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Category: original sin

A Christian checks out Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

Having only read excerpts of Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals, I was pleased to have the opportunity to sit down and read it for myself in its entirety. Knowing how influential Alinksy was for the young Obama (and many others who now occupy seats of power) I am more worried than I was before now that I’ve actually read this book. Go to the library and pick up the book. You need to read it.

The subtitle of the book is “A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.” It is not an inappropriate subtitle. Alinsky is all about pragmatism and realism. Alinsky is dismissive of ethical questions related to the question “Does the end justify the means?” He says:

The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe’s “conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action”; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual’s personal salvation. He who sacrifices mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of “personal salvation”; he doesn’t care enough for people to be “corrupted” for them. (pg 25, chapter titled: Of Means and Ends)

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Eugenics the Logical Consequence of Evolutionary Theory Part One

So, if it is the case that eugenics is not a logical consequence to evolutionary theory, by all means, we should wonder how it came to be so strongly associated in the first place. It isn’t enough to righteously deny a connection. For decades the most learned people on the planet believed there was.

To help promote such an investigation, I submit for your reading the positions of a certain Jacob Appel, a modern evolutionary bio-ethicist in support of eugenics, and a book called Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe,writing in 1918. Skip to around chapters 7 and 8 and see if you can spot the similarities between Popenoe’s arguments and Appel’s. (Earlier in, Popenoe credits the Germans for their innovation…)

For example, there is this juicy bit: “The science of eugenics is the natural result of the spread and acceptance of organic evolution, following the publication of Darwin’s work on The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in 1859.” Page 148.

So, where did the world’s smartest men go wrong in the early part of the 20th century? And why do their arguments sound so similar to what we hear coming out of today’s politicians urging us on to ‘make sacrifices’ ‘for the good of society’?

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Tea Parties About Liberty not Just Taxes

There are many people who don’t like the idea of Christianity being involved in politics. The supposition is that spiritual people shouldn’t have an interest in such trivial matters. However, if there is indeed a connection between economics and liberty and human rights, then we see that such things are not trivial at all. Nor can we hope, in the spirit of Christian compassion, that our efforts to use the government for ‘compassionate’ purposes won’t have inevitable consequences. Of all people, Christians shouldn’t be looking around with shocked expressions when the best laid plans of men go awry- for they always do.

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Should it be legal to ‘Sext’? Vermont to legalize Sexting

I will agree that the language of ‘right and wrong’ won’t work with many kids today, but that is because hitting them with that language when they are 15 is 15 years too late. Of course it won’t work then. If kids are instilled with an understanding of ‘right and wrong’ from early on they will already be able to see through ‘cool’ things. The language of ‘right and wrong’ does not preclude the ‘dangers of sexting’ nor the dangers of any other destructive behaviors.

As it happens, behaviors traditionally believed to be ‘wrong’ also correlate with nasty consequences. It is ‘wrong’ to steal a car, even if its cool. Also, if you don’t steal a car- surprise!- you won’t be thrown in jail. Guess what? If you don’t have sex before your wedding and your spouse does likewise you won’t have to worry about an STD. See how this works? Funny how the ‘traditional morals’ that society has seen fit to dispense with tend to coincide nicely with creating the results we basically want. Funny how dispensing with those morals tends to create all sorts of nasty consequences we don’t want.

The great modern aim is to dispense with the traditional morality and still avoid the nasty consequences that tend to follow after they’ve been thrown out.

Good luck with that!

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Despicable Trends in Bioethics Inevitable Result of Secularism

The above quote is not actually what annoyed me. Instead, it was his classification of people who keep their children instead of aborting them when they have been diagnosed with ‘devastating’ diseases (again, as defined by whom?) as being akin to one who believes in a flat earth. Here is the extended quote:

If one reads about reproductive issues in the conservative media-which I often do-one is bombarded with tales of mothers who have sacrificed personal and professional opportunities to bring fetuses to term. The implication is that while bearing a child when one is ready is a blessing, bearing a child when one is not prepared garners one extra moral credit in the cosmos. Similarly, while having a healthy baby is a cause for joy, some opponents of abortion profess that having a baby with a devastating or even fatal birth defect is proof of the mother’s fortitude and character. If one believes that human life begins at conception, this is logically the case. However, if one believes that life begins after conception-as do a wide majority of Americans, if polls on such issues as embryonic stem cell research are to believed-then the suffering caused by transforming an unwanted embryo into a living baby, who will either endure debilitating disease or will enter a deeply inhospitable home environment, is not at all a cause for pride. It more is akin to deciding that the world is flat and then boasting of not falling off the edge.

As readers of this blog know, my wife and I are examples of what he is talking about here

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A Devotional Minute for Atheists and Sick People Everywhere

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” GK Chesterton

I was thinking to myself how hard it is to be ‘good’ and how easy it is to be ‘bad.’ For the introspective nonChristian, especially in today’s day and age where great pains are expended to eliminate both concepts, that nagging voice of conscience is still quite audible. Have you ever actually tried to follow through on everything your own conscience demands? Never mind the words of an old book or the collective pronouncements of a bunch of religious wingnuts, what about your own conscience? Try to be entirely good, even by your own standards, for just a day. I think you will discover that it is extraordinarily difficult. But not living up to your standard is easy. So easy. Doesn’t this require an explanation that covers all the facts?

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Review of Keysor’s Hitler, Holocaust, and Bible

Due out on Hitler’s birthday (April 20th, 2009), Joe Keysor’s book, Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible: A Scriptural Analysis of Anti-Semitism, National Socialism, and the Churches in Nazi Germany is an important book counteracting the growing clamor that Christianity was the driving ideology behind Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust. It is very important- for obvious reasons- for secular humanists and atheists to show that brutal tyrants were not operating on their principles but rather on Christian principles. In some cases such as Mao and Pol Pot the operation cannot even be attempted. In others, such as Lenin and Stalin, more headway is made. In Hitler, secularists consider the matter a slam dunk.

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The End of America: Civilization is Skin Deep

I had an invigorating debate this evening with a gentleman who took issue with my analysis regarding the potential overthrow and occupation of the United States, per my book series, Birth Pangs. The blog entry the gent was replying to was my own critique of some Russian analyst arguing that the US is due to collapse in 2010. Apparently the vital flaw in my critique was that I didn’t reject outright the possibility that the US could disintegrate, ever. We are so big and mighty, goes the argument, that we will never be overcome by foreign foes. More likely in this gent’s view is that America descends into another civil war.

While I personally rejected the Russian analyst’s view, it is important to understand why: Igor failed to predict or specify a catalyst. This is what the gentleman who inspired this post himself overlooks: a ‘catalyst’ can happen at any time. We have no assurances for the future. Anything can happen tonight, tomorrow, next week, or next month. At that point, all bets are off. Yes, even for America, ‘big and mighty.’

My Birth Pangs series skips over the 50 to 100 years between now and then and sprinkles catalysts throughout but more importantly links actions and beliefs with consequences- consequences which a study of history and human nature render almost all but inevitable. Inevitable, that is, if nothing is done in the meantime, or when certain points of decision are reached, the ‘right’ decision is made. ‘Right’ decisions are predicated on there being people with the ‘right’ mindset. Ensuring that the ‘right’ mindset exists at that time requires groundwork be laid far earlier… say, now.

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Human Rights Without God?

Atheists and secular humanists quite obviously argue that we humans are all alone and that humans themselves determine their worth, their value, their ‘intrinsic’ dignity. The problems with this ought to be self-evident but atheists are crafty folks. History reveals clearly that humans can change their minds about the ‘worth,’ ‘value,’ and ‘rights’ of humans (usually other humans). For example, the Nazis depersonalized the Jews with consequences I need not expand on. Atheistic communist regimes depersonalized dissidents and capitalists with consequences I need not expand on. The atheistic apologetic on the point is that actually this goes to show the dangers of ‘religion.’ For, you see, anyone who ever does anything nasty, no matter what their ideology, is, by definition, acting religiously. In this way, atheists can always keep their hands clean.

However, it misses the point. The fundamental point has to do with our basis for decrying what the Nazis and communists did. If humans themselves are the sole and final arbiters for determining and dictating human value then no one can complain about what humans decide. Oh sure, the do complain. But in doing so they betray the inconsistency of their position.

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Principles for proper and moral legislation: in America, abandoned

I’m pretty sure that the founders of this country had a similar view. They wouldn’t recognize the bloated thing we have today. One can guess what they’d say or do. (I have some guesses). Let us just assume that no one even tries anymore to have good, moral, proper, principled reasons for passing legislation any more. That has been abandoned. In its place are just two basic principles: 1. Will the legislation make money for the government (or those donating to officials)? 2. Will it extend the government’s reach?

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Wisdom is Proved Right by Her Children; Evil Proved Evil by His

This weekend I read one of the scariest things I have heard coming out of the Global Warming crowd. That is saying something. I have documented elsewhere on this blog some other things they’ve said, like comparing denying man-made Global Warming to denying the holocaust. This is so disgusting I almost sat down and wrote a book exposing the various principles at work in it but stopped when I thought of at least one that is already written: C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man.

In summary, the London Times article references a certain Jonathon Porritt, a Global Warming burearucrat who reportedly says,

“I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,” Porritt said.

“I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible.

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Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as Template for Today’s Liberal Lunacy

But it is the nature of the human beast that after enough time has passed- 20 years will do, but in today’s media saturated 24/7 news cycle apparently 20 minutes will do, as well- the things of the past are just that, the things of the past. “Those things won’t happen again.” “Things are different today.” “We’d never let that happen again.” “We are smarter today.”

This, I’m afraid, is all wishful thinking. Very dangerous wishful thinking. Under the cover of this mentality the principles of old are allowed ever deeper reach into the operations of free societies. But God cannot be mocked. If you plant a corn seed you will get a corn plant. If you plant these principles you will reap their fruit. You may delay it a little while or change its expression, that’s all.

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A Christian Reflects on Atheist who Decides Africa Needs God

The ruddy fact is that beliefs have consequences and for better or for worse, seeds bear fruit, and the fruit is always determined by the seeds planted. This is reality and while it might be mocked and the connection between seeds and fruit sometimes strained and resisted, ultimately reality makes itself known. It makes itself known at our peril if we defy reality rather than conform ourselves to it.

For all of its faults (and they are many), the Christian Church has been a force for good in the world and the overall tendency is to produce truly liberated individuals. It has this astounding ability: it can liberate even those who remain in physical chains and bondage. Christianity allows one to detach the question of their identity from their circumstances. This is the undeniable trend, exceptions factored in. Parris gets it.

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Hey! People! Even Blagojevich is Innocent Until Proven Guilty!

I have no love for Blagojevich. Frankly, I have no love for any Illinois politician. My five years in Illinois was like being front and center at a circus. There is also no question in my mind that Blagojevich is guilty as sin- and this is certainly not his first offense. What is the difference between Blagojevich, Daley, and Obama? Blagojevich got caught. We’re talking Chicago politics, here. You’re living in la-la land if you expect anyone- even the Messiah- to have clean hands in general, and few places in the country get hands dirtier.

So it should be clear that I have no special fondness for Blagojevich. Nonetheless, in this country- allegedly- people are innocent until proven guilty. To try to get the state supreme court to toss the governor out before the man has even had his trial is simply wrong. Should the man resign? Of course. But then I think almost every politician in Illinois should resign, and that probably includes the Republicans, but the Democrats for sure. If the man doesn’t resign, will the state suffer? Probably. But that still doesn’t mean you can just ignore the rule of law and it doesn’t mean that just because a guy is an arrogant knucklehead that you can strip him of due process.

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