals.

“Call me a nationalist if you’d like,” he said. “But I don’t want companies leaving. I don’t want them firing all their people, going to another country, making a product, sending it into our country, tax-free, no charge, no tariff.”

Trump commented on the issue after he declared himself a “nationalist” when it comes to fighting for the United States of America first, rather than focusing its resources on the rest of the world.

“It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” he said during a political rally in Texas. “And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist.”

 

Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’ 

 

Critical Thinking: Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Critical Thinking:

Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Why the Bible Matters: Defining Right and Wrong

keyThere is a right and wrong to every question—Paying attention to your conscience is what helps you develop good character.

Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

right-wrongsignOnward, press onward, the goal is in sight.

Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.

Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.

Battle for freedom in spirit and might;

and with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.

God will protect you; then do what is right!

~Anonymous; The Psalms of Life, Boston, 1857

 

See More Defining Moments

 

 Birthright Covenant Series

birthright_cvr

Birthright Covenant Series-Young Adult Christian Books

picnicwyouthIn this excerpt from the historical  Birthright Covenant series college history professor Jacob Nobles uses discovery teaching and ancient ruins at a historic site to lead his students in a discussion of truth, and discerning right from wrong.

      “Okay—” Preston spoke with caution. “I’ll give you that the Bible is actually a history. But why does it matter?

                “That is the million-dollar question …” Jacob smiled. “And you can find the answer here—for free!

                Jacob held up the Bible. “Now, Preston, you have asked why the Bible matters. Would you agree that the Bible is a history of God’s dealings with man?”

creationhands                “I guess you could say that. Apparently, somehow God’s version of the creation was given to Moses, and Moses wrote it down,” Preston commented carefully.

                “It makes sense to take God’s word for it,” Allison remarked with her usual bluntness. “After all, He was there when it happened—a distinction the rest of us cannot claim.”

                Preston shook his head. “Still, none of us were there for the creation process—not even Moses.”

                “That’s true.” Jacob chewed thoughtfully on his ham sandwich and inclined his head. “Hmm. So we have here two explanations for the Creation process—to keep it simple, we’ll call them two different stories. Since we were not present for the event, we’re forced to accept either one story or the other—on faith.”

                Puzzled, Preston tilted his head.

“What is faith, anyway?”

  “Well now, faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true,”[1] Josiah Bianco said.

 shepherdboy               Folding his arms across his chest, Preston surveyed the surrounding hills and glimpsed a boy leading a few sheep. “Are you saying that everybody just blindly follows …” He paused. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend.”

                “No offense taken.”

                “Don’t worry,” Ben said. “We all have done the same thing.”

                “Really?”

                “Of course. It’s called academic freedom.”

  “Sure. Bring it on!” Allison took a sip out of her can of grape juice. “Only frauds and liars are afraid to answer questions.”

                “Why is Dr. Marlow so afraid of other points of view?” Nola asked.

                “He doesn’t want to lose the debate!” Allison interjected.

“Yes. Debate is an important part of academic freedom, but anyone can win an argument without teaching truth. A friendly discussion with free exchange of ideas is more effective in discovering truth.” Jacob chuckled. “However, when you prefer to control what others say and think, truth can get in your way.

   “Now that we are away from the university, we can actually look at more than one point of view! We will look at two stories of the Creation—one, in the Bible, and the other, Dr. Marlow’s version.”

                “The Bible version seems too simple,” Preston said.

                “Well, what is Dr. Marlow’s version called?” Nola inquired.

                “Dr. Marlow believes in a theory called Natural Selection which, simply put, proposes that everything somehow creates itself by chance,” Jacob replied.

                “That doesn’t make sense.” Nola frowned in disagreement. “The human body—and mind—are complicated. Something can’t be produced by nothing.[2] My experience has shown me that nothing worthwhile happens by chance. Everything takes work, and effort, and planning.

                “Yes, Nola. That’s why some scientists say that the Bible history discloses an intelligent design, a purpose, or an orderly plan.”

                “Aren’t Bible stories for children?” Preston wondered.

                “Men struggle to explain their philosophy. The Bible explains the Creation so a child can understand—so that parents can teach their children through the ages. Who is more intelligent?” Jacob shrugged. “Anyway, the important thing is, who is telling the truth—Man, or God?”

                “Can you just assume there is a God?”

Preston asked.

Jacob laughed. “We can look at some evidence. Where is evidence of chance?”

            No one answered for a moment.

            Josiah Bianco chortled. “Shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?” he quipped, quoting Isaiah.[1]

[1] Isaiah 29:16

“What about evidence of design?”

                “The ability to think, for one thing,” Allison said, “ …one of many.”

                “As I said, the human body,” Nola added, “and life itself. I know many very intelligent scientists and doctors, but no one can earimageduplicate an eye or an ear.”               

  Preston’s gaze rested momentarily upon Nola’s face—round blue eyes, delicate sculpted features like a work of art. “All right,” he said. “Let’s say God is the intelligent Creator. Couldn’t He have made man out of apes?”

“Of course, He could, but would He? He is a God of order. As Creator of earth and all living things, He set up the rules for justice and science. Why would He violate His own laws?”[3]

         “What do you mean?”

                “Okay, if the Bible is really a history, and if it is true that we humans are created in the image of God, how are we different from animals?”

                “We can reason, while animals use instinct,” Preston said. “You’ve already established that.”

teotihuacanserpent               “Humans can draw, read, and write,” Allison said. “I have yet to see an animal who could carve something like this creature.” She poked her finger into the big teeth of the dragon carving, but withdrew her hand quickly. “Yikes! I don’t think an animal would make something this weird, even if it could!”

Free Will

  Jacob grinned. “True. Also, you chose to come here today, others did not. Ruben left early; the rest of you stayed. What does that mean?”

                “People have the power to choose,” Ben said.

                “Yes, that’s called Free Will. We have no empirical evidence of such a thing, but let’s suppose we have here a creature who is half man and half ape—by whose laws would this creature live—by the laws of man or nature? You’re the law student here, Preston. What do you think?”

   “Uh …”

                “If the creature is half man, would it be fair to make him live like an animal? Or if he is half animal, and cannot reason fully as a man, would it be just to impose upon him the laws of men?”

                “This is really getting confusing!”

   “Yes, Preston, it is confusing. But when He had completed the creation, God blessed human beings and all living things to multiply, each after their own kind.[4] There is nothing confusing about that.”

                A flutter of wings announced the arrival of a dove which lit next to his mate upon a limb of the tall tree.

How Do You Know What Is True and Right?

“The human soul can never die. So you see, it is created, not evolved, because God is not the author of confusion.[5] Therefore, to avoid confusion, would you agree we need some kind of law to bring order and justice to our lives?”

                “Absolutely,” Preston said. “We must have justice.”

 KJV Bible              “Let’s think for a moment about the two kinds of laws—which law provides true justice? Dr. Marlow makes no distinction between humans and animals. His law is simple: those who are strong rule and prevail over everything and everyone else.” Jacob placed his right hand firmly upon the rock and continued. “The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”

“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly, in vigorous unison.

                “How do you know it’s wrong?”

                Jacob waited.

                “Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why … Somehow I just know that.”

compass liahona   “Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”

                “Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”

                “Yes. The Bible contains our true moral compass in writing. And that, Preston, is why the Bible matters.”

More About Birthright Covenant series

[1] Isaiah 29:16

[2] John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Great Books of the Western World, vol.35

[3] These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60

[4] Genesis 1:22,24

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:33

Critical Thinking: Moral Compass, Morality Definition

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Skills

Moral Compass, Morality Definition

September 2018 – After decades of being fed tolerance and relativism, people are less interested in discerning what they should believe and more compelled by why they should care about their beliefs. This is the premise from which author and apologist Josh McDowell wrote his latest book, Set Free to Choose Right.

The what of morality
“In this generation there is such emphasis on asking, not what is true, but how does it feel?” McDowell said in an interview at AFA*. “People used to say, ‘Prove to me it is true.’ Now you hear something more like, ‘What right do you have to say that?’”

This is brought to light in Set Free, which deals with teaching kids to make proper moral judgments, using a storyline that centers on a son and father teaming up together to conquer the issue of pornography addiction. McDowell chose pornography as the subject of his case study for a reason.

“When rating moral issues, 56% of Christian young people say not recycling is a moral issue. But only 32% say pornography is a moral issue,” McDowell said. “Almost all Christian kids and adults I meet say they know what is wrong and what is right, but I almost never find anyone, including pastors, who can explain to me why it is wrong or right.”

Why the Bible Matters

The why of morality
Communicating the rationale of moral judgments, as with the issue of pornography hashed out in Set Free, begins with properly understanding the Bible.

“If your only answer [to moral questions] is ‘the Bible says,’ or ‘the Bible says thou shall not,’ you’re teaching legalism,” McDowell said.

“Absolutely nothing is morally right or wrong because of the Bible, but because of the God of the Bible. The Bible was given to us that we might know God. We learn morality to understand the character of God.”

 

For example, McDowell described, faithfulness is moral because God is moral. Justice is moral because God is just. Lying is immoral because God is truth. Killing is immoral because God is life. The Bible reveals these attributes of God and the morality of practicing them in Christian living.

The Who of morality
“It’s so important that one of the first things we do is get to know who God is by His attributes, and then start relating that to others,” McDowell said. “That is why I wrote the book Set Free – to help people understand why things are right or wrong and how to communicate that to their children. Because if you don’t get to the issue of why something is wrong, you’re raising your children legalistically, and there’s no faster way to rob kids of their joy in Christ.”

McDowell added: “I cannot remember ever saying to one of my four children, ‘Because the Bible says,’ but instead, ‘Why does the Bible say that?’ Then I would explain about the person, nature, and character of God, and what the Bible says about Him. That is the difference between raising your children legalistically and raising them in relationship with God.”

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

 

Critical Thinking

church-state2-reaganChurch and State: Where do we draw the Line?

C .A. Davidson

The overall responsibility of our nation is to protect her citizens from foreign invasion and crimes against other citizens, and to uphold Constitutional law. We already have laws governing immigration and citizenship.

No matter what your religion, you are still subject to the laws of the land which are in place to protect civilized society. Most religions are generally peace-loving, abiding by moral laws based on the Ten Commandments. Other than Islam (and in some countries, atheism, which is also a religion), I don’t know of other religions which condone rape, murder, deceit, and the suppression of free speech.      American citizens have freedom of religion, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Churches can excommunicate a member for church-state1-madison-quoteimmoral conduct, but cannot put a person in prison. If someone commits a crime that endangers society, such as stealing or murder, it is no longer a Church issue—it becomes the jurisdiction of the State. That person is subject to the laws of the land, no matter what his religion. We have seen Christians put in prison for committing crimes. That is as it should be for Muslims as well, or for any other religion. The minute your religion violates another person’s life or property, it becomes political.

Furthermore, whereas citizens are required to abide by the law, illegal immigrants are already outside the law. The policy of Open Borders should not even be debatable, as it is inherently illegal.

In the following article, Ed Vitagliano does much to clarify the line between church and state, religion and politics.

Immigration: thinking biblically

Ed Vitagliano

bible-word-of-godAs we wrestle with such weighty matters, it is critical that Christians turn to Scripture for guidance as much as possible.

Some Christians believe the Bible is clear on these matters, citing Old Testament passages such as Leviticus 19:34: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God” (NIV).

From the New Testament, some Christians argue that the command to love your neighbor requires America – a so-called Christian nation – to help those in need.

However, if we are concerned with “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15*), here are some things to remember:

  1. Biblical passages that address individual Christians – or the church – don’t necessarily apply to governments.
    There is no doubt that Christ commanded Christians to be generous, to care for those in need, and to love our neighbor.

However, does this apply to government programs? May Christians who have the power to vote – as do those in the West – use that power to bring the government into the equation? Absolutely.

welfare-government-charity-madisonHowever, must Christians vote to do so? And if Christians do vote to do so, how much government activity should we demand? How much tax money should be allocated? What sort of programs must we call for? Food stamps only? Job training programs? Is there ever a time when someone should cease getting aid?

These questions are vexing, but here’s the problem: At this point the Bible ceases to be a guide.

Instead, at this point it becomes a matter of sound judgment, not biblical injunction. Christians, like everyone else, make their case in the public square and attempt to persuade others to join them.

Here is the principle: Biblically speaking, the government is not the same as the individual Christian, and it is not the same as the church. Therefore, believers must be careful not to apply to government Scriptures intended for the church.

For example, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

ImmigrationCriminalsSo, we must conclude that individual Christians are to forgive their enemies. But must we also conclude that governments should forgive their enemies? Must we demand that criminals convicted of crimes be released and not sent to prison?

The application of this principle is that individual Christians should help refugees who are in our nation. But the issue of who we allow in – and how many – is not a biblical matter. It is a political matter.

  1. Understanding the proper biblical function of government is critical to this debate.
    Many Christians fail to understand the purpose of government in a fallen world, and they act as if the matter is irrelevant to Christians focused on the eternal kingdom. But God has ordained government to serve His purposes on the earth as surely as He has ordained the church to carry out its assigned role.

Romans 13 makes plain the fact that governments derive their authority from God and are considered ministers or servants of Yahweh (vv. 1, 4). They help order human existence, represent the authority of God Himself, restrain evil, and reward good.

Therefore one must assume that a government has both the right and the responsibility before God to maintain order. Surely that would include providing for national borders – which might require restricting immigration and the flow of refugees across them.

More than Platitudes

trojan-horse-isisU.S. ever seem to wrestle with this matter. Invariably their responses are: “Yes, of course, the government should establish secure borders and enforce laws, but ….”

Such a proclamation is not helpful. In fact, it does not wrestle with the subtleties of the issue at all. A viable resolution requires more than platitudes.

We need these questions answered: Should a government allow every refugee who wants to enter the country to do so? No? Then exactly how should a government decide who and how many?

If a Christian insists that “love your neighbor” requires us (as a country) to accept, say, more Syrian refugees, then that Christian cannot restrict the refugee process at all. The moment a Christian says a government can be loving and restrict the refugee process, the Christian has then admitted that the political process must take place. In other words, the government must be allowed to do its job.

But if it does its job and restricts the refugee process, that Christian cannot argue that the country is no longer being loving. Why? Because the Bible does not quantify how many refugees a country must allow. Once again, that is a matter of sound judgment, rather than a biblical command.

  1. Old Testament passages dealing with immigration, refugees, or foreigners in Israel do not apply to our current political debates.
    It is clear that Old Testament passages (e.g., Leviticus 19:34) required God’s people to love and treat respectfully non-Jews who were living among them or passing through.

However, such verses merely assume that certain people would fall into those categories because transient peoples were common in the ancient world. Virtually all societies, and especially those in that part of the world – in the middle of major trade routes – were quite used to seeing trade caravans passing through and foreigners who stayed for a few months conducting business.

These biblical references instruct God’s people to treat lovingly those who were already passing through. The more likely parallel would be: How should Christians today treat legal immigrants who are in our midst?

  1. Passages that apply to Israel do not always apply to other nations like the U.S.
    It is probably safe to assume that Leviticus 19:34 requires Christians not only to help the foreigners already in their midst, but also to press their government to do likewise.

israel_flagSometimes the moral force behind a commandment given to Israel is universal in its application. But this is not always the case. Great care should be exercised when attempting to stretch a passage that might apply only to Israel and make it universally binding.

2 Chronicles 7:14 is a classic example of a promise made to Israel that evangelicals often stretch to apply to America – or some other nation.

There are certainly principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that should encourage American Christians to repent and pray and seek revival for their land. But it is not a covenant promise from God. He has not obligated Himself to save America as He obligated Himself to respond to the prayers of His people in the Old Testament.

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Vitagliano on this particular point. America is a choice land, with a Constitution created by men raised up by God for that purpose. References to Zion may even include America. Isaiah prophesied for all time, especially for our time. He said, “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3) God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He keeps His promises; He favors the righteous, but not any particular race. He has already blessed America greatly because of our Judeo-Christian culture. Why wouldn’t He honor, even empower, our efforts for a revival? ~C.D.

As the immigration debate demonstrates, there is nothing simple about trying to interpret the Bible in the often overheated atmosphere of the culture wars of 2015. If we are to sort out the implications of such issues, it will require that all of us in the body of Christ jump into the debate.

The worst thing we can do is to accuse our brothers and sisters of disobeying Christ or not loving their neighbors when we disagree. Unity in the body of Christ is imperative if we are to be the light He commands us to be.

*Unless otherwise noted, the New American Standard Version is used throughout this article.

Critical Thinking: Media Bias, Identity Politics, Mob Rule vs. Democracy Facts, Constitutional Republic

Critical Thinking:

Media Bias, Identity Politics, Mob Rule vs. Democracy Facts, Constitutional Republic

Rush Limbaugh

Media Bias against the Constitutional Republic

“The subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the framers.” Wait. What? “The subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the framers.” “Think the Constitution Will Save Us? Think Again.” That’s the headline to this piece. The subhead: “The subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the framers.” Now, that headline is designed to appeal to low-information, uninformed people, and the effect of that subheadline is to mean: Your vote doesn’t count!

The framers did not believe in full-fledged, open democracy because that’s majority rule. That’s why we set up a constitutional republic so that elected representatives represent swaths of people. But there is no direct democracy in the United States by design because it’s mob rule! A lot of people don’t understand this. They think that we are democracy. My favorite way of illustrating how we are not a democracy, is let’s say we have a group of five people. Three men… No! Three women and two men.

Democracy means Mob Rule

One of the three women makes a motion. “I motion that we put the two men in jail. Let’s have a vote.” The three women vote “yep;” the two men vote “no.” The two men lose, and they go to jail. That is a democracy. It’s pure mob rule. That’s what we don’t have. We have a representative republic. But these people writing this piece are not attempting to explain that. They’re trying to make you think that the framers of this country knew that elections and democracy needed to be subverted because we can’t trust the people.

The American government is structured by an 18th-century text that is almost impossible to change. These ills didn’t come about by accident; the subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the Constitution’s framers. For James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 10, ‘Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention’ incompatible with the rights of property owners.

“The byzantine Constitution he helped create serves as the foundation for a system of government that rules over people, rather than an evolving tool for popular self-government.” This is one of the greatest bastardizations of the Constitution I have encountered, and its purpose is to suggest to people on the left who religiously read the New York Times — and other low-information or uneducated people — that our Constitution actually thwarts the will of the people. That our Constitution subverts your having a say in the way your government is running because the founders — these rich white guys — didn’t trust you.

Identity Politics vs. Constitutional Republic

You, Miss African-American! You, Miss Puerto Rican. You, Mr. Whatever. You, minority here, there, and even some of you stupid white people. They didn’t trust you! All of this is designed to misrepresent the Constitution, the founding, and to try to convince people that a bunch of rich white guys set up a government where only they and their descendants would be in possession of true power.

And, as such, it has to be blown up. But the problem, they go on, is the Constitution is too hard to change. It’s just too hard to change! These guys are really, really smart, these rich white guys. We have to take drastic action! Now, they don’t actually get to the point of suggesting eliminating elections. That’s not gonna come immediately. But it’s where all of this is headed.

RUSH: Let me share with you just a couple more things from this op-ed piece in the New York Times, “Think the Constitution Will Save Us? Think Again. … There’s a reason we’re the only developed country without guarantees such as universal health care and paid maternity leave.” Yep, the Constitution! The rich white guys that founded the country. They are the reason. “While preserving and expanding the Bill of Rights’s incomplete safeguards of individual freedoms…” These people are so full of it. That’s…

They don’t even understand the brilliance of the document. “While preserving and expanding the Bill of Rights’s incomplete safeguards of individual freedoms, we need to start working toward the establishment of a new political system that truly represents Americans. … establishing federal control over elections and developing a simpler way to amend the Constitution through national referendum.”

Left seeks to Establish federal control over elections.

In their minds, that means establish liberal or leftist control over elections, and that will eventually lead to getting rid of them.

RUSH: Again, now, the two writers of this piece, Meagan Day and Bhaskar Sunkara, they close by saying, “As long as we think of our Constitution as a sacred document, instead of an outdated relic, we’ll have to deal with its anti-democratic consequences.”

The Founders did not want to Establish Mob Rule

So, ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution is the single undying idea, unifying idea that binds us together. And here’s the left, the American left believing the Constitution is divisive. This is why we can never agree. This is why there is never any common ground. I mean, if we’re gonna take a look at the Constitution, and they see it as a dying relic that is anti-democratic and — in fact, you know, they call it anti-democratic when it is, in the sense that the founders did not want to establish mob rule.

The founders didn’t want to establish a situation in the U.S. Senate where the senators from California could render the senators from Wyoming irrelevant on every vote, why even have a senator from Wyoming. That’s why they did it is to give equal representation to everybody in the country. And most of these people doing the complaining are minorities in one way or another.

And they don’t have the slightest understanding that the Constitution of the United States is the greatest document ever. The greatest document ever written codifying and underscoring the powers of people in the minority.

This is the lone document in the history of nations that has given and granted powers and representation to minorities, not to mention enumerating their right to free speech where the government cannot shut up them up, the government cannot tell them what they can and cannot say, the government cannot infringe on their liberty.

The Constitution protects Us against Mob Rule

The Constitution gives us the first 10 Amendments and the Bill of Rights so that even a unanimous vote in Congress is not enough to strip those God-given rights away because the rights enumerated in our Constitution don’t came from government; they come from God. It is a document for all time.

And the fact that the American left now wants to use it as a building block to begin this process of eliminating the role of elections because they simply can’t win every one of them — do not doubt me this is where we’re headed.

And I’ll take this a step further. When we talk about the left and their grievances, what really are they? Where are we at this stage in our culture and society with all of the division, the lack of unity, seemingly drifting further and further apart. In my mind, there is a single — well, it’s more complicated than this, but there’s a really good, primary reason for all of this. And I believe that it all began with the idea of multiculturalism, because that is what has led to identity politics.

Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson

The Canadian psychology professor’s stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline—and deeply vulnerable.

Evidence of the Left’s March Toward Ending Elections

Critical Thinking: Character Values vs. Political Correctness, Leftist Views, and Self Esteem

Critical Thinking:

Character Values vs. Political Correctness, Leftist Views, and Self Esteem

 

“Does it Do Good?” vs. “Does it Feel Good?”

Why socialist policies are so popular—but so harmful

 

keyThese [leftists] are using a technique that is as old as the human race,—a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over whom they thus gain mastery, and then enslave them. ~ David O. McKay

 

Dennis Prager

A fundamental difference between the left and right concerns how each assesses public policies. The right asks, “Does it do good?” The left asks a different question, [as shown in the following examples].

1) Minimum Wage

1987

The New York Times editorialized against any minimum wage. The title of the editorial said it all –“The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00”

redistsocialismillustrated              There’s a virtual consensus among economists,” wrote the Times editorial, “that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. …More important, it would increase unemployment … The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable—and fundamentally flawed.”

Why did the New York Times editorialize against the minimum wage? Because it asked the conservative question: “Does it do good?”

27 years later

The New York Times editorial page wrote the very opposite of what it had written in 1987, and called for a major increase in the minimum wage. In that time, the page had moved further left and was now preoccupied not with what does good—but with income inequality, which feels bad. It lamented the fact that a low hourly minimum wage had not “softened the hearts of its opponents”—Republicans and their supporters.

 

2) Affirmative Action

Study after study—and, even more important, common sense and facts—have shown the deleterious effects that race-based affirmative action have had on black students. Lowering college admissions standards for black applicants has ensured at least two awful results.

One is that more black students fail to graduate college—because they have too often been admitted to a college that demands more academic rigor than they were prepared for. Rather than attend a school that matches their skills, a school where they might thrive, they fail at a school where they are over-matched.

The other result is that many, if not most, black students feel a dark cloud hanging over them. They suspect that other students wonder whether they, the black students, were admitted into the college on merit or because standards were lowered.

It would seem that the last question supporters of race-based affirmative action ask is, “Does it do good?”

 

3) Pacifism

reagan-peace-strengthThe left has a soft spot for pacifism—the belief that killing another human being is always immoral [unless it is killing unborn babies]. Not all leftists are pacifists, but pacifism emanates from the left, and just about all leftists support “peace activism,” … and whatever else contains the word “peace.”

The right, on the other hand, while just as desirous of peace as the left—what conservative parent wants their child to die in battle?—knows that pacifism and most “peace activists” increase the chances of war, not peace.

Nothing guarantees the triumph of evil like refusing to fight it. Great evil is therefore never defeated by peace activists, but by superior military might. The Allied victory in World War II is an obvious example. American military might likewise contained and ultimately ended Soviet communism.

reagan-quote-appeasement               Supporters of pacifism, peace studies, American nuclear disarmament, American military withdrawal form countries ins which it has fought—Iraq is the most recent example—do not ask, “Does it do good?”

Did the withdrawal of America from Iraq do good? Of course not. It only led to the rise of Islamic State with its mass murder and torture.

 

                So, then, if in assessing what public policies to pursue, conservatives ask “Does it do good?” what question do liberals ask? The answer is, “Does it make people—including myself—feel good?”

Why do liberals support a higher minimum wage if doesn’t do good? Because intakes the recipients of the higher wage feel good (even if other workers lose their jobs when restaurants and other businesses that cannot afford the higher wage close down) and it makes liberals feel good about themselves: “We liberals, unlike conservatives, have soft hearts.”

Why do liberals support race-based affirmative action? For the same reasons. It makes the recipients feel good when they are admitted to more prestigious colleges. And it makes liberals feel good about themselves for appearing to right the wrongs of historical racism.

The same holds true for left-wing peace activism: Supporting “peace” rather than the military makes liberals feel good about themselves.

narcissismThe Folly of the Self-Esteem Movement

Perhaps the best example is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good.

And feelings—not reason—is what liberalism is largely about. Reason asks: “Does it do good?” Liberalism asks, “Does it feel good?”

 

Critical Thinking: Freedom of Conscience Definition Changes Affect First Amendment Rights—History Timeline

Critical Thinking

History Timeline

Freedom of Conscience Definition—Changes Affect First Amendment Rights

We do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men. . .the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience. We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. ~D&C 134:4

Update: Winning—SCOTUS ruled in favor of Freedom of Conscience in  case of Christian baker

David Barton

If Americans want to see a return to the historical understanding of the rights of conscience, it will begin with disciplined study and learning. That learning must then be applied and exercised. Those applications and exercises will have to be defended. And when this generation has done all this, they will have to teach the next generation to study, exercise, and defend their right to conscience anew.  

 

Alert! History Timeline shows how Changes Affect First Amendment Rights

Note the narrowed definition, and consequently the assumed narrowed protection of our liberty. ~C.D.

“We have to be careful to define terms here, and unpopular isn’t the best word. Freedom of conscience is not the idea that it is the government’s responsibility to protect minority dissenting ideas from the majority.” ~David Barton

 

  • “In the 1700-1800s, we never talked about freedom of religion,” Barton said. “We always talked about freedom of conscience.”
  • In the 1900s and 2000s, the language changed to freedom of religion.
  • In the 21st century, we are changing it to freedom of worship.

“Each one of these is a smaller subset of the bigger one. Freedom of conscience is the biggest one of all and that is what the First Amendment protects.”

 

Heart of Liberty Is Freedom of Conscience

Teddy James

Report with quotes by David Barton

The first step to restoring freedom of conscience in America is to learn about it. ~Teddy James

“We have to be careful to define terms here, and unpopular isn’t the best word. Freedom of conscience is not the idea that it is the government’s responsibility to protect minority dissenting ideas from the majority.” ~David Barton

 

A critical difference in Understanding Freedom of Conscience Definition

 

Many mistakenly believe freedom of conscience primarily exists to protect people with unpopular beliefs. David Barton said this understanding can be dangerous and lead to harmful court rulings and public policies.

Barton said to look no further than Engle v. Vitale, the 1962 case that removed prayer from school. It was believed the 3% of Americans who were atheists needed to be protected from the 96% who held to praying faiths. That is not to mention the 30 states with laws protecting traditional marriage being overruled by the Supreme Court due to 2.6% of the population being homosexual.

“You have to be careful where you draw the line,” Barton said. “Freedom of conscience is not about unpopular belief, but solely about beliefs that are not to be limited by civil government.”

Even though the government has crept across its jurisdictional lines for generations, hope is far from lost.

The first step to restoring freedom of conscience in America is to learn about it.

“Knowing what the rights of conscience are will affect what you do and what types of policies you tolerate,” Barton said. “When you know the rights of conscience, what they encompass and what they don’t, you are prepared not only to defend them, but also practice and assert them.”

How to teach Freedom of Conscience and Impart Biblical Values to Youth

To learn about the rights of conscience, Barton said, “The old history books are exceptionally good. They describe the purpose and application of those rights with clarity and approachability.” (See below.)

Reading the old books is important. Modern books focus on freedom of religion instead of freedom of conscience. While it seems subtle, there are real differences. 

”The Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth” by Currier and Ives

July 2018 – In recent decades, religious liberty has captured headlines on every Christian and conservative platform. Governments of all levels have ignored their God-ordained jurisdictions to bombard America with anti-Christian rulings – all in the name of equality, tolerance, and freedom.

Ironically, a battle over religious liberty would have been foreign to American colonists and the Founding Fathers. Their battles were over the broader category of freedom of conscience.

History of freedom of conscience

America did not plant the tree of the freedom of conscience. However, America is one of the earliest and largest fruits from that tree.

“To understand freedom of conscience, we have to go back a lot further than America,” David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, told AFA Journal. “We must look to John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and the like. But to understand them, we have to go back to 391 AD.”

The setting is Rome, and Emperor Theodosius is ruling over a unified eastern and western Roman Empire. He would be the last to do so.

Theodosius, a Christian, declares everyone under his domain would either be Christian or be executed.

Even though the Roman Empire split after his reign, the unified church and state continued.

“For the next one thousand years, governments told people what doctrines they could believe and practice,” Barton said. “One emperor went so far as to create a crown that would fit over the clerical hat of the era. He literally wore both hats at the same time.”

Fast-forward to 1517 and a group of Christians began challenging the status quo. Historians would call this the Protestant Reformation.

“During the Reformation,” Barton said, “leaders advocated that the state and the church should be two entities. Dividing the two, it was argued, would restore the rights of conscience and rebuild the voluntarism of Christianity.”

The Protestant Reformation reached England when King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife and the Pope wouldn’t allow it. Henry split from Rome and established the Church of England with himself as its supreme leader. Pilgrims and Puritans objected to this power grab on theological grounds, stating Jesus Christ is the only leader of the church.

The result was the crown persecuting the dissenters, leaving them no choice but to find new homelands.

 

Jurisdictions of freedom of conscience


On the shores of the New World, freedom was strengthened, but still faced obstacles.

“The Pilgrims and Puritans held separate elections for civil and religious offices, recognizing the separation of church and state,” Barton said. “But there were Puritan colonies that did not honor the freedom of conscience.”

Massachusetts, a Puritan colony, required members to believe and practice Puritan doctrines. If a person believed differently, he was free to do so, but must live somewhere else.

Roger Williams, a Puritan minister, did believe differently and was forced to leave the colony. Subsequently, he founded Rhode Island.

“But Roger Williams is just one chapter in a very long book,” Barton said. “In America alone, it includes the establishment of Maryland, New Hampshire, and parts of Connecticut.”

These colonies held to the idea that government existed to protect the rights and liberty of its people, not to guide their religious beliefs and practices. That was the distinct and special role of churches.

“Nothing is secular,” Barton said, “but there are [secular and religious] jurisdictions. The temple is not to run the sword because God gave the sword of justice to government.”

That is not to say someone should get away with just any outrageous thing and claim freedom of conscience.

“Every colony had a provision in regards to rights of conscience. Individuals could not use rights of conscience for licentiousness,” Barton said.

 “In other words, people did not have the right to have fourteen wives, physically harm others, or undermine the morals of the state.”

The divide between church and state was strong and stable; they had a symbiotic relationship. The modern era has seen a shrinking of that divide and a weakening of the relationship.

 

Assault on Freedom of Conscience


Update: Winning—SCOTUS ruled in favor of Freedom of Conscience on this case

“Right now the American government is crossing jurisdictional lines across the country,” Barton said. “It is crossing into territory God ordained for the church, claiming it is within its jurisdiction to tell Christians what they must believe and do. Bakers must bake cakes for ceremonies that would violate their consciences. The same goes for photographers’ and florists’ [services].”

 

 

Culture Wars: Jesus, Charity Organizations, and Role of Government

Culture Wars—

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Jesus, Charity Organizations, and Role of Government

My Questions on Jesus and Charity

Rush Limbaugh

Jesus-question-charityRUSH:  Ladies and gentlemen, I have a question, maybe a couple of questions here, and I ask these questions simply because I would like the answers.  And these questions derive from what I have heard on television today during our obscene profit time-outs here. I very rarely do this, but I turned the audio up, I actually listened, and I’ve caught a couple of guests on Fox and they’ve been asked, “Are you aware that people like Rush Limbaugh are calling the pope Marxist?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, we’re aware of that, and the pope is clearly aware of it, too, but like the pope said on the plane yesterday, he’s not a leftist.  It’s just a misinterpretation.”  And this one guest said, “There’s nothing liberal about the pope. He’s just a good Catholic.” He started rattling off charity and concern and all these other things that define Christianity and said that’s all the pope is.

Okay, so I have a question, because this seems to be a major point of contention.  I have long maintained that whenever it happened in our welfare state, and we could probably find this with enough deep research.  When welfare became or started to become categorized as charity is when liberalism began to be attractive to churches.  Churches quite naturally are big on charity both as recipients for distribution and donors.  They do both sides.

So along comes this pope now and his not apologists, but the people translating for him or explaining, interpreting, “Oh, no, no, no, this ideological, pope is not liberal, no, no, no, no, no.  Don’t be so silly.  Don’t be so foolish.  Don’t be so small-minded.  He’s simply a Catholic, simply Christian, this is what Christians and Catholics do.”  And then, “It’s what Jesus did, simply what Jesus did.”  So my question is this.  I need some legitimate help on this.  I know that Jesus preached charity.  Did Jesus tell people to give their money to the Romans so that the Romans could then distribute it?

In other words, did Jesus tell people to give their money to whatever governing entity there was, or entities there were at the time, or did he preach charity as an individual thing?  In other words, was Jesus a big-government charitable advocate?  It seems to me that it might have been the opposite, that Jesus had some problems with governments.

These are just open-ended questions to which I’m asking if people have the answer.

These are not rhetorical questions.

welfare-government-charity-madisonWell, I don’t think there’s anything offensive about these questions.  One, I’m trying to understand, because it’s come up today.  One of the undeniable truths in our culture is that the modern day Democrat Party does not like religion.  They don’t like Christianity.  That’s not even arguable.  (interruption)  Well, certain big government didn’t like Jesus, but my point is when it comes to chair, the pope seems to be advocating that governments need to do all of these big things, and our interpreters on TV are saying, “Yep, that’s what Jesus did.”

Is that right?  I am not a theologian.  I have never used this program to preach or proselytize.  As you well know, I don’t go into any of these arguments. Faith is a deeply personal, private thing. That’s why I don’t even condone arguments about it on this program, so I’m just asking here.  (interruption)  No, I’m not asking if… (interruption)  When Jesus told people to be charitable, was he telling them to pay higher taxes and let the Romans take care of it?  (interruption)  He wasn’t, right?  The Romans ran the show. 

I mean, the Romans were the government then.  They were the federal government.  There might have been some local pretenders and so forth, but that’s all I’m asking.  He said render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but he also then had a qualifier after that which made it clear that Caesar was not entitled to everything.  I mean, you can interpret it, “Yeah, pay your fair tax and get the hell out of Dodge.”  But this is why I’m asking the question, because it’s being interpreted today.  The left — I find this fascinating.  The left, which does not hold any really great love for the Catholic Church or organized religion at all is now all of a sudden trying to portray themselves as Christ-like. 

And it’s all in the name of big government, all in the name of trying to portray now what the Democrat Party’s doing, the American left is doing as Christ-like, taking advantage of the visit of the pope in order to create that impression with people.

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Critical Thinking: Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture

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Critical Thinking Skills: Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture Worldview: What is Yours? Stacey Long American Family Association “I grew up in a Christian home and made a profession of faith at a very young age, but when I got to … Continue reading