25 November 2011

Focus on Sacralist Jurisprudence 4

Taking up the sword of the Spirit, which is Civil Litigation.
There was another story on the programme regarding a woman who was attending a university in pursuit of some kind of counseling degree. I believe it was near the end of the course that an issue arose regarding counseling homosexuals and she openly declared her Christian beliefs and insisted her worldview rested upon Divine Revelation.

They basically told her that unless she changed her belief system they could not grant her certification, she could not graduate.

Persecution!... she cried and the good Dominionist lawyers of the Alliance Defense Fund came to the rescue.

I am glad she's read her Bible and understands there's a problem with counseling homosexuals in a way that affirms their lifestyle, but to sue the university? Shame.

There's the additional problem (and this is often the case in these stories,) regarding her choice of occupation. A Christian pursuing a counseling degree from a secular university is like a pacifist joining the Marines. It doesn't make any sense.

Secular counseling rests on a naturalistic worldview. It is incompatible with Biblical Christianity. It attempts to deal with the effects of sin apart from what God has told us about it. It attempts to assuage the guilt associated with it apart from Gospel forgiveness and the need for redemption. While it can offer comment and categorization of symptoms, it cannot account for them, nor can it offer any real remedy. The roots of the problem are metaphysical and secular counseling has no tools to deal with them.

The administrators of the university programme realized this on their own level, something this student apparently did not understand. For her to say my worldview is based on Divine Revelation means that she CANNOT be a secular counselor. These educators grasped this fact and realized that it would disingenuous for them to 'pass' her when she as much as said that she's rejecting the very premise of what they are doing. That they removed her is no surprise and completely logical. The problem wasn't their anti-Christian bias but her failure to grasp the issues, and the contradiction of her pursuit of the certification. Her worldview makes her incompatible with their philosophical foundations, and it would be irresponsible on their part to graduate her.

Again it would be like a pacifist joining the Marines and refusing to adopt the ideology of that group. He's going to preach pacifist principles, carry the rifle, but refuse to load it. If that's the right thing to do...then good, don't load the gun, stick with your principles. But he has no right to demand that they graduate him and declare him a Marine. His very presence was actually disingenuous. For them to pass him and call him a Marine...they would be betraying their task and undermining their organization.

So then after all that... to sue the institution is disgraceful.

There are some real areas for concern. American Conservatives love to bash on Europe. I'm not sure why exactly. I wonder sometimes if it's an inferiority complex or something. They visit those countries and feel morally obligated to hate and despise them, because of their political and economic structures, but at the same time they are startled by their standards of living, civility (at least compared to America), cleanliness and so forth.

There have been some problems in Sweden and Germany and Focus on the Family wanted to make sure they mentioned those. These countries are basically pretty hostile to homeschooling and of course Conservatives are terrified of and in complete opposition to the United Nations and some of its educational charters. Even though the UN has proved to be nothing more than an impotent failure, a pawn in the hands of the real powers, there are many American Christians who fear One World Government and a worldwide empire...and they're sure the United Nations (and not the already existing empire of the United States) is the vehicle to bring this about.

Europe is in a social crisis. The European Union itself is in peril. Much of the postwar vision is in jeopardy. These countries have failed to integrate their Muslim immigrant populations and the moment of critical mass is on the near horizon. If they don't start working out some kind of social integration there's going to be increasing social unrest. We saw this in Paris not long ago, but you're also going to start seeing (and it’s already starting to happen,) violence coming from the Right.  

 Native Europeans are moving toward Nationalistic anti-immigration policies and politics. It's becoming a powder keg. If the immigrants assimilate, then there's a hope that things will calm down.

But with terrorism, and now the increased tensions brought about by economic woes, the governments of these states are nervous.

Crucial to assimilating this do-or-die generation is to make sure they are not radicalized. The values of tolerance and civility are crucial. I'm talking from the standpoint of these government officials. They're lost people with their only hope in this life. They're trying to save their societies and they believe that they've got to keep kids from becoming infected by either extreme...becoming advocates of Jihad on the one hand, or Right-wing skinhead-fascist types on the other.

Homeschooling is by its very nature anti-social. I'm not saying that homeschoolers mean to be anti-social, but they are breaking with the norm and for some reason rejecting societal standards. That's fine but you have to understand that if the bulk of society believes you're doing this to create a parallel society with a political and social agenda... they're bound to be nervous.

Am I saying Swedish Christians should send their kids to public school? No. I'm glad I'm not in Sweden right now. But I also understand that the authorities are desperate to make sure no one is being taught to hate others with violence. I believe they will fail, but they're crazy not to try.

So is this about the evils of European socialism and all the rest? That’s how Christian media usually categorizes it. Hardly. That's really missing the point. Do Europeans need to fear normal moderate Muslims? (And yes, despite the protestations of the Christian Right, the majority of Muslims are quite moderate)….Maybe it will come to that. You can't have multiple generations of people that are disconnected, disenfranchised from your society, living in poverty and expect things to continue like that in perpetuity. It's not realistic, not if you believe in sin. They are facing a looming social breakdown. The United States is on a different road, but they lead to the same place…social collapse.

So should we as American Christians want these Dominionist legal organizations to get involved in Europe? Sadly they already are in Europe, and in Africa, and anywhere else they can infect the church with their ideas.

What's the answer? There often isn't a good answer. I'll pray for Christians in Sweden and in Europe in general. They have their bad social and cultural influences just like we do ours. But I don't want to rescue them from one set only to infect them with another.

Overall these shows are harmful. The issues are discussed with a very narrow and deliberate agenda...so it's not really discussion at all. It's simply a presentation. When it's over, the response is meant to be....Be terrified, therefore go vote Republican and send money. And most important…get your church to get more involved in these issues.

Focus on the Family has shifted away from their political bent. Seemingly they fired Dobson who then basically lied (to protect the organization and save face?) and said he was ready to go and do something else. He then started another radio show basically doing the same thing he was before. So did he really want to leave Focus on the Family? Regardless, they sure weren't going to tell anyone what happened.

I find a lot of dishonesty with these Christian ministries and within Church leadership and denominational structures. There seems to be an 'end justifies the means' morality at work. They can lie and deceive for the greater good...all in the name of hindering slander and gossip...even though it's not slander and gossip if it's true and done with some prudence. I've watched Church leaders do this on numerous occasions ...lie and manipulate...for the greater good they seem to believe.

Obviously Dobson didn't want to go. There was some issue regarding the direction he was taking things. Since his departure they seem to spend the majority of their time talking about weight-loss and relationships, raising kids and finances within marriage. It’s actually good that they’ve moved away from some of the Christian Right agenda, though their discussions are clouded by American cultural values being confused with Christianity, and a complete syncretism with psychology. That’s what the show has always been about.

But on occasion they revert to the social activist model and this show was the latest installment.  The fear they generate just breeds more hysteria, and with it distrust. The issues are simplified and it becomes even harder to reach the people in their audiences as they distrust anyone who isn't framing it the way these 'ministries' do. It's as if a wall is erected that protects them from hearing a voice of reason.

False 'worldview' insulates them and spurs them into action.

What does it matter? Focus on the Family reaches a worldwide audience of millions. James Dobson the founder is undoubtedly one of the most influential Evangelicals of the past 30 years and even today there are many people, including those in Reformed circles who support this organization. Its influence is tremendous and through various spinoff organizations, it has at times wielded considerable political power. You don’t have to look very hard. These organizations are tied in with powerful corporate interests, companies that are heavily invested in the military-industrial complex. One wonders who is calling the shots? Are the business interests giving orders? Or do they feed off of each other? I’m afraid in most cases I believe these Christian organizations to be nothing more than pawns, another weapon in the arsenal of those who seek power. Companies like Wal-mart say ‘merry christmas’ and the Church is happy. But then in the turn, these para-church organizations advocate for political and legal causes that are in perfect harmony with the aims and desires of multi-national corporations, defense contractors, the petro-chemical industry, and many more.

The effect on the Church cannot be overemphasized.

Serving the wrong kingdom they take up the Sacralist sword of litigation, the breastplate of threat, the shield of fear and the helmet of deliberate blindness.

7 comments:

Cal said...

A couple of thoughts/comments:

As regarding homeschool: I'd say you're right on, kids are so vulnerable too all sorts of influences and it doesn't help sometimes to send them off to receive one dose of thinking to come home to another (regardless of the truth of the matter). However, I can understand that especially in the beginning, it is hard to put a bend on reading, writing and math (though public schools aren't too hot on this much anymore, atleast in America) but it exists. What does one do when forced to send children to public school? Make sure to talk about everything and keep teaching the child, even when dealing with what may be preached at the government installation?

The worst thing for evangelicals is that the political/Americano minded set is so powerful that it something that the thoughtful and regenerate take for granted. Some well-known Disciples of Christ are in the mix and never spoke up for the purposes of unity. I can't imagine seeing Stott standing right on next to Falwell, really united on anything. But for the sake of unity. If enough of these thoughtful men stood up, the whole thing would rupture and fall apart. Perhaps it is all waiting for that crucial moment. Only God knows.

And I found this, speaking about American exceptionalism and the disdain for others. I was laughing and crying the whole way through, take it worth a grain of salt: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/defenseless_america_in_the_twenty_first_century.html

Protoprotestant said...

Cal,

Regarding the article on American Exceptionalism...

It's so astonishing that people like that can study the history of the past century....and learn absolutely nothing.

The lessons of the Cold War are lost on people like that. Thankfully they never entirely got their way...though they did enough damage to be sure. Millions died in the proxy war spin-offs of the Cold War.

These people......they want to do it all over again. God help us.

It is funny...or it would be if it wasn't so tragic...and not a little scary.

I'd rather have a lesbian with a mohawk for president then a 'christian' that espouses the mentality exhibited in that article.

Scary.

Thanks for sharing it.

Protoprotestant said...

What to do when forced?

I don't know. Maybe it's time to leave.

I certainly know of kids that have come through the public school system and survived....but hardly unscathed.

Even more than the education (or lack thereof in many cases) it's the attitudes and values that are conveyed. The teachers are often just as bad these days. Little kids just aren't ready to filter that stuff and work their way through it. They will be shaped by that environment because they're spending really more time with these pagans than they are with their folks or other Christians.

I'm not for isolation. I've seen the bad effects of that too. I'm for slow and steady integration...holding their hands while their young and then urging them out.

The other thing with Public School.....I think about 75% of the day is just wasted. Literally we can do more in 1.5hours than most of the kids get in a whole day.

If I was in Sweden...well, I guess in the short term you send them, but I think I would look to leave.

And with regard to American schools...my concerns are hardly all in accord with the Right Wing. I'm just as upset that the kids at school are writing letters to the troops, food drives for the troops, painting pictures for the troops, learning about our patriotic hero/saints like Washington, Lincoln, and so many more. We've often laughed. If we sent our kids the teachers would just hate our guts because our kids would be skipping about 90% of the assemblies and most class activities.

Since the average kid apparently (and stupidly) costs them $6-7000 per year to educate...they ought to thank us. We're saving them $25-30k a year. In my state the kids have to take standardized tests. We're not even trying that hard and they score almost off the charts. My niece in high school can't even tell you who the Vice President is. My 9 year old can name every President, Vice President, birthplaces, terms of office, many of their wives, even some of their pets.

Memorization isn't education of course...but I can assure you there's zero education going on at our local school...and it's rated one of the highest in the area!

Sorry. I get a little worked up about it. We're trying to be faithful to God in raising Christian children AND we're actually helping society...but it's generally not appreciated.

So I don't know.......what would you do?

Cal said...

I understand completely, I grew up in the public school system, went to catholic school for a semester (of which at the end I was the target of a near witch hunt) and went back to public school. Public schools are just bad in this country, teachers are more like baby sitters. The unions side with the management, its all about jobs, not about education. How many kids can I jam in a room with a freshly graduated young man/woman, and pay the least amount for it? It really is a racket and people trying to reform it get nothing. Some of those looking to reform it are doing it for ideological reasons, but some are in it for the sake of education. It's a sad state in this country, can't speak for Europe though.

However, the inculcation of ideology really is tough on a little kid. Especially with them being taught not how to think but how to be a member of *insert country* society. The Right Wing are playing the same game. On every level, if its a leftist its 'social activism', if its a conservative judge its 'original intent'. It's all awash

I think the religious schools are even worse because atleast with a secular worldview absorbed, it leaves you with a vacuum which causes all sorts of issues. But I'd rather that than the child absorbed with the religion,which makes them all the more blind to the truth. Especially among 'christian' schools.

I was working I saw a movie playing, later I looked it up and read the synopsis. It's called 'Saved!' and is about a 'christian' high school based on the screenplay's experience. Let's say its not favorable and I don't blame him. At the end of the day, I saw all that went on in that movie, and didn't know any better, I'd want nothing to do with all the hypocrisy. How does one sit and read the Bible everyday, hear sermons and lectures and homilies, and yet, never interact with the text. Not once. Always hearing, never understanding. It's sad.

That's my rant about schools,
Cal

Protoprotestant said...

I've heard of that movie. It's funny because I seem to recall some of the Christians touting as a kind of pro-Christian movie.
Although I often find they miss the point. There are a few Christian Movie Review websites I visit on occasion. Usually the movies I find the most interesting and thought provoking…the most worthwhile…they just loathe.
I’m sorry, and meaning no offense to any other readers, but most of the ‘christian’ movies that are so popular right now…they’re just awful. I can’t even sit through them. Just watching a few clips and reading a review or two tells me…bad movie and usually bad theology as well.
The latest example is that one about the police officers. I can’t remember the name. I was thinking of it though as I watched the UC Davis police spraying people with pepper spray and listening to Christian Media calling on the state to send in force to break up the protest camps.
I agree with what you said about the schools. It’s a racket. Please don’t think I’m defending it. I just don’t know what the alternative is. It needs to be reformed. I don’t expect all the unbelievers to start homeschooling their kids and that was kind of my point…I don’t think the Dobson’s and Mohler’s of the world would want them to.
We moved a lot when I was growing up and I had the unique and not always pleasant experience of attending two different Christian schools and several public schools. I thought it was all pretty bad back then. It’s much worse now.
Just the other day in the local paper…the Christian school had Sgt. Someone or other visiting the kids and they had an assembly so he could talk to them and explain to them how thankful they should be for all the heroes serving our country.
That happens in the public school too, but I would say it’s worse in the Christian school. I think you would agree.

Feel free to rant. I enjoy your rants. You must enjoy mine if you keep reading stuff on this site...(smile)

Jim said...

Hey Proto,

I know this is off-topic but I'm curious about your opinion on something and I'm asking because you know more about America than I do.

Is there any government or corporate entity in the United States right now that is immune from criminal prosecution? The CIA and Blackwater come to mind.

Protoprotestant said...

I recall looking into that a bit awhile back and all I can say is....it gets confusing.

There's all the 11th ammendment stuff concerning states and from what I gather the issue isn't always cut and dry. In some cases you can sue individuals working for government entities but not the entity itself.

I believe you can sue the CIA and Blackwater.

Of course depending on the nature of the lawsuit you may have a terrible time acquiring information, evidence, and all that good stuff because National Security (supposed) overrides any grievances you may bring.

I think most people don't mess with it because it's an awesome uphill battle and you're likely to come to grief...in addition to getting harassed, auditied, and much else.

I'm curious to know that if in the coming years we will discover many provisions in the wrongly called Patriot Act which block pursuit of the government. Of course they will be challenged in the courts...which despite the Christian Right line...generally do not swing to the Left. There are some notorious courts like the 9th circuit, but overall the courts, especially on issues like this aren't all that Liberal.

Are you planning to take on Mr. Prince? or Mr. Panetta?

Now remember you can't sue Mr. Prince of Blackwater. Christians shouldn't be suing Christians.

(I'm laughing and crying at the same time)