Decoding Progressivism (10)

Toxic Masculinity Edition

toxic-men

Nancy Pelosi Defends the Honor of Violent MS-13 Gang Members

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi responded to President Trump calling violent MS-13 gang members “animals,” at her weekly press briefing Thursday morning. Pelosi says Trump’s comments as reported are a new low, and make her wonder if the president believes “we are all God’s children” or not.

“When the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘these are not people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity? In the dignity and worth of every person? ‘These are not people, these are animals,’ from the president of the United States.”

“Every day you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another manifestation of why their policies are so inhumane,” she said.

“Calling people animals is not a good thing,” she said, before ending the news conference and walking out.

Nancy Pelosi Can’t Find a “Spark of Divinity” in Middle Americans who Don’t Vote Democratic

Emphasis added.  Wow.  Surely suburban men are now even worse!  By the way, Progressives now also hate white suburban women.

Scarborough asks her:

But how do Democrats who have the right policies economically. in their minds, how do they reconnect with a middle America who feels like sometimes they are looked down upon because of their faith or their values?

PELOSI: Well, thank you for asking that question because the cultural issue, and especially when it comes to rural America, the isolation that some people feel there, plus they don’t think that Democrats are people of faith, when the fact is that we are. And I say, this will be a little not in keeping with the spirit of the day of unity, but I say they pray in church on Sunday and prey on people the rest of the week, and while we’re doing the Lord’s work by ministering to the needs of God’s creation they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.

Can there be any doubt why President Trump encouraged the Democrats to re-elect Nancy Pelosi to Speaker of the House?  Please Speaker Pelosi, keep sharing your Progressive Wisdom with us!

So you see, by Nancy Pelosi’s logic it’s not MS-13 gang members who prey on others, but rather church-going middle Americans.  Thanks for so conclusively confirming Peggy Noonan’s statement that “we are patronized by our inferiors.”

President Obama Denies the Source of Islamic Terror

Emphasis added.

This week came news that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant burned alive a Jordanian pilot in a metal cage. … — beheadings, mass murders, rape, human slavery, state sponsorship of terrorism, and military conquest — jihadists are perpetrating in Muhammad’s name. …

Obama has reinforced the left’s proclivity to condemn critics of radical Islam instead of the jihadists who fight in its name.

Only last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz staunchly denied to an incredulous press corps that the Taliban is a terrorist organization. … The purpose of the White House’s ludicrous denial is to hide that the basis of the Taliban’s enmity, strategy, and objectives is a doctrine of Islamic supremacy.

Such suppression is nothing new for the administration. As early as early 2009, it renamed campaigns in the struggle against Islamic extremism “overseas contingency operations.”

Progressive Chris Murphy Explains Away Islamic Terror

Shortly after three men with knives and a van spent eight minutes murdering and maiming people at random on London Bridge, one of the Democratic Party’s leading voices on national security responded on Twitter. Chris Murphy began by criticizing Donald Trump for sounding the alarms. “My god,” he wrote. “@POTUS has no idea that the goal of terrorists is to instill a level of fear in the public disproportionate to the actual threat.” The Connecticut senator tried to put the threat in proper proportion. “Terrorism is a real threat,” he acknowledged, “but remember that since 9/11, you have a greater chance of being killed by a falling object than by terrorists.” Murphy then issued a five-point rebuttal to Trump’s approach to terrorism. He did not issue a five-point plan for defeating falling objects.

Maybe Murphy didn’t do this because falling objects are not equivalent to three men ramming and hacking people to death on London Bridge.

And yet we continue to kowtow to this movement’s presumption of intellectual and moral superiority.  They grow strong through our cowardice.

Advertisements

Environmentalism Becomes a Death Cult (1)

environmental-death-cultOpening Comments

Over the years of this blog I’ve rarely addressed the area of environmentalism.  Although I may have commented as an aside somewhere, the only post specifically dedicated to this topic is this one.  This lack of coverage isn’t due to a lack of interest or attention on my part.  Rather, I simply always had higher priority topics to address.  However, now that there is a Democrat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives it appears that radical environmentalism will become a major political issue.  Therefore, it’s time to comment at some length.

I will eventually directly address the “death cult” issue.  But, if you will grant me your patience I’d like to begin a couple of steps back.

Scientific / Technical Ignorance in Advanced Western Society (1)

We live at a time when the wondrous benefits (not a universally accepted description) of science and technology have been made available to mass-market consumers.  One of the most visible and utilized is wireless communication technology.

picture2

The author in discussions after presenting at the International Symposium for Development of Radio Resources in Tokyo, Japan (2008)

I’m focusing here because it is an area in which I am highly knowledgable.  I have had an almost four-decade career in technical and business areas of the wireless industry.  I worked for 27 years at what was then a dominant U.S. based wireless systems company, starting as an engineer and eventually becoming a senior technical leader.  I was a primary technical contributor (with a dozen issued U.S. patents) to the first fully digital wireless system (virtually all current wireless systems are digital) designed by that company, which became a highly successful, long running product line.  I have represented this company at national and international forums, communicating technical information on cutting-edge wireless system research.  I’m not sharing this to brag, but rather to explain that I actually do know a tremendous amount about this area.

Therefore, prior to discussing environmental science (an area in which I am certainly not an expert), I will comment on the general situation in the area where I certainly am.  I trust that this discussion will be useful for illuminating some of the key issues associated with the general public’s understanding of and policy prescriptions for environmentalism.

Uninformed Emotional Responses

People who don’t know anything about a given technology but who have become paranoid about their health can respond irrationally.  I came across this response at least twice in my career.

In one case, a group in Scandinavia opposed installation of a cellular site in their neighborhood.  Their concern wasn’t aesthetic, but rather that since the antenna “looked big” it was a cancer concern.  Little did they know that the electro-magnetic field strength caused by the site was tiny compared to that of a cell phone operating near their body.  But they felt otherwise due to an uninformed emotional response.  Note that cell phones have been shown by a multitude of substantial medical experiments to pose no risk of cancer.

dkhvu

Field strength plot using a color temperature scale (see left-side of the figure).

In a second case I was presenting to a regional director of the Department of Transportation on ad-hoc wireless technology.  We used a color temperature chart to plot electro-magnetic field strength on a road grid.  It is normal practice to plot the highest strength signals in red (the “hot” color) and lowest in blue (the “cool” color).  When I put up the chart the director said something to the effect of “So you’re saying that I’d get cancer on the red streets?”  Of course, this was utterly ridiculous.  However, due to their powerful emotional response the entire presentation became useless.

If you take all the false claims of cancer risk from cellular systems and multiply them by one-million then you may get close to the level of emotion-directed fear mongering that has been applied to “global warming” / “climate change” theory.  The resulting emotional chaos in the general public is thus not surprising.

A New Reformation (4)

New-Reformation-ComponentsSeven Components of a New Reformation (Part 3)

This post completes the summaries.

7. Transformed church governance

It appears that every form of church governance, from highly hierarchical (e.g., Catholic) to highly democratic (e.g., Congregational) and everything in-between has been corrupted by secular ideology.  Nor does it seem likely that any established denomination will agree to change their existing form of governance.

Obviously I’m in no position to comment on denominations beyond the PCUSA.  However, significant light can be shed by this experience to suggest some general conclusions.

The fundamental point about the demise of the PCUSA is that it was an act of “murder” as opposed to “suicide.”  By these (shocking I expect) metaphors I mean that the rank and file members resisted the apostasy of the leadership for decades.  In fact, it appears that it was only by subversion of the governance process that the leadership was able to gain the upper hand.  The “fingerprint” of this betrayal can be seen in the following figure.

Church-Membership-Loss

The 2006 Subversion

Note that from 1999 through 2006 the number of churches “dismissed” (i.e., exited the denomination) was negligible. Over this same time period we see a general increase in the number of members lost. However, in 2008 the number of dismissed churches and lost members became significantly worse than the general trend would lead one to expect.  Did anything happen in the PCUSA to cause this or was it simply random variation?  It was the former.

Here is the report of a pastor on the 2006 General Assembly that tells the tale (emphasis added).

A number of years ago our denomination’s constitution was amended to limit ordination to those who are faithful in marriage, which is between one man and one woman, or chaste in singleness. This wording was approved by a majority of the regional bodies, and re-approved twice by larger majorities each time. At the time it was added it was not a new limitation, but made explicit an understanding that had historically been practiced within the denomination (and for that matter in nearly all Christian denominations).

What made the PUP Report unconscionable was that it amends the denominational constitution by an unconstitutional process. It by-passed the regional bodies whose approval is required by the constitution itself. It is as though the U. S. Constitution were to be amended by a simple majority vote of Congress, by-passing the states. Advocates of the ordination of ineligible people, unable to change the constitution, proposed to “interpret” it by altering the meaning of the phrase “shall not” so that it from now on it means “may.” A prohibition was changed by interpretation into permission, because the advocates of change could not muster the votes to pass an amendment.

If you think that this description is a partisan distortion, note that it was confirmed by a national news source.

Like other mainline Protestant groups, Presbyterians have been debating for decades how they should interpret Scripture on salvation, truth, sexuality and other issues.

But tensions erupted after a June 2006 meeting, when delegates granted new leeway in some cases for congregations and regional presbyteries to sidestep a church requirement that clergy and lay officers limit sex to man-woman marriage.

Note that this subversion of church governance occurred after the “wording [on sexual requirements for leadership] was approved by a majority of the regional bodies, and re-approved twice by larger majorities each time.”  The conclusion is unavoidable, that being the elite leadership chose to use corrupt means to get their way in direct contradiction of the denomination’s clear and legitimate will.

Illegitimate Victory

The loss of membership that followed the 2006 coup eventually allowed the Progressives to gain the upper hand.  Here’s how I have previously described this process.

But because they had jettisoned the Bible and Confessions, other means of achieving their ends had to be found.  Those means were abuse of the PCUSA’s rules, turning their democratic assumptions into cudgels by which to beat any opposition into submission.  This was accomplished by making life miserable for any majority that opposed their radical ends, and eventually, to drive them out of the church.

The result has been a PCUSA transformed from a Christian denomination to something completely foreign.

The elite Progressive strategic goal was always to deceive, discredit, demoralize and ultimately destroy any and all opposition from orthodox-minded Christians.

In this cruel goal they have succeeded.  Now they undisputedly control the PCUSA.  To accomplish this end they have made it into a theological laughing stock and a pathetic little appendage to the secular Progressive political machine.  And, having illegitimately achieved this position they now demand that those of us in opposition shut up or leave.

Lessons Learned

What lessons in church governance can we take from the appalling experience?  I suggest the following as a starting point for reform, once again with a focus on the PCUSA.

  1. A semi-permeant denominational bureaucracy, centered in our Presbyteries and General Assembly, was allowed to grow too powerful over the past fifty years or so.  They became the core, unstoppable force that sustained unwanted movements over the decades of theological/political warfare necessary to grind down opposition.  This class of nomenklatura has virtually no allegiance to Christianity as a lived faith and total allegiance to the diktats  of secular Progressive ideology.  Therefore, any reformed form of denominational governance must dissolve this power base and prevent its regrowth.
  2. As much as I love our historic (i.e., pre-1968) Confessions it must be admitted that they have proved ineffective as defensible boundaries for orthodox theology.  One obvious issue is their age, thus rendering their language almost incomprehensible to contemporary minds.  But a second major issue is their scope, comprehensiveness and number.  That is, they are so all-encompassing and complex, so many in number, that the core doctrines of Christianity become difficult to discern.  Thus, though they must not be lost, we need a simpler, clearer definition of orthodox Christian doctrine upon which to build a reformed church.
  3. Financial accountability must be reestablished between our governing and educational institutions and the laity.  Therefore, financial support must move from the current “Per-Capita” involuntary tax to a voluntary system of local church support.  By this means our institutions would have to “earn their keep” by demonstrating their effectiveness and efficiency.

Clearly the above ideas are short on implementation detail.  However, unless we identify the top-level goals of reformed governance the whole process can be easily derailed.

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (4)

Sept-12-Laura-language-istockWhat are They Thinking?

How would you respond if someone walked up to you at a social event and said “All black people think and vote alike, and all women think and vote alike.“?  There are tens of millions of Americans who would be shocked and appalled by this statement.  But there are also millions who would consider it to be a “matter of fact” utterance, and tens of millions of others who are willing to accept this idea.  And, both of these groups consider the other to be sexist and racist.

Since this blog is focused on explaining what I consider to be Progressive nonsense I’ll leave it to others to argue the opposite point.  But make no mistake, I consider the Progressive ideology on race and gender to be destructive, dangerous nonsense.  But it is nonsense that is tearing our nation apart.

If we are going to make sense of this nonsense the best starting point is the Progressive concept of Identity.  To Progressive elites and those who follow them identity is a wholly self-generated attribute that is so fluid that it can change radically over days or even hours.  Thus identity has been utterly disconnected from anything outside an individual person, for example, God.

Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal

Extreme examples of this fluid self-identification chaos are easily found.  Recently a male (if you will allow me to presume wildly) physical education teacher was disciplined by his school district for refusing to oversee the disrobing of a female student who identifies as male.  We also have numerous examples of male athletes who identify as female winning championships in female athletics.  On race we have the example of Rachel Dolezal, who though white choses to identify as black (but not as African-American).

140214-herbenick-facebook-tease_feixnk

Facebook Gender Options

Facebook provides between 50 and 70 “gender options” (depending on who’s counting when and where).  Finally, although outside the domain of race and gender, a man in the Netherlands was suing to have his age reduced by twenty years because he identifies as a younger person.  There simply seems to be no boundary left that cannot be broken by the concept of human identification.

Who-am-IWhile this identity ideology appears to provide virtually unlimited choice, it also creates massive opportunity for confusion.  A recent article points out that many humans are literally collapsing under the responsibility of being the sole architect of their identity.

But it is the flip side of this ideology that frees Progressives to behave in ways that previously would have been generally agreed to be racist and misogynistic.  For, if identity can be selected then it can also be denied.  That is what happens to blacks and women who step outside the Progressive established boundaries for their race and gender.  That is, a black person and/or woman who choses non-Progressive positions is not accepted as  black and/or a woman.

0922-antifa

Progressive shock troops.

Therefore, the Progressive mob is freed to treat then not as blacks and/or women but rather as enemies of their race and/or gender who, if deemed necessary, can be destroyed with impunity.  Note that this explains how it is that a lily-white Progressive mob can accuse Candace Owens, a Conservative black woman, of “white supremacy.”

Linda_Sarsour

Linda Sarsour: Progressive Hero

This also explains how  Linda Sarsour could tweet

“Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away- they don’t deserve to be women.”

Note that Sarsour is explicitly applying the above described identity ideology that women who disagree with Progressivism need not be considered to be real women.  Rather, they are enemies of their gender who deserve to be mutilated in the most vile way imaginable.

But it’s actually more fundamental than identity politics.  That is, the intellectual foundation for this position is the racist and sexist premise that “All black people think and vote alike, and all women think and vote alike.” Of course, like most of the Progressive positions this assumption is obfuscated by complex philosophical formulations and impenetrable jargon.  If you seek a more practical explanation ask yourself why it is that Progressives always hear the racist or sexist “dog whistles” supposedly used by Conservatives?  I mean, if they can hear messages that the rest of us can’t in this regard then what does that make them?  Thus this appears to be far more an example of psychological projection than logical reasoning.

Partisan_doom.0

A nation dangerously divided, even on the definitions of sexism and racism.

This is simply a special case of the general Progressive position of dehumanizing any person who they consider to be in opposition to their goals, and particularly those who are a a threat.  To the radical elite Progressives we nonconformists are only one or two steps above a zombie.  They can therefore attack us by any means necessary without shame or human sympathy.  Of course most Progressives don’t go to this extreme.  However, neither do they generally speak out against their fellow Progressives who do.  And, that silence is in effect an endorsement of these vile tactics.

I am not here saying that racism and sexism doesn’t exist in Conservatism (and other non-Progressive ideologies).  They most certainly do.  However, I am saying that it is a major problem that the dominant governing ideology (as measured by institutional power) is built on these evils.  That is, racism and sexism are not deviations from, but rather direct consequences of  their ideology.

How do Progressives get away with this?  I’ve previously discussed the use of obfuscation to cloak the truth.  A second primary means is misdirection.  That is, because Progressives scream the loudest about opposition to racism and sexism (and, by the way, Fascism) most people assume that they must be free from these moral failures. The tragic fact t is that, behind this obfuscation and misdirection real racism and sexism has been allowed to grow into a terrible moral cancer within the Progressive movement.  Treatment cannot begin until we admit the truth.

 

 

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (3)

Thomas-Sowell-on-RacismRacists Against Racism!

Black men and women who dare to violate the prescribed ideological boundary for their race have been viciously attacked by Progressives for generations.  Thomas Sowell (a prolific and highly regarded conservative economist and columnist) and Clarence Thomas (a sitting Supreme Court Justice) are notable examples.

ClarenceThomas3

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  Photo by MGN

Thomas summarized the experience of non-conforming black treatment by Progressives in his statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation process.

“It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I’m concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to the old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”

US rapper Kanye West performs during the

Kanye West

But we need go back only a few months to find obvious and extreme examples of this mentality among Progressives.  Take the case of Kanye West.  Here we have a man who was loved by the Progressive Left for claiming in 2005 that President Bush “doesn’t care about black people.”  He sat atop our culture as the coolest, most hip performer who could get away with anything.

But the second he voiced support for President Trump for materially improving the economic situation of blacks (along with all other Americans) he was viciously mocked and dehumanized.  This instant transformation from worshiped pop-star to hated moron is well described in this article.

What a difference a year makes. It wasn’t long ago that Kanye West was the darling of Hollywood, the news media, liberal politicians and some of the more vocal members of the civil rights groups. Among the words to describe him back then were brilliant, dynamic, talented, musical genius, great humanitarian, successful entrepreneur and so many more. He was praised from every corner of the entertainment world and was often the much sought-after guest of honor at elite gatherings and many times headlined glitzy award shows. He was one of their biggest heroes. Of course, that was when his leftist fan club just assumed that he thought the same way as did they and held the same political opinions that are required to be a ‘good progressive’. But he doesn’t, and his former worshipers went into shock, when he began to express his personal views and, just like that, the love turned to the vilest hatred imaginable.

cnn_mocks_kanyeThis CNN panel discussion is typical of this vicious rhetoric deployed against a previously loved black performer who voiced support for President Trump.

“Kanye West is what happens when negroes don’t read,” said Bakari Sellers.

Candace Owens

Candace Owens

Or consider Candace Owens, a young, prominent conservative commentator.  She and  a colleague were assaulted by a Progressive Leftist mob while minding her own business at breakfast.

While this type of vicious mob action has become commonplace on the left, this incident stands out for what was said by the lily-white Progressive mob to this black woman and the black and Hispanic police officers who arrived on the scene.  Their chant to Owens was “F**k white supremacy.”  When the police showed up to defuse the situation they chanted “Cops and Klan, hand in hand.” They also spent time in a primal scream mode, which they apparently consider to be the equivalent to a compelling argument for their point of view.

Owens-Screaming-Mob

A Progressive mob member making a compelling argument to Candice Owens.

What are we to make of a mob composed of white people screaming at blacks and Hispanics that they are white supremacists?  This is clearly something beyond the typical racist denigration of any minority person who rejects the Progressive worldview.

In order to understand the source of this apparent Progressive hypocrisy on misogyny and racism we will have to again reenter the Alice in Wonderland world of current identity politics.

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (2)

1639626-Dessa-Darling-Quote-At-their-core-misogyny-and-racism-are-very

Have you ever wondered how it can be that those people who stand on the street corner loudly proclaiming their opposition to misogyny and racism can turn around and launch the most vile misogynist and racist attacks?  If so, first understand that you have just engaged in ideological “wrong think.”  But, if you, like me, persist in trying to understand what drives our current crisis, then read on.

Misogynists Against Misogyny!

220px-Sarah_Palin_by_Gage_Skidmore_2

Sara Palin

Take Sarah Palin.  Here we have a generally popular governor of a state that sends both Democrats and Republicans to Washington D.C.  Yes, she is in disagreement with the Progressive Left and may have been elevated too soon (or mistakenly) to a national ticket.  But how did that justify the vile outpouring of objectification and misogyny to which the Progressive Left subjected her and her daughter?

Consider this summary from a recent academic paper titled Sexualizing Sarah Palin: The Social and Political Contexts of the Sexual Objectification of Female Candidates:

While few opportunities existed prior to Palin to study women running for national, executive office in the U.S., it is safe to say that she has received the most sexually objectifying coverage to date (Heldman et al., 2009). Fourteen percent of Palin’s coverage mentioned her appearance, and it was often intensely misogynistic: “‘looks like every librarian in a Cinemax movie;’ a ‘VPILF’ (‘vice president I’d like to —-’)’” (Heldman et al., 2009, p. 12). Other media comments about Palin include, “‘I initially dismissed her as good-looking, [but] that backfired’; ‘Caribou Barbie…Malibu Barbie… Presidential Barbie’; ‘Winking Wonderwoman of Wasilla’; our ‘National Obsession’; ‘His cheerleader choice’; ‘Hugh Hefner asked Sarah Palin to pose for Playboy, because right now she’s posing as a vice presidential candidate’” (Heldman et al., 2009, p. 17). It is difficult to determine if her amplified objectification is due to her attractiveness, the new era of objectification, or both.

Or how about David Letterman making a “joke” about the statutory rape of Palin’s daughter on national television:

“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game — during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”

sarah-sanders

Sarah Sanders

You can find more recent sickening examples (many more can be easily found) for Sarah Sanders (see Comedian’s Sarah Sanders ‘roast’ stuns White House Correspondents’ Dinner) and

ivanka-trump-ici-en-2015-femme-d-affaire-redoutable-et-mere-de-famille_5569651

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump (see Samantha Bee hits Ivanka Trump with a filthy sexist attack — The silence on the left is deafening).  Finally, consider the  Linda Sarsour tweet from 2011:

“Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away- they don’t deserve to be women.”

Linda Sarsour went on to become a Progressive power player and highly visible leader in the Women’s March.  Apparently public, vile, violent fantasies about mutilating other women was not sufficient to prevent her ascension to the top of the Progressive movement.

Let there be no doubt, this vile behavior was from the Progressive Left.  There was no shame in saying these things, and virtually no criticism from our presumed Progressive moral betters in response.  That is, the very people who would have thrown a conniption fit had a female Progressive politician (or one of their daughters) been subjected to even 1% of this abuse had nothing to say about these incidents.  This selective deployment of moral outrage is nothing less than an implicit endorsement.  And a clear warning to any woman who is non-Progressive or who works for a non-Progressive that she can be subjected to this treatment.

We are bound to ask why, and, how Progressives justify such behavior.

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (1)

PCUSA-Pastor

The Rev. Susan Rothenberg: “We welcome everybody here!” … “You don’t belong here!”  Wait, what?

A Logical Contradiction, or Not?

In a recent post I discussed the behavior and statements of the Rev. Susan Rothenberg within context of reality exceeding satire.  However, there is a far more serious, consequential aspect of this situation.  For, while it’s easy to point out the ridiculousness of her ranting “We welcome everybody here!” and “You don’t belong here!”, the fact that neither she nor her Presbytery saw anything wrong with these apparently contradictory statements should cause great concern.

In particular, the Rev. Rothenberg explicitly refused to apologize for her statements.

While I don’t regret what I said, I do regret the pain that it’s caused. … It has spiraled, and it’s incredibly sad that that has happened. I love my church, and I love my denomination, and I have deep regret for any harm they may be experiencing.”

The Pittsburg Presbytery also refused to in any way criticize her behavior or words, but rather sought to cloak her in the snow-white garb of official victimhood.  Speaking as the top official in the Presbytery the Rev. Sheldon W. Sorge said:

“The pent-up anger this has revealed is astonishing. Susan’s protest has had the effect of a breach in a dam, and the torrent of hate-filled speech it has unleashed is vast and truly alarming,” the letter said.

So, to recap, neither the Rev. Rothenberg nor the Rev. Sorge acknowledged that a PCUSA minister publicly (and hatefully) screaming an apparent logical contradiction (among other questionable ideas) reflects poorly on the denomination’s intellectual or moral standing.

How to account for this result?  A charitable theory is that they are so embarrassed that they pretend to not notice, hoping that it will just disappear down the memory hole.  There was a time years ago when I would have gladly grasped at this straw.

pcusa-dividedUnfortunately, the purposeful, sustained over decades, policy of the PCUSA elite has been the implementation of just this apparent logical contradiction.  That is, while claiming to be loving and inclusive, the PCUSA elite has hatefully pursued a policy of exclusion for members who oppose (or even don’t sufficiently support) their goals.  Compelling evidence for this theory is easily found.  For example, contempt of and hatred for non-Progressive PCUSA members did not prevent (and may well have assisted) election of our 2016 General Assembly Co-Moderators.  General hatred for non-Progressive citizens was hurled from the pulpit of one of the PCUSA’s largest and most influential churches.  A partial summary of recent behavior, actions and policies of PCUSA leadership reveals an environment that ranges from disrespect to open intolerance of orthodox Christianity.  Finally note that this group has brazenly and officially self-identified as those who demand exclusion of all who refuse submission  to their ideology.

And in response over 1,200 churches and one-million members have exited the denomination in less than a decade.  That’s right folks, the supposedly most “inclusive” ever Christian leadership has in reality excluded and then driven out a huge segment of its membership.  It would take a heart of stone to resist pointing out the ludicrous irony of this situation.

While the previous text describes the contradiction between “We welcome everybody here!” and “You don’t belong here!”, it doesn’t explain how PCUSA Progressives can logically justify this position.  It turns out that the Reverends Sorge and Rothenberg provide key insight.  While defending the Rev. Rothenberg:

Rev. Sorge said he does not expect any efforts within the church to oust his colleague and note that Presbyterians have a long history of supporting political activism.

When asked to explain her behavior, she responded:.

“We have to give voice to pain and suffering. And sometimes pain and suffering is not attractive and doesn’t look like we have it all together. And I think that’s what it looked like”

Thus, the fact that the Rev. Rothenberg was practicing “political activism” supporting victims of “pain and suffering” justifies her behavior.  And, by extension, the PCUSA’s Progressive elite can and does justify almost anything by this same logic.

Therefore, to expand the Rev. Rothenberg’s formulation, the PCUSA’s policy is:

  1. We welcome everybody [who claims to either (a) be a victim of oppression or (b) speak out for victims of oppression] here!
  2. You [victimizers who adhere to the orthodox Biblical doctrines of sin and redemption] don’t belong here!

obfuscationThis is how the PCUSA Progressive elite can pursue a policy that on the surface appears to be a logical contradiction.  They say (or in this case scream) the above bolded words aloud.  In their heads they add (something along the lines of) the bracketed words.  Perhaps we should start to take far more seriously the hidden sense in what appears to be Progressive nonsense.

Stinging Satire from the Babylon Bee (3)

Keeping Satire Ahead of Reality is Hard

As you have probably noticed by now I sometimes enjoy the Babylon Bee.  However, I’m concerned that it’s fighting a losing battle with reality.  Consider their dilemma. They must somehow stay ahead of the ever accelerating lunacy that is occurring in reality in order to deliver satire.  That’s hard and getting harder.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 4.29.29 AMTake the PCUSA as a test case.  Back in 2017 the Bee published a satirical piece about the PCUSA’s position on inclusiveness.

“As a denomination, we just want to reiterate our sincere desire to extend a warm embrace to people of all backgrounds, as long as they don’t disagree with us on any single issue,” Rev. Craig Barnes said on behalf of the group, speaking to church leaders gathered at Princeton Theological Seminary. “We are totally committed to being accepting, loving, and never condemning—unless you’re a filthy, toxic traditionalist. Then all bets are off.”

The above excerpt’s quotes are, of course, made up and extreme for effect.  That’s simply a key aspect of satire.

PCUSA-Pastor

The Rev. Susan Rothenberg

However, a PCUSA minister recently created a public spectacle that in reality surpassed anything that the Bee could have imagined. Specifically, the Babylon Bee made up the quote by a made up PCUSA leader that “We are totally committed to being accepting, loving, and never condemning—unless you’re a filthy, toxic traditionalist. Then all bets are off” while an actual PCUSA pastor screamed in public that “We welcome everybody here!” and “You don’t belong here!” to the President of the United States and by obvious extension to those who support (or even don’t aggressively resist) him.

pittsburgh-presbytery

The Rev. Sheldon W. Sorge of the Pittsburgh Presbytery

As if to perfectly demonstrate in reality the entire satirical Bee imagined quote, the Pittsburgh Presbytery chose to only condemn those who objected to this behavior and tried to make the aggressor into a victim.

In an open letter titled “A Season of Travail” and published online Thursday, the Rev. Sheldon W. Sorge, the Presbytery’s general minister, expressed dismay at what he termed a “rush of anger unleashed on Facebook” at Rev. Rothenberg.

In an interview Thursday, Rev. Sorge said he was concerned by the level of animosity that has permeated emails, Facebook posts and phone messages that have flooded not only the Pittsburgh Presbytery but the church’s national office and presbytery offices elsewhere in the U.S.

The following paragraph in the same article is essential to drawing an informed conclusion about the Rev. Sorge’s response (emphasis added).

Calls have come in for Rev. Rothenberg, who currently works at a church consulting agency, to be dismissed or defrocked. And while Rev. Sorge said he is unaware of any threats of violence made, he said callers have resorted to denouncing Rev. Rothenberg in spiritual terms, telling her she can go to hell.

Yes, we can agree that a few responders saying “go to hell” is not an acceptable position.  However, if that’s the worst extreme in commentary by thousands of upset people then we can be confident that the vast majority of critical responses varied from thoughtful to angry, but were generally civil (see the end of this post for selected comments included in another article).

So, the Rev. Sorge backed his fellow cleric 100% and condemned all who voiced displeasure with her.  Is this stance any different than the Bee’s pretend statement that As a denomination, we just want to reiterate our sincere desire to extend a warm embrace to people of all backgrounds, as long as they don’t disagree with us?

Of course it’s not just the PCUSA who are making satire challenging.  So much so that the Instapundit site has created a tagline for those all too regular examples of reality challenging satirical imagination.

CNN UNVEILS NEW SLOGAN: ‘ORANGE MAN BAD.’

It’s the Babylon Bee, so it’s satire – or is it?

 

IT’S SATIRE, BUT IS IT REALLY? On Gender, Left Steps Up Effort Against Notorious Hate Group: Reality.

My theory is that this is a devious, brilliant conspiracy by the Progressive Left to destroy the Bee by making it impossible for satire to stay ahead of reality.

 



 

TheBlaze published an article on Rev. Rothenberg’s public outburst that includes a selection of comments found on Facebook.  While most are critical, not one crosses the line of civility.

The clip of Rothenberg yelling at Trump attracted over 29,000 comments on WTAE’s Facebook page since Tuesday evening. Most seemed decidedly against her yelling at the president:

  • “I guess she missed the entire point of the last few days. Hate is not welcomed or supported in Pittsburgh. She is fueling the very hate she says she’s against!”
  • “Wow are you kidding me? Leave your differences aside and stop being a disrespectful child in a time of mourning.”
  • This is not the Pittsburgh I grew up in, nor is it the Presbyterian Church I grew up in. The man wasn’t here to be with political people, but came with his family to honor the deceased and first responders, and visit those who were wounded. He did not affect you or the families of the deceased. Spewing hatred is the problem. I’m ashamed for these actions.”
  • “This lady just wanted attention. Notice her smile and cover her face than say sorry when she saw she was being recorded and getting the attention she wanted. She doesn’t care that her neighbors are trying to grieve for loved ones if she truly did she wouldn’t add to the chaos.”

But not every comment was negative:

  • “I feel her frustration. My heart aches for the family and love ones of those who were taken by hatred.”

Wow, pretty mild stuff.  But how dare the unwashed multitude criticize in any way the public behavior of a PCUSA minister!

Stinging Satire from the Babylon Bee (1)

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 5.35.30 AMThese Guys are Pretty Funny!

One of the more subversive Christian sites currently on the Internet is the Babylon Bee.  I was introduced to it via a few secular sites that focus on Conservative / Libertarian politics.  If you are a Progressive of any stripe you’ll likely not appreciate their perspective.  However, you may have to admit that they are pretty creative when it comes to critiquing politics and current events.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 5.50.57 AMTheir primary modus operandi is to take an opponent’s position at face value and then  create overtly “fake news” articles that poke fun at their expense.  As readers of this blog would expect, one of my recent favorites is Progressive Group Launches ‘Center for Advanced Ad Hominems’.  Whereas my method is to seriously demonstrate the existence and destructiveness of this behavior the Bee assumes Progressive ownership of this tactic and then takes it to the logical (but credible?) extreme.  The text is funny, but it’s the accompanying photo that seals the laughter deal.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 6.40.42 AMOne major theme is opposition to Postmodern/Progressive Christianity.  As an orthodox Reformed Christian (i.e., when I vowed as an Elder to be guided by the historic Confessions I knew what they teach and meant it) living in the PCUSA I can’t avoid being regularly smacked upside the head with this theological perspective.  So, when the Bee goes after the ensuing doctrinal and organizational insanity I fully admit to taking (guilty?) pleasure in the results.

An alleged draft of the creed, which was leaked to the press Thursday morning, reads as follows:

“The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in our feels, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from our feels: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by the Scriptures, church history, or theologians.”

“Thus, things that make us feel bad, those are wrong. The things that give us all the happy feels, those are true, right, and good.”

“At least, that’s how we feel at the moment, I feel,” she noted.

Satire Gold!

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 9.44.42 AMAnd, lest you assume that these Bees live in a ideological bubble-hive, I give you this “article” about then candidate Donald Trump.

“‘Has-Been Bible’ says I’m not a Christian, but that is a lie, folks. I am a tremendous Christian—the very best,” Trump assured the nation. “These numerous verses from the Bible—which, by the way, doesn’t even have the courage to address me by name—but these verses that try to paint me as somehow un-Christian, they’re ridiculous and false, and it’s pathetic, really. It’s sad!”

Pressed for comment, the Holy Bible released a one-sentence statement: “You will know them by their fruits.”

But wait!  There’s more…it turns out that the Babylon Bee has waded into the doctrinal debate on salvation.  Can that possibly be funny?  Stay tuned.