First, the obvious question. "Hey, didn't you just suggest last week that you wouldn't do this anymore?" Well, yes, I did ask the question. But this week I came across this Scripture.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Eph 5:11)Perhaps, then, there is the need to expose the works of darkness as works of darkness.
Too Many Guns
The Guardian is reporting on a study by Harvard and Northeastern universities on guns in America that indicates that 3% of American adults own half the guns in the U.S. They note, also, that there has been a dramatic rise in gun ownership by women. The article had this to say. "Even as the US has grown dramatically safer and gun violence rates have plummeted, handguns have become a greater proportion of the country’s civilian gun stock, suggesting that self-defense is an increasingly important factor in gun ownership." Wondering about the desire to own a gun for protection in a country with "decreasing rates of lethal violence", the article suggests that gun ownership is an act of "increasing fearfulness" rather than "actuarial reality". Oh, wait ... what was that? Did they just say that gun violence rates in America have plummeted? Did they just claim that lethal violence rates are decreasing? Now, hold on. Isn't the left arguing that guns are making our world less safe and causing increased violence? So, which is it? Are we to surrender our guns because we don't need them or because they are increasing violence? I don't understand. (Funny, also, that the webpage with the article included a link to an earlier article from the Guardian about the dreadful frequency of mass shootings. So, which is it? Increasing or decreasing?) This is not a call for or against guns. I'm just pointing out that it we should never let it be said that truth has any bearing on the media.
Last week I briefly pointed out the story of the NCAA relocating 7 championship games from North Carolina in the name of "inclusiveness". You might be tempted to think, "Oh, that's too bad" and move on. Don't. You see, choices have consequences. There will be fallout. The NCAA's choice to side with the LGBT forces on this takes them to the next step. "Good! Now that you agree with us on this, I'm sure you agree with us in the other places." Because, you see, the new demand is the elimination (in the name of equality and inclusiveness) of any organization in the NCAA that is not pro-gay. How can the NCAA not? "BYU’s policies are far more sinister and discriminatory than North Carolina’s HB2 law," they assure us.
Trust me, this isn't going to get better. First, "We demand tolerance." Then, "We demand new rights." Then, "We demand admiration, to be embraced for our views (and we'll call that 'tolerance')." Then, "We demand that those who do not embrace our views be punished for it." It was even suggested in the article that it is not possible to be a Christian without embracing these views. Don't expect things to improve any time soon.
A Last Farewell
The President gave his final speech to the U.N. this week. Good portions of it were aimed at his political foes, making "an impassioned rebuke of the GOP candidate's policies on trade, immigration and multiculturalism -- and a defense of liberalism and tolerance." (Remember, today's "tolerance" is not "to tolerate", but "to embrace".) There was talk about his failure to bring peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. The two sides, he was sure, needed to reconcile deeply held differences. Of course, reconciling, "We're a nation and we're here to stay" from Israel with "We hate you and will only rest when every last one of you is dead" from the Palestinians will be difficult. He spoke a lot about "globalization" and argued that America would need to surrender sovereignty to a new world order (my words, not his) in order to get along in this world. "We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration," he said. Shades of the "one world leader" concept. I suspect that if Clinton wins the election, we can only expect more of the same, where nationalism is regarded as evil and religion is regarded as a problem.
Naked and Afraid
Recently Facebook made the news by taking down a photograph posted by a Norwegian newspaper editor. He posted the iconic photograph of people in Vietnam running from a napalm attack. Facebook removed it because it included a screaming naked little girl. Facebook said their problem was "it's difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others." This is where our national love affair with pornography has brought us. In stories we see on the screen or in books we cannot distinguish anymore between fact and fiction and you will find hardcore fans of this movie or that book arguing vehemently that such a thing is true when it was clearly fiction. In the same way, Christians decried the fiction of Harry Potter, for instance, as demonic even though it was fiction -- not intended as true. On the other hand, self-professed Christians read the very clear biblical historical narratives of the Old and New Testaments and conclude, "It's fiction, nothing more than myth. Instructive, perhaps, but not factual." Completely unclear on reality. In the same way, Facebook illustrated the problem that today's society cannot differentiate between the naked body and the sexualized body. It is difficult to create a distinction. In this case we've arrived at the place that "without clothing" mandates lust. (I wonder how this plays for Christians when we read that God commanded Isaiah to preach naked for three years (Isa 20:1-6)?)
The Ever-Baffling California
Last Monday California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to cut emissions ... of cows. Yes, that's right. California plans by force of law to cut emission of black carbon by diesel engines and flourinated gases and hydrofluourocarbons used in refrigeration and methane emissions from cows. You realize, of course, that cows emit methane by passing gas. The state dairy industry will need to "find a way to reduce methane produced by cow flatulence and manure." More clear evidence that sin rots the brain (Jer 17:9; Rom 1:28; Rom 12:2).
Okay, so we don't know the difference between pornography and a screaming naked girl as news. It isn't a unique problem. We can't figure out marriage. We don't understand "fiction" vs "fact". As words change, so does their concepts. So, just for clarification ...
No matter how much the media refers to it as "protests", a protest -- a right constitutionally defended -- and a riot are not the same thing. As in so many other cases, "because we said so" is not a good reason to think so. Any more than "Because Hillary said it is caused by systemic racism", all the while ignoring that the police officer identified as the shooter in Charlotte was a black man, does not mean that we ought to agree.