The New York Times’ 1619 Project (4)

Slavery-False-Founding

The United States’ Founding

The ultimate target for the Times’ propaganda is this nation’s founding.  The Progressive Left visibly hates the documents and associated institutions that define our founding.  I mean the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Electoral College and the Senate at the very least.  And they mean to utterly destroy these ideas and institutions if they are able, through any means necessary.

Their argument is that since slavery existed at the time of our nation’s founding and therefore had to be dealt with as a present reality, the United States is a republic founded upon evil.  Therefore our nation must be destroyed root and branch.

Our Founding

The economist and historian Thomas Sowell provides some perspective on the institution of slavery at the time of our nation’s founding.

Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century. People of every race and color were enslaved – and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed.

Mr. Sowell then applies this perspective to the issue of slavery at our nation’s founding.

Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century – and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of the 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there. But who is singled out for scathing criticism today? American leaders of the 18th century.

Deciding that slavery was wrong was much easier than deciding what to do with millions of people from another continent, of another race, and without any historical preparation for living as free citizens in a society like that of the United States, where they were 20 percent of the population.

It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century.

In 1862, a ship carrying slaves from Africa to Cuba, in violation of a ban on the international slave trade, was captured on the high seas by the U.S. Navy. The crew was imprisoned and the captain was hanged in the United States – despite the fact that slavery itself was still legal at the time in Africa, Cuba, and in the United States. What does this tell us? That enslaving people was considered an abomination. But what to do with millions of people who were already enslaved was not equally clear.

That question was finally answered by a war in which one life was lost [620,000 Civil War casualties] for every six people freed [3.9 million]. Maybe that was the only answer. But don’t pretend today that it was an easy answer – or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery.

A Contemporary Thought Experiment

Let’s assume that in 2025, for whatever reason, it is decided that the United States must rewrite its Constitution from scratch. So a Constitutional Convention is called at which representatives from throughout the nation gather to perform this task.  Let’s also assume that within this group is a minority that believes abortion to be an abomination that should be eradicated.  What would they propose and what constraints would they face?

The most obvious constraint would be that there is perhaps a quarter of the adult population who believe that a fetus is not human and is the property of the mother.  The mother therefore has the absolute right to dispose if the fetus in any manner that she deems fit, including abortion up to the moment of delivery.  There is another half of the population who support abortion with limitations.  Thus only a quarter of the population supports what could be called an abolitionist position on abortion.

Should the Constitutional Convention’s abolitionist representatives attempt to enshrine their belief in the new Constitution?  Even if they wanted to how in the face of super-majority opposition could they possibly succeed?  And, if they did somehow succeed how could the new Constitution possibly be ratified?

The above doesn’t include the likelihood of bloody civil unrest by the pro-abortion camp’s most radical supporters.  Should a nation that is in already in dire straits rip itself apart over an issue that simply cannot currently achieve majority support?

What the abortion abolitionists might attempt is insertion of language that doesn’t directly attack the institution of abortion but that, as an ideal, undermines its justification.  Perhaps something along the lines of:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 

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The New York Times’ 1619 Project (2)

1619-Intro-True

Slavery (and Sin) Arrives in the New World in 1619?

The following sections test the truth of this NYT claim that the arrival of a ship in 1619 bearing slaves was the “Original Sin” for the New World.

Native Americans

To read the 1619 Project introductory statements one could easily conclude that in 1619 a new and uniquely evil institution was born in the the New World.  If you have been educated within the Progressive historical tradition you likely know very little about the nature of the native peoples who occupied this vast continent.  What you think you know is that prior to the arrival of Western Civilization it was populated by noble peoples who lived in harmony with nature and in general peace with one another.  It was only with the arrival of Europeans that this utopian state of blessed nature was rent by vile sin.  This ignorant Progressive fairy tale bears no relationship to the the truth.

To begin, slavery had been practiced by peoples of the New World for time immemorial prior to the arrival of European settlers.  Here’s how one source introduces this topic.

Many Native American tribes practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America.

Native American groups often enslaved war captives whom they primarily used for small-scale labor.  … captives were also sometimes tortured as part of religious rites, and these sometimes involved ritual cannibalism.  During times of famine some Native Americans would also temporarily sell their children to obtain food.

The following excerpt from an article by the Claremont Institute titled “Battle for a Continent” provides a specific example of the harrowing cruelty practiced by some Native Americans.

He relates a celebrated warrior’s braggadocio about tortures not merely savage but downright diabolical, administered to a captive Snake Indian—scalping him alive, then slicing the tendons of his wrists and feet and throwing him into a fire. “He garnished his story with a great many descriptive particulars much too revolting to mention.” The warrior gazes at Parkman with a childlike innocence as he details his malign handiwork. The Indian fondness for inflicting ungodly pain on their enemies before killing them is a recurring motif in Parkman’s writings.

The situation was much worse in what is now Mexico, as covered by a recent Federalist article titled “The 1519 Project: How Early Spanish Explorers Took Down A Mass-Murdering Indigenous Cult.”

As Cortez retreated, he left intact the Aztec system of ritualistic mass murder. In his book, Abbott details the horrific acts of the Aztecs:

At times, in the case of prisoners taken in war, the most horrid tortures were practiced before the bloody rite was terminated. When the gods seemed to frown, in dearth, or pestilence, or famine, large numbers of children were frequently offered in sacrifice. Thus the temples of Mexico were ever clotted with blood. Still more revolting is the well-authenticated fact that the body of the wretched victim thus sacrificed was often served up as a banquet, and was eaten with every accompaniment of festive rejoicing. It is estimated that from thirty to fifty thousand thus perished every year upon the altars of ancient Mexico.

The Aztecs brutal system depended on a steady supply of prisoners of war and human children collected from the empire’s subjects as “taxes.” The scale of the murder one could find in just a single outlying Aztec city was astounding. Abbot relays, “they witnessed the most appalling indications of the horrid atrocities of pagan idolatry. They found, piled in order, as they judged, one hundred thousand skulls of human victims who had been offered in sacrifice to their gods.”

Of course there are many noble aspects of the Native American peoples.  There are also many terrible aspects of Western societies.  My point is that because of our state of sin all peoples are under it’s terrible power.  Thus it was not the West that brought sin and slavery to North America.

Earlier European Slavery

Why did the NYT pick the 1619 date for slavery’s arrival when it’s undeniable that other European colonizers had utilized the evil system in North America much earlier?  The Federalist has published a paper by Lyman Stone titled “Slavery In America Did Not Begin In 1619, And Other Things The New York Times Gets Wrong” that corrects the record.

1619 is commonly cited as the date slavery first arrived in “America.” No matter that historians mostly consider the 1619 date a red herring. Enslaved people were working in English Bermuda in 1616. Spanish colonies and forts in today’s Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina had enslaved Africans throughout the mid-to-late 1500s: in fact, a slave rebellion in 1526 helped end the Spanish attempt at settling South Carolina.

So why then choose 1619?  Because it is the date that appears to uniquely tie the British Colonies to slavery, thus enabling the entire dishonest, destructive 1619 narrative.



It would have been virtually impossible for slaves not to arrive at the British colonies, as slavery had existed continuously in time and across virtually all civilizations in one form or another for at least 3,600 years prior to 1619.  One history of slavery begins with “Slaves in Babylon: 18th century BC” and continues with almost every significant civilization through the 19th century AD.  Therefore it would have been utterly miraculous had slaves not eventually arrived in the New World.

Of course none of this excuses the vile evil of slavery.  However, it does create a context for the event of 1619 that corrects the false implication that it represented the arrival of a new and unique evil to the New World.  And, this context completely destroys the presumption that 1619 was the “true founding” of the United States.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project (1)

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Introduction

The New York Times continues in its quest to plumb the depths of intellectual and moral preening.  The latest ideological incarnation in this sad descent is something called “The 1619 Project.”  Here is how the NYT introduces this initiative.

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To read the 1619 Mission Statement is to enter a bizarre world of ignorance, dishonesty and hatred centered on the United States and its founding.

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

In the following posts I will examine the nature of this ignorance, dishonesty and hatred.

Racism Unbound (2)

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The Squad (left to right): Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Presley

A Cowardly and Dishonest Epithet

There’s no point in mincing words.  The Squad has made it absolutely clear that while they are free to hurl hatred for the United States, Israel, Jews, their very own Speaker, President Trump and anyone else they deem fit; anyone who dares to oppose or even criticize them is designated to be a racist. Some of you may be doubtful.  So, here are the words of Rep. Rashida Tlaib in The Squad’s interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.  Note that this statement is with regard to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House from their own party.

She is Speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification. The fact of the knowledge is and I’ve done racial justice work in our country for a long time. Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.

Rep. Tlaib is clearly saying that even Speaker Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t single them out for criticism because of their race, gender and backgrounds.  And, they are doing so by claiming special protection due to the implicit victimhood associated with these characteristics.

The one specific claim is that some of them have received death threats.  We can all agree that no-one should be receiving death threats.  I can only imagine the upset and fear that reception of such a communication would cause.  However, is it credible that The Squad, because of their race, gender and backgrounds are uniquely threatened?  Do they have the most credible reasons to fear actual physical violence against themselves?  These questions will be explored in the following post.

For now let it be said that these four freshmen Congresswomen claim immunity from any criticism from anyone because of their race.  Thus, anyone who dares to criticize them is by definition acting out of racism to some significant degree; even Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives!

Do you imagine that this derangement is limited only to The Squad?  Absolutely not so.  Here’s what powerful Progressive media figures have been saying about Speaker Pelosi.

The Squad has plenty of friends in high places. One such is Karen Attiah, global opinions editor of The Washington Post. On July 14, taking note of Trump’s most recent anti-Squad animadversion—the instantly notorious “go back” tweet—Attiah volleyed her own strong tweeting: “Make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi’s dogwhistling snipes at @AOC, Ilhan Omar, @RashidaTlaib and @RepPressley helped pave the way for this vicious, racist attack from the president.”

Today, through this infidels versus heretics prism, we can see plenty more evidence underscoring Woke anti-Pelosi ferocity. On July 22, left-wing YouTuber Cenk Uygur went even further, declaring in The Wall Street Journal, “Democrats Should Unify Behind AOC, Not Pelosi.” In Uygur’s opinion, “Democratic voters were clear in 2018 that they want Mr. Trump impeached.” And yet, he continued, “There is not a single public official doing more to protect Mr. Trump than she is.” That pro-Trump “she,” of course, is Nancy Pelosi.

But it’s even worse than this.  For the Squad doesn’t apply this immunity from criticism to all people who can claim victimhood under their Intersectional ideology.  In fact, if you are brown, black, Muslim or gay and don’t toe their Progressive line you are persona non grata.  Here are the words of Rep. Ayanna Presley at the Netroots Nation conference explicitly making this point.

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For example, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), who despite their black and brown skin decided to vote en masse with the racist Democrat House Speaker rather then with the true “brown, black and Muslim” Squad.  The BCB must be racist (or maybe just traitors to their race)!

“I don’t want to bring a chair to an old table. This is the time to shake the table. This is the time to redefine that table. Because if you’re going to come to this table, all of you who have aspirations of running for office. If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.”

Do you see?  The Squad has no respect for any person, be they brown, black, Muslim, queer (or a white woman) who doesn’t think exactly like them.  If you are a member of these groups and stray out of the the Progressive camp then you are fair game.  And, if you are outside of these groups then any criticism is racism.

This is not courage or honesty.  No, it is the exact opposite.

The Progressive Compulsion for Cruelty (4)

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But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 10:39 (AKJV)

The Road to Perdition

How can people descend to this level of depravity while simultaneously having unshakable confidence in their moral superiority?  And, how can the Progressive community provide support for this depravity either implicitly by their silence or explicitly by their approval?

I have been, in effect, asking these questions for quite awhile (e.g., search this blog on “Decoding Progressivism” and “Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense”).  My recent post on the appalling self-righteousness exhibited by the Progressive community before and after the 2016 Presidential Election is a good first step towards understanding.  However, describing a key symptom doesn’t explain the underlying causes.

end-means-genocideThe Ends Justify the Means

Progressivism is a dangerous combination of utopianism and collectivism.  That is, they believe that human society can be perfected by the application of properly directed collective action.

It is the ends embraced by Progressivism that encourage the descent into extreme self-righteousness.  For if your presumed ends are a utopian state in which all evil has been defeated and all good obtained then to oppose these ends can only be viewed as the rejection of good in favor of evil.  It is within this dynamic that Progressives are capable of hateful, vicious, dehumanizing behavior towards anyone who opposes them, or even who insufficiently support them.

Since their ends are not those which naturally occur in human society an external power must be applied.  That power is found in ever increasing government and institutional authority.  Progressives are forever proclaiming their love for humankind while instituting policies that grind individual humans into the dust.  There is simply no room in their moral universe for ideological diversity.  Therefore it is their collectivist love of humanity that enables their extreme viciousness towards individual humans without the slightest sense of shame or remorse.

victim-cultureIntersectionality and Victim-Based Morality

The ends/means dynamic has been a sufficient driver of Progressive hate for decades past.  However, the more recent addition of victim-based moral superiority under the ideology of intersectionality has turbocharged Progressive temptation to evil.

One helpful definition of intersectionality 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.

It is the combination of group identity and victimization that creates the witches brew of unlimited self-righteousness at play today in Progressive politics.  The following excerpt provides a good summary of our current situation.

For instance, the idea that certain groups have suffered more historical oppression than others and are therefore owed certain entitlements is hardly novel, but the intersectional prescription that historical victimization can be understood as a kind of mathematical equation of oppression, in which the intersection of our various identities creates an imposed moral hierarchy, with the victims at the top and the privileged at the bottom, is a fairly recent phenomenon. It has been ramped up to include ever more historically marginalized groups and encapsulates an ever broader systemic process of oppression. These ideas have become the norm among my generation (millennial), providing an a priori perceptual framework, which leads us to approach many modern problems through the lens of group identity and historical oppression—sorting out the noble victims from the privileged victimizers to establish who symbolically represents the good and who is emblematic of evil. Such a totalizing ideology is primed to stoke reactionary flames on both sides of the political aisle and feed into the culture war in America and elsewhere.

Note that each person associated with extremely vicious moral conduct from the previous posts belonged to at least one victim group:

  • GillibrandTweetVictoria Bissell Brown: feminist woman;
  • Brian Sims: gay;
  • John Roger: black;
  • Kirsten Gillibrand: feminist woman, explicitly embraces intersectionality;
  • Norma Torres: hispanic woman.

Given the identity group based presumption of moral superiority, the “good vs. evil” and “ends justify the means” mentality of Progressive ideology it’s unsurprising that these people feel entitled to conduct themselves in this manner.

The incentive to jump onboard the victim train is so overwhelming that even Progressive white men (the bottom of the barrel in victim-based morality) can’t resist.  For example:

James Livingston, a Rutgers history professor: “OK, officially, I now hate white people. … I hereby resign from my race. F— these people.”

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James Livingston (left) and Michael Avenatti (right): white guys denouncing whiteness and white guys.  Perhaps hoping that the crocodile eats them last.

The good white male professor wasn’t done virtue signaling his intersectional  wokeness.

… Livingston wrote on Facebook on May 31 that he’d come from a Harlem burger restaurant that was “overrun with little Caucasian a-holes.”

“OK, officially, I now hate white people,” wrote Livingston. “I am a white people, for God’s sake, but can we keep them—us—us out of my neighborhood?”

And then there’s the MSNBC/CNN endorsed white male presidential candidate:

Michael Avenatti, criticizing the GOP senators during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: “These old white men still don’t understand that assault victims and women deserve respect and to be heard.”

This ideology by which human beings are assigned moral superiority or inferiority simply by their membership in identity groups has resulted in a whole new level of viciousness in Progressive rhetoric and action.  We haven’t hit anything approaching bottom yet.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.32.14 PMThe Abolition of God

The ultimate root cause of this self-righteous madness is the abandonment of the Christian religion (which is based on transcendent revelation) in favor of a secular religion based on Progressive human ideology.  We return to the previously excerpted article for an excellent summation.

Intersectionality is a secular religion: it advocates an all-encompassing worldview, which explains the vast interlocking mechanism of human oppression at the expense of critical reasoning. It even functions like a religion, operating on the basis of an original sin of privilege, excommunicating heretics, awaiting a judgment day in which all oppression with be understood and overcome, and promoting figures who are considered beyond reproach (saints) who purportedly embody the doctrine’s best representatives. Ultimately, intersectionality is a quest for meaning in a world from which religion has been thoroughly uprooted. And, like all religions, it functions in accordance with our deeply felt unconscious needs, rather than our conscious choices and actions. Of course, one can no more reject the human impulse towards religious experience than the existence of gravity, but we can engage in our own personal line of inquiry—in which questions hold more meaning than answers. This is our only bulwark against human vice. And always will be.

Fortunately there are many citizens in the United States who are not subject to this evil ideology.  However the question of their willingness to understand and then effectively oppose this terrorizing creed remains in the balance.

The Progressive Compulsion for Cruelty (2)

Woman-attackCase Studies: “Entitled” Women Attack “Toxic” Men

The dominant contemporary moral framework defines women as morally superior to men.  Many people consider this attitude to be due to the millennia of men believing the opposite about women.  The theory is that current men are benefiting from the centuries-long patriarchy that can only be corrected by an imposition of the opposite conceit.  One is left to wonder if it will take 5,000 years of this correction to finally “balance the scales” of “gender justice.”

Attacking and Humiliating the Men in their Lives

Regardless, this belief has led to numerous cases of women (often wives) humiliating the men in their lives in highly public ways.  The perpetrators clearly feel “entitled” by their designated social superiority to behave in this manner.  I suppose they think that this cruelty is a part of the retributive justice necessary for the historic prejudice of men to be corrected.  In reality they are destroying their own most intimate relationships and sowing distrust, angst and disorder among the general population.

This situation first clearly lit up on my radar when Victoria Bissell Brown’s tirade against all men, definitely including her husband of 50 years, for the outcome of the Bret Kavanaugh affair was published by the Washington Post.  The following short excerpts provide a sampling of this woman’s uncontrollable, vicious rage.

This was 30 minutes of from-the-gut yelling. Triggered by a small, thoughtless, dismissive, annoyed, patronizing comment. Really small. A micro-wave that triggered a hurricane. I blew. Hard and fast. And it terrified me. I’m still terrified by what I felt and what I said. I am almost 70 years old. I am a grandmother. Yet in that roiling moment, screaming at my husband as if he represented every clueless male on the planet (and I every angry woman of 2018), I announced that I hate all men and wish all men were dead.

Although I don’t have any first-hand knowledge about the inner-dynamics of her marriage, the following description of her husband’s response is telling.

My husband of 50 years did not have to stifle a laugh. He took it dead seriously. He did not defend his remark, he did not defend men. He sat, hunched and hurt, and he listened. For a moment, it occurred to me to be grateful that I’m married to a man who will listen to a woman. The winds calmed ever so slightly in that moment. And then the storm surge welled up in me as I realized the pathetic impotence of nice men’s plan to rebuild the wreckage by listening to women.

Is it out of line for me, a mere man, to conclude that Victoria Bissell Brown’s behavior was infantile, cruel and deranged?  Is it impermissible to point out that her seeking out of a publisher for this screed entailed utter contempt for the feelings of her husband?    Also, am I being unfair to notice that her self-described behavior ironically confirms the male prejudice that women are over-emotional?  To sum up, is Victoria Bissell Brown above criticism by a man because she is a woman?  It’s time to firmly answer No! to all of these questions.

There have been other less extreme but still troubling examples of this same dynamic since then.  For example:

Toxic masculinity—and the persistent idea that feelings are a “female thing”—has left a generation of straight men stranded on emotionally-stunted island, unable to forge intimate relationships with other men. It’s women who are paying the price.

Even Good Husbands Are Sexist. Here’s What I Did About Mine.

Entitlement to Spit in the Face of a Man

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The Progressive “New Rules”: “Stephanie Wilkinson is the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA. … Friday, the Washington Post published a piece in which Wilkinson offers her thoughts on the recent spitting incident involving Eric Trump. You’ll be shocked to learn that Wilkinson is for it (or at least willing to defend it)”  You go girl!

Recently Eric Trump was in Chicago and went to a high end bar.  What happened next would be beyond belief had I not lived through the past decade (emphasis added).

Shortly after Eric Trump had arrived at Aviary, an upscale bar in Chicago on Tuesday night, a young female employee walked up to him and spit in his face. According to Breitbart, an eyewitness said the woman “murmured inaudibly something that sounded like it was anti-Trump.”

ABC5 Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern reported that the offender was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody by Trump’s Secret Service agents. She was later released after Trump declined to press charges.

This was a clear case of assault, but given the cultural circumstances no charges were filed.  To her credit the new mayor of Chicago criticized this act.  I will be stunned if there is significant criticism from the Progressives about this woman’s behavior.  In their moral universe this is just the act of a victim fighting back against one of her oppressors (see the above cited Washington Post oped).

In a sane world this deranged employee would have been fired on the spot and hauled before a court to account for her assault.  But, apparently since she can claim the role of a “victim” and the real victim of this assault was a Progressive “enemy,” nothing of the kind has occurred.  Please pardon me if I draw conclusions about the true moral standing of the Progressive movement based on this and the previous case.

Commentary

I can almost understand how the secular culture could have come to believe that men are inherently worse than women, but it is a theological scandal that the same has occurred in Christianity.  When the Apostle Paul, quoting multiple Psalms, wrote in Romans that:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  (Romans 3:10-18 NIV).

he is making a universal declaration regarding the human condition.  Thus, we are all, male and female, under the same curse of sin.  Yes, men and women tend to manifest this common sinfulness in different ways.  But the underlying condition is exactly the same.  And yet we have not just tolerated, but in many cases actually encouraged feminist theology that claims moral superiority for women and moral depravity for men.

The Christian Church has thus in many cases surrendered itself to the dominant secular ideologies running rampant in our culture.  It should rather be a confident, faithful beacon of truth that opposes the soul-destroying beliefs sadly personified by Victoria Bissell Brown and her sisters in misandry.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:28, NIV)

lordhelpuslove

Taking Stock at the 500th Post

500posts

General Comments

So here I am writing the 500th post on this blog!  The first post is dated November 25, 2014 and titled “Opening Thoughts.”  My first paragraph is:

This blog will focus on my sense of sojourning through a foreign land as an orthodox, Reformed Christian.  This sense has been a longstanding one with regard to the popular culture here in the United States. I am by no means isolated from this country’s entertainment, political and business cultures.  In fact, I am an active participant in them all.  Though many aspects of these cultures are troubling, I am accustomed to dealing with the challenges and benefits that they provide.

Looking back 499 posts later I’m reasonably comfortable with my adherence to this framework.  That being the responses of an orthodox Reformed Christian to a wide variety of issues within the United States.

I am shocked by the speed that this “foreign land” has expanded over these mere four and a half years.  At the start my sense of alienation was clear but not central. Now I find myself fundamentally alienated from my Christian denomination, the culture and the political environment.  Therefore this blog has transformed from one  centered on exploration to one focused on identifying and exposing the myriad of insane ideas that are driving our civilization towards destruction.

Thus what began as an exploration focused on the PCUSA has expanded into areas such as environmentalism, philosophy, economic systems, politics, heresy, literature, abortion and anti-Semitism, among many others.  I have published three eBooks, all focused on topical issues addressed through Biblical exposition and meditation.  Most recently I have added satire as a means of communicating my concerns.

I have identified the prime driver of civilizational destruction to be Progressive ideology as practiced by both secular and religious institutions.  Therefore I have focused strongly on a critique of this ideology’s foundations, strategies and results.  Some of the major themes of this critique are:

I’ve also attempted to understand and then explain the philosophical underpinnings of the Progressive project (e.g., postmodernism, nihilism, Marxism, multiculturalism, intersectionality, pacifism, Gnosticism, identity, etc.).  My goal is to enhance our ability to counter their positions and to unmask the shocking evil that hides beneath that wafer-thin veneer of moral and intellectual posturing (many people who parrot the Progressive ideology have no idea what they are actually supporting).

Although I have expanded my scope far beyond the PCUSA, I still maintain a regular focus on this my denomination. The only way that I can maintain my Christian conscience is by a posture of opposition and rejection.  Yes, there remain many faithful pastors, elders, deacons and members in the denomination.  However, the theology and behavior of the dominant Progressive leadership has been so outrageously apostate and dishonorable that to remain silent is tantamount to support.  My voice is small, yet I will not choose silence.  So, as long as I’m in this denomination I will speak out as necessary.

I’m currently working on a new eBook provisionally titled A Denomination’s Debacle.  The book pulls together much of the PCUSA information and associated commentary from this blog with the addition of new material to fill-out the story.  It’s currently over 300 pages long, which is almost twice the length of my previous longest eBook.  It troubles me that through exclusive use of publicly available information such a substantial case for the PCUSA elite’s apostasy and corruption can be made.

the-truth-about-truth-a-nietzsche-feature-darwin-festival-version-3-638The “God is Dead” Christian Elite

Throughout this blog’s existence I have occasionally paused to discuss why our elite Christian leadership believes and behaves as it does.  Along these lines I have explored postmodern Christianity, the Social Gospel, Gnosticism and raw power politics, among others.  However, identification of a single unifying principle for this phenomena has to this point eluded me.

Perhaps the foundational principle is that these “Christian” elites agree with Nietzsche that belief in “God” as a reality upon which Western Civilization can base its religious/moral world view, “is dead.”  Let’s think through the consequences of this hypothesis.

Let’s say that you are a pastor or elder who has personally lost faith in the Christian God (or any god for that matter). And, you find that there are many others in the church who hold similar views.  So, you all find yourselves in an organization (i.e., the church) whose fundamental reason for existing has, in your opinion, vanished.  Yet the church has many remaining members and wields moral power in the civilization.  What then to do?

Well, you could work to dissolve the church by openly arguing that it has become obsolete and useless.  However, given that tens of millions still (foolishly in your opinion) believe in God’s existence you would likely fail and be expelled.  Therefore you would have to create a new organization to advance your philosophy.  That’s a very heavy lift with a small likelihood of success.  Far better to remain in the church but work for its transformation into an institution that does “social good.”

Of course, if “God is dead” and the Bible is thus null and void, how to find the social good to pursue?  The answer was found in the most aggressive, organized and presumptive human ideology supposedly pursuing the “social good,” that being what we now call Progressivism (which has its roots in Marxism, as contemporary Progressives are finally admitting).  Thus the elite Christian leadership of Mainline Denominations turned their churches from the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “the gospel of social change and justice” as defined by the secular Progressive political project.

chasmFor decades this stealth-coup was hidden behind multiple complex theological smoke screens that orthodox Christians had great difficulty penetrating.  However, with the advent of gay ordination and marriage the chasm between orthodoxy and heterodoxy became so vast that no amount of smoke could obscure it.  Thus we have seen the parting of ways where so many orthodox members and churches have exited.

Yet some orthodox members and churches have so far decided to remain.  If they do so with the clear understanding that they are missionaries to a now pagan, post-Christian denomination then perhaps they can successfully maintain their orthodox Christian identity.

However, if they pretend that they remain part of a “Christian” denomination then they will almost certainly be eventually converted and then absorbed.  This will occur because they grant legitimacy to the denomination’s dominant post-Christian ideology and thus will increasingly fall prey to its influence.  If that be their end then they have no excuse, for they have been warned and their consciences will testify against them at the time of accounting.

The Problem of Righteousness (7)

sjw-mob

The perfect-righteous link arms in a perfect-mob to wreak vengeance on this evil nation that dared to reject their perfection!

A Nation Gone Mad with Righteousness

Close your eyes and imagine a nation in which huge segments of the media, political, educational and religious (among others) establishment decided that they must be more righteousness than the common folk.  Over time this goal becomes a compulsion to be the most righteous.  Finally, they embrace what can only be called a new cult that demands perfect righteousness as defined by an ever changing standard.  Hard to imagine?  Not really.  Simply open your eyes and look around at the chaos and wreckage at work in our contemporary society.

What we are witnessing is a collective nervous breakdown by a group that viewed themselves as the perfect-righteous; confronting the cataclysmic reality that over sixty-million citizens disagreed enough to elect their polar opposite to the Presidency.  In fact, enough citizens in states that had for decades voted reliably for the “righteous” politicians turned traitor to righteousness and voted for an “unrighteous bigot.”  This outcome has launched the elite perfect-righteous into a state of mind-shattering cognitive dissonance from which escape will be at the very least painful and difficult.

disintegrating-woman

The disintegration of the perfect-righteous elite individual personality.

What has emerged is a group of people who occupy powerful positions in our nation whose personalities have disintegrated and been reconstituted as seemingly undifferentiated components of a massive social justice mob.  They will believe anything, say anything and do anything, in collectivist unison, to destroy the source of this atrocity committed against their sense of perfect-righteousness.

The alternative is too horrible to contemplate, that being they are not perfectly, most or even more righteous than their fellow countrymen.  The thought of descending from their perches of perfect righteousness to join the rest of us is anathema.

After all, didn’t everyone they know (or at least who count) agree that their Progressive ideology should from 2008 until the next century at least win every Presidential election?    Wasn’t it agreed by all that the revenue (IRS), justice (department, including the FBI) and intelligence services (CIA, NSA) should be weaponized to ensure that the American electorate always voted the “righteous” way?  Wasn’t it unanimous in their circles that with the victory of gay marriage all Christian conscience to the slightest contrary should be snuffed out?

They wonder, who but utter moral degenerates would find fault with support of abortion up to delivery and infanticide after?  Only the irredeemably evil, they reason, could oppose the creation of a totalitarian green-state. What kind of morons would question the idea that Conservative speech is illegal violence but Progressive violence is protected free speech?  And surely only the already guilty would oppose transition to a system of justice based on guilty until proven innocent (and Progressives never guilty of anything as long as their hearts are in the right place)?

smell-trump-support

High ranking, perfect-righteous FBI agent Peter Strzok text message while at a Walmart store.

How could the smelly rabble have failed to recognize their moral, intellectual and spiritual inferiority?  After all, hadn’t the high-priestess of the perfect-righteous put them in their place during the 2016 Presidential campaign?  How dare these deplorable everything-phobes/ists reject that which their betters had deigned to offer them — membership in a second or third-level quasi-caste?

It is impossible to predict just where this belief system and consequent behavior will lead.  But let there be no doubt, the forces that led so many supposedly educated, responsible, powerful people to join the thoughtless, ranting social justice mob have not yet run their course.  A Conservative self-righteous counter-attack will only push us further down the road to perdition.  Our nation will either reform and recover or descend into a Weimar Republic-like state, possibly on its way to something much worse.

This is the consequence of an insane pursuit of self-righteousness.  Without the Church reforming itself and reinserting a Christian understanding of righteousness, sin and redemption into this nation’s moral life we may well be lost for the foreseeable future.

The Problem of Righteousness (5)

self-righteousness-consigns

The “it” here is self-righteousness, Christian or otherwise.

The Self-Righteousness Compulsion (1)

The destruction and despair to which self-righteousness leads is not limited to the Christian experience.  However, it is particularly tragic that Christianity as practiced in the West has been so completely consumed by this false doctrine.  Could Jesus Christ have been any more direct on this point than in the following parable.

Pharisee-tax-collector

The Pharisee and the tax collector…the self-righteous and the Christ imputed-righteous, respectively.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)

Does this Parable of Christ not embody the “rejection, isolation and condemnation” of this post’s top image?  The Pharisee “stood by himself” in splendid moral isolation; from which position he spewed condemnation on everyone else in general and the tax collector in particular.  The result was rejection by God Himself!  And yet, even Christian denominations theoretically founded on Reformed theology are dominated by self-righteous leaders and laity.  This is to say nothing of the rampant self-righteousness in our secular culture used to seek raw power over others.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves.  Self-righteousness is an unavoidable compulsion caused by our fallen state of sin.  I am guilty of it, you are guilty of it.  We all are guilty of it.  But there is something at work in our contemporary Western culture that has supercharged this compulsion to create a particularly powerful weapon of destruction.

I believe that this self-righteousness supercharger has two primary components, those being:

  1. The osmosis of postmodernism from the universities into our general political, educational, legal, media and cultural institutions;
  2. The power of social media to enable easy creation of “social justice” mobs that can in just a few days destroy the character and livelihood of their targets.

I will discuss these two components in the next post.

 

The Problem of Righteousness (1)

Righteousness

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Psalm 11:3

Introduction

One key driver of the contemporary crisis in the United States is the problem of righteousness.  Righteousness is a core driver because, having cast off much that Christianity has taught, we now are consumed with the monumental task of rebuilding this concept from the foundations up.  And, the tools by which this rebuilding project is being conducted are the least capable implements that one  could imagine — those being the mob-inducing, narcissist-encouraging, mind-numbing, spirit-destroying Social Network Platforms.

This thought crystallized across exposure to numerous sources.  Initially I was struck by this paragraph in an article from The Federalist (emphasis added):

When I look at this generation, I see young people fiercely, desperately trying to be good. A righteous fervor is sweeping America, shaming and punishing all who do evil. Yet the standards for “good” and “evil” seem unfamiliar and arbitrary. This is a strong indicator that the post-Christian agnosticism is over, and a new religion—one I’ll call progressivism—is rising from the ashes.

So yes, I can easily agree that our “young people” are “desperately trying” to be righteous.  But the reason that they are starting from scratch is because their elders (i.e., parents, teachers, pastors, coaches, politicians, bosses, etc.) have somehow failed to pass on the Christian-derived civilizational wisdom that should be their inheritance.  I must include myself within this failure as all three of my beloved children are currently not looking to Christianity for the answers to their most fundamental questions.

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 2.26.22 PMA second source brought into sharp focus the nature of that Christian-derived civilizational wisdom along with the most influential challenging ideology to it.  The source is Jordan Peterson’s preface to the The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (emphasis added).

And it is exactly the necessity for interminable sacrifice that constitutes the terrible counterpart of the utopian vision. “Heaven is worth any price”—but who pays? Christianity solved that problem by insisting on the sacrifice of the self; insisting that the suffering and malevolence of the world is the responsibility of each individual; insisting that each of us sacrifice what is unworthy and unnecessary and resentful and deadly in our characters (despite the pain of such sacrifice) so that we could stumble properly uphill under our respective and voluntarily-shouldered existential burdens. But it was and is the opinion of the materialist utopians that someone else be sacrificed, so that Heaven itself might be attained; some perpetrator, or victimizer, or oppressor, or member of a privileged group. A cynic might be forgiven, in consequence, for asking: “Is it the City of God that is in fact the aim? Or is the true aim the desire to make a burning sacrificial pyre of everyone and everything, and the hypothesis of the coming brotherhood of man merely the cover story, the camouflage?”

The implication of this dichotomy between our Christian heritage and the newly resurrected materialist utopians is profound.  For, whereas in a Christian society members are encouraged to look into themselves to find the source of evil and suffering; the people seeking a materialist utopia try to divide the world into the evil oppressors and the spotless victims.  But, as Mr. Peterson goes on to explain, there is no way to draw such a line in a just and stable manner.

Thus the doctrine of group identity inevitably ends with everyone identified as a class enemy, an oppressor; with everyone uncleansibly contaminated by bourgeois privilege, unfairly enjoying the benefits bequeathed by the vagaries of history; with everyone prosecuted, without respite, for that corruption and injustice. “No mercy for the oppressor!” And no punishment too severe for the crime of exploitation! Expiation becomes impossible because there is no individual guilt, no individual responsibility, and therefore no manner in which the crime of arbitrary birth can be individually accounted for. And all the misery that can be generated as a consequence of such an accusation is the true reason for the accusation.

Finally, just why is it that the attempt to create a human-made righteousness that excludes God has proved to be not just difficult, but rather a genocidal failure?  Here I found the following statement by David P. Goldman in his review of Chumash Mesoras Harav – Complete Chumash with Commentary Based on the Teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Claremont Review of Books, Vol. XIX, No. 1) to be of great help (emphasis added).

Man has free will, but never knows to what extent his will is free. The penitent cannot know the full extent of his guilt. He cannot escape “the unknown and irrational” because his powers are limited. He is declared not guilty when he accepts that ultimate knowledge and power reside in God. God not only summons man to partnership, he consoles him in his lowliness.

Yes, we cannot ever escape the unknown and irrational nature of our existence by our own human resources.  For we are ultimately a mystery even to ourselves, let alone to others.  We can never fully understand and therefore prove our own righteousness.  We can only go on erasing and drawing lines that attempt to define who is righteous and who is not.  But the lines always eventually fail to accurately and definitively separate the righteous from the unrighteous.

girl-blaming-guyAnd so a war of all against all ensues.  For to be declared unrighteous is to suffer humiliation, social isolation and physical want.  To be found within the bounds of the righteous means automatic moral superiority, social preeminence and wealth.  But those who seem safely inside the bounds of righteousness today can be thrown out into utter darkness tomorrow.  Thus is explained the paranoia and destabilization that we see throughout our society.

What is happening now are the skirmishes that precede the total war that always accompanies a utopian totalitarian project.  We need not go to war.  But to avoid such a conflagration those of us who know better need to take a stand.