Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Bill Lockwood: America a Christian Nation 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

When our Founding Fathers referred to this nation, as “Christian Nation,” as did John Jay, one of authors of Federalist Papers, they did not intend that this be understood in the sense that an official church had been established, or that a “Theocracy” was in place, but rather that the principles upon which our republic rests were Christian in origin. Benjamin Morris, a second-generation American, in surveying the mass of material on this topic, summarized:

“Christianity is the principle and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions. It is the religion of the people—the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion.”

Some of founders even referred to America as a “Christian Republic.” That generation demonstrated this by the fact that they Morris adorned public buildings with biblical symbols such as Moses crossing Red Sea; or Moses holding tablets of stone carved on the building of the Supreme Court; or the even state papers of the Continental Congress that are filled with Christianity.

One of the formative laws of the United States is the Declaration of Independence, which reads more like a theological statement to the secularists of today. Our republic posited that rights come from God and that the single role of government is to protect what God gave us, inclusive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Republic itself is an outgrowth of Christian principles.

Roger Sherman, from Connecticut, one of the most influential of the founders, having signed not only the Declaration of Independence, but the Articles of Confederation as well as the
Constitution. He wrote to Samuel Baldwin in 1790 that “his faith in the new republic was largely because he felt it was founded on Christianity as he understood it.”

Joseph Story, a jurist who served on the Supreme Court during the founding era and wrote the first lengthy Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, commented as follows:

Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal sentiment was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

The Supreme Court in numerous cases has referred to this as “A Christian Nation.” Most notable is the 1892 case entitled The Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States. Here the Court packed its decision with a litany of precedents from American history to establish “this is a religious people, … this is a Christian Nation.”

Now it is Different

When speaking of the Bible, one denominational church manual reads, “Now it is different.” Sadly, so it is in the teaching of the founding of America, the Constitution itself, and American civics in general.

Modern Americans have become so ill-educated and misinformed on the subject at hand that even universities and professorships, endowed with tax dollars, argue vehemently against America being conceived as a “Christian nation.” They trumpet loudly that this is a “secular state” and has been from the beginning.

In 2009, for example, the church of Christ where I preach hosted a “Christianity and the Constitution” public seminar, featuring various speakers, establishing that America was designed as a “Christian nation.” Objections by letters to the editor appeared in the local paper, The Times Record News of Wichita Falls. One woman wrote:

…the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution were clearly written as secular documents, with not a single mention of Jesus or the word Christian … [I]t is a fact that the major players in the production of the federal documents were steeped in the Enlightenment: deists, humanists, Masons, and skeptics … [emp. added]

She went on to say that we had “presented discredited information” and “tortured” history to establish the claim that America was a Christian nation.

In answer to that letter, I included the following:

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (cited in the US Supreme Court case [of 1892, mentioned above] said that “Christianity is and always has been a part of the common law.” … The Supreme Court of 1844 (Vidal) said, “It is unnecessary for us, … to consider the establishment of a school for college for the propagation of Judaism or Deism or any other form of infidelity. Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a Christian country.”

It was also noted in response that Noah Webster, who helped ratify our Constitution, wrote that the source of our republican principles “is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or Christian religion.”

Concluding, I added that regarding to “deists” by whom our nation was supposedly founded, that at the time of the Constitutional Convention deists were not even allowed to hold public office! An actual listing of the religious preferences of the delegates to the Constitutional convention of 1787 shows that 55 declared themselves Christians while only 3 called themselves deists. That is about 5%.

Nathan Jun of MSU

After the above exchange in the paper, Dr. Nathan Jun of Midwestern State University came in to help out the secular cause. He wrote:

In response to Bill Lockwood’s April 21 letter: The First Amendment of the Constitution states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …’ Both conventional approaches to interpreting the ‘establishment clause’ – the first as well as the more conservative accommodationist approach—strictly preclude any implicit or explicit religious preferences on the part of the Constitution or Congress.

The United States of America is most certainly not a ‘Christian’ nation, and this is a basic and uncontroversial principle of constitutional law. Whether or not a preponderance of the founders of this country were Christians, moreover, is wholly irrelevant. The government they founded is and has been secular in principle, if not always in spirit. The antiquated, anti-Semitic Supreme Court decision that Mr. Lockwood cited (instead of, say, the Constitution) says nothing about the fundamental character of our system of government. It does, however, say an awful lot about Mr. Lockwood and, perhaps, about his particular brand of Christianity—at least to this non-Christian.

The errors in Dr. Jun’s statement are so numerous that it is only possible to note the highlights, which I did in a following letter to the editor.

Dr. Jun: sir, your philosophy is woefully misinformed. The 1st Amendment, according to James Madison, merely forbids the federal government from establishing a ‘national church.’ No one then, nor do I, wish to have an official state church. However, that is far different from speaking of our Christian nation in the sense of recognizing Christian principles being imbedded within its framework and forming the underpinning of our society. As Patrick Henry put it, this nation ‘was founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Joseph Story, appointed by Madison to the Supreme Court, said, ‘we do not attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity … an attempt to level all religions and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation …’

I suppose that these men are too antiquated to know what they are talking about land need modernists from Universities to straighten them out. Not a Christian nation? ‘Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege … of our Christian nation to select Christians as their rulers’ (John Jay, 1st chief justice of the Supreme Court).

Next, I only mentioned that the Founders were Christians in answer to another letter which opined that this country was founded by a bunch of deists and secular humanists—not as proof of a Christian nation. You missed that point as well.

Third, to cavalierly dismiss as ‘anti-Semitic’ the 1892 Supreme Court decision which identified us as a Christian nation bespeaks of dep-seated prejudice by Dr. Jun and a fundamental lack of understanding about the roots of America. It is extremely sad that our tax dollars support this type of radical expression.

In truth, the fact that this was established as a Christian nation infuriates the secularists in our country. Perhaps they ought to be thankful that the only “accommodation” that America made was to the irreligious, allowing them to live freely in a Christian nation without forcing them to support a state-sponsored church.

I am certain that if these professors, of which Dr. Nathan Jun is only one, who personally publishes an “Abolish the Police” signature on his Facebook page, were to live in a Muslim country, they might have a different perspective.

After the above public exchange, I contacted Dr. Jun by email in an effort to engage in a public discussion on Christianity in general. But his contempt for Christianity apparently knows no bounds as he tartly replied, “do not ever contact me again.”

So much for a free society where ideas can be exchanged openly in gentlemanly fashion.

Bill Lockwood: The Bible and Slavery 5 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

The 1619 Project, sponsored by the New York Times, is a series of essays and multimedia creations designed to “reframe American history” by claiming America’s founding is based on racism and slavery instead of freedom and liberty. The chief writer for the project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, calls white people “savages” “bloodsuckers” and “murderers” who used Christianity as an excuse to enslave different peoples of the world. Her vitriol, which seems to know no bounds, is now being picked up by many others who are concerned about slavery in America’s history.

A slave is considered to be a person owned by another, without rights, and—like property—to be used and disposed of in whatever way the owner may wish. 1 The Encyclopedia of Religion defines slavery as “[A] social and industrial system in which the person and labor of one individual may be disposed of as the property of another.” 2

Setting aside Hannah-Jones’ ignorant vilification of “white people” as the sole perpetrators of this institution, as well as her abysmal lack of knowledge of American history, what is particularly concerning here is that she assails the Bible in her diatribes as somehow teaching the practice of chattel slavery.

What Does the Bible Actually Teach Regarding Slavery?

Moses writes by inspiration that are human beings are created in “the image of God” (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6). Of all the philosophies of the world, this Divine assertion alone gives all men and women equal dignity. All persons are equal in value to one another. Life itself is a gift of God.

Placing man in the Garden of Eden, God ordered him to “dress the garden and keep it” as well as to “eat of the fruit” which he gathered (Gen. 2:15). These commands imply freedom as well as the right to property. “Thou shalt not steal” is built into the very foundations of the created order.

From these simple premises it is easy to see that God never intended one human being to be the property of another. However, as is the case with polygamy which departed from the marriage institution that God created (Gen. 2:24)— mankind departed sharply from God’s design.

Separated from God men have concocted many schemes which ignore these plain biblical ideals, particularly regarding the value of human life. Aristotle, for example, developed the theory that some persons were servile by their very nature. 3 The school of philosophy known as Stoicism later considered slavery as a mere accident of fortune and therefore it was not a just cause about which one could complain.

The ancient world was actually steeped in slavery, whether it be the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, or Roman world—all practiced slavery. As Everett Ferguson writes, “Slavery was pervasive in ancient civilization.” Thomas C. Edwards, in his superb commentary on the book of 1 Corinthians, notes that the practice of slavery actually sprang from a rejection of God’s Word regarding the dignity of man. “Slavery was an institution that sprang from other fundamental ideas—namely, the superiority of men over women; the religious preeminence of Jew over Gentile; the Greek consciousness of creative political genius …” 4 It was the devaluing of human life that brought about slavery.


1 The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 1462. 2 Ed. Vergilius Ferm, p. 714. 3 Everett Ferguson, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 854 4 Commentary on 1 Corinthians, p. 182.


Old Testament

Slavery was almost universally practiced in all cultures during Old Testament times. Men and women were enslaved by capture in war (1 Sam. 4:9) or by purchase (Gen. 17:12-13, 27). The Law allowed Hebrews to purchase slaves from foreigners at home or abroad (Lev. 25:44ff). Children born “into the house” of slave-parents were evidently called “house-born slaves” (Gen. 17:12-13).

Interestingly, slavery could be entered by other methods as well. God legislated that if a convicted thief could not make “restitution” and pay his damages and/or fines, money could be raised for this purpose by selling him as a slave (Ex. 22:3). This law showed that slavery involved the production or labor of a person was considered to be his property, which now became the property of the one wronged.

The insolvent debtor, as well as his family, became enslaved to the creditor (2 Kings 4:1). It was also possible for one to sell himself and his labor to escape poverty (Lev. 25:39-43).

However, there are some important considerations that the Old Testament includes. First, in the case of the insolvent debtor, he was not to be treated as a chattel slave, but as a “hired servant” and to be released at the Year of Jubilee (every 50 years on the Jewish calendar) (Lev. 25:39-43). The person who purchased him was instructed “not to rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.”

Second, to abduct a person and to reduce a stolen person to slavery was punishable by death (Ex. 21:16). Third, to murder a slave was punishable by death (Ex. 21:20; Lev. 24:17,22). The reason for this is once again because of the intrinsic value of a human being. Fourth, the enslaved debtor was to be released after six years (Ex. 21:2). There was no lifetime enslavement.

God, in the Old Testament, taking men where they were, regulated the practice of slavery and softened the edge of it. Contrast that with Roman law whereby a slave is not considered a person.

Old Testament scholar K.A. Kitchen summarizes the spirit of the Old Testament.

Generally, a more humane spirit breathes through the OT laws and customs on slavery, as illustrated by the repeated injunctions in God’s name not to rule over a brother Israelite harshly (e.g. Lev. 25:43,46,53,55; Dt. 15:14ff). Even when Hebrew law and custom on slaves shares in the common heritage of the ancient Semitic world, there is this unique care in God’s name for these people who by status were not people, something absent from the law codes of Babylon or Assyria. 5


 5 The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 1464.


The New Testament

When asked about marriage, our Lord refers questioners back to the beginning and God’s initial intention with the sacred institution (Matt. 19:3-9). In similar fashion the New Testament elevates the dignity of man (Jas. 3:9) by carrying him back to God’s created order. The beautiful principles of Christianity, influencing cultures one heart at a time, eventually eradicated the practice of slavery by re-asserting the value of human beings.

It is important to see however, that New Testament teaching did not smash with a sledge-hammer one single social institution that had imbedded itself in society. Instead, the doctrine of Christ works as a leaven in the soul of individuals, nations, and cultures. Slavery was one of those institutions.

This explains why the inspired apostles, when discussing the the question of slavery, not only advise masters and slaves how to behave in their particular life-situations, but address themselves to the deep antagonisms in the social world. This will be brought out below.

A cursory reading of the NT might cause one to think that sometimes the apostles seem to sanction slavery; at other times to proclaim its abolition—in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female; all are one man in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).

But Christianity abolishes slavery by assimilating and sanctifying the relation of master and servant in its inmost nature. While it refuses to wield the sword and destroy civil institutions by violence, it so transforms their ruling ideas that those institutions become what they never were before. For instance, Christ bestows on the most degraded and despised slave who is a believer, spiritual endowments that cannot fail to inspire him with a consciousness of freedom. He ceases to be a slave by the very fact of knowing that in the sight of God he is free, and his service ceases to be a bondage because it is now a willing obedience to Christ. 6

What about those deep antagonisms that exist in all societies between different peoples? Paul’s overall theme in teaching is summarized in 1 Corinthians 7:10-24 which might be entitled, Live in Harmony with One Another. Like several NT passages in which slaves and masters are addressed, and who were part of local congregations to which the apostles ministered 7 some of the Corinthians were slaves and some were slave-owners. How did God counsel them?

“Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. Were you called being a slave? Care not for it [that is, do not be overly concerned with your social condition. Your calling in Christ ECLIPSES this consideration]. Even if you can be free, use it rather …” (7:20-21).

The phrase “use it rather” following “even if you can be free” has been variously interpreted. It is either interpreted as (1) “… use your freedom,” or, (2) “use slavery …” Many modern commentators, and even the translators of the NIV, consider the phrase to be saying, “if you can gain your freedom, do so” –opting for the first alternative.

But it seems out of character with the theme of the entire section which is to Live in Harmony—even in challenging situations. Further, the next line in the passage (v. 22) begins with the word “for”—which is explanatory of that which has just been said. “FOR, he that was called in the Lord, being a slave, is the Lord’s freedman …” That explanation does not follow if Paul has just said, “if you can become free, do so.”

As John Peter Lange points out in his classic commentary, the “whole drift of the argument is—to make men content with their lot …” 8 That being the case, the translation is, “but even though you may be made free, use your servitude rather [as a means of discipline, and an opportunity for glorifying God by showing fidelity therein].”


6 Edwards, p. 186 7 See Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-4:1; 1 Pet. 2:18ff. 8 Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 10, p. 153.


In any case, the main point should not be lost on us. The important thing is to serve God “and the slave should not worry unduly about the fact that he is a slave. If God has called him as a slave, He will give him grace to live as a slave.” 9

F.W. Grosheide understands the verse as simply saying, Use your vocation—whether slave or free. 10 The entire argument of Paul is that the over-riding concern for the Christian is that of spiritual blessings “in Christ”, and this outweighs all other concerns—including slavery! The dominant factor is being a Christian.

How does this fit within the current context of so many churches and Christians all at once becoming extremely exercised about black slavery in history, or stirred to the point of anger about discrimination in the Jim Crow era? How does Paul’s advice comport with emotionally driven screeds today that demand a removal of a Christians’ name from Christian college buildings because those preachers lived during the segregation era but did not stomp it out with vengeance?

Onesimus

An interesting New Testament episode involves the runaway slave Onesimus. Paul met him while a prisoner in Rome (circa 63-64 A.D.), converted him to Christ, and sent him back to his owner, Philemon, a Christian man who lived in Colossae. A cover letter was sent with the returned slave (Col. 4:7,9). It is the book of Philemon.

In it Paul admonishes Philemon to “receive him back” and treat him no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ. “Not now as a slave, but more than slave, a brother beloved specially to me, but how much more unto you, both in the flesh and in the Lord?” (16) It is noteworthy that Paul does not command Philemon to “free him” but appeals to him on the basis of brotherhood. It is also worth mentioning that Paul actually sent Onesimus back to his slave master.

Once again, Christianity revolutionizes and changes the world, but not by pouring out into the streets, holding a nation hostage with violence and smashing its cultural symbols. It does so with the teaching of the peace of Jesus Christ.

Summary

John Peter Lange summarizes the entire disposition of biblical Christianity to slavery. Christ and his followers “assailed no existing social institutions from without—marriages, callings, and conditions were to remain as they were.” Christianity wrought “from within” a “sanctifying and ennobling” influence over individual character.

Biblical principles “employed the existing bonds of society as conductors through which to diffuse its saving power—sanctifying wives through husbands, and husbands through wives, children through parents, and parents through children; and even servants through masters and masters through servants.”

Further, as seen above, Christianity aims at the preservation of peace in a society—as far as possible—in consistency with being faithful to God (See Rom. 12:17-21). Christ wants us to “ignore outward distinctions—counting outward distinctions as of little moment, in comparison with the inward state.” How our society needs this lesson! What a difference this would make to the writers of the New York Times and the 1619 Project!


9 Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, 1 Corinthians, p. 113. 10 NICNT, 1 Corinthians, p. 170.


Christ’s teachings “begot contentment with the outward estate, by imparting a blessing which more than counterbalanced all earthly ill.” Not only so, but the Lord Jesus “reconciled the opposite poles of human condition, freedom and obligation in the love it engendered, making the slave a freeman, and putting the freeman under obligations to serve, and making all alike free, and all alike obligated.”

Finally, the Bible places “all in the presence of God, in whose sight it constrained believers to live; whose honor it urged all to sub-serve, and from whom it invited all to derive their chief good.” 11

The gospel brings to mankind a belief and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Faithfulness is commanded which involves the improvement of one’s character which in turn improves the conditions of society. When people place the glory of God foremost, not only is slavery eradicated as a social condition, but it is seen to be a very little thing in the ultimate scheme of things. It is past time for people to come to Christ and lift themselves above the grievances of slavery past or racism present.


11 Lange, p. 156.


 

Bill Lockwood: #BLM Black Lives Matter is Anti-Christian 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

In 1962, James D. Bales, Christian researcher and teacher at Harding University in Searcy, AR warned that “Open and hidden communists are endeavoring to use racial problems as a means of dividing our country and making and using for their own purposes those who are blind enough to form temporary alliances with them” (Communism: Its Faith and Fallacies). We are seeing this played out in America right now.

This is precisely the case with the #Black Lives Matter movement that has gained steam since the death of George Floyd. #BLM is not about real justice in America, but about “fundamentally transforming” our country into a Third World godless socialist nation. Their own website champions the homosexual agenda, the end of the nuclear family as described by the Bible, “queer affirming,” “globalism”, and “transgender affirming.”

The entire network of the #BLM, including BLM @ School (BLMS), co-signed by self-described communist Bill Ayers as well as communist-sympathizer Opal Temeti, co-founder of #BLM movement, is thoroughly anti-Christian in every sense of the phrase.

First, BLM was founded upon a grand lie. 

Their website states the BLM “began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism.” The catalyst for their movement came in the “death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman.” Jesus

“A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism.”

However, the facts show that, no matter how loudly the black communities may yell about the deaths of these two young men, both were criminal in their behavior and their deaths occurred while they were violently attacking another person. But both of these incidences are cited as justification for the belief in “state-sanctioned violence” against blacks.

One should immediately question the basis for the broadcast statement that there is “state-sanctioned violence” against blacks. Neither of these cases are representative of “state-sanctioned violence.” BLM wants to engage minorities in blind anger without looking at the simple thing called “facts.” Appeal to race alone—and that itself is racist in orientation.

Second, the principles of BLM are imbued with anti-Christian and anti-family hate. 

The basic guiding principles of the BLM website is not simply about “anti-Blackness” but has a large block of material dedicated to eradicating the biblical teaching regarding the family. For example, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that have collective care for one another, especially our children …”

Note carefully—it is the entire Western culture of the nuclear family that is under assault. The “nuclear family”—Mom, Dad, and the kids—or, “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and the two shall be one flesh” (Matt. 19:6) is despised and rejected just as is Jesus Christ who founded that nuclear family. This was established in “the beginning” by God (Matt. 19:4).

Further, the New Testament teaches that “the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). But BLM despises this order established by God and which was engrained in our Western culture. “We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.” “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church …” (Eph. 5:23) is ANATHEMA to BLM.

Not only so, but “we are a queer-affirming network” boasts BLM. “When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual…” Instead, they wish for “transgender brothers and sisters to participate.”

This is the liberation of which BLM continually speaks—liberation from God’s Word in all forms. For those who are not so blinded by the Satanic-oriented agenda of BLM, they can see that the black family has all but disappeared in society—a large majority of black homes in America are already rearing children without any present biological fathers. This is what they wish for all of society. “Collective villages,” as they put it.

“Misogyny” also makes the list of sins that BLM wishes to eradicate—hate against women. Perhaps BLM look no further than the violent, misogynistic, hate-filled lyrics of Black rap music that fills the ears of high school students for an example of “misogyny.”

Third, BLM’s Agenda is to brainwash children with these same goals in the public schools.

Like Stalin’s forcible education of all Soviet children in the doctrine of atheism and anti-capitalism, the affiliate organization to BLM, BLM @ Schools (BLMS) has already been endorsed by the National Education Association. The union’s EDJustice website gives us a glimpse of what is coming this fall to public education.

“How to talk to young children about the Black Lives Matter Guiding Principles” is one document which encourages educators to teach Marxist ideals such as “intersectionality” and “transgenderism” (Lius Miguel, BLM Wants to Get into Schools. Here’s What They Plan To Teach). This curriculum is written by BLM activist Lalena Garcia, a self-described “queer kindergarten teacher.”

Once again, homosexual families as designed by Barack Obama leads the way. “There are lots of kinds of families; what makes a family is that it’s people who take care of each other; those people might be related, or maybe they choose to be family together and take care of each other,” reads one document.

BLMS, like its parent, BLM, “defines” the black family as “creates space that is family friendly and free from patriarchal practices.” Once more, the father as the head of the home is the “patriarchal practice” that is targeted for extinction.

As Miguel observes regarding Lalena Garcia of BLMS, the entire BLM smorgasbord is “pure social-justice word salad: pseudo-scientific-sounding psychobabble meant to dress up Marxist tyranny and make it palatable to minorities. An actual read-through and meditation on what Black Lives Matter believes should be enough to convince most people that their ideology is poison for black lives and all lives.”

Bill Lockwood: Socialism as a Religion 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Marxists profess to reject religion in favor of science, but they cherish a belief that the external universe is evolving with reliable, if not divine, necessity in exactly the direction in which they want it to go. They do not conceive themselves as struggling to build the communist society in a world which is of its own nature indifferent to them. They conceive themselves as traveling toward that society in a world which is like a moving-stairway, but walking in the wrong direction. This is not a scientific, but in the most technical sense, a religious conception of the world. (Max Eastman, Marxism—Is It Science?)

Max Eastman (1883-1969) was a prominent editor, political activist and “prominent radical” who, like many in Woodrow Wilson’s “progressive” America, became infatuated with Marxism. Eastman traveled to the Soviet Union to learn firsthand how to be a good socialist and became friends with Leon Trotsky. Years later, when Eastman became convinced that socialism is void of validity, he reflected upon his time as a Marxist. “I sadly regret the precious twenty years I spent muddling and messing around with this idea, which with enough mental clarity and moral force I might have seen through when I went to Russia in 1922” (Reflections on the Failure of Socialism).

Eastman knew whereof he spoke.

Socialism is not normally classified as a religion, but when its doctrines are examined, it more closely resembles a religious concept than anything else. The only difference between socialism and Christianity is that the latter is grounded upon historical fact while socialistic faith is founded upon unproven assumptions. Communism particularly is a philosophy of faith in the dialectic—the zig-zagging of history onward and upward to a more perfect society.

Nikita Khrushchev was appealing to this “dialectic” when he said that history was on their side and they (Soviet Union) would bury us (J.D. Bales, Communism, Its Faith and Fallacies, p. 102). “Communists represent the antithesis which the dialectic has decreed with destroy us, the thesis. It is this faith which helps keep the rank and file members at their tasks when the going is difficult.” This is also, we might add, why myriads of collegiate students, trained by their Marxist professors, continue to march fanatically to the drumbeat of socialism.

Norman Thomas

Because of the religious nature of socialism, it was a simple matter for Norman Thomas (1884-1968), to trade his ministerial garbs and Presbyterian beliefs for a heaven-on-earth utopia strategy of socialism. He became known as “Mr. Socialist” in America.

Thomas, in turn, was heavily influenced by the 19th-century Social Gospel “theology” developed by Walter Rauschenbusch. Rauschenbusch was himself a Baptist preacher of the 19th century who mixed a version of modernistic “Christianity” together with Marxism to craft what became known as the “social gospel.”

The key to Rauschenbusch’s theology was his concept of the Kingdom of God. To him, this Kingdom was not located in another place called heaven or in a future millennium, but could best be described in modern terms as a level of consciousness in which one recognized the immanence of God in human life and the interconnected, interacting, interdependent nature of the entire human species.

So writes Dr. Elizabeth Balanoff, professor of history at Roosevelt University in Chicago in her paper, “Norman Thomas: Socialism and the Social Gospel.” “Walter Rauschenbusch was convinced that this was the original Christian vision which had been distorted and lost with time, and that it was possible to regain it.”

Because of the religious nature of socialism, H.G. Wells stated: “Socialism is to me a very great thing indeed, the form and substance of my ideal life and all the religion I possess.” Mr. Edmund Optiz, writing in Foundation for Economic Education (1969) observed that “As a religion, Socialism promised a terrestrial paradise, a heaven on earth.” This is why Optiz called Socialism “A Fanatic Faith.”

Max Eastman, in his 1962 book, Reflections on the Failure of Socialism, related that Norman Thomas, “in his rather pathetic Democratic Socialism, A New Appraisal (1953), throws overboard everything that gave distinct meaning to the word socialism, but continues to drive along in the old bandwagon with the name printed on it in large letters.”

For example, Eastman points out, Thomas’ words were “Socialism will do this, …” “Socialism will do that …” But Eastman asks, “how does that differ from what he preached as a Christian minister before his conversion to socialism?” In other words, socialism and Marxism are nothing less than a “religious-type” of conviction that has jettisoned biblical promises of heaven for a “garden of Eden” on earth. As stated succinctly by Mr. Socialism himself, his socialistic philosophy was an “implicit religion.”

Spargo & Arner

Because socialism is in reality an implicit religion, Spargo & Arner, who virtually wrote the textbook on Socialism, called Elements of Socialism (1912), tell us that not only is a “future life” such as heaven an “invention of man” but that God Himself is a “construct of the human mind.” They present socialism as an “alternative to Christianity” which infuses a passion for perfection “without God” and “without heaven.” Further, it is based upon the general theory of evolution (p. 63, 75, 111, 206, 222), which itself is a theory designed to replace belief in God.

As does everything that seeks to replace biblical Christianity, socialism presents a misdiagnosis of what ails mankind. Dishonesty is not “in property ownership” (Spargo & Arner, 23); poverty itself is not an evil (p. 39); world peace is not the ultimate goal (p. 202); and “social injustice” is not the devil incarnate (p. 46). This is why Mr. Edmund Optiz describes socialism as a modern, “this-worldly” religion.

The real problem with man lies within his/her heart—it is called sin. “Above all else, guard your heart, fro everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Sin is a violation or transgression of God’s Almighty Law (1 John 3:4). All men have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 6:23). There will be no improvement of society until humanity faces the stark reality of sin imbedded in the heart. Only when the corruption in the world is given its proper diagnosis can people turn to the only real healing—forgiveness in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-23).

Alex Newman: Good Public-School Teachers Under Siege 0 (0)

by Alex Newman

Public schools do hold good teachers who want to follow the best education practices and who object to the indoctrination of the LBGTQ agenda, but they are being penalized.

When the National Education Association (NEA) partnered with a radical homosexual and transgender group known as the “Human Rights Campaign” to create “welcoming schools,” a lot of public-school teachers felt uncomfortable, if not outraged. But when the groups sent out a mass e-mail encouraging teachers to ask young children what “pronouns” they prefer — he, she, they, z, tree, and so on — that was a bridge too far for many.

In a video produced as part of the campaign, two transgender children discuss their preferred pronouns with each other. One of the children prefers the plural pronoun “they,” while the other, who claims not to be a boy or a girl, prefers “zee.” Seriously. After that, the two children discuss the alleged need to “educate” their own teachers, especially substitutes, on the supposed importance of using the newly invented pronouns that students choose for themselves.

If that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Teachers are already finding themselves in hot water for refusing to play along with the madness. Indeed, teachers such as Peter Vlaming at West Point High School in Virginia have already been fired from their jobs for refusing to refer to girls using male pronouns, and vice-versa. In California, teachers say they are required to submit to the gender madness or be fired, too.

Polling data reveal that the number of Americans who recognize that children are being harmed by the government-school system is growing. Indeed, about seven out of 10 parents would prefer not to send their children to government schools at all. But it is important to recognize that it’s not just children who are victims of the education establishment. Increasingly, public-school teachers are being ordered to tolerate, aid, or perpetrate evil — or leave. And many good teachers are being driven out.

In interviews with The New American, almost a dozen current and former public-school teachers expressed serious concerns about the changes taking place in “education.” Some had already been ordered by superiors to violate their conscience and common sense in order to comply with outlandish statutes, regulations, or policies. Others know full well that the day is fast approaching when they will have to choose: Obey the system, or obey God and their conscience.

Transgender Locker Rooms

At Chasco Middle School in Pasco County, Florida, it was a day just like any other day for physical education teacher Rob Oppedisano — at least until his principal walked into the locker room, shut the door, and asked to have a chat. “There is a girl identifying as a boy who is going to be in here, changing and showering,” Oppedisano recalls the principal saying, adding that he was told he would have to be in there supervising it all.

Naturally, Oppedisano, a Christian, told his boss that there was no way he could stand in there and watch a minor girl get undressed. He explained that it would be inappropriate to subject the boys in his class to that, too — especially without even notifying their parents. “I told him, ‘I just can’t do that,’” Oppedisano told The New American in a phone interview. “He came back and said to me, ‘Rob, I don’t want you to lose your job over this. Why don’t you just think about it, and we can talk later.’”

Still, Oppedisano resisted, noting that there was no written policy on this, while asking that the school district get involved. Eventually, the district sent over an attorney, who held a two-hour meeting advising Oppedisano to comply — or else. The lawyer also claimed, falsely, that Oppedisano was the only one who had a problem with the idea of a girl changing and showering in the boys’ locker room.

The attorney said parents would not be notified and that the district was not at all concerned about lawsuits, Oppedisano recalled. “He said we are the largest employer in Pasco County and that we get sued all the time anyway,” the PE teacher said.

Then, the lawyer from the district offered a transfer, which Oppedisano declined. “What good would that do if the policy is the same?” he asked. The district operative then warned Oppedisano that he could lose his job and even his teaching certificate, meaning “I would never be able teach in Florida again,” Oppedisano recalled about that meeting. “I said ‘No, I don’t want to lose my job, but I’m not going to quit on these kids, and their parents need to know.’” The union representative, instead of standing up for teachers, also urged Oppedisano to surrender.

Then, the big day came. “She came in, just walked right by us, and the boys ran out half dressed, and said, ‘Coach, we have a problem, there’s a girl in the boys’ locker room!’” Oppedisano recalled about that day. “But there was nothing we could do. After that, throughout the whole semester, my principal or assistant principal would take the girl in the locker room with the boys, and I’d just sit in the hallway.”

Obeying God, or Men

And now, that is one of the issues the superintendent is upset about — he felt Oppedisano’s job duties required him to watch the underage girl undress, something that just a few years ago would have landed him in prison, and for good reason. Without the non-profit Christian legal group Liberty Counsel representing him, Oppedisano believes he already would have been fired.

While that gender-confused student has moved on, the unwritten “policy” remains firmly in place. So Oppedisano is just waiting until the next “transgender” student comes along to make similar demands, and for the administration to retaliate. He does not hold it against his boss, though, knowing full well that the demands came not from the school administration, but from “above their heads.” There have been claims of “federal mandates,” but Obama’s bizarre and flagrantly unconstitutional rules on the subject were promptly repealed when President Trump took office.

Either way, Oppedisano cannot watch a girl undress. “Between the morals and the safety issues, being a follower of Jesus Christ — and remember, innocent kids are being put in a really bad situation here — I wanted no part of that,” Oppedisano said, getting emotional. “I fought for the parents too. They should have been involved. This is a serious situation. And it wasn’t just the boys. What about the girl, being put in there with a bunch of boys? It is bad for the staff too. Any way you look at it it’s a bad situation. It’s just terrible policy.”

And girls in the boys’ locker rooms is just one part of the problem. “It’s all coming in,” he said. “More and more of the LGBT agenda is being put out there. I also teach a health class, and they are starting to present the LGBT stuff in a positive manner. It’s definitely coming. I don’t know why it’s happening or where it’s coming from or how it got started. All I know is these policies — we’re supposed to call children by the name they prefer, then we are supposed to try to hide it when their parents come in. It’s happening here, and in other places.” Most parents still have no idea, Oppedisano added.

For Christians and other faculty members of faith, the situation is looking increasingly grim. “If a policy is going to force you to go against what you believe in, you’re not going to have too many choices,” he said. “They wanted to put me out of work and they refused to tolerate my beliefs. If you’re a Christian and you stand up for something, you can rest assured that that would be looked upon as behavior that’s not going to be tolerated. That puts a lot of pressure on us — either we suppress our faith and give in, or we stand up and live by what we believe.”

Blatant Discrimination Against Christian Teachers

The hostility and discrimination against teachers in public schools is now a nationwide problem. When teacher Roxie Hunter decided to become the sponsor for the Christian club at her public school in Phoenix, Arizona, for instance, she never could have imagined the persecution that would be unleashed against her and her students. From trying to prevent them from wearing Christian T-shirts to seeking to ban Bibles on campus, government education officials went wild in the effort to suppress the Christian student club.

“We were discriminated against in many instances,” Hunter told The New American in Phoenix in an on-camera interview about the group, known as “Lions for Christ.” While teachers could actively participate in other student groups, including highly controversial ones, Hunter was barred from doing anything at all with her Christian students. “They said it was against the Constitution,” Hunter explained when asked what the school administration used as a pretext to persecute the Christian club.

Hunter was not buying it. “I explained to them that it was against the Constitution in the USSR, but not in the United States of America,” she said. “They also said the courts had ruled that we couldn’t do certain things. So I had to do the research, and I found that many of the things that were said were basically rumors that had been passed along.”

In reality, courts have consistently upheld the right of students and teachers to do precisely what Lions for Christ was trying to do. “Students have the right to assemble, they have the right to pray, and they have the right to bring their Bibles to school,” she said, adding that many of her students had been told they were not allowed to do those things by school officials.

Quackery Must Be Used, or Else

Aside from ordering teachers to violate their conscience, the education establishment is also forcing teachers to teach in ways that go against what they know is best for their students. In interviews with The New American, numerous teachers expressed serious concerns. Some left the public-school system altogether to avoid becoming complicit in harming children, while others are still fighting.

Kim Pendleton, who has been involved in education for over 15 years, saw firsthand the carnage being unleashed on children and educators by the Obama-backed national standards known as Common Core. “Many teachers feel the creators of Common Core were idiots who knew nothing about education and child development,” she told The New American, giving examples of the wildly inappropriate standards used to ensure that children fail to learn properly. “I know in my heart this is not true. The powers that be knew everything about child development and created a system for failure, frustration and illiteracy.”

After seeing firsthand the damage being wrought on children, Pendleton knew she had to get out. She now teaches at Freedom Project Academy. “The only reason that public education has not completely crumbled yet is one thing: educators who know better,” Pendleton explained. “I am acquainted with many of them, and they are priceless. However, they are leaving, either through retirement or abandonment. Their mental health is taking a toll. I am not sure how long it will be before it all collapses, but if we continue on this path, it will happen.”

Pendleton often felt conflicted between doing what was right, and doing what the system demanded — especially in reading and writing. The curriculum used for reading and writing, for instance, was a disaster. “The lessons were convoluted and were more akin to pep talks as opposed to actually teaching good writing and reading,” she explained, adding that Common Core and the dysfunctional sex-ed were not helping children at all. “The ones who did well usually had an educated family and had been ‘taught’ fundamentals long before they arrived at school.” Even experts involved in the writing of Common Core have warned that it does not reflect reality in terms of how students learn to read.

The modern classroom environment is also totally out of control, Pendleton explained, noting that student misbehavior consumes an enormous amount of classroom time and is getting worse. “I was often dealing with that as opposed to teaching,” she recalled. “I was sworn at by third and fourth graders and punched one year. There were little consequences for students, and when they figured that out, the behavior escalated.”

And when teachers go against the harmful system, they face retaliation, Pendleton said. Among other tactics, such teachers are given poor evaluations. Many of them are scared to speak out, too, because their salary and their retirement is at stake, forcing many teachers to remain silent even though they know all of this is wrong.

Getting Worse

Aaron Potsick has been teaching for almost two decades. During that time, he has seen things go downhill, fast. “There is much less value placed on quality teaching and more value placed on the newest pedagogy put forth by the state and curriculum companies — and it changes every year,” he told The New American. “It’s more of how well can you parrot what you’re told. Each year the newest ‘best practice’ is shown, and countless professional developments are given on how to teach better. Everything from the last month or year’s ‘best practice’ is thrown out the window. Teachers are constantly having to learn new curriculum and teaching strategies and leave behind proven models.”

Even the teaching of actual subjects is low on the priority list unless it is being tested, Potsick said. “The way to ‘perform’ is to get the testing topics covered and adhere strictly to those topics,” he explained, adding that which material is taught or not taught is controlled in this way. “Any additional information that the district or the state doesn’t deem as ‘important’ is not taught. To teach outside the guidelines means you are falling behind the others you are ‘competing’ against and then your class will not perform as well.”

“This all clearly leads to all of our students’ learning being a ‘mile wide and an inch deep,’” continued Potsick, who taught middle-school history in his final years in a public school before going on to teach through private alternatives, mostly online. “As you know, teaching something as intricate and important as Civics without context is to not really teach it at all. If there is no foundation for why, then there is no understanding, which leads to our students being easily politically misled and influenced — just what our country needs!”

The teacher training was often suspect, too. “There was always the underlying liberal mindset that was encouraged,” he explained. “The underlying idea of America as being characterized by slavery and Native American devastation was regularly covered as an underlying element of lesson ideas. This was clearly accepted by the vast majority…. At my school, we regularly had teachers telling the students how horrible Trump was and condemning his actions without anything close to the full story.”

Potsick also noted that there have been a number of things he was ordered to teach and do that made him uncomfortable. In history, for instance, he had a mandated textbook that included an entire factually challenged chapter on supposed “American Imperialism,” demonizing America and Americanism.

And then more recently, the system began pushing “Social and Emotional Learning” (SEL) that really made him uncomfortable. During his last two years, it even had “mandated SEL time in all classrooms,” he explained. “It started innocent enough: learning conflict resolution skills, dealing with anger, being a good friend, and so on. But then, it began overtly pushing ideology.” Indeed, teachers were even ordered to show videos glorifying homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, and more. As a Christian, Potsick refused, but the school had not yet worked out a system to check on every class to ensure the LGBT propaganda was being foisted on students.

Even though he has witnessed the rapid deterioration of education since the beginning of the 21st century, Potsick also said very few teachers are willing to go against the status quo in a meaningful way. “The whole system from college classes in education to get your degree, to teacher training, to many administrators’ expectations; it’s such a monolith that not many challengers get through,” he said. “When they do, they usually just leave because they get worn down.”

Eventually, Potsick left, too. “I left because teaching became less about what I could bring to the table as a teacher and more about the extra stuff that was meaningless to a real education,” he said. Other concerns included not being able to give children the failing grades they deserved, having to deal with outrageous behavior including threats and flagrant disobedience only to have children lie about the teacher, and so on.

“Schools are developing more and more mindless, entitled future citizens that expect to get things their way, without any hard work, because that’s what they get at public schools!” he continued.

Teachers Not Valued, Scared to Speak Out

As an elected member of his local school board, teacher Ted Lamb has a unique vantage point from which to consider the “many problems” he sees plaguing the government education system. Being a teacher today “can be very challenging,” he told The New American after attending a “Rescuing Our Children” talk by this writer this summer. “The bureaucracy of mandates, policy, and standardized curriculum with assessments has destroyed many things in education.”

Like Potsick, Lamb has felt conflicted between doing what is right — and doing what the system demands. “Giving grades that students did not deserve has been the big one,” he said, pointing to decisions made by administrators that he knew would cause “significant issues.” Other problems include “the lack of teaching critical skills,” the “overkill of bureaucracy,” and the endless “unnecessary mandates” that represent an enormous burden. Another concern is Common Core and controversial sex-education programs, which Lamb said “absolutely” do not benefit students.

Teachers and their knowledge and experience are not valued by the system, either. “We are not asked about key and important policies,” he said. “Many times teachers are treated as though they are replaceable.”

But again, echoing a constant theme heard throughout The New American’s conversations with teachers across America, Lamb said teachers were scared to speak out about all the problems they see. “Teachers are scared to speak out across the nation because of perception of what has happened to their colleagues,” he said, noting that there can be “retaliation” when a teacher goes against or even questions certain policies. “If you do not agree with the policy of the district or division then you are ‘blackballed’ many times.”

Teachers Under Siege

Despite several generations of indoctrination and dumbing down — especially in colleges of education across America — there is still a large number of amazing teachers and administrators working in the public-school system. There are, for instance, still teachers who risk the ire of the education establishment or worse by ignoring Common Core mandates and secretly teaching children how to read using systematic, intensive phonics instruction. There are also those who ignore the mandates and teach their students real American history, including the Christian history of the United States and the fact that America’s Founders were fighting for God-given rights.

Unfortunately, the system is increasingly turning against those great educators, working to force them into submission or early retirement. Countless teachers, faced with those grim alternatives, have already left the system. Many more will be leaving in the years ahead as the system gets better at weeding out dissenters. While it is indeed true that there are still great men and women inside the system, it is also true that they are severely limited in what they can do.

Americans should encourage and pray for the brave teachers who are still holding the line, but no more children should be sacrificed to the false idol of government schools. To survive as a free society over the long term, the rest of America should follow the lead of public-school teachers who are far more likely than parents as a whole to educate their children in private schools or at home, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Knowledge Networks for the journal Education Next. That is because they know what is going on.

TNA: https://www.thenewamerican.com/print-magazine/item/34254-good-public-school-teachers-under-siege


Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook

Bill Lockwood: Islam, Christianity, and Roman Catholicism 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Julia Ioffe, writing in Foreignpolicy.com, makes a classic mistake in an article entitled “If Islam is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity” (6-14-2016). Apparently miffed that the general populace draws such conclusions as that “Islam is bad and Christianity is good” in the wake of mass shootings in America, Ioffe says it is a “hateful hypocrisy” to “single out Islam.”

She overtly blares out “I am tired of hearing, from Bill Maher and from Donald Trump, that Islam is inherently violent. “I am even more tired of hearing that Christianity is inherently peaceful.”

And how does she demonstrate that Christianity can be a “religion of violence”, and that Islam can be peaceful? She slogs through history, recent and ancient, to show atrocities committed by those who claimed to follow Christ, such as the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. On the other hand, she gives illustrations of peace-loving Muslims. “Islam, as it was practiced in medieval Span, was beautiful and peaceful, too.”

Since Ioffe’s investigative method is flawed, she erroneously concludes, “No religion is inherently peaceful or violent, nor is it inherently other than what its followers make it out to be.”

What About These Things?

While it is true that observers of religious people judge and asses the religion itself by the examples that people live before them, this does not explain the religion itself, nor the formative teachings of that religion. This methodology is about as thin as seeking to determine the official Democratic Party platform by asking Democrats on the street what are their feelings about the issues of the day.

This is clumsiness, to say the least. Many atheists have used this same flawed principle in defending atheism. Many atheists live admirable lives, they tell us. No argument here—but their morality does not derive from their atheism. It is bootlegged straight out of Christianity.

Severed branches of trees have enough sap left to keep the leaves green for a while. So also, atheists have enough “moral sap” leftover to keep them moral–but neither humanism nor atheism provide in and of themselves any moral substance.

This illustration now sets us up to examine Ioffe’s assertions.

Christianity

How should one assess a religious standard? How should one examine what that religion teaches? How can one determine what a religion “inherently is?” Ioffe condemns that Christianity can be violent. How so? She uses the illustration of Dylan Roof, who killed nine people in the middle of a Bible study in Charleston, S.C. but who declared allegiance to “the white supremacist cause” and “pointing to the Council of Conservative Citizens” which claims to “adhere to ‘Christian beliefs and values.’”

Christianity cannot be accurately assessed by examining people who did not live up to the standard set by Christ in the New Testament, regardless of the institutions to which they belong. The Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, taught completely the opposite of what Roof practiced, including love your neighbor as yourself.

The same is true regarding the endless pointing to the Middle Age Roman Catholic Church and its atrocities, which Ioffe does in her article. She does this to point to bloodletting committed by Catholics in the “name of Christ.” She is not alone here—men such as Bill Maher do the same thing.

The American people need desperately to learn that the Roman Catholic Church is not a representative of Christ upon the earth, nor is it the church about which one reads on the pages of the New Testament, regardless of what the papacy asserts, and regardless of what name is invoked while perpetrating crime.

The Roman Catholic Church is the direct result of a brazen apostasy from the New Testament over the ages. Read the New Testament yourself and see that there is no pope, no papal infallibility, no Vatican State, no infant baptism, no baptism of desire, no baptism of blood, no rule of celibacy, no monasticism, no inherited sin, no immaculate conception, no bodily assumption of Mary, no praying to the saints, no rosary, no purgatory, no indulgences, no canonized saints, no veneration of saints, no sacraments, no lent, etc.

Official Roman Catechism’s and Encyclopedia’s admit that these doctrines “developed over the centuries.” The Roman Church through the ages simply adopted myriads of foreign doctrines, then wedded itself to a state apparatus and became a mixture of “church and state” which even sent armies into the field to shed blood on behalf of the Vatican!

Yet, this is what Ioffe uses to say that “Christianity” can be violent. It is interesting that journalists are supposed to go original sources. But not in this case. She wants us all to assess the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ by means of Rome. We are not so easily misled.

Islam

Here we come to something entirely different. Muslims as a group, behave in different ways, depending upon how many of them occupy a territory or nation. As percentages to population rises, so does violence. Why is this? Once again—go back to the original source, Ioffe. What do you find?

The one perfect Muslim was Mohammed. What did he do? How did he behave? Multiple verses in the Koran command the use of the sword (Surah 9:5; 9:73; 47:4, etc.). Islam, in its inception, waged war on all who did not accept Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Mohammed was a war-lord of the Middle Ages style who led his followers in numerous battles. Violence is not an “apostasy” from a peace-loving Mohammed, but an imitation of him and his “inspired” commands from Allah.

When Mohammed died, not one person on the entire peninsula of Arabia disagreed with the man. This is not explained on the basis of freedom. His dying words were to carry on to “fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Surah 9:29).

Note the choices the founder of Islam gives to conquered peoples. One, Accept Islam. Two, pay the jizya (poll-tax on non-Muslims). This is the cornerstone of the entire system of humiliating regulations that institutionalize inferior status for non-Muslims in Islamic law. Three, prepare to war with Muslims.

Peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society, of which Ioffe writes, is not one of the choices.

Does any of this sound anything like what was taught by the Savior of the world? No, Julia Ioffe. The religions of the world are inherently what their founders actually taught, not what later followers may or may not do. It is interesting that Ms. Ioffe did not once reference Christ Himself or His teaching when cross-examining Him. Nor did she look to see what Mohammed actually taught. Both are easily referenced.

It is something for which we ought to be thankful that not all Muslims faithfully carry out Mohammed’s “inspired” orders. But this is only because they do not live down to the standard set by their founder. On the other hand, it is sad that many professed Christians do not live up to the standards set by the Lord Jesus Christ found on the pages of the New Testament.

Bill Lockwood: Was Jesus a “Refugee?” 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

As reported by CNN, a Methodist church in California is displaying a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages to “draw attention to the conditions faced by migrants seeking asylum in the United States.” The Claremont United Methodist Church, which is about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, “posted the photo on its website showing the three held in separate cages topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.” The “lead pastor” Karen Clark Ristine told CNN that “we thought about the most famous refugee family in the world.”

The United Methodist Church, ever ready to warp biblical narratives into liberal political messages, has displayed a stunning ignorance of the Bible. As Gary DeMar observes, “Leftists have little regard for the Bible unless it can be used to scold Christians for judging righteously … and to support socialism based on a passage about voluntary giving (Acts 2:42-45; 4:32-35).”

As I wrote in a former article, there are several biblical considerations that need be made. (1) God Himself established borders of nations. Read Acts 17:26. (2) God demanded that Old Testament Israel respect the borders of other nations. God gave Mt. Seir to Esau and his descendants for a “possession.” Therefore, Israel, when coming out of Egypt, was not to cross it (Deuteronomy. 2:5). The same regarded Israel’s respect of Moab’s borders.

(3) Once settled in Canaan, the Israelites were sternly warned to “drive the Canaanites out.” The stated reason for this was to preserve the culture of Israel (Numbers. 33:51,52). (4) Even Abraham was deported once it was discovered that he lied to border agents. Read Genesis 12. (5) Regarding Jesus and the holy family, as DeMar notes, they were living within the confines of the Roman Empire. Egypt was part of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus’ birth. Their escape from Bethlehem was only to another Roman Province. (6) Another command given to Joseph and Mary was that they were to return to their homeland after the death of Herod (Matthew. 2:20). DeMar asks, “How many refugees return to their home nations after entering the United States?”

Bill Lockwood: Welfare and “Original Sin”? 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Ellie Bufkin of the Washington Examiner, wrote the following. “Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green claimed that President Trump’s impeachment was necessary to deal with the ‘original’ sin of slavery.

“During a Saturday appearance on MSNBC, the congressman cited an interest in acting on behalf of people of color. ‘I do believe, ma’am, that we have to deal with the original sin,’ Green said to host Alex Witt. ‘We have to deal with slavery. Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion. It’s [the] insidious scion of racism. The president has played on racism, and he’s used that as a weapon to galvanize a base of support to mobilize people.’”

Let’s step back a moment.

The biblical scholar R.C. Foster observed over a hundred years ago that the rejection of Jesus by his home town of Nazareth (Luke 4) was in part due to the “most common and worst of crimes”—ingratitude. “It is often true that the more that is done for unworthy people, the less they appreciate it and the more they presume upon the generosity of others and grow in the false grandeur of their own conceit.” That this is self-evidently true is seen in the sad reality now in America. Ingratitude.

Prior to the creation of our welfare state in America, charity was practiced by individuals, churches and private organizations. This was the formula of the Founding Fathers. So successful was it that there is no record of people dying on the streets because of lack of food, shelter or medical assistance. Americans were the most generous people on the earth. So thought Alexis de Tocqueville when visiting our country from France in 1831 and 1832.

Enter the welfare state of the federal government. It has helped create the opposite of its stated goal of alleviating the poor. Not only has poverty continued to rise in America, but the sense of “entitlement” followed by the “worst of crimes”—ingratitude—has become commonplace. This has now morphed into a boiling hatred for whites in many minority communities that one can hear, see, and feel.

See the statistics on recipients of the state-sponsored welfare state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau “approximately 21.3 percent of people in the United States participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012.” Participation rates for the black population is at 41.6 percent; followed by Hispanics at 36.4 percent; then Asians or Pacific Islanders at 17.8 percent; lastly, by non-Hispanic whites at 13.2 percent. Stating the obvious, the Bureau concluded “blacks were more likely to participate in government assistance programs in an average month.”

Added to overt financial assistance from the public trough, minority communities have also been the favored recipients of government policies such as affirmative action which has been touted as necessary to fight the enduring effects of white racism. Our entire culture is saturated with affirmative action practices, from educational institutions, medical schools, law schools, even the military itself. But instead of alleviating racial animosity, the only enduring lesson that is being ingrained is hatred for a white America that supposedly is racist.

Al Green

Back to Al Green. Hatred simply seethes in America. The comment by Democratic Texas lawmaker Al Green, who claims that America needs to deal with racism of the past by impeaching President Trump, is a perfect example. To Green, everything that occurs is colored in racial tones. White America can elect a Barack Obama, can pay millions of dollars to black sports and entertainment hero’s; can acquiesce to affirmative action programs that favor people of color in all segments of society—yet nothing is enough. Atonement is never found. This is the way hate works. Hate is a leviathan with an insatiable appetite. Always hungry for more, but never satisfied. Al Green is afflicted with it, and it has become so pervasive that Green feels comfortable airing his hatred on national television.

The “original sin” of which Al Green speaks is ingratitude. His own. His ingratitude for being a legislative leader in the greatest country that has ever existed. He has allowed the ingratitude in his soul to hard-boil into hatred. Al Green hasn’t ever been a slave; nor his father, and I dare say even his grandfather. He knows no slave holders in America, nor the sons of slave holders. The only people that are slaves are the middle-class taxpayers who support his gigantic welfare state. But this is not enough.

Just as with the election of Barack Obama, many whites supposed that racial animosity would subside, but they were mistaken. It metastasized. Hatred knows no bounds. Even if Donald Trump is successfully impeached and removed from office, which would be a travesty in American justice, Al Green’s hatred will only increase.

Bill Lockwood: Freedom v. Force 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Freedom irritates the left. Not their own freedom—but yours. Democrats live with a hatred; a despising of the very principle of liberty. This is the essential difference between the left and the right—not merely how spend money and upon what—but whether or not to curtail your freedom.

Consider free speech. The free and open exchange of ideas has been the hallmark of American society for over two centuries. The First Amendment has served as a prohibition against the Federal Government from managing any kind of speech. Alarmingly, however, more than one-half of Americans today favor a “re-writing” of the First Amendment whereby “hate speech” would be illegal. The survey was taken by the nonpartisan Campaign for Free Speech (CFS).

As everyone knows, the determination of what constitutes “hate speech” is the crux. Who will determine what type of speech is hateful enough to be illegal? (see First Liberty Institute article, 11-15-19).

College campuses lead the nation in showing contempt for free speech. Most college students, according to surveys, want restrictions on what they call “offensive” speech. Marxist professors have instilled a pure hatred for free speech in the student bodies. Witness the hostile reception conservative speakers have had at various Universities around the country.

Even the liberal American Bar Association (ABA) documents in a recent article the silencing of various speakers at college campuses. The authors, Stephen J. Wermiel & Josh Blackman, try to explain that it comes from “both sides”, left and right, but conclude that the “incidents” of disruption to speakers on the liberal side are “less common.” Indeed! And it is more than a stretch to say that “hecklers” wearing “Make America Great Again” hats equate with the violence of shutting down speakers and forcing college campuses to withdraw conservative invitations to speak. Silencing by force is the leftist method.

Force has been used so much by the left that some Republican-led state legislatures have felt the need to impose policies on their state university campuses to allow free speech.

Under the rubric of “hate speech” the big tech giants Facebook and YouTube have already shut down Alex Jones’ voice on InfoWars.  Some Christian voices, like Julio Severo, are put in “Facebook jail” for posting Bible verses such as about homosexuality. Google suppressed Prager University and Twitter temporarily banned Candace Owens. So prevalent has this forcible silencing of speech been on the left that Bill Maher was compelled to ask, “If you’re a liberal, you’re supposed to be for free speech. That’s free speech for the speech that you hate.”

Consider Climate Change. The Paris Climate Accord from which Trump withdrew in 2017 is all about force. Those who preach the Green Gospel of saving the planet cannot garner enough support for their message by normal debate and means of persuasion. Therefore, these globalists wish to sign American taxpayers on to a globalist “Carbon Pricing Panel” whereby the dictators of the United Nations will force reparations from the United States to pay for our environmental sins. These payments will be distributed to Third World and developing nations.

All of us have pulpits. Some of us preach the gospel of Christ and by reasons addressed to the mind ask worshippers to contribute in collection trays. Leftists and socialists of the Democrat Party cannot garner enough support for their doomsday message that the Sky is Falling, consequently they must save us all—by forcing us to pay contributions to their collection baskets. They cannot rely on freedom or the free-flow of ideas, so proponents of the Green Gospel use force.

Fred Singer, prominent scientist at the Heartland summit, a University of Virginia environmental science Professor Emeritus, and founder of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, observed, “This is about money and power. Science plays a small role, and mostly it’s being misused….It’s a matter of really trying to control things.”

Consider attacks on private property. So essential is this to freedom that John Adams commented that this was the single foundation stone undergirding all human freedom and liberty. “Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

The left knows this as well. The all-out attack on private property by the program Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), fostered by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development program and flourishing under HUD funding, has become common-place in American cities.

Big government planners do not like that you have the “freedom of association.” Liberty to live where you like and with those whom you are most comfortable is anathema. We must pare down your liberty branches! Cities are bribed with the endless access to federal money to “re-distribute” the racial mixes of their populations. Cities such as Baltimore, MD are placing minority families in white suburbia. No freedom here.

Liberal bastion Minneapolis, Minnesota became the first city to end single-family zoning. The Mayor of the city called such housing a mark of racism and “self-segregation” that must be halted at once. The white population is in his cross-hairs. Other cities are beginning to follow suit. 1

There are also a large number of organizations, such as Center for Study of Social Policy, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE); Center for American Progress (CAP); W. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and others, that are in the business of bribing cities with large amounts of George Soros money to forcibly re-zone various neighborhoods or re-draw school boundaries to dismantle schools that have “too large a white or Asian population.” 2

Another group, PolicyLink, a radical activist group, pushes policies such as “parks equity” which states that lack of access to city parks are partly responsible for “racial performance gaps” in school and on the job. The manifesto therefore is for middle-class tax-payers, once again by force, to begin funding more parks in slum areas of the country.

The common denominator in all of this is lack of freedom. Force replaces it. This is the tool of the left.

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