A Growing Darkness

2909317-concept-image-of-a-lost-and-confused-signpost-against-a-blue-cloudy-skyDoes this sign remind you of what is happening in our society?  It sure says something to me.  There seems to be no real, reliable direction for most folks.  It is a me first, feel good, “oh whatever,” sort of existence devoid of any solid truth or secure foundation.  Perhaps the following article by Bob Russell will be useful in describing what is going on.  The article appeared at bobrussell.org as: Six Scriptures That Summarize the Current Moral Crises.  RMF

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Six Scriptures That Summarize the Current Moral Crises
By Bob Russell

Bob Russell

Bob Russell

“Have we gone stark raving nuts?” Senator Ted Cruz asked that rhetorical question last week in response to a statement made by Donald Trump, Republican presidential front-runner. Trump said that transgender people should, “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” He added that North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom law” which directs transgender people to use the restroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.

What in the world is happening to us? While pursuing tolerance and compassion have we lost all common sense? Some suggest that not only transgenders should be given permission to use the bathroom of their choice, but anyone who questions their gender should have the same freedom. A number of liberal politicians, Hollywood entertainers and corporate CEO’s have jumped on the bandwagon, threatening to boycott any business or state that disagrees.

 

Moral Chaos

Moral Chaos

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Jane Eyre still speaks to us today

I’m not at all good at mining the deepest riches of art or music or literature.  Not at all.  Others can see so much more that passes right over me.  But, I do love being able to profit from the expertise of others who provide their insights.  Such was the case when I ran across this article on the literary classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  This insightful article by Karen Swallow Prior appeared first at The Gospel Coalition as: Jane Eyre and Our Age of Authenticity.  I hope you enjoy it.  RMF

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Jane Eyre and Our Age of Authenticity
by Karen Swallow Prior

Karen Swallow Prior

Karen Swallow Prior

Today marks the 200th birthday of Charlotte Bronte, born April 21, 1816. The author of four novels, poetry, and a number of unfinished works, Bronte is best known for her novel Jane Eyre.
Beloved by countless women readers and Hollywood filmmakers, Jane Eyre is sometimes dismissed as mere pulp fiction for the literary set. But beneath the surface-level romance, Jane Eyre offers a profoundly philosophical portrait of the modern self. In fact, the novel embodies to a remarkable degree the modern quest for self-creation described by Charles Taylor in The Ethics of Authenticity.

Quest for the Authentic

Authenticity as a moral value emerged in the late 18th century, rooted in Enlightenment subjectivity. Authenticity was connected to “self-determining freedom,” another moral value of the age, which Taylor describes as the impulse to “decide for myself what concerns me, rather than being shaped by external influences.”

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Not coincidentally, it was also around this time that the novel developed as a literary genre—a form expressive of modernity, particularly individual autonomy and subjectivity. Bronte’s 1847 publication of Jane Eyre marks a point at which the rise of the novel and the rise of the modern notion of the self converge.  Continue reading

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Who will help us trust again?

Anger. Just about everyone can agree on one thing – that anger is the number one emotion in today’s political arena. This article by John Horvat II appeared at: Crisis Magazine as: Broken Trust: The Cause of Angry Politics, and discusses that anger, the underlying cause and the result. Mr. Horvat is the Vice President of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and the author of the recent book Return to Order.  RMF

Broken Trust: The Cause of Angry Politics
by John Horvat II

John Horvat II

John Horvat II

Everyone agrees that there is something different about today’s angry politics. The ordinary issues that have shaped the political debate for years have largely remained the same. The economy is still in bad shape, terrorism remains a top concern and the deficit is still growing as fast as ever.

The mood of the nation, however, has undergone a great shift. People are angry. They are not angry about something, but rather angry at someone.

Digging a bit deeper, one finds that, more often than not, people are venting their rage not at any particular individual, but rather a class, institution or grouping of people. Targets include incumbents, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, politically correct academics, clergy or just the plain “establishment”—whatever that might mean. This unfocused shotgun approach holds that we need to throw the whole lot out and start over again to effect real change.   Continue reading

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CyberWar

Warfare has always been a very interesting topic for me, even before serving as a naval officer right out of college and later attending the National War College during my FBI days. While the nature and means of war waging have changed in many ways the devastation it causes remains.  This article by George Will which appeared first at: washingtonpost.com as: America needs a strategy for cyberdererrence is a brief discussion of one of the current means.  RMF

Cyber Warfare (Shin Woong-jae/For The Washington Post)

Cyber Warfare
(Shin Woong-jae/For The Washington Post)

America needs a strategy for cyberdeterrence

By George F. Will

George Will

George Will

There is a consensus that aggression by one nation against another is a serious matter, but there is no comparable consensus about what constitutes aggression. Waging aggressive war was one charge against Nazi leaders at the 1946 Nuremberg war crimes trials, but 70 years later it is unclear that aggression, properly understood, must involve war, as commonly understood. Or that war, in today’s context of novel destructive capabilities, must involve “the use of armed force,” which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says is constitutive of an “act of aggression.”

Cyberskills can serve espionage — the surreptitious acquisition of information — which is older than nations and not an act of war. Relatively elementary cyberattacks against an enemy’s command-and-control capabilities during war were a facet of U.S. efforts in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, in the Balkans in 1999 and against insurgents — hacking their emails — during the “surge” in Iraq. In 2007, Israel’s cyberwarfare unit disrupted Syrian radar as Israeli jets destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria. But how should we categorize cyberskills employed not to acquire information, and not to supplement military force, but to damage another nation’s physical infrastructure?  Continue reading

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Ted Cruz and His Christian Faith

Ted Cruz was a sort of background noise for me prior to his candidacy for president.  I knew of his political ambitions and felt a bit sorry for him when he was called every bad name in the books for his principled, I believe, one-man filibuster against the funding of ObamaCare.  Since his emergence as a front-runner in the GOP Primary, however, I’ve followed his position more closely and more than ever have come to appreciate the man for his positions on important issues, especially key constitutional safeguards which, at least to me, seem threatened by the steady creep of intolerant liberalism.  Anyway, the following Christianity Today article by Robert Gagnon and Edith Humphrey is the best I have read regarding Senator Cruz.  The article was also a tutorial for me regarding Dominion theology and dominionism, which have improperly been attributed to Mr. Cruz in an effort to discredit him.  The Christianity Today article appeared as: Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist.  RMF

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Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist
The Christian candidate’s faith influences his platform, but not in the ways most critics assume.
By
Robert Gagnon and Edith Humphrey

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz has often stated that Jesus Christ is central to his life. He talks about how his father had left his family but returned after receiving the gospel, how his mother turned to Christ, and how this changed his life:

I was raised in the church.… When I was eight years old… [I] gave [my life] to Jesus. … [To] know that… I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, nothing is more important to me. I am a new creature in Christ, and it [is] central to who I am today.

Robert A. J. Gagnon

Robert A. J. Gagnon

I couldn’t run for president without relying heavily on my faith…. From the day we launched the campaign, Heidi and I have prayed simply that his will would be done. Each day, we try not to seek his hand (asking for help winning the race), but rather to seek his face (praying that his love and glory would be seen every day in the campaign).

Cruz’s unashamed affirmation of Christ resonates deeply with many Christians. But it has also created concern among many Christians and non-Christians alike. In this article, we’d like to clarify what we believe are misrepresentations of Cruz’s faith and its relationship to his politics.

Edith M. Humphrey

Edith M. Humphrey

Some have charged Cruz with being a “dominionist.” John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College, raised this issue in an article in Religion News Service (picked up by the Washington Post). Another version of his views was recently published in Christianity Today. Fea is echoed by Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College, and by Frederick Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (1997). Then there is the provocative article by Jay Michaelson, an LGBT activist and religion columnist at The Daily Beast, “Does Ted Cruz Think He’s the Messiah?”  Continue reading

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We can’t have it both ways – Christianity v. Islam

Due to the rise in international terrorism there is a huge interest in Islam.  Questions arise as to it’s nature and the intent of its’s adherents.  The following is an article by William Kilpatrick which better than any other I’ve read paints the starkest contrast between basic Islamic tenants and Christianity.  Mr. Kilpatrick is a Catholic and he writes with that perspective but his basic thesis is valid for anyone who holds that Jesus is God, the Third Person of the Trinity.  The article appeared at: http://www.crisismagazine.com as: Was Muhammed a False Prophet?.    RMF

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Was Muhammad a False Prophet?

By William Kilpatrick

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Mt. 7:15).

William Kilpatrick

William Kilpatrick

Would “false prophets” include Muhammad? It’s an impolitic question to ask in these politically correct times, but, thanks to political correctness these are also highly dangerous times. Since a good deal of the danger emanates from the religion Muhammad founded, it seems reasonable to ask if he was a false prophet. And if he was, does that mean that Islam is a false religion? And if it is, why are Catholic leaders so keen on declaring their solidarity with Islam?

It’s a case of either/or. Either the New Testament account of Jesus is true or Muhammad’s account is true. Since they contradict each other, they both can’t be true.

In the gospel accounts, Jesus is rather insistent that he is the Son of God, and the Koran is rather insistent that he is not. Assuming that you know of the many instances in the gospels where Jesus asserts his divinity, here are some Koranic passages that say the opposite:

God is but one God. God forbid that he should have a son! (4: 173, trans Dawood).

The Messiah, the Son of Mary, was no more than an apostle (5:75, Dawood).

Christians call Christ the Son of Allah…. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth! (9:30, trans Yusuf Ali).

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of the three in a Trinity (5:73, Yusuf Ali).

Ralph Sidway, the author of a recent piece on the “same God” question, puts the either/or nature of the choice in perspective:

“Based on these brief examples alone, Christianity and Islam cannot both be from the same source which is what the Same God Question ultimately boils down to. If we treat each truth claim with respect, that each faith springs from a self-revelation of God, then it is clear the Allah of Islam is directly, and in a specific, vigorous manner, opposed to the revelation from the Christian God. And Jesus’ own emphatic testimony about himself excludes any alternate revelation concerning the nature of God.”

So the author of the Koran unambiguously rejects the Christian belief in the Trinity. Moreover, he declares that a “grievous penalty will befall” those who persist in saying that “Allah is one of three” (5: 73). As Sidway puts it, “Allah is so vehement in these condemnations of Christian dogma that it amounts to what I term a ‘Theological Jihad’.”  Continue reading

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Justice Scalia and Originalism

OK — Another post on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The following article by Lee J. Strang looks at Justice Scalia’s advocacy of originalism coupled with his Christian faith ( he was a devout Catholic). This view provides a greater depth of understanding to the man than would a view based solely on his jurisprudence. The article appeared first at: http://www.crisismagazine.com as: How Scalia Inspired a Generation to Defend the Constitution.  Lee J. Strang is Visiting Scholar at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law & Values at the University of Toledo College of Law.  RMF

How Scalia Inspired a Generation to Defend the Constitution

by Lee J. Strang

We the People

Lee J. Strang

Lee J. Strang

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at age 79 of natural causes Saturday in Texas is an ideal occasion to reflect on the profound influence he had on the legal profession and, by extension, the nation. Astute observers of academic life in America know that the law professoriate has long been dominated by liberals. I discovered this when I arrived at law school, and my professors ignored, dismissed, or derisively mocked conservative and libertarian legal arguments. The dominance of progressive legal views is so powerful that even faculty members who are politically moderate are pressured into silence. This was starkly portrayed to me when, as the president of my law school’s chapter of the conservative-libertarian Federalist Society, I asked a faculty member for suggestions on a speaker to present a pro-life legal perspective in a debate I was organizing at the law school. (The law school had no shortage of pro-choice faculty members.)  Continue reading

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