Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #109

If Obama is so outraged by the divisiveness sparked by the numerous sources of information online, why is the propaganda he intends to produce to be available over a streaming service rather than traditional broadcast? So apparently he can provide his “alternative facts” but it is an outrage for Alex Jones to do so.

The winter 2018 edition of PETA Global is heralding the lawsuit the front group filed that granted intellectual property rights to a macaque that took a selfie with a camera set up by a photographer. Will the next time an ape hurls poo across its enclosure qualify for a government arts grant? The brief write up goes on to celebrate how the photographer was strongarmed into a settlement forcing the surrender of a percentage of the proceeds generated from the image to a number of wildlife charities and how other wildlife photographers are being intimidated into making similar donations. In the future, will you be required to get your dog or cat to sign notarized releases before uploading their images to social media? Too bad PETA is not as concerned about the animals euthanized in its care just so the creatures wouldn’t be forced to endure the indignity of having their basic needs catered to by adoring and dutiful human beings.

Propagandists at Good Morning America warn in an editorial posted on the program’s website “Alabama Senate Race Highlights That New Tribalism Threatens Our Democracy”. The piece observes that a group of Alabama voters have decided that ideology and party are more important than integrity and the common good. But in rejecting Moore now for decades largely over his defense of the Ten Commandments, these media elites are the ones that established the precedent of downplaying the existence of a morality beyond that of the group or “tribe” (as it is termed in a denigrating way in this segment). But aren’t these as dedicated to the so-called “tribe” as the consideration that trumps all others? For example, Barack Obama was elected primarily for being Black. The masses were directed to back Hillary Clinton simply because she was a woman. And no one is supposed to say a peep critical of Black Lives Matter despite the propensity of those in that movement to loot beauty salons for haircare products and burn other businesses to the ground in the name of social justice.

A Harris Poll concludes 84% of Americans hold the opinion “no gun under 21”. Why don’t the same numbers oppose enlistment in the military or enrollment in Select Service below that age threshold?

In a SermonAudio homily, it was correctly warned that many of aspects of life can be pursued with such zeal that we fail in one’s service to God. To bad this admonition was not applied to organized religion as well.

World educators supportive of students skipping class in opposition to the Second Amendment be as supportive if students walked out in favor of Confederate war memorials, the Tea Party movement, or school prayer? An alleged study indicates that a significant number of women are demanding that a man be at least six feet tall before they would considering dating them. Even when you meet their height requirements, they still aren’t likely to go out with you. And if women demanding a man meet certain physical requirements in order to be worthy of companionship, what is so wrong then with men insisting upon sufficient bosom birth, an exacting hip to waist ratio, or a specific age parameter (with some men preferring younger while other skew older) in order for a woman to be worthy of consideration?

The punishment for the teacher feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his students ought to be to force him to put his own hand in the snapping turtle’s mouth. If he loses his hand, he should have thought about that before feeding the puppy to the snapping turtle.

Trump’s suggestion of a “Space Force” to handle extraplanetary military operations has allowed for a good laugh across social media. However, the concept is less ridiculous than NASA conferences held were the attendees ponder the question if Jesus died for Klingons not from the standpoint of whether extraterrestrials have souls but rather as way for academics to bash Christians for holding up cultural development and where Levar Burton and Nichelle Nichols were no doubt paid significant honoraria to make a public appearance.

In response to the hordes of students skipping class in opposition to the Second Amendment, Nancy Pelosi said no one's political survival is more important than the survival of the nation's children. Unless, of course, if the child is still in the womb.

The Washington Post is celebrating the lone student at one school that walked out of class in opposition to the Second Amendment. Would this liberal rag defend students that remained in class in support of the inalienable right to bear arms?

A brat demonstrating against the Second Amendment remarked that you should not be allowed to own an "assault rifle" unless you can articulate a reason why. Shouldn't the same apply to cellphones and free birth control?

Nancy Pelosi has decreed that the prototypes of Trump’s proposed Great Wall Of America are too high for civilized society. If the Congressional leader ever watched “Pacific Rim”, she would have probably applauded the interdimensional monsters busting through the barrier to lay waste to what remained of human civilization. But in all seriousness, if high barricades are an offense to democratic values, does she intend to advocate for the removal of the ones surrounding the Capitol? More importantly, does she intend to tear down any fences surrounding her properties or to leave the doors unlocked at night so vagrants can traipse around at their own leisure?

Hispanosupremacist Jorge Ramos says that he is now having the worst time of his life in his 34 years in the United States. He is always free to return to Third World poverty any time that he so desires.

The Syfy drama Krypton is not without potential. However, it is not as enjoyable as Smallville or Supergirl. One has to be really steeped in Superman lore to follow what is going on and the English accents of the actors don't help either. As a family member not as familiar with superheroes and comics confided, this Krypton certainly looks different than the one from the TV shows and movies. Often Superman's home world is depicted as almost heavenly with crystalline architecture of an almost cathedral like appearance. However, this world simply looks rundown. In many versions of the Superman story, Krypton is left to its fate as a result of a scientific establishment too mired in its own procedures to admit to the obvious. Yet this version seems to want to take the narrative in a bit of another direction subtly anti-Christian as the religious elite deny the existence of life beyond their world to the point of persecuting those advocating on behalf of the idea. To emphasize the point, the primary religious leader, the voice of Rao, is depicted in a multi-faced mask reminiscent of an image from church history intended to illustrate the Trinity.

The cover story of the April 2018 issue of Sojourner’s Magazine is titled, “How Evangelicals Became White: For much of American evangelical history spreading the Gospel meant spreading Whiteness”. Does Sojourner’s stop to explain and, even more importantly, lament how the so-called “mainline churches” are probably even “Whiter” than those of the Evangelicals being denigrated in this propaganda? Are Black denominations being condemned for being overwhelmingly Black? Is the Roman Catholic Church ever condemned in the pages of this publication for abetting in the violation of U.S. immigration law?

Revolutions are seldom satisfied accomplishing the initial stated objective. These movements eventually become increasingly strident. Once those with wandering hands or raunchy mouths (as determined by feminists that are not so much in favor of decorum as they hate men) are removed from public life, what is to prevent assorted surveillance technologies from being deployed to eliminate the last remaining vestiges of maleness? For example, close circuit TV could be used to catch those stealing a glance of a jiggly bosom or backside strutting by. Will fit bits be required to catch men that become aroused by an alluring woman in their presence who saying nothing about it but who would be betrayed by an increased pulse or blood pressure rates?

One adolescent orator at the March For Our Lives Rally claimed to speak on behalf of “African American girls whose stories don't lead on the evening news.” In her racialist tirade, did she point out that most Black youths are shot by other Black youths with firearms not acquired or used in a manner approved by the NRA nor by the organization's membership?

A number of dimwitted waifs at the March For Our Lives rally insisted that the Constitution was outdated. So if these rabble rousers had been denied the opportunity to assemble or had their gathering disbanded at the end of police batons, tasers and tear gas, there would have been nothing wrong with that. Because the right to speak and petition for the redress of grievances is just as much part of that Constitution these activists denigrate as the Second Amendment.

Miami officials are considering a plan to allow educators strapped for rent to live at school. And you thought accounts of the sexcapades occurring in the public schools were wild before?

In calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment, does that also include the right to bear arms of the security details of retired Supreme Court Justices as well?

If former Supreme Court Justices are calling for the elimination of the Second Amendment because the constitutional provision is no longer considered socially utilitarian, what is to prevent them from issuing similar pronouncements calling for the elimination of freedom of speech and religion when those particular statutory clauses are deemed similarly subversive to public order?

If Youtube can’t be forced to allow for Conservative speech, why should Christians be compelled to bake gay wedding cakes?

If the census should not be allowed to ask if a respondent is a citizen of the United States, why on the American Community Survey was I required to answer how far I drove to work and how many toilets are in my house?

A Maryland Park and Planning Commission is holding a teen athletic competition advertised as the first annual “Hunger Games”. As a science fiction fan, I found the Hunger Games series of films a compelling and highly plausible dystopia. But it is a DYSTOPIA. That means no rational individual would want to find themselves in that situation. In spoofing the emphasis placed upon the love triangle in the story, Homer Simpson lamented, “When do we get to killing the children?” Will this be the fate of those losing these municipal competitions? For like it or not, that was the point of this fictionalized athletic spectacle as a form of social control and the only way to survive was to kill or be killed. Any bureaucrat employing this name as part of what ought to be a wholesome youth activity either doesn’t understand the point of the narrative or are hoping to manipulate the population to the point where one day such blatantly homicidal bloodsports are accepted without question.

If it is unacceptable for the government to ask who is a citizen, why is it acceptable for government to not only know how much money individuals make but also how much of that money individuals withdrawal from privately owned banks after taxes on those funds have already been paid?

For daring to comment on a public online post by gun control fanatic David Hogg, pundit Laura Ingraham has been accused of cyberbullying. But isn’t Hogg even more directly a bully? After all, is he not the one issuing threats and ultimatums if his preferred policy directives or managerial preferences are not implemented?

It was argued on the Berean Baptist Church SermonAudio podcast that, even if a “pew sitter” comes to church 52 out of 52 Sunday’s a year, they are not sufficiently demonstrating the value of the church until they sing in the choir, serve in AWANA, or play an instrument for 52 out of those 52 weeks. Would the pastoral staff be serving the 52 out of 52 weeks if there was no paycheck on the line? If showing up is not is not sufficient demonstration of devotion to Christ, perhaps they’d rather people not show up at all? Furthermore, why would anyone want to hazard the commitment necessary to hold a volunteer position in a congregation that has mentioned in previous publicly available podcasts how criteria to qualify are nowhere detailed in the pages of Sola Scriptura? Furthermore, by definition a church of a finite size only has so many teaching positions available and, given that these are non-compensated, one is under no obligation to pursue them particularly if one is not skilled in or desirous to participate in the open opportunities.

It was said in a Berean Baptist Church SermonAudio podcast that the true believers are those that serve IN the church institutional or organizational. How can one hand down a definitive ruling that those not explicitly serving under ecclesiastical scrutiny are not performing works for Christ beyond an inquisitorial gaze? Furthermore, how is what this pastoral staff is advocating little different than the blatant works righteousness of most strains of Roman Catholicism?

A Sacramento woman with her house on the real estate market is refusing to sell to any Trump supporters. It is claimed that political affiliation is not listed among the protected classifications known for rampaging in the streets and looting local businesses at the rendering of unpopular trial verdicts. As such, this would not constitute a technical act of discrimination. Fine. If this is allowed to stand, all one should need to do to get out of selling a home to minorities is to decline on the grounds that the individuals are likely Obama voters. Christian bakers wanting to avoid entanglements with gay weddings could articulate similar reasons. More importantly, given that most Americans do not necessarily wear their politics on their sleeves, what is to prevent someone from saying that they did not vote for Trump when they really did? It’s not like this inquiry is regarding one’s faith in Christ.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #107

President Trump’s immigration policies are being cast as the villain in the saga of a 39 year old father being deported after having been living undocumented in the United States since he was nine years old. How about much of the blame being placed on the Obama administration and the court system pussyfooting around for nearly a decade with one repeated stay after another instead of decisively settling this case? Perhaps this example ought to serve as a reminder to all of us that this governing by kicking the can down the road cannot go on forever indefinitely.

Albert Mohler posted an article titled “Moralism Is Not The Gospel But Many Christians Think It Is”. If that is the case, isn’t that more the fault of professional religionists such as himself rather than the mere pewfillers often forced to abide by an extensive list of regulations if they desire to remain in the good graces of those wielding authority? Sometimes these requirements are, at best, merely tangentially related to anything explicitly stated in Scripture or, at worst, the mere opinions of the ecclesiastical staff. If the mere pewfillers are the ones coming off as judgemental about enforcing nitpicky rules, it is often because they have been forced to live under the most stringent requirements their entire lives while they are passed over in terms of position, opportunity, or even attention in favor of newcomers and the like who (though perhaps sincerely Christian) are not held to the same standard as those that have bought into what is being taught from the pulpit that believers must act a certain way and if you don’t you aren’t likely one. Right or not, those told that it’s evil to date and further bashed from the pulpit if they are then not married by the age of 24 are going to raise an eyebrow in resentment if they see the pregnant teen moms fawned over with babyshowers.

In a review of “Thor: Ragnarok”, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson condemned the superhero genre for depicting Germanic gods. One can legitimately point out how these films promote a version of ancient alien hypothesis in that Thor is depicted as an extradimensional entity. But the movies do not really depict Thor as an actual god or that your child is likely to abandon their Christian faith if they happen to enjoy these sorts of costumed adventures. In the first Avengers movie, didn’t Captain America say that there was only one God and that he certainly wasn’t Loki? Even if movies consisted of nothing more than accurate detailed depictions of Bible stories, would those of this sort of hardline mentality accept that or would they find something else to gripe about. Coming to mind particular are fundamentalist objections to “The Passion Of The Christ” and criticism of Roma Downey’s series “AD”.

In his review of “Star Wars” The Last Jedi”, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson lamented that parents should not be surprised if after steadily watching these sorts of films that their children walk away from the church. That is because watching these films is the epistemological equivalent of regularly attending a mosque and then converting to Islam. First, if Swanson wants to remain consistent with his Calvinist soteriology, doesn’t he have to admit that those walking away from the faith as a result of allegedly being exposed to Star Wars were never intended to rank among the predestined to begin with? Second, in his remarks does Swanson intend to criticize those Christian leaders that for decades level condemnation against those believers that would have been drawn towards creative pursuits such as literature and filmmaking?

Isn’t the greater outrage not that a Trump appointee to Americorps articulated blunt remarks over how protected demographics often live their lives at variance with majoritarian preferences but rather that this constitutionally dubious agency continues to exist?

Al Sharpton said the integrity of Evangelicals that support President Trump. But does a “minister” that advanced the lies of Tawana Brawley and stoked the burning of Freddie’s Fashion Mart possess any integrity himself?

President Trump is now being accused of speaking in an Indian accent to imitate the Prime Minister of India. If that is to be condemned, will similar criticisms be leveled against those that spoof the President’s own elocutionary idiosyncrasies such as his oddly shaped lips and sounding hoarse much of the time?’

If all countries are to be viewed as possessing equal quality with no one allowed to admit what these places are really like, aren’t those that vacation in Bermuda, Aruba, or the Bahamas but not Hati even more racist than Donald Trump?

If President Trump does not want his offspring criticized in the media, perhaps he should utilize other minions as his policy advisors and enforcers.

A Washington Post column laments in the title, “Trump Evangelicals Have Lost Their Gag Reflex”. Shouldn’t these establishmentarian elites be the first to celebrate religious conservatives for having advanced their sense of political sophistication to the point that distinction is now made between an elected official’s policy positions and personal moral failings? Didn’t the liberal pundits used to pine how they wished America could be more like France where no one cared how many mistresses a high official might have bedded? If Evangelicals now downplay the importance of private virtue in public life, it is for the most part for having been ridiculed for decades how if they didn’t let go of their outdated morality particularly in regards to sexual ethics, they would forever consign the Republican Party to electoral defeat. For were not influential media outlets the ones that depicted public officials that consistently lived by their professed values such as Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum as something akin to a Sasquatch with communicable leprosy?

For Afrosupremacisit Propaganda Month, a Vermont school has announced it will fly the Black Lives Matter flag for the month of February. Mind you, these are the same sorts that threaten renewed rounds of looting of hair care product providers and electronics retailers unless every remaining remembrance of the Confederacy is removed from public view.

The growing concern is that social media is potentially harmful to democracy. This perspective is now so pervasive that even the Facebook corporate office concurs. Do the propagandists in in the mainstream engage in the same degree of manufactured outrage when it comes to the dangers posed by centralized hierarchical journalism and media analysis?

If so-called “Indigenous People” cannot celebrate Columbus Day because of the mistreatment received at the hands of European colonizers, why should European-Americans support Indigenous People Day because of the mistreatment innocent settlers experienced at the hands of heathen savages?

President Trump has been accused of an alleged affair with a pornstar. If true, talk about low hanging fruit. It doesn’t say much as to the prowess of your manhood and skills as a lover to bed a woman that will not only sleep with anyone for the right amount of money but also allow the encounter to be videoed.

Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay announced that he lost over 50 pounds over fear that his girth would cause him to lose his wife to another man. Frankly, it sounds like she is not worth keeping. Where is the media outrage that would have erupted about fat shaming and positive body image if it was his wife that felt similar pressure to lose weight in order to save her marriage?

In a broadcast commentary transcript, Cal Thomas concluded, “You may not like his behavior. You may not like his personality. But you cannot deny the objective results. This President in his first year in office is bringing about real change that is promoting the general welfare.” So is Thomas now saying that the health of a nation is determined solely in terms of materialistic financial statistics? The promised wall is no more closer to being built, proposals are being suggested for what will essentially amount to yet another amnesty, and (as usual) the State of the Union promises to be a litany of yet additional handout programs that the country can no longer afford. As a self-professed student of Francis Schaffer, one would think Thomas would know better. Does Thomas renounce the inclusion of his name in an edition of National Review published prior to the election suggesting that a Trump presidency would mark the ruination of the Republic?

During the 2018 State of the Union Address, Democrats booed President Trump’s remarks that immigration policy should consider quality individuals or nuclear family units rather than import entire slum villages as results from chain migration. If Joe Kennedy III is stepping forward to spearhead the antithesis of the Trump agenda, perhaps hundreds of migrants can be warehoused on the numerous spacious Kennedy family properties.

Fascinating how liberal agitators demand the remainder of the country refrain from comment when Columbus Day is rebranded as “Indigenous People Day” in urban cesspools of multiculturalism but they have no problem imposing their New York values upon the bastions of the Confederacy when it comes to what memorials will be allowed to remain on public property.

At an event titled “The People’s State Of The Union”, celebrities, activists, and social justice front groups converged to reinforce amongst themselves just how much they despise the idea of others enjoying a standard of living just above that of mere squalor to the point that they are advocating violent Communist upheaval. For if these limousine revolutionaries really gave the proverbial rodent’s rear shank about actual poverty, wouldn’t they have actually instead directed the resources needed to give themselves a gigantic pat on the back to actual poor people?

Did the thought police all jacked out of shape at a racially questionable sweatshirt sold on line ever get around to expressing similar degrees of outrage regarding the knockout game or the looting of businesses over unpopular trial verdicts?

Pope Francis repeatedly lectures the West about defending the oppressed and downtrodden in terms of throwing borders open to swarms of migrants and refugees. Yet in regards to the persecuted in Red China he certainly doesn’t mind turning the proverbial blind eye in terms of forcing two underground bishops to step down and granting Vatican approval to the bishops of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

A Super Bowl commercial proclaimed the following: "You come with open minds and the instinct that we are equal. Some people may see your differences and be threatened by them. But you are unstoppable. You'll love who you want. You'll demand fair and equal pay. You will not allow where you come from to dictate where you're going. You will be heard, not dismissed. You will be connected, not alone. Change starts now." Does that include Roy Moore loving whom he wanted to love in his younger days? And what of those now advocating bestiality, necrophilia, and these reports of a man fathering a child with his own 20 year old daughter? Will those that disagree with this predetermined agenda be guaranteed the same right to be heard and not dismissed or will that privilege only be granted to those acquiescing to the preferences of nefarious cabalistic elites? For what if the individual approaches the evidence and articulated justifications with this supposedly open mind and he concludes that the change needed is not to the extent advocated by the nihilistic vanguard?

Amusement Park King’s Dominion will no longer be referring to its classic wooden roller coaster as “The Rebel Yell”. Such an allusion to Confederate heritage might unduly trigger the weak minded and sociologically delicate. Instead the attraction will be renamed “Racer 75”. Just how much longer will this stupidity continue? Should the entire park be renamed since “King” refers to not only monarchy but one ruled over by a patriarchal figure without paying due homage to the gynocracy for the atrocities committed in the name of phallocentrism. And shouldn’t the name “Racer 75” also be considered offensive? For does not “Racer” imply a competition based on speed with that quantifiable measurement used to determine such potentially psychologically damaging categorizations such as winter and loser. Lastly, since the 75 is a chronometric recognition of when the ride was built, shouldn’t that also be considered offensive since that measurement is ultimately a relativistic one calculated through tabulation of the temporal interval having elapsed from that moment back to the existence of Christ?

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Will NPR Snobs View Trade School Graduates As Cultural Equals?

NPR’s All Things Considered posted an article 4/25/18 titled “High Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty While High School Grads Line Up For University”.  

Students should be encouraged to consider these occupations if they are naturally imbued with mechanical aptitude.

However, the sorts of leftwing elites that gravitate towards NPR need also be asked a question or two regarding their own promotion of this alternative career path.  

Should students pursue a trade school rather than the academic route, will the biases of technocrats result in a sort of caste system where those not credentialed in the liberal arts or higher science backgrounds NPR types prefer as their equals be excluded from weighing in on cultural concerns?  

Punitive sanction might be imposed upon any daring to raise a voice beyond the narrow concerns of their servile guild craft.

In the olden days, this used to be looked down upon as articulating opinions above or harboring aspirations beyond one’s station.

Already teachers look down upon parents that raise concerns seen as infringing upon a profession that the parents have themselves not been schooled in.  

It must also be noted that many of these trade jobs are highly paid because they are quite frankly labor intensive and often downright dangerous.

So what will be done with those pushing into their late 40’s and early 50’s whose bodies are worn out by that point but who do not have the academic qualifications to move on into work considered more white collar in nature?

Sure the pay is good when one is able to bust one’s back.   

But soon as the back is busted, some of these employers are ready to toss aside workers that barely missed a day the previous twenty years if the employee is unable to return to the job full steam ahead a month after surgery to repair injuries aggravated by these glories of proletarian labor advocated by this vanguard that hasn’t lifted a finger at all.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, April 16, 2018

Municipalities Take Aim At Basic Liberties

The town of Deerfield, Illinois has enacted a regulation banning assault weapons.

Those violating the ban could face fines of up to $1000 per day.

Will progressives that tossed a fit over Sheriff Joe Arpaio taking it upon himself to enforce the national immigration laws that the federal government refused to get as worked up over mere town ordinances contradicting what might be allowed under state and federal law?

What other products otherwise perfectly legal in a state might municipal aldermen take upon themselves to ban?

For motorist safety, what if a town decided to forbid residents from owning compact automobiles that rolled off the assembly line after a given year since in traffic accidents such vehicles often have about as much structural integrity as the average soda can?

What, if in order to protect pedestrians, a town passed legislation insisting that smartphones present such a threat of distraction that it is not enough to restrict when these devices can be used but that these gadgets must be banned altogether within the boundaries of a specified jurisdiction?

While we are at it, if local authorities possess the power to ban products deemed legal by the state granting the municipality the right to exist in the first place, why not certain behaviors or even relationships?

 For example, if the representatives of Deefield, Illinois insist that if those electing them to office want to live in a town without firearms it is their right to do so irrespective of how neighboring jurisdictions might decide to order their own affairs, on what grounds then should some backwoods enclave be forbidden from retaining laws against sodomy or promulgating a decree refusing to accept the validity of gay marriage?

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ingraham Insufficiently Deviant For Leftists To Defend Her Speech

The world has about come unhinged over Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham for daring to poke a little fun at a petulant youth known to excoriate with the vilest of profanities those reluctant to embrace his policy proposals demanding the abandonment of centuries of constitutional theory deemed fouler than his acute potty mouth.

The font of deliberative political contemplation, GQ Magazine, has posted a column in support of the Ingraham boycott titled “Boycotting Ingraham Is Patriotic”.

Yet those assenting to this sentiment are the very sorts of thinkers that would condemn the Census for tabulating how many within the boundaries of the United States are actually citizens.

But if it is inappropriate to classify who is and is not of a particular jurisdiction --- the most basic of functions in establishing the foundations of a nation/state --- isn't the concept of patriotism --- the idea that a set of principles in large part derived from a particular geography inhabited by a specific sort of people is superior to all others --- even more verboten?

GQ is celebrating the decentralized justice inherent to a boycott as about the purest form of free expression imaginable.

After all, consumers are not obligated to bestow their funds upon someone advocating a set of values that they find abhorrent.

Likewise, Ingraham is not entitled to be lavished with these funds.

Interesting, though, how amongst postmodernist hordes this realization is a one way street.

For would the editorial staff of GQ Magazine as eagerly applaud a boycott organized by a Christian cabal seeking to impose their particular ethical idiosyncrasies in a way that would implement comprehensive revolutionary change across the entire culture even if a significant percentage was still not amenable to such a fundamental alteration of the social compact.

After all, those now threatening social upheaval are the children of many who denounced Pat Buchanan's culture war oration at the 1992 Republican convention.

At the time, opponents of the pious populist insisted that absolute objective values did not exist and, even if they did, it was not the place of cultural institutions to advocate on behalf of or to enforce a hegemony of values.

Of Lady Ingraham's status within the ongoing civic discussion, the enlightened archons of GQ assure the unsettled of weak mind, “Laura Ingraham remains as empowered as ever to impart her bad takes, whether to viewers on Fox News or to passer-bys on the street, without fear of being arrested by agents of the state.” But for how long?

Already the right of free expression --- deliberately enshrined among the first protections of the Bill of Rights --- is restricted in the presence of those seeking an abortion --- a procedure that honest jurists are compelled to admit cannot be found clearly delineated anywhere in this charter document but rather only in interpretative penumbras of it.

In the case of Lara Ingraham still enjoying her innate liberties as a free citizen despite being economically inconvenienced, how is that less of an outrage than the gay couple denied the wedding cake by the Christian baker?

In the transaction dragged before the judicial system, no one prevented the couple from the state granting its official recognition of their unnatural liaison.

The only thing they would have had to have endured was the search for a baker willing to provide it, which would have cost considerably less that the advertising revenue rescinded from Fox News.

So why are some forms of speech worthy of protection and some not the part of the most vociferously insistent that the most egregious imposition imaginable is to somehow insist that someone else's truth might not be quite as true as initially suspected?

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Southern Baptist Convention Undermined By Russell Moore's Propensity Towards Compromise

Granted, in response to what was seen as encroaching apostasy and unbelief eroding both strong moral and sound doctrine, Fundamentalism at times presented a militant brand of conservative Protestantism that could could occasionally be construed as a bit gruff around the edges. In such circles, a soft answer was not necessarily perceived as turning away wrath as admonished by Proverbs 15:1 but rather as a sign of spiritual weakness and, even worse, possible compromise.

In what is categorized as the nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention serves as an interesting sociological barometer in terms of what direction ideological winds tend to be blowing. For example early in the twentieth century, the ecclesiastical association nearly succumbed to the temptations of liberalism and modernism only to be pulled back from this brink by a conservative resurgence that coincided with the ascent of Reaganism on through the Republican Party taking both houses of Congress in the 1990's.

Now it seems the tide might once again be receding. Those that have in a sense grown up in an environment characterized as overwhelmingly religious are tempted to surrender the ground gained as a form of repentance in their minds for certain admitted excesses and as a way to promote the peace and toleration always being yelled about in one's ear.

In his early 40's as of this writing in late 2017, Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Theological Seminary and now the Ethics and Public Policy Commission is often fawned over as a prominent young leader who could very likely shape the Southern Baptist Convention throughout the course of much of the twenty-first century. If that is the case, conservative Baptists mind end up finding themselves betrayed on what could very well be a sinking ship.

Without a doubt, Russell Moore professes those fundamentals of the faith necessary to assure the individual of salvation in Christ and eternity in Heaven. But it is in those areas where it is easy to compromise for broad approval and applause that Dr. Moore presents the greater spiritual danger.

I Corinthians 9:22 counsels to be all things to all men. By this, it is believed that the Gospel message can be adapted within certain parameters or presented in such a way that addresses individuals in the particular circumstances in which they find themselves.

The problem with Russell Moore and an increasing number within Evangelical Christianity in general and the Southern Baptist Convention in particular is the growing conviction that, in order to appeal to what is perceived as untapped demographics, professional religionists must go out of there way to publicly denigrate those expected to financially sponsor these outreach efforts. And in so doing, one is expected to turn one's back on much of the foundation that was laid as the foundation that got us to where we are today.

This is particularly evident in Russell Moore's response to the Trayvon Martin incident. As someone that presents himself not only as a clergyman but as someone that also makes his comfortable living as such, one might think Russell Moore would have endeavored to remain above the fray in regards to such an issue by calling for cooler heads to prevail or to point out how quickly individual lives can be lost.

Instead, Moore came out quite publicly in favor of Trayvon Martin and against George Zimmerman. The mouthpiece of Southern Baptist public policy is quoted in the 7/16/13 edition of the Washington Post as saying, “Regardless of what Trayvon Martin was doing or not doing, you have someone who was taking upon himself some sort of vigilante justice, even by getting out of the car. Regardless of what the legal verdict was, this was wrong.

Perhaps we really should consider what transpired and especially what it was that Trayvon Martin was doing the moment his life ended.

From what the judicial process has been able to establish, Trayvon Martin was beating George Zimmerman and delivering blows to the head that could have resulted in permanent injury and even death. Why does the criteria Moore invokes to defend Martin not apply to protect Zimmerman in this incident as well?

For example, according to Moore, the chain of events began when Zimmerman disembarked from the vehicle. That may or may not have been the wisest course of action. However, that was probably more legal and less suspicious than Martin zig-zagging late at night in and out of people's yards like a drunk or reefer addict up to no good.

So if Zimmerman committed a great wrong by laying his hands on Martin, why should Martin be exonerated for attacking Zimmerman who was doing nothing worse than perambulating over a public thoroughfare? However, it is apparently not enough for Moore to simply side perhaps with the party that did not have access to a fire arm in this altercation.

One can barely find a piece of direct mail promotional newsletter propaganda these days that does not go out of its way to denigrate White people for simply being white. A considerable number of these ecclesiastical functionaries have adopted a rhetoric of White guilt more typically emanating from the likes of Phil Donahue and Woody Allen that from behind a Dixie pulpit. One of the foremost practitioners of this victimization narrative is none other than Russell Moore.

To the analysis of the Trayvon Martin issue, Russell Moore added, “And when you add this to the larger context of racial profiling and a legal system that does seem to have systemic injustices as it related to African Americans with arrests and sentencing, I think makes for a huge crisis.” Moore further observes, “Most white evangelicals...are seeing [the Martin case] microscopically and most African Americans are seeing it macroscopically. Most white Americans say we don't know what happened that night and they are missing the point.”

As dumb as Whites are depicted now by the hierarchs of the Southern Baptist Convention, it's a wonder they are able to drop their tithe into the collection plate. But perhaps it is because of such stupidity that Whites so flagrantly mocked don't take their religious dollars elsewhere.

Notice that nowhere in those comments did Moore ponder that Trayvon Martin might have been as high as a kite or that George Zimmerman might have taken the only course of action that would have preserved his own life. If Moore is going to be this discombobulated over matters of race and ethnicty to the point where in matters of law enforcement and civil adjudication that the primary concern is not so much that of an individual's guilt or innocence in terms of committing a certain act but rather on the basis of the individual's membership in certain demographic categories, Russell Moore should be asked just what is he himself willing to sacrifice in terms of comprehensive social equity.

For example, if Russell Moore on a proverbial dark and stormy night found himself confronted by a Black assailant that proceeds to perpetrate violence against this seminarian naive to how the world actually exists, is he going to do what he expected of George Zimmerman and allow himself to be pummeled either to death or into a state of permanent mental imbecility as a result of brain damage received for the good of the cause? More importantly, is Dr. Moore willing for his wife or daughters to be raped in order to balance out what Southern Baptist functionaries such as himself now consider the scales of ethnic justice?

Just as important, should these kinds of tragedies befall Rev. Moore or his ecclesiastical allies and the scumbag is apprehended by law enforcement, are these theologians then going to parrot the fashionable liberal drivel about disparities in sentencing should the perpetrator of the crimes against them be one of the minorities the denomination has come to coddle and fawn over these past few years? For in his praise of Trayvon Martin and condemnation of George Zimmerman, Moore went out of his way to emphasize this issue.

In 2013, the Convention went out of its way to enact a resolution condemning incarceration with little mention as to whether or not those tossed in the slammer might actually deserve to be there. Perhaps the denomination would instead prefer to come out in favor of more explicitly Old Testament punishments such as floggings and public executions.

The Convention also condemned former chairman of the Ethics and Policy Commission and eventually forced into retirement Richard Land for merely verbalizing what it was that the vast majority of Americans were already thinking that President Obama was “trying to gin up the black vote” and that allied racemongers “need the Trayvon Martins to continue perpetuating their central myth --- America is a racist and evil nation.”

It is not only in the area of race relations where Russell Moore falls pitifully short of the kind of leadership Baptists need if the denomination and that particular theological perspective is to not only ride out the waves of the looming cultural collapse but possibly even rescue the nation from drowning in these overwhelming historical tides.

In coverage of the 2013 convention in which Russell Moore was installed as the chairman of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, an observer gushed in one press account that his election brought a more moderate tone. As it was explained, “The new generation is less ideologically motivated.” However, is it that the new generation is “less ideologically motivated” or simply that it decided to collaborate in implementing a more leftist ideology?

It seems Brother Moore is quite adept at implementing a don't do as I do, do as I say mentality. For on an episode of the Albert Mohler Program broadcast sometimes around 2006 probably around the first time I had ever even heard of Russell Moore, he confessed that, while thoroughly enjoying Halloween himself as a youth, it is now wrong for contemporary Christian children to participate in Halloween. And the point of raising this issue, some are probably asking with perplexity? After all, such a viewpoint is no doubt common among a variety of theologies found among Independent Baptist, conservative Southern Baptist, and even Pentecostal or Charismatic churches.

Indeed it is. However, the example is brought up to point out that Russell Moore and the young Turks advocating his style of social engagement are not quite of the live and let live mindset those unaccustomed to fully parsing phrases such as “less ideologically motivated” might be led to believe. If anything, it would seem Russell Moore has something of a tendency to crackdown in those areas where individual preference should be allowed to flourish while allowing things to get a bit out of line where, if one slacks an inch, assorted subversives will take a proverbial mile.

How does this represent a more moderate wind being blown into Baptist sails? I can assure you, I know first hand the sort of message has been pounded into the minds of Christian youth for nearly thirty years.

I remember back in my day that, along with whether or not you watched “The Simpsons”, you would speak in hushed tones about celebrating Halloween for fear of bringing the wrath of the more religiously fanatical teachers in Christian day school down upon you. It often seemed that some would even go out of their way to assign extra homework or schedule a test for the next day as a way to punish those that might succumb to the temptation of masquerading for prepackaged nocturnal confections.

This hypocrisy aside, it is not the only issue regarding which this new breed of seemingly less ideological Southern Baptist leader may actually be more ideological than ever before. Baptists might be mocked with the mantra of “Don't drink, don't chew, and don't go with girls who do” in terms of the rigorous behavioral codes many adhere to in the attempt to differentiate themselves from those considered worldly and in an effort to adhere to a lifestyle that they believe would be pleasing to God. However, if there is one area in which Baptists are noted for a spirit of liberation it is in the area of food.

However, Russell Moore and his allies would likely impose an additional set of regulations upon those in their congregations and within their respective spheres of homiletical influence in regards to this aspect of existence in no way derived from Biblical principles such as those regarding booze.

On 1/2/2006, Russell Moore posted an entry on the blog of the Henry Institute at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary titled “Crunchy Cons and Veggie Tales”. The brief essay is a review and elaboration of an emerging ideology known as crunchy conservatism coined by Moore's “Touchstone Magazine” colleague Rod Dreher.

In the post, Moore describes crunchy cons as, “...conservatives who are religious traditionalists and political conservatives but who are deeply suspicious of the materialism and consumerist assumptions of the reigning culture.” However, the materialism denounced here goes beyond that requiring the latest iteration of the I-Phone when the one acquired last year still works perfectly fine or having to acquire an entirely new wardrobe every year irrespective of whether or not the duds from the previous season have worn out

Rather, it is of the variety of how we mere working slobs are expected to willingly embrace with deliberation and aforethought a harsher and less convenient lifestyle because doing so makes detached intellectuals like Russell Moore that have not gotten their hands dirty in years or even decades feel so much more satisfied with themselves because they know more about how you ought to spend your miserable existence better than you do.

In the TimesOnline article referenced by Moore titled “Mr. And Mrs. Crunchy”, his “Touchstone Magazine” colleague Rod Dreher begins, “We had come to believe that the family, not the individual, is the basic building block of our society.” It depends upon what the writer means by that.

Bravo if by that he is expressing a realization that, upon having children, his wellbeing and that of his wife takes a backseat and their needs play second fiddle to those of the children. However, to those such as Rod Dreher and Russell Moore, the notion likely goes considerably beyond that.

For example, often those of this mentality having procreated believe that they are entitled to an ever-increasing percentage of the income and accumulated resources of those that do not have children, especially if such people are single. This confiscatory compensation can take on a number of forms.

The first is in the form of traditional taxation. Those of a communalist mindset believe that each additional child that they parent into the world should grant them a larger piece of the economic pie to be siphoned off as form of punishment from those not having produced children or not having produced by what in their standard is an acceptable number. One radical homeschooler has even insinuated that those not having at least four (the particular number he just happens to have) of harboring an insufficient love of children. It is about time to end manipulation of the tax code as a kind of mind game to trick supposedly free people into engaging in predetermined behavior of any kind.

In expanding that the family and not the individual is the building block of society, Rod Dreher expounded, “I heretically came to realize that Hillary Clinton was right: it really does take a village to raise a child. We conservatives, with our exaltation of consumer choice and the sovereign individual, were dismantling the village as effectively as the statist libertines we opposed.”

This notion of the village goes beyond simply perhaps curtailing the amount of smut broadcast on television. Rather, it allows for the COMMUNITY often in the guise of government authorities to have final say over decisions regarding your existence that might not really be based upon any principle clearly delineated in the pages of Scripture.

Dreher further elaborates regarding free market principles, “But they were based on fundamentally materialist assumptions about human nature which conservatives ought to have known were inaccurate and which would lead to a loss of purpose, of community, or idealism.”

But is it really the place of government (because that is ultimately what is meant by COMMUNITY to these neo-beatnik types) to police these matters in the lives of individuals and families? For what if these are at variance with what communal elites decide constitutes prevailing values and acceptable citizenship (for lack of a better term for those advocating for the elimination of traditional borders).

For example, what ought to happen when the COMMUNITY decides you as a professional baker you will provide your particular goods and services for gay weddings? Better yet, in such circumstances, what happens when the COMMUNITY decides that its vision of marriage not being limited between a single pair of heterosexual partners but rather open to any combination of consenting adult partners is the view to be taught to your children?

Granted, it is doubtful that a good Baptist like Russell Moore would applaud such social decay. In fact, overall the Southern Baptist Convention has stood for the God-ordained traditional heterosexual family even if a number of the association's spokesfolk have been hoodwinked into public forums and dialogs where the attendees mired in that specific inclination are not so much looking to be delivered spiritually from that particular sin but are instead attempting to lure the well-intentioned but somewhat naïve Baptist into a state of ever-increasing compromise.

Russell Moore could be one of the most prominent Baptist leaders of the twenty-first century with the possibility as many as five additional decades of theological productivity before him if he is blessed with mental vitality and a long life. As such, American Evangelicals need to be cognizant where his accumulating compromises undermine what little remains of the nation's conservative values and influence upon America's cultural institutions.

Most would agree that a progressive licentiousness pervades much of the Western world's media landscape. However, one of the few remaining areas in which conservatives of varying stripes have been able to hold their own has been talk radio.

Yet, if Russell Moore had his way, conservatives ---- particularly of the Evangelical variety --- would relinquish the ground that they hold in the media or at least moderate their tone to the extent that such voices would be indistinguishable from any other variety of broadcaster.

At the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's 2014 Leadership Summit, as that body's president, Moore said that if all he knew about Christianity was what he heard on Christian radio in the Nashville area while driving to that particular conference, he would hate Christianity too. Such an allegation, in and of itself, might have merit. The thing of it is that, since then, Moore has been disturbingly vague and elusive regarding the nature of these criticisms.

In this particular tirade, Moore said, “There are some people who believe that fidelity to the gospel simply means speaking 'you kids get off my lawn'. That is not the message of the gospel. If the call to repentance does not end with an invitation that is grounded ...in the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus we are speaking a different word than the Word that has been given.”

Such a statement is accurate if the venue and/or media under consideration is the pulpit on Sunday morning. However, talk radio (even Christian talk radio) can have a slightly different methodology dependent upon the particular program under consideration.

For example, in his tirade Russell Moore said, “If all you and I are doing is standing and speaking a word, including a truthful word, about sexual immorality...the world does not need us for that. The devil is able to do that on his own. We have not been called simply to condemn. We have been called to reconcile.”

It seems that increasingly in Dr. Moore's homiletical repertoire that “reconcile” has become a euphemism for capitulation and pandering. There is indeed more to repentance than condemnation. But in order for someone to admit that they are wrong and want to do something about that situation, doesn't the individual need to informed that they have done something wrong?

Apparently in his attempt to garner the approval of religious leftists, Russell Moore insists that the world does not need us to stand and speak against sexual immorality. But if not Christians and conservatives of various persuasions, who will be left to do so. In light of the Duggar and Bill Gothard scandals most prominently and to a lesser extent R.C. Sproul Jr's confession to his own carnal temptation, it seems this variety of compromise is even coming to grip those uplifted among us as supposedly the best that Evangelicalism has to offer.

For how long did Russell Moore listen to talk radio during the day in question? Shouldn't he be required to listen to a station's entire weekly program rotation before rendering a somewhat objective verdict that the complete Gospel message is not being presented?

Russell Moore dismisses Christian talk radio as little more than the rhetorical equivalent of “you kids get off my lawn”. But if certain people are deliberately somewhere they ought not to be doing something they definitely shouldn't be, why shouldn't they be told about it? Professional religionists and clergy such as Moore certainly don't mind letting this be known when the tithes and offering slack off.

In the effort to protect their stations and privileges placing them on a rung on the social ladder higher than that of the average pewfiller, a number of ministers like to emphasize the passage found in Ephesians 4:11 stipulating that some are called to be teachers, some pastors, and other evangelists.

So why cant this also apply to the various ministries and programs features on an average Christian radio station? Some shows might emphasize family life and personal relationships. Others such as Moore seem to prefer, according to his remarks, to focus upon explicitly evangelistic outreach. Others might be a bit more hard hitting (in a way that seems to turn off Dr. Moore) by exposing the doctrinal deficiencies in systems in competition with Christianity or the moral controversies eating away at the heart of American society or Western civilization.

Russell Moore is partially correct in that if all we know of Christianity came from the assorted radio programs broadcast in the faith's name one might very well not want anything to do with this particular religion. Does the theologian articulating such scathing remarks intend to repent of the role he has played in such a development surprisingly not always so much the result of an excess of conservatism but often times as a result of his desire to curry favor with religious leftists?

For example, as previously stated, where in the pages of Scripture is the pastor or evangelist instructed to berate the Christian for acquiring provisions from large chain retailers such as Target or Walmart? Likewise, what self-respecting White person is going to want anything to do with your religion when you rhetorically flog them for things that happened nearly half a century ago when it is often the minorities that these self-loathing Caucasians go out of their way to pander towards destroying property and threatening the innocent in the blighted urban areas?

It might be one thing to strive for the Biblical admonition to be all things to all men. However, in the way in which they attempt to do so, Southern Baptist functionaries such as Russell Moore would do well to remember that those having been loyal members all along are just as much worthy of respect and admiration as those attempting to be brought into the fold.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #106

Technically, referring to some of these countries as excrement holes would be an actual improvement as to their actual conditions.

Regarding the tolerancemongers and diversity fanatics outraged that President Trump would invoke blunt earthy language to accurately describe a number of countries.  Would these outraged voices continue to reside in neighborhoods with noticeable influxes of migrants from these particular regions continuing to adhere to the second rate standards of conduct sparking the decline of these respective homelands in the first place?  Would those placing multiculturalist dogma over survival either vacation in or retire to these particular countries?

In Venezuela, it is claimed that the starving are feeding upon flamingos and anteaters in an attempt to satiate gnawing hunger.  But the true outrage would apparently be to insinuate that this particular country is anything less than a first rate place in which to live or vacation.

For articulating earthy language to accurately describe the countries for which some of the most questionable immigrants originate, Donald Trump has been accused of taking the country to a new low.  Shouldn’t the lowest point be viewed as the moment when those that govern this nation decided not to enforce immigration law with the utmost vigor and those that guide the culture decided to allow Third World squalor to take root.

Fascinating how multiculturalists are tossing a bigger fit over Trump articulating a blunt assessment to describe certain countries than that significant numbers from these places are allowed to enter or remain here for the purposes of dragging the quality of life in this country down to Third World standards.

So was the $1000 bonus granted to many WalMart employees provided from proceeds retained from Trump tax cuts or from eliminating the positions of those having lost their jobs as a result of layoffs in the company’s Sam’s Club division?

Senator Dick Durbin has said, “I cannot believe that in the history … of that Oval Office any President has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our President speak yesterday.”  And are we to assume that when Monica Lewinsky was underneath the desk in the Oval Office and her head between the legs of Bill Clinton that he only spoke to her using terms found in Grey’s Anatomy or in Elizabethan love poetry?

So since the media has declared that we must only speak of other countries in the most glowing of terms, does that mean that the only thing that can be said of Nazi Germany is that the regime excelled at chemistry and the moving of large numbers of people by railway? Ironic that some no doubt complaining the loudest about President Trump articulating an earthy term for digestive effluent are part of the media elite slipping the term more and more into the dramatic dialog of their television and cinematic productions.

Religionists opposed to Donald Trump’s alleged articulation of an earthy term to describe certain countries is one thing.  Because at least these folks are usually consistent about it an eschew such language in all circumstances. However, the hypocritical ones are those that any other time insist such lignuistic formulations are merely words or downplay their use in such urban or ghetto artforms, instead celebrating such as expressions of the unique truth as embodied by the artists bold enough to convey them.

An U.N. spokesman has denounced President Trump’s categorization of certain countries as excrement receptacles as “shocking and shameful”.  Perhaps U.N. elites would be willing to surrender the organization’s prime New York real estate and instead set up headquarters in one of these lovely locations the foreign policy establishment apparently feels compelled to deny the prevailing conditions of.

Charlie Daniels is correct in reflecting upon the Taco Bell commercial spoofing concerns regarding the globalist conspiracy that the Illuminati is no laughing matter.  So does this often insightful country singer refute the frivolity of his classic “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” suggesting that a mere human could best the Old Deluder at Satan’s own game?

In the President’s Martin Luther King Day proclamation, Americans were told to use the day off to perform acts of service.  Given that the employed will be serving the public the other four remaining days of the week, how about directing that imperative at the deadbeats on public assistance that never get off their rears to do anything productive?

Lindsey Graham has denounced President Trump’s characterization of certain Third World nations as  “blank hole” countries. Yet in 2013 Senator Graham referred to similar places as “hellholes”. Is one acceptable because some do not even believe that the modifier describing one type of hole doesn’t even exist while proof for the other presents itself whenever someone drops a proverbial number two in the toilet?

Regarding the pastor that got up on his moral high horse regarding what the minister characterized as Trump’s “dehumanizing and ugly” remarks pertaining to certain Third World nations while Vice President Pence was in the audience.  Interesting that the church (and most likely the pastor’s residence) is located in the part of the county celebrated the world over for higher than average minority income rather than the part of the county where immigrant squalor and gang infestation predominate to the point that it rated recent coverage by the Washington Post.   

The White House website on Martin Luther KIng Day featured an essay the title of which characterized the civil rights figure as a “Model Of An American Patriot”.  Will those that regularly get jacked out of shape about President Trump’s past praise or associations with questionable entities of the AltRight pitch a hissy fit just as loud about this?  It must be admitted that King’s philosophy of judging by character rather than color is admirable. However, can someone without reservation be celebrated as a “model patriot” if there are documented instances of him working in close affiliation with people and organizations agitating on behalf of Marxist upheaval?  

Outcry has erupted over the deportation of a 39 year old father of two residing with his family in Detroit who has been living in America as an illegal since he was 10 years old.  This raises a number of questions. First, if his family is not accompanying him by choice, doesn’t that mean that they love the American standard of living more than their father?  Do religionists such as Russell Moore and even James Dobson have anything to say about that? They certainly don’t mind invoking alleged Hispanic family values when these can be invoked to bash the rest of us over the head as supposedly being morally superior to those of the average American.  Second, if it is not the American legal system that will not allow his family to accompany him back to his homeland, shouldn’t humanitarian and related bleeding heart types be as vocal in their condemnation of Mexican immigration law as they usually are of that of the United States?

A Christianity Today article is titled, “What Student Ministry Really Needs? Homework”.  Maybe so. But how is a church or youth ministry going to compel such? If students don’t do the homework assignments of their formalized schooling, they will fail which will prevent them from entering college or even obtaining a desirable job.  But if church gets too pushy about assignments, the student is simply not going to return to the church.

According to the Federalist, actor Kevin Sorbo  --- best known to genre fans as Hercules from “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”  and as Captain Dylan Hunt in “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” and to Christian audiences from the film “God’s Not Dead --- has been preemptively banned from East Coast ComiCon.  Interestingly, this is news to the actor as he revealed to the Federalist that he had no plans on attending that particularly convention in the first place. In the article, others claimed to have been similarly blacklisted by Marvel over matters of ideology.  Seems the company has more in common with Hydra than Captain America. Perhaps it is about time for conservatives of assorted varieties to organize their own pop culture conventions or even zine and small press festivals.

In an article titled, “Moralism Is Not The Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is), Southern Baptist Theologian Albert Mohler points out this important observation.  But there is no self-reflective criticism in this essay where he points out where his own ministry has fallen short of this noble realization. For nowhere in the Scripture does one find the condemnation Mohler himself propagates of those not having married by the time they are 25 years of age.  What he teaches in this regard is merely personal opinion that has no place in a pulpit claiming to stand for Sola Scriptura.

In an op-ed, Senator John McCain has issued a warning about President Donald Trump’s constant attacks against the media.  It is the Senator’s concern that these will harm democracy. As if his own McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act with its own suppression of free speech raised to the level of statutory law with threats of severe punishments did not.  While concerning, about all Trump has really done thus far is to shoot off at the mouth. Like it or not, that is still an act protected by the First Amendment.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, March 5, 2018

Scanners Set To Discernment Part 1: Introduction To UFO's & Christianity

Monday, February 12, 2018

Would A Dung Pile By Any Other Name Smell As Sweet?

Responses have poured in over President Trump's use of blunt earthy language to describe a number of countries from which migrants of dubious quality have poured across the border often with little regard for various immigration laws.

A spokesman for the African Union remarked, “Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice.”

That translates as how dare a White person contradict the threatening ultimatums of a vaunted minority.

It's rather ironic that a propagandist from an organization once controlled by Muamar Qaddaffi would lecture America regarding “accepted behavior and practice”. For just how are we going to define that?

In many parts of that continent, slavery and the mass murder of religious dissidents are still considered “accepted behavior and practice”.

And the way women are treated there such as property to be bought and sold and their genitals mutilated make Harvey Weinstein look like the proverbial gentle and solicitous lover.

So when can we expect the MeToo movement to educate the public about the horrors that transpire in these cesspool nations we are threatened with retaliation regarding if we classify them as anything other than picturesque vacation and real estate investment locations?

President Trump's critical assessment of the world might be jarring to those that prefer a genteel approach where certain realities are downplayed nearly to the point of denial.

However, it was this sort of tendency pursued as regular practice by the Foggy Bottom diplomatic-industrial complex that has resulted in a global situation where America is no longer feared and regularly taken advantage of.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #103

If it is a rule that NFL players must stand during the National Anthem and a rule that players can't engage in showboating gyrations following a touchdown, on what grounds now is it legitimate to penalize a player that engages in celebratory dance?

A homily posted at SermonAudio is titled “Signs Of I Spiritual Immaturity”. A foremost one ought to be that this pastor in question went on for 92 minutes on this one topic.

Having returned from a tour of assorted Reformation sites in Europe, home school activist Kevin Swanson in a SermonAudio podcast now thinks it is his place to hand down decrees as to how you are obligated to spend your vacation. If that sort of itinerary emphasizing ecclesiastical tourism now makes him spiritually superior to other believers, how does that differ appreciably than medieval Catholic pilgrimages?

It was posted at SermonAudio by one minister having returned from a tour of religiously significant sites in Europe that many Christians leave Jesus out of their vacations. So unless you are being explicitly religious at all times as you relax, your weekend at the beach or afternoon at the local amusement park is now the equivalent of Thai sex tourism.

It was astutely pointed out in a sermon that the Christian must be careful in desiring to the point of envy the blessings God has given someone else but not intended for you. It should also be pointed out for the need of other Christians not to look down on those or to hinder the opportunities of others to whom God has not extended certain blessings that organized religion often instead views as life milestones that indicate that those having not experienced them for whatever reason are morally or spiritually deficient.

Frankly, Americans ought to be less offended about a President calling on professional athletes to stand during the National Anthem than these Presidents demanding we give back to the COMMUNITY with uncompensated voluntarism as if what we do for pay is of no public benefit.

In support of the professional athletes disrespecting the national anthem and the flag, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church in a SermonAudio podcast remarked how America is still racially divided and how 11 AM Sunday is still allegedly the most “segregated” hour of the week. So which of the all White pastoral staff is going to resign so that a minority can hired to start the racial healing that these ministers are demanding of the remainder of us?

It is being suggested that Americans should be required to pass a mental fitness evaluation up to and including a record free of depression before being allowed to own a firearm. What would then prevent such a requirement from being placed upon other constitutional liberties before a citizen would be permitted to exercise such rights?

Why do we need to ban silencers if they were not used in the Las Vegas attack? A silencer is not part of the gun that kills a person. Most really know no more about silencers than they do lightsabers. They are nothing more than something fascinatingly spooky that has been seen in a movie.

Moron pundit Joe Scarborough claims that the only reason civilians stockpile weapons is in order to kill American soldiers or the government. But isn't that the primary reason why law enforcement and military also stockpile weapons in order to coerce compliance from civilian populations?

It was said on Saturday Night Live in reference to guns, no one needs 47 of anything. Does that include the number of sex partners had by the average homosexual or even straight deviant of whom an inordinate number of entertainers rank?

Rush Limbaugh is concerned that President Trump is becoming increasingly dictatorial. In particular, the broadcasting legend is referring to Trump's ongoing remarks regarding the intentional disrespect of the flag and national anthem on the part of a number of professional athletes. But wouldn't Limbaugh's keenly analytical mind be better directed towards the hints on the part of Trump threatening the revocation of broadcast licenses over news coverage critical of administration policy?

For leaving a game amidst NFL players refusing to respect the National Anthem, Vice President Mike Pence has been accused of political grandstanding. So how is what he did any more reprehensible than the actions of the recalcitrant athletes? Why must their rights of conscience by celebrated but not those of the Vice President?

A pastor remarked that, if you don't like an opinion articulated by a pastor, you should not leave the church because the pastor is merely exercising his First Amendment rights. But what about the First Amendment rights of the mere pewfiller to find a church the matches closest with their particular understanding of doctrine and its application in the life of the believer?

Diversitymongers have condemned a group of Poles that gathered along the border of that Eastern European nation in an act of prayer. Critics opposing this event claimed that this mass invocation of deity could be construed as a deliberate refusal to accept Islamic migration into the country. So apparently Poles aren't allowed to preserve their heritage but little is apparently said when Islamic regimes execute converts in order to preserve theirs.

A church that actually tossed its support in favor of the anti-American NFL protesters remarked that there is actually nothing the NFL could do that would prevent most American men from watching football. To watch or not to watch in light of these developments is an individual decision and not exactly one where church leaders ought to be making “Thus sayeth the Lord” style proclamations.

Interesting how Michael Savage buttered up to Laura Ingraham on his 10/11/17 broadcast. I remember him at one time deriding her as “that woman that always wears a cross” as if he didn't even know her name.

Producers of the upcoming flop Star Trek: Discovery revealed that the new version of the Klingons are based upon Trump voters in that the characters are advocates of genetic purity. As if the moronic Federation and Starfleet policy that all philosophies are equal is workable and wouldn't lead to civilization's collapse. If anything, Trump would be more like a Ferengi. It is a shame that those now granted control over this venerable science fiction series understand neither current events or the backgrounds of these characters.

President Bush said White supremacy and bigotry are blasphemy against American values. And Black Lives Matter, La Raza, Islamic jihadism, and Jewish supremacism are not?

Soon one will need an ID or even a passport (if one's home state is not in compliance with the Real ID Act) to travel between domestic airports within the United States (but apparently not to vote). Mark these words. Just as it is now against the law to withdraw an amount from the bank less than the amount that now triggers the scrutiny of revenuers if for the purposes to evade these reporting requirements, citizens will be subjected to criminal penalties if it is learned they selected a mode of transportation other than flight in order to avoid this form of intrusive surveillance.

If these actresses were so appalled to find out what Hollywood producers were really like (something known since the middle decades of the past century), why didn't they return to lives of relative obscurity such as Walmart cashiers? Some of what has been exposed is akin to going on American Idol and being shocked when Simon Cowell proceeds to berate you for a shoddy performance.

Even if not himself guilty of any direct incident, in regards to sexual harassment and the verbal mistreatment of WOMEEEENNN, isn't Howard Stern the equivalent of Tokyo Rose or Jane Fonda in Hanoi?

Donald Trump has Tweeted: "Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened." That means secret society elites will have the final say as to whether or not this information is released. And if it is, what proof will we have that it is complete or not doctored?

Regarding those wanting to ban Civil War reenactments. If that form of free speech and right to assemble can be infringed upon, why not also ban Antifa and Black Lives Matter while we are at it? There is nothing in the First Amendment about those wanting to assemble on public land being required to meet a specific ideological threshold.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, January 8, 2018

You Wouldn't Want To Live At The Time Of Christ's Birth

A line of narrative in a Christmas cantata described the time in which Christ was born as “simpler”.

One could legitimately say that era in question was certainly less technologically advanced.

However, a case could be made that life then was actually much more complex and complicated to navigate.

Most today might want to get away from the ubiquitousness of their gadgets for a time.

However, would anyone from today really want to remain in such a setting?

It's doubtful most of us would survive for very long, but that is nothing to be ashamed of as we were not meant to be in that time.

The infrastructure of Bethlehem, and probably even the most advanced cities of that day such as Rome or Athens, was so lacking at the time that Mary had to give birth in a barn.

Statistically, just think how many other women had children that night traveling to fulfill the requirements of the census with less of a guarantee that the child was going to survive until adulthood.

Most of the discerning distrust the government now.

But despite the shortcomings of these agencies, have any of us faced the military or law enforcement deliberately killing all of the babies of a particular town just for spite?

IRS requirements to file taxes are burdensome and frustrating enough; however, at least we are not required to return to our respective hometowns in order to do so.

The celebrations of Christmas beautifully announce to the world that the Savior entered into it so that we might be redeemed from the consequences of our sin.

However, we also need a reminder that the world into which the Messiah willingly entered ultimately to die at the time was neither all that joyful or beautiful.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, November 27, 2017

Corporatists Profit From Christmas While Subtly Mocking It

Over the past couple of decades, the cultured despisers of religion have attempted to undermine celebrations primarily Christian in nature through outright bans of the symbols commemorating a particularly beloved time of year.

However, such efforts have proven largely unsuccessful.

Americans have resisted with such vehemence that the nation elected a President that raised the issue of referring to December 25th explicitly as Christmas nearly to the level of a plank in his campaign platform.

As masters of psychological warfare, secularists now seem to be pursuing a strategy where, if one cannot outright ban Christmas, one can at least insert messages disrespecting the holiday into the advertising pervasive throughout ubiquitous media.

In one advertisement, instead of a baby Jesus figurine resting in the manger, a British bakery replaced the Christ child with a partially masticated sausage role.

Given that sausage is often composed of swine parts that cannot be consumed as other cuts of meat, would this business if its executives desired continued existence portrayed Muhammad in a similarly flippant manner?

And speaking of Muslims, adherents of that particular faith are utilized in another marketing endeavor on the part of a business wanting to brand itself as slapping Christians across the face.

In a commercial produced by a British supermarket chain, those depicted are asked what it is that they like to eat for Christmas.

One of the families asked is not simply Muslim but there is no denying such as they are depicted in the head garb distinctive to hardline interpretations of that faith.

One might legitimately respond that the beauty of Christmas is that anyone is free to celebrate the joy of that particular season.

After all, Christmas is big business in Japan with the majority of the population there being Shinto and/or Buddhist.

However, the obliteration of Western civilization has not been a particular goal of the Japanese since the end of World War II.

It has been admitted that a number of Muslims do not so much wear these outfits out of a sense of piety or modesty but rather as a way to explicitly articulate their animosity towards Christendom and to do their part to see that that particular way of life is replaced with a global caliphate.

As in the case of the sausage role advertisement, could a similar commercial be produced where the roles are reversed where a Saudi Arabian grocery asked Christians residing there how they enjoy Ramadan with the Christians responding with a nice succulent pork chop or a crispy piece of bacon?

Corporate media is so deliberate in nature that nothing within the messages it propagates is an accident or mere coincidence.

As such, if an aspect of such can be construed as disrespectful of either Christmas or Christianity, it is pretty safe to assume such was the intention of the mind composing such a sentiment.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 5

Sadly though, this is the age of extremes. On the one hand, there are Christians that no doubt find Disney classics such as “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Pinocchio” too racy for their tastes. And on the other, there are those professing to be Christians that cannot adopt quickly enough the popular fads and affectations of any particular moment. One prominent example of overeager accommodation to the spirit of the time is the Emergent Church movement.

If one is to chastise the Evangelical and Fundamentalist wings of Christianity for overly embracing social conservatism as epitomized by the Republican Party, to remain consistent one would also be required to enunciate an admonishment against the Emergent Church’s headlong rush into what could probably be described as countercultural liberalism. Realizing the sway postmodernism has over Western society and the power of its methodology to expose potentially hidden hypocrisies and inconsistencies, advocates of the Emerging Church believe that the wiser course may be to surf the postmodern wave on a Christian board than to firmly plant one's feet and fight against the tide.

Emergent Church leaders such as Brian McLaren hope that the postmodernist impulse to examine and in most cases set aside the cultural assumptions often below the surface we are not aware of will assist believers to get back to the earliest expressions of the Christian faith that existed before it was institutionalized as a socio-cultural edifice. McLaren views the impact of modernity upon the Church as having been especially deleterious.

Fundamentalists not that familiar with the direction in which McLaren takes his analysis might initially think they have found an ally in McLaren. However, in many respects, McLaren is harder on those one might categorize as conservative Evangelicals than he is on the shortcomings of the contemporary world.

According to McLaren, modernity in the West has fostered the desire to conqueror and control all of the structures of reality from the physical to the epistemological through the process of scientific analysis and classification. The result has been to mechanize all of existence (including human beings) to the point where the souls encountered by the Christian and the resulting relationships are not seen as ends in themselves worthy of care and nurture but rather as strategic stepping stones simply along the path to accumulating conversion statistics (230).

Concerns raised by McLaren regarding authenticity are quite valid. Even for those that have been Christians for years and even decades, it is easy in a megachurch setting to feel like little more than a statistic used to justify the next phase of the building expansion while in a small church it is easy to come away with the sense that one is not welcome unless one is in complete enthusiastic agreement on nonessentials if one is an average pewsitter. However, there are a number of dangers that result from the Emergent Church's posture against dogmatism.

According to McLaren, the modern age was marked by a quest for certainty and absolute knowledge (230). In the Church, this has manifested itself in the tendency to insist upon an exclusivity of belief that points out the deficiencies of competing faiths and emphasizes the superiority of Biblical revelation. Of this approach to matters of theology and religion, R.Scott Smith writes, “In that process...faith tends to be treated as a rigid belief system that must be accepted instead of a unique, joyful way of living, loving, and serving (230).”

Ideally in a world accepting of and at peace with the Gospel, that would be how Christ would be introduced to those hungering to have their sins forgiven and life more abundantly. And though the Christian must always strive to show as much respect and kindness to the unbeliever as possible, neither can it be ignored that the world has been so warped by sin that Satan is always on the prowl seeking those whom he may devour. There are those out there that are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing seeking to infiltrate the church for the sole purposes of destroying it.

There are things that are just plain wrong. Both clergy and possibly even more so the laity must be on guard against them.

If the Christian does not possess an existential certainty that makes the leap of faith from the ledge of high factual probability, though one does not attend to secure salvation one can think of a number of more enjoyable ways to spend Sunday morning. A number of these would include remaining in ones nocturnal raiment rather than slipping into the most uncomfortable garments likely hanging in one's closet. More importantly, if one is to be of the mindset that it is improper to point out where other faiths and creeds do not measure up to Christianity, how are the young to protect themselves when these competitors attempt to lure them away? For especially when (as in the case of Islam) these outlooks have no qualms about insisting upon the superiority of their own practices and dogmas.

To the Christian fatigued by some of extremist Fundamentalism's rules which in some circles extend to no facial hair on men despite there being no Biblical mandate for such a grooming preference, the care free times of the Emergent Church with its disdain for systematized doctrine may sound like a relief. However, once the prospective adherent delves deeper into the movement, disillusioned Fundamentalists may discover they have merely exchanged one form of excessive control for another.

R. Scott Smith writes in his analysis of the Emergent Church that Brian McLaren believes, "modernity has emphasized inordinately the autonomous individual ... Likewise the church has perpetuated this individualism to the detriment of the body of Christ (230).” This assumption is itself in need of careful examination.

If by this McLaren means that under the banner of modernity that many an individual has abused the freedoms of the contemporary world to ignore those behavioral restrictions given to us that a percentage find stifling or inconvenient, he could very well be correct. Yet in a Time Magazine profile naming him one of the nation‘s most prominent Evangelicals, McLaren did not seem all that concerned about the growing support for gay marriage and homosexual intimacy. To McLaren, lamenting the advance of individuality means something else entirely.

For example, in an interview broadcast in June 2010 on Issues Etc. with Todd Wilken, McLaren kept emphasizing that Jesus did not so much come into the world to live the sinless life that we could not, die in our place as the penalty for our sins, and rise from the dead so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him in Heaven. To McLaren, the traditional Christian emphasis of Christ’s work of reconciling the individual to God in preparation for eternity is secondary to establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth.

To McLaren, the transforming power of Christ is not so much about the changing of the human heart one individual at a time on a level imperceptible to merely human eyes. McLaren believes that such shifts in consciousness or perception (to borrow New Age and postmodernist phraseology) need to be societal or planetary. However, such a revolution would not so much turn the world into one giant campus extension of Bob Jones University or Pensacola Christian College campus with well intentioned busybodies armed with rulers measuring to see if young men's haircuts are short enough, young ladies' hemlines long enough, and a respectable distance kept between the two sexes as they perambulate down the street.

Things would, more likely, come to resemble a form of religious socialism where the morality of an economic decision would not be determined by how well it benefited the individual or by how closely it adhered to the explicit dictates of Scripture but instead by the criteria of how it benefited the overall group, predetermined oppressed classes such as ethnic minorities, and whether or not the decision adhered to the consensus of the community. McLarenite Emergent Church types have often condemned how those on the Evangelical Right have long served as the dupes of the Republican Party; however, those enunciating such criticisms have turned right around and snuggled up with Christian leftists such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo who have little problem with homosexual domestic partnerships or professed Communists such as the Sandinistas of Nicaragua.

In every direction the Christian turns, he finds adherents of every conceivable worldview gaining ground throughout Western civilization and around the world. Constantly bombarded by these competing perspectives, after a while the mentally fatigued believer can grow so weary that it is easy to throw up one's hands wondering what is the point in even trying anymore. Often it is concluded that the best strategy would be to cordon ourselves off in a Christian subculture in the attempt to preserve sound doctrine and their family's spiritual purity.

Though that might be a noble sounding justification, it is often not the case. Often on the grounds of aspiring to a simple "just give me Jesus" kind of faith, many believers shut down their minds all together to the point of where they do not only fail to familiarize themselves with the knowledge of their adversaries but also fall into appalling ignorance of Christian things as well.

William Lane Craig points out in the essay "In Intellectual Neutral" that, on tests of generalized knowledge (think of the Jaywalking segments from the Tonight Show), Christian young people faired little better than their unbelieving counterparts. Of these findings, Craig concludes, "If Christian students are this ignorant of the general facts of history and geography then the chances are that they...are equally or even more ignorant of the facts of our own Christian heritage and doctrine...If we do not preserve the truth of our Christian heritage and doctrine, who will learn it for us (5)?"

Thus, when the Christian disengages from what are snidely referred to these days as the "Culture Wars" as if our way of life was somehow not worthy of preserving or fighting for, he does not succeed so much in keeping himself from deeds he considers impure such as heated disagreement and argument. Rather the result of such surrender is ultimately the erosion of our civilization if Christians do not rise to the challenge in a variety of venues ranging from government, academia, and even the new social media such as blogs and podcasts. If such happens, those trapped by the blinders of secularism may never otherwise be exposed to these ideas and concepts.

As a neglected discipline in many Christian circles, it becomes an easy temptation for those enthusiastic to promote a more intellectually rigorous and vital expression of the faith to downplay more existentialist manifestations of it. However, if anything, one thing that can be adapted from the Emergent Church movement is the need to be consistent and authentic in regards to how our lives should reflect closely the things that we say.

In Ecclesiastes 1:9, scripture assures that there is nothing new under the sun. Sean McDowell in the essay “Apologetics For An Emerging Generation” insists that, despite the complexities with which the issues dress themselves when confronting the inhabitants of the contemporary world, the young continue to ask the same but profoundly deep questions that they always have (260).

Therefore, it remains essential for the Christian to remain grounded in the foundations of the faith as well as familiar with the assorted challenges always arising to undermine the faith once delivered unto the saints.

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 4

Western religions following the close of ancient history are perhaps best categorized as monotheistic in nature where the deity is a singular entity personally distinct from its creation and where the adherents of these respective faiths hope to obtain a blissful afterlife as distinct individual beings by gaining the favor of their respective deity following the conclusion of their corporeally linear existence. Though it would be intellectually dishonest to flippantly dismiss all Eastern religions as the same, but as with their counterparts in the Western division, those in this category also share a number of characteristics with one another. For the most part, Eastern religions tend to believe that individuals are continually reincarnated into this plane of physical reality as they attempt to achieve a sense of detachment so that they might achieve what amounts to an enlightened obliteration of the self through a merger with the cosmic unity (158). These concepts are such a stark contrast with the Christian worldview that the Christian will need to compare a number of the ideas fundamental to a Biblical understanding of reality with those advocated by the Eastern outlook.

One of the most profound differences between Christianity and Eastern religious is how each believes truth is arrived at. Christianity believes that God has revealed Himself through the word of His propositional revelation and the Incarnation of His Word in the from of His Son Jesus Christ. Of the Eastern religions, on the other hand, Harold Netland writes, "In attaining religious truth, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism give priority to mystical or introspective experiences based on rigorous meditative disciplines which are said to provide direct unmediated access to ultimate reality (163)."

In other words, Christians focus outward to gain understanding whereas the adherents of the great Oriental traditions look inside themselves. This is especially evidenced by the two foremost figures these respective faith groupings are roughly organized around: the Christ and the Buddha.

The purpose of Buddha was to get the individual to realize that the individual has within themselves the wherewithal to bring about their own enlightenment and to detach themselves from the states of being that bring about their own suffering. The purpose of Christ, on the other hand, was to get the individual to realize that they were so stained by sin that there was nothing that the individual could do to achieve his own salvation and that individuals had to look outward from themselves towards a savior, that being none other than Jesus Christ.

Since Christianity is focused outward in its offering of a solution to the travails in which each and every one of us finds ourselves, as a system it corresponds better to both the objective and existential aspects of reality. In his journey to Japan, theologian Paul Tillich learned that, should an historian ever persuasively make the case based on research findings that Gautama Siddhartha never actually existed, such a discovery for the most part would not adversely impact Buddhist teaching (165). However such would not be the case regarding Christianity, which is so linked to the existence, actions, and nature of its founder that if He did not do what the accounts of Him claim, we of all men would be the most miserable according to I Corinthians 15:19.

Despite standing in contrast to many of Christianity’s most basic assumptions, the objective student and observer of religion (even if standing within a Christian framework of belief) must admit that the most devoted adherents of the respective Eastern creeds practice a rigorous form of self-discipline as they attempt to master the urges that exert an undue influence over the individual throughout the earthly life. Though many are opposed to the idea of relying solely on a savior for their salvation and find an allure in the Eastern notion of looking for the answers to the mysteries of life and the cosmos within themselves, they do not necessarily find the idea of rigorous self denial all that appealing (at least for themselves anyway with pleas of sacrifice for the greater good something to rather motivate and govern the lower classes of the less-spiritually inclined by).

Thus in a process not all that dissimilar to the operation of the Hegelian dialectic where two competing or even diametric ideas are brought together and melded together to form a synthesis incorporating aspects of each, Eastern and Western outlooks have formed a coalition perspective in what since the 1960's and 1970's has come to be known as the New Age movement.

Like the Eastern worldview, the New Age outlook essentially sees the totality of reality as a singular unity with the individual in a sense being akin to a single cell in the comprehensive cosmic mind (175). As in the case of the Eastern faiths, L.Russ Bush writes, "...the New Age movement emphasizes the human problem as ignorance with salvation coming through enlightenment and self-effort (176)."

However, in the New Age movement, the approach and outcomes of this awareness are a bit more decidedly Western in their appearance. For example, in Eastern brands of yoga the purpose is more about detaching the soul from the body in preparation for spiritual states such as nirvana. To Westerners, however, yoga is packaged not only as about the quest for inward universal truths but also about improving one's body and success in life.

Thus, for at least those in the movement's elite, there is a considerable emphasis upon the self. L. Russ Bush categorizes the emphasis upon the here and now rather than a future heaven as "This worldliness”. Of this state, he writes, “...the New Age is focused on the here and now; it is not a pie-in-the-sky sort of faith; it is belief that the New Age is itself the here and now and for this world and its people; it looks forward to an earthly transformation, not a heavenly one (180).” What is not as often brought out to the gullible along this worldview’s outer fringes is the number that those in the higher echelons believe must be eliminated or perhaps “deliberately progressed” to more advanced levels of disembodied consciousness in order for this utopia to be brought about.

The New Age has become so ingrained throughout American society that it no longer seems as novel as at the time when its name was coined. Now, certain interpretations of this brand of spirituality quietly just about serve as the respectable backdrop of establishmentarian popular culture. For example, Star Wars is no doubt one of the most beloved movie epics of the last 50 years. However, to a percentage of its viewers, it is far more than an invigorating afternoon’s diversion. It has been reported that a number of “Jedi churches” have popped up among fans that have taken enthusiasm for the films to the next level of adoration and devotion.

Those grounded in the real world will think those taking entertainment this seriously have sniffed too many musty comic books. However, beneath the dramatic adventure and impressive special effects, Star Wars was not created solely for entertainment purposes. George Lucas, who considered himself something of a student of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, created Star Wars to serve as a mythology for the contemporary world.

This claim can be substantiated in regards to those scenes from the films where the nature of the Force is expounded upon. For example, of the Force, Yoda (the primary exponent of these teachings) ruminates, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

And like New Age conceptions of the essence that runs through the universe, the Force is not a conscious person concerned about the distinctions between good and evil as evidenced by the Dark Side’s primary devotee Darth Vader who it turns out is actually the saga’s focal character as the tale centers around his embracing of the Dark Side and reentering into the Light when he saves his son Luke from Vader’s Sith Master Emperor Palpatine. This act was cast not in terms of the triumph of good over evil but rather as merely restoring balance in an almost Taoist manner.

The extent to which these various worldviews have permeated contemporary culture as to the extent Star Wars has has forced the Christian to walk a precarious tightrope. On the one hand, there isn’t a person in the United States today that hasn’t had some kind of negative encounter with those that could be classified as stereotypical legalistic Christians.

Enthusiastic believers are to be commended for the seriousness with which they take their Christian walk if it is ultimately in Christ’s redemptive and free offer of salvation that they are truly trusting rather than in a rigorous adherence to a body of systematized rules, some of which are interpretations of certain Biblical injunctions rather than explicit Scriptural commands. However, in doing so, are such believers really equipping themselves to reach out to others that have become mired in these deceptive worldviews? Furthermore, by cordoning themselves off to such an extent in relation to things such as Star Wars, Stargate, and Star Trek, these Christians are denying themselves what amounts to an innocent good time and are not doing as much as they initially think to protect their children by failing to teach them how to sift the wheat from the chaff in relation to cinematic and literary productions.

By Frederick Meekins