So…yeah…about life. I have an assignment involving interviewing a non-believer (non-christian, heathen, pagan, atheist, nihilist, child of wrath etc.) about their worldview. I have a few local friends in mind, but I can’t get an episode of The Dog Whisperer out of my head. Rather than the normal format of Caesar showing up to people’s homes containing a problem-dog squatter, the episode was about Caesar going to breeders to pick out dogs upon which he would demonstrate the universality of his training method. Long story short, he surprised audiences when he picked the most docile puppies. His choices were surprising because audiences believed that the greatest evidence of his method would be the greatest turn-around in dog behavior. But Caesar, being the Dog Whisperer, knew the score and saw the opportunity to teach a greater lesson, I think.
So here, I would like to use Caesar’s thinking for this paper. Are you considering Christianity and repentance? Maybe you’ve feel like repenting but aren’t convinced how Christianity’s truth claims hold up in the intellectual world? Let me know. Email me at email@example.com and we’ll see about letting God transform your life.
For those of you who are regular church-goers, I have a quick question. Has your pastor discussed the presidential election or candidates during his/her sermons? (Mine has not.)
Follow-up: Whatever your answer, what do you think about your pastor’s decision?
The fact that it ultimately isn’t surprising is what proves that we all would have predicted it. I just can’t stop thinking about Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigrants. The idea of freedom of religion as one of the greatest achievements mankind has ever bestowed upon itself was so ingrained in me as a child that I cannot help but wonder how the country that guarantees this freedom is now fascinated by a possible presidential candidate who brings into the legal realm religion. And do not get me started on the fact that other candidates are rebuking him via their–I’m sure–personal social meeja accounts. Ooo, scary.
I wrote about this once before, but it seems timely to bring the issue back to the front. In an odd turn of events, I have had the pleasure of attending undergraduate courses in two different decades at two different colleges. Within the liberal arts departments at least, the theme of my two experiences or the ultimate goal of American universities seemed to be Holocaust prevention. Specifically, the history and social science departments spend tremendous time and energy explaining how something as horrific as the Holocaust could even occur in generally civilized society. The Stanford Prison Experiment. The Milgram Experiment. We’re taught about these social experiments which were conducted after the war ended and even then–in a controlled setting–they had to be administratively stopped because things got so out of hand. Furthermore, to illustrate just how fully these experiments permeate our culture, a movie (not the first) was released earlier this year called, ta da, The Stanford Prison Experiment about the very same thing. The professors teach these lessons under the guise that if only we prove scientifically that people are violence-prone sheep, then people are not violence-prone sheep. To me the experiments have only proven that another holocaust is very possible.
And this whole discussion illustrates the problem with the progressive/liberal/leftist worldview that dominates academia and therefore society. (Yes, I’m lumping Trump–a republican–in the group.) Philosophically, quantum-something-or-other-ly, and really, there actually only exists the present. So if you do wrong in the present, in hopes of improving the future, then you can’t escape that you are doing wrong. But Trump wants to do wrong by banning Muslims. Only for a short time, though. Until things get better. And the President wants to do wrong by stopping the sale of guns today, not because he has any evidence that this stoppage will stop gun violence today, but because maybe it will curb it in the future. The trouble is that it is wrong to make a legal decision based on religion. The trouble is that it is wrong to disarm a nation. These things are wrong. They were wrong a couple hundred years ago, they are wrong today, and they will be wrong in the future. By wrong, I don’t mean these two notions go against trending political correctness, I mean they are wrong. Just wrong. Google it if you have to. Wrong.
The conservative, on the other hand, strives to do right today. And the conservative recognizes that one measure of righteousness is its practical, predictable consequence of more righteousness. I, as a man who loves his ability to be a Christian without being a martyr, won’t support a man running for government office who wants to use religion as a legal definition because I don’t want to be around when he changes his mind regarding which religions are good and which ones are bad. I, as a veteran (which means I’ve seen first-hand how people with guns are sheep), don’t want the government to be the only one with assault/combat weapons because I can plainly see that if the government has all the guns, then the government has all the guns! My pink body explodes when shot. And given my disdain for authority, guess who gets shot first?
Even the event of the Holocaust itself was based in liberalism/progressivism. Life will be better in the future if we do this action today. How about we try “Life will be better today and in the future if we do this act today”?
Ah, but it doesn’t matter. Many of you (obviously it’s you. I know it’s not me.) love progressives. Obama, Trump, Clinton, the whole lot of them. You and I are very similar in that we don’t care about politics and don’t have time to get involved. Where you and I differ is that you are going to vote for the lesser of two evils. You are going to cast a vote under your name that will have the effect of taking one more step towards our asking, “Who would’ve thunk it?” during whatever atrocity America (that’s you and me) is bound to commit before too long if this dream of a better future holds.
Looking for a call to action? Here it is. Don’t vote for people you don’t want to hold office. That might mean not voting. Or that might mean voting for people who won’t win. Either way, we’re at the point in history where instead of admitting, “I didn’t want to waste my vote so I picked the better of the two,” we can declare, “I didn’t vote for this fool.” Not voting is voting.
Happy New Years people.
I need to write a paper for class, but motivation wanes. Instead, I’d like to share one rather intriguing factoid about Deuteronomy and how it helps us understand what we all know: The Book of Mormon is not God’s word.
In brief, the Hittites were a culture whom archaeologists and historians claim wrote treaties according to a specific format. As the name ‘treaty’ implies, these were usually documents (we might expand the term to literature) which were developed after a fight of some sort. In any case, what we now call Deuteronomy is written in the form of one of these Hittite Vassal treaties. Besides helping us date the book of Deuteronomy, this similarity also speaks to the way Christians believe God reveals himself. Don’t miss this point. Folks long ago were milling around and if they were going to write things down (create literature) one of their options was a Hittite Vassal treaty. They didn’t have blogs, or tweets, or fb posts; novels weren’t around, nor were comic books. So when Moses (likely) wrote Deuteronomy he wrote it in the style he would have known–a treaty.
Later, when the Gospels and Paul’s letters were being written, they too were written in the forms their authors would have known. Keeping in mind that none of the Bible’s authors knew that what they were writing was going to be compiled as part of “The Bible”, in a roundabout way, this strengthens the argument that the Bible deserves some time and attention before discarding it.
Then there’s the Book of Mormon. Sesame Street has the familiar, “One of these things” segment and the lesson applies here. Unlike Mr. Joseph Smith, none of the Bible’s author’s claimed to find the Bible. Sure, we can debate whether or not Moses made up the Noah’s Ark story, but it’s Moses’ story. If God wanted an American to add to the Bible’s 66 books in the 1800s, then the writings would been similar in form to, say, the U.S. Constitution, or a dime novel, or more letters, or anything else that Joseph Smith’s contemporary’s would have recognized as “normal”.
Did I just imply that I posses the power to discern how God talks? Yes. Don’t be alarmed. You do too. Who’s up for a little game?