Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's All About Race


The intelligentsia in the media can decide what to emphasize, what to downplay and what to ignore entirely when it comes to race. (Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Race, p. 4) 

As I write this, the trial of the decade seems to be concluded. I’m speaking of course about the very public, racially charged hearing of Paula Deen. Despite her excruciating-to-watch mea culpa, she has been found guilty of breaking a longstanding blasphemy law (I dare not mention which one); for which there is no forgiveness or mercy. 

Also as I write this, another racially charged ordeal has drawn to a close: The George Zimmerman trial. There are basically two reasons why this case is a national, nay international, event.  

First, it is the rare scenario of a white guy shooting and killing a black guy. This is right in the news media’s wheelhouse! (“Black guys shooting white guys” is hardly newsworthy and “black guys shooting black guys” is simply a taste of Chicago.) 

Now, when I say “white guy” I mean a Hispanic man with a white sounding name. (Yes, in the grey of twilight I’m sure George Zimmerman looked exactly like a “creepy-ass cracker” but in the light of day—not so much.) 

Second, President Obama inexplicably took it upon himself to declare, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” I rarely say this of Obama, but I think he’s actually telling the truth here. (After all he does have two very non-hypothetical daughters and both of them are uncannily black.)  

Later that same evening, at a cocktail party, Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor announced if she had a son—he’d look like George Zimmerman. Not to be outdone, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejoined, “If I had a son he’d look like Monica Lewinsky.” 

(I say these things of Sotomayor and Clinton in jest. But Obama’s incendiary and irresponsible statement is as real as it is stupid.)
 
Naturally, the media’s and the President’s prejudices—combined with the usual race-baiters and hustlers—have propelled this local tragedy into the world’s spotlight. But here’s the thing: Once in the spotlight, it’s hard to just walk away when the “show is over.” 

Hence the trial is over but the show must go on!  

But is this never ending, mind-numbing theater of the absurd (framed in terms of the metanarrative of “white guilt and the victimization of people of color”) more about justice or race? The answer is clear, isn’t it? 

It’s all about race.  

Race is more than a biological category or a social category. It has become an industry, with its own infrastructure, branches, incentives and agendas. . . . Despite the wide variety of occupations in the race industry, there are commonalities in their underlying visions and agendas. Central . . . is the presumption that economic lags, educational deficiencies or even high crime rates among the respective groups they represent are due to the failings of others. (Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Race, p. 128) 

Race is an industry. But should it be? 

In God’s word we find wisdom for matters of race: 

He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dewllings . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek . . . you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Acts 17:26; Galatians 3:28) 

Whereas the humanistic myth of multiculturalism only serves to exacerbate racial tensions; the answer for our unity and diversity is found in scripture. In Christ and in Him alone, we find an integration point sufficient for our fragmentation and brokenness. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Glorious Gospel of Me


As opposed to being told by someone where you'll end up if you don't become a Christian, wouldn't it be more meaningful to hear about how God loves you no matter what you think you've done and that God has been pursuing you to enrich your life and transform you into an unstoppable force for good in the world? 

The above interrogative (what we call a statement in the form of a question) was written to me in response to my article, “No Atheists In Hell.”  

Below is my answer. May God add His blessing to your reading. 

**************************** 

You are confusing the point of the article. (I have a very specific, narrow point.) The article isn’t about evangelistic methodology. The article deals exclusively with the accusation that Christians who speak of hell are engaging in psychological manipulation, with nefarious motives (a hasty generalization lacking evidence). I am demonstrating that such isn’t the case. This is the whole point of the piece.
 
You ask: “wouldn't it be more meaningful to hear about how God loves you no matter what you think you've done and that God has been pursuing you to enrich your life and transform you into an unstoppable force for good in the world? 

No. What you just presented isn’t even close to the Gospel. A person could believe every word you just said and die in his sins. Your entire focus is on the sinner and how wonderful he is. (If this is the Christian message, why must the Church endure persecution? Who doesn’t want to be told such things?) A presentation such as yours would never encourage genuine repentance.  

The Gospel, however, is about Jesus Christ: Who He is and what He’s done for His people. The Gospel isn’t about the greatness of sinners. The Gospel is about the Grace of God in Christ saving sinners. The Gospel is the good news that though we are sinners Christ has lived the perfect life and died an atoning death in the place of sinners; procuring for sinners everlasting life. 

We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord” (2Cor 4:5). 

Here’s my challenge to you: Read all of the sermons preached by the Apostles in the New Testament book called “The Acts of the Apostles.” These men preached Christ. Pattern your message after them, not Joel Osteen.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Birthday 'Merca!


Without a full practical recognition of the rights and sovereignty of the States, our union and liberty must perish. ~John C. Calhoun 

As Independence Day quickly approaches, I cannot but wonder if the founders of our nation would find more cause for lamentation than celebration. It seems to me that we are but a shadow of the Republic they sought to establish. 

Without question we are freer than folks in other countries and for this we can and we should be thankful. But are we as free as our forebears? What happened to liberty?  

There are many answers to such a query, but soberly contemplate the consequence of our Civil War: 

The character of the American state had changed almost overnight, from one established by the founding fathers whose primary responsibility was protecting the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, to an expansionist, imperialistic power that was more willing than ever to trample on individual rights and abandon the Constitution to achieve these ends. . . . Perhaps the biggest cost of Lincoln’s war was the virtual destruction of states’ rights, but the significance of this seems lost on most Americans. (Thomas DiLorenzo, “The Real Lincoln,” p.p. 223, 264) 

The centralizing, coercive genie was and is out of the bottle. The repressive precedents then are the established practices now: the scandal that is Washington DC, the incessant erosion of civil liberties, the unending undeclared wars, the soul-crushing nanny-police state, and on and on. 

Who can deny these things? 

We often speak of individual liberty but here we are addressing the idea that individual liberty is best preserved or maintained when governance is localized. That is, the concept of states’ rights is crucial to individual freedom. 

Thus we ask: Are we truly a union of sovereign states? Not really. Our states are scarcely states—much less sovereign. The states of the United States are more akin to “districts.” That is they are wholly subservient to the Federal government. They do what the Federal government allows or commands and nothing more.  

We’ve morphed from the united States to the United states. 

This transformation is precisely what Woodrow Wilson praised as progress,  

The War between the States established . . . this principle, that the federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its own powers.

In other words, the only check on the Federal government is the Federal government. For those unsure of this, consider the following. 

In 1973 the Supreme Court—Roe v. Wade—unilaterally struck down laws in every state which prohibited murdering preborn babies. Last year the Supremes stuck their thumb in the eyes of 28 states who desired to overturn Obamacare.  

This year they denied Arizona the right to require proof of citizenship when registering Arizonans to vote. And now, in regards to gay marriage, the Supreme Court has tipped its hand on eventually imposing its will on every state in the union (by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8). 

As Forrest McDonald has noted, one consequence of the war [the Civil War] was that the Supreme Court became "the sole and final arbiter of constitutional controversies." (Thomas DiLorenzo, “The Real Lincoln,” p. 293) 

Yes, indeed. “Constitutional controversies” and other controversies it seems! 

To be sure, we’re thankful to be Americans. And we’re going to enjoy the 4th of July. But if we’re going to patriotically belt out “o’er the la-and of the freeeeee…” we’ll need to cover more than our hearts. We’d better cover our eyes as well.