Archive for January 2018

Christians Who Don’t Care   Leave a comment

Image result for image of so what christiansSome Christians really annoy me. I am a Christian, but I am also a critic of my fellows. There are all kinds of us and some of us really aren’t true Christians – as defined at Antioch where the name “Christian” was first used as a negative label to describe Jesus’ followers. Those Antioch Christians believed:

  1. Jesus died for their sins.
  2. They were saved by that and not anything owing to their own behavior.
  3. They radically identified with Jesus so that there was no question of their allegiance.
  4. Because of that salvation experience, they were ethically required to obey God’s laws and evangelize non-Christians.
  5. They were a multi-racial church that allowed believers to live within their own culture while seeking unity on theological issues, while also allowing a plurality of voices within the congregation.
  6. They believed strongly in the local church community.
  7. They were caring and generous.
  8. They gathered often for teaching and discipleship training, for the equipping of leadership and disciples.
  9. They worshiped the God Jesus with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.

There are other attributes I could describe, but this is the heart of what being a Biblical Christian is.

So there are a lot of other kinds of Christians and some of them give lip service to that label of “Christianity” without truly subscribing to the essence of Christianity. But rather than critique the whole Church, I’m just going to focus on one kind today. Let’s call them the “so-what” Christians. These folks, when presented with some negative assertion about the U.S. government, the military, wars, or U.S. foreign policy don’t bother with inquiring as to its validity, doing some research, or spending more than three seconds thinking about it. They simply dismiss it with “So what?,” usually followed by some ridiculous statement.

Here are some examples:

The U.S. military has bombed Afghan wedding parties:

So what? The bride and groom were going to produce potential terrorists.

The U.S. military has killed thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan:

So what? They are just collateral damage.

The United States gives billions of dollars a year in foreign aid to Israel:

So what? The Jews are God’s chosen people.

The U.S. military has a thousand overseas military bases:

So what? America is the exceptional nation.

U.S. drone strikes regularly miss their targets and kills non-combatants:

So what? America makes no apologies.

The United States has been fighting in Afghanistan longer than against Nazi Germany:

So what? It is better to fight “over there” instead of “over here.” (I actually used to believe this one!)

The real defense budget is around a trillion dollars:

So what? The military keeps us safe.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist minister:

So what? America is still one nation under God.

The U.S. military kills innocent Muslims that were no threat to the United States:

So what? All Muslims are terrorists.

Inmates at Guantanamo are being held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial:

So what? Terrorists don’t need trials.

U.S. soldiers have committed war crimes:

So what? There’s always a few bad apples in every bushel.

U.S. soldiers recite filthy cadences in basic training:

So what? I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

The U.S. military pays sports teams for patriotic displays and troop tributes:

So what? God bless America.

The United States is increasing military actions in Africa:

So what? America is the greatest country in the world.

The U.S. military keeps brothels open overseas:

So what? The troops are defending our freedoms.

A preemptive war against Iraq was wrong because Iraq was no threat to the United States:

So what? There is “a time of war” (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

Thousands of U.S. soldiers died unnecessarily in Iraq and Afghanistan:

So what? There is no greater honor than to die for your country.

Military recruiters lie to impressionable young people:

So what? There is nothing more noble than military service.

Veterans are committing suicide at an alarming rate:

So what? They should not feel guilty for anything they did while in service to their country. (But they do, folks, so let’s have that conversation).

 

The U.S. military and intelligence services have tortured people:

So what? As long as it saves the life of one American.

The U.S. military has created tens of thousands of widows and orphans in Iraq and Afghanistan:

So what? The terrorists who kill Jews are Muslims.

The U.S. military killed millions of Vietnamese in the Vietnam War:

So what? The only good communist is a dead communist.

The U.S. military has bombed seven Muslim countries over the past few years:

So what? Islam is a false religion. (It is! But Muslims believe Christianity is a false religion. Would that justify them bombing us?).

The United States hasn’t constitutionally declared war on any country since World War II:

So what? Romans 13.

War is the greatest destroyer of civil liberties:

So what? Civil liberties are the concern of leftists. (Say the people who claim to be Constitutionalists)

The U.S. military is a bombing, maiming, and killing machine:

So what? The LORD is a man of war (Exodus 15:3).

It is shameful that some conservative Christians have this “So what?” attitude. It is even worse when this mindset is followed by ridiculous statements that display their willful ignorance. What to do about them? Educate them, instruct them, enlighten them and admonish them. They give all Christians a bad name and they harm the ministry of Christ.

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Posted January 30, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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Open Book Blog Hop – 29th January   1 comment

Stevie Turner

Today we’re publishing the results of a survey.  My survey question was ‘Do you think that blogging helps to sell books?’

Here are the answers I received; about 50:50 as to whether blogging actually helps or not. Thanks to all who took the time to answer my question.  I had a great response!

1.  I think it depends on how often you blog and the content you share. From what I’ve read it’s engagement we want then the book sales come as an offshoot.

2.  I think advertising helps sell books, I have my doubts about how much writing a blog helps. I suspect advertising on a bunch of targeted blogs would be more effective.

3.  I don’t think anything helps to sell books, other than a major media review, and a publisher advertising it and putting it in bookstore windows.

4.  Not sell books, but exposure. Getting your name…

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Posted January 30, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Trust by the Numbers   2 comments

Blog Hop Topic – Do a survey of your readers and publish the results.

WordPress:


Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

I didn’t participate in the blog hop last week because I really couldn’t think of a poll I wanted to do, but then I hit upon a question that I thought would work.

=How Much Do You Trust Mass Media to Report the News Fully, Honestly and Fairly?

I got different results depending on the forum I asked the question on.

Image result for image of public's trust of the mediaThe blog got likes on the question, but no responses — which was one reason I didn’t participate last week. That happens more often than not on blog polls – mine, anyway.

Facebook fans – many of whom are writers – don’t trust the mass media at all. Well, a few said they trusted some sources more than others and they disagreed about which sources are more trustworthy. There were the perennial arguments over whether Fox News can even be called news compared to, say, network news and if it would be better under the “Fairness” Doctrine. Such is the nature of a “poll” taken on a forum that encourages comments. I have liberal and conservative followers and even a few libertarians weighed in. I’d say fewer than 10% trust the media to any degree at all.

On Twitter, 8% mostly trust the mass media to give them full, fair and honest reporting, while 31% partially trust the mass media. That leaves 61% of the respondents who rarely trust the media to give them the straight scoop on anything.

What do I think about those results?

Twitter respondents are apparently optimists because 39% of them believe you can trust the media to some degree. One woman did comment that she trusts the sources she’s researched and approves of how they were funded. Okay, that makes sense — sort of. But who is to say that – for example, government-funded media is more trustworthy than privately funded media? I watch PBS and see a lot of propaganda being pushed there, then I flip over to CBS and that’s all propaganda. Fox and CNN … news with a decidedly ideological bent sometimes with propaganda mixed in. Some websites are also propaganda, while others report the news from an ideological bent.

I’m not surprised that only about 10% believe the media can be trusted most of the time and only about 40% believe it can be trusted at all, but I suspect we need to be honest with ourselves and say we really can’t trust any one source to report fully, honestly and fairly. You could maybe follow 2 or 3 and get a well-rounded idea of what’s really going on, but they all are slanted so you can’t just trust a single one.

I also asked a few coworkers about this question and got some interesting answers. A couple of them blame Donald Trump and his “fake news” diatribes for making people distrust the media … or they blame Sarah Palin for her “lame stream” media comments. But really, I think — unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker without an Internet connection for, well, decades … you’d have to be pretty naive to trust the mass media, because they’ve done such a poor job of being honest, fair and full in their reporting.  Remember when we were kids and our parents trusted Walter Cronkite to give them the truth? Well, it turned out he was lying and slanting the news for his own purposes. He wasn’t doing anything new, by the way. Edward R. Morrow lied about the World War 2. The New York Times lied us into World War 1 when it insisted the Lusitania wasn’t carrying arms. The Hearst Media empire created fake news to convince Americans that the Maine explosion was an act of war rather than an attempt at self-protection. Heck, newspapers in the Civil War days carried water for the Confederates and the Union. The media claims its goal is to provide full, fair and honest reporting of actual facts, but reporters are human beings who are influenced by their prejudices and who work for editors and producers who sometimes have agendas on one side or the other of an event. How could any human-made institution be wholly fair, honest and full given the biases that are so much a part of us as human beings?

And, there you have it.

Posted January 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Pleasing the Right One   Leave a comment

The Apostle Paul’s aim was to be a faithful witness of the gospel among the Gentiles. Yet, he was not what the Greeks would consider an astounding speaker. One could even say that he was the opposite of a good Greek speaker. Yet, he was faithful in spreading the gospel amongst Gentile cities, including Corinth. After some time, false teachers had crept in and were trying to turn the Corinthians’ hearts away from Paul by claiming that he was not a true apostle.

Image result for image of an eternal dwelling placeThe appeal which Paul makes in theses verses is that his ministry, as an apostle, is not discredited because of his weak appearance. Paul had a hope that even though his ministry had taken such a toll on his body, he had a future resurrection that he was going to partake of. And such a hope gave him courage to press on in faithful ministry.

For we know that if our earthly housethe tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from Goda house not built by human handsthat is eternal in the heavensFor in this earthly house we groanbecause we desire to put on our heavenly dwellingif indeedafter we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothedbut clothedso that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is Godwho gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5

In chapter 4 verse 7 Paul began contrasting the treasure of the message found in verses 4-6 of the same chapter to the frailty of the minister, “We have this treasure (the ministry) in jars of clay (the minister, i.e. himself)” (4:7). What follows in verses 8-15 are the afflictions which Paul experienced in his ministry. While the message that he carried was glorious, the trials that the ministry put him through were harsh. He got through these trials by looking back to meeting the resurrected Jesus and forward to his own coming resurrection.

Even though Paul suffered through tribulations, the ministry was being accomplished. The Corinthians came to accept the gospel.  Paul had completed this ministry of unveiling eyes to the glory of the Lord (3:1-18) among the Corinthians. He had seen the gospel do its work in their lives. He sold himself out for them. All the afflictions listed through this section was all for their sakes (15a). He poured himself out so that they could be recipients and benefactors of this veil removing ministry and He knows that they will be present with him at the resurrection of Christ.

Now Paul shifted from speaking about his ministry to his weakness of appearance. He had made this sacrifice of ministry even though it had taken a toll on His body. The key to understanding what is going on in this context is found in 5:12. His deteriorating physical condition and shameful plight caused some in Corinth to wonder out loud about his power as an apostle. The false teachers were attacking Paul on the grounds that He was weak in appearance and a minister of a covenant more glorious than Moses’ covenant could be expected to be a glorious figure. Some in the ancient world interpreted affliction as a sign of a god’s judgment and as something dishonorable. Whatever the specific reason was, the false apostles were attacking Paul about his appearance. Apparently the Corinthians were beginning to accept these charges. Could they really trust a person that had such a weak appearance?

Paul knew the truth about this world. Physical decay and abuse are not reasons to doubt one’s ministry. On the contrary”, the abuse of his body in the present was no comparison to the glory which he would receive. The afflictions of this age were preparing him for a coming glory which cannot be compared to anything on this earth (4:17). Paul kept his vision located on the future where eternal things reside (18).

 

Verses 1-5 are about a future dwelling with the Lord when one dies. The gaze of the Christian should be on what is eternal. Paul looked ahead to the resurrection which he had talked about in his first letter to the Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 15:35-57). There Paul discusses the resurrection from the dead. Regarding the body Paul refers to it as dying in “weakness”, “natural”, and “from earth” from verse 42-47.Both talk about being clothed when the believer dies. Both speak about the body as perishing. And both end the section alluding to the same passage in Isaiah 25:8.

Following the context of the pervious verse Paul is obviously talking about the eternal things which He looked to. There is a clear contrast going on through these passages.  Looking at the terms Paul used we can see the resurrection being describe. The first term that he employs is a “tent” (οἰκία τοῦ σκήνους).  Our present bodies are like a tent. A tent “is a common picture of the earthly life and its setting in the body.” Using the tent imagery, “describes only the instability, and thus the vulnerability, of one’s mortal existence.”

Then, opposed to this weak tent, the believer will receive an eternal dwelling. There have been many proposals to what the term οἰκοδομὴν means here. Thrall lists nine different understandings of this term:

  1. An individual resurrection body.
  2. A heavenly habitation in the sense of the dwelling mentioned in John 14:2.
  3. An interim heavenly body, received immediately after death.
  4. A kind of spiritual garment, received in baptism, worn beneath the ‘garment’ of the material body and preserved beyond the grave.
  5. The body of Christ.
  6. The heavenly temple.
  7. The resurrection body of Christ.
  8. An image of the glory of the eschatological age.
  9. The heavenly dimension of present existence.

Yet, the most agreed-upon immediate meaning would be the spiritual body one would receive at the resurrection.Thus, while the body that Paul possessed would be destroyed, an eternal body was waiting for Him in the future.

The final question we have to ask concerns the meaning of the word “γυμνοὶ” in verse 3. The verse begins be stating that by putting on[29] this heavenly dwelling we may not be found “naked”. So the meaning of “naked” has direct influence on the understanding of the previous terms.

There are three main understandings of this term. It is either understood as “homeless,” “garmentless,” or “bodiless.” The understanding of “homeless” is to use architectural language which matches the terms “tent” and “building” in verses 1-2. But this understanding can be dismissed due to the fact that the word does not carry such a meaning.

The term “garment” would be used to covey a moral view. Meaning, Paul does not want to be found being guilty of sin before God.Two problems become apparent with this suggestion,  however. The first is that moral judgment is not in the immediate context. We do not see judgment until verse 10. So, where it could be a possibility, it isn’t our first choice since the theme of mortal judgment is not found in the immediate context. The second problem is that the correlating word used in verse 4, ἐκδύσασθαι, is unquestionably referring to resurrection. Because when one is clothed, the mortal (τὸ θνητὸν) is swallowed up by life (τῆς ζωῆς). And such language conveys a resurrection, not a moral standing.

Thus, the “bodiless” understanding is the best.[34] It fits with the over all context of resurrection. It, also, fits with the specific terms Paul uses in this section. Thus Paul is saying that by putting on this heavenly dwelling he will not be found in a bodiless state. [35] So, Paul is looking forward to the day when he will receive his resurrection body.

Paul used the metaphor of buildings and clothing to describe the future resurrection that awaited him. When Paul wrote that he was currently living in a ἡ ἐπίγειος οἰκία τοῦ σκήνους we understand him saying that he lived in a fragile body. Yet he knew that when the tent was destroyed he would posses a οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ which is a future resurrected body. And because he knew he would posses it, there was no fear that he would be γυμνοὶ, or bodiless.

Therefore, while some may consider a battered and bruised body something to be ashamed of, Paul saw it as only temporary, because he looked forward to a heavenly dwelling that would clothe him for eternity.

Therefore we are always full of courageand we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord  for we  live by faithnot by sight. Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So then whether we are alive or awaywe make it our ambition to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christso that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the bodywhether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

Because of the future hope that was before him Paul could make it his aim to be pleasing to God. In verses 6-10 Paul expressed the courage which he had because of this promise and what he was working toward before he reached that hope. He could give himself to gospel ministry because of this future hope, which was a base for the courage to do his ministry.

Paul had a courage to accomplish the ministry which streams from the faith on the guarantee of the Spirit. Paul was still in this temporary body and not with the Lord, but the promise was enough for him to keep going forward. Paul expressed having faith in the promises of God and not on what he saw. He could face the afflictions upon his body by the ministry because he was confident that God would supply a superior replacement for his body. Thus, courage fills Paul as he performs his calling as an apostle.

Paul’s courage was directed at the single aim to be well pleasing to Jesus so that he could stand confidently before the judgment seat of Christ. Whatever his condition, Paul sought to be pleasing in his actions. This is completely contrary to the critics who would try to discount him based on weak appearance. For Paul, what ultimately mattered was God’s view of his ministry, not man’s, because it would be before Christ’s judgment seat where the deeds done in the body would be judged as to whether they were good or bad.

 

 

Safety, security, and peacefulness are words that can describe too much of American evangelicalism. We think of preachers, we see them nicely dressed in the attire we deem appropriate — whether it be a two-piece suit or shorts with a T-shirt. We want them to look the way we want them to look. Given those reasons Paul would probably be an outcast in our churches. He was not safe, and he did not look the part.

Image result for image of the bema seat judgmentYet, that is how true gospel ministry is suppose to look. We’re supposed to give ourselves to the glory of God and love people by telling them the gospel message, even when it hurts. Paul understood that. His eyes were centered on being well-pleasing to God and his heart was poured out for the Corinthians. He did this no matter if it took him to places where he abounded in material things or to places where death seemed imminent.

The encouragement that was set before him in all of this was the hope of the resurrection. He knew that the suffering, caused by being faithful to God, would be compensated in full by his Lord. Thus, he pressed on no matter how much it cost.

Posted January 28, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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Why Do We Focus on A Person Instead of What Matters?   1 comment

When Bill Clinton was president,  he was taking the country in a direction that many of us were uncomfortable with. This created push-back. The conservative movement had been around for a long time as a group of writers and commentators who mostly talked among themselves, but hadn’t real political power over the 20 years of its existence. In the prior few years since Reagan had set aside the decidedly-unfair Fairness Doctrine, conservative talk radio had given them a larger voice and wakened up a lot of people to the difference between what they valued and what Bill Clinton wanted.

Image result for image of donald trumpThe conservative push-back against Bill Clinton resulted in the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1940. And for a brief exciting time, we saw principles being discussed. As a young mother struggling to raise our daughter while my husband was in school, it was exciting to hear that those on welfare would now be expected to work if they wanted to receive benefits and that there would be limits set on how long they could receive those benefits. I could hope my taxes (what the government was stealing from my paycheck to give to these deadbeats — and yeah, they were deadbeats) might go down eventually.

But something happened. The conversation shifted from principles (reducing government, spending less, taxing less, taking responsibility for your own life) to a person – Bill Clinton. Make no mistake, Bill Clinton isn’t a good guy. He’s a sexual predator. There’s certainly been plenty of evidence looked at and ignored over the years that he and Hillary are crooks. That is not my point. I want to understand why we started talking about what he was doing while president rather than about how his policies were affecting us and why we needed to change those policies?

I think it has something to do with the danger to the State of that line of thinking. The last thing any president wants is to have his power curtailed and that’s where the conservative conversation would have eventually led. As people rediscovered the Founders and read the Constitution, people were beginning to understand that the power of the presidency had grown incredibly over the last 100 years. And understanding that might lead to the people demanding the presidency be scaled back to Founding Era power levels.

The co-opting of the conservative movement was subtle and it certainly had help from Bill Clinton’s sexual immorality, but we’ve not really moved beyond that dynamic. When Bush 2 was president, the liberal-progressives mostly talked about him. They hated him, even though it is hard to see why. He expanded federal control over the local education systems. He expanded Medicare. He gave them a lot of pet projects they’d been dreaming of since the 1994 Contract of America had set them back on their heels. But despite him giving them what they wanted, they hated him.

The other day on Twitter someone posted that “evangelical Christians have gotten over Trump’s sinful ways, but they still haven’t gotten over Obama being black.” I called baloney on that. I never cared about Obama being black. I don’t know any (white) evangelical Christians who are racists and cared about the color of his skin. They objected to his policies and you can be against the policies of a president without it being racial. Obama’s policies STANK for the middle- and working-classes. We were drowning and he was throwing us anchors that shut down the businesses that paid us to work for them rather than lifelines that would keep us afloat until the economy recovered. That had nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with how his policies were affecting us.

So, now Donald Trump is president. I don’t like him personally (which is why I didn’t vote for him). But some of his policies seem to have had a great effect on the economy and that helps many evangelical Christians who are working- and -middle-class. So many of them are willing to ignore who he is as a person and support him because of his policies. Heck, if this economy continues, he might get my vote in 2020.

But probably not simply because there are other policies of his that I object to and I am a policy voter. I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney because his policies didn’t match my values. Did I think he would be better for the economy than Barack Obama? No, not really. He would have gone even further into Obamacare and probably tweaked it so it “succeeded”  until most people began to think they couldn’t live without it. I’m all about people being responsible for themselves, so I didn’t like Mitt Romney, the Republican socialist, so I didn’t vote for him.

I do have a point with this post. The problem with politics is not really with who we have in the White House. It’s taken a long time for me to get to this place, but I’ve come to understand that the presidency itself is the problem with government and has been pretty much from the beginning. It has too much power. It can write its own laws through executive orders. It has so many loopholes where it doesn’t have to work with Congress to get things done. It doesn’t matter if there’s a Republican in the office or a Democrat. Both have too much power and they follow policies that harm people. It’s a problem with the Institution of the Presidency not with the guy or gal who sits in the leather seat behind the nice desk in the uniquely shaped office.

Rise of the Phoenix   1 comment

By Bionic Mosquito

The Great Heresies, by Hilaire Belloc

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/01/bionic-mosquito/rise-of-the-phoenix/

So writes Belloc, as published in 1938.  Before considering the heresy and the history both before and since he wrote these words, perhaps it is worth considering the situation in Muslim lands at the time he was writing.

1938

After the Great War, what was left of Mohammedan power even in hither Asia, let alone Constantinople, was only saved by the violent quarrels between the Allies.

https://socialescepcor.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/height_of_omayyad_caliphate_cropped.png?w=1000

In 1938, almost all Muslims lived in lands controlled and occupied by a European power: virtually all of North Africa; all of the Middle East except Turkey (you might also except Saudi Arabia, but must recognize the British position in their oil); much of Central Asia; finally, the Asian sub-continent.

It was in this environment of the Muslim’s weakest point since its founding that Belloc foresaw the rise once again of a Muslim threat to Europe.

Time to buy old US gold coins

The History

Belloc offers a brief history of the rise and fall of Islam as a political power and empire:

Islam – the teaching of Mohammed – conquered immediately in arms. Mohammed’s Arabian converts charged into Syria and won two great battles…

They quickly overran Egypt and Northern Africa, Asia Minor, finally crossing the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain.  By 732 – less than 100 years after their first victories – Muslim armies reached as far as Northern France.  They were thrown back to the Pyrenees, but continued to hold most of Spain.The Great HeresiesHilaire BellocBest Price: $6.50Buy New $6.45(as of 07:20 EST – Details)

We know of the Crusades called by the Pope.  These were not called in a vacuum; they were called in reaction to the violent conquest of Christian lands in the Middle East.  Brief successes followed by ultimate failure.

If the first Crusaders had had enough men to take Damascus their effort would have been permanently successful.

But they had only enough men to hold the seacoast of Palestine (I expand on this history here and here, also thanks to Belloc).  Perhaps a similar reason as to why Syria is so important today.

Europe finally beat back Muslim advances into Europe on September 11, 1683:

The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which “the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”.

The exclamation point was placed on September 11, 1697:

The Battle of Zenta…on the east side of the Tisa river, was a major engagement in the Great Turkish War (1683–1699) and one of the most decisive defeats in Ottoman history.

This battle ended Ottoman control over large parts of Central Europe.  And from this point, we come to 1938 and the aforementioned European control over the vast majority of lands populated by Muslims, as Muslims gradually lost the race to Europeans in the material things necessary to wage war.

Interesting how September 11 keeps coming up in this relationship.

Islam as Heresy

Belloc offers that Islam is a heresy and not a wholly new religion:

It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy.  It was a perversion of Christian doctrine.

If anyone sets down those points that orthodox Catholicism has in common with Mohammedism, and those points only, one might imagine if one went no further that there should have been no cause of quarrel.

Mohammed taught basically the Catholic doctrine, with a very important exception:

But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against the Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.

Jesus was a prophet – the greatest of all prophets – but he was only a man, not God and not the Son of God.  About the most important point, I would say.

The Future (as Belloc saw it)

Belloc saw no reason that would prevent Islam from rising again as a power – a power that would threaten, once again, the Christian west.  He offered: talk to any Egyptian or Syrian student, and you will find him the equal of any European student on the subjects of his study.

Belloc offers the weakness of Europe: Europe replaced Christendom as its binding force:

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasm of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism.  But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Jewish Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

The Muslim world was under no such delusions of “self-worship” as more important than culture and tradition – in fact, the Muslim world fights actively against this.

Some Unpacking

This last cite from Belloc will take a bit of unpacking.  What have we seen since the time Belloc penned these words?  Moscow has disappeared as the purveyor of communist propaganda; it is no longer the source of destruction.  Yet, the war against the west (and there certainly is a war) is also not being led by Islam.  I return to Belloc’s words with which I began this essay:

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

It seems it is even worse than Belloc imagined.  The sons and grandsons are not fighting for their Christian culture – the sons and grandsons are doing what they can, to include creating Muslim enemies, to destroy the last remnants of the Christian culture.  No invasion is necessary; they are welcomed and subsidized as guests.  King John III Sobieski could not be spinning faster in his grave, I believe.

Attribute it to Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Marxists and the Frankfurt School, or postmodernists – whichever you choose – the philosophy of destruction of western Christian culture is being driven by western leaders of western institutions: political, educational, social.

People in the west have allowed themselves to become impotent in this fight: beginning with the Renaissance and Reformation, continuing through the Enlightenment, the philosophy of the west has created the atomized individual.  Yet, as Belloc notes, “self-worship is not enough.”

Conclusion

I grow more and more struck by something my father said many years ago, when I made a stumbling effort to describe libertarianism to him.  He replied, “what, are you a communist?”  As has been true in dozens of examples before and since, his replies were much more profound than was my ability to understand.

“There goes bionic, throwing liberalism and libertarianism under the bus again.”

It seems to me that the west – and those persuaded by the non-aggression principle or something approaching it – has allowed a simple political idea of individual liberty to define all of man’s relationships and the whole of man’s relationship to his fellow man.  Yet this makes man impotent against those who would exploit the weakness in this philosophy.

I don’t mean impotent as in guns and defense (although it is quite true here); I mean impotent as in ideas, as in how to intellectually fight back.  Something more than a negative liberty must bind a community if that community is to remain in reasonable peace.  While “anything peaceful” is allowable under the non-aggression principle, it does not follow that “anything peaceful” is conducive to community – in the most freedom-supporting sense of the term.

Something or someone will organize society if it is to be a functional and thriving society. By creating and defending the atomized individual and ignoring culture and tradition (the “something”), with what intellectual weapon does the defender of individual liberty fight back against the strongman (the “someone”)?

He has none; he stands naked and alone (atomized) in front of his intellectual enemies, thus clearing the path for his mortal enemies.  Unobstructed and unopposed, they need no military to win this battle.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

Poll – How Much Do You Trust Mass Media?   1 comment

How much do you trust mass media (newspapers, television, radio) to report news fully, accurately and fairly?

  • Mostly
  • Partially
  • Rarely

 

Leave your comment below and feel free to explain your answer.

Posted January 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Media, Uncategorized

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