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Obedience and Sorcery

You speak of sorcery as the short cut to gain the benefits of obedience without the obedience itself, and that seems very apt. But I also can’t help but think of the fruit in the Garden also. That was the same deal. God of course wanted his people to be mature, knowing the difference between good and evil, but the fruit was a shortcut.

Corey

Corey, right. Not all of it is sorcery, but it amounts to the same thing.

Amen and amen!!! “For obedience to the faith to all nations” (Rom. 1:5, KJV). “We have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Rom. 16:25-27, KJV). “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”

Todd

Todd, hard to argue.

I’ve been thinking lately about two reasons why modern American evangelicals seem so hostile to any discussions of obedience, of any question of whether some issue may be sinful or not, or how to live appropriately as Christians. (How dare you speak up about me wearing yoga pants while I’m leading worship?) First, there is a fear of condemnation. In fact, “there is now no condemnation in Christ” is strongly believed to shut the door on all such discussion. In reality . . . that’s the very thing that opens the door. If we all are NOT condemned, doesn’t that free us to godly pursuits? Doesn’t that remove the fear of being wrong, of being paralyzed that we might have lived in shameful ways? Doesn’t the constant call and love of Christ beckon us from where we are? We can thus remove ourselves and our security from the things we have done (and therefore must argue strongly for) and look instead to Christ. The second reason is related, and has to do with joy. Good luck trying to convince the teen (or 20-something? or 30-something?) video game addict that they are wasting their life. In their eyes, that’s the strongest fount they know. The culture here does not want us to believe that joys and passions can change, that we can actually come to enjoy good works, that they can be fulfilling. If your brain can physically become addicted to X, then good news!—it can also adjust to enjoy Y instead. So a fear of boredom should not be a hindrance to working out our life properly.

Thanks to your advice in these areas (specifically within marriage). I want to build a home with much confession, repentance, and discovery of new joys in Christ.

Alex

Alex, many amens.

Josh Harris

I know this is not quite relevant under this post, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the recent news of Joshua Harris. It always saddens me to see this stuff happen, and with this being the latest addition to a long line of pastors who “fell away” (Darrin Patrick, Tullian Tchividjian, Doug Phillips, etc.) there seems to be a strong theme of deep mismanagement of home life alongside a deadly coupling of high giftedness/low spiritual maturity. Would you be willing to parse through that? The other possible implication of this pattern amongst pastors like this is that those around them were either lacking in discernment, unwilling to hold them accountable, or completely blindsided by the change in these men. Is there a metric we can use to justly and wisely watch for the health of our leadership? Thanks for your time!

Whitney

Whitney, it seemed to me that the whole world was commenting on Josh Harris’s apostasy, and I didn’t want to add to the clamor. But I would place the root of this problem in our evangelical celebrity culture. Harris was vaulted into that world long before he had the requisite ballast. The one thing he has not yet kissed good-bye is a good photo op.

Apropos of Nothing

I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now, and I just realized what the title actually references. Until now I imagined it was some witty, play-on-words, not to the Scriptures, but to you and your wife . . . you know, as in Pa & Ma Blog. This I am sure has occurred to others as well (mainly because, even in my dimwit moments, I am not that original), but maybe in mentioning it, I could pass on a well-earned chuckle to you. Thanks for your writing. It’s always interesting to read, and likely makes me smarter. Keep on keeping on, Pa Blog.

Scott

Scott . . . thanks for a new one!

Simple Justice

I think there’s a very serious question that you missed in the series of questions you asked here: “and if the charges are false and destroy his reputation, how do we ever make it up to him?” The fact is, you can’t, and if elders and pastors look on what is happening across college campuses and choose to replay that in their churches then they richly deserve to suffer the same fate college administrators now often face: being dragged before the secular courts to be held to account by judges who tend to take a very dim view of throwing out objectivity.

Mike

Mike, thanks.

When a crime is committed, it should be reported to authorities and the criminal put on trial. If there is not enough evidence to convict, then that is the end of the matter. One does not sue for money as a Christian, unless the crime itself was stealing, and reparations need to be made.

Ruth

Ruth, thank you.

Regarding the lawsuit between Jane Doe and The Village Church, it is interesting to note that the New York Times had a non-file-stamped copy of the lawsuit, without a case number assigned. The only way they could have got this document is if one of the lawyers emailed it to the NYT reporter. That, to me, speaks volumes about what is really going on here. It’s a shame.

Kyle

Kyle, right. A shame.

Who Does Theonomy Hang Out With?

How does Kuyperian “sphere” theology gel (or not gel) with your spin on theonomy? Does the Kuyperian model sufficiently account for the authority of God’s Law over the non-church spheres?

Owen

Owen, it doesn’t always, but I think it can. In my view theonomy and Kurperianism can be friends.

I agree with most all you say here, but I’m having a little trouble figuring out how this specific situation is being set at the feet of the Southern Baptist Convention. Matt Chandler’s church is an SBC church, that much is indisputable. But as you point out, they’re the ones being sued. They’re being sued by Boz Tchividjian (who no longer identifies as evangelical), and Matt Chandler is getting more of a chance to speak for himself than C.J. Mahaney (Sovereign Grace Ministries, not SBC) got, after being pummeled by Rachael Denhollender (who left her SBC church because she apparently felt they were too deliberate in their due process). I agree that the ritual SBC distancing from Tom Ascol and the film are troubling, but that’s not what seems to be at issue in your piece. The only active SBCer I see here is the one getting sued. What am I missing? Republicans during the War Between the States were undoubtedly at fault for many things, but was Lincoln getting shot one of them?

John

John, sometime you should ask about my speculation on the radical Republicans being behind the assassination of Lincoln, a moderate Republican with all that “malice toward none” business. If we ask who benefited the most from the assassination, it was the forces that wanted a hard Reconstruction. But that wasn’t your real question . . . Matt Chandler is a star in the SBC, and the treatment he is getting from outsider is comparable to the treatment that the SBC was giving to C.J. Mahaney. What goes around comes around.

Spanking Times

I have three children 4.5, 3, and 1.5 and we really like reading and listening to all that your family has put out there about raising kids, thank you! My question is how and when do you transition from the artificial consequences (spanking, etc.) to more natural consequences? We tend to spank for everything, provided it was something the kids know they aren’t supposed to do (or we have just said “don’t do that!”), but I’m starting to feel like we are spanking way too much for small things, and I’m wondering if I should use other consequences for, say, yelling in the house, tattling, getting out of bed after being put down, not following all the way through with a task like cleaning up toys, and things like that. I’m a firm believer in spanking for any outright disobedience, but I’m not sure how to discipline for character problems or things they are supposed to remember. I am not sure how to move from the stage where everything is about teaching obedience to the stage where we are trying to instill good character, manners, etc. I love how you talk about putting artificial consequences up for small children and then gradually allowing the natural consequence to take place, but how and when do you move there? And what makes a “spankable” offense?

Thank you!

Amanda

Amanda, this is a hard one to answer from this distance, but here is a rough cut. You should be done with spanking when they get to be around 12. Make sure you spank for clear cut disobedience, and do that consistently. If you think you are spanking too much, listen to that impulse. Don’t spank for things like rowdiness, but if the rowdiness is spiraling out of control, step in with a clear admonition. If that is disregarded, then spank for that. Don’t spank kids for being kids.

Random Question

General question. My dad recently retired from the ministry after forty or so years. He’s giving us kids first dibs on a lot of books from the office, since he doesn’t really have shelf space to bring them home. Naturally, I grabbed all the John Murray, also the Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volumes on Romans; plus a few Watchman Nee just to mix things up and confuse any Presbyterians who happen to be in my house socially. Then my eyes lit on it . . . the bete noire of all that is polite and respectable: The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rushdoony. I opened the front cover and found that it was signed by the author. “Dad, is this Rushdoony’s signature?” “Oh, that? Yeah. Saw him a conference in Bowling Green in ’83. Absolutely brilliant. We argued about Romans 13 during the Q&A.” I brought it home and am enjoying it immensely. When I was a kid, I was always getting Rushdoony and Dooyeweerd confused (which led to problems), not to mention getting Gary North and Oliver North confused (which led to even greater problems). But all this aside, can you offer one thing you particularly appreciate about Rushdoony and one thing that you would warn me about?

Philip

Philip, I appreciated (very much) the ability of Rushdoony in his early writings to reduce modern forms of unbelieving thought to their basic principles, which enables you to see how the Scriptures apply. I would caution you to beware of rigid dogmatism. Rush was brilliant, and very helpful at many places. But he could be unhelpful as well.

On Being Whitey

“Perhaps the best thing you can do to start is to take a humble posture, recognizing that you have a racialized worldview of which you are likely unaware. Your beliefs, attitudes, and values have been formed in ways deeply informed by whiteness.”

Blog, I think you need a better grasp of English. You talk like you learned the language through reading Shakespeare, but you obviously have some trouble with the layman’s tongue.

Mr. Hall is simply saying “check your biases” or rather, “understand that your experiences aren’t the same for other people, particularly those of other races.” To put on my historian hat, I draw you attention to his audience. SBC, and in particular the SBC board of directors, are majority white. This means that Hall is telling a group of relatively powerful white men (they’re mostly men, aren’t they) that in making decisions that affect minorities, they should be mindful that their experiences aren’t universal.

A great example of this is MAGA. “Make America Great Again” . . . but when? The 1950s? When life kinda sucked for most African Americans? Does Trump really think fondly of Jim Crow and segregation? America has never been particularly great for everyone, so Trump is either harkening back to a time that has never existed or is harkening back to a time of oppression.

If you can’t imagine why MAGA is offensive then you are proving Mr. Hall correct: you are too caught up in your own experiences to understand that not everyone has lived a similar life to you. To undervalue the experiences of people different from yourself is the epitome of selfishness and is about as un-Christian as you can be.

Cat

Cat, no, that was not all he was saying. He was saying that to be white was to be racist. And that is a huge problem. And how Trump got into this discussion is a mystery.

Accusations

Re: Like a Float for the Tournament of Roses | Excellent read. Although you, Doug, are a Presbyterian and people erroneously assume you don’t know how to talk to real people, I think this is a much needed blog post for every pastor, particularly those caught up in scandals or accusations that are along these lines.

Now, with all that agreement said and given much praise for, I think you’re wrong about Baptist ecclesiology and stating it as an implied problem we Baptists allegedly have without Biblically, Scripturally, and logically making that argument seems a bit on the nose, at least an unfair attack from someone outside of that ecclesiology.

I think Biblical ecclesiology does have more to do with the Local Church and the Local Court of Elders settling disputes and allegations (potentially handing over to civil authorities if needed) than the slightly more top-down ecclesiology of the Presbyterians.

I do need to make myself clear on the seemingly unfair attack on Baptist ecclesiology though. I am in no way opposed to a Presbyterian telling us Baptists that we’re doing something wrong. We might be blinded by our Baptist idols and our Presbyterian brothers are able to see it. So if you’d like to address ecclesiology in general, and the error of Baptist ecclesiology in particular, by comparing and contrasting different ecclesiologies with what Scripture actually and explicitly says and make the case for another particular ecclesiology, by all means do that and I will encourage my Baptist pastors to consider it.

Thank you for standard for a BIBLICAL standard of justice in both the Church and Society!

Trey

Trey, thanks, but you’ve stumped me. I don’t remember being critical of Baptist ecclesiology in this discussion. I have been in the past, but don’t remember doing it here. Could you point to the place you have in mind?

This is a horrible piece of article. First there is no evidence. The sexual abuser makes sure of that. They do it in private, never in public. There are no witnesses.

Most children cannot process what is happening to them, they deny it is happening as a mind mechanism to cope. I know that you have read all of this before. This has been a subject matter among Christians since 2006 and before.

Protection of children is first and foremost. When someone calls the police or Social Services, they don’t have iron clad evidence before they remove a child, or arrest someone for abuse, sexual or otherwise. They go into the situation, make an evaluation rather quickly and either determine it is abusive and remove the child or they do not.

As for Scripture you forgot to include the following: Isaiah 61:8, Colossians 3:25, Deut. 10:18, Psalm 140:12, 2 Samuel 13:1-22; Matthew 18:6; Luke 17:2. That should keep you busy reading for a while.

There is so much more to sexual child abuse than I have written here. But children should be protected and now that is happening. As a Christian woman, who is Southern Baptist and will be a messenger when I can, as often as I can attend the Convention, who was present at the meeting in Dallas, I will fight articles like this, men with your thinking with every fiber of my being.

Debbie

And Debbie, how is it protecting a child to tear her away from loving parents, entirely innocent parents, without due process, because an officious neighbor complained about suspected abuse? By all means, protect the children as best as you can—but factor into the equation the prospect of doing actual harm to the children by your intervention. Recognize that harm is possible.

“You don’t believe the woman, and you don’t believe the pastor. You believe the evidence. Men sin and lie about it, and women sin and lie about it. You believe the evidence. And in the meantime, while you are gathering the evidence, the presumption of innocence lies with the accused.”

The problem in this case, is that there will likely not be any “evidence.” There will however, be plenty of “testimony,” which already conflicts. Boz is already running with biased “testimony,” when he says the church has not “demonstrated a good faith desire to resolve this,” when the church is in fact cooperating in a criminal investigation, and prosecution of the accused.
Is Boz the judge of “good faith?” He seems to think so. I have my doubts.

“Innocence until proven guilty’ is the appropriate legal standard, but you are a ministry leader, not a judge or investigator” (Rachael Denhollander). Are Boz and Rachael “ministry leaders?” Judges? or Investigators? (No?). I wonder when they will start taking their own advice? Or God’s?

God, please grant swift justice in this case.

Jason

Jason, thanks.

Rules for Reformers

Reading Rules for Reformers and first I would like to say that it feels like someone has given me permission to stop holding my breath at every action and just keep on, keeping on. Reminds me of the permission I was given in the Marines, so . . . well done, sir.

2nd or finally . . . our (I write that as yours and mine but ours as a broader sense in the bride of Christ) eschatology doesn’t match. I am a dispensationalist pre-mil (and no matter how many times Pastor Sumpter says “the rapture isn’t happening” in those well done commercials, I know it is) and you are post-Mil “Bc it’s more fun” (I’m sure there are more reasons but I side with Piper on that . . . it is probably more fun), can my eschatological view allow me to put into place all the principles and the larger road map of Rules for Reformers, or is it necessary to have a Post-Mil view to know it will happen and trust the process that this wonderful book lays out?
Grace and peace to you! And I will wink at you when we are caught up!

Jordan

Jordan, thanks. No, Rules for Reformers is not limited to those who share my eschatology. And I heard Rushdoony once say that he was not opposed to changing his theology in mid-air.

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-BJ-
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-BJ-

Why it is so hard to understand that saying America was great in the past, 1950s or whatever, and we want to go back to that greatness, is not the same thing as saying everything was perfect or that we want to go back to oppressing black people?

Is basic logic not taught in school these days? I know logic is a big deal amongst us homeschooler types, but surely we’re not the only ones.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It doesn’t logically follow that past greatness meant past perfection. The issue is with “again” because it suggests we have lost our former greatness–and that’s the problem. What are the qualities that once made America great but are lacking now? Progressives suspect they are not going to like your definition of those qualities. They also suspect that the qualities they regard as present virtues are viewed by many conservatives as present vices. MAGA and the hostility it evokes go way beyond logic. It seems to have turned into a titanic struggle between opposing visions for America.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Hey Jill, “The issue is with “again” because it suggests we have lost our former greatness–and that’s the problem.” I am okay with this response. We can look objectively at things and come to a conclusion. If one wants to argue that, we can have a good faith disagreement. But, when the instinctive response is that we are racist, because MAGA means we want to re-implement slavery or Jim Crow, you lose me. “What are the qualities that once made America great but are lacking now? Progressives suspect they are not going to like your definition of those qualities. They… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

People unfairly use “racist” because they know the effect on the person being accused. I don’t think any intelligent progressive believes that everyone in a MAGA hat would vote to repeal the Civil Rights and Voting Acts. But for people who argue dishonestly, “racist” is a winner. There is no surer way to display your racism than to claim you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You might as well say you can’t be a racist because you have black friends. “You think segregated drinking fountains made America great, do you? Is that what you’re hoping to go… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Hey Jill,

It is funny that you write this very reasonable post, only for it to followed up by Jonathan’s post doing the exact thing you describe here.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

BJ, I’ve spent a day or two thinking about MAGA off and on, and I’ve concluded that it’s not the slogan in itself that has people worked up. When you look back at the slogans of past presidential campaigns, there is nothing in the words of this one to produce this effect. I wasn’t living in the US then, but did people react this way when Reagan used “Let’s Make America Great Again” in 1980? Did people look for hidden meanings in Kerry’s “Let America Be America Again?” Or when Ron Paul used “Restore America Now”? It’s the nature of… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Noteworthy that Reagan, the other candidate who used that slogan, also famously was the first president to ever campaign at the Neshoba County Fair, a rural Mississippi County known primarily at the site of the police-and-KKK murders of three civil rights activists in the midst of an official state campaign to maintain segregation. Local and state authorities refused to even search for the men and refused to charge the murderers even after the bodies were found buried on one conspirator’s private property and another gave a full confession in federal court. Only federal intervention led to any consequences to the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re implying that possibly the least Christian-influenced president in history just wants nothing more than greater Christian influence. You’re going to have to come up with a more convincing answer than that. “You” might merely want more Christian influence on culture. But that’s not what Trump is looking for. One thing he directly cited he liked was that back in the “good old days” you could rip protesters out of their seats, beat them up, and carry them out on a stretcher. Which protesters from the “good old days” was he describing, and how is that Christian? Add in that… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

And without missing a beat, Jonathan comes along and proves my point.

You are an ideologue who only sees in black and white.

I support Trump, not because he is a Christian, he clearly isn’t, but because he is the only thing standing in the way of those who would destroy us.

Do you actually think that if someone wanted more Christian influence that it would be better to elect a Leftist? Seriously?

JP Stewart
Member

Spot-on. Obama, with this great commitment to the two modern pagan sacraments (abortion and sodomy), was “more Christian” because…well, because Jeremiah Wright or something.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You believe Trump is more influenced by Christianity on either of those topics than Obama? He doesn’t seem to have any issue with “sodomy” and suddenly became pro-life only at the age of 65 when embarking on a stab at the Republican nomination…so you didn’t really pick two great topics for him there. I can’t judge how “Christian” Obama is (whatever that scale would mean exactly), but I do think his public conversion in the 1980s, his at least occasional Church attendance before office, and his passing familiarity with the Bible suggest at least moderately more Christian influence than Trump… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

At this point in our political world, Christians have to look at whose policy is best for Christians. Obama, whose personal life and church attendance speak to being a better Christian influence, but he was stocking the courts full of abortionists and family destroyers.

Trump is much, much better for the hope of increasing Christian influence than Obama or any other leftist would be by far.

That’s not a defense of Trump’s personal life, which basic logic would make clear, but it is a pragmatic reality thinking Christians should see as completely obvious.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think that if someone wanted more Christian influence then they should act more Christian and pray to God for influence. I don’t believe that electing Trump or Clinton would increase the Christian influence in this country, but I can’t think of anything political in my lifetime that has decreased long-term Christian influence more than Trump’s perceived support from White Christians and their churches. Receiving either Trump or Clinton under conscientious Christian protest and refusing to support candidates until they met minimum standards far above either would have been far better. Elections aren’t nearly as important to the strength of… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Jonathan screeched:
“but I can’t think of anything political in my lifetime that has decreased long-term Christian influence more than Trump’s perceived support from White Christians and their churches. ”

In reality, Obama got a much higher percentage of black Christians (95% of black Protestants in 2012) than Trump did from white Christians. Again, with Obama’s commitment (not just personal, but also policy-wise) to abortion, LGBTQ+ craziness, etc. why is Jonathan not lamenting this? Trigger warning for the woke: the last article is written by a black man.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/stop-saying-81-white-evangelicals-vote-trump-probably-less-half/
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/23/u-s-religious-groups-and-their-political-leanings/
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/02/black_christian_voters_and_2020.html

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

MKT, how is that whataboutism a response to my actual claim?

JP Stewart
Member

If that’s all you have to say, then you’re welcome. I’m glad to show your screeds about Trump’s support from “white Christians” decreasing Christian influence more than any other factor are just…bunk.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But you didn’t even begin to show that. You just cited two statistics from two unrelated situations and waved your hands to claim it was a point. No one seriously thinks that the fact that Black folk voted for Obama in 2008 somehow magically results in White Christian support of Trump not hurting the Christian witness in 2019.

JP Stewart
Member

I’ll make it 3rd-grade level for you. You said ” I can’t think of anything political in my lifetime that has decreased long-term Christian influence more than Trump’s perceived support from White Christians and their churches.” No evidence, no data, no comparisons to myriad other things that have hurt Christian influence in recent decades. I showed that Trump’s perceived support from Christians wasn’t nearly as strong as some think and countered with Obama’s support from another big Christian voting block. Instead of dealing with it, you squirm around with your typical sophistry. I’m done. How about you…isn’t it time for… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It’s like you’re not even trying to argue the same point. Everyone knew Black folk were gonna vote Obama over “I was pro-Roe and pro-LGBT until I ran for the Republican nomination” McCain, I’ve never even heard the suggestion that their vote had any effect in public perception of Christianity. And we could argue pointlessly about whether perceived White Christian support of Trump matches actual support, but it would be pointless because it is the perceived support (driven by many actual and very vocal supporters) that affects public perception of the faith.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan,

MKT’s response is a flagrantly obvious rebuke to your hypocrisy.

JP Stewart
Member

“One thing he directly cited he liked was that back in the “good old days” you could rip protesters out of their seats, beat them up, and carry them out on a stretcher.”

How many assaults have Trump supporters made compared to Antifa? The absurdity continues.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I quoted Trump, you replied with Antifa, in order to make….what point?

Trump supporters have assaulted far more certainly, but that would be a quite unfair comparison as there are 100 million Trump supporters and, what 100 Antifa? I’m not sure what the relevance of the comparison would be.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And the other issue is that many people have an especially difficult time seeing how Christian influence was stronger in, say, the 1950s or 1960s (which often generally seems to be the approximate time that Trump is referring to with MAGA). You can say, “I’m not referring to Jim Crow”, but a Black person in Mississippi looks and says, “Well, in large part to be in Mississippi at that time was defined by the battle to hold onto segregation, with violence and with the almost total support of the White population. So how can you tell me that the Christian… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Are you seriously arguing that we are MORE Christian as a nation, now?

Nathan James
Member

How come no lefty ever brings up the low income inequailty of the 1950’s while they’re bashing MAGA?

Seriously, there are many reasons to identify the mid-20th century as America’s greatest time: the recent victory over fascism, a booming economy, state-provided high school diploma being enough to secure a prosperous middle-class life, intact nuclear families, strong local communities, relatively high moral standards.

But underlying the critique of MAGA is an unspoken preference for a new moral code that rejects sexual morality and is angry that the USA defeated fascism without becoming socialist.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Again, if you completely ignore Jim Crow, school segregation, state collusion with the KKK, and Black people being murdered in the woods for merely looking like they might be trying to get the right to vote. There’s a common philosophical question that asks, “Would you still support this society if you didn’t know where in it you would be born?” There ain’t a chance in hell that Trump would be willing to face 1/10th of what Black folk in the South endured in the 1950s and 1960s. And few if any of his supporters would dream of changing places with… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“There ain’t a chance in hell that Trump would be willing to face 1/10th of what Black folk in the South endured in the 1950s and 1960s.”

There were certainly incidents, but having grown up in that area and hearing stories, reading journals, books and other accounts that are more accurate than the Hollywood/”woke” take, black-white relations weren’t as bad and were much more nuanced than Jonathan suggests. And while I don’t have time to pull up the data, I wonder if blacks were safer from white violence then than whites are from black violence now?
https://www.ibtimes.com/white-black-crime-vs-black-white-crime-new-statistics-show-more-killings-between-2424598

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s really what you’ve heard – I’ve had other Southerners tell me that the realities of that era are often hushed away. Black folk had had the right to hold political office and vote taken away via mob violence. They were called categorically inferior and were subject to public lynchings that were celebrated by the White community like parties. We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s really what you’ve heard – I’ve had other Southerners tell me that the realities of that era are often hushed away.”

Oh, so now my family nd family friends are liars…while your woke sources tell nothing but the truth? That might be a new low for you.

“For you to compare that to a few isolated crimes today is an incredible disconnect from reality.”

I gave hard stats. You have isolated crimes.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Nothing I wrote came from “woke sources”. Everything I listed was established fact, most of it testified to by the perpetrators themselves. And how could you possibly call segregation, Jim Crow, the almost complete inability to vote, and state support of anti-Black violence, all enforced with violence in the name of White Supremacy, to be “isolated crimes”? Of course there aren’t hard stats. As I pointed out above, Black people in such a low state that they were frequently murdered without it even being recorded. How could there be hard stats? And how does that possibly compared to the relatively… Read more »

Sue M.
Guest
Sue M.

Yes, this is anecdotal, but Uncle Sam called for my late father from his parents’ Wisconsin farm in 1951. The only places in the state with any concentrations of black people at all at the time were Milwaukee and Madison (and many of those in Madison were foreign university students). His military training took him to Maryland, where he did not realize that it was a great faux pas to give up his seat in the front of a public bus to an older black women with her arms laden with groceries. And it was illegal for whites to sit… Read more »

Sue M.
Guest
Sue M.

Much less the right of women to hold public office, let alone *black* women and other women of color. Trump certainly doesn’t seem to be enthralled with them, especially if they are non-white and not Republicans -:).

Sue M.
Guest
Sue M.

100% Caucasian (fourth-generation Western European American on one side and second-generation Western European American on the other, unless Ancestry DNA someday proves that wrong!). Have lived in a metro area of 1.75 million with a slightly higher percentage of African-Americans than the national average for the past 33 years. Currently reside in a middle-class close-in suburb in this area in a racially and culturally diverse neighborhood, but is predominantly white. Never have I ever worried about “black violence” for one minute, even when attending grad school after work on a large public university campus. Sheesh. Never worried about it in… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Nathan,

If you know any real lefties, rather than woke neo-liberals, you will hear constant admiration for the economic arrangement of the post-war years. FDRs command and control economy with extremely strong and active labor unions and a true federal industrial policy.

Nathan James
Member

Demo,

Oh I know they like the economics of mid-20th century America. That’s why it’s glaringly disingenuous when they pretend they can think of nothing redeeming about want to go back.

Delk
Guest
Delk

The answer to that depends strongly on if you see active support for white supremacy as a great an offence against the Christian faith as gay marriage or abortion. Just because many lawmakers, pastors, and deacons in the 50s all invoked God while going home every night after either tacitly or actively suppressing the rights of non-white people, but opposed gay marriage does not mean they should get more Christian merit credited to them than a modern lawmaker, pastor, or deacon who opposes white supremacy but supports gay marriage for example.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I am arguing that no current Trump supporter would switch places with a Black resident of Mississippi in the 1950s-1969s and feel that they were being ruled by a deeply Christian-infused society.

JP Stewart
Member

For those who really think we’ve progressed and are more Christian, watch from about 3:20 of this video until at least 9:30.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieol2J6Oh1w&t=12s

This is simply showing End Stage Woke-ism. I’m not even dealing with our current moral decay.

Robert
Guest
Robert

What was life like in New York in the fifties and sixties? Trump is a New Yorker. He is thinking that kind of life in the fifties and sixties. He is not thinking of the South.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You seriously going to imply that Trump doesn’t know that most Black people were horrifically oppressed in the 1950s and 1960s? It was kinda a big deal in the news. By your logic, Trump actually only knows what life was like as the son of a an ultra-wealthy segregationist real estate development. I seriously doubt he had any insight into the life of the average New Yorker in the 1950s. But he knew Black people’s plight well enough to explicitly direct his employees to keep them segregated out of his most important buildings, and said to the DOJ lawyer investigating… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

The not the same as saying part isn’t hard to understand, unless a person has a adopted a reason to not want to understand. Or is just ignorant of anything but the bad things they’ve heard about the past before some given point.

However, “What do you mean by great?” and “What specifically is it you want to go back to”?, and “In what sense or what way would you have us go back?” are reasonable questions.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And “by rolling back immigration” does appear to be one of the primary practical answers, no?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It depends on who is answering the question. It probably would be some people’s answer. I think BJ’s point is that no, we shouldn’t assume something like that would be everyone’s answer.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course it’s not everyone’s answer. But Trump speaks, campaigns, and acts as if it is his answer, and gives all indication that he believed it is the answer that will win him the vote.

Jane
Member

Maybe it’s possible that wanting to make America great again, and even using that catchphrase, is not synonymous with complete support for Trump and his proffered means to it? Yes, I know, he popularized the phrase and is identified with it. Doesn’t mean people can’t use it to mean something else within its very broad range of literal meaning.

Just like, you don’t have to imbibe the racial poison of Al Sharpton to agree that black lives matter, and even say so.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Do you actually believe that there are people out there in the year 2019 saying “Make America Great Again” without signaling support for Donald Trump?

Katecho
Member

I believe there are a lot of people (Christians included) who are signalling support for the general idea of “Making America Great Again” without realizing that Trump is actually accelerating America’s financial catastrophe with record new trillion dollar deficits. He is demanding lower interest rates which will only further increase the wealth gap as the wealthy get first-in-line access to more easy fiat money. Trump has taken on a more aggressive tone to provoke international enemies, which does not make America safer, but does advance our Military Industrial Complex. Trump is also waging a trade war on the pretense of… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“He is demanding lower interest rates which will only further increase the wealth gap as the wealthy get first-in-line access to more easy fiat money.” I agree, but it was the Obama-era Federal Reserve that lowered the Federal Funds rate to practically zero for 7 years and did multiple rounds of quantitative easing. That got the markets addicted to low interest rates and the idea that the Fed would intervene during even the smallest slowdown. At least interest rates moved into the 2%+ range under Trump for the first time in many years. However, he realized a sizeable stock market… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

They might not know all that, but they do know “Send her back!” and “Build the wall!” and “They’re not sending their best!”

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Hey Katecho,

I know you have been a consistent critic of the president from a libertarian/right point of view. But surely you can concede that he is better than the left. I suspect we disagree on economics, but I think that we agree on Christian Nationalism.

Here is my question: At this point in American life, what other options do we have? Doesn’t it make sense to support Trump until we can make room to regroup and get a better footing to move in our direction?

Nathan James
Member

Katecho said:

At best we could say that it slows our current descent from greatness. A functioning judiciary doesn’t produce greatness, of itself.

Without Trump and his judges the Christian church in America would be in a dire situation. SOGI laws (and pseudo-laws) were about to make God-fearing Christianity illegal in this country.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, they weren’t.

Jane
Member

Do you actually believe it’s not possible to say, “I want to make America great again” without thinking that Trump’s way of doing it is ideal?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Why would you suggest that when I’ve already declared the exact opposite in this thread?

Any individual can mean anything by a particular phrase. But the large majority of MAGA gear and MAGA statements are pretty clearly made as a way of signaling support for Trumps’s way if doing things. That doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions. But very few American Christians shouting MAGA are unaware of Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, and awareness is the issue Katecho mentioned.

Jane
Member

Jonathan, I was replying to Matt. At the time I replied, this reply was directly under his to which it was exactly parallel. THIS is why more nesting is needed.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I completely agree with you that individuals can mean other things by it. I have always agreed with that position for just about every analogous scenario, even the Confederate flag or the swastika. However, Trump trademarked the phrase, he literally owns it, he is the own who drives its use, and I’ve yet to see anyone use the specific abbreviations “MAGA” except in implied association with him. When using the phrase, it should be assumed that what Trump appears to believe about it and what he demonstrates opening what he thinks his followers want to hear will set how others… Read more »

Jane
Member

A simple English sentence with a very clear meaning is not comparable to a graphic symbol. It just isn’t.

People don’t have to qualify something every time they say it.

If someone goes around wearing a MAGA hat and constantly repeating the slogan, “Make American great again!” it’s plausible to assume they’re a Trump supporter.

If they say, “The idea of making American great again is a good one,” the association isn’t anywhere near as close, and they don’t need to qualify it every single time just because some anti-Trump people reserve the right to be knee-jerk reactionaries.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I generally agree.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

MAGA is marketing.

However, again, what *do* people mean within that very broad range of literal meaning. They should be prepared and willing to say.

demosthenes1d
Member

John, Sorry to jump in on a thread, but in the last comment section you asked me a couple of questions. I will paraphrase from memory below. Feel free to correct them. Q: Is anyone who is discussing reparations talking about a limited program of communities providing direct restoration to the descendents of the harmes parties? A.This sort of thing has been done. The state of Oklahoma commissioned an examination of the Greenwood Massacre that was to offer recommendations. The commission found that the City of Tulsa had conspired with the white mob against its black citizens and recommended a… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Demo,

Just wanted to chime in to say thanks for the response. Don’t agree, but respect the thoughts.

Gratitude.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Demo,

What does it mean to say “When my town does something wrong?”

Also, I think I might get it, but I’ll ask anyway – What is this older sense in which you are a nationalists? And why?

demosthenes1d
Member

John, “What does it mean to say “When my town does something wrong?” Representative and corporate institutions have responsibilities to their citizens (all of their citizens) and they have a broad responsibility to act justly. If I am a member of a town whose representative bodies refuse to protect their citizenry (especially when members of the police force are engaged in the violence), refuse to investigate the crime (in these cases there are often hundreds of eye-witnesses), and refuse to bring brutal killers to justice, then the corporate body has done wrong. Corporate bodies should recognize when they have done… Read more »

Jane
Member

Another fair question to ask is, “Did life ‘kinda suck’ for most African-Americans in the 1950s, relative to now?” Whether it did or didn’t isn’t to minimize Jim Crow and other civil rights denials, excuse it, or say that overall relatively better conditions of life somehow balance it. But if you’re going to write a letter full of indignant assertions taking some else to task, it helps if those assertions are true. Being denied basic rights and the normal privileges of the rest of society does in itself stink very much, and definitely puts a pall on life. It’s an… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t get to talk about other people’s past experiences? You didn’t post that comment in response to any of the commenters who were speaking other opinions on that era, but I speak up for Black folk (some of whom have relayed their experiences of the era to me as recently as two weeks ago) and I’m suddenly out of line? Especially ironic considering that we have a host who felt quite comfortable claiming he knew how Black slaves felt about Southern Slavery, even if it was at odds with virtually every contemporary narrative… Read more »

Jane
Member

I’m not even talking about you, Jonathan. I’m referencing the letter that said black people’s lives “kinda sucked.” It’s a very different thing to say that aspects of their lives were terrible, versus their “lives sucked.” You’d be the first to jump on this kind of language about people’s “lives” if it came from a different direction.

Even today, if someone went up to someone else and informed them that their life sucked because of certain, very definite and very real, things they were suffering, it would be considered out of line, no matter who said it.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But just to put the facts out, I’ll say it again: Black folk had had the right to hold political office and vote taken away via mob violence. They were called categorically inferior and were subject to public lynchings that were celebrated by the White community like parties. We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him. That’s… Read more »

Jane
Member

You really don’t understand the difference between believing that people suffered a lot of injustice and harm, and speaking for someone else making the statement that their “life sucked”? Do you really think that had you gone up to the majority of black people living in the 1950s and asked them what they thought of their lives, they’d say, “it sucks,” or the 1950s equivalent? You just don’t write off people’s total life experience like that. And I’m not saying someone can’t speak on how they felt about those injustices. Of course it’s a reasonable conclusion that they felt those… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

MAGA is a cipher. Anyone could mean anything by it. Trump could mean anything by it, and he probably means different things based on the time of day or what he ate beforehand. Politics is about winning, so the best attack is usually the visceral one and being precise and accurate are not so important; remember “death panels”? The racist right wants to go back to the old days when everyone was white, brown people were kept out, and black people were kept down. This is an easy one because the right is broadly associated with racism anyway, Trump vocally… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Matt wrote: This is an easy one because the right is broadly associated with racism anyway, Trump vocally opposes immigration of brown people south of the border, and Trump generally comes off like an ignorant bigot much of the time. At this point, I don’t think even Matt can take his statements seriously. The right is broadly associated with racism in the minds of the progressive media, for sure, but are we to believe that Matt simply forgot about the Democrat party association with KKK, Jim Crow, segregation, “human weed” abortion, etc, etc, etc? Perhaps Matt is unconsciously lost in… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Trump and “rule of law” are funny to see in the same sentence. Look at what his own former administration staff have to say about that. Two of his closest advisers in office were Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, both who oppose anything close to current levels of legal immigration. Trump blocked all immigration from eight countries, has reduced refugee admissions dramatically, made applying for asylum far more difficult, and said he wants to end family chain migration, the diversity lottery, and birthright citizenship. He has made several steps of the legal immigration professionals far more time-consuming such that processing… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

BJ,

I wrote a longish comment in response to what you wrote last week but it appears to have been eaten by the software. Hopefully it reappears. If not I may work up the energy to respond again.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Demo,

I will look for it.

BJ

kyriosity
Member

Ha! I recently noted somewhere my tendency to confuse Gary and Ollie. A few other folks confessed they did likewise. Welcome to the club, Philip!

Jane
Member

Although confusing Dooyeward and Rushdoony is much more of a head scratcher. It’s explained by the common double-o but that’s about where the similarity stops, to put it mildly.

Jane
Member

Cat displays a titanic blind spot when she (?) completely fails to notice, or glosses over, that “being informed by whiteness” is not precisely the same thing as “being informed by the experience of one’s own race.” If her unexceptionable truism about how people tend to be biased by their own experience were all that was going on here, the word “whiteness” wouldn’t fit in the sentence. The fact that it’s whiteness that’s represented as the issue, and not simple human tendency to be confined by one’s own experience, that’s precisely the problem here. This may not be a strong… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jane, it would make less sense to me if I had not recently forced myself to read a primer on Critical Race Theory. The essence of whiteness in America is a state of blindness to one’s status as the default culture, the one that sets the norms on how non-whites are to behave. Here’s a quotation: The defaulting of whiteness establishes a reality in which white people, as victims of their race as centric, do not experience the adversity of those with minority identification. An otherization of minorities can occur with whiteness as a default, where Whiteness Theory identifies whiteness… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Scott Alexander has an interesting examination of the linguistic tactics surrounding “privilege” accusations – with a memorable analogy involving feudal fortifications.

The degree to which substantive arguments have been replaced by arguments over what words we are allowed to use against which people is, as far as I know, completely unique to social justice. Why?

I think there is a strain of the social justice movement which is entirely about abusing the ability to tar people with extremely dangerous labels that they are not allowed to deny, in order to further their political goals.

https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

While I understand the annoyance in that realm (and share the sentiment if not quite the priority), I don’t think it’s unique to social justice. There are plenty of other realms of politics that insist on being able to tar people with dangerous labels that they are not allowed to deny, in order to further their political goals. “They’re all Communists! Cultural Marxists! Illegals! Pro-abortion! Sodomites! SJW! Enemies of the People! Anti-American! Anti-Semetic! Hate White people! Enemies of Christ!” The accuracy of said labels rarely matters and certainly is not allowed to be challenged. Of course the left has their… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

None of the alternate labels you list (except for anti-Semitic) are particularly toxic – and all are routinely challenged. In fact, their use in conversation is considered an indicator of rube-ness and deplorability in polite society.

Most are simply impolite relabellings of views which are proudly held: when cast as pro-abortion-rights, LGBT, neo-Marxist, intersectionalist, atheist, etc. they are celebrated and uplifted.

Nor are any of them routinely deployed in the Motte-and-Bailey manner described by Alexander. The right is, in general, disposed to work towards more precise definitions of terms.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Most of those titles are toxic (some more so than others), and yes they are challenged but “racist” and “privilege” are almost always challenged too. And of course several of them are routinely deployed in the motte-and-bailey manner. “Communist”, “Cultural Marxist”, “Enemy of the People”, “Anti-American”, “Anti-Semetic”, “Hate White people”, and “Enemy of Christ” are in most cases not just “impolite relabeling” of proud views. Sure, perhaps in some cases the shoe fits (just like calling Steve King a racist is just an impolite way of saying that he proudly demonstrates a preference towards White people). But they are quite… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Interestingly, I couldn’t find any lists of Antifa violence on Jonathan’s beloved Google search. Using the exact same terms they came up immediately on Bing. Not that Google or anyone else in the MSM is biased or anything.

JP Stewart
Member

This is in reference to a comment I made with links and footage of Antifa violence vs. alleged Trump supporter violence. Seems to have disappeared…

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Why not include footage of White Nationalist violence too, so long as we’re just throwing out random things?

JP Stewart
Member

Now you’re responding to missing comments? Wow, lots of free time I guess.? There was nothing random about it, though. I was responding to a comment about Trump allegedly encouraging his supporters to assault protesters…when in reality, the opposite has happened on a MUCH larger scale, regardless of what Trump said. Your “anti-fascist, anti-racist” kindred spirits are the violent ones. The comment and links vanished, so I’m not going to bother reposting. Maybe these comments are filtered the same way Google searches are…

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

My comment about which era Trump was referring to when he said he preferred the good old days when you could rough up protesters?

He was reacting to nonviolent protesters. Antifa had nothing to do with his statement or the topic of Trump’s good old days at all.

If you can only reply with random whataboutisms, then you have to deal with your White Nationalists brothers, who are reflecting Trump’s language while acting far more violently than even antifa.

JP Stewart
Member

That’s another blatant lie. The number of assaults by Antifa & their sympathizers since the election dwarfs that of any so-called right-wing group. And many of them aren’t really “right”–they’re left-leaning socialists with a few weird views on race.
https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/08/07/when-will-evangelicals-write-against-alt-left-terrorism/

This is a small sampling and hasn’t been updated in over a year. There are dozens of similar videos that could be added since then:
https://tinyurl.com/j326zxb

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That is not only once again completely false, but also completely irrelevant to Trump’s statement. The fact that White Nationalists have been more violent than antifa isn’t held in the slightest doubt by anyone.

In the past eight years, more than 175 people around the world have been killed in at least 16 high-profile attacks motivated, or apparently motivated, by white nationalist conspiracy theories, including the far-right racist belief that nonwhite immigrants and refugees are “invaders” who pose an existential threat to the white race.

https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/04/mass-shootings-white-nationalism-linked-attacks-worldwide

Meanwhile, antifa’s death toll remains….zero. Violent idiots who should be arrested but not remotely comparable.

JP Stewart
Member

What? My original point was “Antifa violence vs. alleged Trump supporter violence”…not any killer anywhere in the world who might have been influenced by a white nationalists…which is what that article is trying to do. If you’re going to do that, add the Dayton shooter and plenty of other killers with Antifa-like views.

The comparison is Trump supporters beating people up vs. Antifa members doing the same.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Actual series of events: Jonathan: Trump has cited the leeway to be physically violent towards protesters as an example of something he misses about the “good old days.” MKT: But Antifa has committed more acts of violence than Trump supporters! Jonathan: That’s obviously false as there are millions more Trump supporters, and irrelevant to the point that Trump said violence towards protesters is something he misses about the good old days. MKT: I have videos of Antifa violence and it looks worse than that Trump supporter violence at the protests! Jonathan: It’s still a completely random comparison (because antifa has… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Horrifically sad news. Calls to violence have consequences. “His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Lance Jasper, the defense attorney for Army vet Curt Brockway, told the Missoulian. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.” Brockway was charged on Monday with felony assault after reportedly picking up a 13-year-old boy and slamming him into the ground during a rodeo at the Mineral County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Brockway told deputies with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office that he had asked the boy… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

the Democrat party association with KKK, Jim Crow, segregation, “human weed” abortion, etc, etc, etc?

That sounds terrible Katecho, I can’t imagine what kind of horrible people would vote for KKK-supporting segregationist abortionist Democrats. Something must have been terribly wrong with their culture and commitment to Christian values.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jonathan, I keep encountering assertions that the Dems were the party of slavery and segregation below the Mason-Dixon line. Or course I accept the historical truth of this statement. It is a good thing that all those wicked Dems moved out of the South, allowing for an influx of Northern Republicans who put an end to Klan activities and desegregated the schools. Because it is obviously impossible for racist Southern Dems to have stayed put and kept their ideologies but merely changed their party registration. This is not a possibility anyone seems willing to entertain. But this leaves me really… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yup. We just had a discussion of the Southern Strategy. How Nixon’s own political adviser publicized it in books as he was doing it, openly admitted to it in interviews, that captured nearly 100% of George Wallace voters within two years of them having voted for George Wallace, that was acknowledged by leading Republican strategists from the 1980s to the 2010s. It was remarkable to see the rhetorical contortions commenters were doing to deny the Southern Strategy ever existed, to claim that segregationist southern Dems and the Republicans they became were completely different people, and to avoid any explanation for… Read more »