Saturday, July 23, 2016

Odds and ends 7/23/2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

God and country

My flesh calls out to Gingrich’s common sense. When in the past has America been better off not fighting its enemies? America prosecuted Nazis and Communists when it was at war with Nazis and Communists. America interned Japanese after Pearl Harbor because it was believed they would stay loyal to their ancestral homeland. Is it outlandish to believe Japanese would stay loyal to Japan? The assumption was they would; that’s why the naturalization oath of allegiance says “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” If you believe Japanese are loyal to Japan, to do nothing when enemy agents are operating within your borders is suicidal.

It’s as C. S. Lewis noted about witch burning: If you believe in witches, it’s a given that you kill them. They are the devil’s agents on earth! The only uncertainty is how to best find them.

Liberalism has done much to erase the ordinariness of the illiberal past, and has only permitted its remembrance in the form of cautionary tales like anti-Communist hero/liberal bogeyman Joseph McCarthy. In McCarthy’s time fundamental differences of nationality and religion were less tolerated because multiculturalism was seen as a preface to disunion and civil war. This intolerance, a dirty word now, was the scorching fire of the once effective melting pot.

Now the post-war liberal consensus is unraveling, as ISIS sympathizers overstretch the credibility of the diversity project, eroding the preconditions for social trust, and as liberalism’s former proponents suppress the truth in pursuit of blatant falsehoods. The times increasingly call for the enemies of truth and peace in the Lord to be fought and defeated—peacefully, insofar as it can be.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Eye for an eye

Another way the spectacularly politically relevant movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes resonates is how it shows groups in an uneasy peace policing their own ranks. The peace is worth preserving because of the death and maiming that would result from war. Either war is inevitable, and you fight to win, or peace is possible, and you police your side to keep it.

The opening scene of the movie shows Caesar letting a rogue human off the hook for killing his tribesman in cold blood. Caesar knows that a swift reprisal would be construed as an act of war against the humans. Therefore the responsibility for punishing the killer is the humans’. Likewise it’s Caesar’s responsibility to check his warlike tribesman Koba, who would relish a war with the humans, whether started by the humans or themselves.

The facts may very well exonerate the police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, but I doubt it. Police are fallible, but sometimes they’re treated as infallible, as entitled to homicidal mistakes. Sometimes they don’t own up to them, as in Eric Garner’s case and other cases I’ve observed. So when one group fails to punish its own members who breach the peace, it doesn’t surprise that the aggrieved group seeks revenge, short of war.

But what about Jesus’ command to not retaliate, to “not resist the evildoer” (Matthew 5:38-39)? Would those ancient words be heeded by all! Jesus’ teaching is the tonic for a soul torn from God, but unfortunately it is not a predictive model of human nature. Not even Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the great Christians of the 20th century, fully obeyed what he properly understood to be Jesus’ teaching. That’s not an excuse to not try, just a reasonable template to base your expectations from.

It goes without saying the murders and attempted murders of police in Dallas are atrocious. It goes without saying the truth often runs counter to beholden grievance narratives always angling for political currency. Years of pointing this out has done little to convince anyone of their errors. The situation isn’t about justice and righteousness so much as political appeasement.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Odds and ends 7/6/2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Odds and ends 6/5/2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Coach

I wrote this poem for my high school tennis coach, who retired from coaching last year. I was pleased with how it turned out, so I’m sharing it here.

Serve, baseline, volley, lob shot, approach
To master these you need a good coach

I wasn’t all that good at tennis
But 4 years I played at G-P High
Under the forbearing Coach Prewit
Didn’t improve much but I did try

There wasn’t much talent to work with
But Coach urged me to train and compete
To have a cool head and lead in front
To learn something new when I was beat

There’s joy and trials and growth pains being on a team
It means a lot, even when you’re not the crop’s cream

Coach nurtured an attitude that serves me well now
Regardless your place, work at it with all your heart
If what you want’s not there, find another way how
To sow seeds of success, you need a worker’s plough

Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Odds and ends 5/13/2016