Is Anyone on the Wrong Side of History?

Are You on the Wrong Side of History?

From the Intercollegiate Review (isi.org)

By Jane Clark Scharl

You want to be the kind of person who does the right thing even when it’s hard.               You [went] to college to learn about truth and goodness. You want to end up on the “right side of history” alongside those heroes from history: abolitionists, suffragettes, defenders of the weak and innocent.

But…your professors and fellow students tell you that to be a good person, you have to give up on objective truth and morality, because these things are definitely not on the side of goodness. They… tell you that unless you give up on God, truth, and morality, you’ll join the ranks of slaveholders, sexual oppressors, and fascists, forever banned from the right side of history.

Don’t worry, there’s good news: there is no right side of history. [But] That doesn’t mean there’s not good or evil.

This progressive morality is a crude form of Marxism, which promises that history will bring about the class war and the abolition of inequality. But the idea that history is a self-revelatory entity that will justify itself is much older than Marx. The turmoil on campuses to overthrow tradition, eliminate morality, and silence truth is just the foam on top of philosophical poison that has been bubbling for millennia. It’s not just about history or politics. It’s an attempt to justify existence itself.

Is Morality Progressive?

The great Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, in his masterpiece Main Currents of Marxism, traces the roots of the Marxist dependence on history back to a disagreement between (who else?) Plato and Aristotle; about the relationship between matter and goodness. Plato, broadly speaking, indicates that true Goodness is an Idea; therefore matter, by being matter, is necessarily separated from it. Aristotle argued that matter can be good if it exists in accordance with the laws of goodness, which govern both ideas and matter.

With the introduction of Christianity, the conversation quickly got personal, because instead of talking about ideas and matter, philosophers could talk about God and creation. The question came up as to why God created matter. Christianity believes that as long as there was only God, there was no evil, but almost as soon as He created, there was evil (yes, even in heaven!). So why did He create? There are two possibilities:

(1) God created, not knowing the possibility of evil.
(2) God created, knowing the possibility of evil.

Option 1 leads, inevitably, to progressive historicism: the “right side”/“wrong side” language implying that history is an entity capable of increasing moral self-awareness. If God was unaware of the possibility of evil and then learned of it through creation, then God’s concept of morality is changing in response to the things He learns through history. In other words, there is no objective morality. History is God’s attempt to understand and cope with evil. If God is powerful, He will eventually defeat evil, so progress through history is actually progress toward the defeat of evil through the knowledge God has achieved. (note: In the ninth century, the pope denounced this view as heresy.)

“But my professors don’t believe in God!” you’re probably saying. “Why does any of this matter?” Simply because in the eighteenth-century philosophers started substituting “Humanity” (capital H) for “God.” Do that in the paragraph above, and you have a textbook explanation of progressive morality. It’s not an attempt to find goodness; it’s an attempt to understand and defeat evil. The progressive condemnation of things that were previously considered morally good (sexuality mores, respect for religion, promotion of civic virtue) makes perfect sense; our understanding of morality has progressed so that we can now see those things as evil.

The “right side of history” is a trap because we can never know if we are on it or not. The next generation could come along and disprove everything we think we know; in fact, as we’re seeing right now, they could discover that we are all villains of the highest order. The moral goal today is inclusion (of certain things that used to be evil); tomorrow it could be stability or efficiency (as in Soviet Russia or Maoist China), and the protests, rallies, and strikes of the “heroes” on your campus could be condemned as seditious or downright evil.

Morality Outside of History

There’s another option, of course. It is possible that God created the world knowing that evil was a possibility. Free will (which God chose to create) meant that created beings could choose evil, which they did. This wasn’t inevitable, but it was a possibility all along. So goodness—­living according to God’s will—and evil are objective realities; they don’t change as history progresses, because God isn’t changing with history.

Don’t worry if your convictions are showing up on the “wrong side of history” lists on campus. History has no sides; it is simply a record of what has come before. The rapidly changing progressive “morality” of college campuses doesn’t give any real insight into the nature of good or evil.

If you’re truly interested in goodness, look instead at the moral teachers who’ve fixed their idea of morality outside of history. (A few names to start with, which are disappearing from syllabi: Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Plutarch, Aristotle, Christ, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn.) You might not be on the right side of history, but you’ll be right anyway.

*****

Jane Clark Scharl, is a graduate of The King’s College in New York, and a writer for Alliance Defending Freedom.

– See more at: https://home.isi.org/are-you-wrong-side-history#sthash.uiCJpkJU.dpuf

 

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Rothbard’s Critique of Marx’s Philosophy

The Fantasy Behind Marx’s Historical Materialism

By Murray N. Rothbard

There is no place in his system where Marx is fuzzier or shakier than at its base: the concept of historical materialism, the key to the inevitable dialectic of history.

At the base of historical materialism and of Marx’s view of history is the concept of the “material productive forces.” These “forces” are the driving power that creates all historical events and changes. So what are these “material productive forces”? This is never made clear. The best that can be said is that material productive forces mean “technological methods.” On the other hand, we are also faced with the term “mode of production,” which seems to be the same thing as material productive forces, or the sum of, or systems of, technological methods.

At any rate, these material productive forces, these technologies and “modes of production,” uniquely and monocausally create all “relations of production” or “social relations of production” independently of people’s wills. These “relations of production,” also extremely vaguely defined, seem to be essentially legal and property relations. The sum of these relations of production somehow make up the “economic structure of society.” This economic structure is the “base” which causally determines the “superstructure,” which includes natural science, legal doctrines, religion, philosophies, and all other forms of “consciousness.” In short, at the bottom of the base is technology which in turn constitutes or determines modes of production, which in turn determines relations of production, or institutions of law or property, and which finally in turn determine ideas, religious values, art, etc.

How, then, do historical changes take place in the Marxian schema? They can only take place in technological methods, since everything else in society is determined by the state of technology at any one time. In short, if the state of technology is T and everything else is the determined superstructure, S, then to Marx,

Tn →Sn

where n is any point of time. But then, the only way in which social change can take place is via change in technology, in which case

Tn + 1 → Sn + 1

As Marx put it in the clearest and starkest statement of his technological determinist view of history, in his Poverty of Philosophy:

In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production, and in changing their mode of production, their means of gaining a living, they change all their social relations. The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill society with the industrial capitalist.

The first grave fallacy in this farrago is right at the beginning: Where does this technology come from? And how do technologies change or improve? Who puts them into effect? A key to the tissue of fallacies that constitute the Marxian system is that Marx never attempts to provide an answer. Indeed he cannot, since if he attributes the state of technology or technological change to the actions of man, of individual men, his whole system falls apart. For human consciousness, and individual consciousness at that, would then be determining material productive forces rather than the other way round. As [Ludwig] von Mises points out:

We may summarize the Marxian doctrine in this way: In the beginning there are the “material productive forces,” i.e., the technological equipment of human productive efforts, the tools and machines. No question concerning their origin is permitted; they are, that is all; we must assume that they are dropped from heaven.1

And, we may add, any changes in that technology must therefore be dropped from heaven as well.

Furthermore, as von Mises also demonstrated, consciousness, rather than matter, is predominant in technology:

a technological invention is not something material. It is the product of a mental process, of reasoning and conceiving new ideas. The tools and machines may be called material, but the operation of the mind which created them is certainly spiritual. Marxian materialism does not trace back “superstructural” and “ideological” phenomena to “material” roots. It explains these phenomena as caused by an essentially mental process, viz. invention.2

Machines are embodied ideas. In addition, technological processes do not only require inventions. They must be brought forth from the invention stage and be embodied in concrete machines and processes. But that requires savings and capital investment as well as invention. But, granting this fact, then the “relations of production,” the legal and property rights system in a society, help determine whether or not saving and investment will be encouraged and discouraged. Once again, the proper causal path is from ideas, principles, and the legal and property rights “superstructure” to the alleged “base.”

Similarly, machines will not be invested in, unless there is a division of labor of sufficient extent in a society. Once again, the social relations, the cooperative division of labor and exchange in society, determine the extent and development of technology, and not the other way round.3

In addition to these logical flaws, the materialist doctrine is factually absurd. Obviously, the hand mill, which ruled in ancient Sumer, did not “give you” a feudal society there: furthermore, there were capitalist relations long before the steam mill. His technological determinism led Marx to hail each important new invention as the magical “material productive force” that would inevitably bring about the socialist revolution. Wilhelm Liebknecht, a leading German Marxist and friend of Marx, reported that Marx once attended an exhibition of electric locomotives in London, and delightedly concluded that electricity would give rise to the inevitable communist revolution.4

[Friedrich] Engels carried technological determinism so far as to declare that it was the invention of fire that separated man from the animals. Presumably the group of animals to whom fire somehow arrived were thereupon determined to evolve upward; the emergence of man himself was simply a part of the superstructure.

Even granting Marx’s thesis momentarily for the sake of argument, his theory of historical change still faces insuperable difficulties. For why can’t technology, which somehow develops as an automatic given, simply and smoothly change the “relations of production” and the “superstructure” above it? Indeed, if the base at each moment of time determines the rest of the superstructure, how can a change in the base not smoothly determine an appropriate change in the rest of the structure? But, again, a mysterious element enters the Marxian system. Periodically, as technology and the modes of production advance, they come into conflict, or, in the peculiar Hegelian-Marxian jargon, in “contradiction” to the relations of production, which continue in the conditions appropriate to the past time period and past technology. These relations therefore become “fetters” blocking technological development. Since they become fetters on growth, the new technology gives rise to an inevitable social revolution that overthrows the old production relations and the superstructure and creates new ones that have been blocked or fettered. In this way, feudalism gives rise to capitalism, which in turn will give way to socialism.

But if technology determines social production relations, what is the mysterious force that delays the change in those relations? It couldn’t be human stubbornness or habit or culture, since we have already been informed by Marx that modes of production impel men to enter into social relations apart from their mere wills.

As Professor Plamenatz points out, we are merely told that the relations of production become fetters on the productive forces. Marx merely asserts this point, and never even attempts to offer a cause, material or otherwise. As Plamenatz puts the entire problem,

then, all of a sudden, without warning and without explanation, he [Marx] tells us that there nevertheless arises inevitably from time to time an incompatibility between them [the productive forces and the relations of production] which only social revolution can resolve. This incompatibility apparently arises because the dependent variable [the relations] begins to impede the free operation of the variable on which it depends. [The material productive forces.] This is an astounding statement, and yet Marx can make it without even being aware that it requires explanation.5

Professor Plamenatz has shown that part of the deep confusion is both generated, and camouflaged, by Marx’s failure to define “relations of production” adequately. This concept apparently includes legal property relations. But if legal property relations were at fault in this dialectical delay in adjustment, thus setting up the “fetters,” then Marx would be conceding that the problem is really legal or political rather than economic. But he wanted the determining base to be purely economic; the political and the ideological had to be merely part of the determined superstructure. So “social relations of production,” allegedly economic, were the fetters; but this can only makes sense if this means the property rights or legal system. And so Marx got out of his dilemma by being so fuzzy and ambivalent about the “relations of production” that these relations could be taken either as including the property structure, as identical with that structure, or else the two might be totally separate entities.

In particular, Marx accomplished his obscurantist purpose by asserting that the property rights system was part of the “legal expression of the “relations of production” — thus somehow being able to be part of the superstructure and yet of the economic “relations of production” at the same time. “Legal expression,” needless to say, was not defined either. As Plamenatz summed up, the entire concept of “relations of production,” so necessary to the Marxian thesis of material or economic determinism, serves Marx as a “ghost battalion closing a vital gap in the front of Marxian theory.”6 Yet in all this there is no way that the concept of “relations of production” can make economic determinism intelligible, and there is no way by which these relations can either be determined by the modes of production or can in themselves determine the property rights system.

The only possible coherent chain of causation, in contrast, is the other way round: from ideas to property rights systems to the fostering or crippling the growth of saving and investment, and of technological development.

Twentieth-century Marxists, from Lukacs to Genovese, have often tried to save the day from the embarrassment of the technological determinism of Marx and his immediate followers. They maintain that all sophisticated Marxists know that the causation is not unilinear, that the base and the superstructure really influence each other. Sometimes, they try to torture the data to claim that Marx himself took such a sophisticated position. Either way, they are characteristically obfuscating the fact that they have in reality abandoned Marxism. Marxism is monocausal technological determinism, along with all the rest of the fallacies we have depicted, or it is nothing, and it has demonstrated no inevitable or even likely dialectic mechanism.7

*****

  • 1. Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History (1957, Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 1985), pp. 111–2.
  • 2. Ibid., pp. 109–10.
  • 3. In the Poverty of Philosophy, Marx angrily denounced Proudhon for making this very point, that division of labor precedes machines.
  • 4. See M.M. Bober, Karl Marx’s <em>Interpretation of History,</em> (2nd rev. ed., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948), p. 9.
  • 5. John Plamenatz, German Marxism and Russian Communism (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1954), p. 29.
  • 6. Ibid., p. 27.
  • 7. For a defense of technological monocausality as a key to Marxism by the founder of Russian Marxism, George V. Plekhanov (1857–1918), see Plekhanov, The Development of the Monist View of History (New York: International Publishers, 1973). Cf. David Gordon, Critics of Marxism (New Brunswick, MJ: Transaction Books, 1986), p. 22. For a critique of Marxism-Plekhanovism, see Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism (Oxford: Oxford, University Press, 1981), pp. 340–2.

From Mises.org

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Black Authenticity and Freedom

The Oppression of Black People is Over

The recent NFL protests were more dutiful than daring.

Freedom has made the theme of victimization obsolete.

By Shelby Steele

The protests by black players in the National Football League were rather sad for their fruitlessness. They may point to the end of an era for black America, and for the country generally—an era in which protest has been the primary means of black advancement in American life. There was a forced and unconvincing solemnity on the faces of these players as they refused to stand for the national anthem. They seemed more dutiful than passionate, as if they were mimicking the courage of earlier black athletes who had protested: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics; Muhammad Ali, fearlessly raging against the Vietnam War; Jackie Robinson, defiantly running the bases in the face of racist taunts. The NFL protesters seemed to hope for a little ennoblement by association.

And protest has long been an ennobling tradition in black American life. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the march on Selma, from lunch-counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides to the 1963 March on Washington, only protest could open the way to freedom and the acknowledgment of full humanity. So, it was a high calling in black life. It required great sacrifice and entailed great risk. Martin Luther King Jr., the archetypal black protester, made his sacrifices, ennobled all of America, and was then shot dead. For the NFL players there was no real sacrifice, no risk, and no achievement. Still, in black America there remains a great reverence for protest. Through protest—especially in the 1950s and ’60s—we, as a people, touched greatness. Protest, not immigration, was our way into the American Dream. Freedom in this country had always been relative to race, and it was black protest that made freedom an absolute. It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historic moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course. What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: the oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise. Of course, this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.

Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point already has been made—when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded? What happened was that black America was confronted with a new problem: the shock of freedom. This is what replaced racism as our primary difficulty. Blacks had survived every form of human debasement with ingenuity, self-reliance, a deep and ironic humor, a capacity for self-reinvention, and a heroic fortitude. But we had no experience of wide-open freedom. Watch out that you get what you ask for, the saying goes. Freedom came to blacks with an overlay of cruelty because it meant we had to look at ourselves without the excuse of oppression. Four centuries of dehumanization had left us underdeveloped in many ways, and within the world’s most highly developed society. When freedom expanded, we became more accountable for that underdevelopment. So freedom put blacks at risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us. To hear, for example, that more than four thousand people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism. We can say that past oppression left us unprepared for freedom. This is certainly true. But it is no consolation. Freedom is just freedom. It is a condition, not an agent of change. It does not develop or uplift those who win it. Freedom holds us accountable no matter the disadvantages we inherit from the past.

The tragedy in Chicago—rightly or wrongly—reflects on black America. That’s why, in the face of freedom’s unsparing judgmentalism, we reflexively claim that freedom is a lie. We conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: “systemic” and “structural” racism, racist “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism, and that freedom’s accountability is an injustice. We end up giving victimization the charisma of black authenticity. Suffering, poverty, and underdevelopment become the things that make you “truly  black.” Success and achievement throw your authenticity into question. The NFL protests were not really about injustice. Instead such protests are usually genuflections to today’s victim-focused black identity. Protest is the action arm of this identity. It is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists. It wants an excuse. For any formerly oppressed group, there will be an expectation that the past will somehow be an excuse for difficulties in the present. This is the expectation behind the NFL protests and the many protests of groups like Black Lives Matter. The near-hysteria around the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and others is also a hunger for the excuse of racial victimization, a determination to keep it alive. To a degree, black America’s self-esteem is invested in the illusion that we live under a cloud of continuing injustice.

When you don’t know how to go forward, you never just sit there; you go backward into what you know, into what is familiar and comfortable and, most of all, exonerating.  You rebuild in your own mind the oppression that is fading from the world. And you feel this abstract, fabricated oppression as if it were your personal truth, the truth around which your character is formed. Watching the antics of Black Lives Matter is like watching people literally aspiring to black victimization, longing for it as for a consummation. But the NFL protests may be a harbinger of change. They elicited considerable resentment. There have been counter-protests. TV viewership went down. Ticket sales dropped. What is remarkable about this response is that it may foretell a new fearlessness in white America—a new willingness in whites (and blacks outside the victim-focused identity) to say to blacks what they really think and feel, to judge blacks fairly by standards that are universal. We blacks have lived in a bubble since the 1960s because whites have been deferential for fear of being seen as racist. The NFL protests reveal the fundamental obsolescence—for both blacks and whites—of a victim-focused approach to racial inequality. It causes whites to retreat into deference and blacks to become nothing more than victims. It makes engaging as human beings and as citizens impermissible, a betrayal of the sacred group identity. Black victimization is not much with us any more as a reality, but it remains all too powerful as a hegemony.

*****

Article from the Hoover Digest: https://www.hoover.org/research/oppression-black-people-over

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Liberal Christianity and Roe v. Wade

When Liberals Who Identify as ‘Christian’ Defend Roe

             “Killing-Human-Life”                                                                                                                                          By Ryan Bomberger

 

So, if you repeat the exact same propaganda as Planned Parenthood, are you really #prolife?

Author, and former evangelical, Rachel Held Evans seems to think so. The liberal, who identifies as a Christian, decided to tweet a long diatribe defending Roe in light of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. It didn’t go well (see my video takedown here). Her eugenics-laden, screed of pro-abortion talking points resorted to calling pro-lifers, who support Trump, racists who oppress people of color.

Y-a-w-n. Doesn’t it get tiring using the same lame accusations?

She is the typical liberal abortion apologist. They love their “complex nuances”. Yet their lies are simple to identify. So, I’ll highlight her top 5 pathetic defenses of keeping the violence of Roe legal.

  1. Conviction Versus Condition

Evans first claims that “I’m prolife by conviction, though my views on the legalities of abortion are complex, ever-evolving, and detailed elsewhere.” Convictions rooted in immutable truths don’t shift with every political wind or triggered feeling. Of course we’ve never heard this line before—“I’m personally against ________, but I don’t think it should be legislated.” If slavery abolitionists chose to embrace that same chasm between morality and political action, the 13th Amendment wouldn’t exist.

Roe is not freedom, for anyone. It is oppression, no matter what nuance you try to spin.

  1. Clueless about Prolife Movement

Evans reveals her complete ignorance about the prolife movement by charging us with only valuing hypothetical “white, blue-eyed, motherless babies”. Eugenicists idealize certain babies (“wanted”, wealthy, mostly white). The Pro-life movement defends and values all unborn human children and the parents who procreate them. The prolife movement, not the eugenic abortion industry, cares for mother and child…and father (which Evans never mentions in her entire thread). I guess her own child deserves a father, but others…not so much. She clearly hasn’t been tuned into anything going on in the Pro-life movement. Have you seen any of our campaigns? TooManyAborted.comWhatAbortionReallyIs.com?

More evidence of this is her bizarre assertion that pregnancy care centers merely “give out free diapers”. These donor-funded pregnancy help centers provide far more care than Planned Parenthood does for mothers. And all of their services are free, which include free pregnancy tests, parenting classes, material assistance (furniture, maternity/baby clothes, toys, and yes diapers, which are a huge expense). Many run maternity homes (Planned Parenthood operates none of them). Some offer life coachingSTD testing/treatmentmentors for fathersGED completion classesfree prenatal caregynecological servicesadoption services, even marriage support and job training. Many partner with local resources that, together, help provide a holistic approach to meeting needs.

  1. Lack of Access…to the Truth. 

Evans is just empty on facts. Although she acknowledges abortion rates are up to 5 times higher in the black community, she blames this on pro-lifers, you know, because conservative oppression. She doesn’t call out an industry that kills millions and disproportionately targets poor minorities—but the people that fight an evil industry. What’s more systemic and more racist than more black babies being aborted than born alive? In 2014, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, there were 1,101 aborted (currently 1,039 are aborted). Contrary to Evans’ claims, Hispanics are more impoverished than Blacks in NYC (24% versus 21.5%) and are less insured (17% versus 10.5%) yet have half the abortion rate. When Planned Parenthood tweets that black women are better off having an abortionist kill there child than giving birth—yes, real systemic racism.

  1. Bogus Charges of Oppression

I’ve worked in poor black communities many of my adult years as a community volunteer, a mentor, and leader. People from across the political spectrum work with the broken, the hurting, the poor. I’m so tired of those who regurgitate this easy and unoriginal lie that “prolifers/conservatives don’t care about people after they’re born”. Many of just don’t happen to think that welfare is an effective solution to communities ravaged by poverty, violence, drugs, and fatherlessness. “Safety net” programs often don’t make situations safe. Evans—who is a white married woman with a father for their child—apparently thinks that government is a good substitute for actual fathers.

The welfare state couldn’t exist, by the way, if both political parties didn’t legislate it into existence and continually vote to sustain it. Our government is to provide for the general welfare of its people, not excessively provide welfare. Political power requires dependency, just like liberalism requires an abundance of victimhood. Newsflash—the War on Poverty and its billions haven’t ended poverty. On the 50th anniversary of the “unconditional” War on Poverty, $22 trillion spent hasn’t resulted in the change that progressives claimed America would see. Welfare shouldn’t be a destination but a temporary place for those in need to get the necessary support in order to help better their current situation and be freed from a life of dependency.

  1. Elevation, Not Elimination

Evans deleted her thread on defending Roe. She claims others have misrepresented her views. No. We haven’t misrepresented her views. She misrepresented Christianity.

As a pro-life factivist, it is not my job to tackle every issue of (real) injustice. It’s not feasibly possible. As Christians, who are part of the body of Christ that specialize in different areas, we are called to work collectively to “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed” and to “speak up for the poor and the helpless and see that they get justice”. It doesn’t say repeat the lies of an industry that kills the image of God 2,500 times a day in our country. It doesn’t say stand with those who celebrate the shedding of innocent blood as a “right.”

What the Bible I know says about any circumstance, humanly planned or unplanned, is that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Truth. It’s immutable. It’s not that complex. And it’s the only thing that brings freedom.

*****

Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who also happens to be the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome munchkins. Ryan is a creative agitator and international public speaker who just loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

Article from blackcommunitynews.com; https://blackcommunitynews.com/when-liberals-who-identify-as-christian-defend-roe/ utm_source=Black+Community+News&utm_campaign=6d0338d1ea-EMAIL_MC&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cc43091836-6d0338d1ea-222188669

 

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Voluntarism and the Separation of Church and State

Voluntarism and the Separation of Church and State

By Peter Coker

One of the main things that brought colonists to the North American continent in the 1600’s was the atmosphere of religious persecution they had been experiencing in Europe. For most Protestant believers, the “new world” meant a fresh-start, to worship freely, without restraint or persecution. The “old world” in Europe was a world of contention, religious wars, and religious bigotries. Old-world religion held to the conviction that ‘uniformity of religion’ must exist in any given society. This conviction rested on the belief that there was one true religion and that it was the duty of civil authorities to impose it on its citizenry, by force if necessary. This general attitude existed throughout most of Europe at that time. Nonconformists could expect no mercy and might even be executed as heretics. In some areas of Europe, Catholics persecuted Protestants; in other areas Protestants persecuted Catholics; and in some areas both Catholics and Protestants persecuted other “wayward” religious sects.

Even though the early colonists were fleeing the European persecution-concept, some of the more rigorously orthodox (especially the Puritans) initially brought that same concept to the American colonies. But other Christian sects, denounced the persecution concept. The persecution concept was first denounced in the colonies by Baptist leader Roger Williams of the Rhode Island Baptists. William’s denounced the persecution-concept as “inforced uniformity of religion.”

Other denominations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, such as William Penn and the Quakers also rejected the European persecution-concept. Additionally, the Anabaptists who had previously, while still in Europe, propagated the concept of “separation of church and state” also rejected the old-world persecution-concept. (The Anabaptists had been very harshly persecuted in Europe). The Baptists, Anabaptists, and Quakers new-world ideals soon provided the model example for religious freedom, liberty, and tolerance that the other colonies would eventually adopt as well. The seeds of this attitude would continue to grow over the next 100+ years, from the early colonial period to the founding era in the American colonies.

Later, in the founding era, the Baptists in New England strongly believed that all direct connections between the state and institutionalized religion must be broken in order that America might become, a truly Christian nation. To advance their cause, the New England Baptists formed the Warren Association in 1769. The Warren Association believed their dream for a truly Christian America was not being abandoned at all, but merely believed its true essence could not be forced or coerced. As they saw it, it should be free and voluntary; just as the “covenant of grace” was not limited to individuals, it also extended to the “covenant people” in general and the American peoples struggle for liberty.

One of the members of the Warren Association was a Baptist minister named Isaac Backus. Backus believed that ‘truth’ is great and that ‘truth’ will ultimately prevail (By ‘truth’ he meant the revealed doctrines of Scripture). He believed God had appointed two different kinds of government which are different in nature; one is civil and the other is ecclesiastical. Backus said the civil legislature does not function as our representative in religious affairs. Furthermore, he said; legislative power is inappropriate for faith. Backus declared religion is a ‘voluntary’ obedience unto God which ‘force’ cannot promote.

Isaac Backus’s idea of ‘voluntarism’ helped promote the evangelical position on the ‘separation of church and state‘ that both the ‘revivalists’ and the ‘rationalists’ could find common ground. This common ground between the ‘revivalist men’ and the ‘reasonable men’ found mutual agreement in opposing the European old-world ideal of coerced uniformity.

Many of the ‘Sons of Liberty’  in the colonies were men influenced by ‘Enlightenment’ thought, which assumed man could use his ‘reason’ and by it he could arrive at a reasonable or natural understanding of himself and his world. But, Backus’ ‘separation of church and state’ differed from Jefferson and Madison. Jefferson viewed all religious creeds and sects as potential tyrannies over the mind of man and thus explicitly denied that America was or should be a Christian nation… contrarily, Backus and the Baptists wanted to separate Church and State in order to create a truly Christian state in which men rendered to Caesar only what was truly Caesar’s and devote the bulk of their energy to serving God.

The religious influence revived by the Great Awakening breathed a renewed spark of life into the North American colonies and helped shape the ideals for religious freedom, liberty, and independence in the founding era. Independence from British rule and the desire to be governed by a fixed ‘rule of law’ with the ‘consent of the people’ became the ideal for the colonists. The phrase, “no king but king Jesus” had become a common refrain in the streets of colonial America.

From the colonial-era, let’s now fast forward to the 20th century’s Progressive Era. As a result of Progressivism early in the 20th century, and its following philosophy, Liberalism in the FDR era, the secular humanists have since incrementally coerced and forced by law their particular brand of neo-fascism on its citizenry. Theirs is a “uniformity of anti-religion” as the true-religion and civil authorities are duty bound to impose and enforce these alien archaic beliefs on its citizenry. In other words, their secular version is intolerant of religious freedom and liberty. Under the secularists new rules, nonconformists (religionists) can now expect some form of persecution and can expect to be declared ‘heretics’ as well as being culturally ostracized.

Yes, today the uniformity tables have been completely turned around by secular-elitists within the government, their allies and by special interest groups sympathetic towards likeminded paganistic god-haters. Like an ‘unofficial’ conspiracy of reality-deficient malcontents, their goal is make laws that enforce an anti-God atmosphere in the United States. For the god-haters (or God’s-Law haters) there is to be no common-ground between secular and sacred permitted in the United States. There is only their secularized way and their fascist-inspired-culture will be enforced by ‘the state,’ reviving the old-world persecution-concept. Any individual or group that will not conform to the humanistic ideals of a secular fascist law-order is fair game for destruction by a new generation of neo-marxist god-haters.

The phrase “separation of church and state” gets thrown around so much that many believe it is found in America’s Constitution. It is not. The Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The basic meaning of this is that the United States Congress (Federal Government) cannot establish a federally instituted church (Like the Church of England), nor can it pass any law restricting the free exercise of a church. For unredeemed non-believers this also means the federal government cannot force someone to be a Christian. This amendment is a limit on the federal government, but not on the individual states. For a time after America became an independent nation, some individual states continued to have an “established religion” (established denomination). But individual states later changed to the federal government concept as a matter of practicality because people of various Christian denominations were moving into their states.

The secular humanists of the early 20th century (and some divisive clergy) often used the tactic of ‘dualism’ to subvert the American idea of voluntarism. Their philosophic tactic of dualism was used to divide faith and reason, thereby doing ‘violence’ to the original intent of the Constitution. This tactical division drove a wedge between sacred and secular, religion and philosophy, and created a new (Marxist inspired) definition for the phrase “separation of church and state;” (much like the Soviet Union definition). This new neo-Marxist inspired definition was later (subversively) legally adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court via the 1947 Emerson v. Board of Education case. This Constitutional monkey-business is exactly what America’s founders had painstaking avoided setting-up. It resulted in giving the Federal Government too much centralized-power over the individual states. The founding authors of the ‘Constitution’ firmly believed each Constitutional amendment and article should stand on its own merit and intent. Therefore, they should not be combined with other amendments to twist its original meaning or application.

The founder’s referred to maintaining the Constitution’s ‘original intent‘ as “the spirit of the law.” Yet today, subverters of the Constitution and of the ‘Rule of Law,’ claim it is that twisting and ‘changing the intent’ that is “the spirit of the law;” or as they are fond of saying “a living and breathing constitution.” We used to call such people subversives, communists, and socialists – today they are more commonly known as Democrats. Their philosophy, politics, and natural urge is to return to the old-world ideas that American independence discarded. It appears if Democrats stand for anything, it is to turn upside-down, destroy and do violence to America’s founding Christian principles, an established written Rule of Law, and Isaac Backus’s concept of “voluntarism.”

*****

 

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Religion and the American Revolution

Religion and the American Revolution

By Peter Coker

By the eve of the American Revolution there were about three-thousand religious ministries in the thirteen colonies. These ministries included; congregations, parishes, missions, societies and stations. One of the major roles the Christian religion played in the American Revolution was by providing a moral sanction for opposing Great Britain. Colonial Christianity gave an assurance to the average American that their “Revolution” was justified in the sight of God. As Revolution leader John Adams explained, “the Revolution was effected before the war commenced…the Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

Just Prior to the American Revolution, a religious revival had spread across the thirteen colonies called, the Great Awakening. The beginnings of the awakening started in the 1730’s and its growth continued through the 1740’s, 1750’s, and even lingered into the 1760’s. Tens of thousands were converted and many new churches sprang-up throughout the colonies. Many believed this was a “new reformation.” Some even believed that the Awakening might be a prelude to Christ’s return to earth. The Awakening also had a tremendous affect on colonial independence and the idea of breaking away from Great Britain’s rulership.

The American colonists believed Britain’s misuse of laws was tyrannical. New England preachers had taught for years that no man needs to obey a government when that government violates the will of God as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. They further understood from John Locke’s philosophy that for anyone to claim the power to levy tax by their own authority, without the consent of the people, violated the fundamental law of property (from God’s word) and subverted a proper, just, government.

Prior to the American “Declaration of Independence” colonists had proposed the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms.” This declaration advised the British government that colonists would not submit to tyranny and had decided to resist. The people of Massachusetts began gathering up arms and ammunition. They trained themselves to be ready to fight on a minute’s notice and became known as minute-men. When George Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief, he issued this order: “The general orders this day to be religiously observed…It is therefore strictly enjoined on all officers and soldiers to attend Divine service. And it is expected that all those who go to worship do take their arms, ammunition and accoutrements, and are prepared for immediate action, if called upon.”

Many colonial leaders had provided a variety of organizations that were formed for some sort of community action. Some were local, some were colony-wide and some were inter-colonial. Some of these organizations would eventually provide the basis for independent government. In response to the ongoing acts against colonial liberties by Britain, a “Continental Congress” was called for in 1774. Delegates from all thirteen colonies were called upon and initially delegates from all but Georgia met in Philadelphia to consider declaring an economic war with Great Britain. Mr. Cushing made a motion to open the meeting with prayer and Samuel Adams suggested that Rev. Duche,’ deliver the prayer. As John Adams described the event in writing to his wife; “I never saw a greater effect on an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning. After this, Mr. Duche’ unexpectedly to every-body, struck out into extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced.” Thus, opened the first Continental Congress of the American colonies, the prelude to American independence and the Constitutional convention.

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence for the United Colonies, absolving them from all allegiance to the British Crown. As many have prior noted, the foundation of the Declaration of Independence is inherently a religious one. The Declaration not only describes how the King of Great Britain acted against their God-given rights, but also pronounces the need for nations to have a religious foundation. The religious, biblical principles outlined in the Declaration are:

  • ”Endowed by their Creator;” The belief in a Creator-God who provides for mankind.
  • “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God;” God ordained laws over His creation.
  • “All men are created equal;” All men are equal before God and His Law.
  • “The Supreme Judge of the World;” God is our ultimate judge.
  • “Divine Providence;” God is our divine guide and ultimate provider.

Most of the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was 33 years old at that time. Some rewording was made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin; and some changes were also made by Congress.

The phrase, “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” came from Sir William Blackstone, an English judge and law professor. As Blackstone described it; “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being…And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature, dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other; It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all time: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original…The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature…Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”

The founding idea for equality, (“all men are created equal”) came from the English writer, Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661), who wrote the book “Lex, Rex or the Law and the Prince. Rutherford challenged the idea of the “divine right of kings.” Rutherford proposed that all men, even kings were under the law and not above it. Rutherford, citing Romans 13: 1-4, said rulers derive their authority from God, but that God gives his authority through the people. Rutherford supported his idea by also citing; II Sam. 16: 18; Judges 8: 22; Judges 9: 6; II kings 14:21; I Sam. 12: 1; and II Chronicles 23: 3.

Many ministers served in the American cause in various capacities during the American Revolution. Some took up arms in leading Continental troops in battle. Others served as military chaplains; as penmen for committees of correspondence; and as members of state legislators, constitutional conventions, and the national congress.

The religious implications of the American Revolution are undeniable. The British often referred to it as a Puritan Revolution. It is well documented that Christianity was a strong and influential factor in America’s Revolution and founding. But, it is also recognized that its founding was not comprehensively Christian, nor was it without its flaws. As in any age, America’s founders were not perfect men. Nor were they always perfectly consistent in developing and holding to their principles. American independence was however, an historic break from the past and a quantum leap in its potential and its possibilities for the future of the western world. America was uniquely, in this sense, an exceptional nation; an exception to all the previous law-orders of the past.

*****

 

 

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The Gospel of Marx and Social Justice

The Apostasy of ‘Social Justice Christians’

By Erik Rush

“No mercy for those preaching Marx-tainted Gospel”

Revelations concerning people who call themselves “social justice Christians” have recently become a cause célèbre among conservative commentators. Initially, I was disinclined to tackle the subject, since there have been several worthwhile articles and programs addressing it as of late; however, since the phenomenon so closely resembles another upon which I have expounded with regularity, I reasoned that some elucidation thereupon would be accommodating to civic-minded Americans.

“Social justice Christians” are those who profess Christianity, but who adhere to politically entrenched concepts of equality and redistribution of wealth. These ideas are ostensibly rooted in their faith, but in truth, they have been incrementally and insidiously insinuated into many American churches by Marxists, progressive politicians and pastors whose religion has been tainted by the aforementioned parties.

How can this be? Well, through the misrepresentation of Gospel messages in the areas of charity and egalitarianism, such Christians have been led to believe that:

  • government has a right to enforce religious doctrines (such as those of charity and egalitarianism), and
  • Jesus Christ, as a threat to the existing paradigm, was the “first radical” and essentially commanded this in His teachings.

A preposterous extrapolation, to be sure, but that’s what they espouse. And of course, government only has the right to enforce the religious doctrines of which these folks and their leaders happen to approve.

Organizations such as the Sojourners (founded by communist “reverend” Jim Wallis) and other SJC entities have been flexing their collective muscle since the election of Barack Obama as president. Most recently, a public service announcement campaign led by the Hollywood Adventist Church (don’t laugh; this is serious stuff) via New Name Pictures and entitled “I’m a Social Justice Christian” hit the Web, provoking the condemnation of those who, well, see social justice Christianity for what it is.

Why do I bring this up now – other than because social justice groups have been flexing that muscle lately? Because the methodology in play is precisely how the left corrupted the black community – through their pastors and their churches. In the 1960s, the church was still the bulwark of the black community. Marxists subverted black pastors, then interwove their (social justice) dogma into the Gospel.

It is the same creed that destroyed black families and the character of black Americans; now, the political left is mobilizing deluded Christians in the general population to do their malevolent bidding. President Obama’s “organizers” capitalized on the raw sensitivities of a largely white middle-class subgroup that has been browbeaten with charges of racism for years.

According to SJ Christians, in addition to oppressing minorities (though it remains a mystery as to precisely how), we are destroying the planet; these issues must be addressed decisively and with all due speed – by the federal government. First, it was necessary to advance the notion that the Earth’s atmosphere was going to flash off into space imminently, hence the climate-change fearmongering.

In addition to the discredited (and therefore dubious) evidence supporting climate-change theory, adherents to “environmental justice” wholly ignore the fact that we have managed to engineer automobiles that are exponentially more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly than those produced in the 1970s, when the last environmental panic occurred. American industry has done likewise across the board, and environmental consciousness and our sense of stewardship of the Earth is at record levels across the political spectrum in America.

As with health-care reform, and automobile company and financial industry bailouts, many are aware that social and environmental “justice” issues are not about justice at all; they are calculated to deliver unprecedented levels of power to the federal government. I find it hard to believe that Obama’s former “green jobs” czar Van Jones gives a rip about the planet as he delivers adrenaline-saturated diatribes on how we’ve rammed it to Native Americans, screaming, Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth! Nor was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concerned with immigrants when she told a group of Catholic priests that they should be preaching immigration reform from the pulpit.

In the case of black Americans, many fell prey to Black Liberation Theology, the communistic doctrine championed by President Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. This appealed to the frustration and anger perpetuated by those such as Wright and secular black activists. Other pastors were courted with fortune and glory (such as Rev. Jesse Jackson), as well as a seat at the progressives’ “round table.” These clergymen simply crafted their message into a political one and ran blacks’ faith into a theological cesspool. Black Americans have been pawns of the left ever since; to this day, most don’t even know it.

I declare that “social justice Christianity” is apostasy; its adherents have abandoned their faith for a cause, and their religion has become perfunctory and pretextual. While some are misguided Christians, others (like Jim Wallis) are out-and-out Marxist posers.

Proverbially, they now stand with the Sadducees and Rome, against Israel. While I pray that God will have mercy on their souls, we must show them no mercy politically. They are but another well-organized group of traitors to this nation.

*****

Erik Rush is a columnist and author of sociopolitical fare. His latest book is “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession.” In 2007, he was the first to give national attention to the story of Sen. Barack Obama’s ties to militant Chicago preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright, initiating a media feeding frenzy. Erik has appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes,” CNN, and is a veteran of numerous radio appearances.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2010/05/155917/#CDlrZkRAibfCKaGg.99

 

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