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[290] Covid-19 & Worldview

Have you noticed that the split between lockdown and reopening over Covid-19 neatly coincides with secular progressives on one side, and Judeo-Christians on the other?

I suggest it has much to do with worldview as it relates to life.  If your worldview holds that this life is all there is, you will do two things: Protect it at all costs, and getting as much out of it as you can.

That means protecting yourself against every perceived threat to your physical existence.

In the Christian worldview things are very different.  First, this existence is only the temporal side of life. Second, our eternal self has been created to honor God.  This means that, although we will value self-preservation, this life is not an end in itself.  Instead it is a call to invest it, amid risks, in doing God’s work.

We value life but do not worship life.  We worship the creator of life and give our life to his purpose.  What makes our life sacred is not its existence, but its purpose.  Pursuing that purpose is rarely devoid of risks. In fact, that pursuit may cost one one’s life due to martyrdom or other factors.  “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it,” says Christ in Matthew 16:25.  What is important is not how well one protects one’s life, but how well one has invests it. DC

[289] Don’t Be Surprised if…

I am going to depart for a moment from my usual format and throw some political items your way.  Here is a baker’s dozen plus one.

Don’t be surprised if…

Biden unceremoniously drops out—for ostensibly medical reasons–before or just after the convention, leaving the Dems with better options, in addition to chaos.

The current presidential polls are way off because most voters are not thinking about November.

There is a sudden shift in the polls after the first debate (if the debates happen).

If there is a severe split among the Dems after the fall election—win or lose–in a battle over control of the party with Pelosi being a casualty…

If Trump loses largely due to failing to pursue the women and black vote intelligently.

Kamala Harris is the Dem pick for Biden’s VP (assuming he persists) as she is the strongest woman of color available.

If the Repubs suddenly trot out Hunter Biden in an effort to pin the corruption label on his father (assuming Biden persists).

If Dems will attack Trump much more on style and character than substance and performance.

Trump loses owing to his handing Covid-19.

Dems focus on the African-American vote more than ever, as poor turnout among blacks was a killer in 2016.

We continue to see comparatively little of Biden (should he persist) to limit his exposure per his questionable mental competency.

If the Dems continue to marginalize the Clintons–due to their high negatives–and feature as much of Barack and Michelle as possible.

The Repubs rely solely on Trump and Pence for the campaign, with nary a mention of George W. Bush and other prominent members of their party.

If there is a sudden end to urban rioting the night after a Biden win.

DC

[288] Not About What It’s About

In an election year everything is political and that obviates any semblance of serious debate. An issue is raised per the COVID-19 and all comments within our political institutions weigh in from a partisan point of view. What should be about the pandemic is actually about politics.  In other words, it’s not about what it’s about.

This is more than a tad distressing.  It is life threatening, because the public, desperately in need of direction, is subject to demagoguery rather than solid and reliable information.

Both sides have elevated this Machiavellian game to an art form in which the victim is the public, whose best interests they allegedly represent.

DC

[287] Ingraham was Right

The NFL’s DeSean Jackson recently passed along some vile anti-Semitic statements on Instagram, only to find himself soon confessing that he didn’t comprehend the full meaning of the content.

Regrettably, Jackson is a poster child for athletes and celebrities who, despite woeful limitations in sophisticated understanding of political issues, feel free to use to toss their  celebrity weight around in the form of social commentary.

Yes, they do have 1st Amendment Rights, but they would be wise to consider that the capacity to dunk a basketball or appear in a sitcom does not ready one for intelligent insight on social issues.

Some years ago, Laura Ingraham was chided for telling NBA players to let go social commentary and “just dribble.” She was right.  DC

[286] Revisionist History

There is nothing new about the current attempts to denigrate figures of the past by tearing down statues and renaming institutions.  It is also intellectually bankrupt.  This movement is nothing more than an attempt at what is called revisionist history—an attempt at judging figures of the past by contemporary cultural standards.

For example, in his time, Lincoln was the ultimate progressive—willing to go to war in part to end slavery.  By today’s standards, he was not sufficiently enlightened.

Again, this is nothing new.  It was practiced openly as far back as the 1960’s.  It is also intellectual bankrupt.  No sane person should expect people of decades and even centuries ago to adopt attitudes and engage in conduct deemed politically correct by current standards. DC

 

[285] Trump Will Lose If…

Trump will lose if he does not change the direction of his campaign.  Make no mistake, he is behind—further out than the margin of error in many cases. 

To win, he needs more African-American votes and more women votes.  If he bumped up his support among each group by just 5%, the race would be over.  His current message will not do that.  It is a loser.

His divisiveness is killing him among women.  Even among Trump-voting females, you will regularly here they do not like his style—his arrogance, disrespectful comments, and general divisiveness.  He must make a real effort to unite rather than demonize or he will pay in November.  Yes, the media is liberal. We all get that.  But he needs to rise above the demagoguery.

His law-and-order orations will harpoon him among African-Americans.  The term, law-and-order, is about as effective as the N-word among blacks.  It rings with white power and control, and it has done so since the days of George Wallace in 1968.  He needs to say many of the same things, but use different words like justice, safety, and security, and emphasize his focus on police reform.  But above all, no more law-and-order.

He really needs to stop this 99.9% of the cops are good talk.  That is white talk, representative of my experience with the police.  It is not the experience of a single African-American I know.  And I know lots of them.Keep running out an absurd number like that and African-Americans will understandably send him back to the real estate business. 

He most definitely has done many things favorable to African-Americans.  He needs to run on that.  And he needs to do that by campaigning in inner cities.  As soon as possible. For decades, Republicans have been whining about the paucity of support they get among African-Americans.  They need to get a mirror.  If you stay in the suburbs and rural areas while your Democratic counterparts are campaigning in the inner cities, you will get the puny vote counts you deserve.  It is about respect—the single most important concern among black Americans.  If you do not show enough respect to visit a voting community, you will not get respect from that community at the ballot box.  DC

[284] Cowardice

As the statues tumble down, and the level of anarchy goes up, we are witnessing an unprecedented amount of cowardice from many ostensibly in control.  Governors and mayors, by the number, are simply too afraid or simply unwilling to bring in the forces of social control—the cops—and authorize them to end the disorder.

Why?

There are two reasons.  One is political.  In an election year, one in which identity politics is a decisive factor, these “public servants” are concerned about alienating large voting blocs by going law-and-order.  That reason, despicable as it is, is common knowledge.  These officials are indeed fiddling as their cities burn.

But I see another reason—cowardice.  These officials, in an attempt to appease the rabble-rousers, are placating, even defending them, hoping they will exercise a bit of restraint.  To wit, Seattle Mayor Durkan likened CHOP to the 1967 “Summer of Love.”

That ain’t never gonna happen. 

Revolutionaries are not about negotiating, compromising, or reaching reasonable agreements.  They are about winning and taking control.  Any show of weakness is about as effective in quieting radicals as oxygen is in smothering a fire. In our cities, the result is reminiscent of Judges 21: 25. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.  DC

 

[283] Huh?

Colin Kaepernick is an intelligent young man.  He registered a 4.0 GPA at Nevada Reno, graduating in 2011 with a degree in business management.  He scored 38 on the Wonderlic test prior to the NFL draft.  Twenty is considered of average intelligence.  Aaron Rodgers and Steve Young scored 35 and 33, respectively.

His academic status notwithstanding, it is hard to see this business major qualifying as a social critic.  Except in the NFL and its Commissioner, Roger Goodell.  “If his [Kaepernick’s] efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space,” said the Commish, “we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities. We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.”

Inviting an out of nowhere social activist to help and guide the monstrosity that is the NFL “deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time?”  Huh?  Is this real?  Or is this what I think it is, a white liberal form of appeasement?  Again, Kaepernick started a movement, if you will, with his kneeling in 2016.  But that’s pretty much it.  He has not proven to be particularly articulate in rendering social analyses over the succeeding four years.  But in a Black Lives Matter era, one in which you, Roger Goodell, are besieged with political pressure, it makes sense—political sense, that is—to co-opt Kaepernick by bringing him into the NFL corporate henhouse rather than ward off his attacks and those of his compatriots from the outside.  Take a close look at Kaepernick’s personal, religious, and professional biography.  Stable, academic, or insightful are not words you would use to describe him.  Politically radioactive would be, and that seems sufficient to engage his consultative services.  DC

[282] Who Cares?

It has often been said that 11 AM on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in the US.

The news is full of troubling identity politics, crying out for unity, but when it comes to cultural differences in worship, is it all that important?  Who cares?

We are socialized into resonating with different sounds in our spiritual lives.  For some it is Gospel music.  For others it is small groups.  Still others are deeply invested in exegetical sermons.

We see through a cultural prism, and through a glass darkly. DC

 

[281] Riots

Trump doesn’t get it.  Much of the media doesn’t get it.  I trust many of my readers do not get it.

The protests, yes, riots, of recent days are—at the core–no more than the collective outpouring of rage over the decades of police brutality practiced against African-Americans.  Yes, I know many of the rioters are white.  Yes, I know some are just thugs, looking to tear down the society.  I know some are organized disrupters.  I get that.

But at the core of the chaos is this never-adequately-addressed issue of racially differential treatment by police. 

Let me state a stark fact. I have many African-American family members and friends.  Among them are entrepreneurs, graduates of Ivy League institutions, and “everyday people.”  I have yet to meet a single African-American who has not been harassed at least once by a white cop.  Male or female, not one.  Some of these people exude the fruits of the Spirit.  Others do not.  It doesn’t matter.  They have been demeaned at least once by a white officer.

I have been white pretty much my whole life, and I have yet to have been mistreated by any police officer—white or black—no matter the venue.  In fact, I can think of an instance to when an African-American police officer went out of his way to give me a break.

We constantly hear of the need for reform in our prison system.  What we really need is justice reform. And that starts on the streets. DC

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