I came up with a way. You might not like it. Continue reading “How America Can Easily Screen Islamic ‘Refugees’”
I see two main disruptive forces at work right now. There are probably more that I am unaware of, but these are the two obvious ones that I can see as of this moment. These are both controversial, of course, because they are ‘disruptors’. We’re supposed to disagree on them, because these are two forces that are messing up the comfortable status quo.
On the one hand, we have the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and its relentless thrust into the heart of Europe and America through the vehicle of infiltrators, cleverly hidden among innocent or moderate-leaning refugees. I don’t want to point the finger at the Islamic religion as a whole, though, because Islam as a disruptive force is a valuable study that deserves more attention than I am able to give it right now, and I don’t want to single out a large group of people and say, “They are the problem!” This line of thought never works.
On the other, we have a potential incoming shift in political thought and practice represented by Donald Trump, the much-loved and much-hated businessman. I suspect that Trump represents a potential correction from far-left progressive thought and left-leaning American conservative thought, towards the right (not ‘right’ as in ‘correct’ or ‘the religious right’, but right-leaning political thought). This is certainly an important battle, but I don’t think that this battle will be won strictly at the ballot box. I see Trump not so much as a person, but as a phenomenon, a disruptor, and the outcome of this election will be interesting to see.
Where do Christians come in in the middle of this? I believe that history shows that the Church grows most in times of strife and conflict. When life has become stable on the outside, people look to the Church for leadership and guidance. It’s time we got our house in order, that we strive for clarity of thought and purpose, so we can provide answers to the questions people are asking: what is Christ’s answer to family structure? To government structure? To human sexuality? While many Christians await the ‘Rapture’ to be checked out of the difficulties of this world, I believe that there are others who believe in ‘Christ in me, the hope of glory,’ God’s unlimited power working through those who believe. I believe there are believers who don’t want to ‘check out’, but to ‘check in’, and become disruptive forces of their own.
There are answers in Christ, but it will require changes in thinking that will be painful at times. We’ve been given false dichotomies such as Republican vs. Democrat, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, Left vs. Right, religion vs. secularism, that old-line Christians latched onto and preached ruthlessly, without much actual thought into a middle ground, or whether they were on the correct battleground in the first place. Humans are always trying to find a Good versus Evil, trying to pin things down in a simple dichotomy, when instead I think we are looking for something along these lines:
…where various forces are trying to drag society towards an optimal condition in one of the four quadrants. Keeping in mind New Testament scripture, I could almost say that an ideal moral-stable condition (top right) represents the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks about, and the opposing force, which we can call ‘the satan’, represents an immoral-unstable condition (bottom left). These need to be clarified and the thoughts behind them better-developed, but I thought I’d mention this bit of nonsense right now, because it strikes me as something that could be important later on.
As a Christian, I subscribe to the Anglican concept of the via media, the middle way between extremes. These days, though, I believe that Christians are starting to look at Scripture through the lens of the Holy Spirit and finding that we’re arguing over the wrong things entirely. I suspect that in the days to come we’ll find our viewpoints ruthlessly challenged and refined, so that we as Christians can be a force for positive change, actual change, not restrained and confined by secular forces, but empowered and directed by spiritual ones.
Today’s song is ‘Exposure’ by Peter Gabriel, a quirky little song off his second solo album. Notice the scratches on the album cover. That’s kind of how I feel right now.
I’ve had quite the ‘exposure’ to new ideas over the past week. Being an avid Trump supporter, I’m encountering more and more moderates coming over to his side, and it’s exposing me to different ways of thinking that clash with my existing thinking.
That’s always a good thing–note my blog’s tagline, ‘clear thinking’–but sometimes it’s overwhelming. Continue reading “Too Much ‘Exposure’ To New Ideas?”
This morning I caught this tweet by Dan Scavino, Donald Trump’s campaign manager. See if you notice the key phrase.
To punctuate the point, a second tweet came out a few minutes later, using the same phrase:
Did you catch the phrase? Continue reading “How To Change The World, Right Where You’re Sitting Now”
This afternoon I had the sudden hankering to listen to some of Billy Joel’s music. I discovered on Spotify a live album I didn’t know about (actually an expanded re-release of his), and one of the tracks that stuck in my head was Prelude/Angry Young Man, originally off of his 1976 album Turnstiles.
I blame my father (and by ‘blame’, I mean ‘thank profusely’) for my love of Billy Joel’s music, especially from 1974’s Streetlife Serenade to 1983’s An Innocent Man. I borrowed Dad’s Billy Joel CDs enough for him to ask me where they were on a regular basis. I’m not sure whether he ever actually got all of them back.
‘Angry Young Man’ is a great, fast-paced track. I don’t know if it’s because ‘angry young men’ seem to rush about here and there, , or if it’s just because Billy Joel wanted to do an awesome, fast-paced song–either is fine with me. It’s no surprise that it stuck in my head, but it was weird when I paused the album and drove to the gas station, where, after pumping gas, the same song starts playing over the intercom system. (I don’t know who programs the music for RaceTrac gas stations, but I approve.)
Either God or the universe is trying to tell me something, or I’m just grasping at an interesting coincidence to give myself an excuse to write something. I’m fine with either. Continue reading “How ‘Angry Young Men’ Grow Up”
American Christians don’t like to talk about our brethren overseas being slaughtered. This is because we would have to talk about who is doing the slaughtering, and it’s not politically correct to point the finger.
I found an interesting video today.
It’s clear that I have a lot of studying to do.
I read this article today and it tore me up. I’m alternately infuriated at our government and devastated for our Christian brethren, who our government has thrown to the wolves. This isn’t going to be a well-written piece, because I’m angry as hell and I don’t know what to do about it.
One of the appalling aspects of ISIS’s deliberate, open targeting of Christians for destruction is how little resistance it has received from local Sunni populations. As Raymond Ibrahim from the David Horowitz Freedom Center has scrupulously documented, the local Sunnis have not stood up for their Christian neighbors, who have lived side-by-side with them for hundreds of years. Rather, in areas that have been conquered by ISIS, the local Sunnis have collaborated with their genocidal masters in raping and murdering Christian neighbors, plundering their property, destroying their churches, and driving them from their ancestral homes.
Although precise data is hard to come by, it is clear that thousands of Christians have been slaughtered. Thousands of Christian women and girls have been sold as sex slaves in ISIS slave markets, subjected to continuous, violent rape and beatings. Nuns and priests have been enslaved, crucified, mutilated, kidnapped and held for ransom, as have lay members of Christian communities. Christians have been burned alive.
Is the current administration doing anything about it? No. Of course not.
Beyond refusing to take the necessary steps to ensure that persecuted Christians are rescued from annihilation, the State Department has been rejecting visa requests from Christian activists and leaders from persecuted communities to visit the US to share information about their suffering with the American public. This, at the same time that the administration has welcomed Muslim jihad sympathizers, including Muslim Brotherhood members, to Washington.
What accounts for this behavior? The answer is not ignorance, but ideologically- motivated bigotry. The Aid to the Church in Need organization explained in its 2015 report on Christian persecution, “Christians have been targeted [because]… Christianity [is seen] as a foreign ‘colonial’ import. Christians are seen as linked to the West, which is perceived as corrupt and exploitative.”
In another report, the group explained that the Western media has avoided covering the story of the Islamic genocide of Middle East Christians because of “misplaced embarrassment about the 19th-century colonial powers evangelizing ‘the natives’ in far flung places.”
In other words, Middle Eastern Christians, whose communities predate Islam, are targeted because they are perceived as Western implants.And the West ignores their suffering, because the Left in the West perceives them as Western implants.
In both cases, prejudices, rooted on the one hand in jihadist Islam, and on the other hand in Western self-hatred and post-colonialism, reach the same bigoted conclusion: the only “authentic” people in the Middle East are Muslims.
Everybody else is a colonial implant. And as such, they deserve what they get.
Donald Trump is the only one speaking up for Christians right now who has the guts to do something about it.
Too many Christians want a nice, polished, Christian-looking president. They hold Cruz up as the ideal gentleman. Well, sorry, that gentleman will easily lose to Hillary Clinton.
Hillary will do what she did to our men in Benghazi–ignore them until they die, because of political correctness. And Hillary will continue to ignore the massacre of Christians, to appease the far Left. She’ll probably continue to say that it’s their fault.
This has to stop now. We need a man in office who has the guts to do what needs to be done. We need Donald Trump.