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Politics According to The Bible

politics bibleWant to run a nation right? Listen to what God says about it! “Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture” by Wayne Grudem.

ABOUT POLITICS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life, so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense.

In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics: (1) ‘compel religion,’ (2) ‘exclude religion,’ (3) ‘all government is demonic,’ (4) ‘do evangelism, not politics,’ and (5) ‘do politics, not evangelism.’ He proposes a better alternative: (6) ‘significant Christian influence on government.’ Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government.

Does the Bible support some form of democracy?

Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation?

With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assumptions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral standards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind.

After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over fifty specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.

Caitlyn Jenner is only skin deep

I did an interview with ABC Channel 7 journalist Alix Redmonde about Caitlyn (formerly known as Bruce) Jenner. You may watch my interview with Alix by going here. In video journalism not everything I or others interviewed said is published, so I wanted to expand on my thoughts about Caitlyn Jenner as well as the comments by transgender “Jimmy” featured in the ABC report.

I asked my wife what she thought of Bruce becoming a faux woman. Her initial response was that it was all about the money. Bruce needs to pay for his/her medical bills and provide, at least for the short term, a revenue stream. While this is certainly a rational short term answer, what else could be a reason for this drastic “transformation”.

I titled this column “Caitlyn Jenner is only skin deep” because that is what Caitlyn’s sexuality is, skin deep. Caitlyn is still Bruce, the only thing that has changed is the outward appearance of Bruce. Caitlyn’s outward appearance is a facade, it is an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a creditable reality, the fact that Caitlyn is genetically still is a Y chromosome male. The reality is that Caitlyn is a man and Bruce can never change that reality. When I heard about Caitlyn I thought about Michael Jackson and how he tried in the 1980s to surgically become more white. Michael Jackson wanted to become something he is not.

That is the fundamental issue – trying to become what you are not. But at what cost?

I recently reviewed Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina. I wrote:

This film is disturbing because is shows how humans without a conscience (morality) can, when given the chance, pass along their lack of morality to a machine.

[ … ]

At the end of the movie Ava escapes from the laboratory. To achieve this escape she deceives Caleb and kills both Nathan, its creator, and Caleb. Perhaps the most telling scene in the film is at the end when Ava finds previous versions of itself and begins to take the skin off of a previous robot and puts the skin on itself to look more human.

You see for Ava being human is only skin deep. Ava lacks the conscience (morality) of a human. Nathan did not learn the lesson of Issac Asimov’s book “I Robot.” Machines are just that, machines. To believe otherwise is fool hardy at the least and deadly at the worst.

Humans must control their urges to use technology to become God, as Caleb points out to Nathan. Robots must never be allowed to act alone. Think of the film The Terminator. You see machines may have a goal but lack a soul.

The doctors, psychiatrists and others who have encouraged Bruce to become Caitlyn are using technology to become God, but this time with a human being. Just because we can use technology to create a faux woman, should we?

This video by Bill Finlay titled “Bruce Jennercide” explains the tragedy of the misuse of technology by man:

I asked Jack Rigby, a psychologist living in Australia who, “[I]n my early practice before I went sane many decades ago,  I worked with many, many homosexuals”: What is the social redeeming value of homosexuality, exactly? Jack wrote:

Utterly none. Individual homosexuals can be constructively integrated to the rest of the population by simply conforming to normal social mores and exercising discretion.

The interesting observation I made over many decades of association with sexually aberrant people, was that these people almost instinctively recognize others of the same state without any obvious physical indications.

However, in recent decades in the fractured Society in the West, there has been a very strange situation develop in which small numbers of Homosexuals have formed politically obnoxious very public and virulently demanding groups .

This is creating a very dangerous situation for the great bulk of homosexuals who live quiet and integrated lives because there will be, without question, a violent mass backlash against them in the not distant future as has always happened in the past throughout the history of all races, Religions and Societies.

I actually have a great deal of concern for the number of the normally integrated ones who will be innocently caught up in the eventual reaction of Society to these strident, insane  anti-social demands of the entirely unstable violent few, whose intolerable antics and demands have already surpassed any reasonable level of public tolerance.

This transformation is disturbing because is shows how humans without a conscience (morality) can, when given the chance, pass along their lack of morality to a man. You seem Jimmy, the transgender in the ABC video report, believes that Caitlyn will advance the LGBT cause. I fear the opposite is true. Society will eventually react to “these strident, insane anti-social demands of the entirely unstable violent few, whose intolerable antics and demands have already surpassed any reasonable level of public tolerance.”

Society will not accept Caitlyn. Only a few radicals will.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Psychiatrist: Transgender Is a Mental Disorder; Sex Change Biologically Impossible

Repentant Transsexual Warns Jenner: The “Hangover is Coming”

Et Tu, Bruce?

The good homosexual versus the bad homosexual — Assimilation versus Radicalization

The Special Treatment Homosexuals Demand

Small Numbers of Homosexuals have Formed Politically Obnoxious very Public and Virulently Demanding Groups

“I Had Sex Change Surgery and Regret It”: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Have to Hear [+video]

COURAGE?! Growing Outrage Over Gender-Bender Jenner Being Chosen Over Lauren Hill, Combat Vet Noah Galloway for ESPY Award

God and Evil: My Answer for Michael Savage

Torture, pain, beheadings, the murder of children…. If God exists and is all good, how could He allow such suffering and evil? This is a common question, and a lament often an impediment to faith. It also was addressed recently on the Savage Nation radio show, where host Michael Savage — exhibiting his versatility and talk virility — will sometimes broach that certain thing we’re supposed to discuss even less than politics. His answer to the question was contained in his newsletter and is:

I actually believe that God has no effect on a moment-by-moment basis or a person-by-person basis.

If I did, then I’d have to stop believing in God.

If I were to believe that God controlled everything on earth, then I’d have to believe that God is evil.

I believe God is not omnipotent. He is omnipresent.

That’s what saved me from atheism.

It certainly is good to have an answer that saves one from atheism, but is the above the answer?

God undoubtedly doesn’t micromanage our lives, controlling matters on a moment-by-moment basis; this reality is called His “permitting will” in theological circles, as opposed to His “ordaining will.” But why is God, as some might say, so “permissive” (He isn’t, really)? There is an answer, but before addressing it let’s examine the matter of God’s omnipotence.

God is known as the “Creator” because the belief is that He created the whole Universe, the heavens and the Earth and all living creatures — out of nothing. He is the first cause. In this case, however, it would seem fanciful to suppose that He could create life but not control that life. After forging the wonders called the Universe and its denizens, controlling man would seem small potatoes.

To suggest otherwise is to say that God is not really “God” — by definition all-powerful and perfect — but a different kind of being entirely. For He then either created something He couldn’t control (which certainly can be a fault of man) or didn’t create it at all. If the latter, though, where does that leave us? We can’t say something else created the Universe, for that entity would then be above what would merely be but a cosmic middleman, and it would be God (the “Immovable Mover,” as Aristotle said). The only other possibility is that we believe in something and call it “God” even though it would just be some spirit being formed as a cosmic accident via some evolutionary process wholly unknown to us. But this would just bring us back to atheism and its inherent relativism and meaninglessness — with the twist that, for sure, we’re not the most powerful cosmic accidents in the Universe.

This is why philosophers have long explained God’s tolerance of evil by way of “free will.” Yes, I know it sounds clichéd now to some, but my explanation won’t be. So why is free will so important that God would allow profound evil in its name?

Imagine you could have a computer chip implanted in your child’s brain that would control his behavior (something perhaps possible in the foreseeable future). No more terrible twos or toddler tantrums, no disobedience, no crying, no frowns, no shirking of responsibility — just a perfectly agreeable Stepford Child. Would you implant away?

This would defeat the purpose of having a child. Sure, we want our kids to mature into moral beings, but that is impossible if you’re merely a controlled being. For being moral involves making moral choices, and this cannot happen if you have no choice. The chipped child would have been dehumanized, reduced to automaton status via the negation of his free will. You might as well just purchase a cute robot and be done with it.

Think about what is being said here, however: You’re willing to tolerate sinful acts in your child — and the possibility of truly horrible behavior — in the name of his being fully human.

God is no different with respect to us, His children. He could completely control us with the snap of divine fingers, but we are then reduced to mere organic robots; we are not then His children, but His things. Note, when it’s said we’re created in God’s image, this does not refer to our physical being but that, like God, we have intellect and free will. Remove either quality and we’re mere animals.

(Speaking of which, it’s hard to imagine even a pet owner chipping his dog; we’d likely feel that this would eliminate his “dogness” and wouldn’t want to use perverted science to accomplish what training should.)

Then there is the matter of love, which is represented in action: Loving attitudes beget loving acts. When someone serves us — whether it’s a spouse bringing home the bacon or serving it, or a child doing chores — we’re by far most pleased if it’s done in a spirit of love because the person wants to make us happy (yes, much to expect in a child!). It doesn’t touch us in the same way if the work is performed out of a mere sense of obligation; worse still is if the person is acting as a slave, compelled to labor against his will. Most of us wouldn’t even want to be served under those circumstances.

God is no different. He wants us to serve Him as a representation of our love (not because He needs our love and service, but because we need to love and serve Him), and trumping our free will would defeat that purpose. It would reduce us to not just slaves, but those organic robots.

Some may now say that this is all well and good, but aren’t there limits to free will’s abuse? When people are being burned alive and children massacred, don’t you draw a line? The answer is that God is far more logical and consistent than we are.

We talk about “freedom of speech” but then set limits on what can be said; we trumpet “freedom of religion” but then draw lines at certain practices (e.g., human sacrifice). I’m not implying that such lines aren’t sometimes necessary, mind you, only pointing out that once they’re drawn, it follows that we aren’t actually allowing true “freedom of religion.” But God means what He says and says what He means. Free will is just that: free will. It’s absolute. Besides, He makes the rules, but their application and enforcement are our business — in this world.

This brings us to the last point: worldliness. Too often we analyze faith-based propositions while coupling them with atheistic corollaries. We may wonder, for example, how a just and loving God could allow the deaths of large numbers of children in free will’s name. But He doesn’t.

He gave the children life, and upon leaving this fold they pass on to eternal life.

I know, this sounds like a handy rationalization to modernistic ears. But we are discussing matters within the context of the Judeo-Christian world view, no? In other words, people could question the data — that God and the afterlife are real, etc. — but that is a different question. The logic when operating within this data set, however, is unassailable. To wit: What is this temporal life as compared to eternity? It’s as a grain of sand in a desert or a drop of water in an ocean. It’s eternity that matters. And if slaughtered children pass on to a far, far better place, God has done them no disservice.

I don’t want to seem unfeeling; I react to worldly horrors much as does everyone else. And it’s understandable: This world is all we know firsthand. The hell we so often create on it we see and hear, as it accosts our senses; we feel it. Heaven is generally just something we try to apprehend intellectually. And the heart has seductions the mind cannot match.

There is something we can do, however. Even if we don’t feel certain truths on an emotional level, we can choose to believe them. That is a proper exercise of free will — one that lends much happiness and meaning to the life God gave us.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Pope Francis: “The Enigma” – The Real Mystery of Faith

Hope all is well on this “Feast Day of the Blessed Trinity” as we all know that explaining the mystery of the “3 Persons in One” to any other Catholic is tough – let alone, trying to explain it to a non-believer…All the Homilies in our beloved churches tried to do that today on this special Feast Day as Father Mark Mlay at St. Peter Church did a nice job with his assignment. Even some of our most astute priests in our diocese have a tough time explaining this phenomena. Father Brian King does a very good job with it.

Let’s see, the Immaculate Conception is another tough one. The Resurrection…The Transfiguration…I can go on and on. Oh, and we also have the “4 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary” which adds that much more mystery to our beloved Catholic Faith…

But, the biggest mystery the majority of you who are reading this e-mail have come across the past “2 years, 2 months and 12 days” is the “Mystery of Pope Francis” – which I refer to as “The Enigma – The Real Mystery of Faith”…There is no better word or description that I can use to describe what our 266th pontiff has accomplished and laid out in his short pontificate thus far. Like the majority of you (some of whom have written Pope Francis off the day after he uttered those famous 5 words “Who am I to Judge”?) – I am confused, perplexed, frustrated, upset and bewildered by quite a few of the comments that our beloved pope has made and what direction he appears to be taking the 1.2 billion Catholics in this world in…The jury is still out and I do not like jury duty…

Friends: When Pope Francis was elected back in 2013, I was ecstatic! I shared my excitement with our own Bishop Barbarito, who also loves St. Francis of Assisi. The first South American pope ever! A pope that spoke my Spanish language. Just the mere fact that he took the name of my all-time favorite saint of the church – the first to ever bear the Stigmata…Simplicity and humility. I absolutely loved the pope’s initial approach, coming out of the gate. But, these past 16 months has been a lot more complicated and misleading and when you throw in the fiasco of Obama and Castro with Cuba in one of his more questionable moves, it does not sit well with many people – including the beloved Cuban exiles who live in this America. And, many of the upper hierarchy church leaders the pope has assigned over the past year, scare me to death…(Take a look at the first article below, which lists the more controversial figures the pope has asked to lead our church in 2015)…Beyond scary…All while we said our good-byes to the late Cardinal Francis George, as our beloved Cardinal Raymond Burke watches it all from a remote island called Malta…

Once again, I respect our pope, pray for our pope and listen to our pope (in English and Spanish) – but, I just don’t know where he is going with this misleading “progressive” agenda of his – and neither do many of the 70 million Catholics in this country…Let’s be honest, folks. I am not the only one…The majority of you echo my sentiments, but may prefer to keep them to yourselves or at least not put it out publicly because you may be afraid of being criticized or attacked…That is what I am called to do by the Holy Spirit. I am a Catholic activist. I act for a living. I also write for a living, then, put all my writing into action so I am not afraid to write what I feel when I know that I am telling the Truth about our Church…It is easier to walk the talk when you only write about the Truth…

Saint John Paul II, in his beyond-amazing 27 years as our Holy Father, taught me one thing for sure – “BE NOT AFRAID” – and I take my all-time favorite pope’s advice to heart in everything that I do. One cannot be an activist and an evangelist and make a difference in this world if he does not have the courage to put his life on the line for his faith every day of the year by walking that talk… And, if one can’t take the heat – stay away from the fires of hell…That’s my goal…

In that same P.B. Post interview over two years ago, I told the writer that “I think the pope is holding a “Global Open House” – inviting every single walk of life to the banquet table in the Vatican – atheists, liberals, abortionists, murderers, democrats, ruthless sinners and even our favorite – the homosexuals – as it appears that the pope has embraced them more than any other group, as of late. Then, when he has everybody’s undivided attention – he will sit them down and teach the entire world what the Catholic Church is all about”…That was my prediction about 26 months ago, and I am still holding my breath. I have terrific lung capacity – I happen to be a professional Harmonica player…

But, until Pope Francis boldly comes out and specifically tells the ever-anxious and confused 1.2 billion Catholics in the world that the immoral act of SODOMY is not part of Catholic Church teachings – that two men being married and having sex with each other – IS NOT PART OF WHAT THE CATECHISM TEACHES – then, those who don’t know better, will all simply continue to follow in the pope’s footsteps, take the 5th and continue to say “Who am I to Judge?” It’s the easy way out. It’s time the pope comes clean and tells the world that the Catholic Church and the Holy Bible deem homosexuality to be an abomination and it has never been part of the Catholic Church teachings – and never will be. Period! There is no re-defining here, folks. If the pope does not clear the air with this simple issue and tell the world in black and white what the Catholic Church teaches about the immoral and appalling act of Sodomy, then, we are all going to be in a world of hurt – and those 9 liberal attorneys in black robes who seem to rule the country, are salivating and licking their chops right about now, thinking that the Catholic Church is not even putting up a fight…Roll over, Catholic Church. USCCB and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, where are you??? Cardinal DiNardo, hello, is anybody home??? Don’t even bother with that other cardinal from New York…

Now is the time for the pope to make a bold statement loud and clear – before it is too late, when come, late June – the Supreme Court Injustices rule in favor of the Gays. Now is the time he has to not re-define marriage – but, re-define what he truly meant when he uttered those “famous five words” on that infamous plane ride back from World Youth Day in Rio. What good is it to have a Family Synod in September when the Rule of the Land has already been declared in late June and Gay Marriage is legal in all 50 states? (I pray that I am wrong). Why on earth is the USCCB holding our “4th Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21st-July 4th when the Justices will already have redefined the Sacrament of Matrimony? What the hell are we thinking, people? Why did we not hold this Fortnight months ago? Why would Pope Francis come to Philadelphia to discuss the importance of Traditional Family & Traditional Marriage with 200 bishops and cardinals while those liberal judges are voting on redefining marriage right now as we speak and coming out with an answer in June? Are you with me? Where’s the horse? Where’s the buggy? Am I the only one who is scratching his head? Folks, the horse has already been out of the barn – been to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and heading to the Belmont Stakes next Saturday – and the Catholic Church is just sitting back and watching it all unfold. Are they taking bets? I thought we got rid of the ruthless Egyptian Pharoah centuries ago. Now the American Pharoah is here to haunt us and probably win the Triple Crown…I am NOT horsing around here and I pray that this does not go over some of your heads…

Wake up, Catholics!! Be Pro-Active – Pope Francis, cardinals and bishops! History has taught us that being re-active will get us nowhere…Ask the 57 million aborted babies in our country who wished to GOD that the Catholic Church would have been Pro-active & Pro-Life back in 1973…

The 5th Commandment took the 5th Amendment…

Once again, the last time I checked, Sodomy was NOT part of GOD’s Plan – it is unnatural and unGODly – and it is only the beautiful union of a Man and a Woman in the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Matrimony who can “Pro-create”. Two men or two women can only “Rec-create”! And, if Pope Francis does not come out now in June, while the Supreme Court is going through their liberal sessions and way before the Family Synod in “The City of Brotherly Love” in September and proclaim to the entire world – to the United States – to the Catholic Faithful – that Sodomy is a Mortal Sin, that Gay Marriage will NOT be accepted in the Holy Catholic Church – then, that entire 4-day conference becomes a total farce and Philadelphia can just simply change its jovial slogan to “The City of Homosexual Love”…

It’s that simple, folks. I, for one, am not enthusiastic at all about this already-rocky, Family Synod (which I have referred to as “Rocky VI”…Yes, it’s in Philadelphia) – because it will be obsolete when it takes place – 3 months behind the 8 ball. Maybe it’s because I know a little too much about what is taking place behind the scenes. Maybe it’s because I have read too many terrific articles and interviews from some of my Catholic heroes like Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Cordileone, the late Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop Paproki, Bishop Jenky – and my own spiritual director, Father James Molgano – to name a few who Tell the Truth and refuse to “water down our beloved Catholic Faith”. While so many other liberal cardinals and leaders of the Church have blasphemed and embarrassed the Catholic Church and are fighting the good, wholesome cardinals – I refuse to pay attention to MAN anymore when it comes to my Faith, my evangelization and my salvation. My faith and hope lie entirely in Jesus…

JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!!!

The day that I put my faith & hope in the men who Pope Francis has selected to help run the Catholic Church is the day that I will make the same mistake that so many others have made – drink that “Church of Nice Kool-aid” – and totally forget about what Jesus commanded Peter to do upon that solid rock over 2,000 years ago. I come from the old school and that is the foundation on which I put my total faith into, but unfortunately, today, that rock is on quick sand, sinking fast, and until Pope Francis steps up and begins to make the Catholic Church teachings more clearer and has it in him to Tell the Absolute Black & White Truth about our beloved Faith – and not lead the Catholic Faithful into a confused state of nebulous opinions, thoughts and hypothesis – then, and only then – are we ever going to be on the same page and same book – the Holy Bible…

As a former NCAA Basketball Official (with the SEC, the Atlantic Ten, the OVC, etc.), my job as a referee was to “judge” every play that came my way. I could not afford to “take the 5th” and tell the ever-irate coaches “Who am I to Judge?”…Hell, that was my job! I had a split-second decision to make that call and millions of people watched it on ESPN. And, it is only appropriate that the game of college basketball has “3” referees in each game – similar to the Holy Trinity (which we are celebrating today). Like the Holy Trinity, all 3 referees are of equal significance, with none of us being more important the the other. We had to work “Two-gether” as a TEAM. Our job was to get the play right, be fair to both sides and maintain a level playing field. Tough to do with the speed the game is played at today and with the athletic ability these players have…and, with what is at stake in today’s collegiate game – MONEY, people’s jobs and livelihoods, recruiters, boosters, etc.

And, to this day the toughest call in the game of basketball is the “Block/Charge” call. I taught the hundreds of referees who came to my Annual Referee Camp to “referee the defense” – to make sure that the defensive player had established a “legal guarding position”. And, as many times as we saw that play over and over again – we still found it so difficult to get it right. Sure, the instant replays showed it in slow motion, but, the block/charge call cannot be reviewed in the instant replay. We did not have that luxury and we had to live and die with that gutsy call…

What I am getting at with all of this is that as an NCAA basketball referee, there is NO grey area when making a call – it is either black or white. True or False. Right or Wrong. NO COMPROMISING! It is either a Block or a Charge! You have to have the guts and integrity to make the right call – regardless of the outcome! We could not afford to call a “Blarge”! That is when one ref calls a Block and the other calls a Charge…Total chaos! What in GOD’s name do you do now? Confusing, perplexing, frustrating, bewildering…All hell would break loose and it threw everybody off – including the players, the coaches, the fans, the commentators… Mass confusion…

And, speaking of Mass Confusion (that is when the Catholic Faithful attend Mass and walk out all confused about the Homily) – now you know how the millions of Catholics in this world feel about some of the more radical comments that Pope Francis has made over the past two plus years and the direction he seems to be heading in. His comments on the homosexuals is difficult to decipher, hard to get a real feel for. Not sure where he truly stands with this issue – confusing the Catholic Faithful and all of his clergy even more – allowing each cardinal, bishop and priest to interpret it how he sees fit. Again, no definite interpretation here. This is what I refer to as that “Blarge” call I eluded to above. With this particular, sensitive issue, the pope is not providing the Catholic Faithful with a clear call – with a True or False explanation – with a concise, perfectly clear Black or White call. He has only provided us with very nebulous, confusing and misleading calls. No Block. No Charge. Just a “Blarge” – which, once again – leads to chaos, confusion, frustration and people losing faith and trust in our own Holy Father.

And, the more our beloved pope leaves the Catholic Faithful “guessing” and not coming with explicit and concise Truths & Facts about our beloved church teachings – the more Catholics will be leaving the church and trying to find the Truth elsewhere. And, with the elections of 2016 lurking around the corner and with the majority of the 70 million Catholics in this country still trying to figure out which church leader, cardinal or bishop is correct when it comes to Gay Marriage, the atrocity of abortion, the fate of divorced couples and other religious freedom issues – while the pope allows it all to get even cloudier and murkier – the Family Synod in Chilly Philly in September may just be the last straw that broke the camel’s back…And, is that a one hump-camel? Is it a two-hump camel? Is it a dromedary? Is it a Bactrian Camel? A Hybrid?

WHO AM I TO JUDGE? Let’s just try to get over this hump for right now…

Politics and Pope Francis: What is the role of the Catholic Church and the State?

There has been growing concern that the Catholic Church has taken the wrong path under the leadership of Pope Francis. Pope Francis has made statements, some misunderstood, that baffle loyal Catholics, this author being one of them.

Pope Francis’ recent statement on climate change as a “scientific reality” requiring Catholics to have a moral and religious responsibility to do something about it has drawn praise from environmentalists and criticism from scientists who understand that changes in the climate are due to nature and nature’s (God’s) laws. Pope Francis seems more concerned over God’s climate than the fact that 11 Christians are slaughtered by members of Islam every hour.

A 1924 Time Magazine article on Pope Pius XI reported:

When Politics come near the Altar, then Religion, the Church, the Pontiff have not only the right but the duty to give directions and indications to be followed by Catholics.

The same reply was made by Moses. The same was made by Luther, Calvin, Knox. The same was made in unmistakable language by Pius IX, in the last Century: “It is an error to assert that the Church ought to be separated from the State and the State from the Church.”

[ … ]

Indeed, this Pontiff went further and declared: “It is an error to assert that every man is free to embrace the Religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of reason.”

But is this what Pope Francis is doing – giving directions and showing that the Church ought not be separated from the state? If so, at what cost?

When asked about homosexuality Pope Francis replied, “Who am I to judge.” But he appears to be judging (taking sides) on other political issues such as climate change, the Arab/Israeli conflict and the recognition of a Palestinian state. However, he refuses to address the persecution and slaughter of Catholics, Christians and Jews globally. His actions to embrace Islam as “the religion of peace” seems in conflict with the words of Pope Pius XI that, “It is an error to assert that every man is free to embrace the Religion he shall believe true…” No one would choose Islam as a religion as Pope Pius XI stated if they were “guided by the light of reason.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a defender of Israel, after the Vatican recognized Palestine, stated, “It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do.” How can any Pope recognize the Palestinian state, which repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel and  the Holy Land? The birthplace of Jesus Christ, upon whose teachings the Catholic Church is based?

The Vatican in now embroiled in several scandals involving gay orgies and murder. The Independent reports:

The Vatican has been embroiled in two separate, highly embarrassing, scandals.

In one, a north Italian priest has been removed from office after allegations emerged that he had been surfing the internet to find gay lovers and had been involved in gay orgies.

The other, which has generated – if possible – even more lurid press coverage in Italy, alleges a priest in the south of the country is under investigation on suspicion of murdering one of his parishioners.

[ … ]

Meanwhile, to the north of the country, the local Curia is scrambling to address the allegations made by a 32-year-old man from Rovigo, midway between Bologna and Venice.

The unidentified man apparently approached the media after church authorities failed to take action following his official complaint to the Ecclesiastical Court of the Puglia region against the unidentified 50-year-old priest.

The younger man claimed he met the priest through Facebook, forming a close friendship with the clerical figure who then confessed his homosexuality to his online correspondent.

In his complaint, according to Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno, the man included a record of his conversations with the priest.

In these online interactions, the priest admitted to sexual relationships with other religious figures – as well as members of the Vatican’s elite Swiss Guard – using the internet to find new partners and engage in sexual encounters online.

Perhaps it is time to remove Satan from the Catholic Church and the public square.

Greg Laurie, from World Net Daily asks, “Is the world today changing the church? Or is the church changing the world? If we want to be a church that changes the world, then we need to get back to the church that Jesus started and live the Christian life as the early church lived it.”

As a Catholic I want a Church that changes the world, not a Church that changes with the world. Perhaps it is a time to get back to Christian basics, perhaps it is time for another reformation?

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Defeating ISIS: A Biblical View of America’s Role

PART ONE:

In order to preserve civilization, decisive action against ISIS and affiliated terror organizations is not optional.  Can we forgive our enemies, as Jesus mandated, and crush them at the same time?  What is the best possible role that America can play in the war against ISIS and its comrades in cruelty?  What would be the consequences of non-action?  Is this a war that involves only Arab nations?  Would Jesus go to war against Satan’s representatives?  This article attempts to answer these questions from a biblical and common sense perspective.

CONTEXT

None of the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by ISIS denied Christ.  Neither did any of the 30 Ethiopian Christians who were just executed.  The last words of one of the Coptic Christians was a loud, “Jesus!”  This is quite a different stance than that taken by ISIS deserters who disguise themselves as women in order to escape the cult.

We’ve witnessed Americans beheaded by ISIS on television.  Tens of thousands of Christians and those of other faiths have been beheaded, sold into slavery and burned alive, killed and had their organs harvested, buried alive, and have been otherwise tortured to death by those who proclaim themselves to be followers of Muhammad.  We’re even talking children’s heads on sticks and children buried alive.

Increasingly, the focus is on Christians.  Over 200 Christians were kidnapped not too long ago from northern Syria.  Their destiny on this earth is not a mystery.  A female American missionary is now awaiting her fate.  Perhaps, she has already met it, but the video has not yet been edited to maximize recruitment potential.  Hundreds just drowned in the Mediterranean, trying to flee Libya and ISIS.  Every day we hear of new atrocities that are unimaginable to any civilized person.

As with members of other cults, the ISIS terrorists hold beliefs that defy rationality.  Most recruits lack education and are desperate for employment.  They are easy conduits of extreme Islamic ideological nonsense.  Here’s an example of the nonsense: the barbarians believe that they are ushering in Armageddon and a new kingdom in which Muslim men and burka covered, uneducated, and mutilated women will be the only inhabitants.   Although Arab opposition is thankfully increasing, ISIS is still “purifying” North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and parts of other nations; and we see the advancing darkness in Europe and England, as well.  Little light presently shines in Europe.   There are over 600 “no-go” zones in France.  These are neighborhoods that administer Sharia law and don’t allow non-Muslims to enter.  England also has such zones.  According to our own State Dept. and other sources, even in America, terrorist cells exist in all 50 states.  CNN reports that the FBI has just warned of possible imminent terrorist attacks in Southern California.  Of course, most terrorists have entered America through our porous southern border.  Some are now returning Americans who have trained with the terrorists.  Of course, there are countless ways to enter our country.  And as baffling as this may be, Americans are not even allowed to venture into some terrorist training areas in the United States.  Why aren’t we destroying the compounds and imprisoning the terrorists?

The stated mission of the Islamic terrorists is to “cleanse” the world and establish what they call a “caliphate,” or a government ruled by a “caliph,” which is a successor to Muhammad.  If they were ever successful, there would be no one left to kill except themselves.  This could – and probably would – be accomplished through the continued enforcement of Sharia.  What a blessing to the world it would be if the terrorists did this now, as they are doing now to some degree to their own men and women.

WHAT ARE AMERICA AND THE CIVILIZED WORLD DOING ABOUT TERRORISM?    

With a tidal wave of barbarism crashing against the shores of civilization, the civilized world has erected few tetrahedrons, pretending that our oceans and ghost soldiers from the past can protect us.  As Germany was in 1932 and 1933, so is now the occupied territory of ISIS.   However, without the intervention of righteous men and women, 1938 and 1939 will likely be upon us soon, even coming to a mall near you.  There’s a saying, “Don’t stumble over what’s behind you.”  Is America doing that?  While our president courts a relationship with the biggest sponsor of terror in the world, Iran, it would seem so.

Every year, women are killed in the U.S. by a relative in the name of family honor.   Though these murderers have not bought into our cultural values, or even into our laws to maintain order, we have accepted their right to live and believe as they wish.  In the Old Testament, God allowed “aliens” (non-Jews) to become Jews, but he also required that they live and believe as Jews (Exodus 12:48).  All other nations of the world presently require, or have required until now, that immigrants pledge to abide by the laws of their new country.  Considering that ISIS and its affiliates could be defeated relatively quickly by a united front of civilized nations, it’s surprising that this isn’t happening.  So the answer to the question, “What are America and the civilized nations of the world doing about the advancing evil?” is “not much.”

HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND?

Concerning the slaughter of tens of thousands and potentially millions of innocents, what should followers of Christ do?  Our State Department stated that the answer is to give more jobs to terrorists and potential terrorists.   Is a worldwide jobs program the answer?  Osama bin Laden was a multi-millionaire, and his followers were not interested in gainful employment.  And “Jihad John” comes from a rich family in England, graduated from a university in London, and claims that he was discriminated against for being a Muslim (he’s the man in the black costume that speaks to the camera before he beheads someone).  Therefore, a jobs program is not the answer.   How incredible that a representative of our own State Dept. would make such a suggestion.

There is precedent for Christians uniting against darkness that seeks the destruction of Christianity, all Christians, and the rest of a population.  Alfred the Great was a Christian who inspired professing Christian warriors to push back the Viking rebels who had destroyed monasteries and killed priests. And Charlemagne was a Christian who also united professing Christian soldiers to stop France and the rest of Europe from being taken over by Islamic terrorists who were invading their lands.  Even now a small band of Christians have formed an army to fight and kill jihadists who attack the holy sites of Syria.

Fortunately, many of the Arab nations have begun to fight back.  Jordan struck hard after a Jordanian pilot was burned alive, as seen on a You Tube video.  Egypt joined the fray when the 21 were martyred on the set of what was made to look like an ocean shore.  Now an Arab coalition is forming with Saudi Arabia taking point.  Saudi Arabia has been striking hard at munitions targets in Yemen.

America has been giving token support to the fight in a “blue room” coalition of 60 nations.  America provides minimal air support to these Arab nations.  Just as America did not back the millions of Iranian demonstrators who longed for democracy, so now America does not provide even small arms to the only Christian hold-outs in Iraq, the Kurds.  America is involved in the fight, but only at a “containment” level, which is not working.

BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

More to the biblical point: What is the mind of Christ in this situation?  Is there a difference between how a nation should respond and how an individual should respond?  Jesus said to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43).  Are we to love and forgive the ISIS terrorists?  As our enemies increasingly focus their efforts on Christians in general and on the “little Satan,” Israel, with the long range view (and delivery system) to the “great Satan,” the United States, we might want to keep in mind that there is a difference between loving our enemies and allowing them to destroy all that is noble and good.  Both Parts I and II will address these issues.

As Christians should we forgive the savages?  Should we fight against evil?  Should we do both at the same time and forgive evil of this level of degradation?  Perhaps, there is a difference between our responsibility as individuals and as a nation.  Jesus always stood strongly against the kingdom of Satan.  In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  It appears that Jesus wants us to stand against Satan and do our best to establish His kingdom here on earth, as He “draws all men to him” (John 12:32).  As the terrorists would have it, there will be no men or women to be drawn to Him.  That time will come eventually, of course, but such timing is not in our hands.  What’s in our hands is to press forward to establish His kingdom.

Part 2 will examine the importance of hating evil while loving people and will begin to expand upon the necessary response of righteous men and women, as a nation and as individuals.

As the Family Goes So Goes the Nation

My Dad used to tell me that a nation (particularly the United States) is only as strong as her families. He began telling me that when I was just a little boy attending kindergarten. Our Cleveland neighborhood where I grew up was at that time an ideal leafy enclave of close knit families and neighbors. It was comprised of a mixture of racial and ethnic backgrounds, where folks got along and crime was a non-issue.

None of us were wealthy monetarily. There were educators, (back then they were called teachers) dentists, postal workers, small business owners, nurses etc. One of my favorite neighbors were the Rebisses. They were an Italian family who lived one house over from ours. It was sometimes rather difficult to decide which I enjoyed more, hanging out with my buddy Mark or enjoying Mrs. Rebisses great Italian cooking whenever I was invited, or the times I invited myself. Ours was a neighborhood of many patriots who often flew their American flags, especially between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

One of my most pleasant memories of those wonder years was how many of our neighbors were actually close friends who enjoyed each others company throughout the year. A most cherished memory of the old neighborhood was how many families would connect their Christmas lights in archways over their driveways. It was a spectacular sight to see many of the homes joined through beautiful lights in the spirit of Christmas.

Even our Jewish neighbors would drop by and enjoy our Christmas gatherings. Likewise they would make sure we joined them for Seder dinners. Very moving. Our neighborhood was not physically spectacular. But it was clean, comfortable, safe and stable. My belief at the time was that was how the majority of Americans lived. Turns out I was right. At that time, the bulk of American fathers, both black and white were in the home. Dads and moms both ruled the home with principles with Christian underpinning. We children were taught to respect our elders and other symbols of authority like the police, appreciate our country and were expected to achieve our best in school and in life in general.

Were we perfect? No, but because we were taught to aim high morally, ethically, and spiritually. The spiritual part kicked in later. (smile)

But as time progressed something happened and what seemed good at first has turned out to not so good after all. In fact, many things occurred that brought about a series of horrendous shifts in the ongoing function of out republic. One of the major developments was the civil rights, or what my Dad called the bastardized rights movement across America.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his quest for the unalienable rights of all Americans to be to recognized and honored. He firmly believed in the completed family that included both Dad, Mom and the children. I have a sneaking suspicion the Dr. King would also be firmly against the ongoing slaughter of the most innocent amongst us, unborn babies. Unfortunately, the ideals Martin Luther King espoused were gradually refocused away from unalienable rights which came from God, toward civil or bastardized right that are granted by government. It was special interest groups, not sovereign individuals that to this day most benefit most from that arrangement. When you have civil or (as my Dad said) bastardized rights, then include America’s transition from a constitutionally limited republic into a mob rule democracy things are destined for decline. Mob rule democracy places the government granted rights of the mob above the unalienable rights from God.

Dad was concerned that the corrupted civil or bastardized rights movement would help open the door to overthrowing all of the factors that had helped maintain family and national stability. So gradually, activities that were once considered immoral or wrong were gradually granted special rights status under the civil rights genre. Abortion quickly comes to mind for example. Now, groups of Americans are pitted against one another and the rights of individuals. You had Blacks against the police, homosexuals against the teachings of God the church, women against men.

Many of these groups had been brainwashed into thinking they were a collection of victims.

Combine that with several decades of government school indoctrination of American students against all that is good especially concerning the United States of America and what eventually brewed was a Caldron of madness. In more recent times in cities across America, mobs of blacks have been either fighting one another or starting riots in places like Ferguson, Missouri. And Baltimore. On St. Patrick’s Day 2015 in Cleveland after the huge annual parade, a group of black males and females converged and started beating up white citizens and out of town visitors alike. To them it was entertainment. The obvious lack of regard for civility stems from the purposeful breakdown of the black family and disregard for fathers. Also there was a taught hatred of America and possibly God himself.

My fellow Americans, let us pray for the restoration of our One Nation under God and constitutional law. We can either choose life or choose death for America. I would that we choose life.

God Bless America and May America Bless god.

VIDEO DEBATE: Does God Exist?

Vizcaya Debate 20 April 2015 as I go up against Rabbi Barry Silver on the age-old question: DOES GOD EXIST?

Check out this insightful evening that has many humorous moments.

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Liberals DO NOT believe in Freedom For All

This past week end, I spent a lot of time outside working on my landscaping.  The long, hard winter of 2014/2015 looks to be over.  And I would just like to say thank you to Global Warming advocates who are still at a loss as to why this planets climate has not lived up to the desert like conditions promised.

I guess global warming equals record cold temperatures and record snow fall.  Well if that is what global warming is, then I will jump on board because I love living in New England and I sure don’t want another Alaska type winter to befall us.  Note the sarcasm.  But I digress.

While working in my yard this past week end, I got to see some of what makes America great.  The freedom of people to be who they want to be.  I saw people walking in shorts and tank tops. Mind you, although it is warm, to me it is far from tank top weather.

I saw folks riding their motorcycles, big ones and small ones.  Some had flags on the back.

Some were the noisy type.  Some were the fast type.  And some were the big, touring grandparent type. I saw folks taking their convertibles out for a week end joy ride probably for the first time this year.  I saw and heard the younger set with all their windows down and music blaring.  Yes, we can hear you a half mile away and you are going to kill your ears by playing music that loud. But at least in most communities, those young people have the freedom to play their music in their car as loud as they want.

And there it is.  The freedom.  I saw people enjoying their freedom.  Nobody telling them they could not walk in a tank top yet.  Nobody passing a law preventing motorcycles from being ridden at this time of year.  No overreaching ordinances telling young people that in order to be legal others cannot hear your music outside of your car at all.

Now this part of the article is for all of my Liberal friends and haters out there.  This is where I point out how hypocritical you are.  Lets take gay rights for example.  Now this is America.  As some would say, ‘Murica.  And this is the land of the free.  Which, you on the left say, means that gays have the right to live as they please.  They have a right to live in peace.  They have a right to love who they please.  They have the right to have a life just like a straight person.  To which many other Americans would agree. But then you turn the tables on everyone else.  You want laws dictating how others act and react around you.  You wish to stifle or take away the freedom and rights of others just to fit your own selfish desires.  You say you want to be free, but you want big government to dictate how we all live and interact with each other.

It would be like telling the person on the fast motorcycle that he is not allowed to go 65 mph on the highway while allowing cars to do that speed.  In other words, you are not asking for freedom.  You are asking for special privileges.  Privileges in which the rest of the population is not able to avail themselves of.  You are asking to separate the people in to classes and groups. Some classes and some groups get more freedom than others.

That kind of thought is straight out of the pages of the novel Animal Farm.  In this novel there is a passage that says, “some animals are more equal than others” which means some animals are not equal at all.

This is the same thought process used to own and keep slaves.  Blacks were not thought of as being equal to whites.  Now gays want to say that straights are not equal to gays.  And thus a straight person has no right to admonish gays in any way.  However, when you ask the question of gays should they be forced to make a T-Shirt for a Muslim that says “gays are infidels and must die” the fast and quick answer is no way.

Well if you have the right to tell a straight person they must make you a t-shirt that says “being gay is fab” then the Muslim has the right to tell the gay person to make him a t-shirt of his choosing. But in order to get around this, gays would say that what the Muslim wants is hate speech.  So you want to create a law that stops hate speech.  Even though, in this country, the Muslim is free to say what he pleases just like you and I.  But you wish to live your life of freedom by taking the rights of others away simply because you don’t like it.

This is not an issue with Muslims.  I need to say it because some of you out there would point out Muslims should not have a right to say what they say.  To which I reply with a query.  Why?  Sure I find a lot of what they say offensive.  But does that give me the right to deny his free speech rights simply because I don’t agree or like his speech? Does this mean that gays should censor straights because they don’t like the fact that some straights don’t agree with homosexuality?  Does it mean that we force the motorcycle to go only 55 instead of 65 because they are not wrapped in a steal cage?

Who decides who gets special rights and who gets their rights denied?  The point is when you deny someone their rights, you are most likely starting down that slippery road process of denying your own rights.  And frankly that makes us all less free.  And less freedom has no place in ‘Murica.

Jericho — No Jews Allowed

Join The United West Israel tour as we explore the West Bank village of Jericho.

Jericho is under Palestinian Rule and they make it very clear that Jews and Israelis are not welcome. The hypocrisy here is the residents of Jericho own all the food and tourist shops right outside of Jericho on Israeli land. This is modern day Israel.

Area A (full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority): circa 3% of the West Bank, exclusive East Jerusalem (first phase, 1995).

This area includes eight Palestinian cities and their surrounding areas (Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho and 80 percent of Hebron), with no Israeli settlements. Entry into this area is forbidden to all Israeli citizens.

The Israel Defense Forces occasionally enters the area to conduct raids to arrest suspected militants.

Commonly known as “the oldest city in the world,” Jericho is an important historical, cultural, and political center located northwest of the Dead Sea.

The city is perhaps best known from the Biblical story of a great victory over its Canaanite citizens by the Israelite leader Joshua. In the story, the walls of the heavily fortified city were destroyed with divine assistance during the year 1400 b.c. The site of ancient Jericho, known today as Tell es-Sultan, has been the focus of several archaeological excavations to investigate the Biblical story. The original settlement was built on a hill, or “tell”. The results of these excavations suggest that the walls of Tell es-Sultan have been built and rebuilt many times, due mainly to collapse caused by earthquakes, which are common in the region.

One of these events may be the basis for the story of Joshua.

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Memories Pizza: We Did It Together!

Patriots, we did it! We raised over $840 grand expressing our love, support and solidarity with Memories Pizza – a Christian owned business temporarily closed down due to extreme harassment from the Left.

The Blaze TV host Dana Loesch came up with the idea of a fundraiser for Memories Pizza, targeted for destruction because of their beliefs in support of traditional marriage. National talk radio hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh picked up Dana’s baton and ran with it.

Memories-PizzaWhat struck me most about the initiative was the self-less unity. Conservatives of varying stripes came together to lift up a wounded brother (Memories Pizza) in the battle for liberty and freedom. In essence, conservatives across America said to Memories Pizza, “Hang in there bro, we got your back.” Awesome! This is how we win this battle for our freedom folks. This is how we push them back.

The fundraiser felt like a project of our national conservative family. I was excited about participating; eager to do my part. Mary does our on-line transactions. The moment she awoke, before she could pour her first cup of coffee, I asked her to go to the website and contribute. When she told me it was done, we felt great.

But folks, what really warmed my heart is the fact that we did it together. United we stand, divided we fall sounds cliche. However, it is so true. Look at the power we have when we work together.

“Its amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit” Harry S. Truman

Twenty years ago, I produced a similar feel good initiative. Working on a song in the recording studio late one night, a ten year old kid knocked on the door asking for money. Frank Starchak my music producer said the kid had bad parents and was on the road to becoming a juvenile delinquent.

That night, I dreamed of various singers and bands coming together, laying aside their egos to record “Amazing Grace” in their own style (musical genre). I sent out a clarion call to the Maryland music community. We recorded a unique version of the classic hymn. All proceeds from sales of the recording benefited a youth center run by a Catholic nun, Sister Bobby. Please give it a listen.

There is a verse in the Bible that says they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Clearly, the Left’s attack on Memories Pizza was an evil attempt to destroy the Christian owned business.

God used the Left’s attack to bless not just Memories Pizza, but give a must needed shot of feel-good inspiration in the arm of the Tea Party movement.

A patriot called a national talk radio show to say she and her husband plan to trek to Memories Pizza to celebrate their wedding anniversary. What a great idea.

Brother and sister patriots, together, we did it! United we stand, divided we fall.

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Do Godly People Need Help Reading the Scriptures?

I am often asked what I think of the Blood Moons theory, which is tied to religious leaders, notably John Hagee, who use a convoluted analysis of certain passages from the Bible to convince Christians that the Second Coming is imminent and will happen in their lifetimes, something that many Christians have believed since the days of Christ. Something that will be true, at least for a future generation.

Blood-moons

For a larger view click on the image.

Many pastors over the last centuries have preached that, based on this or that Biblical passage, Jesus must be coming during their lifetime, sparing Christians the pain of death in this or that generation. People looked to these religious leaders believing that they had a special gift of prophecy and staked all their hopes in their words, often putting aside their own plans for their future and for the future of their nations, even though there were serious issues that went unresolved as a result of their abandoning their earthly duties.

I want to point something out.

If you are a godly Christian with a thorough knowledge of Jesus’ teachings, you know that you don’t have to follow “godly men” and their interpretation of the scriptures. If you are not a godly person with such knowledge, then you are spiritually and intellectually incapable of properly identifying a godly person. You have no idea what that means and a man with a strong personality will mesmerize you like a mother mesmerizes a baby with a lullaby

I responded thusly to one of those who asked me about the Blood Moons theory.

There have been numerous blood moon tetrads since about the year 800 and none of them were accompanied by events more significant than other events in times of no blood moon tetrads.

I believe that God wrote the Bible for ordinary people and does not send signs that need to be interpreted with specialized knowledge and analysis. He knows that to give us such abstruse signs would put us in the hands of a few shrewd men claiming to have such knowledge and that they would exploit us for their own purposes, and worse, for Satan’s purposes, just as the Neocons exploit soft-headed Christians constantly for the purpose of supporting war by designating as leaders certain men who claim to be Christians and whose behavior suggests they are “godly” when in fact they are deceivers whose wars invariably redound to the deaths of Middle East Christians. It has happened over and over again and some Christians have never observed the obvious pattern of this deceit.

I grew up in a fundamentalist home and saw all sorts of pastors and evangelists pretending to know things that they did not and making dated predictions that did not materialize.

I remember one itinerant evangelist by the name of Oliver B. Green from Greenville, SC who preached in the 1950s.

He had a stentorian voice, like John Hagee, and mesmerized his audiences, who came to hear him in his big circus tent. He put on quite a show, always jumping onto the top of his pulpit and gesticulating wildly at least once during his sermon to make a point. He once said that some had complained about his acrobatics and warned that they might be considered blasphemous, but he said “this is my pulpit.” My dad said that was an arrogant thing so say and that since Green was using the pulpit for God’s work, it was God’s pulpit, not his.

Years later I saw a pamphlet in my parents’ bedroom titled: “Why Man will Never Reach the Moon” written by none other than Oliver B. Green. That was a few years before man did reach the moon.

Green’s arguments were all taken from the Bible and they proved beyond a doubt that man would never reach the moon.

At the time I found these arguments to be far fetched and yet I hated myself for doubting the truth as written by this godly man, whom I had been taught to honor.

Even after man reached the moon, taking that small step for a man, my parents never wavered in their faith in Oliver B. Green. He was still a man of God.

That is the mechanism by which we are misled.

Yet the stakes have never been higher. Our Christian brethren are dying throughout the Middle East thanks to the credulity of American Christians in particular, the one group these Middle Easterners are looking to for their salvation from the horrors and atrocities they face. It is high time for godly men to do their own thinking, and their own praying.

Let’s not be misled again, for God’s sake.

CLICHÉS OF PROGRESSIVISM #42 – “Jesus Christ Was a Progressive Because He Advocated Income Redistribution to Help the Poor”

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the deceit in this canard. You can be a person of any faith or no faith at all. You just have to appreciate facts.

I first heard something similar to this cliché some 40 years ago. As a Christian, I was puzzled. In Christ’s view, the most important decision a person would make in his earthly lifetime was to accept or reject Him for whom He claimed to be—God in the flesh and the savior of mankind. That decision was clearly to be a very personal one—an individual and voluntary choice. He constantly stressed inner, spiritual renewal as far more critical to well-being than material things. I wondered, “How could the same Christ advocate the use of force to take stuff from some and give it to others?” I just couldn’t imagine Him supporting a fine or a jail sentence for people who don’t want to fork over their money for food stamp programs.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Didn’t He answer, ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s’ when the Pharisees tried to trick Him into denouncing a Roman-imposed tax?” Yes indeed, He did say that. It’s found first in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 22, verses 15-22 and later in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verses 13-17. But notice that everything depends on just what did truly belong to Caesar and what didn’t, which is actually a rather powerful endorsement of property rights. Christ said nothing like “It belongs to Caesar if Caesar simply says it does, no matter how much he wants, how he gets it, or how he chooses to spend it.”

The fact is, one can scour the Scriptures with a fine-tooth comb and find nary a word from Christ that endorses the forcible redistribution of wealth by political authorities. None, period.

“But didn’t Christ say he came to uphold the law?” you ask. Yes, in Matthew 5: 17-20, he declares, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” In Luke 24: 44, He clarifies this when he says “…[A]ll things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” He was not saying, “Whatever laws the government passes, I’m all for.” He was speaking specifically of the Mosaic Law (primarily the Ten Commandments) and the prophecies of His own coming.

Consider the 8th of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not steal.” Note the period after the word “steal.” This admonition does not read, “You shall not steal unless the other guy has more than you do” or “You shall not steal unless you’re absolutely positive you can spend it better than the guy who earned it.” Nor does it say, “You shall not steal but it’s OK to hire someone else, like a politician, to do it for you.”

In case people were still tempted to steal, the 10th Commandment is aimed at nipping in the bud one of the principal motives for stealing (and for redistribution): “You shall not covet.” In other words, if it’s not yours, keep your fingers off of it.

In Luke 12: 13-15, Christ is confronted with a redistribution request. A man with a grievance approaches him and demands, “Master, speak to my brother and make him divide the inheritance with me.” The Son of God, the same man who wrought miraculous healings and calmed the waves, replies thusly: “Man, who made mea judge or divider over you? Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s wealth does not consist of the material abundance he possesses.” Wow! He could have equalized the wealth between two men with a wave of His hand but he chose to denounce envy instead.

“What about the story of the Good Samaritan? Doesn’t that make a case for government welfare programs, if not outright redistribution?” you inquire. The answer is an emphatic NO!” Consider the details of the story, as recorded in Luke 10: 29-37: A traveler comes upon a man at the side of a road. The man had been beaten and robbed and left half-dead. What did the traveler do? He helped the man himself, on the spot, with his own resources. He did not say, “Write a letter to the emperor” or “Go see your social worker” and walk on. If he had done that, he would more likely be known today as the “Good-for-nothing Samaritan,” if he was remembered at all.

What about the reference, in the Book of Acts, to the early Christians selling their worldly goods and sharing communally in the proceeds? That sounds like a progressive utopia. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that those early Christians did not sell everything they had and were not commanded or expected to do so. They continued to meet in their own private homes, for example. In his contributing chapter to the 2014 book, “For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty,” Art Lindsley of the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics writes,

Again, in this passage from Acts, there is no mention of the state at all. These early believers contributed their goods freely, without coercion, voluntarily. Elsewhere in Scripture we see that Christians are even instructed to give in just this manner, freely, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). There is plenty of indication that private property rights were still in effect….

It may disappoint progressives to learn that Christ’s words and deeds repeatedly upheld such critically-important, capitalist virtues as contract, profit and private property. For example, consider His “Parable of the Talents” (see one of the recommended readings below). Of several men in the story, the one who takes his money and buries it is reprimanded while the one who invests and generates the largest return is applauded and rewarded.

Though not central to the story, good lessons in supply-and-demand as well as the sanctity of contract are apparent in Christ’s “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.” A landowner offers a wage to attract workers for a day of urgent work picking grapes. Near the end of the day, he realizes he has to quickly hire more and to get them, he offers for an hour of work what he previously had offered to pay the first workers for the whole day. When one of those who worked all day complained, the landowner answered, “I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?  Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

The well-known “Golden Rule” comes from the lips of Christ Himself, in Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In Matthew 19:18, Christ says, “…love your neighbor as yourself.” Nowhere does He even remotely suggest that we should dislike a neighbor because of his wealth or seek to take that wealth from him. If you don’t want your property confiscated (and most people don’t, and wouldn’t need a thief in order to part with it anyway), then clearly you’re not supposed to confiscate somebody else’s.

Christian doctrine cautions against greed. So does present-day economist Thomas Sowell: “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Using the power of government to grab another person’s property isn’t exactly altruistic. Christ never even implied that accumulating wealth through peaceful commerce was in any way wrong; He simply implored people to not allow wealth to rule them or corrupt their character. That’s why His greatest apostle, Paul, didn’t say money was evil in the famous reference in 1 Timothy 6:10. Here’s what Paul actually said: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Indeed, progressives themselves have not selflessly abandoned money, for it is other people’s money, especially that of “the rich,” that they’re always clamoring for.

In Matthew 19:23, Christ says, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven.” A progressive might say, “Eureka! There it is! He doesn’t like rich people” and then stretch the remark beyond recognition to justify just about any rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scheme that comes down the pike. But this admonition is entirely consistent with everything else Christ says. It’s not a call to envy the rich, to take from the rich or to give “free” cell phones to the poor. It’s a call to character. It’s an observation that some people let their wealth rule them, rather than the other way around. It’s a warning about temptations (which come in many forms, not just material wealth). Haven’t we all noticed that among the rich, as is equally true among the poor, you have both good and bad people? Haven’t we all seen some rich celebrities corrupted by their fame and fortune, while others among the rich live perfectly upstanding lives? Haven’t we all seen some poor people who allow their poverty to demoralize and enervate them, while others among the poor view it as an incentive to improve?

In Christ’s teachings and in many other parts of the New Testament, Christians—indeed, all people—are advised to be of “generous spirit,” to care for one’s family, to help the poor, to assist widows and orphans, to exhibit kindness and to maintain the highest character. How all that gets translated into the dirty business of coercive, vote-buying, politically-driven redistribution schemes is a problem for prevaricators with agendas. It’s not a problem for scholars of what the Bible actually says and doesn’t say.

Search your conscience. Consider the evidence. Be mindful of facts. And ask yourself: “When it comes to helping the poor, would Christ prefer that you give your money freely to the Salvation Army or at gunpoint to the welfare department?

Christ was no dummy. He was not interested in the public professions of charitableness in which the legalistic and hypocritical Pharisees were fond of engaging. He dismissed their self-serving, cheap talk. He knew it was often insincere, rarely indicative of how they conducted their personal affairs, and always a dead-end with plenty of snares and delusions along the way. It would hardly make sense for him to champion the poor by supporting policies that undermine the process of wealth creation necessary to help them. In the final analysis, He would never endorse a scheme that doesn’t work and is rooted in envy or theft. In spite of the attempts of many modern-day progressives to make Him into Robin Hood, He was nothing of the sort.

Summary

  • Free will, not coercion, is a central and consistent element in the teachings of Christ.
  • It is not recorded anywhere that Christ called for the state to use its power to redistribute wealth.
  • Christ endorsed things like choice, charity, generosity, kindness, personal responsibility, and voluntary association—things that are irreconcilable with coercively-financed redistribution schemes.
  • For further information, see:

“For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty,” Anne Bradley and Art Lindsley, editors

“Socialism: Spiritual or Secular?” by Francis Mahaffey

“The Parable of the Talents: The Bible and Entrepreneurs” by Robert Sirico

“Lawrence Reed on The Platform” – a short video interview on income redistribution, the welfare state and Christianity

“Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Economics” by Doug Bandow

Cliché #20: “Government Can Be a Compassionate Alternative to the Harshness of the Marketplace” by Lawrence W. Reed

ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government. See the index of the published chapters here. As an organization unaffiliated with any particular faith, FEE encourages other perspectives on such matters. Mr. Reed wishes readers to understand that his personal perspective is not intended to proselytize for any particular faith or church but to illuminate his interpretation of the moral and economic dimension of Christ.)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

16 April 1963

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants–for example, to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham’s mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: “Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro’s frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible “devil.”

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as “rabble rousers” and “outside agitators” those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies–a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle–have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty nigger-lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?”

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather “nonviolently” in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.

ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR

The Secular Left has Truly Lost it’s Collectivist Mind

It has been said that sometimes things or situations are most bleak just before the end of the storm.  If one looks at the world today it is easy to assume, either the windy gales of history will soon their velocity.  Or we could soon be in for a heap of hurt.  I choose to believe, that even during this dark age of decimated morality and the global economy leaning toward the brink of utter collapse, things will surprisingly recover.  That will happen to the delight of those who desire true Liberty and Justice for all. To others who prefer secular humanism and progressive government control from cradle to grave disappointment shall be their lot in life.

One thing is for sure, the lunatic left always has a new answer for every time the question is asked, how low can you go?  This time, the depravity of the left is highlighted in a recent article written by Matt Barber for CNSNews.com. In his enlightening column, Mr. Barber points out that anti-Christian and anti-man writer Valerie Tarico (who also hates women who either love or like men) that Christianity was going down.  In a December 21st headline Tarico wrote “why is rape so intrinsic to religion?”  she insanely asserts that “God raped Mary.”  Barber also correctly pointed out how Tarico and I will add “the left in overall” will try and fool the public into believing they are against religion in general.  But as per usual, if they communicate long enough, their singular focus of hatred toward the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be exposed to the fullest.

The feminist twit even had the raw nerve to suggest that the Biblical account of Christ’s conception “really roots all the way back to evolutionary biology, and men’s need to maximize their gene.”  (Whew what a nut job)  The mindless gibberish of individuals like Valerie Tarico are the result of a decades long mission to fundamentally change America from a Judeo/Christian Ethic oriented constitutionally limited republic into an anything but God loving Patriotic society.

Unfortunately, many have forgotten or never knew that the unalienable rights of the individual are far more important than the desires of the tyrannical imps who populate government.  One of the things that I quickly noticed long ago was the blatant disregard and discrimination against Christianity. In addition there is liberal discrimination against anything that was inspired by or influenced by Christian principles such as the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Leftists like Tarico fully understand that America was founded on Christian underpinnings.  It is most unfortunate that the left views personal liberty, property rights, opportunities for anyone to reach their God given potential, the right of self-protection, etc. as impediments to their goal of overseeing the destruction of this exceptional nation.

They will use anything or any useful idiot like Al Sharpton, to reach their goulish goal.  The progressives have foolishly been allowed to dominate every aspect of society.  Whether it’s government schools, the liberal church, the media, entertainment, influence on the family and business.  From the looks of things, it seems as though the left has it all locked up in their deviant war on America.  They are convinced that it is their right and duty to abolish God, prosperity, the pledge of allegiance, prayers at football games, American military prowess, legitimate authority, private property, a private sector medical industry, the keystone pipeline, and it goes on and on.  Individuals like Valarie Tarico, who hate men because we simply exist are the premier practitioners of   discrimination, prejudice and bigotry, that they pretend to be against.  Worst of all, they even hate God and tell bald faced lies against him.  But despite the blatant disregard for that which is good, by the liberal haters of the idea of a blessed United States of America, I am firmly convinced that the progressives will ultimately lose their stranglehold on our republic.

Those of you familiar with my syndicated radio commentary have for years heard me expressing my sincere belief that America will be renewed as the sweet land of liberty envisioned by the founding fathers.  As “We the People” repent for allowing our republic to fall far from grace.  Despite the fact that the collectivist left is basically on one accord in their effort to destroy our country, This nation will be reborn into greatness as we pursue and receive Providential guidance, just like those who sought the face of God and gained the wisdom and power to establish the greatest nation in the history of the world.  May God bless America and May America bless God.