Impeachment: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD
While I personally support the Senate’s consideration of the single article of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives, I am under no illusions as to it being a palliative when it comes to the divisions in the country at large. Whether the former president is convicted or acquitted, the divisions will remain, as will the sense of grievance that has become the identifying trait of both sides. Conviction or acquittal will, I think, merely add to that sense on one side or the other.
It seems to me that as we can no longer agree on facts, we also can no longer agree on a vision of what sort of society we wish to live in and bequeath to our children. One side sees only the civil unrest of the summer, while the other side sees only the insurrection of January in our nation’s capitol. The lack of a common vision has not only blinded us to the common good, it has also blinded us as we look at one another. The truth of Scripture that, “without a vision the people perish” has taken on a prophetic tone.
Likewise, the divisions that have been building in the Christian community will also remain and, I fear, will deepen. I began my faith journey as an evangelical. For decades I was always willing to work beside evangelicals, even as I took another road as an Anglican. Today as I look at the majority of American evangelicals, I tend to regard them as separated brethren. As their theological positions have become intertwined with nationalist politics, there are fewer and fewer points of contact, much less opportunities for anything resembling Christian fellowship. It often feels like hearing of the death of an old friend you have not seen for years. Even though you might have been distant in time or geography, the final severing of the relationship still causes grief.
Meanwhile, we continue to abandon and distrust institutions, whether they be governmental, educational or ecclesiastical. In many cases the distrust is warranted, in other cases, perhaps not. Nevertheless, conspiracy theories run rampant informing all who will listen that they are to trust no one outside of their own circle or tribe. This distrust, however, is not confined to institutions or the media. In the end, it causes us to distrust our neighbors, or those we work with, or even our families, or, indeed, anyone who disagrees with what we have come to believe.
Some years ago a book was written on the Middle East entitled, ‘Tribes With Flags’. Its main argument was that we had a basic misunderstanding concerning the countries that made up the region. We in the West wanted to view them as nation-states, similar to our own. The author, however, pointed out that most were artificial creations arising out of the end of the First World War and were made up of clans and tribes that did not function as nation-states. I think we are rapidly approaching something similar in our own nation. We are different tribes with different flags and although the flags are politics, or the news sources we listen to, or the conspiracies we choose to believe, the end result is the same.
In such an environment it seems to me that the Church must return to its ancient identity, one that is distinct from the various clans and tribes that surround us. Our call is not to identify with a particular clan or tribe, but rather to call people into a fellowship that stands outside the particular clans and tribes. “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Moreover, in this fellowship that stands outside of the clans and tribes, we are given how we are to conduct ourselves with one another. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
In the end, our hope is not in the transforming of society or the reformation of national political agendas according to the imposition of our particular religious values. I would suggest that the task at hand is really much more basic. I would suggest that it has to do with simply being the Church.
As I’ve often said, in the City of Man I will pray for leaders of good character and I will pray that justice will be done. In the end, however, I will place my hope and my labor in that small group of exiles who make up the City of God.
The inability to agree on facts is the end of the road for this culture. I now have to fight constant attempts to radicalize my godson from his family members.
The only hope for the church is a return to creedal Christianity…the facts that all have agreed on at all times…
When Ms. Conway spoke of “alternative facts” we should have foreseen what was coming…
Alternative facts and the redefinition of terms…”freedom of speech” doesn’t mean the right to say anything you want wherever you want, as an example…
As a personal prediction… this week videos will be shown by both sides and we will be told not to believe what we are seeing. It is more than the ability to agree on facts… it’s an inability to agree on the nature of reality…
All this time alone at home over the past year has taught me one thing-too much cable news is bad for the soul and the mind! I’ve really made an effort to limit news to some reading on personally vetted sites in the morning (NPR, for example), my local newspaper (for local stuff), and trusted web sites (this being one of them). it keeps the loony out of the toons!
On my journey to faith in Christ, I was fascinated by the Quakers/Friends. They knew what they believed and they kept above the fray because they acted according to their beliefs and resisted the ones they did not agree with in a positive (contributing to society at large), yet stubborn (refusing military service, for example) sort of way. i think the church needs to adopt that sort of posture. We are distinct, this is what we believe, and this is how we shall act. If we refuse to support a law because we consider it unjust, then we would resist in the style of the Hebrew mid-wives or Daniel, willing to die for the just vs. the unjust cause. Just my thoughts this morning, but thoughts i Have had for a long time.
That was gold…I concur!
“We are distinct, this is what we believe, and this is how we shall act.”
Succinct and correct!
The other idea that has occurred to me is that if we begin to question the very nature of reality, how do we teach the creeds… how do we teach the Incarnation? This denial is not merely a malady of society, it will takes its toll on matters of faith…
I learned the Apostles’ Creed growing up as a child, along with the Lord’s Prayer, and various Bible verses. When I actually came to faith in Christ, I heard sermons that took them apart in the context of Bible study, and that really helped me understand something I rattled off from memory as a kid so I could win the sticker on the chart. Maybe that’s the place to start? Doctrine in the context of biblical truth? So many evangelicals claim to know their Bibles, but often it’s only in the context of their own, private, erroneous interpretation of same.
At this juncture, we just teach them as if we’re planting a flag…
Public education has not served America well in that we have an adult population unable or unwilling to think critically–to consider & evaluate sources, logically connect the dots, derive reasonable plans, and accurately evaluate outcomes. I can’t speak to private education, but would assume many of the long term outcomes to be similar. I don’t think this failure is due to “indoctrination” as some would wish to say, but because we, as educators, have valued covering content over developing thinkers. The curriculum must be delivered–not rational, coherent citizens.
I believe the same malady infects the church–a disabling lack of thoughtfulness, consideration, deliberation, and self-evaluation. Ministers who pander to the congregation to remain ‘influential’ or ‘relevant’ or even ’employed’ are a disgrace to the role. I fear we may be in a death spiral with the pilots unable to muster the skill set needed to pull out of the dive.
Since i count myself among what is considered here the deluded evangelicals, I’ll make one observation then I’m out of this thread…
IF you watched Newsmax, you would see examples of how the major news providers edit the words of the right – not the far right, but all conservatives… Is Alan Dershowitz a hard right conservative? Don’t think so, but he has complained about having his words edited to say the opposite of what he actually said.
Having and expressing one’s own conclusions is a right in this nation – for now, so I question the legality of tomorrow’s impeachment trial……
I had always been taught that the point of education was to gain the skills to engage in a life of education. It wasn’t an end in itself. It was something that continued on long after you left school or the university… I think we have lost that approach. As to the Church, the relative dearth of adult Christian Education has set us up for what is now happening…
Amen to Dr. Duane’s. 9:43
Now I’m done… 😇
Em. Criticism from within one’s group is typically more valuable and readily received than critique from ‘outside.’ Evangelicals have been slow to critique themselves and even slower to hear and heed any criticism. Many evangelicals now feel picked on. Perhaps the solution is better engagement with each other and warmer relations with other believers outside the evangelical compound.
By the way, I offer this as a lifelong self-identified Evangelical who is having a bit of an identity crisis. 🙂
It’s not just Evangelicals. There’s folks in my Orthodox parish that are just as radicalized. Catholics, too.
I can’t have any kind of conversation with anyone who believes the kinds of things that the far right is saying because that’s all they want to talk about and they seem more interested in converting people to their political views than they are in converting people to Christ. They are obsessed. However, not all conservative Evangelicals (and EO and RC) have this obsession. My dearest friend, an Evangelical, and neighbor of 45 years is as morally conservative as they come yet she is able to see through all the far right nonsense. She is a treasure, believe me. As for others… well, it’s a good thing for the lockdown because I’d have to be showing some of them to the door if they were able to come for a visit. They are repeating lies. Even if they believe them to be true, they are lies.
However, I do agree with Em that the left wing media does edit the sayings of conservatives. In fact, during my short sojourn in the world of Trump-voters, I realized Trump was definitely misquoted or deliberately misunderstood. Doesn’t matter: the things he clearly said/Tweeted that I hear/saw with my own eyes was bad enough.
Back during the months when we were attending church, we left ASAP when the service was over to avoid conversations (about conspiracies) with certain people that would totally cancel out any sense of peace and joy we received from the Liturgy. One still sends me articles about the virus “hoax” that she is sure will change my mind. I don’t even read them.
Someone (Michael?) posted the other day an article (Matt Redmand?) that talked about how Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that if a Roman soldier asked you to carry his burden a mile, carry it for two miles. Yet people get resentful about being asked to wear a mask.
What are Americans so resentful about, anyway? They are the richest people on earth.
A friend who visited Malawi a few years ago stayed with a humble pastor’s family. The pastor wanted to know how often my friend was able to afford meat. The pastor said he was lucky if his family had meat once a year. My friend, who always moaned about his “poverty,” had to admit his family ate meat 3x a day.
So my advice is to appreciate the good things God has given us. Gratitude is better than resentment.
Filbertz and Em,
i’ve self-identified as evangelical for 40 years. However, I’m more and more inclined to identify myself as a Christian, and provide more info as people ask. My church hasn’t drunk all the Kool-Aid (our pastor actually preached the first Sunday after the election that we shouldn’t be chasing conspiracy theories), but there has been a reaction to the current climate, including half the church not attending. We are encouraged to attend, but what can you say when half the congregation is still attending on Zoom? And all those eyeballs are also giving units?
That aside, the big problem I see with evangelical churches is that they all talk to each other (especially those of the 9Marks/T4G/Southern Baptist ilk), and that continues to reinforce their opinions. They won’t even listen to the voices of reason within the compound. So, you have this continuous enormous echo chamber where no new ideas can even begin to creep in.
I have a number of friends who are Libertarian or traditionally conservative (Kirk, Buckley, etc.). They feel equally estranged from what is happening on the Right (as well as on the progressive Left). I’m not sure that it is even political at this point… it has morphed into “religion”…
Trump appealed to an entire generation of Americans that feel left behind during the past 30 or more years. That includes my family members that are true Trumpeteers. They lost good factory jobs to overseas venues, jobs that had been “guaranteed” to them for decades. Their kids can’t find work because there are no jobs in their area. In some areas, they can’t stay where they were born and raised because tech money has driven up the cost of everything, and their salaries don’t cover it. They feel left out. Trump came with a message that he would “save” them. Obviously, Trump didn’t, but I think that has made them even more angry and distrustful.
The old Democratic Party was all about the working class, unions and lifting up the disenfranchised when I was growing up in a working class neighborhood on the West Coast. It doesn’t look like that anymore, and if they don’t continue to cultivate votes they won from the Republicans in 2020, they may be back in the same boat come the next election. I am re-registering as an Independent, by the way.
Conspiracy theories are easy because someone does your thinking for you-presenting the arguments for and defending all arguments against. We all think we are experts because we have internet access and we can read/watch for ourselves, but we rarely consider the sources of our information and who/why is promoting that particular argument. As a teacher, I find it frightening that people don’t have better critical thinking skills. I do teach at a school where those kinds of skills are taught and practiced, but it’s a private school, Public schools are usually too busy trying to teach content because the students are always behind.
“IF you watched Newsmax,”
No, thank you.
Linn, I loved your 9:06 post – very insightful. I never would have thought that we as Christiansc could have something to learn from the Quakers! I taught in public schools for over 30 years here in southern California. I think you are not entirely accurate that public school kids are ” always behind”. My you best daughter attended public schools all of her life ( I taught in her elementary school. By the time she graduated from Hugh school and received an academic based scholarship to UCLA, she had acquired a full year of college level classes due to many the Advanced Placement classes she took at her Vista public high school. She actually graduated from UCLA in three years, because she started with the standing if a sophomore! My older daughter also graduated with many Advanced Placement classes, but she took her time and graduated in four years because she received a four year Revenge Scholarship from UCSB which pages half the costs of all her college expenses for all four years. The older daughter received a special award from the AP board because she scored in the top 1% on her AP. American history test! There was one essey queztion on that test that ONLY my daughter answered correctky that year on tge test – talk about good critical thinking skills! Neither of my girks took ant AP prep tests or any classes outside of their public schools except for private piano and swimming lessons. Public schools must take all students and they must devote slot of resources and effort teaching special needs children and children with learning disabilities. Private schools don’t take these students! I myself was a remedial/ special education teacher for 15 if the 32 years that I taught. THESE students are extremely difficult to teach. Even the basic fundamentals of literacy band math are laboriously taught to them, and higher level critical thinking skills are even more difficult to teach to low I.Q. or learning disabled students.( my students in my special needs classroom) I am very proud of the public school education that my two children received from Vista High School and mist if their friends also attended U.C universities or even Ivy League universities. It always feel that I must set the record straight when it cones to California public schools. I don’t understand why so many people have so many negative things to say about them! California dies have the added challenge of teaching non English speaking immigrant children, which many states don’t. Once again, these children demand a huge amount if extra attention and instruction. I was a ESL teacher also, and I once had a student who came from an Island in the South Pacific( brought here by his church)/ He wad 10 years old and didn’t even know the alphabet when he first became my student. Three years later when he left my school he was reading at grade level and graduated with his classmates. He was one of my proudest success stories as a public school teacher! Another aside, both of my public school and public university daughters are married to church attending Christian men that they met at public universities! Faith is taught best at home, and if taught well, faith goes forward with them through their entire lives.
Sorry about all the typos! I neglected to check for typos before I posted and obviously I typed too fast! The scholarship above from UC universities is called a ‘Regents’ Scholarship’ and spellchecker changed it to ‘Revenge Scholarship’! Sort of funny, but it is an academic based scholarship based on grades, test scores, and ability.
Having and expressing one’s own conclusions is a right in this nation –
Well, sure. But expressing opinions also entails responsibility. And freedom of speech is far from a blanket “get out of jail free no matter what I said” card.
— If you shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, expect a visit from the police and possible jail time.
— If your words lead to seditious act, for example, also expect consequences.
Heard something sad on a “Christian” radio station last night.
The preacher actually used the words “fake President Biden.”
He can say that…but people like me can also have an opinion, and conclude he’s been deceived and I can feel sorry for him.
I’m a product of public school/university, and I ended up teaching at a private school after various layoffs from public school (budget issues). I know there are some good schools out there, but in general, California lags way behind in test scores from the rest of the country (and the US isn’t very high internationally, anyway). Every school I ever taught in had kids two years behind in reading and math. So, in general, most teachers in most schools don’t have a lot of time to address critical thinking skills. My opinion and experience only.
Lin, that was a very good explanation.
My family has lived in North Carolina since the Revolution but when I was three years old my dad couldn’t find work so we packed up and moved to Ohio where he got a pretty good job as a lab tech in a tire factory. The family in NC was very critical of this move but sometimes you just have to go where you can make a living, as humans have done sine the dawn of our history.
Linn, Both of my daughters were designated as intellectually ‘gifted’ and put into the Gifted and Talented Academic program starting in 3rd grade, so in some ways we never experienced the ‘ average ‘ public school experience I suppose. I was drawn to working with learning disabled children because my sister had dyslexia , and growing up in the fifties, there were no special programs for her in the public schools. She didn’t learn to read until she was in fifth grade, and she spent the summer at a special school/ camp in Maine for children with dyslexia. We were very close and I remembered how bad she felt about not knowing how to read when everyone else could, and then how much she loved reading once she did finally learn! It makes such a difference in a child’s life. Gifted and Talented Education and Special Education for the learning disabled are both considered a form of “special education’ and you are correct that the vast majority of school children in the middle have a different experience. Most public schools have advanced programs to meet the needs of children who work hard ( as mine did). In High School any child can take an Advanced Placement class ( they don’t have to be in the ‘gifted program’. As you know, many students take the classes, can’t pass the A.P. test, and don’t receive the college credits for the class. But the opportunity is there for every student to take advanced classes. Unfortunately, many children jyst don’t want to put in the extra effort, even if they gave the ability. Funny aside, my Last name is Linn!
I read both of the articles by David French in the last Linkathon that were posted here. They were both fascinating articles. He believes that evangelicals such as Eric Metaxis have been “seized by a delusion” that is distorting their faith. Even more interesting, David French thinks the Trump supporters would never have become as radical or as violent as they eventually did, if it were not for the Coronovirus crisis. He describes America as ” literally being in the midst of a plague” with all of the fear, anger and anguish that accompanies a plague of Biblical proportions. All summer as the Black Lives Matter riots continued I thought the same thing – much of this behavior is caused by the pain of the shut downs, the restrictions, the economic pain and the stress of this pandemic. David French hopes that we may be able to return to normal and cool things down some once thus the Coronovirus threat has ended. That’s a hopeful take on our situation, at least and I hope he is right. Duane’s suggestion that we may have too much unwarranted distrust in our institutions, such as our schools, our police, our government, etc. is a point well taken. There was a time when Americans rallied around our institutions but we have become so fractured as a society. There are more tribes than ever in America. Even in my evangelical church there was a divide – those who had their kids in private school, and those that home schooled or had their kids in private Christian schools. We already have so many tribes – Catholic, Evangelical, Democrat, Republican and yet it seems it’s in our human nature to want to create even mire tribes or cliques even within the tribes we’re already in! Is it pride? Is it sin? I know that as a public school teacher I had to learn tolerance. I had Jehovah Witnesses who couldn’t participate in any holiday activities. I had Latino students who didn’t speak English. My daughter had a good friend who was Egyptian( the son of two doctors). Once he was in high school he was not allowed to be in any small study or project groups with girls. Special accommodations have to be made for many diverse curious of children in public schools. My daughter was the treasurer of the Christian Group at her high school. She had Mormon friends. I can’t help but think it made mg daughters better people to be surrounded by other people who weren’t just cookie cutter versions of themselves. We once were proud of America’s ‘Great Melting Pot’ and we were proud of our diversity, believing it made us stronger. I would argue that public schools are a kind of ‘melting pot’ that makes for more tolerant and compassionate citizens who are less ‘tribal’ Public schools aren’t perfect, but why not reinvest in them? Perhaps that is one way to produce a less tribal future with less divisions. Just my perspective!
I can’t help but think it made mg daughters better people to be surrounded by other people who weren’t just cookie cutter versions of themselves. We once were proud of America’s ‘Great Melting Pot’ and we were proud of our diversity, believing it made us stronger.
I’m sure they did come out stronger. It’s not good for any of us to only be exposed to our own tribe, IMHO. Pluralism is a good thing. It’s good to broaden out your learning and get along with all kinds of individuals. I went to public schools and then graduated from a large public university, so there’s my bias…
I also agree that we need to reinvest in public schools. I really believe as you opine, that they can produce a less tribal future. Lord knows that’s what our country needs.
Now seems a good time to bring up a controversial point since we’re talking about education and society. Home schooling has become huge among evangelicals. We might be wise to ask exactly what is being taught to homeschooled children. Having homeschooled our own children for some time, I have a bit of understanding in this area. The curriculum we used was purchased from a well-known company. The curriculum was decidedly conservative politically and theologically. Especially the social studies curriculum.
The recently terminated 1776 Commission begun by the Trump Administration is instructive. The history curriculum we used taught the prevailing evangelical (generally speaking) ideas regarding the founding of America as a “Christian” nation.
So what we have is a large swath if not an entire generation of evangelicals, raised on deeply conservative political sentiment and all that entails. I think it at least should be considered.
I’ve worked with homeschool kids at church. I usually pick them out quickly because they treat me as the one and only teacher for him/her-the one and only student. I agree that we have a large number of evangelical students with a very specific view of American history. If you go over to the more radicalized left, you have another group of students, from both public and private schools, that think that gender is something you choose and people who believe in moral absolutes are backward at least, and probably extremely oppressive. I think the church needs to start to address these issues biblically, but in a loving and caring way. That doesn’t mean we accept the lifestyle, but we engage instead of name-calling and being “offended” every time we encounter someone with a different set of morals. Jesus dialogued with adulteresses and Pharisees. We should follow his example.
I think how church parents choose to educate their children is their business as they work it out with the Lord. Different kids need different settings and different methods. I’ve met successful home schoolers, public schoolers, and private schoolers (both Christian and non-Christian). A lot depends on how much other students’ behavior affects your child’s behavior. I continued right up through public school, but my non-Christian parents pulled my sister out and put her in parochial school because she was just learning how to cut class. At the high end private (non-Christian) school where i currently teach, I have met Christian parents who gave up on their Christian school because the curriculum was a bunch of rules with very little solid academic content.
Mike E., An entire generation taught by the debunked historian David Barton? You may be on to something there, unfortunately.
Linn, I have evangelical Christian friends who put their children in Catholic private schools, because they were good schools, and conveniently close to their neighborhoods. Their children had to go to Catholic Mass every day in school .My friends were not Catholics. They just told their children, that “we as evangelical Christians don’t believe what they are teaching you in Mass”. They didn’t tell their children to shun the Catholic children who actually did practise those beliefs such as praying to the Virgin Mary, or worshipping Saints . Why must Christians be catered to in public schools? I think the extent that homosexuality is promoted in public schools is ridiculously exaggerated. I can honestly say that in 35 years of teaching and having two children in public schools it never once was an issue. I know that when I started teaching in 1975 Halloween wad celebrated in all public schools with art projects, musical assemblies, etc. Around 1985 Halloween was banned from the public schools in order to appease the evangelical Christian parents, who thought it in unChristian! That was a very big change, and it was to solely to appease the evangelical or fundamentalist Christians . The problem is that sometimes it seems that those Christians are fearful of the most innocent things, and their demands are endless! I learned Tai Chi in order to lower my blood pressure while I was still teaching. It was
a miracle how it lowered my blood pressure. When public schools tried to teach children some of the same slow movements and breathing techniques in order to help children cope with stress ( scientifically proven techniques that work), some Christian parents again became angry, claiming schools were teaching “demonic” practises to children. I practised T
tai Chi twice a week for ten years, and there absolutely is nothing farther from the truth. Jewish children learn to cope with Christmas in our society. Why must Christians always be treated with kid gloves ? Are we, our children, and out faith so weak that we all must stay in our own little climate controlled hot houses or perish? The early Christians would laugh at what Christians today think is persecution.
I actually started teaching in 1979, the year I obtained my California Lifetime Teaching credential, not 1975 ( I was still in high school in 1975!) Celebrating Halloween with art projects of witches and pumpkins was routine in every public school in the country in 1979 and no one objected. It seems amazing to me now because , in deference to Fundamentalist Christians who took offence , it was completely banned in public schools in the early 80s. I had many Jehovah Witnesses as students, but their parents never demanded that schools ban celebrations of Thanksgiving, Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays, or the Fourth of July ( Their religion forbids any celebrations). Those parents just asked that their child be allowed to be excused from the activity and given something else to do. My daughter’s husband is a Seventh Day Adventist Christian and those Christians are vegetarians. I never had any Seventh Day Adventist students demanding that vegetarian meals be served in the public schools each day. It seems to be only evangelical fundamentalist Christians who feel entitled enough to demand that public schools cater to their demands. I have also wondered why Mormons, who have such strong beliefs and are deeply religious, always have their kids in public schools. I have never heard of a Mormon private elementary or high school. It as though evangelicals today are being taught to be disdainful of their neighboring communities and are encouraged to distrust and look down on others in ways that other religious groups would never dream of. Have American evangelicals become a privileged class with an aggrieved sense of entitlement? That may be the same “delusion” David French claims Eric Metaxis has been poisoned by.
those issues that many Christians raise(d) were because big-name leaders used those issues as hobby horses to ride hard and put away sweaty. It was good fundraising & great name recognition, and, I’m sure, immensely satisfying to see the minions go out and do what they directed. As a teacher, I’ve had more than my share of issues over literature titles that good Christians couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t read and I had to provide ‘safe’ alternatives that wouldn’t harm Jackson or Jillian. These parents were generally head-in-the-sanders regarding any literature themes/content/interpretation, but were repeating the schtick they heard somewhere. Often the kid was embarrassed, humiliated, or disagreeable to the interference–or openly hostile to the parents efforts. Some were even far more ‘worldly’ than the parents ever dreamed. Disconnect of the highest order. Not one ever came in to have an open-ended conversation either. Kind of a “don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.”
And your observation regarding Mormons, SDA, and Jehovah’s Witnesses is absolutely accurate. I would say the same about Catholics, and mainline denominations too–It is a fundamentalist Evangelical phenomenon. When I worked with Youth For Christ, I had many Administrators caution me against proselytizing and that I would no longer be permitted on campus. The offending parties that peed in the pool were always youth pastors from the fundie/evangelical churches. They seemed to think their right to evangelize outweighed any consideration for the fact that it wasn’t their turf in the first place.
Filbertz, Thanks for your response. When you teach, you interact with thousands of families and students, and you definitely see the different ways that those families engage with schools. I just googled Mormons and their views on education. Mormons have no church schools, as they want their children to grow up and be taught in community schools. So my observations have an official verification. Evangelicals don’t want their children to be part of community schools. Church leaders definitely are influencing how their congregations are interacting with their communities. The churches refusing to stop holding services due to Covid is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid. Is this really want evangelicals want, to make enemies of their neighbors? Everything becomes a “wedge issue” , meant to divide us from our neighbors and our communities? Satan must be laughing at his easy it all is.
I find it odd that Mormon missionaries are called “elders” even though they are kids. Two stopped me and my 8 year old daughter and I walking our puppy on the street last weekend. 20 year old kids “elders” by the card they gave us. They seemed to be satisfied when asked if we knew Jesus, and I asked my daughter to tell them who he was, “Jesus came to die for our sins.” They gave me a card and we wished each other well.
When I was in 12th grade English, our LDS classmate gave a short speech on Jesus and Satan being brothers with differing salvation plans, and I realized Kingdom of the Cults was right. Yet I admire LDS fortitude of preaching.
An article on Religion News Service that is highly relevant to this discussion…
The above article should be s a sobering read for those who were too deeply in for Trump, especially those who bought into false prophets and live on the fringe . From the article:
“And, so, prophetic madness was AND IS a significant force driving people to continue to believe Trump has really won because God has declared it through his prophets.”
I still wish Trump had won. Presidential elections are binary choices and Trump’s policies and people are head and shoulders better than the ones in place now, IMO. Fortunately, politics are not my passion or reason for being here.
“Fortunately, politics are not my passion or reason for being here.”
… And your presence here is welcomed and appreciated.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Duane, well written article. Some thoughts here. As someone on the right side of the political isle, I agree that much of the evangelical world is caught up in Christian nationalism which is dangerous and cultish. However, I also feel much of the evangelical world is also caught up in something more sinister which is a theology of grievance which is disguised as social justice. This is also where our country is as well as much of the world. Maybe its a form of cultural Marxism. I’m not sure. But constant rage, grievance, cancellation and the call for perpetual penance of the so called oppressors seems to be the norm now a days. I’m curious if Christian nationalism is simply a worldly response to the threat of cultural Marxism taking over? Some folks view this as a new breed of religion which is all about inclusion, diversity and equity. However, the more they try to force this policy wise, the more it back fires and creates the Trumps of the world. This impeachment is a perfect example of this. Trump is gone but he didn’t buy into this new religion and hence he needs to pay pretty much forever. That is the way this new system works. There is no forgiveness. Its based on a theology of grievance.
Let’s just throw the Evangelical baby out with the Roman Catholic bath water, get rid of the JW comic book theology and the Mormon fairy tale book and condemn everyone to hell and be done with it.
Now: what can I do to promote the Kingdom of God, and His rule and reign in the hearts of those around me by the power of the Holy Spirit?
“A sower went out to sow seed……”
There was a 50 year homeschool plan being circulated in the late 90’s. I don’t know how widely circulated, but it was in Reconstructionist circles. It may have originated in the Chalcydon Institute. If not, individuals connected to it where promoting the plan.
What I remember:
-Christian Schools where an inferior half-step to homeschooling.
-Multiple generations would be required to alter society.
-Society would be altered in stages blasting decades.
-Plan hinged on homeschool children reaching influential positions, while retaining childhood influence.
-Trumpism, an autocracy and the concept of a Christian king, was never imagined.
-Society was envisioned as technocratic, under authoritative wise counselors.
-The final goal was the sword of government, a term I distinctly recall.
Rushdoony’s highest goal was ultimately to kill people. Without killing, there can be no Reconstruction.
I’ll be honest with you, although I do not agree with all that they put forward under the name of “social justice”, I have high regard for people like Jim Wallis and some of the other folk at Sojourners. Why? They have been doing this for over 40 years… way before it was trendy. I have less regard for some people I know who have suddenly discovered injustice and inequities and have made themselves “experts” in equity and racial justice overnight. I don’t really believe it is buying in to cultural Marxism as much as it is a knee jerk reaction. Now, they may do some good in the short term, but next week, or next month, or next year, they will move on to something else.
What concerns me about Christian nationalism is that it is cult-like and ultimately destructive in terms of the Gospel…
I really appreciate your comment. I haven’t been able to give a “name” to what I see occurring among Christians, but “theology of grievance” says it all. Everyone is against us, and we must fight them. It’s almost as bad as the Fundamentalist church I was in as a new believer, but that was more about theology than lifestyles. I was a missionary for almost a decade where persecution was, and still is, real-pastors being hauled out of the churches during services and being shot dead in front of their families and congregants because they wouldn’t support the local insurgency. That’s what I call persecution, not whether or not your neighbors are married gays with children. I call that a ministry opportunity.
Was just reading Isaiah 59 this morning and was struck by how much God was concerned with justice. Over and over, God indicts His people because of their acceptance of injustice. And He condemns them for lies and “empty arguments. Is it “social justice” or is it just simply justice? Does anyone really believe there’s not huge and horrendous injustices taking place in this country every day? Grievance is borne of the grief of being unjustly treated. And as far as “new social justice warriors?” Better late than never.
Duane, I don’t think this social justice bandwagon is going to slow down. Its way to enticing for those in power. Its not only hip to hop on board, but if you don’t hop on board and embrace it whole heartily, you are perpetually participating and benefiting from white privilege, hegemony and the like. There is no good end game with this. I remember when Steve Taylor’s song “we don’t need no color code” came out in 1984. As a Christian back than, I couldn’t believe that a Christian college (Bob Jones) actually had these racial segregation rules and I was fully supportive of Taylor of exposing this sin in music. I would like to see Taylor sing the same song now a days. But now a days, we are told me need a color code because that is how we define those that are marginalized. The color of your skin, tells you whether you belong to the oppressed or the oppressor group. Being color blind is apparently racist today but emphasizing one’s race is being anti-racist. The original sin is no longer what the Bible says, but its about being white. But unlike, the gospel that can free from true original sin, only perpetual penance and hopping on board this social justice bandwagon, can set you free but only temporarily. This ideology is horrible for the church. We are to be one as you yourself pointed out. “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” For your readers, I recommend Voddie Bauchman as an alternative to Jim Wallis.
Duane, The article you posted this morning was a joy to read. The pastor is “owning” his part if the mess evangelicals have created for themselves. I, myself, sent Monet to the Jay Sec Leo’s ‘Christian Defense Fund’. I believed at the time that they were working to better our society and protect the rights of Christians. Then if seemed to me that they were ” manufacturing” problems where there really were none. Now I fringe when I think of all the money I sent to him because I really think that Jay Secular is a partisan, deluded and dishonesty laser. Funny story, I sent money to them with my own earnings as a teacher on a checking account with both my husband’s and my name at the top. My husband had no idea that I was supporting the Christian Defense Fund,bust every thank you note from them came addressed to only ‘Mr._________ even though I signed the checks and signed the donation forms, and supported them with my earnings. To this day we get solicitations from them addressed to my husband, who has no idea why they are sending them to him! If I didn’t laugh about such slights I would probably cry! Evangelicals try their hardest to marginalize women it seems.
One of the hallmarks of the Pentateuch is social justice. It’s a sign of a holy nation. I hope all Americans hop on board, most especially Jesus Christ’s holy priesthood.
A Holy nation? You implying the United States will be Holy? Jean, your sounding more and more like a Christian nationalist. Kind of funny how things go around in a circle.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – Peter
I sincerely hope that those clamoring for social justice, in the true meaning of the term, continue!
When it comes to race, I’ve ceased telling my African-American friends what they should expect or how they should go about seeking equity. Instead, I’m spending a lot of time listening to their stories and their experience. However wrong or misguided some voices might be, it does not measure up to how wrongfully they have been treated over four centuries in this country. Perpetual penance? No. A bit of penance and a time of healing, however, might be in order…
Bride of Christ
Thank you… I thought the article was well worth reading.
If someone wants to engage social justice by speaking out against racism, for example, who am I to object.
Duane, thanks for your comment at 12:17pm. I think it’s time for the white evangelical church to stop acting like they/we have a corner on God’s kingdom and what is expected of us as believers. And we need to stop telling other races how to think and feel.
That last statement was just something that I agreed with Duane about and something that has been on my mind from time to time, and not a judgement or attack on Steve by any means.
Thank you, much appreciated…
As strange as it may seem, but as hurtful as it is, just last month I read in the news about a sheriff in this country who enforced a “whites only” covenant at a cemetery. Believe it or not, this still happens.
Duane, I try to treat everyone with respect and listen. White people, black people, asians and everyone in between need to be listened to and everyone has a story. I find it almost offensive to put labels on the church. For instance the white church or black church or asian church. I believe in the human race not all of these separate races especially in the church. It’s almost gnostic to assume various groups have special knowledge that only they can understand. But that is where we are today.
Not “special knowledge”, but unique experiences and history…
As for “the Black Church”, a cursory reading of American church history indicates that this was not a choice as much as an imposition, especially post-Civil War. BTW, we may also note the burning of Black churches as recently as the last few years… several of these took place in Indiana where I live…
Although not legally enforceable, “whites only” was in the covenant in our neighborhood until 2006 when a few of us demanded that our board remove it… BTW, with numerous lawyers and a federal judge living in the neighborhood, it was never brought up before then.
I’m not denying systemic racism. It still exists in various forms and segregation is wrong in it’s various forms. However it’s interesting when a white person gets grief for using a multicultural center in a college, some folks are actually advocating for segregation preventing whites. It’s segregation but you’ll never hear about it. It’s not politically correct because of so called white privilege.
The last time you were pulled over by a cop, did you experience waves of fear and panic?
Does it matter if the cop is white or black? If I did something wrong, yeah I probably would experience some fear. However, the last job I would ever want is to be a cop. They put their lives on the line everyday and it’s completely thankless. Not to mention that they have to contend with the likes of Jussie Smollett. I know there are some bad cops just as there are bad doctors and bad pastors etc. But this doesn’t make them all bad.
Great job in completely and totally missing the point.
Anon,. Not sure what your point is. It’s all Trump’s fault I guess? But let’s keep impeaching him and cancelling everybody and everything that dare challenge the current narrative and while we are at it defund the police.
Discussion is not served by seeing how many slogans and talking points you can cram into two sentences… especially when none of them were brought up by either Anon or myself…
Duane,. Just trying to bring the topic of your article back into discussion. It was about impeachment and whether the outcome in either direction will probably not be palliative. The conversation veered into systemic racism and than a short comment by anon asking about being pulled over by a cop if I had fear and panic. Looking back, I suppose that was a rhetorical question I was not supposed to answer. However I answered it anyway since I thought dialog was to go both direction. Then when Anon says I totally missed the point, it confirms he/she was never interested in dialog to begin with but only to make a point. So I understand Duane none of this appears to be about dialog but rather just to make a point.
“So I understand Duane none of this appears to be about dialog but rather just to make a point.”
Actually, there has been a great deal of respectful dialogue on this thread. It breaks down when we resort to slogans.
Duane,. I’ll try to get better at not using slogans. I can agree with you on that. But back to Anons question to me, and your Amen is also a break down of dialog in my estimation. Anon and I don’t know each other personally at all so a statement that I totally missed the point is a difficult position anon puts me in from the standpoint of dialog. I’ll try to give anon the benefit of the doubt and not to respond to rhetorical questions.
Much appreciated… thanks.
We will never know each other. This is a blog where snippets of thoughts rule.
You can”t even answer a simple, direct question without ranting and raving about other issues without answering my question.. I didn’t say jack squat about supporting cops, etc., etc.
My point is that systematic racism is a reality for people of color. It took me all of ten seconds to ID a specific instance of structural racism that black folks regularly experience.
Steve, I don’t understand why ‘cancel culture’ is a term that Republican conservatives keep repeating. The idea of “cancelling” people was something I saw happening at my Calvary Chapel on a regular basis. There was the ‘shunning’ when believers fail to toe the line, but there was more cancelling happening than that obvious example. My Calvary Chapel Pastor ( now the head of all Calvary Chapel churches) told his congregation that they shouldn’t go to Christian book stores, but should only get their books from the Calvary Chapel bookstore ( because he personally screened all of the books). Isn’t that “cancelling ” the voices of those other Christian writers? In my church women could not be ushers, could not teach any groups with boys over the age of 12, etc. I sure felt that as a woman attending Calvary Chapel I was pretty much “cancelled” by the leadership there! They regularly said very negative things about the local public schools in Vista, where I was a teacher, and urged people to attend their own church school or hone school. Isn’t that ” cancelling” their local community schools? Isn’t refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same sex marriage ceremony an example of ” cancel culture”? Maybe I don’t truly understand the meaning of “cancel culture” and I’m not saying that Calvary Chapel should not have done all those things, that’s not my point. It just seems hypocritical to me because one of the reasons I left Calvary Chapel is because I saw so much “cancelling” of anyone who didn’t strictly adhere to an endless series of litmus tests.
I watched probably 20 minutes of the impeachment trial this afternoon, my first and only exposure to it. I must say that it was very depressing. The timeline covered during my listening was the period of around 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm. During the apex of the insurrection, the phone calls and tweets from the President were not directed at the welfare of the Vice President or members of Congress, nor at the support of law enforcement, nor at the withdrawal of his supporters, but solely fixated on delaying the electoral college certification. I don’t know how you defend against the President’s own words, actions and inaction.
Are bob1 and anon the same person?
I’ll never tell.
🙂 🙂 🙂
I had a similar reaction. Even though I’ve seen a fair amount of here-and-there footage, this was very depressing, indeed.
Once again, Eugene Goodman was a hero. Sure wish the Republicans had .00001% the courage he had.
He saved Mitt Romney from being murdered. The crowd would’ve attacked him in the space of one more minute or less.
This is what we learned today. We learned that on January 6, Mitt Romney was coming down a hallway. In less than a minute, he would have encountered members of the mob who had breached the Capitol
Romney ran. Had he not, it is all but certain that he—the signature enemy of all things MAGA, the man who had voted to convict Donald Trump in the first impeachment trial early last year, and a sitting senator from Utah for whom many of those in the mob likely voted for president a little more than eight years ago—would have been tased and then beaten to death by the insurrectionists.
Sure anon I mean bob1.
Bride of Christ,. Cancel culture I believe is the culture we live in today it’s not confined to Democrats or Republicans but it’s overaching. It’s really a suppression of various voices. I was cancelled in Calvary Chapel as well before cancel culture became a term so I can sympathize with you on that point. Regarding the baker who refused to use his artistic skills in a way he found immoral is not what you think. In reality the baker was cancelled because he was not allowed to follow his own religious convictions. To me it’s like forcing a pastor to perform a same sex marriage even if it violates their religious liberty. Pastor’s who take a stand on this are getting cancelled. It’s a tricky question because we live in a pluralistic society where pastors are acting as agents of the state when performing marriages. I predict with the current trajectory this country is on, fewer and fewer pastor’s will perform marriages if they are compelled by the state to recognize same sex marriage. Regarding public schools, I wish more of them were neutral but unfortunately they are also following a progressive bias and religious liberty is in jeapordy in many places. So in this regard, Im sympathetic to Christian concerns but the way Calvary Chapel does things, I would stay far away from them. They are a cult for the most part.
Bob1 or anon, nice to meet you. Structural racism? I’m not sure I understand, how this fits into your question or where exactly you are seeing it? It’s obviously clear when there are segregation laws and covenants on the books that Duane brought up that it still lingers. Also, the obvious death of George Floyd is anecdotal evidence but I’m not convinced this murder was race related. I may be in a minority here but even if the cop was motivated by race, it’s an even bigger stretch to say it’s structural. What laws, etc. Need to change to prevent this crime is my question? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist but just referencing feelings is very subjective.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a list of peer reviewed evidence based articles on systemic racism…
I found this article maybe you’ll find it helpful.26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem in America
The thing is, this is also a heart matter. If your heart is totally closed to the idea of systemic racism, the charts won’t mean a thing.
I believe this is more than just a matter of facts. We’re not just brains on sticks.
26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem in America.
We will cease to be racist when we realize “good” people AND bad people come in all skin shades
Amen Em. Also, I’ll point out that there really is no to little difference genetically between a black and white person. We are basically the same. So I can agree that this is a social construct. But that is about as far as I can go with the CRT advocates. Curious, are Asians considered people of color?. I’m married to a Chinese immigrant. And I can tell you for a fact that the cultural difference between and easterner and Westerner is far greater than any color differences we have when you have a common up bringing in the USA.
I have a question from a different perspective. We have seen the flags and tee shirts of the insurrectionists who broke into the Capital on 1/6. My question is: What draws white supremacists and rightwing extremists to Donald Trump? There is something that makes them think that Trump represents them and/or supports them. What is that something?
Even if you choose to believe that Trump himself is not one of them, surely you recognize that they think he stands in some sense in solidarity with them. I am intensely interested in trying to understand what the connection is.
Jean, this isn’t a full answer but it’s a partial one. Many have been labeled white supremacists and extremist but really aren’t that at all. Now I agree there are some but far fewer than what has been exaggerated in the media.
Trump played on their fears, some of them quite real. Things like jobs going overseas, the opiate epidemic, an education system that doesn’t keep up with the changing society. Other fears Trump played up-ethnic diversity, changing societal beliefs about lifestyles, lack of “patriotism” are more subjective but tug at the heart.I talk to people who really want to return to a 1950s, small town America that doesn’t exist anymore. Throw in the pandemic where we’ve all been asked to give up some cherished personal freedoms for the sake of the whole, and you have a recipe for chaos.
I think part of it is the fact that we’ve been told for over 4 years that he’s a white supremacist and supports white supremacy (for the sake of illustration, let’s assume for the moment he isn’t and doesn’t). If you’re already in that camp, and the media keeps telling you he’s on your side, at some point you’re going to start believing that he is. That would make the support from that (evil) camp for him even stronger.
Linn and Everstudy,
Thank you for your thoughts. They sound like reasonable explanations to me.
In a binary election the extremists have clear choices. Left wing extremism is ascendant not right. And left extremists voted Biden — right votes Trump the question is self-evident.
Subtlety, nuance and moderation are in short supply… as is a firm grip on reality.
Yes I’ve lost that too — no question about it.
For some reason, mixed among the MAGA symbols and Trump flags at the Capital on 1/6 were other more disturbing symbols, which coexisted and worked in common cause on January 6. Some of these symbols co-existed on the same individuals. I have read any reports of MAGA or Trump supporters attempting to separate themselves from others who carried the following symbols:
Gallows and nooses
Norse and Viking symbols
6WME = 6 million wasn’t enough
QAnon (movement claims rich Jews secretly control the world and finance a global pedophile ring )
Anti-circumcision signs (e.g., “circumcision is the mark of the beast of satan,” “outlaw satan’s circumcision”)
At 6:27 am, my comment should have read: “I have NOT read any reports of MAGA or Trump supporters attempting to separate themselves from others who carried the following symbols:”
And then there is the testimony of an African-American Capitol policeman…”I got called an N-word 15 times today… I sat down with one of my buddies, another Black guy in tears, just started streaming down my face, and I said what the F, man, is this America?”
Is there any doubt that if the protesters on Jan. 6 were not majority privileged white insurrections but majority African American, that they would’ve been treated much, much differently and much, much worse? Especially if Trump and his regime had any say in it?
I doubt 😏
I recall all the riots, looting and arson that went on all summer with next to no repercussions
Really? That doesn’t comport with the facts. Plus, do you really think Capitol Police would’ve posed for selfies with black protestors? Would they have held the door for black protestors, as they did with the white insurrectionists? Nope.
“The contrast to the police response to protests for racial justice and police accountability following the police killing of George Floyd could not be more stark or telling.
“On just one day — June 1, 2020 — in the aftermath of the police killing of Floyd, police in D.C. arrested 326 people, the same day President Donald Trump had protesters advocating for racial justice in policing violently cleared using chemical agents near the White House so he could do a photo op outside of a church. Attorney General Bill Barr instructed law enforcement to “flood the zone” in D.C. with thousands deployed, according to The Boston Globe.”
Ask yourself why they did that, bob1? ? ? The Congress was warned way in advance, were offered National Guard protection, but no measures of protection were taken….
I must say again that bad actors – and good ones – come in all skin tones… some wear slogans and some wear badges
Are you really seriously trying to play “blame the victim” by saying it was Congress’ fault that they were attacked, bludgeoned, and had to run for their very lives??? By thousands of lawless maniacs? Was it also the fault of the police officers who died and not that of their murderers? Seriously?
bob1, you forgot to mention the unarmed woman shot at almost point blank range by an officer of some sort and that policeman you mentioned? His autopsy showed that the mob didn’t kill him
For the record, storming and damaging the Capitol bldg. was wrong – period!
A cause of death has not been released. Please do not spread mistruths…
BTW, the Police Union has reported 140 injured officers at the Capitol…