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Posts Tagged ‘John Robbins’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on July 16, 2021 (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members of one another.

  • Ephesians 4:25

“There has to be, I think, some sort of way  in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.” 

These words are from a speech by Barak Obama in October 2016, just a few weeks before Donald Trump shocked the world by winning his presidential campaign over the establishment endorsed Hillary Clinton.

In the same speech, Obama went on to deny that he was calling for censorship, noting, “The answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say ‘this is reliable’ and I’m still able to argue safely abut facts and what we should do about it.” 

Nearly five years later, it’s fair to say that quite obviously Obama and others of his political persuasion were talking about censorship, and this became clear enough last week that even the most ardent deniers of the big government/big tech censorship complex have not excuse for missing the Biden regime’s full-bore attack on the First Amendment. 

Just last week, Biden regime official propagandist Jen Psaki stunned many observers with her admission that the administration is flagging posts for Facebook that are “problematic” because they contain “misinformation” on Covid-19.    

In the same press conference, Psaki voiced her displeasure that Facebook was not deplatforming spreaders of “misinformation” fast enough for her, and presumably, for her boss’s tastes.  She said, “there’s about 12 people who are producing 65 percent of the anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.  All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including Facebook – ones that Facebook owns.”

If all that wasn’t enough, Psaki was at it again the next day.  In a Friday 7/17 press conference she offered that, “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not other if you – for providing misinformation out there.” 

As the saying goes, I need new conspiracy theories, because all my old ones are coming true.

Seriously, people have speculated for years that the Deep State has been behind much, if not all, of the social media censorship.  But this is right in your face government censorship.  We have what is, in my opinion, an illegitimate government installed through election fraud stomping on the right of American’s to freely access information on a matter that affects all our lives.   

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The Liberty Bell

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

  • Leviticus 25:10

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” That passage from Leviticus 25:10 is inscribed around the top of the famous Liberty Bell, a bell that hung in what was then known as the Pennsylvania State House, which we now know as Independence Hall, the place of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

Although the bell was cast, or, more precisely, recast in 1753, some 23 years before the Declaration was signed, the inscription from Leviticus reflects the colonists’ understanding of the intimate connection between political and economic liberty and Word of God.   Many Americans, including many American church goers, would be surprised to hear that there is any connection between the Bible and political and economic liberty, but the colonists of the 18th century were not so ignorant as we are today.     

In his introduction to Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville wrote, “Among the new object that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, none struck my eye more vividly than the equality of conditions” (1). Later in the Introduction, De Tocqueville observed, “Christianity, which has rendered all men equal before God, will not be loath to see all citizens equal before the law.” It was the Reformed Christianity of the colonists and early Americans applied to politics that served as the philosophical basis for Americans’ remarkable equality before the law.

The idea of equality before the law was not some idea hatched in the New World either.  Rather, it was a product of the Protestant Reformation brought to America by the Puritans, whose arrival in America, not the American Revolution, De Tocqueville viewed as America’s point of departure.  Writing in the introduction of their translation of Democracy in America, Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop wrote, “Americans did not make themselves democrats but came to America as democrats.”

The American republic is a product, not of Greece and Rome, but of the Biblical Christianity preached and believed by the Protestant Reformers and their spiritual descendants. 

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Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

  • Acts 10:34

“My favorite book is the Bible, because it provides the blackprint for man’s salvation.” 

The year was either 1989 or 1990, I don’t recall for certain which.  After a year away from college, I had returned to the University of Cincinnati (UC) to finish my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts in the fall of 1989 and would go on to finish the next year. 

One day during the school year, my eye happened to catch a display in the lobby of Langsam Library, the university’s main library, with the title “My Favorite Book.”  The display was in a glass enclosed case built into the wall.  Every quarter – UC was on a quarter system in those days rather than the more common semester system – the display was changed.  As it turned out, the “My Favorite Book” display for that quarter was collection of submissions by UC faculty members stating the title of their favorite book and the reason why. 

Having a few minutes to spare, I walked over to the display to look it over.  Somewhat surprised to see the Bible listed as a favorite, I read the card with the faculty member’s write up, which began with the quote at the top of this page.  But it didn’t end there.  After so many years, I do not recall the name or position of the faculty member or the exact wording of the rest of his write up on why the Bible was his favorite book.  What I do recall, though, was the militant and angry tone he used.  There was nothing in his paragraph on the Bible that sounded remotely Christian.  Rather, the author ranted on as if he were some left over radical still stuck in the 1960’s.  The author, who was apparently black, made it very clear that he did not like white people and used the Bible to justify his position. 

Even though I wasn’t a Christian the time, I had grown up in church and knew something about the Bible, enough that I found the author’s use of the Scriptures to promote his clearly hard-core racial agenda deeply disturbing. 

At about the same time, there was controversy on the UC campus concerning a few paragraphs in, if I recall correctly, the student handbook.  It had been reported that there was language in the new version of the handbook that addressed race issues.  The controversy, as I heard it, was over an alleged claim made in the handbook that blacks cannot be racist because they have no power.  This claim bothered me as it conflicted with what I had learned growing up.  I had always been taught that a “racist” was someone who hated another person based solely on his skin color.  Under that definition, anyone, regardless of his background, could be racist.  But here was a claim stating that blacks cannot be racist.  Somewhat skeptical that any official publication of the University would make such a claim – given how rampant “woke” ideology is on today’s college campuses, I know my skepticism sounds naïve to readers in 2021 – I went and asked for a copy of said offending handbook to see what it said for myself.  Sure enough, the report I’d heard was true.  It was right there is black and white:  blacks cannot be racist, because they have no power.

As had the “My Favorite Book” write up, the language in the handbook disturbed and perplexed me.  Not only did the claim fly in the face of everything I had been taught and believed, but it seemed to imply that black people were special class of individuals who were eternally victims incapable of doing wrong, whereas white people, as it were, bore the mark of Cain, eternal victimizers who could do no right.

As I said earlier, at that time I was not a Christian, neither had I ever studied philosophy.  Although I was bothered by the assertions I had come across in the two publications,  the “My Favorite Book” write up on the Bible and the student handbook, I lacked the needed intellectual tools to analyze and refute them. 

Although I didn’t know it at the time and wouldn’t come to realize it until twenty-five years or so later, the radical claims I had stumbled across were part of a new intellectual movement, so new that it had not even received a name until 1989, called Critical Race Theory.

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RLL 57: War in the Middle East and John Kerry in Rome
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The Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” by John W. Robbins

The Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” audio version

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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

In the famous opening sentence of his Treatise on the Social Company, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote, “Man is born free, but he is everywhere in change.”   

While Rousseau’s social compact theory of government is not Christian, his observation that man is everywhere in chains certainly rings true.  We can see this in the history recorded for us in the Bible as well as from secular sources.  For that matter, we can see it simply reading the news of the day. 

Jesus himself noted the authoritarian nature of civil government in his response to the disciples’ arguing about who among them was the greatest.  Jesus responded to them,

The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves (Luke 22:25-26).

Note that the kings of the Gentiles do two things.  First, they exercise lordship.  The Greek verb translated “exercise lordship” can also mean “be the lord or master of.”  Perhaps another way of expressing the meaning of the Greek is to use the English expression “lord it over.”  We talk that way.  We say so and so is lording it over someone.  Certainly, that was true of the kings and emperors who governed during Jesus ministry.  They lorded it over their people.  What the kings of the earth wanted, they took, and there was little to stop them. 

The second thing these kings did was be called “benefactor.”  On one hand they oppressed their people, but on the other, they wanted to be known as men of generosity.  A modern example of this is Joseph Stalin, who, while being one of the most ruthless of the 20th century dictators used the title “Dear Father” among others. 

From Jesus response to his disciples, we clearly see that there is a large gap between the Biblical teaching about how government should operate – the idea that government is a servant to the people – and how it actually does operate.

But even more basic than the questions what should government do and how should it go about doing it is the question, why should one man obey another man? 

To answer these questions, we must turn to the Scriptures where we find the origin of civil government. 

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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

April 15 of this month marked the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  In commemoration of the event, one of the YouTube channels I followed put out a multi-part series covering the events of the April 14 and 15 1912, the night of the sinking. 

One of the videos featured and interesting fact that I had heard about previously but had not appreciated its importance.  As part of the evacuation, Charles Lightoller, the Titanic’s second officer and senior surviving officer, opened the gangway door on D-Deck to help with the lowering of one of the lifeboats. As it turned out, the door was never used during the ship’s evacuation, and in the chaos, was forgotten and left open. This, as it turned out, was a significant oversight.

The D-Deck gangway door was about halfway up on the port (left) side of the ship and normally well above the waterline.  According to one article, it was the ‘front door’ for first class passengers boarding the ship.  But as Titanic settled, eventually the water made its way up to the door and started pouring in.  The way it was explained in the video, the area the gangway afforded to the advancing water was actually larger than the sum of area of the original punctures made by the iceberg on the starboard (right) side at the time of the collision.  With this additional route for water to enter the ship, the sinking of the Titanic rapidly accelerated.    

So just what does this bit of Titanic trivia have to do with today’s subject at hand, marriage?  I admit, the connection may not be immediately obvious, but hear me out.

The stated purpose of this series, going back to Part 1, is, “to apply the revealed history found in Genesis to the current moral, political, scientific and economic problems of our day, refuting the contemporary confusion and setting forth the mind of God on these issues.” 

This brings us to the subject of marriage. 

Back in the day, and we don’t have to go very far back for this, most Americans accepted the Biblical definition of marriage, whether they themselves were Christians. 

But all that has changed in recent years.  If recent polling is to be believed, a full seventy percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage.  As one measure of how things have changed, I recall that the State of Ohio amended its constitution in 2004 to specifically define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  There was widespread public support for the amendment and the measure was adopted with little public outcry.  This was a mere seventeen years ago. 

The Ohio amendment and all other state-level prohibitions of same-sex marriage were overturned in 2015 by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which originated right here in river city, my hometown of Cincinnati.  

To return to my earlier point about how the mistake of leaving the D-Deck gangway door open sped up the sinking of the Titanic, in like fashion, I believe, the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision sped up the sinking of the America’s ship of state, which already was well under way in 2015.  It’s not as if leaving the gangway door open is what sealed Titanic’s fate.  The ship was going to sink anyway based on the damage already done by the iceberg.  But leaving the door open sped things up.  The same with America.  American’s have been losing their liberties since the Progressive Era – I always thought it should be named the Regressive Era – so the process has been going on for well over a century at this point.  The loss of liberty was well underway even in 1912 when the Titanic sunk.  But the rate of our loss of liberty, almost imperceptible at first, has sped up greatly in recent years.  In my opinion, the Obergefell v. Hodges decision can be likened to the leaving open of the D-Deck gangway door.  We were well on our way to sinking before that, but same-sex marriage sped things up. 

I say this because it allowed evil to access new parts of our society that had remained untouched until that time.  Over the years, there was greater and greater acceptance of same-sex marriage, but the legal recognition of it has seemed to speed up, not only the rate of acceptance of same-sex marriage, but also other parts of the homosexual agenda such as the recognition of transgenders as the new Brahmins of  the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion movement. 

But despite what the wokesters would have you believe, there is a valid definition of marriage that is binding on all men and women for the very reason that it is God’s definition of marriage.  And God’s definition does not agree with the Supreme Court’s. 

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