Erasing the Old Testament (2)

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Robert Zünd, Gang nach Emmaus 1877

The Founding Scriptures of Christianity: The Old Testament

I am regularly dumfounded by the aggressive behavior of people in the Christian community who seek to erase the Old Testament.  One key aspect of this dynamic is their claim that only (or primarily) the New Testament accurately contains the doctrines appropriate for Christian life.

This absurd canard can be demolished in multiple ways, but the first unassailable point is this:  The New Testament didn’t exist as an authoritative collection of writings until the second century A.D., as is explained by F.F. Bruce.

The first steps in the formation of a canon of authoritative Christian books, worthy to stand beside the Old Testament canon, which was the Bible of our Lord and His apostles, appear to have been taken about the beginning of the second century, when there is evidence for the circulation of two collections of Christian writings in the Church.

At a very early date it appears that the four Gospels were united in one collection. They must have been brought together very soon after the writing of the Gospel according to John. This fourfold collection was known originally as ‘The Gospel’ in the singular, not ‘The Gospels’ in the plural; there was only one Gospel, narrated in four records, distinguished as ‘according to Matthew,’ ‘according to Mark,’ and so on. About AD 115 Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, refers to ‘The Gospel’ as an authoritative writing, and as he knew more than one of the four ‘Gospels’ it may well be that by ‘The Gospel’ he means the fourfold collection which went by that name.

Thus, though the Books that would eventually comprise the New Testament were individually written between 40 and 100 A.D., their incorporation into the Christian Canon of Scripture didn’t even begin until after 115 A.D. at the earliest.

Thus by even the most generous accounting it is by the Scriptures of the Old Testament that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was proclaimed for the first 100 years after His resurrection.

This fact demolishes claims of the “New Testament” church.  In fact when we actually read the New Testament we find Jesus Christ and His Apostles using the Old Testament as the authoritative Scriptural basis for the Gospel.  Yes, the Apostles also quote Christ, but this authoritative source was at that time based on a carefully preserved oral tradition and perhaps a written list of “the sayings of Jesus.”

However, it is Jesus Christ Himself who used the Scriptures of the Old Testament as the authoritative source for His Gospel, culminating with the Risen Lord’s words on the Road to Emmaus.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.  (Luke 24:25-27)

Thus it was by the Old Testament Scriptures that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was proclaimed to the pagan Roman world.  And, by these Scriptures the Christian Church experienced sustained, explosive growth.

And yet, in this appalling ignorance or worse the “New Testament Christians” claim that the Old Testament is unreliable as God’s Word and unsuitable as a source of Christian doctrine.

Erasing the Old Testament (1)

torah-scrollIntroduction

I suspect most Christians would agree that there are portions of the Old Testament that are so culturally foreign, disturbing and/or confusing that they resist easy incorporation into our Christian worldview. And, any person or church that demands we ignore these issues either lacks the confidence or intellectual honesty necessary to pursue a robust, deep Christian faith.

However, once we admit the existence of these difficulties the nature of the next step is critical. In some cases that next step is to diminish or even disqualify the Old Testament as God’s Word. This error can be seen in some churches who designate themselves as “New Testament,” thus implicitly disassociating themselves from the Old Testament. We also see this error in churches where they make an erroneous distinction between the New Testament of “love and grace” and the Old Testament of “violence and judgement,” thereby diminishing the authority of the Old Testament.

In both cases the apparent goal is to sever the connection between Old and New Testaments, leaving only the teaching of the New as authoritatively Christian. However, it is only by Biblical ignorance and/or theological dishonesty that these strategies prosper.

When Jesus mentioned the Scriptures He was talking about the Old Testament that had existed as God’s written Word for centuries within the Jewish community. He treated Scripture (Old Testament) as God’s authoritative Word. He quoted and accepted as true Old Testament books from Genesis to the Minor Prophets. Yes in some cases He corrected the contemporary interpretation of the Old Testament, but there is no doubt that He accepted it to be Scripture.

Although the above argument may be affirmed, there is sometimes the lingering assumption that by focusing only on Jesus’ teaching we can avoid the difficulties found in the Old Testament. In particular, it is assumed that “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” has preserved only the Old Testament’s parts that conform to the contemporary virtues of inclusiveness, non-violence and non-judgement. For starters  two examples may suffice to make the point.

  1. Jesus affirmed Old Testament passages that teach exclusiveness (e.g., marriage is between a man and a woman, see Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
  2. Jesus used Old Testament stories about God’s past violent judgement (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:1-29; Matthew 10:15, Luke 10:12; 17:29) to illuminate His future judgement.

So, yes we can affirm that there are parts of the Old (and New) Testament that are confusing and/or disturbing. These passages must not be “written out” of the Bible nor used to discredit the Testament. In most cases we can attain reliable resolution of these issues. For those cases where explanations elude us we must yet trust that God has placed them in His Word for our good.

iBooks Publish Announcement: God’s Acts of Providence

I have published my third eBook on iBooks.  If you have an iOS device then you can use this link to access.  If you do not use an iOS device, a PDF version can be found on my blog using this link.

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God’s Acts of Providence

The Christian doctrines associated with God’s providential acts have fallen so out of favor that their rehabilitation seems unlikely.  And yet if these doctrines are found to be true then there is no alternative but to make the attempt.  I am here seeking to reintroduce providential doctrine through examination of its practical working out in the lives of frail human flesh and blood.  By so doing they can be transformed from stiff, abstract concepts into humane, living precepts through which we can grow more deeply in love with the Triune God.  We can also begin to recapture the Christian confidence that no matter the darkness our great God is yet in control, working out His plan to ultimately redeem this fallen world.  And that God has chosen in sovereign mercy to incorporate our lives and associated wills into this great work of redemption.

Full Preface

The Christian doctrines associated with God’s providential acts have fallen so out of favor that their rehabilitation seems unlikely.  And yet if these doctrines are found to be true then there is no alternative but to make the attempt.  As I believe that they are indeed true, this work seeks to rediscover and reinstate these doctrines within Christian belief.

However, it will be difficult to deliver a compelling case if no account is taken as to just why these doctrines have fallen into disfavor.  The reason assumed by many orthodox Reformed believers is that they so bruise human pride that they fall onto deaf ears.  While there is great truth in this explanation it falls far short of completeness.

A second, and equally debilitating problem is the way that Reformed theologians have discussed these doctrines.  Far too often there is such an overwhelming emphasis placed on God’s sovereignty that we frail humans seem to disappear.  Christian believers are thus abandoned to figure out for themselves how they fit into God’s providential economy.  And, particularly in this case, the lack of clear, compelling theological guidance leaves believers vulnerable to the siren song of works-based salvation theology.

Finally, there is a temptation towards pride for those who have accepted the orthodox Reformed doctrinal positions.  That being, they come to believe that their minority status is a consequence of their intellectual achievement of having discerned God’s truth in Scripture.  Yes, the temptation of pride is universal.  However, for the orthodox Reformed it is particularly discrediting.  This is because the central consequences for humans who have been saved only by God’s mercy are humility and thankfulness.  So, when Christians see the exact opposite the result is usually rejection.

How then to rediscover and explain God’s acts of providence?  The only authoritative resource from which to work is God’s Word.  However, to simply reexamine the relevant Bible verses in isolation would surely be a superfluous exercise.

But there is another way.  If God’s providential engagement is true, then we would expect to find evidence of its operation deeply embedded throughout all Scripture.  That is, although there are indeed many passages that explicitly teach providential doctrines, they should also be revealed by God’s character as He engages with the world in general, and human beings in particular.

I have found this to be true, and here am seeking to reintroduce providential doctrine through detailed, sustained examination of its practical working out in the lives of frail human flesh and blood.  Although there are dozens of compelling cases I have chosen three:

  1. Abraham and Sarah (The Chief End of Man)
  2. The birth of Christ’s Church (The Church Invisible)
  3. The creation of the Apostle Paul (Effectual Calling)

Clearly much of the material in these stories is not directly related to providence.  However, the providential engagement of God undergirds the narratives and regularly breaks out into clear view.

By this means I contend that the argument can be advanced inoculated from the temptations previously discussed.  For example it is virtually impossible to lose sight of the human side of these engagements when the protagonists are so deeply, humanely and intimately treated.  Nor are we likely to fall into elitism when confronted with the harsh realities and heroic faith exhibited by these humble servants of God.

But the primary advantage is the opportunity to observe these admittedly difficult doctrines being weaved into the lives of real people.  By so doing they can be transformed from stiff, abstract concepts into humane, living precepts through which we can grow more deeply in love with the Triune God.  We can also begin to recapture the Christian confidence that no matter the darkness or danger our great God is yet in control, working out His plan to ultimately redeem this fallen world.  And that God has chosen in sovereign mercy to incorporate our lives and associated wills into this great work of redemption.

In Meditations on God’s Providence I will explicitly discuss doctrine.  My hope is that this meditation will be organically supported by the previous three examinations of the relationships between God and His chosen people.

Only the reader can judge the extent of my success.  However, even though I will surely fall far short of the mark, it’s my hope that others with greater knowledge and skill will recognize an alternative strategy by which core Christian doctrines can be reintroduced, explained and integrated into Christian life.

Make no mistake, the need for this work is great and growing.

Protecting Conservatism from Fascism

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Dear Lord, here’s a picture of Trump and Hitler together…it must be true then that we’re on our way to fascism!

As I’m sure all of my Conservative friends are well aware, Progressives live in terror of

Bushitler

If only we Conservatives had spoken up forcefully against the possibility of a Bushitler we wouldn’t have such political division today!

our incipient fall into fascism.  We have seen this fright for every Republican who has run for or won the Presidency since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Given this powerful Progressive fear we must do everything in our power to convince them that we will be vigilant for even the smallest move towards fascism in the Trump Administration.  With this goal in mind I propose that we use the following items as a template to identify and oppose any practical steps towards a fascist regime.

  • The IRS, the most feared department in the U.S. government, is used to harass, demoralize and delay citizen groups seeking to exercise their Constitutional right of free political speech.
  • The Justice Department uses an unverified political opposition research document from one political candidate’s campaign to obtain a secret warrant to spy on the other candidate’s campaign during an election.
  • The FBI’s top leadership and investigators intervene in an election on the side of one candidate to discredit the other.
  • A Special Prosecutor’s office is created by bureaucrats appointed by a previous administration not to investigate a publicly defined potential crime, but rather to search for a crime (i.e., “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.“).  That office uses its virtually unlimited power to capriciously destroy the lives of individuals from one political party for “process crimes” (e.g., claims that they lied to the FBI or Congress) while utterly ignoring these same crimes in the other political party.
  • The nation’s spy agencies, the CIA, NSA, etc. are used to spy on not just American citizens (totally illegal), but also one political party’s campaign (anti-democratic and also totally illegal).  They also, when the wrong party wins, massively leak sensitive national intelligence information to discredit the new President.
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The Progressives are so anti-fascist (Antifa) that they dress in black, rampage through the streets destroying property and beat up anyone who gets in their way.  Surely no fascist impulse could enter such pure hearts!

Although there are many other sure tells that a Presidential Administration is moving towards fascism, the above five are likely the most obvious.  Please my fellow Conservatives, be eternally vigilant for the smallest sign that these crimes against freedom and democracy are beginning to occur.  And if they do, speak out immediately and loudly to reassure our Progressive fellows of our good intentions.

Now, some of the more narrow-minded than most Conservatives may complain that I’m only asking them to be on guard against the fascist menace.  Why, they will ask, not include Progressives in this warning?  I do not because by virtue of their claimed moral superiority (for they tell me so every day and in every way) and their clear hatred of fascism it is absolutely unthinkable that a Progressive Administration would even consider taking such actions, let alone actually doing so.

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Utopia, here we come!

If we show our Progressive betters how deeply we agree with them that every Republican candidate and administration is an incipient fascist threat then I’m certain that they will become less paranoid and irrational.  Then we will finally have peace and fellowship with all our comrades as we shout in unison “I love Big Brother!”

I beg you, Conservatives, heed this warning before it’s too late!

A Reckoning for Progressive Anti-Semitism? (5)

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Intersectionality: A blueprint for hierarchical victimhood.

Why the Women’s March Leadership Thought They Could Get Away with It

The Women’s March movement was built upon a highly idealistic foundation.  That idealism is perhaps best conveyed by this quote:

“In our first leadership meetings, we envisioned building the Women’s March as a flat structure with no one single leader, and inclusive of all voices,” Wruble recalled. “I was hoping through that, through working together, we could forge real relationships across different races, religions, and cultures. We could be the adults in the room after men—the patriarchy—had, quite frankly, completely screwed this country up.”

It was also highly ideological, with Intersectionalism as a core belief (emphasis added):

In an email to Tablet the Women’s March wrote:

Women’s March models intersectional leadership through our organizing work, which includes 200 women who worked on the conveners table, 500 partners, 24 women involved in developing the Unity Principles—including some of the folks who are expressing concern now.

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Intersectionalism: The Unified Theory of oppression.

I think that the idealism ended up cutting both ways.  On the one hand the membership’s determination to be utterly inclusive and non-judgmental created the opportunity for people with bigoted beliefs to rise to top leadership.  On the other hand, when these leaders began to publicly associate with and positively affirm the bigotry of Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam that same idealism created a powerful backlash.  This quote from the Tablet article sums up the situation.  Note that Breem says that Farrakhan is “against everything” they believe in, which certainly includes but is not limited to his anti-Semitism.

“Many of us were upset,” Beem told Tablet. “She is the face of a women’s march, and our mission and values are equality and inclusion. To openly praise someone like this went against everything we were supposed to stand by.” Beem described a sense of awkwardness as Mallory went on to defend Farrakhan to over 40 women on the call. And she wasn’t alone, Beem said; Perez and Bland jumped in to defend him as well.

But the question remains as to just why Tamika Mallory believed that she could identify so completely with Louis Farrakhan and why two other leaders so openly supported her.

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Only when “white women” learn to shut each other up can they earn a voice at the Intersectional table!

I think that the answer is to be found in the hierarchy of victimhood that resides at the center of Intersectional theory. Tamika Mallory is a black woman, thus occupying the top two victimhood categories in Intersectionalism.  This sense of identity had provided her with a protective cloak in the Progressive movement.  That is, by virtue of her identity with the victim groups of blacks and women, to criticize her was indistinguishable from criticizing the black race and the female gender.  And, when “white women” criticized her they were exhibiting “white supremacy,” not a valid concern (see her Tweet at the right). We can easily see this attitude by reviewing the leadership’s responses to criticism from within the Women’s March organization.

“The response that gives them the most sympathy is ‘This is white women trying to come out against women of color,’” said Morganfield. “The context is always, ‘the white media are trying to bring down women of color.’ And in this case, they’ll probably say it’s white Jewish women, which of course discounts the fact that there are black Jews. There’s somewhere close to 300,000 black Jews! What about them? It’s just divisiveness.’”

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Note that Mallory addresses the “white woman” as someone who bears responsibility for all “white women.”  You aren’t allowed to be an individual who happens to be white and a woman.  No, you are defined by your color and gender.  Most people would recognize that as racism and sexism.

How dare those white women criticize me, someone whose superior victimhood status renders me beyond their criticism!  This same ideological position is likely why Bob Bland and Carmen Perez defended Tamika Mallory.

Most regular Democratic politicians have a utilitarian, practical attitude towards the various sub-groups in their political coalition.  They understand that to completely and publicly identify with any one group could cause blowback from other groups.  They therefore maintain enough ambiguity regarding their relationships to ward off conflict.

The Women’s March leadership is not comprised of practical politicians.  Rather they are extreme ideologues who have come to believe that by virtue of their superior victimhood status they should be immune to any and all criticism, particularly from white people, including white women, and most definitely white Jewish women.  They didn’t count on the fact that many members and leaders in the Women’s March didn’t share this ideology to the extent necessary to thwart all criticism.

In the end, while anti-Semitism is far more than enough evil to tear a movement apart, I believe that this issue served as a rallying-point for a far broader set of concerns.  When we see the vile, hate-drenched racism towards “white women” in general and the appalling moral entitlement displayed by the Women’s March national leadership, it’s pretty certain that this resulted in great resentment.

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It’s not that she’s ashamed of her anti-Semitism, she just doesn’t want to display it so clearly in public.

That burning resentment turned to open rebellion when the leadership openly identified with a man and organization that is not just anti-Semitic but also misogynistic.
Unfortunately, the Women’s March experience may well be unique.  In fact, it may temporarily protect the Progressive Movement from its anti-Semitism by driving this belief further underground.  There it will be able to fester and grow unseen until it erupts in a more virulent form.

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (6)

North Korea Edition

The promised Progressive future is (NOT) bright!

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This is not satire, it’s making a serious point.  Progressives, please try to think about it.

It’s almost impossible to believe, but Representative Ocasio-Cortez is celebrating the loss of 25,000 direct Amazon jobs and all of the ancillary jobs that its headquarter would have created.  Note: “worker exploitation” to a Democratic Socialist is defined as a “private sector job.”

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The following was almost inevitable.

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O.K., I’m willing to still call this satire.  It’s not quite dead yet!

 

A Reckoning for Progressive Anti-Semitism? (4)

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The unchanged, and unapologetic, Women’s March leadership

The Woman’s March Situation may be Unique (2)

Following is part two of the above topic.

The Woman’s March Leadership Openly Embraced an Anti-Semitic Group

The event that appears to have lit the match for the Women’s March debacle is described in The Tablet article.

On March 11, 2018, the Women’s March had their biweekly phone call with national organizers. The public controversy had started to explode over Mallory’s attendance at the Saviours’ Day event, during which, in the course of a three-hour speech, Farrakhan blamed Jews for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood, turning men into women and women into men.” Angie Beem, president of the Washington state chapter, remembered that phone call.

“Many of us were upset,” Beem told Tablet. “She is the face of a women’s march, and our mission and values are equality and inclusion. To openly praise someone like this went against everything we were supposed to stand by.” Beem described a sense of awkwardness as Mallory went on to defend Farrakhan to over 40 women on the call. And she wasn’t alone, Beem said; Perez and Bland jumped in to defend him as well. “They said to us: ‘You know, he has done some great things for people of color.’ They didn’t denounce anything he said, they only did that recently. Some state people supported them and some who were very brave stood up to them. One woman said something like, ‘Just because somebody does one good thing doesn’t mean they are excused for everything else.’ They said, ‘We hear you.’ But then they refused to do anything about it.”

However, the Women’s March leadership’s closed ranks support for Mallory failed to end the controversy.  Here’s a succinct summary of the then developing split.

In the days since her attendance was first noted, Mallory has sought to defend herself from accusations of anti-Semitism and pushed back on calls for her resignation.

Criticism has also spread to the broader Women’s March organization, prompting the group to issue a statement on Tuesday. “Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity principles,” the group said. “The world Women’s March seeks to build is one free from anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and all forms of social violence.” BuzzFeed reports that Women’s March leaders will meet with Jewish groups on Thursday to discuss the matter further.

Mallory steadfastly refused to disassociate herself from both Farrakhan and his views.  It all came into sharp focus when Meghan McCain confronted Mallory on The View.

The rabid antisemitism of The Women’s March’s leadership has been undeniable, but until recently hasn’t exactly been completely mainstream. The View co-host Meghan McCain may have changed all of that on Monday, however.

Appearing with the women of The View, Tamika Mallory found herself facing off against McCain over hate preacher and Church of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s repeated antisemitic statements such as calling Jewish people “termites.” Farrakhan released a video of himself saying this on Twitter.

McCain decided to confront Mallory about support she, and other members of the Women’s March have given to Farrakhan in the past and asked flatly if they condemn his statements.

Mallory repeatedly said that she disagrees with some of Farrakhan’s statements, but despite McCain’s pressing for clarification, would not say she specifically condemned the statements from Farrakhan. What she did do, however, is say that she’d rather not be judged through the lens of a man.

Since then the Woman’s March has lost both local chapters and Progressive organizational support.  But the same leadership clique has held on even as the movement collapsed.

After claims of anti-Semitism against the leaders of Women’s March Inc. rocked the movement—including a blockbuster report in Tablet magazine—hundreds of activist groups that previously partnered with the march have headed for the exits ahead of this year’s events. It may be the biggest silent protest the normally noisy left has staged in decades.

Unfortunately, the applause probably should be limited to two cheers. These groups stopped partnering with the march. Politics being what it is, none of them is ordinarily in the business of publicly criticizing their allies, even when criticism is eminently deserved. A cynical observer still might charitably note that actions speak louder than words. In these polarized times, the discovery of common ground should not be dismissed.

On the other hand, sometimes making a statement may be said to require… making a statement. When the Social Justice League decides not to light their virtue signals, it is difficult not to notice.

So, although Progressive groups have walked away from the Woman’s March, they have tried to avoid being noticed while doing so.  This suggests that they don’t want to be too visibly opposing anti-Semitism in general while, in this specific case, doing so.

This situation strongly suggests that the Woman’s March case is indeed unique.

In the next post I will discuss why the Woman’s March leadership believed that they could openly support anti-Semitism and other forms of extreme bigotry without fear of the consequences.

A Reckoning for Progressive Anti-Semitism? (3)

womens-march-on-washington-dont-forget-white-women-votedThe Woman’s March Situation may be Unique (1)

While the issue of growing anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party could blow up into an open scandal as it has in the Woman’s March, this result is far from certain.  For example, since the major media is dominated by Progressives who view the Democrat party as their vehicle to power, it can be counted upon to obscure this issue.  Additionally, most Democrat politicians have the good sense not to highlight their friendly associations with open anti-Semites.

But for the case of the Woman’s March both of these barriers to open scandal were breached.  The reasons for this result may well be unique.

The Woman’s March Sought to Combine Radical Progressivism and a Mass Movement

The seeds of the scandal may have been planted when the Woman’s March embraced two contradictory paths, those being:

  1. A cutting-edge ideological Progressive movement
  2. A broad-based woman’s movement.
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Woman’s March leadership: (left to right) Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory.

By virtue of item 1 a radical group was able to seize control of the national organization.  However, by virtue of item 2 many of the movement’s members were not familiar with, or necessarily supportive of, the radical positions of the national leadership.  In fact, the proximate issue that brought together this movement was opposition to the election of Donald Trump, not support of some esoteric academic theory.  These leaders’ ideology is best characterized as Intersectionality.  One helpful definition can be found here.

 the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.

Note that this concept attempts to tie together multiple forms of presumed discrimination into a general theory under which the marginalized groups can unite.  However, it also appears to support a hierarchy of victimhood in which those who’s identity includes the most forms of discrimination have greater moral standing.

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A mild image of Woman’s March fashion.  I can’t name the hats without use of obscenity.

I wonder about the experience of many white suburban women who, disgusted by Donald Trump’s crude, cruel treatment of women, came out to march against his presidency.  They found themselves surrounded by women dressed as female genitalia, both symbolically and literally.  Then they experience the uncontrolled rage of people who’s existence is entirely defined by their sense of victimhood.  And on the stage they see speakers fantasizing about blowing up the White House and screaming bizarre, obscenity-laced statements.

My guess is that many were embarrassed and appalled.  But, they might well have continued in the movement since it appeared to be the most effective vehicle buy which to oppose President Trump.

However, one need not guess about how the Woman’s March leadership felt about the opinions of these same women — utter contempt.  When the charge of anti-Semitism was first raised their immediate defense was that these “white women,” and particularly “white Jewish women,” had no moral standing to criticize these most victimized of marginalized people (i.e., those who could check multiple victimhood boxes).  In fact, ALL white Jewish women were themselves victimizers!

Then, when The New York Times spoke to Mallory about the meeting, she uttered a statement that might well be taken as an indictment of Jews themselves for white supremacist attacks on them, saying, “Since that conversation, we’ve all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it.”

Returning to The Tablet article that set this scandal in motion we find in the leadership’s visceral hatred and distrust of “white women” along with clear implication that they pose a problem that must be “solved.”

Carmen and I were very clear at that [first] meeting that we would not take on roles as workers or staff, but that we had to be in a leadership position in order for us to engage in the march,” Mallory told Tablet, in an interview last week, adding that they had been particularly sensitive to the fact that they had been invited to the meeting by white women, and wanted to be sure they weren’t about to enter into an unfair arrangement.  …

They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South.  …

Over the year that followed, the Women’s March continued to grow, publishing its book, raising money, and putting on new events. In October 2017, the group held a Women’s Convention. Attendance was reported to be high for the whole event, and was packed for the summit’s most popular panel, “Confronting White Womanhood.”

This is the ideological environment in which many white women, to their great surprise, found themselves.  They were not accustomed to thinking of themselves as victimizers, and likely bristled at the accusation.  Thus, ideological gasoline had been sprayed all over the movement.  All that was required was a match to trigger the conflagration.

 

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (5)

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This in meant as satire, but is it really?

Environmental Death Cult meets Satire Killed by Reality meets Questions for Socialists meets Intentions vs. Results in the Green New Deal

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This an embarrassing, pathetic and dangerous time for our republic.  We have reached the point at which a 29 year-old know-nothing/wrongthing can be elected to Congress who believes that her ideological purity literally enables the fundamental physical transformation of the United States from fossil fuel based to green energy based within 12 years.  The Green New Deal document, released and then pulled yesterday, was pre-supported by most of the Democrat presidential candidates.

Others have provided the necessary assessment of this dingbattery. Following are comments on just a few of the too many cringe-inducing ideas in this document.

  • Ban cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?

My personal favorite for absurdity is this (emphasis added):

We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.

Strassel-Green-DealBur for sheer infuriation this item may be the tops (emphasis added).

  • Build on FDR’s second bill of rights by guaranteeing: …
    • Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work

The fact that this bizarre screed was received with almost universal mockery and disbelief gives me cold comfort.  Yes, I understand that the Green New Deal has exactly zero chance to become law.  However, the following facts bode ill for our future.

  1. Our educational system has delivered people who are simultaneously so ignorant and so confident.
  2. There were enough people in a Congressional district to elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  3. As stated in the Los Angeles Times: “Equally notable, however, was the list of who signed on — most of the major Democratic presidential candidates in the race so far.”  Thus the supposedly most seasoned and serious Democrat politicians, either by cowardly submission or true-belief, supported this proposal.
  4. Ocasio-Cortez and company wrote and released this document based on their ideological fantasies that by simply believing so completely and having such good intentions they were sure to be right in all that was contained therein.

mazie_hirono_hawaii_aoc_green_new_deal_2_7-19-1-800x489They must have been shocked by the response.  Even a natural ally like Senator Mazie Hirono couldn’t help but point out an obvious logical flaw.  For these reasons Representative Ocasio-Cortez took down the web page that had previously held the Green New Deal FAQ document.

So how do I justify my title?  Here’s how.

Environmental Death Cult

While I’m absolutely sure that it isn’t intended (see below), were the Green New Deal ever actually implemented it would make the Ukrainian Famine caused by the Russian Communists look like a minor event.  Who can doubt that, as reliable, plentiful and affordable fossil fuels are ripped away and “replaced” by unreliable, scarce and prohibitively expensive “green energy,” tens, even hundreds of millions of Americans would die from cold/heat, starvation and social  chaos as the nation’s economy collapsed?

Satire Killed by Reality

I may have to give this topic up.  I simply don’t see how anything else could occur in reality that is so far beyond what could be imagined by the greatest satirical minds (oh please let this be true).  Progressivism has now surely killed satire.

Questions for Socialists

In my series of this name I attempted to force our Socialists to address obvious but unasked questions.  In order to implement the Green New Deal the United States would have to succumb to totalitarian Socialism.  So, here’s my question based on the Green New Deal:

How is it that a political movement that claims to be the vanguard of intellectual and moral thought could generate such an absurd proposal that is so widely supported within the Progressive movement?

Intentions vs. Results

The Green New Deal is a pinnacle of “good intentions” replacing “good results” (see all of the above).  This is the end result of the “participation trophy,” “self-esteem,” and “education by ideology” culture that we have allowed to grow over the past thirty years.  Yes, I blame those among us who have successfully pushed these ideas into our educational system and mass media.

However those of us who knew better but chose to remain silent and passive in the face of this onslaught must also accept responsibility for this situation.  The day is growing late, we must decide if it’s more important to ruffle the feathers of people pushing destructive ideas or protect our nation from the chaos that they would cause.

be-back2

A political movement that knows nothing and forgets nothing is highly unlikely to be deterred by an abject failure.  They are true believers in their intellectual and moral superiority, so they can’t ultimately be proven wrong by actual events (e.g., most recently, Socialism in Venezuela).

A Reckoning for Progressive Anti-Semitism? (2)

screen-shot-2018-03-10-at-5.51.38-pm-e1520722377714The Progressive Quagmire

The anti-Semitism living at the heart of the national Woman’s March organization was simply too extreme and visible for other Progressive groups to ignore.  The reporting after The Tablet’s expose revealed not just the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitism, but also its appalling racism and overall ding-battery.

Continuing the swirl, amid allegations of anti-Semitism that have convinced a veritable panoply of groups to cut ties with the left-wing rally, March leader Tamika Mallory doubled down on her embrace of the Nation of Islam.

The Nation — as I pointed out previously — believes this:

A sinister being, known as the Big Head Scientist, took the world’s prisoners and employed them in a scheme to create pure evil: white people.

The large-noggin’d, nefarious nuisance restricted mating among the world’s worst, such that breeding produced lighter and lighter skin. And, since purity was inherent to the darkness of skin, the lighter the shade, the crappier the creatures. On the way to total absence of goodness — otherwise known as total absence of blackness, otherwise known as Caucasian — all the world’s races were created, the lighter indicating the more treacherous.

That’s you, if you’re not black. That’s everyone, if they’re not black.

That’s the foundation of the Nation of Islam.

And then there are quotes such as…

“I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.”

And thus major Progressive organizations pulled out of visible support for the Women’s March.  But they have done so as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.

Like a preacher tiptoeing out of a brothel, the Democrat Party quietly dropped its sponsorship of the Women’s March. Like most of the other lefty establishment groups slowly backing away from its pro-Farrakhan leadership, the DNC offered a non-denial and no condemnation of the group’s anti-Semitism.

Instead of condemning the March’s anti-Semitism, the Southern Poverty Law Center explained that it wasn’t going to sponsor it because “other projects were a priority.” Even though HRC and GLAAD’s names had vanished from the Women’s March partner page, the spokespeople for both gay rights groups claimed that they were waiting for clarification from their respective organizations.

That’s typical.

The reason for this situation isn’t difficult to understand.  The Democrat Party’s coalition consists of many groups with conflicting core ideologies: feminist, black, gay, Latino, transgender, Muslim, and so forth.  In order to hold this coalition together it must accommodate each group’s core beliefs while obfuscating their differences.

The sad fact is that anti-Semitism has been practiced by powerful Progressive political leaders in the black community for decades.  For example, here is a summary of these leaders and their anti-Semitic statements:

James Baldwin (“Negroes are anti-Semitic because they’re anti-white”), Louis Farrakhan (“When they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know what they do, call me an anti-Semite. Stop it. I am anti-termite. The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a great name. Hitler was a very great man”), Jesse Jackson (“Hymietown”), Al Sharpton (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”), and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (“The Jews ain’t gonna let him [Obama] talk to me”).

Note that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both ran as Democratic candidates for president. Sharpton officially visited the Obama White House more than 100 times, and Wright was the Obamas’ longtime personal pastor who officiated at the couple’s wedding and the baptism of their daughters and inspired the title of Obama’s second book.

But anti-Semitism is by no means limited to the black community’s Progressive leadership.  For within the newly elected crop of Progressive Democrat politicians a new anti-Semitic cadre has emerged.  Returning to the above linked article.

In that vein, Michigan’s new congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, assumed she’d face little pushback from her party when she tweeted out the old slur that Jewish supporters of Israel have dual loyalties: Opponents of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, which targets Israel, “forgot what country they represent,” she said. …

Similarly, Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) — like Tlaib, a new female Muslim representative in the House — used to be candid in her views of Israel as an “apartheid regime”: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

For Rashida Tlaib the evidence of her anti-Semitism is far broader and deeper than that exposed by the above quote.  A recent article exposed her ties of money and friendship to   anti-Semites:

  • One of Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s key fundraisers, Maher Abdel-qader, has repeatedly promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
  • The Michigan Democrat is a member of a Facebook group where Abdel-qader and other members have shared anti-Semitic content.
  • One video Abdel-qader shared with the group accused Jews of secretly controlling the media and exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Tlaib has already come under scrutiny for having ties to other anti-Israel figures and for questioning the loyalty of pro-Israel lawmakers.

The Democrat Party’s dilemma is clear.  Their governing plurality includes interest groups for whom anti-Semitism is an historic, deep seated belief.  Its also includes groups who remain opposed to anti-Semitism.  Thus, they must maintain an uneasy balancing act of associating and working with anti-Semites in their coalition while avoiding the taint of anti-Semitism.  They will do everything in their considerable power to maintain this unstable position.