For the person that could care less about what this retired felon has to say, most of the points made at College of the Canyons (COC) by Dr. Shelby Steele were made in this video (HERE) speaking at the Old Parkland Conference.
Below were the thoughts running through my head and me taking light notes during the time Dr. Shelby Steele’s time being interviewed. In fact, I have proof of my note taking: head down, tapping away. The following section will allow the reader to jump to topics or thoughts.
Any of the links in this next part will allow you to jump down the page to a section below. To get back to the menu, hit the back arrow in your browser.
JUMP TO THOUGHT/TOPIC
Dr. Shelby Steele spoke about some of the following – which inspired much thought and now this post:
INTRODUCTION– I have some Walter Williams going on as well as a link to my post on Angela Davis, whom C.O.C. had as a speaker in April.
UPDATE:C.O.C. has excluded Shelby Steele from their Facebook, whereas the person he was coming in to add some balance to, Angela Davis, has announcements up before her event as well as the day of.
RACE HUSTLERS – “Follow the Money” | The D.E.I. grift (PART ONE) and how it backfires by John Stossel. I include a short “how many billions fat is DEI programs”? And keep in mind there is no winning with these folks.
INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE – This was a connection of sorts for me. Not quite as intimate as Doc Steele’s, but it helped me through a time in my young life where bigotry surely could have stained my heart. A short bio by me many years ago helps explain my outlook.
POWER, NOT WEALTH – Today we hear quite often that slavery made our country wealthy. Slavery, in fact, kept a good portion of our country poor. I include a quote from Thomas Sowell audio from Larry Elder as well as a quote from Frederick Douglas. The end of this section are some helpful article links for more information.
POWER & WEALTH– This is a quick reminder of theDEI grift (PART TWO) | Glenn Loury, John McWhorter & Dan Subotnik discuss the grift of Ibram X. Kendi with new revelations about missing monies. | And Douglas Murray discusses his noting the Kendi grifting a while back.
COERCION I – Historic religious Democrat segregationists changed the Bible to fit slavery | Alternatively, when the Bible was unleashed, the British and American abolitionist movement fought and ended slavery for the first time in world history… giving birth to the RepublicanParty. – save Muslim countries.
COERCION II – The fear of being accused of being a racist, or against the equality of others is a way the Left has weaponized modern censorship. This section features some Machosauce (Rachel Zo) commentary. And a graphic I made defining what a “Victicrat” is; followed by a video [one of my favorites] explaining how the Democrats get votes out of such coercions. Then another example of this maligning by Hillary Clinton,
COERCION III– Doc Steele mentions racism is over with. True. BUT, the media and politicians would lose power if this were understood to be the case, so I share a short montage of the media inflaming the SIXHIRB rhetoric: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted. (I link to a longer, 22-minute upload of mine).
HISTORY (A) – Knowing history is a good vaccination against the statements we often run into on campuses and social media. Even simple things like “…not every Democrat was a KKK’er, but every KKK’er was a Democrat.” Or the reasoning behind the 3/5ths clause in the Constitution. In fact, at one point Frederick Douglas thought the Constitution was a pro slavery document, partly due to the 3/5ths Clause. But later, he came to realize that in fact it was an anti-slavery document, because of the 3/5ths clause. I explain how people like to use earlier beliefs in a person’s life and use them as support when later these beliefs were rejected by said person themselves. This is done with Augustine as well. After the Prager U and David Barton videos, there is a “Lincoln Bonus”.
HISTORY (B) – “Stepping outside your lived experiences” | This just came to me today and sets up well the three [out of the many] videos of black YouTubers doing just that. These are channels that have previously commented on all sorts of things (sports clips, songs, interviews with icons, etc.). For whatever reasons, these Channels started to watch videos by the likes of Thomas Sowell, Carol Swain, and others. I love them because they catch real time revelations through well-reasoned evidence and histories they have never heard before.
HISTORY (C) – In this history section I deal a bit more with whom the KKK were terrorizing. Members of the KKK caried “playing cards” on their person with pictures of their targets to intimidate or kill. And bringing this to today I use an example of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich being chased out of the company he co-founded for the simple act of donating to Proposition 8 in California. I end this section with Bill Maher explaining how #WOKE is indistinguishable from the KKK.
COURAGE– When Doc Steele mentioned “courage” throughout his speech I remembered Dennis Prager saying the same thing, often. I happened to find one upload of mine with the admonition in it.
MAKING AN IMPACT– The left notes all the racists, sexists, and the like, out in the world. I also often hear Democrats and media personalities talk about the racist right or the racist Republicans. They never name them though, save Trump. (And if anyone thinks he is a racist and has evidence, please send it to me.) A question always on my mind is this regarding my first point, “okay, say it’s true that there are all these racists ‘out there,’ how do you fix that?” Do they have a plan to change hearts and minds? Or do they have no plan like they cannot name racists in the GOP? Which leads me to a small portion of my testimony. I was blessed to go to jail a third time and make an impact on these people the Left complains about.
MENTORING or TEARING DOWN?– This leads me to other questions. Do these accusers build? Do they mentor? I know they know how to tear things down. The Boy Scouts being one example, among others. I use an article and Prager U video to drive this point home.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION – Doc Steele also discussed racial profiling and how affirmative action uses racial markers to prematurely force black men and women into institutions they may not be ready for. I got a video of Doc Steele talking about this that is quite old. Following that are short videos and audio from Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Mark Levin, using common sense and evidence of the complete failure of this program.
CONVERSATION– A point I thought was the most important was when Shelby Steele noted that grouping yourself with communities is a way to avoid individual relationships. These one-on-one encounters are powerful to show how a narrative can be wrong. I have been able to have tuff conversations with racists, cultists, leftists, atheists over the course of many years. I share one example of two of my son’s Facebook friends who were giving him some grief over Mitt Romney at the time. I discussed some current events with the two younger people, well. One gal unfriended my son, the other says he has changed his thinking on the matter. I link to another post of mine where a friend’s mother unfriended me over Judge Judy. I end this section with Dennis Prager interviewing Ken Sterns, former CEO of National Public Radio (NPR) and his traveling to “fly over country” and changing his view on conservatives… through conversation.
APPENDIX– Just two excellent quotes from David Mamet’s book, “The Secret Knowledge.” I also throw in a small excerpt from “The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say’
UPDATE–Candace Owens, in her first public comment on George Floyd on June 5th, 2020 invoked Shelby Steele.
Enjoy my opining.
For the record, Lena Smyth does the interviewing — which was easy because Doc Steele likes to talk.
Our local college here, College of the Canyons (COC), had a wonderful event that was centered around Shelby Steele sitting down for an interview. I found out late about the event, but there were still free tickets available. And sadly, the sitting area was not packed at the time of the event. I also was unaware of the controversy. I assumed there would be some, as Doc Steele is a controversial figure IN THAT he speaks with the freedom conservatives have [“conservatarians,” I prefer “Paleo-Liberal”] – which is controversial now-a-days.
The late, great, Walter Williams noted that the “true test of one’s commitment to liberty … comes when we permit people to be free to do those voluntary things with which we disagree.”
This idea of allowing freedom of thought outside of an imposed “total thought” – that is: you must express yourself thus – is at the heart of the topic Shelby Steele was invited to speak on. And it is this type of totalitarianism [total thought] that California will soon learn it cannot impose openly and will surely revert again to “behind the scenes” violence to our liberty.
UPDATED ISSUE |over at College of the Canyon’s Facebook, there is no post on their wall that they hosted Shelby Steele. I found Angela Davis’ visit noted prior to the event and on the day. Even events after Shelby Steele’s visit are posted. But not an inkling of Shelby Steele’s visit.
College of the Canyons choice of selecting Shelby Steele to speak, after the community outcry in the colleges selection of controversial political activist, Angela Davis, to speak at the college this past April. The school paid Davis $25,000.00, plus expenses for her appearance.
Pressure was placed on the college to balance Ms. Davis’s appearance with a representative holding a different set of beliefs. Shelby Steele certainly fits that criterion.
Steele is being hosted by COC’s Intercultural Center, not the same group that paid to have Angela Davis appear. But that is inconsequential. The bottom line is the college heard the protests from our community and took action to achieve a balance.
KHTS hopes the school learned its lesson and will continue to create a balance with future guests.
The event was put together by COC’s Intercultural Center, and introductions were by [I believe] Diane Fiero, Deputy Chancellor/Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Officer. And a woman letting people know COC was built on stolen land. What Carl Goldman said in the title, “College Of The Canyons Make Good On Its Promise” is a good commentary in and of itself. Why? Because people like Diane, and the almost insurmountable edifice of administrators that crop up overnight to get paid, what Doc Steele called a hustle, would be out of jobs. And even THE ATLANTIC knows it is an affront to freedom in their piece: “The Worst DEI Policy in Higher Education: At stake: the First Amendment rights and academic freedom of 61,000 professors who teach 1.9 million students”
… Under the changes to California’s education code, all community-college employees will be evaluated in a way that places “significant emphasis” on “antiracist” and “DEIA competencies.” […] For professors, that means all will be judged, whether in hiring, promotion, or tenure decisions, on their embrace of controversial social-justice concepts as those concepts are understood and defined by state education bureaucrats
… “Under the previous faculty contract, faculty were evaluated for their ‘demonstrated ability to successfully teach students from cultures other than one’s own,’” the FIRE lawsuit notes. “Under the DEIA Rules, however, they are now evaluated on their ‘demonstration of, or progress toward, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) related competencies and teaching and learning practices that reflect DEIA and anti-racist principles.’” Before, professors were judged on whether they “successfully teach students.” Now they’ll be judged on whether they show progress toward abstract competencies that are theorized to help them successfully teach students.
That is a degradation, and Chancellor Christian should reverse course. Many First Amendment experts believe that the new guidelines will be found to violate the civil rights of faculty members. And even if they are upheld, their language and implementation suggestions are so incompetently drafted that even a leading proponent of equity-mindedness can’t quite endorse them as written. Whatever one thinks of social-justice ideology, there are far stronger versions of it.
So while I am sure Miss Fiero is a wonderful woman, intelligent, amiable, a friend to many, beloved to family, and the like…. she and others receive their sustenance for a particular viewpoint that must be protected at all costs.
“That DEI is a $9 billion industry only makes the whole movement all the uglier.” (NEW YORK POST)
So, inviting someone that counters that “in situ” worldview in the “collective” campus, is not a recommended course of action. At least by “total thought ‘officer’” standards.
All big companies now require “DEI” training for employees, but studies say that often BACKFIRES.
It’s impossible to appease these people by the way, as Ibram X. Kendi says on page 10 of his book “How To Be An Anti-Racist“
I use to be racist most of the time. I am changing. I am no longer identifying with racists by claiming to be “not racist.”
Ahh — the “Ol’ Switcheroo.” If you say you are not racist, you are.
A Shared Experience
Mr. Steele discussed his parents’ marriage at a time when interracial marriage was not looked upon, well, kindly — to say the least. In fact, this marrying those outside one’s “ethnic background” was one of a few examples Larry Elder used to show that the America today is not the bastion of racism that the Professional Left would have us believe — in his Prager U video, “Is America Racist?“.
My grandpa married a black woman (his second marriage) and she had a large impact on me. For one, she relayed the history to me that this marriage was during a time not friendly to their choice. Both from the white and black community. And her love towards me surely kept a possible racial bias from finding a home in my heart. You see, I lived for some time in the Jefferson/Chalmers area of Detroit. In an area, let’s say, not on the higher income level. I was one of very few white kids at the local school, and the only one in my area.
While all my friends were black, all the kids crossing the street to fight me, chase me, kick me while I was on the ground in the fetal position, were black as well. So, to say that my grandmother was a healing influence with her love towards me was one of many positive influences in my life. Later in life other factors played a role as well, as this “auto-biography” notes:
So hearing how his early life experiences shaped him was in some way similar to my own.
POWER, NOT WEALTH
Holding On To Power Is Their End-Game, At Any Cost
Shelby talked about the motive behind slavery. Many think it is wealth. It was not, as the below shows well:
Not only in societies where slaves were more often consumers than producers of wealth, but even in societies where commercial slavery was predominant, this did not automatically translate into enduring wealth. Unlike a frugal capitalist class, such as created the industrial revolution, even commercial slaveowners in the American antebellum South tended to spend lavishly, often ending up in debt or even losing their plantations to foreclosures by creditors. However, even if British slaveowners had saved and invested all of their profits from slavery, it would have amounted to less than two percent of British domestic investment.(RPT: Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals [San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2005], see pages 157-159.
…The reader will be amused at my ignorance, when I tell the notions I had of the state of northern wealth, enterprise, and civilization. Of wealth and refinement, I supposed the north had none. My Columbian Orator, which was almost my only book, had not done much to enlighten me concerning northern society. The impressions I had received were all wide of the truth. New Bedford, especially, took me by surprise, in the solid wealth and grandeur there exhibited. I had formed my notions respecting the social condition of the free states, by what I had seen and known of free, white, non-slaveholding people in the slave states. Regarding slavery as the basis of wealth, I fancied that no people could become very wealthy without slavery. A free white man, holding no slaves, in the country, I had known to be the most ignorant and poverty-stricken of men, and the laughing stock even of slaves themselves—called generally by them, in derision, “poor white trash.” Like the non-slaveholders at the south, in holding no slaves, I suppose the northern people like them, also, in poverty and degradation. Judge, then, of my amazement and joy, when I found—as I did find—the very laboring population of New Bedford living in better houses, more elegantly furnished—surrounded by more comfort and refinement—than a majority of the slaveholders on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. There was my friend, Mr. Johnson, himself a colored man (who at the south would have been regarded as a proper marketable commodity), who lived in a better house—dined at a richer board—was the owner of more books—the reader of more newspapers—was more conversant with the political and social condition of this nation and the world—than nine-tenths of all the slaveholders of Talbot county, Maryland. Yet Mr. Johnson was a working man, and his hands were hardened by honest toil. Here, then, was something for observation and study. Whence the difference? The explanation was soon furnished, in the superiority of mind over simple brute force. Many pages might be given to the contrast, and in explanation of its causes. But an incident or two will suffice to show the reader as to how the mystery gradually vanished before me.
My first afternoon, on reaching New Bedford, was spent in visiting the wharves and viewing the shipping. The sight of the broad brim and the plain, Quaker dress, which met me at every turn, greatly increased my sense of freedom and security. “I am among the Quakers,” thought I, “and am safe.” Lying at the wharves and riding in the stream, were full-rigged ships of finest model, ready to start on whaling voyages. Upon the right and the left, I was walled in by large granite-fronted warehouses, crowded with the good things of this world. On the wharves, I saw industry without bustle, labor without noise, and heavy toil without the whip. There was no loud singing, as in southern ports, where ships are loading or unloading—no loud cursing or swearing—but everything went on as smoothly as the works of a well adjusted machine. How different was all this from the nosily fierce and clumsily absurd manner of labor-life in Baltimore and St. Michael’s! One of the first incidents which illustrated the superior mental character of northern labor over that of the south, was the manner of unloading a ship’s cargo of oil. In a southern port, twenty or thirty hands would have been employed to do what five or six did here, with the aid of a single ox attached to the end of a fall. Main strength, unassisted by skill, is slavery’s method of labor. An old ox, worth eighty dollars, was doing, in New Bedford, what would have required fifteen thousand dollars worth of human bones and muscles to have performed in a southern port. I found that everything was done here with a scrupulous regard to economy, both in regard to men and things, time and strength. The maid servant, instead of spending at least a tenth part of her time in bringing and carrying water, as in Baltimore, had the pump at her elbow. The wood was dry, and snugly piled away for winter. Woodhouses, in-door pumps, sinks, drains, self-shutting gates, washing machines, pounding barrels, were all new things, and told me that I was among a thoughtful and sensible people. To the ship-repairing dock I went, and saw the same wise prudence. The carpenters struck where they aimed, and the calkers wasted no blows in idle flourishes of the mallet. I learned that men went from New Bedford to Baltimore, and bought old ships, and brought them here to repair, and made them better and more valuable than they ever were before. Men talked here of going whaling on a four years’ voyage with more coolness than sailors where I came from talked of going a four months’ voyage…
Slavery Did Not Make America Rich: Ingenuity, not capital accumulation or exploitation, made cotton a little king (REASON)
No, Slavery Did Not Make America Rich: The historical record of the post-war economy demonstrates slavery was neither a central driving force of, or economically necessary for, American economic dominance (FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION)
The End of Ibram X. Kendi? | Glenn Loury, John McWhorter & Dan Subotnik | The Glenn Show ~ Starts at the 40-minute mark:
39:58 The schadenfreude of the Ibram X. Kendi scandal
51:00 John: “I’m embarrassed for Boston University”
56:40 Glenn: Kendi is just a cog in the fraudulent antiracist machine
1:04:31 The shame of the Kendi scandal
Douglas Murray – Ibram X Kendi Is A Race Hustler | Douglas Murray gives his opinion on Ibram X. Kendi. Is How To Be An Antiracist a good book? What does Douglas Murray think about fixing past prejudice with present prejudice? How does Douglas Murray see Ibram X. Kendi’s contribution to modern racism?
Coerced by Distortion
A POWER that Democrats have utilized since almost their founding is distortion. Especially “religious” Democrats who have historically distorted the Bible to make it a “pro-slavery” document to gain power. Take for instance what was known as the, “The Slave Bible,” which illustrates this distortion perfectly:
Published in London in 1807, its full title is Select Parts of the Holy Bible, for the use of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands. In presenting the Books of Moses, the Slave Bible leaps from the end of Genesis 45, where Jacob learns that Joseph, the son he had thought to be dead was actually alive in Egypt and the right-hand man of Pharaoh, to Exodus 19, where, under the leadership of Moses, Israel receives the Ten Commandments. Totally missing from the Slave Bible is story of the enslavement of the Hebrews after Joseph’s death, and the rise of Moses as God’s spokesman sent overturn this slavery and to order Pharaoh “to let my people go.” The letters of Paul fare no better. For defenders of slavery, Galatians 3:28 contains an inconvenient message: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” The Slave Bible handles this passage by ignoring it, skipping from chapter one Galatians to chapter five. (LIBERTY FUND NETWORK)
Using race and religion then to control a working population is seen in a mirror as using race and still distorting God’s Word to control voting patterns of minorities.
What Does The Bible Intimate?
And when slavers during the Atlantic Slave Trade included the full Bible and set out to rekindle their faith, did that embolden their slaver ways? Or change their outlook?
(Please note where John Newton’s faith was sparked at the 3:05 mark)
The historic Christian faith and the Bible had to be suppressed for the actions in America to be acceptable. When it is unleashed, it changes hearts, minds, and the direction of the world. More in the HISTORY section.
Coerced by Fear of Being Accused
I’m black. You know that and I know that, but there are many who insist I’m not. According to the Afrocentrics and those who patronize them, I’m whitewashed. It’s funny when I’ve got liberal, white people trying to tell me they’re blacker than I am. Wow! How is it that white people trying to be black can accuse me of trying to be white? That’s some hypocrisy that’s just too funny! They’re taking blind shots, hoping to get a nod from the black community to sedate their white guilt.
Don’t you love it when white liberals insult anybody white, male, and heterosexual, feeling like they get a pass because, after all, they claim to fight for minorities? These white liberals do not intend to legitimately help these minorities, they just don’t want those minorities to turn against them.
So, the only thing these white, liberal democrats (the true white devils, mind you) do for the so-called minorities is pander. Liberals manipulate many non-whites and women with one simple tool—the tool that can turn even loved ones against you. The very tool that changed Adam and Eve’s perception of God—a deadly tool—accusation.
The very name Satan does not translate to mean Evil One, Deceiver, Prince of Darkness, or even Tempter. His name literally means Accuser.
When Satan spoke with Eve, he accused God of not wanting them to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because God didn’t want them to be like God. That was the statement that broke Eve. That was what damaged the relationship between God and humanity.
Satan’s accusation made it sound like God was trying to keep Adam and Eve down, doesn’t it? This caused Eve to be envious of God and to distrust Him. Satan made it look like God was holding out and hoarding power—it made it look like He had arrested humanity’s development.
What if we apply that truth to our political situation? The Republicans are just trying to arrest the development of the black community. They don’t care about blacks, or women, blah, blah, yap, yap, etc. It’s fitting that women would be easily manipulated by liberalism because Satan, the biggest liberal of them all, went to Eve first, and manipulated her by causing her to not trust another male figure. Just like Adam and Eve trusted the accuser who wanted them destroyed, the majority of minorities—the black community, Hispanics, women, and secular Jews—trust the party that would see them destroyed.
So check this out. Before Lucifer became the Accuser, he was God’s most anointed cherub. Now, just as there was a Civil War because Democrats didn’t see blacks as worthy to be considered human, God’s most anointed cherub did not see humans as worthy of the position for which God created us.
As Lucifer became Satan, he formed a confederacy. He used accusations and discourse such as, God wants only to control us! We should be allowed to live out our own destiny, outside of His design! God has this idea of humans having authority in our society. What about our authority? What about our great society that God wants to stain with these humans by bringing them into existence with us? We’re superior. They have no place among us! They’re not fit to even look on us!
Man, what a hater!
These accusations rallied a third of the angels behind the rebellious cherub, and he led an attempted coup against the Throne. He fell, and (as is typical of Satan) he used another accusation to bring a curse upon humankind in Eden. That curse still affects us, and the Democrats have learned to manipulate this weakness. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” is a command the Democrats depend on breaking in order to gain power. They do just as the Accuser does.
Now, Satan didn’t (and still doesn’t) know how good he had it, crying about oppression in heaven. Liberals are the same way today—crying about oppression in America. Hey, wanna have some fun? Ask some liberals why they’re Democrats. Chances are real good that the first thing they’ll give you is an accusation. I’m a Democrat because the corporations are corrupt, and because republicans are destroying the earth. They are against equal rights! They are bigoted, sexist homophobes, rabble, rabble, rabble.
Hey! Liberal! I didn’t ask you why you’re not a Republican. I asked why you are a Democrat. Accusations made by Democrats encourage prejudice and animosity against Republicans—the people that fought for the freedom of blacks and the equality of women. What have Republicans gotten in return? Hatred.
Alfonzo Rachel, Weapon of A.S.S. Destruction (Powder Springs, GA: White Hall Press, 2012), 37-39.
The Zo Loft : Four Blacks in Chicago Kidnap White Male: In my disgust at the actions by these four, I explore the effects of the the democrat and how their ideals are making racial tensions get worse, and how they have always been at the root of it. (MORE)
At one point Doc Steele noted:
“Here’s the big mistake we made. We were victims, but what we did is we took that victimization and turned it into an identity.”
This brought to mind my graphic I made a few years back:
And it is this “victim mentality” that keeps a large group of people hooked. What Bill Whittle calls THE VOTE PUMP.
This power is acquired by deception, false accusations, hand-outs, and the like. It is almost a formula.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
Fear is in the mix as well.
Coerced by Fear of Racism
Smyth: “I want you to kind of define this idea of white guilt, just kind of break it down so that our audience can understand what you mean by that.”
Steele: “White Guilt is not actual guilt. You don’t feel it, unless you are alive during slavery … It is simply a knowledge, not a piece of information, in and of itself, that America participated in slavery … America (has) participated in the subjugation of an absolutely innocent people.”
During the discussion around this topic, THE SIGNAL (our local paper) noted the true liberation of the Conservatarian by Dr. Steele, the rejection of fear
“Racism is over with,” said Steele.
In modern America, Steele feels free now.
Smyth asked Steele what conservatism meant to him and he answered by saying that conservatism is a devotion to that freedom.
“I say this to Blacks, you can be free, if you are not afraid to be free,” said Steele.
Dr. Steele went on to say he is a Patrick Henry type person, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
But the MSM won’t let the fear of racism go, as this short montage of mine notes. Setting up this video I wish to call attention to the very first clip in it:
As an aside, the first clip is my favorite because the host states:
“The three front runners in most polls are all white men… is sexism playing a role, still?”
Okay, my rewriting of the embedded bias:
The three front runners are al white men, so obviously racism has a role to play here which we have discussed a lot here… but let’s zero in on the other charge against these ‘front runners,’ and that is they are male.”
He assumes everyone is picking up what he is laying down. Everyone just “agrees” with him. It is a truism that racism and patriarchy are at work.
Or others on Facebook called the message racist and Shelby Steele an Uncle Tom… but not in so many words… as a way to solidify their view, ward off blacks curious about true empowerment, and malign whites and Republican’s and Republican voters (20% of black male voters voted for Trump in 2020… darn those racists!):
A recommended post of mine on this issue is this one, no need to watch the Vivek video, my thoughts on racist Democrats are under that:
So, they enjoy accusing, as MACHOSAUCE noted. They are in that sense like Lucifer in front of God keeping fear and lies front and center in our lives…
“…virtually every significant racist in American political history was a Democrat.” — Bruce Bartlett, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past (New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), ix;
“…not every Democrat was a KKK’er, but every KKK’er was a Democrat.” — Ann Coulter, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama (New York, NY: Sentinel [Penguin], 2012), 19.
While this topic wasn’t mentioned, I wanted to include it as I am sure the C.O.C. student has been brainwashed with this untruth.
What “untruth” am I speaking of?
THE 3/5ths CLAUSE
What follows is an older post of mine
(Originally posted in November of 2010)
Description under video:
I spoke with the owners of the video that I grabbed this clip from. They were kind enough to allow this to stay up — ??????? — if you enjoyed this clip, please visit and consider subscribing to EncourageTV (website).The channel is built with positive, wholesome, and religious viewership in mind. (Which is better than the drivel we get elsewhere.)
(REALLY this is young vs. old Douglass, Kaepernick merely takes him out of a lifetime of thought) Kaepernick quoted Frederick Douglas in “bashing” July 4th. FIRST, Ted Cruz does a bang up job in responding to this here (DAILY WIRE). But the mistake I see here is that people evolve.
Let me explain.
I have heard many people over the years quote St. Augustine to support their understanding of a Church Father supporting old-earth creationism (OEC). But in fact, as Augustine matured in his faith and thought about the competing worldviews (remember, he was a Pagan before being Born Again) he became a solid young earth creationist (YEC). So the quote people choose pre-dates his ending up as a YEC’er. In other words, as he moved further away from his Pagan roots he came closer to God’s clear work. (See my post entitled “Taking Physicist Stephen Barr to Task Over St. Augustine“)
The same applies here, Douglas was newly freed, he fell into being tutored by someone who viewed the Constitution as a “slave document,” but after spreading his wings further, reading the Constitution (and the Civil War) — he matured to believe the Constitution was an anti-slavery document. The book pictured and I highly recommend is this: “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White“.
See as well my page on my site with many resource recommendations on various topics: “U.S. RACIAL HISTORY“
Is racism enshrined in the United States Constitution? How could the same Founding Fathers who endorsed the idea that all men are created equal also endorse the idea that some men are not? The answer provided in this video by, Carol Swain, former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, may surprise you.
More of David Barton talking about the Constitution and Frederick Douglass:
Because Abraham Lincoln kept meticulous notes, we have these notes that were never used, but ready to be referenced if he needed them during one of his many debates with Douglas (TIME):
“If A can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right, enslave B — why not B snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A?
You say A is a white, and B is black. It is –color–, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be the slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.
You do not mean color exactly? — You mean the whites are –intellectually– the superiors of the blacks, and therefore, have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.
But, say you, it is a question of –interest; and, if you can make it your –interest–, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.”
…Even earlier than this, on July 1, 1854, Abraham Lincoln wrote this small fragment that seems to address some of the popular arguments put forward by slavery-choice advocates of his day. Should whites have the right to enslave blacks based on color, intellect, or interest? Lincoln responds:
You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.
You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.
But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.
The importance of Lincoln’s logic should not be overlooked. Lincoln understood that if you attempt to establish human rights or personhood by appealing to a set of arbitrary, degreed properties such as color and intellect, properties which carry no moral weight or significance and which none of us share equally, then you end up undermining human rights for everyone….
Really, This Is Also an Extension of the “conversation” section as well. I have recently become aware of quite a few black owned YouTube Channels starting to watch and comment on some Thomas Sowell and Carol Swain videos, as well as others. In fact, I dedicate a post to this:
You see, reading or watching viewpoints that counter yours is a form of conversation in that your mind is engaging in something offering new, dynamic experiences and evidence you may not have been privy to previously. One of my favorite Channels are these young men in college not only soaking up new information but discussing it with each other.
Oh, how I would love to be a fly on the wall when they go out and eat at the cafeteria and discuss these things around those who disagree.
WOW! THOMAS SOWELL – FACTS ABOUT SLAVERY THEY DIDN’T TEACH IN SCHOOL!
And I like these following two videos because the conservative leaning people had a left leaning friend over. So, you can see in real time the struggle some have in hearing new information.
OUR CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL FRIEND REACTS TO THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
*WTF! THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY! (A MUST SEE)
Whom were they terrorizing? Blacks? Or Republicans who were allowing freedom of voting and thought to be a reality. Either by black Republicans declaring the freedom to vote, or white Republicans pushing for this.
In the early days of the Democrat power structure, the terrorist arm of the Democrat Party, the KKK lynched those who had free thought and courage enough to vote against Southern Democrats:
One study found that there were “4,467 total victims of lynching from 1883 to 1941. Of these victims, 4,027 were men, 99 were women, and 341 were of unidentified gender (although likely male); 3,265 were Black, 1,082 were white, 71 were Mexican or of Mexican descent, 38 were American Indian, 10 were Chinese, and 1 was Japanese.” (They were most probably ALL Republicans.)
Here is a more recent example of the “terrorist type arm” of the same political party in intimidating those who would have the temerity to think other thoughts than those of Democrats:
Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned under pressure after gay rights activists demanded that he step down or recant his support of traditional marriage laws. Eich donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. “I don’t want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going,” Eich told The Guardian. “I don’t believe they’re relevant.” That wasn’t an option. “CEO Brendan Eich should make an unequivocal statement of support for marriage equality,” a Credoaction petition signed by almost 75,000 people said, per The Inquirer. “If he cannot, he should resign. And if he will not, the board should fire him immediately.” When asked if his beliefs about marriage should constitute a firing offense the way racism or sexism does, Eich argued that these religious beliefs — and beliefs popular as of 2008 — should not be used as a basis for dismissal. “I don’t believe that’s true, on the basis of what’s permissible to support or vote on in 2008,” he told CNET. “It’s still permissible. Beliefs that are protected, that include political and religious speech, are generally not something that can be held against even a CEO…“
How wrong he was. Eich is out on his ear for the unpardonable sin of subscribing to a moral and political belief so mean-spirited and close-minded that it was shared by President Obama back when the fateful contribution was made. (Obama was never actually against gay marriage, but it was his public stance for awhile). Indeed, a majority of California voters endorsed Proposition 8 that year, including substantial majorities of Hispanics and African-Americans. When Eich’s private beliefs recently came to light, online petitioners demanded that he either renounce them or be fired. Think about that. “Renounce your beliefs and agree with us, or else” is not a sentence that should be uttered lightly, if ever, in a free society. Scalp collected, and message received. They didn’t even seriously allege — let alone try to prove — that Eich’s tenure as CEO would be marked by discrimination in any way. It was his mere presence that was intolerable…..
Unless, that is, you are the “right kind” of Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, observant Jew, Mormon, or Muslim, namely, the kind who believes your religious or philosophical tradition is wrong about the nature of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the view now dominant among secular elites is correct. In that case, Mozilla will consider you morally worthy to work for them. Or maybe you can work for them even if you do happen to believe (or should I say “believe”) your faith’s teaching—so long as you keep your mouth shut about it: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
You are disqualified from employment, however, if you reveal your alleged “bigotry” and “cause pain” by stating your convictions. And you are certainly disqualified if you do anything to advance the historic understanding of marriage as a conjugal union in the public square.
You can bet it’s not just Mozilla. Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy. And you can also bet that it won’t end with same-sex marriage. Next, it will be support for the pro-life cause that will be treated as moral turpitude in the same way that support for marriage is treated. Do you believe in protecting unborn babies from being slain in the womb? Why, then: “You are a misogynist. You are a hater of women. You are a bigot. We can’t have a person like you working for our company.” And there will be other political and moral issues, too, that will be treated as litmus tests for eligibility for employment. The defenestration of Eich by people at Mozilla for dissenting from the new orthodoxy on marriage is just the beginning.
Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians, Mormons, observant Jewsand others had better stand together and face down the bullies, and they had better do it now, or else they will be resigning themselves and their families to a very unhappy status in this society. A very unhappy status indeed. When tactics of intimidation succeed, their success ensures that they will be used more and more often in more and more contexts to serve more and more causes. And standing up to intimidation will become more and more difficult. And more and more costly. And more and more dangerous.
If you are a Republican, you need not speak at a university commencement or convocation. If you are a conservative Republican, you need not apply for a job, as a waiter or an CEO
All in the name of what?
So in the historical example you see Republicans being terrorized by Democrats to the point of death for thinking that a person has the freedom to vote and have freedom of thought. In the example of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich we find Democrats still terrorizing people for the freedom to vote to the point of not being able to work and make a living.
Rogan & Maher Discuss Today’s Woke Progressives — Bill Maher Just Leveled Woke Progressives With the Most Damning Comparison Ever: “They believe race is first and foremost the thing you should always see everywhere, which I find interesting because that used to be the position of the Ku Klux Klan.”
(From the above)
“I’m always trying to make the case that liberal is a different animal than ‘woke,’ because it is,” according to Maher. “You can be ‘woke,’ with all the nonsense that that now implies, but don’t say that somehow it’s an extension of liberalism because it’s most often actually an undoing of liberalism.”
The traditional liberal view of a “color-blind” society, which was held by figures such as President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a prime example, Maher said.
“That’s not what the ‘woke’ believe,” according to the comedian. “They believe race is, first-and-foremost, the thing you should always see everywhere, which I find interesting because that used to be the position of the Ku Klux Klan, that we see race first-and-foremost everywhere.”
“You can have that position, but don’t say that’s a liberal position,” he added. “You’re doing something very different.”
YEP, STILL THE SAME HIT CARD
….But It Takes Courage To Change Our Course or to confront today’s culture.
In fact, Shelby Steele said it multiple times: “we have to have moral courage” […] “moral courage is needed.” Here is Dennis Prager talking about “courage” in a clip I came across of an old YouTube upload of mine:
If this racism truly exists, is dividing more the answer?
Do they know how to confront the evil of racism in a way to change hearts and minds?
Or will they fire and impoverish financially and societally their opponents. Doesn’t this make them more likely to become isolated and desperate? And in their lies maligning people as racists who are not, do they open roads to unity? Or tear down opportunities to heal. By heal I mean to realize that many of the Left’s “labels” are in fact straw-men arguments.
The reason I asked that emboldened question above is because in putting together “how I have changed over the years” since my three felonies as part of a package of paperwork to have my felonies expunged (see my bio), I wrote down some examples of my evolution from “felon” to a “retired felon” in the shadow of the Cross. Here is a small excerpt from my rough draft.
CLARITY: In 2004 I was 13-years past my last felony conviction, accumulated around 3,500 books in my library, and was well studied in apologetic topics (I had yet to go to seminary). But in 1994 I had an “interference with a peace” officer that I never went to court for… so in 2004 at a routine traffic violation stop, the warrant popped up and I spent about 23-days in jail. While I was yet to get a master’s in theological studies (2009), this short time in jail was really my “full circle,” so-to-speak.
SMALL PART OF MY TESTIMONY ~ Coming Full Circle
1994 Trouble Settled in 2004. In 1994 I was out with friends from my high school days, and we were collectively drunk and disorderly. This was my last real run-in with the law. However, this turned into a blessing of sorts… not for me but for others. Let me explain, please.
In 2004 I was pulled over by a CHP officer for driving too long in a center area of a 4-lane thoroughfare. When the officer ran my record she found I was driving on a suspended license as well as having a 10-year old warrant. Mind you, by this time I was knee deep in church, working, raising kids, and I had a large library and knowledge of various topics by then. This officer was kind enough to allow my wife to come and grab our car before taking me in. I spent close to 20-days in detention. (This was the catalyst to deal with my old issues – license and a warrant I had forgotten all about.)
It was my short time in jail that I will never forget.
“El Oso Negro”. My 1st stay was in a small dorm at the end of a cell block, floor 4 if I recall, in Central Jail. It was days before Easter, I had already talked to the Chaplain and had a Bible. There were maybe 18 people in this dorm. I was sitting on the top bunk, reading my Bible, and my bunk mate – a giant of a man from Hawaiian Gardens gang who was called “el oso negro,” black bear, on the account that he was huge [many prison yeas of working out], extremely hairy, and turned very dark when in the sun on the yard in Tehachapi prison.
He asked me why I was reading the Bible… I explained how I got there and a bit of the above info (past stints). We started talking and before you know it, we were sitting on his bunk and he said he was saved many years ago at Calvary Chapel, I asked if we could pray. While I prayed for him, he started crying like a baby – tears rolling down his cheeks, snot and all. All the other young Hispanic gang bangers were watching this “OG” open up to the active power of the Holy Spirit. When Sunday came everyone* held hands in a circle – the center two bunk beds and pillar in the middle of the circle – I prayed a blessing over these men and their loved ones, and we said the Lord’s prayer to finish. Not everyone was saved obviously just by holding hands… but maybe it sparked either a renewal of faith in some, or at least an optimism about it not garnered before. Wow.
*One young kid expressed his atheism and commitment to his gang. When I talked to him and answered his skeptical challenges, he just became angry; so, I stopped engaging to keep the dorm’s cohesiveness going. He did not join the circle.
That was not the end of this short stint however… hold on to your seat, there is more.
North @ Wayside (Pitchess). I was moved to the North Facility at Pitchess Detention Center on the account that I have a shaved head (balding) and I look like a white supremacist. (North was where they largely segregated guys that looked like me.) I talked to the Chaplain, the husband of the owner of a local Christian bookstore owner I knew and got another Bible as I had given the previous one to “The Black Bear.” (I wish I remembered his real name.)
While discussing topics with a few people inquiring about why I was reading the Bible, a young kid, skinhead looking fellow, started to engage me in some Biblical topics. During further discussion I found out he was a member of the racist cult, Christian Identity.
Your Honor, I had recently done a large study on four racist cults/movements – this being one. So I was familiar with its founders and relationship to the aberrant theology of British Israelism. Steering the conversation thus (a rough draft I keep) with the afore mentioned knowledge and the basis that he showed an interest in what the Bible had to say about our topic:
The Bible does not even use the word race in reference to people, but it does describe all human beings as being of “one blood” (Acts 17:26). This of course emphasizes that we are all related, as all humans are descendants of the first man, Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27). The Last Adam, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45) also became a descendant of Adam in His incarnation. Therefore, any descendant of Adam can be saved because our mutual relative by blood (Jesus) died and rose again. Therefore, the Gospel can (and should) be preached to all tribes and nations.
Genesis’ word for Adam means “red clay,” and out of the 200[+] flood stories from around the world from different cultures separated by seas and time and culture, almost half have the first man being created red. Also, when Moses was going to marry an Ethiopian woman, Miriam spoke out against this interracial marriage. God struck her with a disease that turned her skin ashen until she repented of this BECAUSE God blesses marriage between all ethnicities.
The young man upon me asking, said that all the authors of the New Testament had to be “Aryan,” which according to British Israelism were the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. I brought him to Philippians 3:3-8 where the Apostle Paul clearly says he is from the tribe of Benjamin. A “no-no” in these aberrant theologies.
At the end of my time in North this kid had thrown his literature (booklets) away he had gotten by mail from Richard Butler’s “organization.” I left that Bible with him as well.
Do Leftists attack real problems when given an opportunity through discussion? Or do they merely malign and label anyone who disagrees with them to keep power by their self-imposed grip of ignorance?
Watching the left attempting to undo the greatness of American medicine and dismantle the unprecedentedly powerful American economic engine built almost entirely on non-governmental entrepreneurial effort, I realize once again that the left is far better at destroying than building.
I first realized this as I watched the left — and here I sadly include the whole organized left from liberal to far left — do whatever it could to destroy one of the most wonderful organizations in American life, the Boy Scouts of America. From Democratic city governments to the New York Times and other liberal editorial pages to the most destructive organization on the left, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there has been the most concerted effort to break the Boy Scouts.
When challenged about this, fellow Americans on the left respond that this is a false accusation, that they have no desire to destroy the Boy Scouts, only to coerce the organization into accepting as scouts and scout leaders boys and men who have announced they are gay.
This is not an honest response, however, because the left is in fact doing whatever it can to destroy the Boy Scouts until the Boy Scouts change their policy on gays. The left-wing position is that if the Boy Scouts do not change a policy that has been in place since the inception of the organization, they do not deserve to exist.
Therefore it is entirely accurate to state that the left wishes to destroy the Boy Scouts as that organization now exists. No matter how much good the Boy Scouts have done and continue to do for millions of boys, for the left, all this good amounts to nothing.
For the left in this instance, as in most instances, the attitude is: Destroy the imperfect in order to build the perfect.
There is no left-wing Boy Scouts. The left knows best how to crush the non-left Boy Scouts, but it has never made a boys organization of its own….
Again, do they change the hearts and minds of those they encounter and disagree with that they believe to be racists? Or are they merely dividing along race-class-gender to hold on to POWER?
Does It “Affirm?”
Or Set Up People To Fail?
Doc Steele goes on to discuss the deleterious FX of race-based preferences in college and university “ivory tower” educational institutions. Doc Steele notes that a new battle awaits the black student walking the campus of Harvard or Yale, which is: everyone there knows you made it not by your merit but by other forces. And so, Dr. Steele notes that the black student must relitigate racial battles and prejudices created by school administrators and government interference.
Below are some audio from past posts here on my site where people make a similar point of a new category of “suspicion” of “did they really make it because they are good?” I heard Larry elder tell a story about a law firm wanting the best and brightest and going to Yale or Harvard to find new lawyers for their top-rated firm. Do you think they have a suspicion of the quality of the minority candidate?
Even if not publicly stated, I bet even black law firms hire the best from Columbia or University of Virginia rather than an affirmative action graduate from the Ivory Tower Schools.
In a short clip Dan Bongino reads from the WALL STREET JOURNAL in which he notes the following paragraph:
The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.
(Keep that WALL STREET JOURNAL article book marked in your head. I will come back to it in a bit.)
Larry Elder plays audio from now VP Joe Biden being shut down by an educated black man with facts and knowledge about the deleterious affects of race preference in education, e.g., affirmative action.
Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column.
African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.
She points to the second column.
“Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”
The last column draws gasps.
Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.
Well, what do you think it took to fight the “narrative” by these Asian students? Here are the last two paragraphs of that WSJarticle:
Thomas Espenshade, a Princeton University sociologist who has done work on race in college admissions, said the complaint was the result of long-simmering anger in the Asian-American community.
“Up until five or 10 years ago the response has been, ‘Well we just have to work harder,’ ” Mr. Espenshade said. “But over the last decade, more groups are starting to mobilize, saying we don’t have to just accept his, we can push back against it.”
Shelby Steele noted this Frederick Douglas story early in his interview (adapted, not a direct quote):
When Frederick Douglas was asked as a free man by the media “WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE NEGRO?” Frederick responded: “Do nothing with us,” Douglass suggested. Leave African Americans alone. Give them a chance to be men. “If you see him on his way to school, leave him alone; don’t disturb him,” Douglass entreated. Similarly, if you saw a Black man having dinner at a hotel, or casting a ballot, or practicing his craft, just let him be. Allow him to pursue his inalienable rights in peace. If the Black man failed, surely it would be the fault of his Maker and perhaps give lie to the universal principle of the American founding.
Shelby Steele later noted this similar thinking:
Smyth: “Let’s talk about the Supreme Court decisions to disallow race as a consideration for university admission. What are your thoughts about that? And what is your advice for diverse students seeking admission?”
Steele: “Leave me alone. Really, really, really stop it. STOP CALIBRATING AND TAKING STATISTICS AND LOOKING FOR SOME GAP AND WHETHER I FIT. Treat me exactly like law, the Constitution, requires that you treat every other citizen. I’m a citizen.”
Which brings me to another thought… how do you defeat, defeatism — AKA — fear?
How do you counter the dogma of group think?
How do you thwart attachments to a narrative by bands of people trying to separate themselves by communal group think?
Conversations is how.
A point Doc Steele made was that “individual relationships” should be a goal. I love this because it is the only way to separate yourself from group thinking. In other words, the viewpoint of a group narrative is often curated. tailored to fit an outcome. I already gave one example of conversating leading to break throughs in my Testimony above, here is another example. This second example of conversation shows what a difference a conversation can make… even in social media.
During the run-up to the 2012 election, my son was in a conversation about Romney being called a bigot due to his stance on homosexuality and abortion. I jumped in as a post of mine linked in conversation was determined to be “racist” by these young minds. In discussing the issues with two separate “yutes”, one unfriended my son, the other wanted to meet up for coffee after thoughtful discussion that included ideas found in these linked posts:
And a couple points like these from a post where my son’s friend asked a question of me; “Is Marriage Hetero“:
“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, ease of use (moldability), and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…..
“….Think of a being or animal or even an insect that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity? They thus become an entirely new organism when joined together — fulfilling what was only ‘potential’ when apart.”
We also discussed my time spent with Conservatarian gay men and women:
For some time, a few years back, I and about 10-20 gay men and women… and at times their extended family would meet monthly. All were lovers of the Constitution — what brought us together was the website GAY PATRIOT (gaypatriot . net – now defunct, sadly) and admiration of what Bruce Carroll and other gay writers boldly forged in countering current cultural trends.
Some of these people I met with and have communicated with over the years [friends] held the position that same-sex marriage should not be placed on the same level in society as heterosexual marriage, as, the family pre-dates and is the foundation for society. All, however, held that what is not clearly enumerated in the Constitution for the federal government to do should be left for the states. And thus, they would say each state has the right to define marriage themselves. Speaking out against high-court interference – as they all did about Roe v. Wade. (All were pro-life.)
As an aside, we met once-a-month at either the Sizzler in Hollywood or the Outback in Burbank, exclusively on Mondays. (All coordinated by “GayPatriotWest” – Daniel Blatt). Why? Those two CEOs gave to Mitt Romney’s campaign. And on Mondays because the L.A. City Council asked people not to eat meat on Mondays to help the planet.
A joint “hetero [me]/gay [them] ” thumb in LA City Councils eye. Lol.
I shared ideas like this that struck a nerve with him:
“If homosexuality is really genetic, we may soon be able to tell if a fetus is predisposed to homosexuality, in which case many parents might choose to abort it. Will gay rights activists continue to support abortion rights if this occurs?”
Dale A. Berryhill, The Liberal Contradiction: How Contemporary Liberalism Violates Its Own Principles and Endangers Its Own Goals (Lafayette, LA: Vital Issues Press, 1994), 172.
So why did this young man change his mind? He stuck around for tough dialogue. In other words, he showed courage. He was introduced to some reasonable, historical arguments that showed what is being considered the norm today is something brand new in human history. And he never thought of the fact that, yes, there are gays who do not support same-sex marriage. So, when he was maligning people as homophobic… he then had to draw the conclusion that he was calling gays “homophobic.” And he rightly deduced that for that to happen his argument must be skewed wrongly. This is what he eventually said:
Although I do not agree [on all your points], I retract my statement that Romney is a bigot. I feel very differently on these moral issues, but I will avoid sixhirb-ing in the future, thank you for pointing it out. Good video, but this issue hits too close to home for me to continue this discussion.
Id like to have more conversations with you in the future, it’s not often someone makes me rethink my entire approach to a topic. Caught me a bit off guard, because I usually talk circles around people. I’ve been hearing so much idiocy from people with opposing view points, that I’ve lost a bit of my receptiveness. Paul still has my vote, but thanks for opening my mind a bit more.
That is how a healthy, well-balanced exchange is supposed to happen. Information never heard before is presented, one’s ideology either blocks it at the door of the heart, or, it allows it in to be weighed and considered. Another conversation I was involved in shows how the Left distorts things and are the divisive ones who use myths to unfriend people:
What do conversations Do? They route the false edifice of communal narratives because the person is told by the group that these people are like “this,” but after you discuss weighty topics with “those people,” you come to realize just how wrong what you were told about them — was.
A woman that I sat near at the event told a story of her daughter, whose father is law enforcement as well as her uncle. She said that her daughter’s school acquaintances would talk the typical narrative about law enforcement. Which I can imagine falls somewhere in the race card arena. She is around a narrative that a communal whole ~ tries to pawn off as truth. But the daughter knows and converses with these people maligned by the narrative. So, she knows the claims she is presented with at school are false.
Likewise, if people insert themselves into conversation with “the other,” often the narrative falls apart.
Dennis Prager interviews Ken Sterns, former CEO of National Public Radio, regarding his new book, “Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right”. In all his interviews he makes the point that he hasn’t changed his mind about all his previous positions, but he has on some.
If this were a Q&A, I would have stated this followed by a question:
QUESTION TO DOC STEELE
All the above thoughts and ruminations led me to formulate some questions that if I were in Professor Smyth’s shoes I would ask. Here is one if this were a Q&A;
“A quick statement and then a question Doc Steel. Your defining of ‘white guilt’ and the genuflecting of some before a, so called, oppressed class of people reminded me of David Mamet’s book, The Secret Knowledge, where he notes that there is an idea that the victim is pure, and cannot have sinned; and that the current ‘worship-of-the-victim’ is a way of transferring their ‘sainthood’ to themselves.APPENDIXIf you wish to comment on that, that will be a bonus, however, my question is this:
“Justice Clarence Thomas has said that his generation, even though separated and kept apart by laws, had an Unum… something to bind everyone together. He noted that today’s generation have Pluribus, but what is our Unum. I know you said you do not have a solution to our ills; however, can you recommend some “Unum ideas” that a young person can equip themselves with?”
That is it. If you took the time to brave the above. God Bless You for your “moral courage.”
If you have never read David Mamet’s book, these quotes come from, it is worth the time.
Two Mamet quotes speaking to “sainthood”
One might say that the politician, the doctor, and the dramatist make their living from human misery; the doctor in attempting to alleviate it, the politician to capitalize on it, and the dramatist, to describe it.
But perhaps that is too epigrammatic.
When I was young, there was a period in American drama in which the writers strove to free themselves of the question of character.
Protagonists of their worthy plays had made no choices, but were afflicted by a condition not of their making; and this condition, homosexuality, illness, being a woman, etc., was the center of the play. As these protagonists had made no choices, they were in a state of innocence. They had not acted, so they could not have sinned.
A play is basically an exercise in the raising, lowering, and altering of expectations (such known, collectively, as the Plot); but these plays dealt not with expectations (how could they, for the state of the protagonist was not going to change?) but with sympathy.
What these audiences were witnessing was not a drama, but a troublesome human condition displayed as an attraction. This was, formerly, known as a freak show.
The subjects of these dramas were bearing burdens not of their choosing, as do we all. But misfortune, in life, we know, deserves forbearance on the part of the unafflicted. For though the display of courage in the face of adversity is worthy of all respect, the display of that respect by the unaffected is presumptuous and patronizing.
One does not gain merit from congratulating an afflicted person for his courage. One only gains entertainment.
Further, endorsement of the courage of the affliction play’s hero was not merely impertinent, but, more basically, spurious, as applause was vouchsafed not to a worthy stoic, but to an actor portraying him.
These plays were an (unfortunate) by-product of the contemporary love-of-the-victim. For a victim, as above, is pure, and cannot have sinned; and one, by endorsing him, may perhaps gain, by magic, part of his incontrovertible status.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 134-135.
There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)
The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.
We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.
But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….
….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….
….“Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immediately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….
…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro-grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a program, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the pro-prietor a bad business decision.)*
Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority contracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men. †
*No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”
† As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.
If there is indeed a social revolution under way, it shouldn’t stop with women’s choice to honor their [own] nature. It must also include a newfound respect for men. It was New York City’s firemen who dared to charge up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The death tally of New York City’s firefighters was: men 343, women 0. Can anyone honestly say you would have wanted a woman coming to your rescue on that fateful day?
Suzanne Venker & Phyllis Schlafly, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011), 181-182.
A while back Candace Owens invoked Shelby Steele in her 1st comment on George Floyd (June 5, 2020):
The fact that the early church fathers lived at the same time as these 500 [+] witnesses who saw the resurrected Christ and his ascension (believers: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Papius, Polycarp, Quadratus.) (Non-believers [some were contemporaries]: Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, Emperor Trajan, Talmudic writings [A.D. 70-200], Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Gospel of Truth, the Acts of Pontius Pilate.)
Even if we did not have the New Testament or Christian writings, we would be able to conclude from such non-Christian writings as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger that: 1) Jesus was a Jewish teacher; 2) many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; 3) he was rejected by the Jewish leaders; 4) he was crucified under Pontius Pilot in the reign of Tiberius; 5) despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by A.D. 64; 6) all kinds of people from the cities and countryside – men and women, slave and free – worshipped him as God by the beginning of the second century (100 A.D.)
Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, eds, Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 221-222
Hostile Non-Biblical Pagan Witnesses There are a number of ancient classical accounts of Jesus from pagan Greek sources. These accounts are generally hostile to Christianity and try to explain away the miraculous nature of Jesus and the events that surrounded his life. Let’s look at these hostile accounts and see what they tell us about Jesus:
Thallus (52AD) Thallus is perhaps the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus and he is so ancient that his writings don’t even exist anymore. But Julius Africanus, writing around 221AD does quote Thallus who had previously tried to explain away the darkness that occurred at the point of Jesus’ crucifixion:
“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)
If only more of Thallus’ record could be found, we would see that every aspect of Jesus’ life could be verified with a non-biblical source. But there are some things we can conclude from this account: Jesus lived, he was crucified, and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of his crucifixion.
Pliny the Younger (61-113AD) Early Christians are also described in secular history. Pliny the Younger, in a letter to the Roman emperor Trajan, describes the lifestyles of early Christians:
“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”
This EARLY description of the first Christians documents several facts: the first Christians believed that Jesus was GOD, the first Christians upheld a high moral code, and these early followers et regularly to worship Jesus.
Suetonius (69-140AD) Suetonius was a Roman historian and annalist of the Imperial House under the Emperor Hadrian. His writings about Christians describe their treatment under the Emperor Claudius (41-54AD):
“Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (Christ), he (Claudius) expelled them from the city (Rome).” (Life of Claudius, 25:4)
This expulsion took place in 49AD, and in another work, Suetonius wrote about the fire which destroyed Rome in 64 A.D. under the reign of Nero. Nero blamed the Christians for this fire and he punished Christians severely as a result:
“Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a sect given to a new and mischievous religious belief.” (Lives of the Caesars, 26.2)
There is much we can learn from Suetonius as it is related to the life of early Christians. From this very EARLY account, we know that Jesus had an immediate impact on his followers. They believed that Jesus was God enough to withstand the torment and punishment of the Roman Empire. Jesus had a curious and immediate impact on his followers, empowering them to die courageously for what they knew to be true.
Tacitus (56-120AD) Cornelius Tacitus was known for his analysis and examination of historical documents and is among the most trusted of ancient historians. He was a senator under Emperor Vespasian and was also proconsul of Asia. In his “Annals’ of 116AD, he describes Emperor Nero’s response to the great fire in Rome and Nero’s claim that the Christians were to blame:
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
In this account, Tacitus confirms for us that Jesus lived in Judea, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and had followers who were persecuted for their faith in Christ.
Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD) Sometime after 70AD, a Syrian philosopher named Mara Bar-Serapion, writing to encourage his son, compared the life and persecution of Jesus with that of other philosophers who were persecuted for their ideas. The fact that Jesus is known to be a real person with this kind of influence is important. As a matter of fact, Mara Bar-Serapion refers to Jesus as the “Wise King”:
“What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras? In one moment their country was covered with sand. Or the Jews by murdering their wise king?…After that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these men…The wise king…Lived on in the teachings he enacted.”
From this account, we can add to our understanding of Jesus. We can conclude that Jesus was a wise and influential man who died for his beliefs. We can also conclude that his followers adopted these beliefs and lived lives that reflected them to the world in which they lived.
Phlegon (80-140AD) In a manner similar to Thallus, Julius Africanus also mentions a historian named Phlegon who wrote a chronicle of history around 140AD. In this history, Phlegon also mentions the darkness surrounding the crucifixion in an effort to explain it:
“Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth to the ninth hour.” (Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)
Phlegon is also mentioned by Origen (an early church theologian and scholar, born in Alexandria):
“Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events . . . but also testified that the result corresponded to His predictions.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 14)
“And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place … ” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 33)
“Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 59)
From these accounts, we can add something to our understand of Jesus and conclude that Jesus had the ability to accurately predict the future, was crucified under the reign of Tiberius Caesar and demonstrated his wounds after he was resurrected!
Lucian of Samosata: (115-200 A.D.) Lucian was a Greek satirist who spoke sarcastically of Christ and Christians, but in the process, he did affirm that they were real people and never referred to them as fictional characters:
“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account….You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.” (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine. 11-13)
From this account we can add to our description and conclude that Jesus taught about repentance and about the family of God. These teachings were quickly adopted by Jesus’ followers and exhibited to the world around them.
Celsus (175AD) This is the last hostile ‘pagan’ account we will examine (although there are many other later accounts in history). Celsus was quite hostile to the Gospels, but in his criticism, he unknowingly affirms and reinforces the authors and their content. His writing is extensive and he alludes to 80 different Biblical quotes, confirming their early appearance in history. In addition, he admits that the miracles of Jesus were generally believed in the early 2nd century! Here is a portion of his text:
“Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.”
Celsus admits that Jesus was reportedly born of a virgin, but then argues that this could supernatural account could not be possible and offers the idea that he was a bastard son of a man named Panthera (an idea borrowed from Jews who opposed Jesus at the time). But in writing this account, Celsus does confirm that Jesus had an earthly father who was a carpenter, possessed unusual magical powers and claimed to be God.
Hostile Non-Biblical Jewish Witnesses In addition to classical ‘pagan’ sources that chronicle the life of Jesus and his followers, there are also a number of ancient hostile Jewish sources that talk about Jesus. These are written by Jewish theologians, historians and leaders who were definitely NOT sympathetic to the Christian cause. Their writings are often VERY harsh, critical and even demeaning to Jesus. But there is still much that these writings confirm.
Josephus (37-101AD) In more detail than any other non-biblical historian, Josephus writes about Jesus in his “the Antiquities of the Jews” in 93AD. Josephus was born just four years after the crucifixion. He was a consultant for Jewish rabbis at age thirteen, was a Galilean military commander by the age of sixteen, and he was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Under the rule of roman emperor Vespasian, Josephus was allowed to write a history of the Jews. This history includes three passages about Christians, one in which he describes the death of John the Baptist, one in which he mentions the execution of James and describes him as the brother of Jesus the Christ, and a final passage which describes Jesus as a wise man and the messiah. Now there is much controversy about the writing of Josephus, because the first discoveries of his writings are late enough to have been re-written by Christians, who are accused of making additions to the text. So to be fair, let’s take a look at a scholarly reconstruction that has removed all the possible Christian influence from the text related to Jesus:
“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (doing so). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared” (This neutral reconstruction follows closely the one proposed in the latest treatment by John Meier, Marginal Jew 1:61)
Now there are many other ancient versions of Josephus’ writing which are even more explicit about the nature of his miracles, his life and his status as the Christ, but let’s take this conservative version and see what we can learn. From this text, we can conclude that Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher, worked amazing deeds, was accused buy the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called Christians!
Jewish Talmud (400-700AD) While the earliest Talmudic writings of Jewish Rabbis appear in the 5th century, the tradition of these Rabbinic authors indicates that they are faithfully transmitting teachings from the early “Tannaitic” period of the first century BC to the second century AD. There are a number of writings from the Talmud that scholars believe refer to Jesus and many of these writings are said to use code words to describe Jesus (such as “Balaam” or “Ben Stada” or “a certain one”). But let’s be very conservative here. Let’s ONLY look at the passages that refer to Jesus in a more direct way. If we do that, there are still several ancient Talmudic passages we can examine:
“Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray” (b. Sanhedrin 43a; cf. t. Shabbat 11.15; b. Shabbat 104b)
“Rabbi Hisda (d. 309) said that Rabbi Jeremiah bar Abba said, ‘What is that which is written, ‘No evil will befall you, nor shall any plague come near your house’? (Psalm 91:10)… ‘No evil will befall you’ (means) that evil dreams and evil thoughts will not tempt you; ‘nor shall any plague come near your house’ (means) that you will not have a son or a disciple who burns his food like Jesus of Nazareth.” (b. Sanhedrin 103a; cf. b. Berakhot 17b)
“Our rabbis have taught that Jesus had five disciples: Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. They brought Matthai to (to trial). He said, ‘Must Matthai be killed? For it is written, ‘When (mathai) shall I come and appear before God?’” (Psalm 92:2) They said to him, “Yes Matthai must be killed, for it is written, ‘When (mathai) he dies his name will perish’” (Psalm 41:5). They brought Nakai. He said to them, “Must Nakai be killed? For it is written, “The innocent (naqi) and the righteous will not slay’” (Exodus 23:7). They said to him, “Yes, Nakai must be kille, for it is written, ‘In secret places he slays the innocent (naqi)’” (Psalm 10:8). (b. Sanhedrin 43a; the passage continues in a similar way for Nezer, Buni and Todah)
And this, perhaps the most famous of Talmudic passages about Jesus:
“It was taught: On the day before the Passover they hanged Jesus. A herald went before him for forty days (proclaiming), “He will be stoned, because he practiced magic and enticed Israel to go astray. Let anyone who knows anything in his favor come forward and plead for him.” But nothing was found in his favor, and they hanged him on the day before the Passover. (b. Sanhedrin 43a)
From just these passages that mention Jesus by name, we can conclude that Jesus had magical powers, led the Jews away from their beliefs, had disciples who were martyred for their faith (one of whom was named Matthai), and was executed on the day before the Passover.
The Toledot Yeshu (1000AD) The Toledot Yeshu is a medieval Jewish retelling of the life of Jesus. It is completely anti-Christian, to be sure. There are many versions of these ‘retellings’, and as part of the transmitted oral and written tradition of the Jews, we can presume their original place in antiquity, dating back to the time of Jesus’ first appearance as an influential leader who was drawing Jews away from their faith in the Law. The Toledot Yeshu contains a determined effort to explain away the miracles of Jesus, and to deny the virgin birth. In some places, the text is quite vicious, but it does confirm many elements of the New Testament writings. Let’s take a look at a portion of the text (Jesus is refered to as ‘Yehoshua’):
“In the year 3671 (in Jewish reckonging, it being ca 90 B.C.) in the days of King Jannaeus, a great misfortune befell Israel, when there arose a certain disreputable man of the tribe of Judah, whose name was Joseph Pandera. He lived at Bethlehem, in Judah. Near his house dwelt a widow and her lovely and chaste daughter named Miriam. Miriam was betrothed to Yohanan, of the royal house of David, a man learned in the Torah and God-fearing. At the close of a certain Sabbath, Joseph Pandera, attractive and like a warrior in appearance, having gazed lustfully upon Miriam, knocked upon the door of her room and betrayed her by pretending that he was her betrothed husband, Yohanan. Even so, she was amazed at this improper conduct and submitted only against her will. Thereafter, when Yohanan came to her, Miriam expressed astonishment at behavior so foreign to his character. It was thus that they both came to know the crime of Joseph Pandera and the terrible mistake on the part of Miriam… Miriam gave birth to a son and named him Yehoshua, after her brother. This name later deteriorated to Yeshu (“Yeshu” is the Jewish “name” for Jesus. It means “May His Name Be Blotted Out”). On the eighth day he was circumcised. When he was old enough the lad was taken by Miriam to the house of study to be instructed in the Jewish tradition. One day Yeshu walked in front of the Sages with his head uncovered, showing shameful disrespect. At this, the discussion arose as to whether this behavior did not truly indicate that Yeshu was an illegitimate child and the son of a niddah. Moreover, the story tells that while the rabbis were discussing the Tractate Nezikin, he gave his own impudent interpretation of the law and in an ensuing debate he held that Moses could not be the greatest of the prophets if he had to receive counsel from Jethro. This led to further inquiry as to the antecedents of Yeshu, and it was discovered through Rabban Shimeon ben Shetah that he was the illegitimate son of Joseph Pandera. Miriam admitted it. After this became known, it was necessary for Yeshu to flee to Upper Galilee. After King Jannaeus, his wife Helene ruled over all Israel. In the Temple was to be found the Foundation Stone on which were engraven the letters of God’s Ineffable Name. Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished. Therefore, the Sages took measures so that no one should gain this knowledge. Lions of brass were bound to two iron pillars at the gate of the place of burnt offerings. Should anyone enter and learn the Name, when he left the lions would roar at him and immediately the valuable secret would be forgotten. Yeshu came and learned the letters of the Name; he wrote them upon the parchment which he placed in an open cut on his thigh and then drew the flesh over the parchment. As he left, the lions roared and he forgot the secret. But when he came to his house he reopened the cut in his flesh with a knife an lifted out the writing. Then he remembered and obtained the use of the letters. He gathered about himself three hundred and ten young men of Israel and accused those who spoke ill of his birth of being people who desired greatness and power for themselves. Yeshu proclaimed, “I am the Messiah; and concerning me Isaiah prophesied and said, ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’” He quoted other messianic texts, insisting, “David my ancestor prophesied concerning me: ‘The Lord said to me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.’” The insurgents with him replied that if Yeshu was the Messiah he should give them a convincing sign. They therefore, brought to him a lame man, who had never walked. Yeshu spoke over the man the letters of the Ineffable Name, and the leper was healed. Thereupon, they worshipped him as the Messiah, Son of the Highest. When word of these happenings came to Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin decided to bring about the capture of Yeshu. They sent messengers, Annanui and Ahaziah, who, pretending to be his disciples, said that they brought him an invitation from the leaders of Jerusalem to visit them. Yeshu consented on condition the members of the Sanhedrin receive him as a lord. He started out toward Jerusalem and, arriving at Knob, acquired an ass on which he rode into Jerusalem, as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah. The Sages bound him and led him before Queen Helene, with the accusation: “This man is a sorcerer and entices everyone.” Yeshu replied, “The prophets long ago prophesied my coming: ‘And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,’ and I am he; but as for them, Scripture says ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.’” Queen Helene asked the Sages: “What he says, is it in your Torah?” They replied: “It is in our Torah, but it is not applicable to him, for it is in Scripture: ‘And that prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.’ He has not fulfilled the signs and conditions of the Messiah.” Yeshu spoke up: “Madam, I am the Messiah and I revive the dead.” A dead body was brought in; he pronounced the letters of the Ineffable Name and the corpse came to life. The Queen was greatly moved and said: “This is a true sign.” She reprimanded the Sages and sent them humiliated from her presence. Yeshu’s dissident followers increased and there was controversy in Israel. Yeshu went to Upper Galilee. the Sages came before the Queen, complaining that Yeshu practiced sorcery and was leading everyone astray. Therefore she sent Annanui and Ahaziah to fetch him. The found him in Upper Galilee, proclaiming himself the Son of God. When they tried to take him there was a struggle, but Yeshu said to the men of Upper Galilee: “Wage no battle.” He would prove himself by the power which came to him from his Father in heaven. He spoke the Ineffable Name over the birds of clay and they flew into the air. He spoke the same letters over a millstone that had been placed upon the waters. He sat in it and it floated like a boat. When they saw this the people marveled. At the behest of Yeshu, the emissaries departed and reported these wonders to the Queen. She trembled with astonishment. Then the Sages selected a man named Judah Iskarioto and brought him to the Sanctuary where he learned the letters of the Ineffable Name as Yeshu had done. When Yeshu was summoned before the queen, this time there were present also the Sages and Judah Iskarioto. Yeshu said: “It is spoken of me, ‘I will ascend into heaven.’” He lifted his arms like the wings of an eagle and he flew between heaven and earth, to the amazement of everyone…Yeshu was seized. His head was covered with a garment and he was smitten with pomegranate staves; but he could do nothing, for he no longer had the Ineffable Name. Yeshu was taken prisoner to the synagogue of Tiberias, and they bound him to a pillar. To allay his thirst they gave him vinegar to drink. On his head they set a crown of thorns. There was strife and wrangling between the elders and the unrestrained followers of Yeshu, as a result of which the followers escaped with Yeshu to the region of Antioch; there Yeshu remained until the eve of the Passover. Yeshu then resolved to go the Temple to acquire again the secret of the Name. That year the Passover came on a Sabbath day. On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu, accompanied by his disciples, came to Jerusalem riding upon an ass. Many bowed down before him. He entered the Temple with his three hundred and ten followers. One of them, Judah Iskarioto apprised the Sages that Yeshu was to be found in the Temple, that the disciples had taken a vow by the Ten Commandments not to reveal his identity but that he would point him out by bowing to him. So it was done and Yeshu was seized. Asked his name, he replied to the question by several times giving the names Mattai, Nakki, Buni, Netzer, each time with a verse quoted by him and a counter-verse by the Sages. Yeshu was put to death on the sixth hour on the eve of the Passover and of the Sabbath. When they tried to hang him on a tree it broke, for when he had possessed the power he had pronounced by the Ineffable Name that no tree should hold him. He had failed to pronounce the prohibition over the carob-stalk, for it was a plant more than a tree, and on it he was hanged until the hour for afternoon prayer, for it is written in Scripture, “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree.” They buried him outside the city. On the first day of the week his bold followers came to Queen Helene with the report that he who was slain was truly the Messiah and that he was not in his grave; he had ascended to heaven as he prophesied. Diligent search was made and he was not found in the grave where he had been buried. A gardener had taken him from the grave and had brought him into his garden and buried him in the sand over which the waters flowed into the garden. Queen Helene demanded, on threat of a severe penalty, that the body of Yeshu be shown to her within a period of three days. There was a great distress. When the keeper of the garden saw Rabbi Tanhuma walking in the field and lamenting over the ultimatum of the Queen, the gardener related what he had done, in order that Yeshu’s followers should not steal the body and then claim that he had ascended into heaven. The Sages removed the body, tied it to the tail of a horse and transported it to the Queen, with the words, “This is Yeshu who is said to have ascended to heaven.” Realizing that Yeshu was a false prophet who enticed the people and led them astray, she mocked the followers but praised the Sages.
Now in spite of the fact that the ancient Jews who wrote this did their best to argue for another interpretation of the Life of Jesus, they did make several claims here about Jesus. This passage, along with several others from the Toledot tradition, confirms that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, healed the lame, said that Isaiah foretold of his life, was worshipped as God, arrested by the Jews, beaten with rods, given vinegar to drink, wore a crown of thorns, rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, was betrayed by a man named Judah Iskarioto, and had followers who claimed he was resurrected and ascended, leaving an empty tomb!
UPDATE via FACEBOOK
Here are some pictures via a Facebook Group (HERE):
“Either something is good (holy) because God commands it or else God commands something because it is good.”
If you saysomething is good because God commands it, this makes right and wrong arbitrary; In other words, God could have commanded that acts of hatred, brutality, cruelty, and so on be good. Making God Himself arbitrary and the commands His followers follow arbitrary as well.
If God commands something because it is good, then good is independent of God. Thus, morality can’t claim to be based on God’s commands (and God Himself is bound by something “outside” Himself — nullifying the theists claim of omnipotence and omniscience.
…At first it seems like we’re stuck. Except, as mentioned earlier, this dilemma has been resolved for centuries: God is good. He is the source of goodness. He is the moral standard. His commands are not arbitrary, nor do they come from some standard external to him. They are good because they flow from his innate goodness. Dilemma averted.
Euthyphro is dead.
Now I know this doesn’t settle the issue of God’s goodness. Since this article is only intended to discuss the Euthyphro dilemma, I’ll just briefly touch on two related objections:
1 – God is not good. This is typically in response to an action or command from God in the Old Testament. And I agree that there are some things that are hard to understand and need to be discussed. But generally speaking, if we question God’s goodness, what are we judging him against? Our own moral standard? Then it’s our opinion against God’s and, if he truly exists, I’m going to trust his judgment over any finite, fallible human’s.
2 – How do we know that God is good? This question completely misses the point of Euthyphro’s resolution: God is the standard of goodness. There is nothing to compare him against or judge him by. But let’s suppose there does exist some higher moral standard. By applying this objection’s logic, we should ask “How do we know that this standard is good?” See the problem? You’re forever asking “How do we know?” to any moral standard. But if there is an objective moral standard, that is the standard by which morality is measured. It simply is good.
The best you can do is try to find some kind of inconsistency in God’s moral character. But then you can still only judge him against himself, which would point you back to objection 1. And even if you feel that one (or both) of these objections has not been resolved, my broader point is that the Euthyphro dilemma fails as a dilemma since there’s a third possible option, whether you like it or not. Thus, it’s an invalid argument.
Euthyphro is dead.
Why do skeptics keep digging him up? You may as well as ask why zombies keeps coming back. Because they do. That’s what makes them zombies. Bad arguments will always come back into fashion. But you need to see Euthyphro for what he is: a dead, defeated argument. Yet unlike zombies from TV shows and movies, he has no bite. He doesn’t even have teeth. His dilemma has been resolved for centuries….
The Euthyphro dilemma comes from Plato’s Euthyphro dialogue, which has had different forms over the centuries. Basically, it is “Are moral acts willed by God because they are good, or are they good because they are willed by God?” Another way of saying it is, does God say that things are moral because they are by nature moral, or do they become moral because God declares them to be?
The dilemma is that if the acts are morally good because they are good by nature, then they are independent of God and morality somehow exists apart from God. These acts would already be good in themselves, and God would have to appeal to them to “find out” what is good. Of course, This raises questions on how moral absolutes can exist as independent abstract entities apart from a divine being. On the other hand, if something is good because God commands that it is good, then goodness is arbitrary, and God could have called murder, good, and honesty not good. The problem here is that it means God could also be a tyrant if he so chose to be. But, he chooses to be nice.
Responding to the Euthyphro Dilemma
The Euthyphro dilemma is actually a false dichotomy. That is, it proposes only two options when another is possible. The third option is that good is based on God’s nature. God appeals to nothing other than his own character for the standard of what is good and then reveals what is good to us. It is wrong to lie because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), not because God had to discover lying was wrong or that he arbitrarily declared it to be wrong. This means that God does not declare something to be good (ignoring his own nature) or say that something is good by nature (recognizing a standard outside of himself). Both of these situations ignore the biblical option that good is a revelation of God’s nature. In other words, God is the standard of what is good. He is good by nature, and he reveals his nature to us. Therefore, for the Christian, there is no dilemma since neither position in Euthyphro’s dilemma represents Christian theology.
In a sense, this is a philosophical statement considering the time and place they were:
in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began [Greek: before times eternal] (ESV)
in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. (HCSB)
This faith and knowledge make us sure that we have eternal life. God promised that life to us before time began—and God does not lie. (ERV)
My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! (MSG)
Here, Frank Turek and Hank Hanegraaff discuss the issue in under 4-minutes:
Hank is holding Frank’s Book at a certain page[s]… I will reproduce the sections prior to, as well as the section from his book on the Euthyphro Argument in the APPENDIX.
STAND TO REASON
There are “two horns” to the dilemma presented, but much like Plato does, we will split the horns with a third option and show that the two choices are false because there is a third viable option (the site where I grabbed this originally is gone, therefore, so is the link. STAND TO REASON has a good post that stands in as a supplemental link):
SPLITTING EUTHYPHRO’S HORNS
If a dilemma with limited choices is presented, you should always consider that these choices may not be your only options. Euthyphro’s case is a prime example. There is a third alternative… and who knows?, there could be others that no one has come up with yet, but Christianity teaches this third alternative for the basis of morality:
God wills something because He is good.
What does this mean? It means that the nature of God is the standard of goodness. God’s nature is just the way God is. He doesn’t ‘will’ Himself to be good, and kind, and just, and holy… He just is these things. His commandments to us are an expression of that nature, so our moral duties stem from the commands of a God who IS good… and loving… and just… not a God who arbitrarily decides that he will command something on a whim, but gives commandments that stem from His unchanging character.
If God’s character defines what is good. His commands must reflect His moral nature.
The Euthyphro dilemma is a false one because there is at least one other choice that splits the horns of the dilemma. This option, taught as part of the Christian doctrine of who God is, is perfectly consistent with the concept that God must exist for objective morality to exist in our world.
Plato came up with his own third option… that moral values simply exist on their own. No need for God. Later Christian thinkers equated this to God’s moral nature, like we just discussed. However, some argue that God is not necessary; that goodness and justice, etc. can exist on their own… this idea is often referred to as Atheistic Moral Platonism…. [see STAND TO REASON about “atheistic moral Platonism”]
There are four possible relations between religion and morality, God and goodness.
Religion and morality may be thought to be independent. Kierkegaard’s sharp contrast between “the ethical” and “the religious,” especially in Fear and Trembling, may lead to such a supposition. But (a) an amoral God, indifferent to morality, would not be a wholly good God, for one of the primary meanings of “good” involves the “moral”—just, loving, wise, righteous, holy, kind. And (b) such a morality, not having any connection with God, the Absolute Being, would not have absolute reality behind it.
God may be thought of as the inventor of morality, as he is the inventor of birds. The moral law is often thought of as simply a product of God’s choice. This is the Divine Command Theory: a thing is good only because God commands it and evil because he forbids it. If that is all, however, we have a serious problem: God and his morality are arbitrary and based on mere power. If God commanded us to kill innocent people, that would become good, since good here means “whatever God commands.” The Divine Command Theory reduces morality to power. Socrates refuted the Divine Command Theory pretty conclusively in Plato’s Euthyphro. He asked Euthyphro, “Is a thing pious because the gods will it, or do the gods will it because it is pious?” He refuted the first alternative, and thought he was left with the second as the only alternative.
But the idea that God commands a thing because it is good is also unacceptable, because it makes God conform to a law higher than himself, a law that overarches God and humanity alike. The God of the Bible is no more separated from moral goodness by being under it than he is by being over it. He no more obeys a higher law that binds him, than he creates the law as an artifact that could change and could well have been different, like a planet.
The only rationally acceptable answer to the question of the relation between God and morality is the biblical one: morality is based on God’s eternal nature. That is why morality is essentially unchangeable. “I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44). Our obligation to be just, kind, honest, loving and righteous “goes all the way up” to ultimate reality, to the eternal nature of God, to what God is. That is why morality has absolute and unchangeable binding force on our conscience.
The only other possible sources of moral obligation are:
a. My ideals, purposes, aspirations, and desires, something created by my mind or will, like the rules of baseball. This utterly fails to account for why it is always wrong to disobey or change the rules. b. My moral will itself. Some read Kant this way: I impose morality on myself. But how can the one bound and the one who binds be the same? If the locksmith locks himself in a room, he is not really locked in, for he can also unlock himself. c. Another human being may be thought to be the one who imposes morality on me—my parents, for example. But this fails to account for its binding character. If your father commands you to deal drugs, your moral obligation is to disobey him. No human being can have absolute authority over another. d. “Society” is a popular answer to the question of the origin of morality “this or that specific person” is a very unpopular answer. Yet the two are the same. “Society” only means more individuals. What right do they have to legislate morality to me? Quantity cannot yield quality; adding numbers cannot change the rules of a relative game to the rightful absolute demands of conscience. e. The universe, evolution, natural selection and survival all fare even worse as explanations for morality. You cannot get more out of less. The principle of causality is violated here. How could the primordial slime pools gurgle up the Sermon on the Mount?
Atheists often claim that Christians make a category mistake in using God to explain nature; they say it is like the Greeks using Zeus to explain lightning. In fact, lightning should be explained on its own level, as a material, natural, scientific phenomenon. The same with morality. Why bring in God?
Because morality is more like Zeus than like lightning. Morality exists only on the level of persons, spirits, souls, minds, wills—not mere molecules. You can make correlations between moral obligations and persons (e.g., persons should love other persons), but you cannot make any correlations between morality and molecules. No one has even tried to explain the difference between good and evil in terms, for example, of the difference between heavy and light atoms.
So it is really the atheist who makes the same category mistake as the ancient pagan who explained lightning by the will of Zeus. The atheist uses a merely material thing to explain a spiritual thing. That is a far sillier version of the category mistake than the one the ancients made; for it is possible that the greater (Zeus, spirit) caused the lesser (lightning) and explains it; but it is not possible that the lesser (molecules) adequately caused and explains the greater (morality). A good will might create molecules, but how could molecules create a good will? How can electricity obligate me? Only a good will can demand a good will; only Love can demand love.
While Plato was dealing with polytheism and a form of monism, this argument as dealt with herein is response to the challenges presented to theism. However, his use of a third option is what we present here as well… making this dilemma mute. What was Plato’s solution?
“You split the horns” of the dilemma by formulating a third alternative, namely, God is the good. The good is the moral nature of God Himself. That is to say, God is necessarily holy, loving, kind, just, and so on. These attributes of God comprise the good. God’s moral character expresses itself toward us in the form of certain commandments, which became for us our moral duties. Hence, God’s commandments are not arbitrary but necessarily flow from His own nature. (BE THINKING quoting Dr. Craig)
They [“the Good”] are the necessary expression [“commands”] of the way God “is” — RPT.
One of the most important notes to mention is that once there is a third alternative, there is no longer a dilemma.
TRUE FREE THINKER
Ken Ammi of True Free Thinker deals with the many aspects of this supposed dilemma. He does an excellent job of doing this. However, zero in on the section from the 2:40 mark to the 3:45 mark (the same idea is brought up in the 6:55 through 9:55 mark of the Craig response — Craig”s audio follows Mario’s). Ken Ammi does a bang-up job below (Ammi’s article being read by someone else):
The next few paragraphs my editor wanted me to take out. He said it repeats too much from above. He’s right to a certain extent. But it can’t be left out because many atheists I meet think I’m making an argument that I’m not making. (It’s probably my fault.) So let me spell it out as explicitly as I can.
I am not saying that you have to believe in God to be a good person or that atheists like David Silverman are immoral people.
David seems like a very nice man. And some atheists live more moral lives than many Christians.
I am also not saying that atheists don’t know morality or that you need the Bible to know basic right and wrong. Everyone knows basic right and wrong whether they believe in God or have the Bible or not. In fact, that’s exactly what the Bible teaches (see Romans 2:14-15).9
What I am saying is that atheists can’t justify morality. They can act morally and judge some actions as being moral and others immoral (as David Silverman does). But they can provide no objective basis for those judgments. Whether it’s the Holocaust, raping and murdering children, eating children, aborting children, or who adopts children, atheists have no objective standard by which to judge any of it.
Let me go out on a limb and suggest that if your worldview requires you to believe that raping children, murdering children, eating children, and slaughtering six million innocent people is just a matter of opinion, then you have the wrong worldview.
No Book Without an Author—No Morality Without God
Unlike David Silverman, Sam Harris is a new atheist who believes in objective morality. In his book, The Moral Landscape, Harris maintains that objective morality is related to “the well-being of conscious creatures,” and that science can help us determine what brings “well-being” to conscious creatures.
What’s objectionable about that thesis? Well-being is usually associated with moral choices (although not always). And science may help us discover what actually helps bring about well-being. The problem with Harris’s approach is that he is addressing the wrong question.
The question is not what method should we use to discover what is moral, but what actually makes something moral? Why does a moral law exist at all, and why does it have authority over us?
The Moral Landscape gives us no answer. It’s a nearly three-hundred-page-long example of the most common mistake made by those who think objective morality can exist without God. Harris seems to think that because we can know objective morality (epistemology), that explains why objective morality exists in the first place (ontology).
You may come to know about objective morality in many different ways: from parents, teachers, society, your conscience, etc. (Harris talks about brain states.) And you can know it while denying God exists. But that’s like saying you can know what a book says while denying there’s an author. Of course you can do that, but there would be no book to know unless there was an author! In other words, atheists can know objective morality while denying God exists, but there would be no objective morality unless God exists.
Science might be able to tell you if an action may hurt someone—like if giving a man cyanide will kill him—but science can’t tell you whether or not you ought to hurt someone. Who said it’s wrong to harm people? Sam Harris? Does he have authority over the rest of humanity? Is his nature the standard of Good?
To get his system to work, Sam Harris must smuggle in what he claims is an objective moral standard: “well-being.” As William Lane Craig pointed out in his debate with Harris, that’s not a fail-safe criterion of what’s right. But even if it was, what objective, unchanging, moral authority establishes it as right? It can’t be Sam Harris or any other finite, changing person. Only an unchanging authoritative being, who can prescribe and enforce objective morality here and beyond the grave, is an adequate standard. Only God can ground Justice and ensure that Justice is ultimately done.
Can’t Evolution Explain Morality?
We’ve already seen that an atheistic worldview can’t account for objective morality, as even Richard Dawkins once admitted. He wrote, “It’s pretty hard to get objective morality without religion.” Yet some atheists persist in claiming that evolution somehow gives us objective morality to help us survive—that if we didn’t “cooperate” with one another, we wouldn’t survive. But this argument doesn’t survive for several reasons.
First, trying to explain morality by biology is a massive category mistake. A category mistake is when you treat something in one category as if it belongs in another category. Questions like those posed earlier do that: “‘What is the chemical composition of justice?” or “What does courage taste like?” Justice and courage do not have chemicals or flavor, so the questions commit category mistakes.
The same is true when atheists try to explain moral laws by biological processes. Morality and biology are in different categories. You can’t explain an immaterial moral law by a material biological process. Justice is not made of molecules. Furthermore, moral laws are prescriptive and come from authoritative personal agents. Biological processes are descriptive and have no authority to tell you what to do. How could a mutating genetic code have the moral authority to tell you how you ought to behave?
Second, biological processes can’t make survival a moral right. There is no real “good” or purpose to evolution. Without God, survival is a subjective preference of the creature wanting to survive, but not an objective moral good or right. Biology describes what does survive, not what ought to survive. Why should humans survive as opposed to anything else? And which humans, we or the Nazis?
If one could make the case that survival is somehow a right, then should a person rape to propagate his DNA? Should a person murder if it helps him survive? Should a society murder the weak and undesirables to improve the gene pool and help the desirables survive? Hitler used evolutionary theory to justify just that.
You can’t answer those moral questions without smuggling a moral law into the evolutionary worldview. As Sam Harris rightly puts it, “Evolution could never have foreseen the wisdom or necessity of creating stable democracies, mitigating climate change, saving other species from extinction, containing the spread of nuclear weapons, or of doing much else that is now crucial to our happiness in this century.” Indeed, evolution describes a survival-of-the-fittest outcome. It doesn’t prescribe a moral outcome. That’s why Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, to their credit, are anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality. They just don’t realize that they are stealing a moral law from God when they condemn a survival-of-the-fittest ethic.
Third, physical survival isn’t the highest moral virtue. Sacrificing yourself to save someone else, as our military heroes often do, is the highest form of morality and love—far higher than mere survival. That’s exactly what Jesus claimed and then did for us.14
Fourth, since evolution is a process of change, then morals must change. Rape and murder may one day be considered “good.” So if evolution is your guide, it’s impossible for morals to be objective and unchanging.
Fifth, the assertion that evolution gave us morality as a kind of “social contract” to enable civilization isn’t an adequate ground for objective morality. ‘What if someone violates the “contract?” Is he immoral for doing so? To judge him wrong, you would again need to appeal to an objective moral law beyond any “social contract,” like we did in order to condemn the Nazi “social contract.”
Finally, the claim that we wouldn’t survive without cooperation is a pragmatic issue, not a moral issue. And it isn’t even true. Many people survive and even prosper precisely because they don’t cooperate with other people! Criminals often prosper quite nicely. So do dictators. Atheist Joseph Stalin murdered millions more people than he cooperated with. He never got justice in this life. He died comfortably in bed at the age of seventy-four, shaking his fist at God one last time.
Atheists call murderers like Stalin, Mao, and Poi Pot, who were atheists themselves, “madmen”—as if reason alone should have led them to act morally. But those dictators were very reasonably following their atheistic belief that without God, everything is permissible. Reason is a tool by which we discover what the moral law is, but it can’t account for why the moral law exists in the first place. For the moral law to exist, God must exist. If God does not exist, then why shouldn’t Stalin and Mao have murdered to get what they wanted, especially since they knew they could get away with it? That certainly was not “unreasonable.”
From Euthyphro to Elvis
“Not so fast,” say atheists. “Even if evolution doesn’t work as the standard of morality, you can’t ground objective morality in God either. You’re forgetting about the Euthyphro dilemma.”
Euthyphro is a character in one of Plato’s writings who poses a couple of questions that either make God subject to objective morality or an arbitrary source of morality. The supposed dilemma goes like this: Does God do something because it is good (which would imply there is a standard of Good beyond God), or is it Good because God does it (which would imply that God arbitrarily makes up morality)?
But this is not an actual dilemma at all. An actual dilemma has only two opposing alternatives: A or non-A. We don’t have that here. In this situation we have A and B. Well, maybe there is a third alternative: a C. There is.
When it comes to morality, God doesn’t look up to another standard beyond Himself. If He has to look up to another standard, then He wouldn’t be God—the standard beyond Him would be God. Nor is God arbitrary. There is nothing arbitrary about an unchanging standard of Good.
The third alternative is that God’s nature is the standard. God Himself is the unchanging standard of Good. The buck has to stop somewhere, and it stops at God’s unchanging moral nature. In other words, the standard of rightness we know as the Moral Law flows from the nature of God Himself—infinite justice and infinite love.
How can God’s nature account for ultimate value? Before answering that, we need to reiterate that an atheistic worldview can’t account for the objective value of human beings. On an atheistic worldview, we’re nothing but overgrown germs that arrived here accidentally by mindless processes and thus have no ultimate purpose or significance. Life is meaningless. We are each objectively worth zero. And adding a bunch of us up into a society doesn’t create value. If you add up a bunch of zeroes, the total worth is still zero.
But on a Christian worldview, God is the ground and source of ultimate value, and He endows us with His image. Therefore, our lives have objective value, meaning, and purpose. If there is a real purpose to life—a “final cause” as Aristotle put it—then there must be a right way to live it. After all, to get to a specific destination, you can’t just go in any direction. Morality helps inform us of that direction. That means God doesn’t arbitrarily make up moral commands. He’s not an exasperated parent who justifies everything with, “Just do it because I said so!” God’s commands are consistent with His moral nature and point us to the final cause or objective goal of our lives (more on that goal later).
So the source of our lives as human beings is God, not primordial slime. And source is important. You can see the importance of source by considering the most expensive items ever sold at auction:
The most expensive lock of hair: Elvis Presley’s, $115,000.
The most expensive piece of clothing: Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, $1,267,500.
The most expensive piece of sports memorabilia: Mark McGwire’s 70th-home-run ball from 1998, $3,000,000.
People ascribed enormous value to those items not because the raw materials are that valuable—you can get hair, dresses, and baseballs for a lot less—but because of the source of each item. People or events that are deemed special are connected with those items.
The values of those items are extrinsic in that they are ascribed by whatever the buyers want to pay. But if Christianity is true, your value is intrinsic because you are connected to God. Your value is based on the worth infused into you by the source and standard of all value, God Himself.
Marinate in that for a minute: The infinite God has endowed you with immeasurable worth. The majestic heavens aren’t made in His image, but you are! That’s why you have moral rights. As Thomas Jefferson put it, “All men are created equal [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Because of God, you are inherently valuable, and always will be, no matter what you’ve done or what anyone else thinks about you. Your value is far from zero. You are literally sacred.
Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 98-106.
…and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20)
“Yet not I.” That is to say, not in mine own person, nor in mine own substance. Here he plainly showeth by what means he liveth; and he teacheth what true Christian righteousness is, namely, that righteousness whereby Christ liveth in us, and not that which is in our own person. And here Christ and my conscience must become one body, so that nothing remain in my sight but Christ crucified, and raised from the dead. But if I behold myself only, and set Christ aside, I am gone. For Christ being lost, there is no counsel nor succour, but certain desperation and destruction must follow.
The following story starts will quote first BREITBART, following it will be a portion of an article (and audio) from an NPR PIECE.
(BREITBART) National Public Radio aired a remarkable interview on Sunday’s Weekend Edition with Allan Edwards, a Presbyterian pastor who is gay, yet lives a heterosexual life. Torn between his sexuality and his faith, he chose his faith–without trying to “convert” his attraction to men, and without trying to change his religion to fit his personal preferences. The conversation between NPR’s Weekend Edition and Edwards–and his wife–sheds light on an often overlooked constituency in the debate over gay marriage.
Edwards explains that he began to realize he was attracted to men during his teenage years, at the same time he was active in his church youth movement. He realized immediately that there was a conflict between his sexuality and his faith, and tried to find a justification in the Bible for living a gay life as a Christian. He could not, he says–and so he chose to live a heterosexual life, in accordance with the teachings of his church. He does not deny his gay sexuality, but does not act on those feelings, he says.
In that way, Edwards says, he is no different than anyone else. Everyone, he says, experiences some kinds of forbidden desire, or a sense of discontentment with their lives, and they have to adjust their behavior to their values and goals. He and his wife have a sexual relationship, despite his attraction to men, and they are expecting their first child. He is reluctant to judge others, but when pressed by Montaigne, says that he believes those who try to adjust Christianity to accept same-sex marriage are “in error.”
He acknowledges that others might call his lifestyle one of suppression–one that is doomed to divorce or suicide. He disagrees, and says that his relationship with God comes before other parts of his identity, including his sexuality….
Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s attracted to men, but considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.
“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” he says. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”
Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July.
He didn’t understand how he could resolve his feelings, he says, and had little support from his friends. “I didn’t know anyone else who experienced same-sex attractions, so I didn’t talk about it much at all,” Allan says.
But at a small, Christian liberal arts college, he did start talking.
“My expectation was, if I started talking to other guys about this, I’m going to get ostracized and lambasted,” Allan says. “I actually had the exact opposite experience … I actually was received with a lot of love, grace, charity: some confusion, but openness to dialogue.”
Allan considered following a Christian denomination that accepts gay relationships, but his interpretation of the Bible wouldn’t allow it, he says.
“I studied different methods of reading the scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the scripture as divined from God,” he says. “So if Jesus is who he says he is, then we kind of have to believe what he believes.”
In other words, Christ’s claims and later His backing his claim with the Resurrection should make any one WANT to thank his/her creator by worshiping Him in obedience for the work done for each of us on Calvary. Pastor Edwards is building riches in his heavenly home in his obedience.
Wesley Hill, who is a scholar of New Testament studies and happens to be an openly gay Christian. He says the Bible makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, subjects himself to the will of the Lamb… not subjecting the Lamb to his will:
Now… I would be remiss to note as well that there are many people who once were gay, but through Christ’s redeeming power they no longer identify as homosexual. There is a play list of some testimony in this regard at Theology, Philosophy and Science’s YouTube Channel: Ex-Gay People.
The above testimonies and viewpoints add to a previous upload of mine a while back with three church leaders talking about this same-sex attraction but duty to God ~ and it is this duty to God that gives a new identity (a “new man” if you will):
The three men in the above interview (see below) have a powerful testimony to God working in their lives. They take Scripture serious and share their struggles openly and honestly in this interview by Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio for his show, “Unbelievable” (http://tinyurl.com/d2sgjrz). This interview and some other recent insights via Stand to Reason and Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, has me evolving and honing my apologetic on this more and more (See #4 of my cumulative case: http://tinyurl.com/acqhcfv).
▼ Sean Doherty is associate minister at St Francis, Dalgarno Way in London and teaches theology at St Mellitus College; ▼ Sam Allberry is associate minister at St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead; ▼ Ed Shaw is part of the leadership of Emmanuel Church, Bristol.
This is the larger interview of which I isolated Sean Doherty’s portion here.
And Savi Hensman of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Anglican blogger Peter Ould debate the issues in the interview.
Here I am adding a video by First Things, and it is a short talk about a woman who is gay but has chosen to live towards truth. While I am not a Catholic, I am an admirer of people who sacrifice for the faith:
Eve Tushnet is a lesbian and celibate Catholic freelance writer. She studied philosophy at Yale University, where she was received into the Catholic Church in 1998. She writes from D.C., and has been published in (among others) Commonweal, First Things, The National Catholic Register, National Review, and The Washington Blade. Eve blogs at Patheos.com.
(I change the links to the Scripture references from their original source.) While there are many reasons to reject the Apocrypha as on par with Scripture, the main reason is the testimony of Christ. Here for instance is an article from the BLUE LETTER BIBLE by Don Stewart (a co-author on many works with Josh McDowell) giving 27-reasons to reject the Apocrypha as equal to Scripture… the most important point being his #27:
27. JESUS’ TESTIMONY IS DEFINITIVE
It is clear that in the first century the Old Testament was complete. Jesus put His stamp of approval on the books of the Hebrew Old Testament but said nothing concerning the Apocrypha. However, He did say that the Scriptures were the authoritative Word of God and they could not be broken. Any adding to that which God has revealed is denounced in the strongest of terms. Jesus asked the religious leaders a penetrating question.
Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3).
Jesus’ And The Extent Of The Old Testament
A statement by Jesus seemingly gives His belief in the extent of the Old Testament.
Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation (Matthew 23:34-36).
He mentions Abel and Zechariah as the first and last murder messengers of God that were murdered. Abel’s murder is mentioned in Genesis while Zechariah’s was in 2 Chronicles – the last Old Testament book in the Hebrew canonical order. The fact that these two are specifically mentioned is particularly significant. There other murders of God’s messengers recorded in the Apocrypha. Jesus does not mention them. This strongly suggests He did not consider the books of the Apocrypha as part of Old Testament Scripture as with the books from Genesis to 2 Chronicles.
THERE WAS MORE TESTIMONY FROM JESUS
Jesus gave further testimony of the extent of the Old Testament canon in the day of His resurrection. He said.
How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! . . . And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:25,27).
Note Jesus’ emphasis on “all that the prophets had spoken.” Later He explained the extent of “all that the prophets had said.”
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44).
This is a reference to the threefold division of the Hebrew Scripture. They constitute “all that the prophets said.” There is no reference to the Apocrypha. It would not have been part of the threefold division of the Old Testament.
So, even if an early church father thought the Apocrypha should be included as Holy Scripture, he would be wrong (see also CARM). STAND TO REASON basis their article on the matter on this point by Jesus:
Should the Bible include the Apocrypha? Here is where I think Jesus can help. Specifically, I believe Jesus’ words lead us to the conclusion that the Apocrypha is not Scripture.
During one of His heated discussions with the Pharisees and the lawyers, Jesus says,
Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.” Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. (Luke 11:49–51)
First, notice that Jesus mentions the blood of all the prophets. He’s not talking about some of the prophets. He’s talking about the blood of all the prophets since that foundation of the world. Next, Jesus limits who He includes with “all the prophets.” He gives us some bookends for identifying these prophets. In verse 50, Jesus says, “…from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.”
Abel is the very first prophet to die for his faith. The death of Abel is recorded in Genesis—the first book of the Jewish Scriptures. Jesus also cites the death of Zechariah as the last prophet to die. However, this isn’t right. Zechariah isn’t the last prophet to die. Chronologically speaking, Uriah—the son of Shemaiah—is the last prophet killed. You can read about his death in Jeremiah 26:20–23.
So why does Jesus list Zechariah as the last prophet to die? The reason is crucial to why we shouldn’t accept the Apocrypha as Scripture. Jesus chose Abel first and Zachariah last because they were the first and last prophets martyred in the Jewish Scriptures. The Jews of Jesus’ day would have known that Zechariah’s death is recorded in Chronicles—the last book of the Jewish Scriptures. It reads,
Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 24:20–21)
Therefore, Jesus limits “all the prophets” to the Jewish Scriptures—from Genesis to Chronicles. It was the prophets contained in the Jewish Scriptures, and no others, who were responsible for communicating God’s word until the time of Christ. The author of Hebrews writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world” (Hebrews 1:1–2)….