The Letters Feature Will Continue in 2019

The Moral High Ground of Grace

Long time reader. First time writer.

What a breath of fresh air THAT post was. Keep going!!

Art

Art, thanks, and I hope to keep going as the Lord enables.


“I will say again that when debating with white racist punks, I will not apologize for Col. 3:11, which is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine.” I love you, Doug, and I’m not one of your “white racist punks,” but if you’re going to use Col. 3:11 in a post where you’ve got everybody thinking about Jim Crow and Martin Luther King, you need to stop first and give us an answer about where “here’ is, as in “here there are not Greek and Jew . . .” In my reading of the text, “here” is not throughout secular America, where the Spirit does not indwell and the Word is not considered its final authority. “Here” is in Christ. Among believers. That one you can absolutely have. So on Al Mohler and the original seminary issue, absolutely. That verse is fair game. But if we are still talking about “tough questions from non-Christians” and “authority over the consciences of unbelievers,” how does Col. 3:16 legitimately enter into any discussion of how the unregenerate ought to order society? Those outside of Christ have not got the necessary preconditions in their hearts to make it work.

Tom

Tom, you are absolutely right, and we agree completely. America can have no racial reconciliation outside of Christ. No salvation without a savior. If the secular nation turned to me and said, “We want your wisdom, but we don’t want your Jesus. What do you think we should do about this racial tension that we keep making worse?” my answer would be, “Sorry, I’ve got nothing.”


One issue that I feel this ongoing essay series of yours hasn’t addressed is the myriad of examples of subtle racism that blacks in our society continue to face. Yes Bull Connor isn’t Sheriff anymore, but when a city implements a “stop and frisk” policy that just so happens to result in black people being patted down at an absurd rate compared to their white counterparts isn’t that racism that needs to be repented of? In conversations with my black friends, they are all ready and willing to forgive, but point out that you can’t forgive someone who doesn’t repent. Correlation isn’t causation, but if so many outcomes in our society continue to break along racial lines is it illogical for blacks to conclude that racism is playing a part? You are correct in pointing out that blatant racial animus is gone, but there are dozens of examples of racial bias. When a club or employer, or business just so happens to only choose white applicants over black ones time and time again, when do you think it’s appropriate to ask if race is playing a role (even an unconscious one)? I’m sure you’ve heard of the study where identical resumes were sent out to businesses with nothing but the names changed. It shocked no one when the “Tyler” resumes outperformed the “Tyrones.” Do the hiring managers who filtered out the “Tyrones,” consciously or not, have anything to repent of? I would love to hear you address this issue. Thank you so much for your time.

Paul

Paul, I have 4th Amendment concerns about “stop and frisk,” regardless of where it is undertaken. I have those same concerns at airport security, even if it turns out that a disproportionate percentage of air travelers are white.

At the same time, I have a real problem assigning racism as the root cause of a disproportionate number of arrests in the black population. The number of crimes committed in an area also has something to do with the number of arrests, and I don’t want to admit an argument with a built-in structure that would serve white racists equally as well—e.g. “blacks are disproportionately disposed to commit violent crimes.”


Twisted Submission

Question regarding: 21 Theses on Submission in Marriage

I’m embarrassed to ask this question. What behaviors are permissible within a Christian marriage? To give some background, a few years ago, while prayer journaling, my wife felt convicted by Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” She approached me saying she wanted to offer everything about our union as a living prayer to God, including the romantic aspect of our lives. At first, her desire struck me as odd, but she persisted in asking me what ways she could submit to me that would please me, and thus please the Lord. I told her that nobody can beat the hallmark obedience of man’s best friend (a puppy dog). We started experimenting with leashes, playing fetch, and going for walks, and we’ve both gotten really into it. The neighbors don’t ask too many questions and seem fine with it, so I don’t think it’s hurting our Christian witness. My wife loves belly rubs, scratches behind the ears, and of course, baths with a garden hose and plenty of suds. It turns out she’s always had this fantasy of being somebody’s adorable little puppy dog since childhood, and training her, making her sit, lie down, and so on, is incredibly intoxicating for both of us. Still, I sometimes wonder if God’s okay with this, because it feels like her pretending to be a dog is literally dehumanizing her. Please give me some pointers and verses.

Confused Joe

Joe, God’s not okay with two things. First, He is certainly not okay with that kind of demented behavior in marriage. But He is also not okay with you mocking biblical authority and submission with your fake letter and scenario, pretending as though such a thing could be remotely part of the biblical worldview. At the same time, I decided to answer this letter because “furries” are actually now a thing among those who will not have God for a Father.


Thank you for your response to my question re: “Take Me Instead.” In your response, you wrote: “A man receives a job offer in another state, which he thinks he should take. His wife differs. After extended discussion, they still don’t agree. At that point, as the deadline approaches, he makes the decision, and the whole family moves. That’s authority.” Authority is easy to exercise over an obedient subordinate, even when that subordinate disagrees with the one in authority. But what if the wife says, “I’m not going anywhere, and neither are the kids?” How does the husband exercise his authority then? Thanks in advance.

Oscar

Oscar, what we have to recognize is that all forms of familial authority require broad societal support for the hard cases. When men are strong leaders, or when women are biblical and submissive, or both, a family can get along quite well—even if the outside culture is going to blazes. But there are many marriages that require the buttressing support of a strong community—where overbearing authority or unsubmissive rebellion are simply not tolerated or supported by the broader community. Now our outside society has broken down completely in this regard, and the intermediate support network of the church has largely broken down. This leaves men in a very bad position, with very few options. (I am assuming here a godly man who wants to exercise responsibility responsibly.) About the only sanction he could bring to bear without the broader society coming down hard on him would be the sanction of simply leaving. I hope to write on this problem more in the near future.


More Erosion

Might I direct your attention to two TGC articles (at bottom). So let me get this straight. The ratings of the top 10 recommended movies are as follows: R, R, R, PG-13, R, PG, R, PG-13, PG-13, R. The movies listed in the “18 pieces of goodness in pop-culture” article are no better. I know the MPAA ratings aren’t always the best indicator of whether a movie is appropriate. But a quick internet search made me thankful to have not seen any of these movies. We as Christians are told to watch such filth as “A Star is Born,” complete with its 100+ f-words and nudity? Where does stuff like this come from? This nation is filled with Christians who regularly put this evil in front of their eyes on a regular basis. What a mess. Links here and here.

Roger

Roger, yes. We do have ourselves a problem.

Theonomic Justice?

Chief Cook, regarding your conclusion on Ex. 31:16. No, we should not have maximum penalty. Don’t forget the preceding verse. Shall we sentence to death the one who strikes their mother or father? These beg for closer study. The Law is beautiful, wondrous, prophetic. God’s justice is perfect—always 1 for 1, wound for wound, life for life. You reap exactly what you sow. You’re a smart man, but I’m feeling dread at the thought of being under your government, so far.

Matt

Matt, having the death penalty as an option as a maximum is not to say that the death penalty should be hauled into difficult cases as a minimum penalty. No need to worry. If I were president—and what a rambunctious three days that would be—you wouldn’t know what to do with all your liberty.

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Bro. Steve
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Bro. Steve

Regarding the comments on Theonomy and liberty under President Doug: I’ve discovered that a huge proportion of Americans are out and out opponents of liberty. If they ever see something free, their reflex is to put a bunch of rules on it. How else can you explain a home owners association? Our family started home schooling way back in the 1980s, and the most frequently heard comment (exclaimed with mouth agape and eyebrows aloft) was, “Can you DO that?” So when you crank up your campaign for POTUS, don’t get the idea that freedom is something that everyone automatically wants,… Read more »

adad0
Member

Bro. Steve,

In your above scenario, it sounds like “Theonomic Justice Matt” and “Mr. and Mrs. Confused Joe” might actually like being galley slaves!

Especially considering the alternatives! ; – )

Talk about a win / win!

drewnchick
Member

Also…there’s a growing number of people who don’t want ice cream and donuts, either. The country is becoming a truly terrible place.

Armin
Guest
Armin

“The number of crimes committed in an area also has something to do with the number of arrests, and I don’t want to admit an argument with a built-in structure that would serve white racists equally as well—e.g. ‘blacks are disproportionately disposed to commit violent crimes.'” But blacks are disproportionately predisposed to commit violent crimes. You can control for social variables such as income, education, and social status, as well as for IQ, and blacks still have a higher crime rate. What would it take for you to be convinced that blacks are innately more predisposed toward crime? I’m starting… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Armin,

“But blacks are disproportionately predisposed to commit violent crimes. You can control for social variables such as income, education, and social status, as well as for IQ, and blacks still have a higher crime rate.”

Okay, I’ll bite. Would you please provide links to two or three separate studies, not personal opinions, that support your claim? (Note: I think you should put each link in a separate comment because otherwise I think WordPress will automatically put it into limbo and I don’t trust that it will be released quickly, if ever.)

Armin
Guest
Armin
Armin
Guest
Armin

This one isn’t a formal study but looks at IQ and crime data of various races to show that the black/white violent crime disparity is not fully explained by IQ.

Armin
Guest
Armin

This gives additional support to the assertion that poverty does not explain the disparity.

http://www.unz.com/runz/race-and-crime-in-america/

Armin
Guest
Armin

I only link this one because of the graph showing the disparity in incarceration rates of black and whites across all income levels. Of course the NYT will assume this is due to racism, not higher black crime rates.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/19/upshot/race-class-white-and-black-men.html

Armin
Guest
Armin

I just realized I didn’t link the post about IQ differences not fully explaining the disparities.

https://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/iq-and-crime-in-the-us-redux/

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Armin,

I appreciate your willingness to talk about this subject openly, but I am still wondering why you see black skin as a causal agent in crime.

Hypothetically, if we found a population of people who had the same crime rates, and they all had curly hair, would you write, “But [curly heads] are disproportionately predisposed to commit violent crimes.”?

By directly linking melanin and criminality, you are missing, in my assessment, the underlying causes, which are linked to culture.

Armin
Guest
Armin

BJ, I never claimed black skin to be a causal agent in crime. The idea that “race” is only skin color is simply untrue. There are plenty of other physical differences between blacks and whites including bone density, brain size, and serum testosterone, as well as mental differences such as IQ, time preference, and impulsiveness (traits which I do believe contribute to the crime disparity). Think about this: If race is merely skin color, then blacks should have no sense of ethnic solidarity or pride, as skin color alone would be an absurd basis for that. But are you willing… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Armin, Race and ethnicity are not the same thing, though you seem to using them interchangeably. Race is related to the uncontrollable attributes of biology, whereas ethnicity is related to the controllable attributes of culture. And when you say, “blacks are disproportionately predisposed to commit violent crimes,” you are indicating that you see a causal link between skin color (black is a color) and criminality, whether you mean to or not. My simple push back is that if you want to claim that race is causal in criminality, name that tune. I think you will have a hard time, but… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

BJ, You said: “Race and ethnicity are not the same thing, though you seem to using them interchangeably. ” That’s a fair point. To avoid confusion I should have said “racial solidarity” rather than “ethnic solidarity,” since those words aren’t interchangeable. I think where we are getting our wires crossed is in how we define the term “race.” You want to equate that term with skin color, and I disputed that in my last post. But I never said that the color of a person’s skin causes him to be more predisposed toward violent crime. All I claimed was that… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I called it bad scholarship, not because it was false, but because it was misleading and imprecise. Good scholarship seeks clarity and precision. The fact that there is no proven causal link between melanin or hair color or eye color means that talking about the “average black” or the “average white” is akin to discussing the “average red head” or the “average person with green eyes” or the “average person with a particular shaped nose.” The categories are irrelevant to the behavior, unless you can prove a causal link. (For instance, height or muscularity can have causal links to athletic… Read more »

Katecho
Member

My problem with Armin’s agenda is not in the raw data he is citing. My biggest issue is one of basic justice. Generalizations and averages can be helpful, but they don’t tell me anything about my particular neighbor. I see Armin wanting to act, or conclude, based on a statistic rather than based on any due process at the individual level. This invites gross injustice. Armin would not want to be treated that way, and to do so would be a clear violation of the Golden Rule. Another problem I have is that Armin is not using his precious statistics… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

Katecho: “Generalizations and averages can be helpful, but they don’t tell me anything about my particular neighbor.” That’s true, but they’re not supposed to. That’s why they’re generalizations. You act as if there’s something inherently wrong with making decisions based on generalizations, yet we do it all the time. As I was explaining to BJ, it is because of our ability to generalize that we know not to approach a wild lion. It’s possible that you could approach any given lion without being attacked, but because you understand the behavior tendencies of lions (which you derived from pattern recognition) you… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Armin didn’t actually address my primary objection about justice at the individual level. He offered no practical example of how he would fulfill due process for a Black family moving into his neighborhood. How does Armin go about determining if the Black family is “average” or “above average”? Armin seems to be suggesting that he doesn’t have to ever deal with due process on the individual level if he simply has a standing policy of avoidance of all Blacks (and lions). This is a non-answer. Avoidance on ethnic or racial grounds is not neutral, and runs afoul of Christ’s teaching… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

Katecho: “He offered no practical example of how he would fulfill due process for a Black family moving into his neighborhood.” That’s because I don’t have to. I never said I have a policy of avoiding ALL blacks, to the point that I would never tolerate a black family moving into my neighborhood, or would insist that my children go to a school that is no less than 100% white. I’ve simply pointed out how an increase in the population of blacks (assuming they’re average blacks) statistically effects the likelihood of a homicide occurring. it’s just math. I assert that… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

Okay, so you think it is immoral to let white people buy houses in black neighborhoods, drive taxicabs, or enroll their children in schools with lots of black students without first warning them of the statistical risk of their being murdered by a black man. I really hope you are careful how you carry out these helpful warnings. Attaching flyers to real estate signs –“Caution–three black families on this block” –might land you in serious trouble. We’re not allowed to do that even for convicted pedophiles. But, I would like you to consider some of these findings from the federal… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

Jill, The fact that whites are more often the victims of other whites than blacks is irrelevant. This is the case with every race and shouldn’t be a surprise, since people tend to be exposed more to other members of their own race than to other races in their daily lives. However, what IS relevant is the fact that blacks commit 27 times more violent crime against whites than the other way around. Do you not find that the least bit shocking or disturbing? There’s no doubt that if those numbers were reversed, people would call it a genocide. “If… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

First off, the ratio of Black crimes against White people to White crimes against Black people isn’t even close to 27 to 1, that supposed statistic, if I remember correctly, is manufactured by taking advantage of the fact that there are far more White people than Black people and then using the large denominator in more than one direction. What are the total number of White people killed by Black people in the country (regardless of whether they get off or not), and the total number of Black people killed by White people? Second, in cases of crime with financial… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re twisting my words, Jill. I said it would be immoral to keep relevant crime information from people (including blacks, frankly) due to political correctness. Your exact words were: “That is a thorny problem, and a very practical one. In the hierarchy of duties and responsibilities, should parents prefer keeping their children safe, or properly color-coded?” This is not a thorny problem at all. To insist, or even suggest, that parents put their children in unnecessary danger in order to have a particular (arbitrary) quota of diversity in their lives is simply immoral. In fact, I would say that those… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Armin wrote: The fact that whites are more often the victims of other whites than blacks is irrelevant. This is the case with every race and shouldn’t be a surprise, since people tend to be exposed more to other members of their own race than to other races in their daily lives. However, what IS relevant is the fact that blacks commit 27 times more violent crime against whites than the other way around. This is an absurdly irrational statement from Armin. If Whites are more often the victims of other Whites, as compared to Blacks, then it is entirely… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Armin wrote: You’re actually helping to make my point. The reason I exercise less caution around a golden retriever than a pit bull is that I understand the differences in behavioral tendencies of these breeds. No, Armin is merely sidestepping my point about variability. Armin can recognize that there are widely varying levels of aggressiveness between, and within, dog breeds, but somehow he’s unwilling to recognize variability among Blacks? Is Armin not aware that some American Indian tribes were peaceful and some were violent? Does Armin suppose this was/is somehow not the case among African tribes? Armin sees the logical… Read more »

Michael Sweeney
Guest
Michael Sweeney

I would choose a black neighborhood with a stong Gospel influence over a white neighborhood without one.

Micael Gustavsson
Guest
Micael Gustavsson

”Majority average human” was very good.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

Armin, when you look across cultures, minority status accompanied by historic hostility/discrimination from the dominant majority is a much stronger predictor of any group’s developing a sense of ethnic solidarity and pride. As groups assimilate and achieve mainstream success and acceptance in a multi-racial society, ethnic ties gradually weaken. Many blacks express pride about their group’s successes in athletics and entertainment. But, surely, this must be due to the fact that those avenues to fame and fortune were often the only ones open to them. And when you believe that your group is generally regarded as inferior, you will cling… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

Jill, You said: “As groups assimilate and achieve mainstream success and acceptance in a multi-racial society, ethnic ties gradually weaken.” How did you reach this conclusion? Is there some kind of study out there? Would this apply to different races as well as ethnicities? And what if there are certain groups that, for whatever reason, aren’t capable of assimilating? Do you even entertain that possibility? “But, surely, this must be due to the fact that those avenues to fame and fortune were often the only ones open to them.” But blacks have had all those avenues open to them for… Read more »

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

You might find this useful: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882688/ But I think there is evidence we can see for ourselves. Consider the position of the Irish when large numbers arrived in the northeastern US (or, for that matter, the Italians). Discrimination in housing and employment forged very strong ethnic identities for two groups who were seen as either Catholic and dumb or Catholic and criminal (or all three). It is undeniable that people of Irish (or Italian) descent see themselves as Americans first. Their affluence means that they don’t need Joe Kennedy I or a Mafia don to hand out turkeys at Christmas… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Both of your posts are excellent Jill. There are similar examples in my history. When the Palatine German refugees migrated in caravans across Europe seeking new lives in England or America, many of the British called them a “race of Vermin” who were “infesting” the country, said they were lazy, stupid, unskilled, and that German Catholics could never integrate into a free society. When my own German-speaking ancestors, most of whom were protestants facing religious persecution (Huguenots, Amish, Mennonites, etc.), came to America, they often settled in segregated communities speaking only the German language and engaging in German customs. Some… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jill,

“our current social structures do not favor the less intelligent. ” This is so true it hurts my brain. This is the American meritocracy at work.

In the past, there was a real sense of obligation to the family and those who were unable to compete, so the really negative outcome were hampered to some degree by familial support. As the family connections decline, the social Darwinism of our ruling elites will leave more and more behind.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

I find it heartbreaking. Most of the jobs that decent, hardworking people used to do without degrees or special training have vanished. In my childhood, people who drove milk trucks and women who were excellent typists could support not only themselves but a family. They owned houses. And benevolent employers with a sense of obligation to the community didn’t demand that even the mailroom guy have stellar academic qualifications. My own dear Snowflake has chosen a career–musical theater–in which she is virtually guaranteed to be living hand to mouth. But at least she had that choice.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And there was a time in history where resources were divided such that even a “less intelligent” person could make a living with no problem, even if he might not be quite as successful as his neighbor. A less-intelligent person could still hunt enough game, grow enough food, put together a good enough home, etc., because making your own living off your own resources doesn’t mean you have to fight tooth-and-nail to graduate at the top of your class so the capitalists will deem you worthy of their patronage. If you have property and a tradition of making good use… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There are plenty of other physical differences between blacks and whites including bone density, brain size, and serum testosterone, as well as mental differences such as IQ, time preference, and impulsiveness (traits which I do believe contribute to the crime disparity). It’s misleading to claim those are differences between Black people and White people. Black people and White people tremendously in all of those categories and overlap extensively. There isn’t a single category you have described for which you can draw any sort of lines that would define the “white” side and the “black” side, or for which you could… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Did you ever consider that ethnic solidarity isn’t about skin, but is about a shared experience of what it is like to be treated the way people with Black skin are treated in America?

Did Jonathan ever consider that Confederate solidarity isn’t merely about slavery, but is about a shared experience of what it is like to be treated the way people in the South were treated in America?

This topic is drawing out a number of ironies. It proves that Jonathan is actually capable of understanding certain arguments, but apparently only when they serve his agenda.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Did Jonathan ever consider that Confederate solidarity isn’t merely about slavery, but is about a shared experience of what it is like to be treated the way people in the South were treated in America? When did I ever suggest that Confederate solidarity was merely about slavery? This topic is drawing out a number of ironies. It proves that Jonathan is actually capable of understanding certain arguments, but apparently only when they serve his agenda. Either reference whatever you think you are talking about, or we chalk this up as the 6th time this month that you have lied about… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

When did I ever suggest that Confederate solidarity was merely about slavery?

Only every time Jonathan gratuitously points out that Wilson defends the flag, and honors Confederate soldiers. It’s on the growing list of things that Jonathan needs to apologize to Wilson for.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You lie, I never once suggested that Confederate solidarity was merely about slavery.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Armin, I read your articles, even though several of them were written by people I disagree strongly with and even openly cite racist sources in their arguments. Thus, I ask that you return the favor and stop refusing to read sources whose authors come to different conclusions than yourself. If you dismiss someone solely because their case is different than the case you want to make, you will learn little. In the same essay I asked you to take a look at last week, Coates makes a strong case for the fact that the situation for many Black people in… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan, “the situation for many Black people in the last 80 years has been categorically different than the situation for White people. ” You are making the same mistake as Armin is. You are using categories far too broad. Many people with white skin have had been oppressed and subjugated in the last 80 years. Many of the same people who you want to pay money to blacks now were given far worse circumstances than many of the ancestors of the people who would be getting that money. I was the first person in my family for over 100 hundred… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

I’m afraid you’re not woke enough, BJ. Spend some time here and see the errors of your ways!
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

JP,

That account is hilarious!

Here is the money quote: “We should replace all juries with diversity experts who can assign guilt or innocence based on quotas.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Stop painting with racial colors and start addressing actual sinful behavior and actual guilt and you will get a much more sympathetic hearing from me and most others here. Until then, you have oppressed whites paying money to rich blacks for sins they didn’t commit. I’m really bothered that you’re making false accusations here. Coates essay addresses a GREAT deal of actual sinful behavior and actual guilt that has real consequences. And he never insists on,”oppressed whites paying money to rich blacks” EVER in the article, and neither do I. I suggest you read the article and discuss the ACTUAL… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan,

I read the article when it first came out, and Coates has consistently argued that whites in society today should pay money to blacks in society today. If the only categories you use are racial colors, then you end up having oppressed, poor whites paying money to rich non-oppressed blacks.

If you use your categories (black and white)m which are the same categories Coates is using, then my criticism stands.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Neither I nor the article are discussing having poor white people pay money to rich black people. That has NOTHING to do with the conversation at all. The point of the article is to demonstrate that the experience of many black people (not necessarily all) has been qualitatively different from the experience of even oppressed White people. That is the very point I was making, with the article as a citation for that point. The solution is of course open-ended and there is NO chance in hell that the scenario you are speaking of will ever, ever come about, so… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan, “Neither I nor the article are discussing having poor white people pay money to rich black people. That has NOTHING to do with the conversation at all.” Then stop quoting an advocate for White reparations to black people, and stop using white and black as a category. Start using oppressed people and oppressors as your category and drop the racial broad brushes. “In discussing the specific scenarios described in the paper, would you agree that they are different than what White people face? ” Who is playing the oppression Olympics now? Your bigger point seems to be focused on… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The idea that I am not allowed to quote stories from someone who happens to hold a different position on an issue than me is ridiculous. Over the last two weeks there has been an enormous number of arguments brought out by at least four different people concerning why they refuse to engage with the actual information in the story, and it’s beginning to lead me to believe that something makes even the very act of engagement with these narratives very, very threatening to some people. I’m quite nonplussed by the fact that in every time we have discussed this… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan,

Let’s not talk past one another. Let me ask you some direct, simple questions. I will happily do the same for you.

Do you disagree with Coates that White people today, regardless of their personal behavior, have a Christian obligation to pay money to Black people today, regardless of the effects of slavery on their lives? Why/Why not?

Do you acknowledge that it is unbiblical to call people to repent of sin they have not personally committed?

My goal is to seek clarity.

Katecho
Member

Hear, hear! Jonathan has a habit of quoting from all of the woke warrior, leftist, progressive, statist websites and statistics, but then wants to claim plausible deniability that he is advocating any of their solutions. Jonathan needs to be called out and put on record as to what state policies, if any, he is advocating, so that we can cut through his duplicity.

Katecho
Member

Related to this, Jonathan has a habit of lumping non-sins together in a list of things that we, as Christians, would acknowledge to be sinful. For example, he will include wealth together with sexual abuse. This is a rhetorical tactic that is meant to suppress objection, because no one wants to be seen to be defending sexual abuse. Jonathan needs to be called out firmly when he does this sort of thing. We need to reject his tactic by directly refusing to let Jonathan muddy such topics together.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Related to what? What list are you responding to? What tendency are you referring to? I have a habit of doing “this sort of thing” in what way, where? Why are you even talking about sexual abuse right now?

None of this comment makes any sense in this context, at all.

If you are “calling me out”, then PLEASE quote what you are calling me out for. I can’t even make sense of what you are trying to say right now, nothing I’ve said in this entire conversation fits your attack in any way.

Substantiate your claims or stop posting.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Substantiate your claims or shut up.

I have caught you lying about my past statements six times this month alone. You have REPEATEDLY refused to substantiate your claims with quotes even after I have called you out. Why are have you been able to reply to dozens of my posts, often finding the most nit-picky things to critique, yet can’t reply to my challenges for you to substantiate your claims?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Let’s not talk past one another. Let me ask you some direct, simple questions. I will happily do the same for you. Do you disagree with Coates that White people today, regardless of their personal behavior, have a Christian obligation to pay money to Black people today, regardless of the effects of slavery on their lives? Why/Why not? I don’t believe that White people have an obligation (Christian or not) to pay money to Black people regardless of the effects of slavery on their lives, nor have I seen Coates suggest it. If he did suggest it I would disagree… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan, “I’m not sure if “unbliblical” is the right word, but I definitely wouldn’t do it. It is, however, Biblical to repent on behalf of not just yourself but also your greater community.” A call to someone to repent of sins they have not committed is a back-handed way of making an accusation. Accusations require two to three witnesses and are serious business in the Bible. If I called you to repent of raping three women, you would rightly say I am being “unbiblical.” If I called you to repent of a gang of people who shared your eye color… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

CORRECTION: “Only a fool DENIES that.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A call to someone to repent of sins they have not committed is a back-handed way of making an accusation. I have never done that, and I don’t believe Coates does that anywhere in his essay. The historical facts themselves, I don’t dispute. His implications that Blacks are powerless to change their circumstances now, and his claim that black poverty today is predominately caused by slavery and Jim Crow, I openly dispute. No one says that all Black people are powerless. However, the simple math of how capitalism works means that changing circumstances is difficult from the bottom and exceedingly… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: However, the simple math of how capitalism works means that changing circumstances is difficult from the bottom and exceedingly more difficult the greater the gaps are. …. That’s actually a NECESSARY aspect of how a monetary system based on loans-at-interest with no guarantee of property will work in the long run. On top of that, of course the fact that Black people have less-educated parents, are forced into worse schools, in worse neighborhoods, with worse experiences with the criminal justice system, worse access to employment, and are screwed over on the price of nearly everything compounds that. Why… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Actually, if we wanted to completely change the discussion and argue monetary policy, then the main changes I would suggest would involve less federal involvement in money and interest, not more. The most well-known economist who pioneered the critique I am proposing, Silvio Gesell, was far more anti-statist than those who developed our current monetary system, and could even be described as a sort of anarchist in his opposition to state control. Keynes in fact describes him as the positive counter to Marxism. But that’s just obviously an attempt by you to throw out false red herrings and poison the… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Actually, if we wanted to completely change the discussion and argue monetary policy, then the main changes I would suggest would involve less federal involvement in money and interest, not more. The most well-known economist who pioneered the critique I am proposing, Silvio Gesell, was far more anti-statist than those who developed our current monetary system, and could even be described as a sort of anarchist in his opposition to state control. Keynes in fact describes him as the positive counter to Marxism. Here is yet another example why no one should take Jonathan’s account of things for… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Notice that Katecho has proven himself incapable of verifying all the previous false claims and accusations he made yesterday after I rebuked them, so he just cast a bunch of downvotes and then moved on to a completely off-topic agenda from a four-day old post. Interesting, and in line with what he’s been doing the entire last month. Here is yet another example why no one should take Jonathan’s account of things for granted, and without verification. Gesell was hardly anti-statist. He was a radical economist who proposed extreme State intervention in both monetary and capital control. Anyone can do… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Also, pointing out a single policy of Gesell that I like doesn’t mean I support his entire agenda. Here we have it. Jonathan prepares the door for his plausible deniability exit. Unfortunately, the two pillars of Gesell’s agenda are “Free Land” and “Free Money”, both of which are extreme forms of statism. There’s nothing left of Gesell if you remove those two things. Jonathan wrote: And fiat money and land control were already designated by pure state intervention, that’s no different than the current system in that regard. You should read your history/economics. So Jonathan’s argument is that… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Gesell isn’t a radical statist and free money isn’t extreme statist, you may literally be the ONLY person in the world who has ever claimed that. This agenda of yours is making you spiral further and further into a caricature. This is how people whose agenda isn’t a single-minded obsession with another commenter describe Gesell. Just a heads-up – “anarchist” and “libertarian” aren’t typically used as code-wars for “extreme statist.” Silvio Gesell (17 March 1862 – 11 March 1930) was a German merchant, theoretical economist, social activist, Georgist, anarchist, libertarian socialist, and founder of Freiwirtschaft. The publications of [Gesell’s] Free-Economy… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Also, just because it’s an amazing quote from Gesell that should honestly place him in higher regard than any length of warped misunderstandings you might spill about him, here is what he had to say in a letter to the editor on November 10, 1918, the eve of the armistice agreement ending World War I. In spite of the holy promise of all people to banish war, once and for all, in spite of the cry of millions ‘Never a war again,’ in spite of all the hopes for a better future, I have this to say: If the present… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan, “I have never done that, and I don’t believe Coates does that anywhere in his essay.” When you use overly broad categories like White and Black, you necessary implicate innocent people in your statements. I reiterate my point once again, drop the racial categories, and we will probably agree much more. “No one says that all Black people are powerless. ” You are not directly saying black people are powerless, but your fixation on race definitely leaves the impression that poor pitiful blacks can never get a break from the evil white man. I was a teacher in inner-city… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But this is a good place to add that you seem to spend a lot of time talking about discrimination in lending, and I will agree that it does happen. But here is where I would make two points: (1) This is more of a class-based thing than a race based thing. It does happen to blacks more, but that it because blacks are more likely to be poor, statistically speaking. I don’t like the stereotyping anymore than you do, but it also happens to rural redneck types, because we tend to be poor, statistically speaking. I know, because it… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

BJ, you said: But this is a good place to add that you seem to spend a lot of time talking about discrimination in lending, and I will agree that it does happen. We need to get rid of the idea that discrimination is a bad thing. Discrimination in lending should happen; it protects everyone. And no, I’m not talking about race-based discrimination. The mortgage industry, with the “help” of Democrats, jettisoned years of tried-and-true risk assessment in favor of being “non-discriminatory”, and all it led to was a bunch of pain in the form of bad paper being bundled… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Housing speculators were more responsible for the mortgage crisis than homeowners were. Housing speculators caused the increase in home prices from 2004-2006, and when the market collapsed, speculators defaulted at much higher rates than homeowners who lived in their homes did – perhaps for obvious reasons, and homeowners wanted to stay in their homes, while speculators had far less issue just dumping a bad bet. https://qz.com/1064061/house-flippers-triggered-the-us-housing-market-crash-not-poor-subprime-borrowers-a-new-study-shows/ https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2011/12/flip-this-house-investor-speculation-and-the-housing-bubble.html https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/files/economicconsequencesofhousingspecula_preview.pdf There’s a lot more I could unpack from your statement and I disagree with several of your other assumptions too (though I do agree that subprime loans are stupid and encouraging more… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Housing speculators were more responsible for the mortgage crisis than homeowners were. Housing speculators caused the increase in home prices from 2004-2006, and when the market collapsed, speculators defaulted at much higher rates than homeowners who lived in their homes did – perhaps for obvious reasons, and homeowners wanted to stay in their homes, while speculators had far less issue just dumping a bad bet. https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2011/12/flip-this-house-investor-speculation-and-the-housing-bubble.html There’s a lot more I could unpack from your statement and I disagree with several of your other assumptions too (though I do agree that subprime loans are stupid and encouraging more debt is… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, we can play this game all day:

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/12/new-study-finds-democrats-fully-to-blame-for-subprime-mortgage-crisis-that-caused-financial-collapse/

As usual, you obsessively browse around in the little patch of weeds off in the far corner in order to score a gotcha! rather than deal with the entire lawn. No wonder most of us here are getting exasperated with you.

Discrimination isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want to argue that discrimination is a sinful sin and should be banned, then knock yourself out. You might as well argue that water isn’t wet and that the Pope ain’t Catholic.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I agree that if you’re just going to post lies, we won’t get anywhere. I quoted a study by the Fed themselves, that explicitly showed the data in a manner easy even for laymen to see immediately. You quoted a false statement by a conservative paper referring to a study from a conservative think tank, with no link to the actual study because the study did NOT state that Democrats were “fully to blame for subprime mortgage crisis.” Here is the link to the actual study. https://www.nber.org/papers/w18609.pdf Your article doesn’t link it because the actual study doesn’t say a single… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

And right on cue… You quoted a false statement by a conservative paper referring to a study from a conservative think tank, with no link to the actual study because the study did NOT state that Democrats were “fully to blame for subprime mortgage crisis.” I quoted something in my last comment? That’s news to me. That you consider the statement false (which statement?) is nothing more than an unsubstantiated assertion from a nitwit. Of course, what you left out is the fact that Gateway Pundit also linked to Investors Business Daily, which in turn referred to the NBER study.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course, what you left out is the fact that Gateway Pundit also linked to Investors Business Daily, which in turn referred to the NBER study. And don’t even try with the “b-b-b-but they didn’t actually give a DIRECT LINK to the study!!!eleventy!!!” You’re not going to skate on a technicality. Jonathan, lying by omission is still lying. Or is it that you didn’t actually read the article to which I linked? Neither looks good for you. Investor’s Business Daily is the conservative paper the quote came from and they did NOT link the study because the study says nothing… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan claimed: Investor’s Business Daily is the conservative paper the quote came from and they did NOT link the study because the study says nothing remotely like their claim. What did I say, Jonathan? You’re not going to skate on a technicality. How many times do I need to beat it through your thick skull that the ACTUAL STUDY supports IBD’s headline? IBD’s claim: New Study Finds CRA ‘Clearly’ Did Lead To Risky Lending The conclusion, which is IN THE ACTUAL STUDY: We find that adherence to the [CRA] act leads to riskier lending by banks: in the six quarters… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you again FP for showing everyone exactly who you are. No one is going to decide to agree with you because you’ve become profane and insulting again. It’s always your tell that you’ve been caught in the wrong. Where’s the MASSIVE Republican support, Jonathan? Republicans supported it 115 to 12 in the House, to be exact. Republicans 25 to 7 in the Senate, to be exact. It was a bipartisan bill passed with the support of over 80% of Republicans voting. That quite obviously counts as massive Republican support. Then the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 passed with…… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, you crowed: Thank you again FP for showing everyone exactly who you are. No one is going to decide to agree with you because you’ve become profane and insulting again. And yet, you’re the one garnering all the downvotes. Go figure. Republicans supported it 115 to 12 in the House, to be exact. Republicans 25 to 7 in the Senate, to be exact. It was a bipartisan bill passed with the support of over 80% of Republicans voting. That quite obviously counts as massive Republican support. And yet, it was passed by a supermajority Democrat Congress, and signed into… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Stupid lack of editing… the second paragraph from the top is supposed to be block quoted.

Micael Gustavsson
Guest
Micael Gustavsson

If only 20 persons in the House voted against, and only 7 in the Senate, it obviously was heavy republican as well as democratic support.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Micael, The problem is that you’re not seeing the entire picture. Yes, Republicans voted for it, but the CRA was heavily Democrat driven. Here are the numbers to get a sense of just how Democrat-driven the CRA was when it was passed in 1977: The sponsor of the House bill (H.R. 6655) was a Democrat. Of the 18 co-sponsors, 14 were Democrats. In the House, the Yea vote was 257 Democrats, 112 Republicans. The Nay vote was 5 Democrats, 15 Republicans. The Not Voting tally was 26 Democrats, 17 Republicans. In the Senate, the Yea vote was 53 Democrats, 25… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

fp,

“Does that sound like massive Republican support to you?”

Well, 25:7 and 112:15 yeas:nays by the Republicans is quite lopsided. Maybe not “massive”, but very high for legislation apparently initiated by the Democrats, so why quibble about the adjective? Sure, I think the Democrats are primarily responsible, but let’s not ignore the fact that many Republicans went along with it, too.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

As usual, you obsessively browse around in the little patch of weeds off in the far corner in order to score a gotcha! rather than deal with the entire lawn. No wonder most of us here are getting exasperated with you.

I love that you called a direct link to the Fed “a little patch of weeds off in the far corner” while then posting a false statement in a conservative propaganda piece as your rebuttal.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The comment with links seems stuck in moderation, here is a more mainstream article:

https://qz.com/1064061/house-flippers-triggered-the-us-housing-market-crash-not-poor-subprime-borrowers-a-new-study-shows/

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You are making the same mistake as Armin is. You are using categories far too broad. Many people with white skin have had been oppressed and subjugated in the last 80 years. You have quickly made the categories far broader than I did. I am not denying that there are White people who face oppression. I have never said anything like that. What I said was that there are situations that many Black people are in that are categorically different than the situations White people are in. The vast majority of White people in America were not part of families… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan, “What I said was that there are situations that many Black people are in that are categorically different than the situations White people are in.” Still using white and black as categories. This is too big. “Again, we aren’t playing the oppression Olympics.” You are not understating my point if you think this is what I am doing. My criticism is that you are using improper categories. I am not arguing whites have had it worse than blacks. That would falling into your error of using categories that are too big. My point is that you need to stop… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Is “Christian” too big a category to use when discussing oppression in various Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc?

Is “Jew” too big a category to use when discussing oppression in Nazi Germany?

I have trouble seeing how “Black” is too big a category to use when discussing oppression that even Pastor Wilson has admitted was explicitly along White/Black lines in a manner that directly affected people here, including Wilson, in our own lifetimes.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jonathan,

When discussing history in order to gain knowledge, that level of generality is fine. So, no the categories are not too big in that context.

When discussing guilt and who should pay indulgences to whom to expiate their sins, white and black are far too big.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

When discussing guilt and who should pay indulgences to whom to expiate their sins, white and black are far too big.

Absolutely no one, not me nor Coates’s essay nor anyone else in this discussion, has used White and Black as categories to discuss guilt or who should pay indulgences.

NO ONE HAS SAID THAT.

Is that clear yet? I’m getting past tired of having my actual words and arguments ignored in place of dead straw horses who are taking terrible beatings right now.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

If you are going to rely on Coates to make your point, you have to understand that you will be assumed to agree with him and his open calls for reparations unless you state clearly that you disagree. If you have done that and I missed, apologies.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’d rather just assume that my arguments be taken at face value and people not assume anything other than the actual point that is being made. Should everyone who flies a Confederate Flag be automatically assumed to be supporting slavery until proven otherwise? Coates does not say anywhere in that essay that all White people need to pay cash to all Black people. He doesn’t advocate for any particular means of reparations, he even says at one point that society may simply determine that reparations are impossible and simply concede that the injustice can’t be undone. The thing Coates is… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Should everyone who flies a Confederate Flag be automatically assumed to be supporting slavery until proven otherwise?

Jonathan sure seems to think so. Even after hearing Wilson’s many direct qualifications for his use of the flag, and his repudiation of race-based slavery. Go figure.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Liar, I have never anything like that.

Katecho
Member

Apparently Jonathan now has amnesia. Under Wilson’s post In Praise of Our President, Jonathan wrote: Your supposed slippery slope seems to ignore the distinction of celebrating someone despite their evil, and celebrating the actual evil deeds that they did or the very evil ideas they celebrate. … The Confederate Flag was explicitly flown in order to preserve slavery. That was very much the reason for its existence. Do you have an alternative reason for it not existing? If the South hadn’t desired to maintain White Supremacy over Black people, then there would have been no Confederacy. They seceded to preserve… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Katecho, your false misrepresentations know no bounds. I stated that the Confederate Flag was flown to PRESERVE slavery during the Civil War. That is obviously a historical fact about 1861-1865 (the last time that preserving slavery was even a question), not a claim about people flying the flag today. And you KNOW that, because this is the paragraph before that in the very comment you just quoted: But I would make a different argument, probably the same one that you are trying to make without the hyperbole – that if a symbol has come to have one dominant meaning, and… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan has been completely duplicitous on this subject from the beginning, and backfills his claims, when confronted, in order to wrap himself incessant denials, however, words have meaning, and Jonathan claimed:

There are plenty of ways to celebrate anything positive you can find in there without celebrating the thing [Confederate flag] that was explicitly created in order to preserve slavery.

Jonathan has argued, wrongly, that the Confederate flag has only one historic meaning, but, when confronted, he magnanimously allows that some relativist could appropriate that flag for some other meaning besides support of slavery.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Not “when confronted” Katecho, I made that point back in the original debate within the exact comment we were discussing, and you purposely ignored it when selectively quoting. The Confederate Battle Flag, which was only flown starting with secession in 1861, DID only have one meaning – to represent Southern Secession from the union for the purposes of indefinitely maintaining slavery against perceived Northern interference. I made quite clear on multiple occasions that this was not the reason that every Confederate fought then and that this is not why every Confederate sympathizer flies the flag now, but it was certainly… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Coates does not say anywhere in that essay that all White people need to pay cash to all Black people. He doesn’t advocate for any particular means of reparations, he even says at one point that society may simply determine that reparations are impossible and simply concede that the injustice can’t be undone. Somehow Jonathan is able to take an article titled, “The Case for Reparations”, and still come away thinking that the author of that article wasn’t making any case for actual reparations. This is how Jonathan’s mind works, and why I can no longer take him… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s an obviously false reworking of my statement, and anyone can look at what I said and then look at what you claimed I said and see the difference.

Coates made the case for why reparations is justified, but did not suggest that reparations would consist of all White people paying cash to all Black people, did not advocate for any particular means of reparations, and explicitly stated that it may be impossible to undue the injustice that was done.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Absolutely no one has used race to discuss guilt or who should pay indulgences. I certainly haven’t done that, and I’m pretty sure Coates never does either anywhere in his essay.

So STOP with the red herrings and strawmen and start dealing with the actual arguments that are being made.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: In the worst neighborhoods, the effects are dramatic. One study of Boston homicide rates found that 80% of Black homicides occurred in just 3 neighborhoods. How can you claim this is a race issue when a tiny geographical subset of the Black community is SO much more likely to experience this problem than the rest of the communities? When you use statistics to lump all Black people at certain statistical levels together, it ignores how truly localized the problem often is. Where was this Jonathan back when he was lumping gun statistics together and ignoring and downplaying how… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A. Gun deaths are not extremely localized. For instance, of the people in my life who have died from guns, the majority have been White, though a large number of my friends are non-White, and those deaths have occurred in Oregon, suburban Los Angeles, and urban Los Angeles. Many of the places with high rates of gun deaths are quite rural. B. If we believe criminal gun use to be a significant issue, then reducing criminal gun use obviously has significant benefits whether the effects of the issue are localized or not. The disasters that occurred in 9/11 were quite… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: A. Gun deaths are not extremely localized. For instance, of the people in my life who have died from guns, the majority have been White, though a large number of my friends are non-White, and those deaths have occurred in Oregon, suburban Los Angeles, and urban Los Angeles. Many of the places with high rates of gun deaths are quite rural. As one who seems to pride himself on his knowledge of the subject, this ranks as one of the sillier things Jonathan has ever said. Gun violence is highly localized and correlated with high population density, poverty,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

26% of gun homicides is a lot, 74% is a lot more. And gun homicides are less than half of gun deaths, so you’ve just proven that about 10% of national gun deaths are highly concentrated. There are certain places in which gun homicides are especially high, but that does not preclude there being a LOT of other places where gun deaths are also an issue. The ten states with the highest rates of gun deaths are Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Notice the relative lack of major urban centers? Meanwhile, the… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I don’t know what you consider the minimum population to qualify as a major urban center, but those ten states with the highest rates of gun deaths do have cities. Granted Kansas City and St Louis (MO); Oklahoma City (OK); and New Orleans (LA), to name a few, are not NYC, but they are hardly rural villages. I do not know the within-state statistics, but I suspect in all those ten states gun deaths are concentrated in the cities. St Louis, MO for example, has one of the highest murder rates in the U.S., if not the highest. When you… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I agree that those states have cities and the cities have high rates of gun violence, but most of the US population is in cities so merely pointing out that much of the gun deaths are in cities doesn’t exactly concentrate it that much. And states like Alaska and Montana and Arkansas were also on the list of top-10 highest gun death rates. I looked up Alaska and Oklahoma as two test cases. It looks like Anchorage has 40% of Alaska’s population and 44% of its murders, so the murder rate outside Anchorage is almost as high as the murder… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I agree that those states have cities and the cities have high rates of gun violence, but most of the US population is in cities so merely pointing out that much of the gun deaths are in cities doesn’t exactly concentrate it that much. I guess I should be delighted that I’m not the only one Jonathan is ignoring. Welcome, JohnM. Jonathan wrote: And states like Alaska and Montana and Arkansas were also on the list of top-10 highest gun death rates. Notice that Jonathan wants to discuss gun deaths, generally, rather than have to acknowledge that gun… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I guess I should be delighted that I’m not the only one Jonathan is ignoring. Welcome, JohnM. As you not only saw my response that dealt explicitly with the topic that JohnM brought up but even downvoted it, I find this one of your more inexplicable lies. Notice that Jonathan wants to discuss gun deaths, generally, rather than have to acknowledge that gun homicide is quite localized. Clever tactic, but not helpful. Another strange lie – while I do think that gun deaths in general are significant, the following three paragraphs after this single sentence you quoted all dealt explicitly… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Also, compare your map of gun homicides to this map of population: http://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/north-america.jpg You had merely pointed out that people die where people live. 50% of the gun homicides don’t even occur in the big cities that hold 25% of the population – so the lower 50% of gun homicides being distributed across 75% of the population is still a great deal of homicide. And as gun accidents, suicides, police killings, and other gun-related deaths track differently than gun homicides track, the distribution becomes even greater. You can’t claim that gun deaths are a localized problem when states from Alaska… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: You had merely pointed out that people die where people live. This confirms why no one should trust Jonathan to accurately report on statistical data. It’s as if he didn’t even read the article. Jonathan wrote: You can’t claim that gun deaths are a localized problem when states from Alaska to Montana to Oklahoma are joining cities like New Orleans and Kansas City and Salinas in having large levels of gun deaths. It’s a problem that affects a great number of Americans in many walks of life. For instance, while Idaho’s extremely low population and low population density… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No doubt gun suicides and gun accidents are more randomly dispersed, but we were discussing gun homicide before Jonathan tried to change the subject to gun deaths in general. That is another lie on your part, I said gun deaths from the very beginning before YOU tried to change the subject to gun homicide. Not to mention that this entire subject is a strange attempt to change the subject by you, as it has absolutely nothing to do with what we were talking about and enables you to avoid answering in the numerous places where you were challenged to substantiate… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

Gun homicide rate vs. gun accident rate and gun suicide rate.

I, and likely many others, do not consider these categories to be of equal significance. Gun accidents are generally the result of stupidity and gun suicides are generally related to mental issues. Gun homicides, however, are commonly related to criminal activity and domestic disputes. Those homicides are my biggest concern about guns.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I consider gun accidents, gun suicides, and gun homicides to all be of importance, though obviously not for all the same reasons. Gun accidents often lead to the death of someone other than the “stupid” person, and gun suicides are often preventable. Poor mental health is not a static state but often an impulsive one – the large majority of people who attempt suicide never successfully commit it if they are stopped or fail the first time. However, access to guns makes suicides far more likely to fail. Thus measures which make it more difficult for someone in an impulsively… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Someone with a gun in their home is around 1.4-2.0 times more likely to have a family member experience homicide in the home and around 2.0-3.0 times more likely to have a family member experience suicide.

See how Jonathan uses statistics about the “average gun in the home” in precisely the same way that he rebuked Armin for using statistics about the “average black in the neighborhood”. This is why no one should trust Jonathan with statistics, or with logical consistency.

Nathan James
Member

Good point.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

See how Jonathan uses statistics about the “average gun in the home” in precisely the same way that he rebuked Armin for using statistics about the “average black in the neighborhood”. This is why no one should trust Jonathan with statistics, or with logical consistency. You think I was suggesting that no one quote average statistics, ever? Arwin used statistics about the “average” Black person to argue why all Black people should be considered dangerous and no one should move to a Black neighborhood. I have never stated that no one should own a gun, in fact I’ve repeatedly told… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

“Someone with a gun in their home is around 1.4-2.0 times more likely to have a family member experience homicide in the home and around 2.0-3.0 times more likely to have a family member experience suicide. “

I note a difference between your usage of statistics here and regarding murder by race:
– With murder by race, you chose to focus on the actual number, not the rate, but …
– here you focus on the rate, not the actual number.

In other words, you seem to change your usage according to your desired result.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I note a difference between your usage of statistics here and regarding murder by race: – With murder by race, you chose to focus on the actual number, not the rate, but … – here you focus on the rate, not the actual number. In other words, you seem to change your usage according to your desired result. That’s not true, when the question was how significant gun deaths were to different regions of the USA, I brought up the actual numbers several times. Do you not remember me quoting the total number of gun deaths and gun homicides in… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Wait, I guess I could use an actual number in the sense of saying, “If you have a gun in your home, that increases the chance of a death in your home by approximately 0.1 over the course of 50 years” (very roughly). In other words, for every 1000 homes that chose to have a gun, there will be about 1 additional death. That’s saying the exact same thing as the “rate” argument, it’s just a bit more convoluted and slightly tougher to understand. But it makes the same point – the presence of a gun in the home is… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, “But it makes the same point – the presence of a gun in the home is a safety concern, not a safety creator.” Which is approximately the same logic as Arwin’s argument that having more Blacks in a neighborhood makes it less safe. Which suggests that your insistence in that instance of looking at the actual number of murders rather than the rate increase was deflecting from his point that it was less safe. (And, yes, I know you also stated his assumptions were poor, etc. so the rate increase would be less, blah, blah, blah. Don’t bother to… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I did not introduce safety into the home gun ownership conversation, Pastor Wilson did, when he insisted that gun ownership is a Christian duty due to safety concerns. I argued that those safety concerns were misplaced. I did not argue that giving up guns was a Christian duty due to that issue, I think it is people’s own decision to make, but they should make it with accurate knowledge (and theology) rather than false assumptions. Arwin argued that due to fear of safety issues, Christians should be advised not to move into diverse neighborhoods. I argued that gun ownership was… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, You state that guns in the home make it less safe for the home inhabitants. You then argue “that gun ownership was people’s own decision to make, but it should be made with correct knowledge of the risk rather than false preaching about guns making you safer.” Arwin states that more Blacks in a neighborhood make it less safe for the neighborhood inhabitants. He then argues that living there is people’s own decision to make, but it should be made with correct knowledge of the risk. I do not see a difference in the logic. Disagreement with the premises… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There’s a huge difference between making a clarification in reaction to a false statement, and in bringing in a new argument altogether as your main point. The part that you keep missing is that I was arguing against Pastor Wilson’s use of safety as a reason to insist that Christians should own guns, and brought up the statistics to counter Pastor Wilson use of false statistics to claim that guns make you safer. I said that people are free to own guns, like I do, but they should NOT do so under false promises of safety. I never bring up… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

It seems you think there is a moral obligation for the Church to be diverse in every way in every location, and to promote this within society and government. Is that accurate?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No.

I think there is a moral obligation for the Church to not avoid diversity when avoiding diversity is bringing harm to members of the body, even when avoiding diversity has become the “default” position.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

Just how does one know that “avoiding diversity is bringing harm to members of the body”? Or its corollary, diversity in the Church prevents harm to members of the body?

Edit: This comment copied to the next Letters post to continue the discussion. See Comment 221513.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A good example is Acts 6, where the separation between the Hebrew and Hellenist communities was causing the Hellenist widows to be neglected in the distribution. As a very different example, note how Paul appears frequently aware of how the Jews and the Gentiles needed each other’s perspectives and could see problems brewing where one or the other was missing the witness of their counterparts. N.T. Wright in his incredible study on Paul (honestly one of the most comprehensive works put together on any Biblical figure in our lifetime) comes to the conclusion that one of Paul’s primary missions was… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If you want to think about it in a different way, would Armin’s argument have looked the same if he himself had chosen to relocate in a Black neighborhood? If not, then it’s probably a pretty different argument from mine, as someone who enjoys guns, is an excellent target shooter, proud of hunting big game (deer and bear), and is not against informed and non-violent gun ownership.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

“Coates makes a strong case for the fact that the situation for many Black people in the last 80 years has been categorically different than the situation for White people. “

I disagree. Instead of a strong case, I think Coates makes a lot of claims that the situation for many Black people in the last 80 years has been categorically different than the situation for White people. I found little substantiation for his claims. It seems that your perception of what constitutes a strong case is substantially different from mine.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Isn’t this the same thing I complained about the two previous weeks, where an assertion is simply dismissed without the slightest bit of support, citation, or even demonstration of the logical process that it took to reach it?

How exactly do you wish the conversation to proceed from here? I don’t see any next step.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, Where do I start? “The article barely even mentions reparations and doesn’t advocate for any method of them at all.” What? The article’s title is The Case for Reparations  and the word reparations is used at least 50 times in the article. I was mistakenly confused about Black murder rates previously, but I find it hard to believe you are just mistaken about Coates’ emphasis on reparations in his essay. And maybe Coates doesn’t “advocate for any method”, but it’s interesting that he only mentions one method when he says: “Scholars have long discussed methods by which America might… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What? The article’s title is The Case for Reparations and the word reparations is used at least 50 times in the article. The article makes the case for WHY reparations would be justifiable by discussing the different histories of White and Black people, it barely even discusses what actual reparations would look like and never once says they should involve payments from White people to Black people. And maybe Coates doesn’t “advocate for any method”, but it’s interesting that he only mentions one method That doesn’t make sense, that’s one of several “methods” that he mentions. Okay. Hang on, didn’t… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, Jonathan said: “The article barely even mentions reparations and doesn’t advocate for any method of them at all.” I replied: “What? The article’s title is The Case for Reparations and the word reparations is used at least 50 times in the article.” Jonathan replied: “The article makes the case for WHY reparations would be justifiable by discussing the different histories of White and Black people, it barely even discusses what actual reparations would look like and never once says they should involve payments from White people to Black people.” Then I will suppose you are saying that in the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, OKRickety, you are right and I should have been more clear. I should have said that in the author’s discussion of the Black experience in America, he barely even mentions what actual reparations would look like. He did discuss reparations more extensively in covering those other historical issues. Thank you for discerning what I meant (even though I made it more difficult than I should have). And thank you for understanding the case – that was literally all I was asking from that reference. It is beyond obvious that any sort of cash transfer or government reparations is a… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, “I believe that the #1 response of the church needs to be to intermix its resources with the Black community, most importantly its human and social resources. Being willing to move into Black neighborhoods, to plant honestly multiethnic churches in previously segregated communities, to befriend Black families in difficult situations, to teach in Black schools, and so on. “The resources of the White church should become the resources of the multiethnic church. “And, as I keep pointing out with the Hellenist/Hebrew issue of Acts 6, this obviously isn’t workable in a paternalistic, top-down way, but only in a true… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I also note the interesting trend in this community to demonize money when it comes to Black people, even though money is otherwise seen as a great positive good. Pastor Wilson started off this entire conversation with his suggestion that we shouldn’t even talk about apologizing for injustice towards Black people because they might bring up cash. His exact words, in the very first paragraph on the subject three weeks ago, were: And then also, if you want to read about the inevitable consequences of this, the utterly predictable howls of “that’s not nearly good enough, although cash might be… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Indeed. “I would not be the first to point out the parallels between progressive goals and religious eschatology. Coates, for instance, professes to be an atheist, but tweak a few details and the ‘Rapture becomes Reparations––which he has said will lead to a ‘spiritual renewal’ and a ‘revolution of the American consciousness.'”
https://quillette.com/2018/05/14/the-racism-treadmill/

Reparations is a racket, as is the entire racism treadmill, but secular and “Christian” progressives won’t abandon it. They’ve doubled down too many times and it’s a huge part of their belief system.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not sure which secular and Christian progressives you are referring to. I rarely see the idea of reparations brought up, there’s probably been multiple-year stretches of my life where I didn’t even hear the term in a positive sense once. Coates’ essay was interesting in that it reignited the discussion for the first time in quite some time, before then I can’t remember having heard anyone use the term in years other than as a boogeyman.

Can you point to specific Christians that I would have heard of before for whom reparations is “a huge part of their belief system”?

soylentg
Member

Armin says: “But blacks are disproportionately predisposed to commit violent crimes. You can control for social variables such as income, education, and social status, as well as for IQ, and blacks still have a higher crime rate. ”

Here’s a far better situation for Armin to ponder: Christians who make claims that race is the biggest factor in predisposition to commit crime are overwhelmingly predisposed to be false converts.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

” If the secular nation turned to me and said, “We want your wisdom, but we don’t want your Jesus. What do you think we should do about this racial tension that we keep making worse?” my answer would be, “Sorry, I’ve got nothing.””

To the extent that is true it applies equally to *any* societal problem. However, in the meantime the law is for the lawless, and the law is not useless.

Nathan James
Member

Paul’s letter asked whether hiring managers must repent if they don’t interview as many people with black-sounding names as they do people with white-sounding names. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to ask whether bias itself is injustice. Individuals are biased in all kinds of ways, some prefer red trucks over blue trucks, Chevy over Dodge, Forty-Niners over Steelers. Everyone is biased against ugliness, and some people are ugly through no fault of their own. It is clear that a man must repent when he fails to give another person what is owed them, but I’m not sure we can… Read more »

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

Some of this simply can’t be helped. I think a lot of bias operates at an unconscious level, and a person may not realize he is consistently giving interviews to candidates whose names he associates with pleasant people from his past life. But studies have shown that non-minority sounding names can also trigger prejudices among people reading resumes. If you want a job as an intern in a blue chip investment firm, you will do better if your resume says Catherine rather than Destiny. It may be unfair, but that’s how it is. Maybe parents should provide each child with… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill Smith (long time no see),

That’s a good idea regarding names. Even spelling would influence me. For example, I would prefer James to Jaymes and Rachel to Raychell. Note: Destiny was being kind. More likely it would be Destinee or even D’estinee.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Destiny was being kind. More likely it would be Destinee or even D’estinee.

Why is a White-sounding name “kind” compared to a Black-sounding name?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

OKRickety didn’t say a white-sounding name is kind compared to a black sounding name. He was talking about likely, as opposed to ordinary, spelling.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

The kindness is not that it’s a “white-sounding” name, but in her choice to use Destiny as an example of unusual. So I thought she was being kind to the parents who give their children names that I find ludicrous, for example, actual names like Va’Shaundya, D’Brickashaw, or my current favorite, Lil’Jordan Maleak Humphrey. For what it’s worth, I also consider names like Thermos, Quade, Gunner, and Westin to be awful, too.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

I would kind of like to see an end to the geographic motif. Did these people use an atlas and a pin?

Jane
Member

I knew a woman who named her daughters London, Darby, and Chelsea. And yes, she was a pretentious as that indicates.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

And then your next step is the fight with your daughter’s school. I made several trips demanding that Carolina be changed back to plain, English Caroline. This was quite noble of me because I was told that having Carolina on her official records might benefit her down the road. I looked at them in astonishment. “You are telling me that this Canadian and her Jewish husband are supposed to pretend to be a Hispanic family entitled to affirmative action? Do we claim we were born in Tegucigalpa? ” Well, it was just a thought, take it or leave it.

adad0
Member

Hey Jilly! Happy New year!

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

Happy new year, Adad! I hope you and the family are well. My snowflake is studying drama in Scotland and I am an apache helicopter with no one to hover over. Time for a foster child so I can produce another snowflake to add to the avalanche.

Katecho
Member

Jill Smith wrote: It may be unfair, but that’s how it is. Interesting. I seem to recall a similar conversation, but the topic was unnaturally dyed hair. I argued that the unusual hair, like an unusual name, speaks, even if the wearer of that hair doesn’t intend for it to speak. As I recall, Jill came down, rather strongly, against the notion that such hair can be recognized to say anything at all in this present enlightened generation. Now I agree that natural associations and instincts toward unusual names and hair dyes can be overcome, by giving due process to… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Am I the only one who thinks that an uncommon or even unfortunate name is not the death knell so many claim it is?

It could pose as a hurdle initially, but I think the American meritocracy still works. I can’t pronounce Eastern European names to save my life, but if the guy or gal is talented, I don’t care what their names are.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Do you think Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s names worked against them? I don’t know if that is the case, but I have wondered.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I don’t think so. Once folk were exposed to them and their ideas, they were elected to the Senate.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

However, the electorate that voted them into the Senate isn’t necessarily the same as the segment that rejected them in the primaries.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

I think Cruz was smart to go by Ted rather than Rafael. On the other hand, Robert O’Roarke took some heat for going by Beto. My patient snowflake explained the rules to me. You are only allowed to appropriate from the dominant culture. I can’t call myself Juanita without accusations of cultural appropriation, but Juanita can call herself Jill. Though why she would want to, I can’t imagine. Inquiries about what Jack and I did while disporting ourselves at the top of the hill were amusing only for the first 50 times or so.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I prefer to imagine devotion rather than clumsiness as the explanation for tumbling Jill, if it makes you feel any better.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Did O’Roarke really get accused of cultural appropriation for going by “Beto”? Literally all the liberals I know like him going by Beto, and I was under the impression that he was well-liked by the Hispanic community, while literally every single person I’ve heard criticizing the “Beto” name was a conservative who accused him of pandering, not of cultural appropriation.

And the rules your snowflake suggests only apply to a tiny segment of internet warriors. In general society, people from the majority community appropriate from the minority community quite happily and often to great financial benefit.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

Hi Jonathan. The criticisms I read of O’Roarke’s using “Beto” were not made by liberals or by Hispanics liberal or not, but by a few conservatives who chose to apply a rule in which I suspect they do not ordinarily believe! I agree with you that pandering was the real but unspoken accusation. But my daughter explained to me how the rule operates. She is not an internet warrior but she does, alas, identify as a member of the dramatic community which is equally doctrinaire. This makes it impossible for me not to tease her, especially during our recent slog… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“Ted” not Rafael. “Bobby”, not Piyush. “Nikki”, not Nimrata. Conservative politicians due seem to think that names matter.

You also see this in how they treat opponents – I’ve repeatedly seen Conservative politicians emphasize their opponents’ middle names when those names were especially “ethnic” and they thought could be used to hurt them. Not just in Obama’s case, but it even happened in some elections in this cycle.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

“Ted” not Rafael. “Bobby”, not Piyush. “Nikki”, not Nimrata. Conservative politicians due seem to think that names matter.

I didn’t realize Beto was a conservative.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You are certainly intelligent to notice the obvious logical flaw you just committed. That was one of the most basic errors of logical reasoning possible.

Does if A then B mean if B then A?

Jane
Member

How does Nikki Haley going by the name her family has used all her life factor into what conservative politicians seem to think matters? Is it somehow unusual enough to draw a political conclusion about the situation, for a man whose father has the same name to go by a nickname?

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

Names can be a problem because people are adept at signaling and recognizing signals. If I name my daughter Flower, I am signaling something about her culture and upbringing – that her parents are a bunch of unwashed hippies, and probably communists. If I name my son “Gianni Dibello VI”, I am communicating that our family is stuffy and genteel, and probably rich. If I name my daughter Ledasha with a hyphen, I convey to the casual observer that her parents are illiterate. It is not prejudice to recognize the signals people send. If I don’t want my children to… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Well said. But those signals are sent by the parents, not the kids. Either way, though, once people are exposed to the person, the signal sent typically fades.

I just have a hard time thinking a bad name creates an impenetrable wall to opportunities.

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

Agreed – the signal tells you about the parents (or the culture). And sure – it’s a marginal impact. No argument here.

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

BJ, sure it’s marginal and the worst name won’t outweigh genuine talent and professional competence, but we all have to first get through the door. I think we are vastly more tolerant of odd names than we used to be, but hiring managers are human. I am thinking of the recent fuss when a couple of flight attendants were overheard ridiculing a child’s name: abcde. To my amazement, the poor girl is not the only one in the under-ten set to have been saddled with this name. I think that abcde, along with Florence Supermax, are names that might pose… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I don’t think so. I happily concede that crazy ridiculous names do create challenges. But there are ways around them, and they usually fade in importance once you meet the person. But who doesn’t have something that hampers their initial access? I have a slight twang when I say certain words, and yes it creates a slight barrier in my initial encounters with folk (which are extremely important for ministers, which why I am so aware of it). But after a bit, unless there is just some deep hatred of Southerners in this person (despite the fact that I am… Read more »

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

You silver-tongued fox, you! It’s a good thing you just had my nickname and not my photograph. I have gone through life with a face that yells Dumb Blonde. I used to practice trying to look intelligent in front of the mirror (scowling fiercely, trying to raise one quizzical eyebrow), but I gave it up as a hopeless task. This was actually a smart decision as it has enabled me to weasel my way out doing anything that struck me as difficult or distasteful!

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

I was imagining all that. Unlike you I see Flower as sweet, clean, and blonde, but with an unfortunate tendency to wander out of the office in the middle of the workday in order to take food to the feral cat colony. Vegetarian food which the cats won’t eat, of course, but poor Flower lives in hope of teaching them that birds are friends not food. The commie’s child has a terrifying name like Winnie Mandela, while the druggie’s child says, “My name is Crystal. Crystal Meth.” But even Abbie Hoffman’s son america sold out to the establishment and started… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jilly said:

Unlike you I see Flower as sweet, clean, and blonde, but with an unfortunate tendency to wander out of the office in the middle of the workday in order to take food to the feral cat colony.

I’ve always seen Flower as a skunk.

Jane
Member

I think the initial hurdle is what we’re talking about here. And there’s a different “feel” from a name being unusual or hard to pronounce, than from a name that is associated (fairly or otherwise) with certain subcultures or mentalities. An unusual name like Gustavus might pique my interest but not cause much more reaction than that; a not so unusual name like Caylee signals to me (again, fairly or not) that I’m dealing with a Gen Z child of people who thought their child was a special snowflake and a vehicle for them to exercise their creativity when filling… Read more »

Jill Smith
Guest
Jill Smith

Caylee is mild these days. Pull up the 2016 list for California names and weep softly into your morning coffee. Reading through it made me think fondly of teaching in the 1970s when roll call went: Lisa M, Lisa R, Heather B, Heather J, Heather T, Ashleys G through P, and Tracy with a y, Tracy with a circle-dotted i, and Tracey with an E. Those were the days! Addicted as I am to this kind of trivia, I read how to choose a name for your daughter that will has tested sexual appeal among grown men. It puzzled me… Read more »

Jane
Member

Right, I referred to it as a “not so unusual name” — but with a manufactured spelling.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I wonder how people feel when they notice that this bias permeates many different levels of American society, and is not merely attributable to names. One example that seems well-documented is the bias Black persons are subjected to in car dealerships, where prices are not absolutely fixed. Here are some examples: Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car The American Economic Review June 1995 More than 300 paired audits at new-car dealerships reveal that dealers quoted significantly lower prices to white males than to black or female test buyers using identical, scripted bargaining strategies. Ancillary evidence suggests… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

Jonathon, how do you address the question of whether bias is injustice?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Let’s start with the first acknowledgement before we jump to a new topic. If we admit that the bias is ongoing (and that data along with the other conversation above makes it look almost impossible to deny), then we have to admit that it is VERY difficult for Black people as a whole to improve their situation in comparison to White people as a whole. Using the poker analogy again, imagine a room with 100 poker players and then you give the Black half little stacks and the White half big stacks. Then you take 20 strong poker teachers and… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: In capitalism, you don’t get a fresh start in every generation, small stacks stay small and big stacks stay big. And the bias is real. How does Jonathan propose that the Church address his criticisms of capitalism? If Jonathan is not proposing any statist solutions (his claim), then what is the Church ever supposed to do about low economic mobility? Is low economic mobility even a sin that the Church has jurisdiction to discipline over? If Jonathan is not proposing a statist rejection of capitalism (which appears to be the case here), then what is Jonathan actually proposing?… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

He sure seems to be awfully coy when pressed concerning his true agenda. That is an absolute lie, one you repeat frequently no matter how many times you are proven wrong. How does Jonathan propose that the Church address his criticisms of capitalism? If Jonathan is not proposing any statist solutions (his claim), then what is the Church ever supposed to do about low economic mobility? Is low economic mobility even a sin that the Church has jurisdiction to discipline over? If Jonathan is not proposing a statist rejection of capitalism (which appears to be the case here), then what… Read more »

Katecho
Member

It’s clear that Jonathan has a vision of Christians as perpetual renters (no land ownership), and living in huts, with some form of economic socialism and redistribution. What is less clear is by what means Jonathan thinks this condition should ever come about. While he links to all manner of leftist/progressive websites and statist agendas, he still wants to claim that he is only interested in what the Church should be doing (voluntarily?), and not by imposing state policy reform. But at the same time he will refer to radical economists like Gesell who wanted to mandate that the State… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“It’s clear that Jonathan has a vision of Christians as perpetual renters (no land ownership), and living in huts, with some form of economic socialism and redistribution.” H.L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” I think that definition fits modern SJWs much better. Enjoying your coffee? Only if you can personally verify it’s 100% fair trade!! Like your new house? What if it’s on Native American Burial Grounds?! Impressed by the way your car accelerates? What about the carbon footprint?? Happy with your 5 children? Ah, you probably hated Revoice and worship… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But at the same time he will refer to radical economists like Gesell who wanted to mandate that the State take over all private land property and become the perpetual currency manipulator and perpetual landlord with no option of private land ownership for anyone. Gesell is certainly a radical economist, but as I pointed out he is interchangably described as anarchist or even libertarian, and in fact calls for far LESS statist monetary policy. Your complaint that I want the state to be the perpetual currency manipulator is strange – that is in fact the status quote, and Gesell’s policies… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

I am not sure if your reference to a “quite comprehensive reliance on Scripture” is specific in some fashion. If it was meant to be general, I highly question your claim. In your comments here, I would hazard an estimate of 75%, maybe more, of your supporting material as non-Scripture. If you think that inaccurate, try looking at all of your comments on this thread.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If literally 25% of my supporting material is Scripture, for a modern topic that of course requires heavy historical context to even be able to talk about the issue, then that sounds like very high reliance indeed of Scripture indeed. Most importantly because Scripture was the FOUNDATION of my entire move in this direction. I did not in my entire life ever once think of lifting a finger to help the Black community or move into a Black neighborhood until I became a Christian, once I gave my life to Christ it took exactly 4 months for God to tell… Read more »

Jane
Member

It’s interesting that capitalism is the MOST economically mobile economic system ever known. At the very least, it might be better simply to express it as, “Economically, you don’t get a fresh start with every new generation” as a general principle, leaving capitalism out of it entirely.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re right about mobility being hard in general (so long as we’re not participating in Biblical systems like the Old Testament Jubilee or the New Testament sharing of resources), but I was being specific about naming Capitalism because in each system, economic mobility is hamstringed for different reasons. I wanted to point out specifically why it is so hard to move in capitalism, not just the fact that movement is difficult in general. I’m not sure about the claim that it’s the most economically mobile system ever (even outside of those Biblical systems), and it definitely depends of course on… Read more »

Jane
Member

I’m not understanding how you call the Jubilee system economically mobile. It’s the least economically mobile of all. There is always a reset, within a normal lifetime, of the only assets that really mattered back then. It’s the most stable, and least prone to leaving people destitute, but it absolutely works against mobility. You can’t measure economic mobility by income, for precisely the reasons you state. Wealth is the only thing that really matters, generationally. So the first article you posted is definitely irrelevant, and I’m not clear about which measure the second one is using, but it seems to… Read more »

Jane
Member

Okay, maybe flocks and herds were also assets that mattered, but even that was tied to how much land you had. You couldn’t support a lot of flocks and herds if you didn’t have the land for it, and if you had a lot of land and little livestock, your land wasn’t of as much value to you.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

One of the prime indicators of economic mobility is whether or not you have access to the resources to move up. In the Jubilee system, everyone always got access. You always got the starting point back, the land was always available. Your family wasn’t going to get stuck on the bottom with no resources for any extended length of time. That’ pretty much an ideal situation to allow mobility. In economically stagnant systems, one reason there’s no mobility because the “rungs” on the ladder become too wide. The people on the top accumulate far more assets than the people on… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, I found this article, Five Myths about Jubilee, from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (I don’t think I’ve seen this site before. It looks like it might be very interesting to me. From it: “There are five common myths about Jubilee that seem to be contradicted by the text of Leviticus 25.    […] Myth #1: Jubilee meant a forgiveness of debt.    […] Myth #2: Jubilee involves a redistribution of wealth (land).    […] Myth #3: Jubilee shows the relative nature (relativization) of private property.    […] Myth #4: Jubilee leads to income equality.    […] Myth #5: Jubilee is a… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

First off, on a quick read I don’t disagree with any of the directly Biblical claims of that essay. Most of what he’s saying at least appears to be reasonably accurate. Now, he is trying to employ all of those claims to do work for some completely unjustifiable propaganda, the moment he switches from talking about the Jubilee to making some point about society I take issue with his leap in almost every instance. But if you think his claims about Jubilee contradict anything I’ve said, please be specific because I didn’t see any issues on first read. Secondly, since… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, “That is why I don’t take any of their claims about what Christians should do the least bit seriously. Learning from non-Christian thinkers is one thing, but if I’m going to rely on someone for Biblical exegesis then I need to have some confidence that they really know something about the Bible and are coming to it with the agenda to understand and follow through on God’s word rather than some other agenda.”    ———— “Now, he is trying to employ all of those claims to do work for some completely unjustifiable propaganda, the moment he switches from talking about… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Isn’t an obvious difference that one source is historical fact and the other exegesis of Scripture? I would think there would be a different standard there. And further, even though I was able to demonstrate a serious bias, I still went to the work of reading and discussing the sources, and even acknowledged where they were right. Whereas the people attacking my sources were using a crazy standard (that they didn’t like the guy’s father) and then using that to even read the source, much less discuss or acknowledge them. As it was simply historical narrative, they could dispute anything… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Do you recognize that there is significance to the fact that Jubilee only applied to the Jews, and, as far as I know, the communal sharing of financial resources by the early Christians was restricted to the Christian community? As most Black people are Christians, I’m not sure how that fact can submarine the responsibility. If you only wish to join community with Black Christians, well then, at least join community with Black Christians. And Julian the Apostate in 362 testified, with disdain, that Christians were helping far more than the Christian community: Why do we not observe that it… Read more »

Jane
Member

Maybe I don’t understand the Jubilee system, but doesn’t everyone’s assets revert back to whoever owned them 50 years ago, every time? How does that allow for generational mobility? You’re right, it allows people not to sink into destitution and stay there, but sinking into destitution and staying there is mobility, not immobility. Everybody going back to the same spot where their father was 50 years before for good or ill, is non-mobility.

I’m not conflating mobility and inequality at all. If I’m expressing myself that badly I guess I’ll just quite while I’m behind.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think you’re missing slightly on the actual definition of economic mobility. I’ll say about, economic mobility is not a measure of how much richer you can be than someone else. It’s a measure of how likely you are to switch places with other people. In the Jubilee system it appears that the ability to switch places with others (to become one of the “relatively wealthy” or one of the “relatively poor”) but then switch in the next generation was remarkably fluid. Do you dispute that? Do you think that something about the system would have placed some people at… Read more »

Jane
Member

No, I’m not defining it as how much richer you are than someone else. I’m defining it as how much richer or poorer you are than you were before. And if your family’s assets get reset to factory every 50 years, you never wind up significantly richer or poorer, except perhaps in exceptional cases. If the cases are exceptional, then as a society, the mobility is limited. You are basing your analysis on your theories about *why* mobility happens, and extrapolating what you think would happen as a result of the inputs. I am basing mine on the *fact* that… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Again, you’re talking about absolute wealth, not relative wealth. Economic mobility is always defined by relative wealth – whether you are richer or poorer than other people. Read the links I posted – it’s always about relative measures, not absolute ones. That also seems to match up with what drives satisfaction, low corruption, and other positive indicators in nations. Countries with low overall economic disparity also tend to have high economic mobility, and both of those tend to correlate with higher satisfaction, higher communal trust, lower incidence of mental health issues, and lower incidence of corruption. When there are very… Read more »

Jane
Member

I wonder what I said that made you think that I needed my very own cut and pasting of the verses you previously posted, about helping and not oppressing the poor? Did I say *anything* that indicated I didn’t think poverty was a biblical concern?

Jane
Member

I will admit, though, that i was not realizing that you mean that economic mobility *is* a relative measure.

If that’s the case, I think it’s a fairly unimportant standard. Promoting mobility into absolute prosperity and preventing mobility into absolute poverty are worthy goals. Concern about how rich someone is compared to someone else is completely irrelevant to any biblical concern as far as I can see. The only thing that matters in that context, is how people are actually treating one another, not how they compare to one another apart from that.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Jane, look at what you’re saying about Jubilee though. I showed that Jubilee is most concerned with maintaining relative mobility while avoiding absolute destitution, and you were pointing out that Jubilee is a poor means of creating “absolute prosperity”. So, what does that tell you about which one God values? Doesn’t the nature of Jubilee itself show that God favors the relative mobility over the absolute prosperity? And don’t the verses from Acts confirm that? As well as the extortion from Paul? And that’s exactly why I posted those Biblical verses. Note how the “relative” state of the poor and… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Never mind what modern sociologists and psychologists have “found”. Scripture doesn’t need their affirmation. That said, yes it is observable that inequality causes dissatisfaction. Some the very scripture you quote speaks to that: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” This is speaking to the one who desires more when he already has real needs met, as much as it is speaking to the one who has superabundance.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Are you suggesting that the Hellenists were wrong to go to the Hebrew disciples and complain about the inequality in the distribution, or that the Hebrew disciples were wrong to address their request and work towards more equality? Or that Paul was wrong to insist that his goal was equality, or that Basil the Great or John Chysostom were wrong to continue to preach the same? You are right that any individual Christian can find satisfaction even in an economically depressed situation. I myself have far, far less material things than the average American, and live in a situation that… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I’m not suggesting, I’m stating that the Hellenists did not complain about “inequality”, the complaint was that the needs of their widows were not being attended to. Likewise, Paul’s goal was not equality for it’s own sake, but supply of need so that none would lack. What pretty much every American needs to do is reconsider their notion of “economically depressed”. Right now it seems to mean “having less than somebody else I can see”. Also, some Christians, and maybe Americans generally, but certainly some Christians, need to reconsider their notions of “my community”. I’m really not quite sure what… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Are you suggesting that there is not significant need in the Black community? The desperate situation of many Black communities has already been a major arguing point made by numerous people on all sides of this argument, with all sorts of statistics posted to prove the point. Even the openly racist, anti-Black citations were in that direction. Do you not recognize that desperate need? I’m not talking mere income, but wealth inequality is certainly one of the drivers of those issues. Going back to the Bible, do you believe that the Hellenists had literally zero resources with which to support… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

Are you living in the fashion you seem to consider truly Christian? That is, the cheapest housing, food, clothing, etc., without insurance of any kind, and giving your unneeded funds to others who have need?

If not, why not?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That is, the cheapest housing, food, clothing, etc., without insurance of any kind, and giving your unneeded funds to others who have need? If you limit your question to those 5 points, the answer would be “yes”. However, I certainly don’t believe I’m living as the ideal Christian. I hopefully am growing closer every year, as it takes a lot of time and a lot of growth in myself and my relationship with God in order to keep getting better at this. And I don’t ask that anyone else live as the ideal Christian ever. I only hope that people… Read more »

Jane
Member

Can you please show me what I said that suggests that I advocate for inequality?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If you want to see something really shocking, here’s a working paper from the IMF, a pro-wealth group if there ever was won, admitting in a strong case that inequality is especially harmful for societies. “There is a widespread perception that trust and social capital have declined in United States as well as other advanced economies, while income inequality has tended to increase. While previous research has noted that measured trust declines as individuals become less similar to one another, this paper examines whether the downward trend in social capital is responding to the increasing gaps in income. The analysis… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

“That also seems to match up with what drives satisfaction, low corruption, and other positive indicators in nations. “

That entire paragraph is full of statements and (your?) conclusions that seem quite speculative. I am doubtful and you provide no citation. Do you really expect me to accept it as correct?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t expect you to accept it as correct no matter how many citations I provide, at least not in any way that would change behavior. If you are really interested though, entire books have been written on the matter:

https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Level-Equality-Societies-Stronger/dp/1608193411

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And here is one of MANY studies on inequality and corruption, something that has been studied extensively as the relation is quite apparent. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4145353?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents That gets into one of the large issues with inequality – it isn’t just create psychological issues, nor just the issues of absolute poverty, but it concentrates resources away from the relatively poor regardless of their absolute economic level. The Black community in America, might have X average income, but they still can’t control their own land, can’t get good teachers in their own schools, can’t get good doctors in their own hospitals, can’t get good… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: This study suggests that the limited economic mobility of Black persons has caused their gains to lag those of White people by approximately 100 years – in other words, a cohort of equally low-income White people in 1865 would have by 1900 reached the same economic status that Black people reached in 2000. Since Jonathan is into sideways comparisons, it’s unfortunate that the study doesn’t seem to indicate how black persons in America are doing in terms of economic gains in relation to blacks in Africa over the same period. Of course nothing justifies the historic wickedness of… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

For such a incredible addition to the discussion, I think a crude but historically quite comparable analogy might be appropriate. Imagine you stole a girl from her family and kept her as your sex slave. Imagine that you didn’t steal the rest of her sisters, you just raped them in their own home, destroyed their family, and left them there after plundering much of what they owned. Then imagine some years later, after you’ve released your sex slave, you draw a silver lining around her situation by pointing out how much nicer things she had than her sisters back home.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Unfortunately, this was just another case of Jonathan ignoring what I actually said, which was: Of course nothing justifies the historic wickedness of kidnapping their African ancestors… My point was merely to notice that Jonathan’s study is yet another comparison of blacks in America with whites in America (who happen to be among the most affluent in the world). How many blacks in Africa, or other races in other parts of the world, would cheerfully and thankfully trade places with American blacks to get the kind of access to the kind of economic mobility and economic gain that American Blacks… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I can only surmise that you completely, utterly missed the point of my argument. Read it again and respond to what I actually said.

Nathan James
Member

Jonathon, I’m genuinely disappointed with your lack of response. That you can even use the phrase “abstract questions about justice” as a derogatory term is shocking. Obviously, you’re not willing to have a serious conversation about the issue of bias in society.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I thought I gave quite a long response, I wish you had dealt with it. If your question is meant to be more than just picking the right word to tag something with, then please be more specific. I believe that any racial bias which is meant towards harm is certainly unjust. In the example in question, charging Black people more for their car because they are Black is definitely unjust. I answered as I did, though, because I wanted to make clear that simply tagging an act as “unjust” wasn’t my primary aim in bringing up that situation, and… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

Jonathan – apologies for misspelling your name! Saying you don’t want to change the subject is quite a mistake, since bias IS the subject. There was no point dealing with your long non-response since it wasn’t to the point. If we condemn people for a bias that is not an example of unrighteousness, then we are doing the devil’s work for him. It’s clear that you want to condemn communities of people where a black man has a statistical likelihood of paying more for a car. It is astounding that you would be willing to do that without addressing the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, my objective wasn’t to “condemn communities of people where a black man has a statistical likelihood of paying more for a car”. If you read the links you’d see that the issue literally covered all of America. Like I explained, my objective is the same as it was in my very first comment up top and all the other comments I’ve posted – to point out that the action of the status quo operating on almost every level is to force Black people to remain an underclass, and so long as the status quo remains and the Church doesn’t… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And I’m really bothered by your last paragraph because it makes it look like you’re not even reading my words, you’re just projecting something else on top of them. This was my entire commentary from the original comment: Those were three quite different studies examining three different factors, but they all come to the same conclusion. If you’re Black then you are going to get gouged on the price. The issue is pretty easy to explain from a free market standpoint – customers tend to get gouged by the seller when the seller knows that the customer doesn’t have as… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

“you’re very focused on the idea of “guilt” or “condemnation”, while I’m focused on the idea of action.” OK, draw that out for me a little. You’re clearly claiming that it is a moral obligation to help black people in America. Do you really think it a guiltless obligation? That is, you are prepared to grant that the many (all?) communities throughout the country where (you believe) the deck is heavily stacked against America are innocent? Or that the obligation would be the same even if they were entirely innocent? I’m incredulous. If you were really indifferent to the connection… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I point out the historic injustices in order to make clear that it is outside forces that are heavily responsible for the current situation, against any posters who argue that it is “culture” or “Black people’s innate criminality” or “welfare mentality” or “their own bad decisions”, and in order to explain why the current situation is virtually impossible to change from within alone. But no, I don’t think the “guilt” of the historic injustices is what should drive our practical response as Christian neighbors. Yes, the obligation would remain even if we were “entirely innocent”. If it was a horrific… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

sorry, that should read, “his message does not appear to depend on the amount of ‘guilt’.”

We have all sinned, none of us are innocent, our call to obedience does not come and go depending on how “innocent” we happen to feel in any particular situation.

Nathan James
Member

You know as well as I do that there are more poor white people in the country than there are poor black people. If poverty itself is your concern, then blacks shouldn’t receive special attention from you, yet they clearly do. Furthermore, this sub-thread of conversation has as it’s starting point the question of bias, not poverty. The shift you made from job interviews to car dealerships was relatively small, but to claim you’re just talking about poverty is baloney. This was about bias, which you’ve conceded is not evidence of injustice. As for people in desperate need, that applies… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But it’s not solely income levels that’s the issue. That’s been a major part of the discussion for three weeks, something that even Arwin and others have been demonstrating as well. The poverty that affects the Black community is an entirely different nature than the poverty that affects the vast majority of the White community, as it is a multigenerational, segregated poverty imposed from outside that it thus far more difficult to escape. You want to throw away literally everything we’ve been talking about that makes Black poverty unique – the segregation, the depressed inner-city communities, the terrible schools, the… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

And now you’ve come right back around to assuming injustice which you declined to make a case for. And using it as a rhetorical club, despite your professed indifference. Bad form, sir. Very bad.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Bad form is to ignore the first five paragraphs in order to pick at a single word in the 6th paragraph. We’ve been making the case for serious injustices against Black people leading to the current situation for two weeks now, that case is obvious. Slavery, Jim Crow, redlining – that was all OBVIOUSLY injustice. Are you really going to deny that, or deny that that argument has been made extensively already? You’re ignoring 90% of what I said in that comment in order to make a claim that you can only make by ignoring nearly everything else I’ve said… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

You didn’t want to touch the question of whether bias is injustice. You claimed little or nothing hinged on whether or not the plight American blacks is the result of injustice. Not you’re in a tizzy about “OBVIOUS” injustice.

You’re being badly inconsistent and frankly it looks manipulative. You’re consistent about the course of action you espouse but not the reasoning for it.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I already answered your question directly, I said that bias that results in harm is injustice. Obviously, it is bad to commit injustice. However, our Christian duty to react to help suffering people does not hinge on whether their suffering is the result of injustice. When we read the story of Lazarus and the rich man, or Jesus’s frequent edicts to help the poor, we never see the qualification of whether their situation was the result of injustice or not. Our duty is to love our neighbor regardless of whether they ended up in the situation due to injustice or… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Or in bullet form if you prefer: * Have Black people suffered due to injustice? Yes. * Does that mean that all Black suffering is due to current injustice? No, it can be current injustice, the inevitable effects of historic injustice, or other issues. * Does that change our duty to respond to suffering? No, we are called to respond whether the cause of suffering is injustice or not. * Does that change how we respond to suffering? Yes, understanding the causes can inform our best response. Though sometimes suffering due to injustice and suffering due to other causes can… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

Yes, you are inconsistent here: (quote) Which is to say, poor Americans are not desperate physically, and shouldn’t be mentally, particularly if they understand the gospel, which teaches us to be content so long as we have “food and raiment.” I hope you realize the incredible hubris of an empowered class saying this to an underclass and just mean it in some sort of facetious, for-the-sake-of-argument way. It bears zero relation to how the Hebrew disciples reacted when confronted by the complaint from the Hellenists, it bears no relation to how any Christian should react when confronted with the obvious… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It’s quite difficult to tell what your actual complaint is. Injustice and poverty are both important issues, sometimes both are relevant and sometimes only one is relevant. You seem to want me to give the same answer to every question, which doesn’t make sense because different questions have different answers. Where am I actually being inconsistent? Can you quote the two different statements, in context, that appear to be inconsistent to you and explain how they are so? And to clarify, because you said “poverty” just after I said it wasn’t about poverty, people can be in desperate situations where… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Nathan James wrote: As for people in desperate need, that applies to scarcely anyone in the USA. Food and shelter is what humans need. Middle class lifestyles don’t enter in. Ironically, what Jonathan is doing is completely hypocritical, even by his own standard. Jonathan links to websites and studies about the plight of black Americans, but then we find that the comparison of those studies is to white Americans (among the wealthiest population in the world). Not only this, but Jonathan decries white wealth. He selectively quotes from early church fathers with dreams of Christians selling all of their land,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, that’s not what I’m saying, and I’ve explained it to you before, but at this point it doesn’t appear that you’re interested in honest discussion.

Anyone interested in limited discussion can ask if any clarification is actually needed (I doubt there is), but you’re just playing games at this point.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

Since you complained recently when I said are often guilty of not providing citations, here is another case. You provide (excessively lengthy [but that’s another issue]) quotations that you say are “well-documented” with minimal, if any, citation (in these comments I consider acceptable citation to be an URL). Could you just admit that you have a tendency to do this, and state that you plan to improve in this regard?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

OKRickety, if I had provided multiple URLs then the comment would have been thrown into moderation, to emerge who knows when. I tried to provide a link with multiple URLs earlier and it still hasn’t shown up yet, so it doesn’t seem to me to be an effective way to comment. I notice that you did not challenge FP this way when he referred to a study that was quite difficult to find even with the URL (because, of course, the source was intentionally obscuring its name as it didn’t say anything like what the source claimed it said). I… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan whined: I notice that you did not challenge FP this way when he referred to a study that was quite difficult to find even with the URL (because, of course, the source was intentionally obscuring its name as it didn’t say anything like what the source claimed it said) 1) OKRickety and I have not interacted this whole thread. There’s really no reason for him to challenge me when I refer to a study that, according to you, is “difficult to find” (apparently, you are unfamiliar with the Google). You, on the other hand, agree with practically nothing I… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

1) OKRickety and I have not interacted this whole thread. There’s really no reason for him to challenge me when I refer to a study that, according to you, is “difficult to find” (apparently, you are unfamiliar with the Google). What would you have googled to locate the study? I’m interested in what your search phrase would have been and how far down in the results it would have appeared, as your link didn’t even give the study’s name. As you already know, I did manage to find the study, but it was not elementary. And I assumed poor motives… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, you claimed: And I assumed poor motives as the study quite explicitly said NOTHING that IBD’s title claimed it had said. IBD’s headline: New Study Finds CRA ‘Clearly’ Did Lead To Risky Lending NBER study (which I’ve already quoted): We find that adherence to the [CRA] act leads to riskier lending by banks… Have you even read the NBER study, Jonathan? This isn’t the first time I pointed out that the IBD headline accurately reflects what’s in the ACTUAL STUDY. And you wonder why I call you an idiot. What’s even more mystifying, you seem hellbent on proving me… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re right, it was the article YOU quoted that made the ridiculously false claim “New Study Finds Democrats Fully to Blame for Subprime Mortgage Crisis that Caused 2008 Financial Disaster.” It looks like you had to use three layers of conservative telephone to get that ridiculous assertion, rather than quoting the study itself which says nothing of the sort. And The Gateway Pundit itself has quite the illustrious history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gateway_Pundit And yes, I read the NBER study which suggests that the CRA may have increased foreclosures by all of 0.75%. It would be absolutely ridiculous to claim that this tiny… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Wait a minute, is Jonathan defending the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)? Is there anyone left who is surprised that he is doing so? I thought Jonathan was trying to convince everyone here that he wasn’t a closet statist? I thought he wanted everyone to think that he was only interested in what the Church should be doing? I’m (still) seeing a predictable pattern here. It sure looks like Jonathan is not, in principle, opposed to a State policy enacting deference and partiality toward the poor. His agenda still looks to be completely aligned with the progressive social justice movement, in… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yeah Katecho, anyone the least bit interested in the truth can see that you’re full of it. I don’t even need to defend myself because everyone can see the entire conversation written out. I doubt God is amused by your lie, whether you successfully predict that I’d call out an obvious lie or not.

Katecho
Member

Note that, when caught in the inconsistency, Jonathan refuses any clarification at all. No clarity on a direct question to him. One might conclude that a policy of duplicity is necessary to his agenda.

For someone who insists he is only interested in what the Church should be doing, Jonathan sure finds himself defending State intervention in an all too predictable pattern.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There was no inconsistency, I wasn’t “supporting” the CRA, anyone who can read can see that, and supporting the CRA (something that had over 90% approval in both the House and Senate) wouldn’t make someone a “statist” anyway. Anyone can see that FP tried to throw the CRA into the discussion as the argument that Democrats fully caused the 2008 economic meltdown, and all I did was point out that Republicans and Democrats were both behind the CRA and that it didn’t the meltdown. So that makes me a “statist”? What would a non-statist do then, deny reality and claim… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Jonathan sure finds himself defending State intervention in an all too predictable pattern.

I did not defend state intervention AT ALL there. The only thing I defended was an economic analysis.

Claiming someone is a statist just because they don’t think the CRA caused the economic meltdown is like claiming someone is a Muslim if they argue that Milosevic started the Yugoslavian wars.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan said: You’re right, it was the article YOU quoted that made the ridiculously false claim “New Study Finds Democrats Fully to Blame for Subprime Mortgage Crisis that Caused 2008 Financial Disaster.” It looks like you had to use three layers of conservative telephone to get that ridiculous assertion, rather than quoting the study itself which says nothing of the sort. And yet, you can’t argue against the fact that the Democrats were responsible for pushing and beefing up the CRA. You can’t argue against the fact that the CRA led to risky lending (which is what the IBD headline… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I wouldn’t argue against the fact that Democrats were responsible for pushing and beefing up the CRA. Both Democrats and Republicans were definitely responsible. But to claim that Democrats were fully responsible, or that the 1977 CRA was the main cause (or even a major cause) of the 2008 economic meltdown, would simply be false. Where does the NBER study suggest that? That was how I read the combination of the results from pages 14 and 18 (based on table five), along with the fact that they were only seeing any effect at all in what was on average 3… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, This back-and-forth is getting nowhere, partially because you have an alternative cause for the subprime meltdown (which I find to be a bunch of bull; house flipping peaked in 2005 and accounted for only 8.2% of all single-family homes sold nationwide that year), but primarily because you don’t read for comprehension. My primary point was that discrimination isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The claim I made in support of that point is not wrong. So what if the Gateway Pundit claim wasn’t 100% accurate? The point is, it wasn’t far off the mark. Of course, you NEVER exaggerate or… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

I forgot about the (default?) behavior of WordPress to put comments with more than one hyperlink into limbo. That means you need to deal with it in the fashion you did here. And, as I said before, your attitude that the reader should be able to find sources on their own smacks of laziness. Since you already have it, please provide it. If you don’t, then you should not be surprised if others doubt it.

I care little what fp  writes. More importantly, how does deflection (he did it, too) help?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It doesn’t help, it just gets frustrating that at least half of my discussion here always ends up getting tied up trying to conform to extreme standards that neither our host nor any other commenter is held to. I’d rather discuss the issue than spend, what, 4-5 comments already discussing the form of citations? I recall the discussion on gun control, when Pastor Wilson printed completely false statistics about guns and didn’t source them at all. I saw on face value that the statistics he posted were unlikely, and with some detective work was able to show that they were… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I was even able to find the exact site he had copy-and-pasted the claims from and demonstrate exactly how he had altered each one), the only interaction I got was Katecho and Timothy printing dozens, possibly hundreds of comments attacking me and suggesting that there was no right for me to say Pastor Wilson was wrong, even when I linked to the exact site the numbers had come from. I hope folks have realized by now that Jonathan’s recollection of events is completely unreliable. Typically, the opposite of what Jonathan claims about our interactions is closer to the… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Katecho, you wrote:

Of course, in his usual style, Jonathan took that as a personal “attack”.

If Jonathan were black (and he probably desperately wishes he were so), then he would take any disagreement with him as open racism.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s even stranger than your “those slaves and their offspring should just be grateful they’re not in Africa” comment. Like other commentors said, your animosity towards me is driving you towards completely unhelpful discourse.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Sorry, my brain mixed up FP’s name with Katecho’s name leading the comment.

To be clear, FP is the one that claims the hypothetical Black Jonathan would take disagreement as open racism, and suggests I desperately wish I was this Black Jonathan.

Katecho is the one who advocates for a return to debt slavery and suggests that the Africans who were the descendants of extreme atrocities in being kidnapped and enslaved in America should just be grateful they’re not the Africans who were the descendants of extreme atrocities in Africa.

I shouldn’t confuse them.

Katecho
Member

Jonathon wrote: Katecho is the one who advocates for a return to debt slavery … Is it my turn to tear my robe, call Jonathan a liar, and demand an apology? I think I’ll leave that m.o. to Jonathan. Anyway, I’ve certainly never advocated for the expansion of, or the condition of, financial indebtedness (the slave kind, or any other kind), as though it was a positive good in its own right. What I have said is that slavery, as permitted by Scripture, required the presence of some kind of actual debt owed (moral or financial). In other words, the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Is it my turn to tear my robe, call Jonathan a liar, and demand an apology? I think I’ll leave that m.o. to Jonathan. Of course you won’t, because I was right. You have repeatedly said that it was righteous, good, criticized modern nations for not understanding that, and said that it should be considered again today. Which of those statements is untrue? Is it my turn to tear my robe, call Jonathan a liar, and demand an apology? I think I’ll leave that m.o. to Jonathan. What a weird statement. You are constantly demanding apologies, you did it 9… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: You have repeatedly said that it was righteous, good, criticized modern nations for not understanding that, and said that it should be considered again today. I’ve not said that debt slavery is a good in its own right, but that restitution, including forced labor to pay back an actual debt owed, is good and just. We don’t need to consider it again today, as if the concept has been lost, because forced restitution is widely practiced, and, if one can’t discharge a debt immediately, then restitution is usually represented by a claim against someone’s labor. Again, note that… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Katecho, I’ll spell it out because it seems like you still don’t get it.

For you as a White person to state that Black victims of injustice should look at Black victims of even greater injustice and feel grateful was a strange thing to insert into the conversation. Especially since your suggestion was made to White people, none of which can take your suggestion into practice. I still don’t have a clue what your purpose was in telling White people that Black people should feel more grateful, but I’ll give you room to explain.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I hope folks have realized by now that Jonathan’s recollection of events is completely unreliable. Typically, the opposite of what Jonathan claims about our interactions is closer to the truth. In this case, I had no problem with the suggestion that Wilson ought to verify his gun statistics before posting them. However, what I spent the majority of my time doing was not in defending Wilson, but rather correcting the gun disinformation that Jonathan began dumping into the comment section. Of course, in his usual style, Jonathan took that as a personal “attack”. Again, completely false, and again, I have… Read more »

Nathan Smith
Member

The first problem with TGC is that it is not submitted to the authority of a local church body and elders. That is not God’s way. We do not need it and we should not trust it. My advice is to delete it from your favorite websites and forget that it exists. It’s Hannah Montana for Reformed evangelicals. It seems wholesome, entertaining and even edifying at first. Then pretty soon the writers are filming each other riding around naked on a wrecking ball.