Archives For Left

This YouTube post from Lindsay Shepherd is captioned, “I’ve come to the realisation that I am no longer a leftist. Here’s why.” It’s worth sharing because, as one commentator suggested, “it’s not so much that you’ve moved away from the Left; the Left has moved away from you.” I’m not certain that I agree, but the sentiment in that statement describes something that I think is happening to a lot of people who traditionally associated themselves as ideologically progressive.

You might remember that Lindsay was at the epicentre of outrage, when she used a video of Jordan Peterson disagreeing with transgender-ism. Lindsay, a teaching assistant, was attempting to present the opposing side of gender theory in order to open up a broader discussion of the issues.

In true, cult of modern liberalism fashion, Lindsay was brought before a tribunal and punished for doing so. What the University didn’t know at the time, was that Lindsay had secretly recorded the socialist people’s court and their charge of blasphemy against her. The rest is now well documented internet history.

Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. and the professor directly involved have since apologised. This was after Lindsay had been hit with a wave of the all too predictable harassment and abuse, from many who proudly wave Leftist flag/s.

Has the Left moved away from people who have traditionally associated themselves with the Left? It’s a fair question, and if allowed, it’s a question that needs to be asked by those who’ve invested so much into holding the front-line against enemies of the Left, both real and imagined. An offshoot of this question would be, in light of Lindsay’s experience, how much of those enemies of the Left are in fact, real and how much are in fact the product of an overly sensitive imagination.

The coming great awakening may not be as abrupt as Lindsey’s has been. If anything it’s a classic case of Plato’s Cave. The one who is set free, returns to say to those remaining, that life exists outside the chains and the cave; life isn’t the shadows they see bouncing off the walls. Life isn’t lived in the imagination; life exists in the wonder and the investigation into what (and Who) inspires the imagination. The cave dwellers are being called to a fullness of humanity; freedom from the very thing that chains them. Attempting to silence the truth of the freedman, the remaining cave dwellers reject the summons and address. They see the freedman as foolish and refuse to leave because they’ve found the truth that encounters them from outside the cave to be offensive. They are happy in their ignorance.

Sometimes waking up to the slow boiling of the pot, in which some get stuck, takes time. Sadly, more often than not, it doesn’t happen at all.

In Lindsay’s case, I’m not suggesting that she is a prophet or that she’s now a republican, conservative, “christian traditionalist” (whatever that means), who is ready to live out all the negative stereotypes applied to all three groups.

What I am saying is that the significance of this event, and the many that parallel it, such as  recent attack on Chik-Fil-A’s, ‘Christian traditionalist” (whatever that means)  ”creepy invasion of New York“, is that the genuine prophets of our age, who’ve long been lovingly calling out the tragic trajectory of the Left, in it’s post-modern manifestation, are constantly being justified.

Kudos, Lindsay:

Political correctness in its excessive form is the secular equivalent of Shari’a law. It might not have the full judicial weight of Western law behind it yet, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to manipulate the system so as to implement it.

I used to think that the only thing wrong with political correctness was the excesses that went along with it. Take the good, reject the bad. However, the more I learn from those who practice and enforce the ideals of political correctness, the more I arrive at the conclusion that political correctness is the secular version of Shari’a Law. The power base for this is the cult of modern liberalism which currently rules the Left side of politics.

Adherence to political correctness is fanatical. It’s designed to control what and how you think, making sure you comply with the laws outlined by modern liberal overseers. These overseers are most often professionals who say that they don’t believe in absolutes, but issue orders in absolute terms: “You are what we say you are, you will speak and think as we tell you to or else!” Professionals, who have, as we’ve witnessed since Trump was elected, sought to wage a jihad against conservatives and those allied with the concerns of conservatives.

Throughout the years I’ve had three personal encounters with professionals along these lines. Each encounter has given me an insight into how excessive political correctness is having a negative effect on society, trust and relationships as a whole.

The first involved a co-worker who assumed that I was being racist when I used the phrase “these kinds of people’’ in response to being hammered by telemarketers from India. Though it was clear that I was voicing frustration at telemarketers taking up work hours, (called time theft), this didn’t stop my co-worker from trying to find some hidden racism in my quick reply. He was more concerned about my phrasing and what possibly laid behind it, than he was with the complaint that wages were being spent answering unsolicited phone calls unrelated to customer service.

Over the process of an hour and a few email exchanges with management, who had now gotten involved, things were clarified and sensitivities were appeased. Even though my phrasing of “those people” meant unsolicited calls from telemarketers, and not a racist remark towards Indian people, I was, through the event, forced to be anxious about, and super-sensitive with my words.

The second incident involved a foreign-born medical professional on a routine visit. He took a disliking to the fact my wife and I homeschooled. He had no grounds for this, but took it upon himself to hound me for forty minutes about socialisation, ignorance and yes, racism. He proceeded to tell me that kids teach kids, they learn and should learn from one another. He argued that they can only learn about differences between cultures, and religions from being in the education industrial complex.

I was uncomfortably on the defensive. Although I informed him that we have a NSW board of studies representative and are registered with them, he was determined to be right; adamant that I was wrong. Although I made every effort to help him understand that our curriculum was in line with the Australian Curriculum standards, this medical professional assumed that because I was white, and a Christian, we were being prejudiced and teaching our children to not only be ignorant of the world, but to hate those who are different.

The third, most recent incident was when another medical professional lightly scolded me for using the politically incorrect term, “colour blindness”, instead of the politically correct term, “colour vision deficiency”. This professional made a point of telling me, with conviction, that the term “colour blindness” wasn’t “kosher”. Despite the terminology being widely used, it was considered offensive and insensitive for not applying the “authorised version”; the “correct” or allowable terminology.

This, however, begs the question. If I was so wrong, why does Google return 3.91 million hits under the term “colour blindness”? Why is a website, which says its aim is to raise awareness about “colour vision deficiency”, actually called “Colour Blind Awareness”?

My position here isn’t reactionary. It’s an attempt at a well-considered expositional brief of a reactionary position forced on society. I say forced, because it hasn’t arrived by way of democratic consensus, nor has it arrived by scientific reasoning and rigorous debate. It has arrived by way of emotionalism, where feelings come before facts and seeming to be doing is the only thing necessary to prove whether someone is guilty or innocent.

All of this suggests to me that people are making political correctness up as they go. They acquire a form of consensus from like-minded individuals who then punish, or ridicule into submission, those who aren’t aware of the rules. This isn’t science or logic, its law by whim of the ruler; in other words, it’s a regression back into absolute monarchy. The only difference is that the absolute divine right of kings becomes the absolute divine right of the individual, through which the individual is either deified or deifies themselves.[i]

It’s a lot like school. The law of the playground applies. One minute the sports shoe trend is Nike, the next it’s Reebok. After that it’s this band. The next day, it’s another band. Any and all who disagree are ostracised or treated as ignorant and irrelevant for not being up to date on the latest and greatest.

In other words, political correctness isn’t something that has been freely accepted and rationally agreed upon. It’s not in line with common law [ii]. The politically correct are a law unto themselves. As such, the politically correct impose new cultural laws on society, at the whim of those creating them. Everyone is assumed to have been acquainted with these new cultural laws. Anyone found to be unaware of them pays the price by being reeducated, or embarrassed in front of others. They face unnecessary hostility, or ironically, abuse, condescension and some times, insensitive correction.

Political correctness in its excessive form is the secular equivalent of shari’a law. To be outside political correctness is to be outside the religion. Those outside the cult of modern liberalism, that currently rules the Left, are considered “deporable”.  These “deplorables” are insensitively accused of insensitivity. With abuse and disrespect, they are abused and disrespected.

If one is not politically correct, (by politically correct, I mean, living in line with whatever Leftist activists say it is)[ii], then that person isn’t trendy enough to be friends with, to be included in, accepted, respected, tolerated or loved.

In fact, as has been seen since Trump was elected to the presidency in the United States, it’s considered acceptable by the politically correct to hate anyone outside of their religion. “Deplorables” are infidels. The only choices are convert, keep quiet and pay a tax, or die.

Actions speak louder than words. For as long as the politically correct preach from the political narrative of “love trumps hate”, yet continue to unreasonably hate on Trump, responsible Trump voters[iii] and anything they perceive as being a threat to their power; the lip service the politically correct give to love will remain a confusing enigma, fused with dissonance, exclusion, prejudice, deification of self, partisan politics,manipulative propaganda and logical fallacies.

“A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”
(Roger Scruton, 1994) [iv]

Notes:

[i] For more on this I recommend Jean Bethke Elsthtain’s 2008 publication, ‘Sovereignty: God, State and Self’.

[ii] ‘The goal of the common law is not social engineering but justice in the proper sense of the term, namely the punishment or rectification of unjust actions.’ (Roger Scruton summing up a point made by Friedrich Hayek. Fools, Frauds & Firebrands, 2015)

[iii] This isn’t saying that the far-right don’t do this. Historically we know they do and have done so. However, in the current socio-political climate, the Left dominate this arena with their own vile version of tyranny masked as good intentions. Such as libertarians who believe people should have the freedom to drink and drive.

[iii] By responsible Trump voters I mean those who think before they vote; the average citizen, not the far-right or alt-right.

[iv] Scruton, R. 1994 Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey Bloomsbury Publishing

Photo Credits:

Abuse of Power...’  Samantha Sophia.

Razor Wire‘, Robert Hickerson

The other day I commented on a post put up by a friend, who was applauding the increasing number of people supporting DACA “dreamers”, and gun control in the United States. In the comments section I spoke plainly, saying that abortion has to be part of this debate and that any theologian who  support people screaming, “punch a Nazi”, are hypocrites if they don’t include in their outrage, controls on the systematic slaughter of infants whilst they are still in the womb.

I did this because as has been witnessed in the latter part of this week people have taken to hashtaging their outrage with boycotts, anti-Trump hysteria and clear contempt for any American citizen who wants to keep their constitutional rights sacred. This outrage proves the need to push for a broader dialogue that includes abortion. This is because aspects of the push for gun control begin to look a lot more like one group, using the issue of guns, as a way to dominate and control the other group.

If abortion is left out of this debate, the justifiable outrage at the slaughter of children in a school, becomes a veneer for a far more sinister agenda. The control of one portion of the population by another portion, who, by their well established hostile approach to dialogue and the suppression of it, consider themselves to better than the rest.

The danger of allowing one side to dominate the debate is found in the sinless spheres each side can end up creating for themselves. When society ejects any notion of God, and His claim in Jesus Christ to us, by way of Him saving us from sin, groups within society take it upon themselves to step into the place that God has been ejected from.

Whether acted upon by those on the Right or those on the Left,  what is created is a system whereby the unifying truth in the statement that ‘all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God‘ (Rom. 3:23), becomes, ‘we declare that this group within society has fallen short of what, and who, we now say is God‘.

The sinless sphere is where one group operates as though they had no sin. They operate as though they were God, with the view to operating with the full and unhindered power of God. The reality is, however, that from within this sinless sphere, supposed sinless people encourage each other in their sin. They’re just no longer willing to recognise that sin is unique to all of humanity, including themselves.

It’s too easy then, to operate out of these toxic spheres, cutting down others, in the name of what those subsumed into these sinless spheres, now worship. This self-righteousness turns opponents into enemies of their new religion. This is one reason why I am more and more convinced that Modern Liberalism has become a cult of the Left, and that political correctness is the implementation of a secular shar’ia law. It’s another reason why I agree with the charge of heresy, criticisms of sporadic tyranny and legalism within some conservative strongholds, and its ugly existence within the history of the institutional Church. Such as the German Christian heresy of the 1930’s.

Pride is the enemy of grace. When one group takes action against another group, under the deceptive notion that it is without sin, there tyranny reigns. It is humility that wins, not virtue signalling. It is honesty and responsible vulnerability that reigns, not hiding behind closed doors until its safe to speak out, because it’s in line with the Left, who flood and therefore dominate the public realm, and cast intimidation on all who suggest anything different to their party-line.

On the issues of abortion, responsible gun ownership and responsible border control. All three need to be part of the conversation and concern of those involved in the debate. If not, the conversation becomes dominated by partisan propaganda, only done in order to achieve political advantage.

I raised this in my comment on my friend’s post. That ended, sadly, with this person falsely accusing me of doing my “usual” “grandstanding; posting to seek applause or attention”; of not sticking to the topic; of using abortion as part of a “game“ to dismiss (or distract) from any debate on immigration and gun ownership laws.

The point I was making to them was the need to discuss abortion, responsible gun ownership and responsible border control as a whole, because this draws attention to core issue. That core issue is the value of human life, who gets to determine/control that value, and who gets to determine/control when and where, human life starts and ends. Gun ownership laws are important, as is responsible border control, but abortion is by far the biggest concern among the three. This is because it involves the state sanctioned, celebrity funded, taking of a human life.

Whether society likes it or not, the ideology that underpins current attitudes towards advocacy for abortion, and both the indifferent and fanatical support it has, parallels with the Nazi doctrine of ”life unworthy of life”.

Yet, those who would scream, “punch a Nazi”, and in turn misuse anti-Nazi theologians like Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in order to fuel anti-Trump hysteria, fail to see the parallels between the abortion industrial complex’s killing of babies, and the blood soaked ground that it shares with Nazism. The very same people who would be quick, in protest, to label gun owners “baby killers”,  but fail to protest the actual conveyor belt killing of babies.

Responsible border control, gun ownership and abortion are bipartisan issues, and because of the emotional nature of the debate and the tendency for victims to be used as political footballs, all three need to be kept in the sphere of that debate.

These issues cannot be abstracted from the discussion on the value of all human life, who gets to determine/control that value; and who gets to determine/control when and where, human life starts and ends.

They are issues that need to be discussed as a whole, on the unifying basis that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God‘. It is only through the God who in Jesus Christ unifies, reconciles and inspires, that any holistic resolution can be found. The first step towards this begins with humility and the prayer, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). [i]

You’re welcome to tell me how I’m wrong in trying to keep these issues bipartisan, by not letting the usual side of politics control the debate, as they point to the speck of dust in their brother’s eye, while ignoring the plank in their own. I welcome disagreement, but I will draw a line when false accusations and personal attacks are thrown my way.


References:

[i] Also known as ‘The Jesus Prayer’.

Memes source, The Radiance Foundation.

Treating the slippery slope argument in the SSM debate as if it were a fallacy is to commit a fallacy.

It’s ridiculous to discount the slippery slope argument as reactionary, backward, uncouth and pessimistic. It is valid and has value.

Most of us who live by a monetary budget use the slippery slope approach, for instance: “if I spend ‘x’ amount on this, the consequence is that I cannot, or may not be able to afford this”.

With very few exceptions, most “Yes” voters in the SSM debate who dismiss the points made by the slippery slope argument, generally do so based on reductio ad absurdum – whereby they reduce the “no” side to the absurd; dehumanising “no” voters by way of labels and slogans ( = classic Marxism).

This goes hand in hand with employing an identity politik that somehow grants “yes” voters a divine right to make judgement on others through a doctrine which brazenly declares, that there is life not deserving of having an opinion, or the freedom to responsibly support or respectfully share that opinion. It would seem that all attempts to do so, must be policed, shouted down and violently resisted.( = classic fascism).

Emergency laws and the threat of a fine up to $12,600, only bolster this. If anyone is proven to have vilified on the basis of sexual preference, religion, or politics,  they will be potentially crushed by the weight of this law, all judged case by case by the Attorney General. Although, this emergency law is only in place for the duration of the plebiscite on Same-Sex marriage. The immediate question it raises is this, will some on the Left find exemption from this law, since some appear to have broken them already?

With all of the abuse from “yes” campaigners, it makes me wonder whether those voting “yes”, actually know what it is that they are voting “yes” to? What this, and things that have been said to me indicate, is that the culture of repudiation will bring with it a culture of silence.

I don’t see how any thinking person can vote “yes” to this, and so willingly align themselves with those who only throw abuse, instead of reasoned and respectful argument.

Some of which has been well documented. One such high-profile example includes Mothers, who, featured in a vote “no” advertisement. Since they did have been slammed, publicly insulted and threatened.

Other, more recent examples, include the poor treatment of celebrated Australian athlete Margaret Court, the questionable firing of Royal Australian Army Veteran Bernard Gaynor and the ridicule endured by Christian Democrat leader, The Rev. Fred Nile, who sought to bring together politicians to have a reasoned discussion on SSM. In response, Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Greens, posted a video on his Facebook wall, vilifying Nile as bigoted and showing Buckingham shredding Nile’s invitation.

Even I’ve coped some flak for raising questions & expressing valid reasons for why I am voting “no” to SSM. Not once in my discourse in regards to this matter, have I engaged in, or encouraged abuse, slander, homophobic rants, emotional manipulation or tried to bully people into voting the same as me.

In response some people have taken to social media, and rather than discuss the issues or answer any of the questions I have posed, they’ve decided to troll me, attacking me and my faith. I politely disengaged  when it became clear the person had never read any of what I’d written on the issue.When someone else tried to carry the conversation on in a civil way, it ended with this:

 

Contrary to popular sentiment, being a Christian doesn’t make one ignorant or blind. Faith seeks understanding. Therefore, I am open to hearing disagreement, I draw the line at mockery, reductio ad absurdum, and the cherry of picking of bible verses; the taking them out of context, to show how supposedly ignorant, unloving and unChristian I am. For good reason, this isn’t tolerated when racists do it, so why shouldn’t it be pushed back on, when members of the LGBT community or their supporters do the same?

Misusing the bible in the service of a political, or even personal, advantage is the equivalent of burning the Quran. It does violence to the text. This was the heresy committed by the puppet apparatchik, German Christians, in their pro-Nazi opposition to the Confessing Church, which stood firm against Nazism in Germany during the 1930’s.

 

 

Why are the Left so okay with practising what amounts to anti-Christian bigotry, when they wouldn’t attack a Muslim in the same way? Two very good reasons. First, they know that Christians are more likely to respond with a forgiving answer. Second, Muslims, in Australia have a close relationship with the Left. This connection was made clear when Ali Kadri from the Islamic Council, said in an interview for the ABC, “We are afraid that the LEFT may abandon us, if we speak out and express our opinion.”

Ali Kadri’s concern is that the Left will abandon Muslims to the “Right”. I acknowledge that concern. There are extreme elements who do not differentiate between Islam and Islamism; along with the fact that some of their policies appear to breach freedom of religion. Because they do, those policies require rigorous consideration, as all legislation should.

Nevertheless, if we have read the Quran and understood Shari’a Law, through countries who practice it, the SSM debate shows that our Australian Muslim neighbours should be more fearful of the Left, than the Right. The alliance between the Left and Islam surely cannot be a happy one.

It’s helpful to remember the often quoted words of German Pastor, Martin Niemoller, who was imprisoned by the Nazi’s: “First, they came for…”

All claims, in this debate, that Christians are haters or bigoted, are negated, by the very fact that the Left launches an assault on them. In addition, some advocates, like the  Van Vuuren Bros  have taken to essentially, bashing Christians with the bible, and committing the very crime they say ALL Christians are guilty of. It seems the only ignorance and hypocrisy here, although some can exist on the Christian side from time to time as well, is coming from those on the Left.

From what we’ve witnessed this week, we can be certain that any “yes” to SSM, is a diminishing, if not an outright denial of rights. It is therefore a “no” to freedom.

This makes its reverse all the more important. Not just for us, but for future generations.

Any “no” to SSM, is a “yes” to freedom, not a denial of it.

“To the good Nazi not even God stands before Hitler”. [i]

Beware the auctioneers.


References (not otherwise linked):

[i] Julien Bryan, Henry Luce & Louis de Rochermont, 1939 March Of Time 

Brave German Pastors, The Argus, Melbourne, Australia 14th August 1934 Sourced 15th May 2017 from  http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/10953135

German Pastors Sent to Concentration Camps,  The Sydney Morning Herald, 30th March 1935, Sourced 15th May 2017 from http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/17157115

gresham-1923-rl2016


Sources:

Machen. J.G. 1923 Christianity & Liberalism

Murrell, B. 2006 The Sun Sword Trilogy: Quest for the Sun Gem,  Random House (p.207)

Sin Shake Sin , 2015 Lunatics & Slaves from the Lunatics & Slaves

RadarIf the facts cannot be squeezed into a meme the level of attention those facts receive is reduced. Attention to the details is overlooked for what will best attract a view, a like, a follow or a share. Information is seen purely as a commodity.

The problem with this is that when information is seen purely as a commodity, truth is easily compromised.

We don’t need to look any further than the internet. It’s now common place to log on and find someone accusing someone else of being a Nazi. It might have reached the status of cliché, but the real concern hits gravity when you’re confronted with articles about professionals comparing others with that of the 1930s National Socialists, without qualification.

For example: a lecturer from Sydney University this week is alleged to have compared fair-minded conservative opposition to same-sex marriage, to the Nazi treatment of homosexuals. In addition, a student was reported to have been disallowed to present a case they had made linking examples of how anti-Israel sentiment can be linked to antisemitism. [source]

Historical comparisons made between present and past should be measured for accuracy. After all, on balance, responsible self-criticism leads us to ask ourselves whether or not our opponent has a point. However, measuring the accuracy of the claim doesn’t stop there. To be completely fair, the enquiry must also include the consideration of whether or not our opponents are themselves guilty of the very things they’ve accused others of.

One good practice when confronted with being likened to the Nazis is to read those who’ve read the fine print of the actual history. Those who’ve engaged with the primary sources and understand not just what the Nazis did, but how and why they did it.

It’s here that books like Thomas Doherty’s insightful and well researched 2013 book, ‘Hollywood & Hitler‘ shines:

Page 9, citing a PCA[i] report on the prohibition of the movie ‘All Quiet on The Western Front‘, Dec, 18, 1930:
“There is no doubt that this wave of intense national prejudice, which is for now going on, will continue and that any pictures, particularly foreign pictures, which offend the sensibilities of the National Socialists will be a signal for riots and demonstrations.’ [i]
Page 21: ‘Even before Goebbels laid down the law, the Nazi rhetoric on race was being implemented by pumped-up S.A. thugs and zealous party bureaucrats. From Berlin radiating outward, the iron grip tightened over all aspects of film-related culture – artists and technicians, film content and style, trade periodicals and reviewer bylines, theatre ownership and ticket buyers.’ [ii]
Page 97: ‘The Nazis, said Prince Hubertus Lowenstein [an early critic of Nazism], had annihilated all that was good in German culture.”Everything that had made for the glory of Germany has been destroyed in the past three years. The best actors and artists have been expelled. Approximately 1100 scholars and scientists have had to leave, only because they believed in freedom of art, of thought, and of religion.” Jews were forbidden to buy milk for their children, and Catholics were jailed for keeping the faith. The jackboot crushing Jews and Catholics, he predicted, was but a preview of oppressions to come. All those speaking that night urged a united front against Hitler. “We must organise to fight the Nazi invasion before Americans lose their constitutional liberties”‘[iii]

When matched against current events each of these quotes accentuate the existence of a current fundamental political reversal. With descriptions such as, intense prejudice, the iron grip, that which offends the sensibilities is a signal for riots and demonstrations; rhetoric on race by pumped-up thugs and zealous party bureaucrats.

We have to ask: is the radical Left already like the extreme Right?

It’s already suspect, when the adherents of a political platform denounce all opposition as Nazism without any real qualification. It’s already suspect when those same adherents ignore questions, make false claims and turn all fair criticism into “hate speech”. It’s already suspect when this very same ideology backs policies that undermine the humanity of the unborn, democratic debate, diversity of thought, reasoned opinion, expression and faith.

It’s already suspect when some of its most fervent adherents remain silent about the current events in Turkey, or Islamism in general, and yet continue to promote the BDS academic boycott movement against Israel. [source] It’s more than worthy of our suspicions when we only hear the sound of crickets chirping to the tune of double standards, hypocrisy, selective outrage, suppression of faith and reason, political evasion, and propaganda.

It’s ironic that:

“The response of Western academia has thus far been limited to expressions of grave concern for the fate of individual academics who have been subject to the purge.
No organized boycott effort has surfaced on any level. Mere proclamations of solidarity are supposed to suffice in the case of Turkey, while the same organizations agitate for nothing short of a blanket institutional boycott in the case of Israel.
Mind you, academic conditions in Israel are far superior to those in Turkey. Even attempts to portray Israel as hostile to academic freedom are evidence for this.” [iv]

The irony shatters all illusions of superiority. All that’s missing from the trajectory of this ideological radicalism is a figure-head with the power to influence enough people to fanatically fall in line behind them. With the upcoming election in the United States, such considerations should be weighed carefully.

Whether we like it or not, we’re being forced into categories by those who want define us, determine what we think and turn our freedoms into a carrot on a stick. The agenda isn’t about equality, it’s about dominance. The agenda isn’t about rights, it’s about power.  The agenda isn’t about progress, it’s about pride.

It’s ironic that a people’s court stands ready to condemn those who don’t align, agree or pledge allegiance to the Left. Victims who are, as a result branded as Nazis, without trial or just cause.

I’m not big on the Right/Left political metaphors in politics because throughout history, they’ve shifted. The metaphor is limited. We cannot rely on them entirely. I’m even more suspicious of these metaphors when they’re applied to theology. Theology, if it is to remain authentic theology, as Timothy Gorringe states, ‘stands as a critique of ideology.’ [v] To confess that Jesus Christ is Lord necessarily means to admit that Jesus Christ is no human pawn. Christian theology is and always will stand as a critique of all human centred strongholds that claim godlikeness; a challenge to all towers of Babylon. Modern, futuristic, ancient, primitive, material or spiritual.

‘Christianity is the protest against all the high places which human beings build for themselves’ (Karl Barth C.D IV/II p.524).

Just as bandwagon support for hashtag movements or your Facebook activity isn’t the ultimate determiner of the legitimacy of one’s Christianity, allegiance to an ideology cannot justify or earn a place before the throne of God’s grace.

While it may be too early to say for certain that history is being repeated, given the growing list of facts, it’s not an overstatement to suggest it.


Sources:

[i]  Doherty,T. 2013 Hollywood & Hitler: 1933-1939 Columbia University Press

[ii] ibid, 2013

[iii] ibid, 2013

[iv] Kupfer, T. 2016 Where Are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey? sourced 24th August 2016 from nationalreview.com

[v] Gorringe, T.J 1999 Karl Barth: Against Hegemony Christian theology in context Oxford University Press New York

Image: Courtesy of Pixabay.com, Creative Commons

mountains-768459__180Having been embedded in the online Barthian community for some time now, I’ve come to observe three tiers of online Barthian “scholarship” and engagement:

First there are those who think that they own Barth. The elitist, who knows everything, and anyone who questions their particular position on Barth, are simply “ignorant and intolerant” religious right-wingers and therefore, wrong. The message carried being: “after all, you’re a peasant who couldn’t possibly understand Barth, let alone what I’ve actually written about Barth. Besides, my ivy league credentials, well-established, tenured academic life, and level of social media influence over-rules yours.”

The second tier supports tier one. The Barthian scholarship fanbois. Giving approval, and whipping up support to the labelling, in order to use it to further their own Left-wing preconceptions and prejudices. Most recently seen in the recent rise in anti-trumpism (or to borrow from left-wing phobic labelling lingo, “Trumpophobia”) within the Barthian theoblogosphere.

The general argument, if not spoken loudly, quietly inferred:“Barth was a leftist [he wasn’t]. He would have considered Trump to be like Hitler and anyone who supported him, a Nazi” – any Christian who doesn’t agree with this assessment is a “German christian”, and is to be brought to judgement before the people’s court of tier one.

Those who question the fanbois silence about what Barth would say about Clinton, or the direction, behaviour and politics of the Democrats in general, are likely to find themselves standing alone. Not without a shunning or whip statement thrown at them, of some description, for good measure.

Anyone who seeks to show that the greater parallels, to 1930s Germany, doesn’t primarily [note, I said primarily] exist in the rhetoric of Republicans, but in the growing list of left-wing “social justice causes”, needs to, “get off your high horse.” As was suggested to me when I congenially questioned the responses to Calvinists by Barthians on the very public, Facebook, Karl Barth Discussion Group.

Tier two lays down the unspoken law: don’t question us, provide an alternative perspective or speak about the more concerning, already existing historical parallels. Such as the increasingly one-sidedness of the black lives matter movement, the increasing pseudo-militancy of “social justice” warriors, Islamic terrorism; widespread abortion, gay marriage – and the selective misuse of the bible to justify it, pride flags and its associated ideology being forced on churches, total ideological indoctrination of our youth via control of schools and Universities, the hostile opposition to questions, the imposition of new cultural laws and a lean towards universal antisemitism in the left’s association with anti-Israel movements (et.al).

It goes without saying then that anyone who dares to question any reckless misplacement of historical parallels, in regards to what Barth might have said or thought, is either conveniently ignored or ridiculed into some form of submission. Real community involvement is only welcomed if it’s conformist involvement.

The third tier exists of two sub-groups. Those who speak up and those who silently disagree with tiers one and two.{The former consists of those who seek to do theology with Karl Barth, not use it to feed self-interest or police by selectively apply it, such as, conscripting his theology into the service of an ideological position. In part, the first sub-group pushes back against this, putting into praxis one of the consistant themes of Barth’s theological approach, identified by Tim Gorringe, in ‘Barth:Against Hegemony, 1999‘ that ‘all theology worthy of the name is a critique of ideology’ (see pp.71, 99, 115; et.al)}* The latter sub-group sees the fallacies and the diversions caused by misplacing historical parallels, yet say nothing about what’s actually going on.

The positive to all this is that third tier Barthian scholars are in the majority. The negative is what can perhaps be considered as the rise of Barthian Gnosticism and the hijacking of Karl Barth.

The relevant caveat:

‘The nature of a thing cannot be changed; whoever tries to “alter” its nature destroys the thing.’
(Voegelin, 1968) [i]

Barthian scholarship, in its online format, is yet to exceed the superiority of its face-to-face counterpart. For Barthian scholarship to survive in its online enclosure, it will need this third tier, with all the prayer, patience, humility and moxie it can muster.

‘Repentance will lead us to watch and not to sleep; it will guide our steps to life and not to death. It follows that silence, which has certainly much to commend it, will not be a mournful silence, but the natural and fruitful self-restraint of those who have privately too much to do to indulge freely in talk. It follows that prayer will not lead us away from political thought and action of a modest but definite kind, but will rather lead us directly into purposeful conflict. It follows that the new public spirit will be not only a goal, not only the subject of all kinds of teaching, pastoral work and discussion, but, above all and at once, a beginning— the spirit of a Christian repudiation of defeat, the spirit of a Christian approach to a new and better resistance, the spirit of Christian hope which is not disposed to leave the field to the demons.’
(Barth, 1940′ [ii]

[i] Voegelin, E. 1968 Science, Politics and Gnosticism:Two Essays Regnery Publishing

[ii] Barth, K. 1940 2nd Letter To the French Protestants in Loconte, J [ed.] 2004 The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm p.179

Image: courtesy of Pixabay

*updated for clarity 2/8/2016