Thursday Review

One of the interesting things about Progressives is that they often don’t even consider any alternate view outside their blinder-narrowed field of vision. For instance, in the words of on Obamacare Navigator (who we pay to help get people to sign up for Obamacare):

“I just thought it was very wrong that people didn’t have health care,” Yannone says. “That’s it. That’s not a political agenda. I mean, I don’t even know what a political agenda is. It’s injustice to have people losing their homes and being stuck in terrible jobs that they hate, just because of insurance, or terrible relationships, abusive relationships, because of lack of health care.

In her mind, saying it’s “unjust” for people not to have health care isn’t a “political agenda.” Another example: In a story about being a work from home mom, Karen Alpert says it’s the worst of all possible worlds, because she’s there, but she has to tell her children to leave her alone while she’s working. Her assumption is obviously that the most important thing she can teach her children is that mommy is always there — in other words, that the world revolves around them, and her emotions about them. Forget teaching them that work is an important part of life, and that you have to learn to balance work and family no matter where you work. In another episode of progressive belly button gazing, there is now a huge argument breaking out over whether Bonhoeffer was gay or not. Let me explain something really slowly to the progressives reading this… Not everyone in the world defines their entire worldview, friends, foods, cars, and voting pattern based on their what they desire in the way of sex. In fact, the evidence is that Bonhoeffer was a virgin when he died, and that he was engaged to a young woman — that he was just a man who had deep friendships with other men. When we stretch every situation to find some ulterior sexual preference, we’ve just lost track of the real world.

On the Obamacare front:

Some folks just don’t know what the word “safe” means. Safe for the illegals crossing the border (it’s not), safe for the people living on the border (it’s not), or safe for liberals pushing their agenda?

Why do Jews vote so consistently Democrat? “American Jews overwhelmingly tend to vote Democrat for one simple reason: they see the choice as being between 1) the Democrats and their belief in nothing versus 2) the Republicans and their beliefs based on their Christian faith and heritage.”

We clearly have an obsession with female barrenness — from the way things look, to our insistence on abortion, to out view of modern government as the childless nurse acting as a “mother” to the entire ward. As the Federalist points out:

The logic of neutral male rationality, gendered but sexless, has given way to the logic of therapeutic administration—prefigured by Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Big Nurse, as she’s otherwise known, is a transitional figure between the old American regime and the new. A former Army nurse, Ratched is machine-like, robotic, bent on total control and orthogonal order. In that sense, she still inhabits the world of unsexed, male-gendered rationalism. But that should not mask the sea change that Ken Kesey detected. Goethe, as Philip Rieff reminds us, considered it “a fact that humanity will ultimately triumph”; he only feared, however, “that at the same time the world will become one great hospital in which one man will be the other’s humane nurse.” Social order, Goethe predicted, would become more female in gender; but in its rationalization and universalization, it would become female in an unsexed way. In place of the old regime’s male-gendered rule, defined by its figurative sterility, the new officialdom gives us female-gendered rule—defined by its figurative barrenness.

The-Alinsky-approach-to-mandatory-birth-control

A constant meme on the progressive left is that religion is bad for people, given the wars started in the name of religion (and ignoring the number of people killed in the name of attempting to build the socialist utopia), the sexual repression of religion, etc. It turns out that, at least in the case of marriage, it’s not religion that’s the problem. It’s playing at being religious — religion as a culture, rather than religion as an actual worldview. I suspect this is true across the board.

Want to know how those climate reports are really written? Governments spend a lot of time trying to change the contents to get the message of “big government is really needed to solve this climate problem” across as forcefully as possible. And you thought it was all about science…

Modern Public School Teaching

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The Progressive Gaffe Machine

What happens when you believe reality is optional? What generally happens is that awkward moment when reality intrudes.

Jonathan Gruber is something of an “important person” in the progressive world — in fact, he’s the architect of Obamacare, and an economist at that fount of knowledge known as MIT. After the recent could ruling stating that the law, as passed by Congress, means what it says, he drove the progressive narrative that the law was written that way by way of a mistake. Congress, he says, meant to allow the Federal Government, as a “state,” to be able to build Obamacare exchanges, as well as provide subsidies (using money taken from other people, of course) to those who enroll in these exchanges. The problem is that he’s been caught on tape saying just the opposite — that the intent of the law is to only allow States (as in individual states, not the Federal Government — the one thing you can count on in any argument with a progressive is that the meaning of words will “progress” until they mean what they want them to mean) to build exchanges and give out these subsidies. His reaction? His “off the cuff remarks” in this speech were also a mistake. Except that now a recording or two have shown up where he’s making the same argument in a speech from writing, and in articles he’s written. Jonathan Gruber, meet Humpty Dumpty.

Liberal Hollywood types are always taking to the screen to tell us how we should live our lives — for instance, to tell us that we really should force one person to pay another person what they call a “living wage.” Now the question is — do they, themselves, pay people a living wage, say, for instance, for holding that umbrella up to preserve their complexion, or for photoshopping their features so they’re always beautiful? Awkward.

Or what about when a company pushing for amnesty because “there aren’t enough people to fill high tech jobs” lays off thousands? Awkward.

When a liberal objects to the US Government sending thousands of illegal border crossers to his state, even while objecting to stopping these people from coming across the border, and insisting on “amnesty?” Awkward.

When a major progressive media outlet runs a story about “the five most dangerous guns,” that exposes complete ignorance about firearms? Awkward.

When a US President supports Islamic insurgents that then kill a US Ambassador, and then causes the entire embassy staff to be removed from the nation because the situation is too unstable to maintain an American presence, well, that’s awkward.

When Hollywood stars who want to tell us what to think, and how to think it, get caught in sexy pictures posted on the Internet, and then declare “I am not a role model,” that’s awkward. You see, you can’t tell us what to think unless you’re a, well… role model.

When the liberal meme about girls and engineering are destroyed by looking at the facts? Awkward.

When the (female) CEO of a company says women can’t really have it all? Awkward.

Never Mind

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For the Least of These…

One particular passage of Scripture that is often used to argue for government care of the poor is Matthew 25:34-46:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We should care for “the least of these,” we are told, based on this passage, as the “least of these,” are the poor, the children, and the “oppressed” throughout the world. But is this really what Jesus is teaching in this passage? Let’s ask some questions of the context and the passage itself to find out.

First, what is the context of this passage? It is the final judgment and the return of Christ. During this final judgment, some people are taken to heaven (the sheep), and others are condemned to the fire reserved for Satan and his angels (the goats). Clearly, then, we can take this passage to mean that if you don’t care for the poor, the prisoner, and the sick, you are going to be condemned to hell, right? If this is so, then what does faith have to do with salvation? Just as clearly, then, this cannot have anything to do with Christian life — for Christians are saved by faith, not by works.

As an aside, before moving to the second point, consider this: even if this passage does teach that salvation is dependent on caring for “the least of these,” this doesn’t mean we should push the government to care for them — it means we should care for them. Everyone who says, “we should take money from rich people to care for the poor” is stepping outside the bounds of what the Scriptures actually teach.

Leaving the aside, we have another problem within the larger context of the Scriptures. If we continue to Acts 3:1-3, we find a particular man who encounters Peter:

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.

What do we know about this man? First, that he is a man, not a boy. Second, that he has been carried to the Temple gate each day at the ninth hour to ask for alms. Based on these two facts, we can deduce a third: Jesus must have walked past this man at some point in his ministry. Jesus must have walked past this man in his ministry, and yet the man was still lame (sick) and therefore still poor. This gives rise to a larger problem in the context of the Gospels.

There is no-one who can claim Jesus did not practice what he preached. If Jesus preached giving to the poor until they were no longer poor, why were there still poor in the land when Jesus was resurrected? If Jesus preached caring for the sick, and Jesus was able to heal the sick, then why were there any sick in the land when Jesus was resurrected? Could it be that we’ve missed the point of the miracles of Christ? Could it be that in making the words of Christ here say that we should give to anyone who is poor, we have injected meaning that isn’t there?

Moving from context to the actual passage, we find a curious phrase, “the least of these.” Who are “the least of these?” Does this mean everyone on the face of the Earth? Or does it mean something else? Remember — the context is the return of Christ, and the judgment following, so what you see in this passage is going to depend on whether you think Christ has already returned (amillennial) or will return (premillennial). If you believe Christ has already returned — a position unsupportable within the Scriptures themselves — then these words have already been fulfilled. Having already been fulfilled, there is little sense in applying them today.

If you believe Christ is yet to return, these words must somehow fit into that return. Are they the Jews who are persecuted during the tribulation? Are they the Christians sent out to proclaim the Gospel during the last days? Are they followers of Christ who are slain during the Tribulation? There are solid grounds for reading the passage to mean each of the above — I personally take it to mean the care of any and all who are followers of Christ, Jew or Gentile, during the tribulation — but in any of these three cases it doesn’t apply to the general population of the world today.

None of this is to say that Christians shouldn’t care for the poor, the sick, or those in prison.

What this does say is that we should care for them within a Christian framework, informed by the Tanach. We should be careful of their spiritual health as much as their physical health. Which prompts a series of questions.

Is it better to care for the poor on an individual basis, or through government programs?

Is it better to encourage economic development, and the unmasking of the socialism that has left Central America such a mess, or to allow anyone who wants into the country in, and to increase the growth of the socialism that has driven these people from their own homes?

Is it better to teach people to care for themselves, or to care for them?

No, blithely repeating “it’s for the least of these,” won’t work, no matter how you frame the issue. It’s a misuse of the Scriptures, and the programs supported by this misuse of the Scriptures are actually causing more spiritual damage than they are spiritual good.

Human Shields

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Progressive Xenophobia Rising

Every now and then an incident occurs that so completely exposes the worldview of the person involved that it deserves to become iconic (whether or not it actually does). One particular incident stands out in the recent past, though few people have heard of it, or paid attention. The background is this: A pair of sisters [...] [...]

Unemployment Under Various Presidents

While the President really shouldn’t have much to do with unemployment, the sad reality is that we live in a country where he does. By deciding which laws to enforce and which to ignore, by choosing some words over others, and by appointing people who take specific actions, the President can have a major impact [...] [...]

Mixed Messages

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For the Children

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