This morning a friend of mine posted this meme:
This is the enduring fallacy of our age. Christianity has a myriad of problems (not the ones the media commonly tars it with, however), and the hostility between certain branches of it and modern anti-theist scientists is well documented today. But historically it was very different.
When the Roman Empire began to fall apart with the Germanic invasions of the 5th century, the Roman economy took a hit. Cities were damaged, farms were looted or destroyed, and economic collapse happened in the West. In the 7th century, the arrival of the Arabs did even greater damage to the economy of both the Eastern and Western halves of the old Roman world. Trade stopped, because the Mediterranean Sea, long a secure trade route for Rome, became rife with pirates, first the Vandals, and then the Arabs.
Literacy dropped like a rock. Look at old Roman cities. Graffiti was everywhere, a sign that even the lower classes had some level of education. Whereas after the Germanic and Arabic invasions, even Charlemagne could barely read and write well enough to sign his own name. Even Kings were often illiterate (they had more important things to do — like killing people to preserve what was left of their countries). The lower classes were lucky if they could grow enough food to survive.
The Dark Ages were so called because of the economic collapse, not because of religious doctrine. In fact, the Church was one of the sole surviving remnants of literate Western culture in those days. Classical works were preserved and copied faithfully by Christian Byzantine scholars (it’s worth noting that the Muslim Arabs looted their copies of the classics from the Byzantines, so much for the supposed Islamic golden age). Natural sciences were held in high esteem in Western monasteries, where such luminaries as Thomas Aquinas practiced their philosophical and scientific inquiries.
There was little economic capital to spare, and so science advanced far more slowly in those days, but it DID advance, specifically in areas such as metallurgy and farming implements. Rome’s more primitive metallurigal knowledge is probably one of the reasons the industrial revolution did not happen in that period, despite overall Roman engineering prowess.
Now, the Renaissance came, with old Byzantine knowledge flooding Western Europe. The combination of the rediscovery of those works, and the nascent university and library system evolving out of the monasteries, caused scientific advancement to pick up the pace again. The Church funded much of this activity directly — it didn’t burn scientists at the stake or anything, it paid them!
This proceeded all the way into Galileo’s time where he received most of his funding from the Pope’s office. Indeed, Galileo fell afoul of the Church because he deliberately insulted his patron in one of his publications, not because he believed Copernicus and heliocentric theory (remember, it was a theory at the time — the prevailing scientific view was not heliocentric, and only later would Galileo effectively prove it to his fellow scientists). Even with all that, Galileo was not burned at the stake or anything, but he was put under house arrest and deprived of his former patron’s money. I often ask anti-theists to give me the name of one scientist burned at the stake by the church. I’ve yet be provided with even one example. Yet the myth endures, nonetheless.
However, this is when you start seeing the first glimmerings of the Church and the Scientific Community parting ways. Contrary to common belief today, it was not so much a matter of religious doctrine as it was of politics. Christianity was splintering into various factions, and it wouldn’t do to be a paid agent of the Catholics in, say, a country full of Protestants. And so the primacy of doctrine over more practical matters became established. It was a way to differentiate the Catholics from the Anglicans and the Lutherans, and so on and so forth. The notion of a centralized Catholic Church funding everything died in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.
Even still, most scientists were Christians even after all that, but funding from the Church began to dry up, and was replaced by private secular concerns and universities, which often still had some theological connections, even then.
The split has grown wider in recent years, and now there is hostility between many scientists and many Christians, but it wasn’t like this until recently, and wiping Christianity from history wouldn’t mean we’d be any further along today than we already are. Indeed, it may have the opposite effect, for during the so-called Dark Ages, if the Church hadn’t preserved what it could of the past… who would have done it? We might have had to start over from much less.
One of the amusing things I’ve noticed about Social Justice is that they frequently accuse regular folks of cultural appropriation and sort of skimming the surface of other cultures, picking and choosing what we want and dispensing with the rest. And yet, they engage in this very same behavior themselves. Observe: Atheist pastor sparks debate by irritating the church into the 21st century.
An Atheist is leading a Christian church, and she admits freely that she is picking and choosing the things that she wants, and dispensing with the rest:
Vosper was ordained in 1993, during which she was asked if she believed in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She said yes, speaking metaphorically.
Some eight years later, vexed by the archaic language, imagery and stories of the Bible, she delivered an off-the-cuff sermon in which she deconstructed the idea of God. “Our hymns and our prayers and the way that we did things, they all reinforced this idea of a supernatural divine being who intervened in human affairs,” she says. “I just took it apart – I was not willing to continue to let (my congregation) think that I believed in that kind of God.”
She deconstructs God in a Christian church, then eliminates all of the symbols of the religion in her own domain, covering up the cross in rainbow streamers, getting rid of the Bible, and delivering sermons bereft of any reference to God or Christ. She retains the outward forms, borrowing the format and appearance of a Christian church, and Christian culture but has stripped it of any meaning whatsoever.
Some time ago, SJWs complained that white yoga practitioners do this, that they have appropriated the outward forms of another culture’s belief system and stripped it of all meaning. But we may at least say of most yoga practitioners in America that they do not claim to be representatives of Indian religious practice, and do not practice their art in Indian temples, under their auspices. They just do their weird physical activities and call it a day.
But no, the SJW is not only practicing a form of blatant hypocrisy, they demand official recognition for their work, and demand that Christians accommodate and submit to them.
What followed was years of Vosper and her congregation retooling the service at West Hill. References to God and Jesus became talk of love and compassion and prayer was replaced with community sharing time. The removal of the Lord’s Prayer in 2008 proved to be a critical test, sending attendance plunging from 120 people to 40 and leaving the church’s financial strength in tatters. “The Lord’s Prayer was the last thing in the service that still held them to previous generations of church,” says Vosper. “So it became the lightning rod for all of that loss.”
Throughout this time Vosper couched her strong beliefs in linguistic gymnastics, describing herself as a non-theist and, later, a theological non-realist. In 2013, moved by the case of Bangladeshi bloggers facing persecution over their reportedly atheist views, Vosper began calling herself an atheist. “I felt it was an act of solidarity,” she says, likening it to the use of the word feminist to in the 1970s. “If I shelter myself by not using that term, that’s unfair to everyone who is being maligned by the use of that term.”
Why does she insist on being accounted a minister? Why does she practice this… whatever it is she’s doing… in a Christian church? She could go out and preach her feminist linguistic gymnastics, and declare herself a theological non-realist and non-theist someplace else. But no, she insists on doing that in a Christian framework.
The decision to carry out the review upsets many at West Hill. “It’s disgusting,” says Wendy Hyland. Her husband, Jim Hyland, calls it hypocritical, given that the congregation is one of the few in the area that has managed to buck the wider trend of declining attendance. “West Hill is the future of what religion will be like,” says the 65-year-old, highlighting its metaphorical interpretation of religious symbols and emphasis on environmental and social justice. “We’re thinking and saying what the rest of the world is scared to, but moving towards.”
First off, this article contradicts itself. Earlier on, we are informed that attendance dropped from 120 to 40. And yet we are now told that it “bucks the wider trend of declining attendance.” What a load. But aside from that, look at how this is being twisted. The “future of what religion will be like” is explicitly categorized as Social Justice.
There you have it in black and white, folks. Social Justice is, indeed, a religion. But like the Xenomorphs in the Alien movie series, this foul, corrupted parasitical belief system gestates in a Christian church, and then eventually kills the host in its birthing. Indeed, it’s instructive to view all Social Justice activity this way. They come into an organization and attach themselves to it, nourishing themselves and eventually killing the host, birthing an aggressive, evil and horrendous mockery of the original organization from the dying remains.
This is what Gretta Vosper really looks like, underneath the skin. This is how SJWs propagate their ideology, hijacking a host and destroying it in their own birthing.
Why would any Christian church willingly countenance such a parasitical evil to develop within it?
The Toronto conference of the United church responded to the concerns last year, saying it would carry out a review to determine whether Vosper was being faithful to her ordination vows and whether she could stay on as minister. “There are very strong opinions from those who support Ms Vosper, and from those who reject her statements absolutely,” said the Rev David Allen of the Toronto conference.
This shouldn’t even be a discussion. Expel her immediately. She is not a Christian. Now, it may be perfectly permissible for a non-Christian to sit in the pews. Indeed, we desire this, how else can we reach others? But it should never be permissible for a non-Christian to lead a church. It’s so blatantly obvious, so utterly common sense, that I cannot even fathom how this is a debate topic.
May a non-Jew lead a Jewish congregation? May a non-Muslim lead a Muslim congregation? Would a pagan church allow a Christian to lead it? Why then for the love of Christ (and I do not make this invocation lightly) does anyone think it is okay for an avowed Atheist to lead a Christian church?
The sheer level of idiocy approaches comical proportions. And while the notion may very well be hilarious in a gallows humor fashion, the ultimate result is pure evil, because countenancing this can lead to only one result: the destruction of the church itself.
There was a scene in Tom Kratman’s Caliphate book where a priest was crucified, and speaks to a young boy, telling him to take up the crucifix on the ground. He speaks the words “Deus Vult,” which I am sure most of my readers understand well enough.
The implication was, of course, that the boy, who had converted to Islam under duress, suffered less than the priest nailed to the cross. And, naturally, he should not renounce his faith for such if the priest could keep his under such circumstances.
Contrary to the beliefs of Leftists, being Christian has, historically, meant accepting a great deal of persecution. The followers of Christ, not unlike the Jews, have suffered under great persecution from other faiths. The Romans killed them (until converting). Then the Muslims came, and did likewise.
But the day came when Christianity was ascendant and unchallenged in the West. And so it is easy to forget that, as a Christian, persecution is not so far away as we often think it is. We’ve suffered comparatively little in recent years. The worst we’ve had to deal with lately is militant atheists with their smug, Jon Stewart liberal grins and airs of superiority. Easy enough to suffer that.
The killing of the priest, during Mass, tells us that a new round of persecution may be beginning. I honestly didn’t think I’d see that in my lifetime. But, here it is. In a sense, it is worse than the other terror killings. Not in number of bodies, of course, but in the brazenness of the act, and in the specificity of the target. Where you could theoretically lump other Islamic terror attacks in the West into some kind of general malaise, and excuse it by some sort of twisted Left-wing, secular reasoning, this attack smacks more obviously of religious war.
I feel a sadness for it, and wonder if the priest thought similarly as he died. And I wonder, also, if the militant fire which had been extinguished long ago in Christianity will now begin to resurface. I mourn this greatly, for the end of goodwill between faiths fast approaches.
If it must be religious war, then let it be as they say, even if this is a terrifying thing. If the cross falls to you, take it up. If it falls to me, then I will take it, also. I implore the Islamists to remember this, however: we truly wanted peace, with all of our hearts, and you could not leave well enough alone.
General Mattis put it succinctly, once: “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
As the political Left grows ever more bold, a great lie has made itself felt in political discourse: approval has been conflated with tolerance. And, correspondingly, disapproval has been confused with intolerance. Unless you give your wholehearted approval, your undiluted dedication, to the Cause of the Moment, you are labeled intolerant. No evidence is sufficient to dispel the charge, no apology is abject enough to forgive it, and long years will not wash it away. It is permanent and forever.
Nowhere is this philosophy more applied in modern discourse than the subject of homosexuality. Christians are labeled bigots and haters because many of them do not wish to celebrate the practice, nor to contribute to ceremonial trappings surrounding it. If invited to such things, many will decline, though some will not. Representatives of the church are usually expected to avoid engaging in the practice, though some churches have made exceptions. They are sinners, for their practice is a sin. But all of us are sinners, likewise, differing only in the sins we choose to commit.
Yet, in the pews of the church, homosexuals are made welcome. No church law prohibits them from coming, or from worshiping Christ with their fellows. Indeed, since Christians would regard them as afflicted with a peculiar sin, it is most important that they find Christ. Mark 2:17 explains for us:
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Christ ministered most to those who needed it most, and so if we consider gays to be afflicted with a sin that is difficult or even impossible for them to break, it nonetheless behooves the Christian to minister to him, and to welcome him to Christ’s church. If Christians are supposed to hate gays so much, why would they welcome such people to their own spiritual home? There is no hate here.
Now, this is where SJWs and their ilk will say that we wish to make them self-loathing for their homosexuality. That we want them to hate themselves, and to make them deny their own nature. This is also false. There are sins that I commit frequently, though I won’t bore my readers with a long listing of my personal failings. Nonetheless, I know them to be wrong in the eyes of the Lord, and I repent of them. Yet, many times, I fail to find the strength of will to avoid repeating them.
Most people I know suffer this to some extent. Each of us has those areas in which we are weak. The point is not to deny this, or to hate yourself for doing them, but to understand that you are not perfect, that you are not Christ, and that you categorically will do wrong. From gluttony, to envy, to lust, and host of other sins, we all have failings. Every single one of us will fail, gays included.
No, Christianity does not single out homosexuality for special status in the roster of possible sins. Indeed, homosexuality didn’t even make the Ten Commandments. My frequent use of the Lord’s name in vain, a terrible habit I am trying to curb, is arguably worse. But if you wish to come to the church, and know Christ, and be Christian, then you must acknowledge that you do wrong. All Christians must do this. Homosexuals do not get a special exemption from this.
It is precisely that special exemption which the Social Justice folks have continually demanded. They demand that the Christian participate, under penalty of fine, lawsuit, loss of business, and other ills, in the ceremonies conducted on behalf of gays. To fail to do this, they say, is a form of hatred.
Is it? Is saying “I don’t want to be involved in your business” truly a form of hate?
But beyond that, this is, to the Christian, similar to cheating on your wife, then celebrating it Sunday morning at the church. Yes, many in the church pews may cheat. Some may be serial cheaters, even. There may even be those who practice open relationships, which may still be regarded as a corruption of marriage. Yet should the pastor get behind the pulpit and say that cheating is good, and we ought to celebrate the behavior? Does he preach marriages between one man and many women (or, for that matter, the opposite)? Does he, himself, engage openly in these things and recommend them to others?
No. There is a great difference between knowing that sins of lust are being committed by most people in the room, and celebrating those sins openly, even conducting ceremonies around them. Gays get no special treatment, nor any special condemnation, for this. Welcome to the club, we say, you are sinners too.
Homosexuality is tolerated by most Christians, insofar as they won’t hate you for it, nor expend undue effort to convert you from the behavior. There are even those who may attend your ceremonies, not so much out of Christian belief, but because of close friendship for reasons likely unrelated to your sex life. But the practice is not approved any more than having sex with your neighbor’s wife is approved.
Social Justice has a habit of putting everyone into only two categories: ally and enemy. If you are not one, then you must be the other. An intelligent individual knows that it is possible to be neither, or shades of either. I am probably more tolerant and accepting of homosexuality than most Christians, because of my natural libertarian instincts and because I have DJed for them for a long time, so I have befriended more than a few over the years.
But even I have no patience for those who come and demand that the church change its practices for them. Sorry, pal, I know it sucks, but you’re a sinner too. There are no special provisions for your sins, they are no better or worse than our own. You cannot remake us into your own image. If you wish to be Christian, then I welcome you. But this means accepting your own imperfections, just as I have accepted mine, and not attempting to spin yourself as free of sin. Don’t glorify your sins, or call us bigots when we don’t join you in such glorification.
This entryism is nothing more than a ruse to subvert the church itself, and to twist the message of Christ. It attempts to take advantage of a Christian’s natural inclinations toward peace and tolerance, and steer them into tolerating the destruction of the church, and the handing over of the reigns of power to arbiters of Social Justice, giving to them the power to determine what is good and what is evil, what is approved and what is not approved.
Christianity is not intolerant of homosexuality. It is intolerant of willful attempts to destroy the church.
I welcome gays into Christianity. I hope that more of them find Christ. I do not hate them, nor have I ever hated them. But I do not welcome SJWs, or any other subversive entryists. They attempt to usurp the role of Christ himself, and to take over his church, to dictate right and wrong as if they were the Son of God themselves. It is the same thing they do everywhere else, attempting to gain power and control, and gays are merely their political pawn in this quest. They have long used our general willingness to get along against us. They have weaponized empathy.
But they have forgotten what Christ did when he found the moneychangers profaning the Temple. Remember, Good is not always Nice. And tolerance of the intolerable is merely cowardice.
The older I become, the more abortion bothers me. I used to be vaguely pro-choice, though not terribly concerned about the matter. But the birth of my son really changed my view on it.
Obama once said that he didn’t want his daughter “punished with a baby.” Why is a baby a punishment? Certainly, they are a lot of work, and can cost a lot of money. But people are fond of saying that family and friends are more important than money, right? Certainly your own offspring ought to be, also.
My son is a lot of work, and especially so for my wife right now. He is only 15 months old, and so he is firmly rooted in his “I want mommy” stage. But, nonetheless, he has made our home a happier place, not a more miserable one. When he sees something for the first time, it is with wonder, even if it may be the most mundane thing in the world.
Peter Singer is reputed to have said the following, back in the 70s:
“human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons … [therefore] the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
I dispute this. But there is more. Some suggest that a child is not fully human until 4 or 5 years of age, and it would be ethically permissible to kill them at that age. Now, this is an extremist view, and is not particularly common even among the Pro-Choice crowd. Nonetheless, it goes against my own experience. I have fragmentary memories from before 2 years of age. And by 3, I have very fully-formed memories. I was reading, writing, and thinking for myself to a great extent. The point is, I was a thinking human being at least as far back as my second year of life, perhaps further.
My son is a very inquisitive child. He has an engineer’s mindset, that much is apparent already. He is very good at figuring things out, taking things apart, and making sense of how they work. By the time he could crawl, he had discovered that remote controls worked on the TV. Ever since, he has had a habit of trying to steal them so he can change the channel (something that amuses him greatly).
Before he was even 9 months old, he would point at the back door and yell something rather incoherent, but which we knew was him trying to imitate us telling the dog to go outside. He would look at the dog when he did this, so it was clear he understood what pointing meant, what the back door was for, and that the dog was clearly supposed to go through it when commanded to do so.
He is a thinking human being.
I can’t give you a fixed timestamp for when this occurs, but I do know that the Pro-Choicers are wrong in how they view children, babies, and even fetuses. They see a burden where I see a joy. They see something to fear, when I see one of the few good things the world has to offer.
They see a clump of cells where I see a human.
Happy that he has his toys.
But definitely doesn’t want me to “redistribute” the toys to someone else.
How can anyone say he is not a human being?
Others have summed up the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia better than I can. But I wanted to post something to mark the passing of this man.
I don’t always follow the workings of the Supreme Court as often as I should, because many different things battle for my time and attention. But one thing that always stood about him was how seriously he took the Constitution. Whereas others were inclined to take the Constitution as a roadblock to their own policy wet dreams, Scalia chose instead to look at it as a guide.
“If the Bill of Rights had intended an exception to the freedom of speech in order to combat this malign proclivity of the officeholder to agree with those who agree with him, and to speak more with his supporters than his opponents, it would surely have said so. It did not do so, I think, because the juice is not worth the squeeze.”
Judicial activism is one of the major issues of our time. On what basis did the court rule on gay marriage, either in the affirmative or the negative? The Supreme Court is to handle cases of Constitutional law and crisis, and the Constitution makes no mention of the institution of marriage, much less that of specific demographics. Since powers not expressly granted to the Federal Government are reserved for the states or the people, it should have been struck back down to the states for resolution.
And if people really wanted a law passed, it could have come via Congress.
Scalia’s own dissenting opinion on the matter is reflective of his understanding of this issue:
“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,”
Scalia may have been a child of Italian immigrants, but he was firmly rooted in the Anglo-American tradition of limited government. Were he alive in the Revolutionary period, I am certain the Founders would have found common cause with him.
And I guess that’s why I mourn his passage as I do. He represented what old school Republican government was supposed to look like. He understood the dangers of authoritarianism, and held on to that position despite his appointment to one of the highest offices of the land. In an era of political courts, he was the sole voice of Constitutional reason. His political angle was to go to the Constitution when questions needed answering, instead of going to the opinion polls.
We won’t see his like again for awhile. In an era when even “Conservatives” are forgetting just what they were supposed to conserve, when Socialism and Authoritarianism are all the rage, he was a throwback to the days of the early Republic. Even if we had a Conservative Congress (we don’t, by the way), and a Conservative President, I doubt another could be found to fill his shoes. As it stands, I despair that we’ll find anyone to the Right of Karl Marx.
“God has been very good to us. One of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor.”
He was a Godly man, so I have no doubt that he found his proper reward.