Can America be Saved?

A revolution was started a little over 2000 years ago. Didn’t get very far because the political and religious authorities consolidated their power. Ritual elements of the revolutionary creed were adopted by the authorities, of course, to the extent that it kept the masses in line, and twisted to fit their objectives.

It’s time we re-started that revolution, but I’m wondering where I’m going to find the revolutionaries.

I haven’t posted anything in this blog for several months. Tried to market the blog in social media and ran into unreasonable, bigoted, horrible people. True ignorance. No willingness to consider that their opinion should be based on something other than a party line. Single-issue lemmings relying on a group of politicians to fulfill their hopes and dreams. I knew that the principles of the Extreme Center would threaten those in power, but didn’t think their minions were so far gone.
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Zimmerman Debate: Culture and Context, Not Skin Color

So the president has told us that we need to have a “conversation about race” in America because of the outrage (and lack of universal outrage) regarding the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. Predictably, that conversation – just like all of the other conversations on difficult topics – will be dominated by the powerful extremes, leaving us only two wrong positions to support. The typical, easy, polarizing narrative laid before us is that “white” people want “black” people to “respect the process” and basically “get over it,” and “black” people want “white” people to stop “profiling” black people as dangerous and threatening.

Let’s start out with the most extreme view of the Extreme Center. Like most, this view is factually correct but rejected by just about everyone because it is inconsistent with the false narrative dominated by extremists who depend on it to retain their power, authority, or sense of self-worth. To wit, there is only one “human race,” and anyone that believes that the world is populated with different races is, in fact, a “racist.” The notion that some human beings are not of the “human race” has always been the refuge of the powerful who need a philosophical, religious, and political basis for denying that they are doing inhuman things to other humans. The most recent and cogent example for the US is the colonial slave trade and the incorporation of slavery in the US Constitution (remember the “3/5ths Compromise”?).

All humans were, in fact, created equal.

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Is It Time to Actually “Separate Church and State”?

The decision of the US Supreme Court regarding LGBT equal access to federal government benefits of “marriage” might be the first step in a long, difficult process to “separate Church and State” following over 200 years of Christian dominance of the federal and state legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Just for fun, let’s look at the First Amendment to the US Constitution to see what it actually says with respect to religion:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”

The debate over whether federal or state law should “allow” certain people to “marry” confuses secular relationships with religious (God-centered) relationships, which makes it impossible to have a logical discussion among people with widely divergent views. In theory, and by immutable definition, “marriage” is a religious institution, defined by the various religions for use by their own congregants, and government has no “authority” regarding the “definition of marriage,” insofar as government is not controlled by any particular religion, like what is supposed to be the case in the United States. Therefore, the legal right of two people to have access to the same set of secular, legal, government-controlled benefits is not a religious matter, and the right of two people to invite God into their relationship (“marriage”), is not a legal matter. To the extent that the LGBT community wants a “bundle of legal rights,” then they should turn to government to get that – a “civil union” or some other secular moniker. If they want to be able to “marry,” they should turn to God to get that – they don’t need any permission but His. Marriage is inarguably not a secular relationship, so there never has been and can never be anything correctly called a “civil marriage.” The oxymoron must be stricken from the conversation.

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The US Presidency as the New American Papacy

The resignation of Pope Benedict the XVI reminds us of the failure of Jesus Christ’s revolution, at least in America, where we have allowed the US Presidency (regardless of who fills the position) to become the New American Papacy.

The essential difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is that the former requires an intermediary, a priest, to have a complete relationship with God. The principles that guide the One Commandment revolution don’t include picking a side in the continuing Reformation, because the commonalities – what C.S. Lewis called the elements of “Mere Christianity” – are far more important than the differences. But key religious power-brokers have constructed a New American Papacy by supporting policies that expand the role of a care-taker government, with bureaucrats (the new priests) determining our fate.

This is not consistent with Christ’s revolutionary edict.

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Stop Selling Our Vote – the Moral Cost of High-risk Behavior

One of the most difficult things for us to do is to consider the implications of public policy over an extended period of time – learning from the past 50 or 100 years and projecting 50 or 100 years into the future, at least – in our current culture of “instant.” It’s much easier to measure the immediate or fairly short-term effects of such things as bank bailouts, industry bailouts, school and home loan guarantees, FEMA clean-up and re-building funds, and extended unemployment benefits to gauge whether these policies contribute to the “common good.” When bad things happen, like economic bubbles bursting or murderous rampages or natural disasters, it’s much easier to look at the “unfairness” of an individual case and connect emotionally with the “victim” rather than consider the long-term effects of “government action” in the aggregate. We are, after all, good people. We want to help. We want to contribute to the “common good.”

The problem is that “tugging at our heart strings” is an easy way for those in power to get us to sell our vote or support a particular government program that benefits them personally and fits our emotional need to help those who are hurting. Here’s the thing:

Every time the government expands its charitable role, charity’s role shrinks.

Every time the government expands its business role, business’ role shrinks.

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It’s a Moral Avalanche, not a Fiscal Cliff

We are so tired of being beaten over the head by the extremists on the Left and the Right about their “solutions” to the “fiscal cliff” that really do nothing except further entrench their own power bases. In the stop-gap measure passed this week, the Left pushed benefits to their crony capitalist friends in Hollywood and in the green energy business, the Right agreed to an even more complex Tax Code that only the super-wealthy can manipulate (or move their money and their businesses elsewhere), and rich and poor alike were assured by both of the Major Parties that their dependence on government will not be on the table for future discussions.

It’s not a fiscal cliff, it’s a moral avalanche.

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Government Is Not Responsible for Evil

Wow. We thought it would at least be a couple of days before the extremists would invoke the Newtown massacre as a political opportunity to support their views on “gun control” laws. We were wrong. But we’re not stupid, are we? The focus on guns as the “problem” is just too easy – an intellectual, political, and spiritual cop-out.

In a recent post here, we correctly predicted that the “progressives” and the “conservatives” would each ask, “What can the government do to keep this from happening again?” This is the wrong question, and it only serves the interests of those in positions of power. “Hey, we’re doing something, vote for us!” The left tells us that the government has a responsibility (and the ability) to protect us from each other, and from ourselves. The right tells us if we were all armed there would be less violence, or that we need to “bring God back into the schools.”

The right question is, “What can each of us do in our own families and in our own communities to keep this from happening again?” We cannot delegate our individual responsibility to the government, or put our faith in the government to protect us from evil.

There is no law that will protect us from evil. The use of guns for senseless acts and the popularity of violent movies and games are symptoms of a God-starved culture, not the causes. It is a waste of time to treat symptoms and to leave the sickness untreated.

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Tolerance is Not Morality

How did we get to this? What does it mean to say we need “God in the classroom”? How was God removed from the public forum in the first place? And can that be un-done, in the context of a secular government? This did not happen over night – it took several generations – and it will take at least as long to get the pendulum back to the center.

The “progressives” have controlled the academic milieu for generations now. How did they succeed in removing God from the public schools?

By teaching that “tolerance” is the utmost ethic in a secular curriculum, and that the US Constitution requires a secular curriculum, under an intellectually-twisted interpretation of “freedom of religion.”

Here is what our children are taught in public schools:

If someone does something you think is “wrong,” that doesn’t make you “right.” It means that you have to understand what caused that person to do what you perceive as the wrong thing, and you must consider the possibility that you’re wrong. That person is not responsible for their own acts – it was caused by something beyond their control, either bad parenting, or a medical condition that needs to be treated with drugs, or just a misunderstanding or lack of information that could be cured with conversation and education on “the facts.” The worst thing a person could do is skip their meds, or be the doctor who somehow didn’t properly diagnose and treat a sociopath. Surely we can all get along as long as we have the chance to communicate with each other just a bit more – then we would certainly reach a compromise and understand where we’re coming from, man.

But “tolerance” is the opposite of “morality.” It means there is no right or wrong, with nothing other than “tolerance” being the “right thing.” Why do the progressives elevate “tolerance” as the highest possible guidepost? Because to cross that line, to question whether there may be some higher guide than “tolerance,” would immediately open the door to consideration of the possibility that someone might actually be wrong, compared against an abstract, unknown moral standard that humans cannot know – but only seek.

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Where Was God in Newtown?

Those of us in the Extreme Center are not theologians, but we are God-centered, and the evil unleashed in Newtown causes us to question our God. The scene in that school – especially in that classroom – is literally unthinkable for those of us not directly involved. Those who were directly involved don’t have that choice. And we know the political and religious narratives that will dominate the conversation in the days and weeks that follow – and none of them will be of much comfort to those families, or to the nation.

In the political world, after a respectable amount of time, or probably before then, the “progressives” and the “conservatives” will ask, “What can we do to keep this from happening again?” and use this tragedy as leverage to support whatever government-centered solution gets them more votes and serves their political authority.

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There is No “Solution” to the “Fiscal Cliff”

One of the most disturbing polls among the many disturbing polls conducted continuously during the past interminable (four-year-long) Presidential election was the one that asked us, “Do you think the country is going in the right direction?” The results were tracked with skilled seriousness by all the pundits, with joy or trepidation depending on the left-or-right-leaningness of the particular pundit.

Why is this question so disturbing?

For the same reason that there is no “solution” to the “fiscal cliff.” Because they both present us with a false choice between two extreme positions, based on the false premise that all of us agree with one extreme or the other. As long as “right” and “wrong” mean “left” or “right,” there is no right answer, it’s not possible to even answer. It simply is not that simple.

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