Mr. Glenn Beck brought out the Vice President of Studio Operations to upbraid her publicly about several measures with a tinge of ecological concern to them, that were enacted. He resented the biodegradable “corn” spoons, the fluorescent light bulbs, water cooler and biodegradable cardboard recycling bins. You can see the episode here.1
Many of these ecologically-friendly products, that he speaks of, are of such quality and futility that they ought to be scorned. As for Global Warming (AGW); my biggest bugaboo is the lies and deceits that have been used to push this agenda. There is a politically charged environment within those supposedly scientifically disciplines that requires conformity to the AGW faith, by those who are supposed to be honest and impartial and scientific researchers. I will never give consideration of AGW again until they fire Mann and Jones at the IPCC first, in order to make some demonstration that they are serious about intellectual integrity.
So, I can appreciate Mr. Beck’s sentiments that “Global warming is a pile of crap.”
However, it is in his follow-up comments that turn me completely against such conservatives like Mr. Beck. And I do not understand why a true and self-respecting Evangelical, who actually believes their Bible, should have much to do with this ultra-conservative.
“If anyone does anything in this company because of global warming, they’re fired.”
Although said in all jest and frivolity. There is menace behind all the humour.
As a parent, and as much as it is possible; you do not go out of one’s way to deliberately discipline your child publicly. It is imprudent. All the child sees is the public shame that has been exacted upon him by his supposedly loving parent. The child gratingly resents it and forgets the lesson that is being taught. Even the Scriptures, when it comes to church discipline, first advocates private avenues before a public rebuke. So pulling the same public shaming on an employee such as Beck’s Vice President of Studio Operations is very much of similar bullying character.
As one can see from this blog, I am a theological conservative. I believe my Bible. And it speaks of liberty of conscience on secondary matters – Romans 14.
Mr. Beck makes a living out of castigating statists for amongst other things, violations of civil liberties and conscience. But how is he, in his private capacities any different. It would seem that Glenn Beck represents a faction which believes in merely replacing statist violations of free speech and conscience with corporatist violations. He is thereby just a hypocrite. And contrary to C.S. Lewis’ maxim, the robber barons can be very much as tyrannical as their statist counterpart.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
I am totally bamboozled that such a person can appeal to so many of my so-called Evangelical colleagues. True Christianity is not sociopolitical conservatism.
1. Glenn Beck Program, Studio Treason, August 21, 2013, Accessed http://www.video.theblaze.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=29910975 on September 3, 2013.
Some events, like the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in 2011, are catalytic, if unpredictable. The underlying and unnoticed cause of revolutionary sentiment long seethes subterraneously, unnoticed by the cadre of jet-set international news media celebrities, who photo-up at every disaster like politicians. But we know not if, when and from where, a spark will set these combustible social atmospheres. Others are mere sideshows, but expose the current state of affairs within a society and culture to those astute enough to notice. Others are mere sideshows.
The Zimmerman-Martin sideshow is the middle option.
Dwelling in a jurisdiction outside the gates of the American zoo, my perspective could be dismissed as one lacking knowledge and empathy. And on this particular matter, which is more peripheral to my experience than those dwelling in the U.S., this is legitimate comment. My claim to credibility comes from having distance and perhaps therefore greater impartiality and broader perspective. Read more…
In the first chapter of Christopher Hitchens “God Is Not Great”, he recounts a Sunday School marm, if I remember correctly, who irritates his budding intellect with the lamest reasons for seeking God amongst other rational fallacies.
In this spirit, I present Dr. Patrick Fagan’s take, a Family Research Council Senior Fellow, on the best reason for monogamous sexuality.
“Those who are monogamous have the best sex they’ll ever know, because they don’t know anything else.”1
With reasoning like this, I just know that the reassertion of traditional marriage as the social norm is just around the corner!
How about instead, we suggest the following:
There is a autobahn between the human heart and libido. And the most intense sexual experience will be consequence of very tight consensual human connectedness between the two persons, along with a healthy, uninhibited and comprehensive perspective and understanding of Eros, (Eros that extends beyond bodily functions – the physiological as metaphoric of the psychological unity).
Prior sexual experiences of every kind retain baggage that intrudes on present sexual relationships, whether the participants are aware or honest to recognize them. Narcissism, selfishness, incapacity for love (as seeking the best interests of the other), lack of ethics, lack of recognition, acceptance and embracing of the masculinity/femininity and gender difference of the other, etc; all these act as impediments to the attaining of that deep emotional tie that contributes to and continually nourishes the best sex a person might have.
- https://socialreader.com/me/content/LkLbG?chid=130991&_p=trending&utm_source=wp&utm_medium=Widgets&utm_campaign=wpsrTrendingExternal-1-opt on July 20, 2013. Porn is everywhere. But that’s not what’s killing marriage, The Washington Post, July 19, 2013, Accessed
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.1
I have long held a theory about Christian Regeneration/Conversion, which basically states that it gives a person the ability too see what is right in front of their noses. Some credit for this conclusion must go to George Orwell who wrote “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
And thus, when I heard about the lengths by which some persons sought to get on reality television, so that they could escape their anonymity; or Twitter and its use by our current age to publish every mundane motion of their bathroom endeavours to the globe, I knew that the age of narcissism had descended upon us.
However, it seems that God has sought to rub the obvious in our faces with the Selfie; the taking of an inordinate number of self-portraits from one’s iPAD etc and posting them on the Internet.
THE ULTIMATE FACE OF THE SELFIE
After recuperating in the sanctuary of my sister’s house after years of dwelling with madness, within and without, I have finally found a place to restart my life. The basement apartment is perfect for my purposes. It is buried in a quiet dead-end street. A park and Tim Horton’s is 100 yards away. A shopping mall (and the beer store, if I was heavy into beer) is 200 yards away. Etobicoke Creek trickles by with accompanying trails nearby. And it is near the corner of major suburban bus routes. It has all the basic elements that I need and is cheap enough that I can support myself on basic wages until the other stuff starts producing.
However, as always, there is a fly in the ointment. In this case, it is the other roomer; approx 50 years old and with heavy set and thick foreign accent.
The landlady provides some basic utensils, pots, pans and dishes with the accommodation. And on the first day, I used what pot and utensils that was there. But apparently, a pot and spoon belongs to the roomer. How was I to know? The roomer got all so hot and bothered about the use of his stainless steel pot. And dish detergent. And wash cloth. But especially, the stainless steel tablespoon. He was going to call the cops the next time his spoon was used.
Consequently, I start worrying about the storage space that I am using in the fridge. Have I gone over my share; despite the fact that the man only stores a couple of items? Knowing that people tend to project their own vices onto others, was his concern for being cheated showing up in the level of my milk?
This is so darn ridiculous. I am not going to go down this road and bring myself to that level. I have had at least 5 vehicles bump into the back of my vehicles over the years. And for peace of mind, I just couldn’t be bothered to collect. I am not going to start now.
The next day, I get a stomping and loud complaining about some apparent mess. Only unless one is like my obsessive “no-dust-can-be-found-on-the-top-of-closet-doors-and-window-sills” mom in my childhood, no person would have noticed any form of mess. Apparently, the chap didn’t like the way the garbage bag and the garbage was arranged into the garbage pail as well.
I just lost it; insulting him several times. It wasn’t so much anger; but contempt. I have all these great and profound thoughts. And I just cannot be bothered having to think about pots, detergent soap, dishcloths and especially stainless steel tablespoons.
The next day, I cooked up some pork tenderloin stew. I left him half with an accompanying note apology. However, the wording might not have been winsome. It said:
I do apologize for calling you an a-hole. I do and can respect property. However, I will not allow myself to be subjected to a concern for property rights that borders on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If my mindset fretted about every $1 stainless steel spoon being used by anyone else, I should think that I would be spending $90 every week on psychological counseling sessions.
He didn’t eat the pork tenderloin stew.
Today. The roomer bangs on the door and complains that I used up his laundry detergent. I showed him that I had my own. His kafuffle alarms the landlady upstairs. He complains that he pays too much rent. And the laundry detergent is just the last straw. He threatens to leave. The lady threatens to call the police on him for being obnoxiously loud and raging. She also offers him the right to get out of his commitment to stay as a renter.
With the violent temper of this man over detergent soap usage, I am a teeny bit worried about the safety of my life. And I begin to calculate the depreciation cost of one use of a $1 stainless steel tablespoon. If a person uses a stainless steel tablespoon about once a day minimum; and on average, one keeps a stainless steel tablespoon for about five years before losing it; that comes to about .0548¢ per usage. That is unless one is using the declining balance accounting method. Imagine suffering mortality over the price of an accidental misuse of a stainless steel tablespoon!
I thought I had seen enough mad houses! Having expunged the madness within, by the Grace of God and through the enactment of His counsel, I seem to keep meeting up with it externally.
©Copyright Johnny Hutchinson
Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.1
I am a 6+ point Calvinist, or Spurgeonist, taking a cue from Paul Washer. This self-identifying label is spoken mostly tongue-in-cheek, in order to disabuse the creedalist version of the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Five Point Calvinism or T.U.L.I.P. shares all the inherent problems, when humanity attempts to encapsulate an interconnected framework of Biblical understanding into bullet points; whether creeds are called by that name, or confessions of faith, catechisms or whatever.
I chanced upon a headline in the New York Times Magazine this afternoon at Starbucks. Now, that statement might intimate that my political loyalties lie with the Left. However, except for a fling with the NDP, in disgust with the conservative and liberal parties’ evident selectivity in the upholding of civil rights in the War Measures Act of 1970; I could not vote for any party, whose unstated policy of laïcité would preclude Christian/religious values and principles from contending in the public square. Indeed, I belong to that great and deep chasm between conservative moralism and liberal intellectual intellectualist arrogance called True Christianity.
The Trap of Loyalty
Syria’s Alawites are caught between for their own increasingly brutal leaders and a rebellion that may want to wipe them off the map.1
I cannot help but think about the snare that conservative Christians (and to lesser extent, progressive Christians) have fallen into, as I wait for my Cappuccino. The lamentable thing is that neither Christian ‘faction’ seems sufficiently aware of their self-inflicted conundrum.
The report articles the many Alawite Muslims, targeted by the rebels, for being of the same Islamic sect as the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad. They have given that dynasty a tribalistic level of support. Some had even participated in massacres against various adversarial groups in decades prior.
Therefore, regardless of personal culpability or concurrence with the atrocities, committed by the regime, these Alawites are painted with the same brush. Were they to withdraw political allegiance due to horror at the atrocities, Bashar al-Assad might very well withdraw his protection. And they would be gunned down unprotected, without discernment or distinction because of past animosities and associations. They are stuck in their loyalty with whatever angel or devil represents the regime.
Tribal loyalties are understandable. Christian commitment to one secular sociopolitical faction or the other is declaimed by Christian Scriptures (“unequally yoked”) and imprudent.
Certainly, many of these political Christians are spiritual weeds; as Christian as the “German Christians” of the 1930s; ignorant of Scriptures; certainly ignorant of the principles, ethic, ethos and Gospel of Christ. And perhaps, it is time to call a tare a tare.
Having cast their lot with the Republican Party, conservative Christianity unnecessarily alienates the other half of America on matters of secondary consequence; on issues which have little to do with Christianity, on issues which are contrary to Christianity. Indeed, in this pact with the devil, one painfully observes conservative Christianity conscript and construe (and misconstrue) Scriptural verses to give spiritual imprimatur to matters which are ethically dubious (i.e. the political issue is too complex to pontificate moral / spiritual blessing). More so, the reputation of Christianity becomes beholden to the conduct and attitudes of their political allies and protectors.
There is a statistically significant dip in Southern Baptist membership growth in 2003, the year of the Iraq War; which shocking to me, the SBC actually gave official sanction. There membership has been on a slow wane ever since. And the SBC is wondering why it is losing its youth; not to alternative denominations; but to agnosticism and even hostility.
And considering that the current political polarization in the U.S. will likely only worsen, only become nastier, only bring on further extremist measures on both factions; the reputation of Christianity suffers for the friends with whom conservative Christianity associates with. “God’s name is blasphemed among the nations because of you.”2
The spiritual problem is not about the sociopolitical issues themselves. The issue is about having the independence of choosing, which issues of the Republican (or Democratic) arsenal are morally clear cut. The issue is about being neutral on sociopolitical issues in which neutrality is spiritually prudent or morally complex and doubtful. The issue is about retaining autonomous independence and moral authority in speaking truth to power, regardless of whoever attains the Commanding Heights of society. The issue is about having a purifying and distinct Evangelical voice. The issue is about being free to give other sociopolitical factions credit and support in those issues in which they may be closer to the right; however rare that might appear to be. The issue is about not permitting unregenerate people to enlist Christianity in non-Christian and dubious, even corrupt, causes. The issue is about being able to retain a clarity of mind, not besmirched by the flak of worldly and unchristian thought and attitude.
The issue is about moral credibility and the reputation of God.
And in alienating the other sociopolitical faction, that other sociopolitical faction will have greater and justified cause to depredate the cause of Christ. Indeed, fear of the liberal secularist onslaught that depredates Christianity, which gave genesis to Evangelical prostitution with conservatism in the first place, will only bind Evangelicalism ever closer to their secular johns.
The taste of Christianity, emanating out of current Evangelicalism, has become painfully worldly, idolatrous, moralist and lacking in grace, mean-spirited and hateful, jingoistic, compromised and without spiritual vitality. It is social and capitalist conservatism sprinkled with God words.
1. Robert F. Worth, “The Trap of Loyalty”, The New York Times Magazine (Print Edition), June 23, 2013.
2. Romans 2:24 NIV. I have replaced Gentiles with nations (Greek – ethnesin) in this quote. It is equally valid; speaking objectively and generically, rather than in relationship to the Jews.