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Posts Tagged ‘Western Civilization’

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land…

– (1Kings 15:11-12)

“How did it come to this?,” I muttered to myself the other day. “How did it come to this?” My words were my reaction to the latest story in the mainstream press about the collapse of Western Civilization. Specifically, I was referring to yet another story about the normalization of homosexuality in the United States.

It was a story about how the State of California banned official travel to yet another state deemed by its all-wise legislators to be insufficiently submissive to the enlightened LGBT – or whatever this month’s alphabet soup variant happens to be – movement. If you’d like, you can read USA Today’s version of the story here. The short version is this, California has a state law requiring its attorney general to keep a naughty list of states subject to a travel ban due to “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

Now you’re probably wondering what outrage against humanity Oklahoma committed to earn the opprobrium of California’s Attorney General. It was this, the Governor or Oklahoma recently signed into law a statue that allowed private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex married couples.

How did it comes to this? Well, I doubt a single blog post can fully answer that question, but I would like to outline at least a few of the major factors that have produced the current state of affairs: the disappearance of Christianity in the West, the usurpation known as Judicial Review, and the Civil Rights Movement’s attack on property rights.

The Disappearance of Christianity in the West

As John Robbins argues in Christ and Civilization, Western Civilization is the by-product of the widespread preaching of and belief in the Gospel of Justification by Belief Alone. In nations to which the Reformation came, the role of government was reduced to something close to its Biblical norm of punishing evildoers and the secular work, what the Reformers called “vocation”, came to be seen as pleasing to God. As a result of this explosion in political and economic freedom, the nations of the West became the most prosperous on earth.

But Christianity has long been under attack in the West. 200 years ago, higher critics in Germany were ruining the nation’s universities with their skeptical attacks on the truth of the Bible. At the same time, those who professed to defend Christianity embraced irrationalism, perhaps the greatest heresy of all. Feminism, Marxism, Darwinism all rose to prominence as the 19th century wore on and helped to lay the groundwork for our modern world. Even many in the professing church, instead of being salt and light in the world as Jesus commanded, were instead swept up in these anti-Christian movements and began to use the aegis of the Bible as cover for advancing their unbelief, and thus was born the social gospel.

It stands to reason that if the ideas that formed a civilization are no longer held by the people in that civilization, the laws and social mores of that society will be changed to conform to the new belief systems that rush in to fill the void.

Even in the churches, few there be who hold to the teachings of the Reformation which birthed the West. And if the spiritual heirs of Luther and Calvin no longer believe what their forefathers believed, why would one expect those outside the Protestant churches to have any use for laws based upon a Biblical worldview?

The Old Testament associates the presence of sodomites in Israel with times of apostasy, and the removal of such persons from the land with periods of reformation. In the New Testament we find homosexuality condemned as a sin, saying of those who practice it that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. And from the colonial period right up to the recent past, the American legal system reflected this with the multitude of sodomy laws on the books.

But to take such a stance today in our post-Christian world is to court being branded a hater, a bigot, and unfit for polite society. The shift from laws criminalizing homosexuality to ones promoting it is a stunning change, and one that was made possible by Americans’ rejection of Christianity.

The Usurpation of Judicial Review

One assumption shared by both political liberals and political conservatives is that the Supreme Court has the right to declare a law either constitutional or unconstitutional. Liberals want to pack the court, so that liberal judges can give constitutional blessings to current laws favored by liberals and pave the way for more such legislation. Conservatives want conservative justices to do the same for their favored causes.

Almost no one stops to ask whether the Supreme Court actually has the power to do what it does, declare laws constitutional or not.

The short answer to this question is, no, it does not. This probably comes as a shock to many people. I know it did me when I first heard it.

As originally conceived, the Supreme Court was to decide, not whether a given law was Constitutional, but whether it had been applied properly. With Marbury v Madison in 1803, that all changed. For it was in this decision that the Supreme Court first asserted what is now known as judicial review, the power to decide whether a given law is constitutional.

Judicial review is essentially the Roman Catholic view of the Church applied to Constitutional law. In Rome, the Bible is what the Church says it is. In Christianity, the church is what the Bible says it is.

In like fashion, those who argue that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is are legal Romanists. The correct view, the Supreme Court is what the Constitution says it is, is legal Protestantism.

The Romanist view of the Supreme Court is one of the major, and very underappreciated, sources of the massive change in American law with respect to homosexuality. It was just three years ago in 2015 that the US Supreme Court in one fell swoop declared unconstitutional all laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The astounding arrogance of five lawyers on the Supreme Court has basically gutted the ability of Christians to find any legal recourse to resist the unchristian and aggressive LGBT agenda.

But these ungodly men and women would never have had the power to do this were it not for the Court’s prior usurpation in claiming for itself the power of judicial review.

The Civil Rights Movement’s Attack on Property Rights

Of the three reasons for the success of the homosexual movement, probably the most controversial is to point out the role of the Civil Rights movement in paving the way for the explosion in LGBT friendly legislation in recent years.

The Civil Rights Movement was a mixed bag. To the extent that its supporters sought to overturn Jim Crow laws, they have the support of this author. But to the extent they attacked property rights they deserve to be rebuked.

The attack on property rights by the Civil Rights Movement was codified into law in Title II of The 1964 Civil Rights Act. This section of the Act drew an unbiblical distinction between types of property, one called places of public accommodation and another called private clubs. Specifically, it made it illegal to discriminate in places of public accommodation – places of public accommodation were defined, for example, as inns, restaurants, movie theaters – “on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

One could read the Scriptures from cover to cover and find no such distinction between places of public accommodation or private clubs. Private property is private property, regardless of whether it’s a home, a private club or a lunch counter in a drug store. And just as a home owner has the right to refuse to all someone in his house, so too does a business owner have the right to refuse to serve someone.

“So,” someone will say to me, “Matthews, by arguing this way you’re just an apologist for racism!” To which charge I would answer, “Not at all.” Racism is a sin. It is a failure to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But not all sins are crimes. Just look in the case law of the Old Testament. Some sins, theft for example, were crimes. We know this because theft, while being condemned in the 10 Commandments, which are the summary of the moral law, also had civil penalties attached to it in ancient Israel. It is the presence or absence of civil penalties that determine whether a specific sin is also a crime.

The Bible’s stance on private property is summed up in Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard. When the workers complain to the vineyard owner about their wages, he responds, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?”

The answer to this rhetorical question is, yes it is. And one implication of “doing what I wish with my own things” is that a business owner has the right to decide with whom he wishes to do business and with whom he does not. This includes making decisions with which we may disagree and which, in fact, may even be sinful. Ultimately, that’s between the businessman and God to whom he must give account.

So why do I bring up the errors of the Civil Rights Movement? Because the LGBT Movement has followed in its footsteps. For example, the homosexual activists have applied the principle of public accommodation to those who refuse services to LGBT persons. For example, there have been a number of Christian business owners in serious legal trouble for refusing to provide cakes, flowers, or wedding photography services for same-sex weddings. These cases occurred in states that have statues preventing business owners from discriminating against homosexuals in the same way the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, religion, or national origin.

Had the principle of “places of public accommodation” not been established in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LGBT activists would not be in a position to force Christians to serve them.

Many veterans of the Civil Rights Movement have been shocked by the tactics of LGBT activists, who have appropriated the logic and methods of the Civil Rights Movement to promote the homosexual agenda.

For example, commenting on then President Obama’s use of 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march to advocate for same-sex marriage, Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors said, “I marched with many people back in those days and I have reached out to some of my friends who marched with me, and all of them are shocked. They never thought they would see this day that gay rights would be equated with civil rights. Not one agreed with the comparison.”

Admittedly it is shocking. But once the LGBT Movement was able to attach itself to the Civil Rights Movement, by force of logic all the laws enacted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act also apply to them. Hence the proliferation of state-level laws prohibiting business owners from denying service to someone based on his being a homosexual.

And don’t suppose that this is going to stop with traditional businesses either. For example, this 2017 story “Ohio LGBT Group Announces Plans to Target Churches for Homosexual Weddings” is a shot at Evangelicals, not just in Ohio, but across the nation. As the article explains, An LGBT organization in Ohio has announced plans to target churches if they refuse to offer their property to be used in a homosexual wedding. In opposing the Ohio Pastor Protection Act (HB-36), the group Equality Ohio announced that they would target churches, forcing them to rent church facilities to groups that oppose their beliefs.”

This is seriously dangerous stuff, and perhaps represents the biggest threat to religious freedom in the US today. Given the current legal climate, it is this author’s opinion that it is just a matter of time before we see such a case in court.

Had the “places of public accommodation” clause not been included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the threat posed by the LGBT Movement to the churches would be much less than it is today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as a Christian I’m embarrassed at the current moral climate of our nation. And nothing highlights the current mess we’re in more than the stunning advance of the LGBT Movement over the past 50 years.

I’m embarrassed and ashamed that every year we’re enjoined to “celebrate Pride Month” as if sodomy were something to rejoice in. I’m embarrassed and ashamed that the leading institutions in my country not only do not stand up to the LGBT lie, but actually actively promote it. But perhaps most of all, I’m embarrassed that we Christians have been so ineffective in putting a stop to this nonsense.

Perhaps one of God’s purposes in allowing the stunning success of the LGBT agenda in the US is to chastise his people for their intellectual laziness and lack of faith. If so, may God grant us repentance as well as the knowledge of the truth and the wisdom and the courage to apply it to good effect.

In times past, God raised up Asa, Jehoshaphat and Josiah to put an end to the LGBT agenda in Israel. Has his arm been shorted that he cannot save today?

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Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

He [the Lord] pours contempt on princes, and disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people and of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man (Job 12-21-25).

 

“Many councils lack strategy for care of returning ISIS fighters’ children,” ran the Radio Sweden headline. Sigh. What shall I say to this?  When coming across an absurdity of this magnitude, I’m almost at a loss for words. Almost, but not quite.

In the article from what I take to be the official Swedish government radio outlet , we are informed earnestly, and one supposes sincerely, that there are grave concerns many areas of Sweden are ill-equipped to deal with problems faces by the families of returning ISIS fighters. Only Gothenburg, we are told, has a strategy in place for this.

Terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp states that about 65 women have returned to Sweden after spending time is ISIS controlled areas. Notably Ranstorp says nothing about the status of their husbands who presumably are the actual ISIS fighters.

Ranstrop goes on to note that boys as young as nine have been recruited as soldiers for ISIS, girls are considered marriageable at that same age, and that ISIS uses children as informants against their parents.

Of course, the most obvious question – Why on earth were such people ever allowed to settle in Sweden in the first place, let alone return there after fighting for ISIS? – is never asked. The only concern is how to care for the traumatized families, especially the children, who, based upon what was said in the article itself, may themselves by ISIS recruits.

This is madness.

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david-stockman

David Stockman

This time last week it was 75 degrees and sunny. Today? Well, let’s just icy roads and accidents made the morning commute a little more exciting than usual. How can the weather change so much in seven days?!

 

Well at least one thing hasn’t changed over the last week, and that’s the dicey state of the nation’s economy. With the stock market hitting records level, that may seem like an odd thing to say. But the economy is not the same things as the stock market.

In fact, the past several years have seen an almost inverse relationship take hold between the performance of the Dow Jones and S&P indices and important economic indicators. In a normal, rational economy, if corporate earnings decline or unemployment spikes signaling a economic slowdown, the stock market should decline.

But in today’s Keynesian casino markets, bad economic news is good news from the markets perspective. Why is this? It all has to do with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. You see, bad economic news means big money speculators believe the Fed will continue its policy of suppressing interest rates to near zero to stimulate economic growth. On the other hand, if the economy appears to be doing well, the market starts to think the Fed may hike interest rates, making stocks a less attractive opportunity. Thus the stock market goes down.

In short, it’s a stupid economy that rewards fraud and punishes success.

And after over eight years of stupidity such as near zero percent interest rates, we are now faced with simultaneous Fed created bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate, which will all at some point burst. And that leads me into today’s story…

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