Starting a slide?

My family has attended Southern Baptist churches our entire marriage (25 years next month), and I’ve frequently taught adult Bible study on Sunday mornings.

It now appears I will frequently have to point out how the translation favored in the study literature is no longer faithful to a literal translation of the ancient text.

The (Christian Standard Bible) now translates the term anthropos, a Greek word for “man,” in a gender-neutral form 151 times, rendering it “human,” “people,” and “ones.” The previous edition ((Holman Christian Standard Bible)) had done this on occasion; the new revision adds almost 100 more instances. “Men of Israel” becomes “fellow Israelites;” when discussing Jesus’s incarnation the “likeness of men” becomes “likeness of humanity.” The CSB translates the term adelphoi, a Greek word for “brother” in a gender-neutral form 106 times, often adding “sister.” “Brotherly love” is translated “love as brothers and sisters.”

The gender-neutralizing pattern is also present in its translation of the Old Testament…

The SBC is America’s largest Protestant denomination and one of its most conservative. If its leaders and members are tolerating a softer, more inclusive approach to gender, it might be a bellwether of things to come in the culture war over gender.

When the SBC was more about discipleship than it was about being “seeker friendly” (in other words, before Rick Warren), it took the time to teach scripture in the context of its era in history.  Yes, the past was largely male-dominated in terms of language; get over it.  That very fact showcases how Christianity, far from subjugating women, actually improved their status within Christian fellowship and eventually within society as a whole.

That will no longer be so apparent with the “new” translation.  I didn’t like it when SBC literature switched to the Holman Christian Standard version; now they’ve tipped their full hand with the revised in-house CSV.  Modifying scripture to conform to modern sensibilities is not a good sign.  We are told to call on God as “Father,” not as “Parent.”  I’m sure the CSV hasn’t changed that yet, but if it’s changing anything at all it’s only a matter of time.

A church either worships the God who created us in His image, or worships a god made in our image.  When a denomination starts to resemble the world in small ways, it’s usually not long before they start to resemble it in large ways.  The SBC already split once over this kind of thing.  Now it appears that the conservative side is no longer conserving as much.  .

I’ll continue with my English Standard Version and my wife’s parallel Bible — and now I’ll be watching my own denomination and its teachings very closely.  This may easily be a turn down a disastrous road.  If that becomes the case, my family will find an off-ramp to a fellowship that is “rightly handling the word of truth.”

That this even has to be said…

…shows how much the media and public in general lack critical thinking.  There needs to be a thorough housecleaning regarding leakers.  It’s one thing to be a whistleblower; it’s something entirely different to abuse your position of confidence to score points on the gossip circuit.  Have the guts to come forward, or shut your yap.  As for the media: your credibility is already in the toilet, and some of us didn’t need the press release below to know that most of what you have to say these days must be taken with a grain silo of salt.

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Knowing how this ugly business works, I’m hoping this was just a reminder born of frustration at all the leaks to this point, rather than a pre-emption of a shoe likely to drop in the near future. Every day it seems there’s some new bizarre angle that will be “investigated.”  It’s like one side is throwing around as much poo as they can, hoping something will stick.  Our government is paralyzed by all these circuses… and that’s by deliberate calculation.

Final unrelated thought: the copycatting of yesterday’s shooting has begun.

On the edge

Today’s shooting at Republican Congressmen practicing for a baseball game is but the latest (and possibly most worrisome) example of ever-more violent rhetoric leading to more violent action.  Our entire nation needs to take a deep breath and look hard at the road we’ve been traveling to this point.

Nearly a quarter century ago, shortly after Supreme Court Clarence Thomas was confirmed by the Senate, PBS pundit Julianne Malveaux infamously said on air ““You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”  A number of people on both sides of the aisle considered this sort of statement to be well beyond the pale.

How far we’ve fallen.

Politics has long borrowed military language: campaign, objective, tactic and so forth.  It used to be understood these were metaphors.  Then Sarah Palin put out a campaign graphic putting “crosshair” targets on key districts in the election.  The Left went melodramatically berserk over her “eliminationist” message, trying to pin the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Palin’s activity.  (For the record, Gifford’s shooter turned out not to be a ‘right-winger,’ but rather, a mentally unstable person who had a bizarre fixation on her.)

Now the shoe is tied tightly on the other foot, and hopefully it pinches hard.  The militant vocabulary used today is not a metaphor: there are two broad worldviews in competition in the U.S., and both increasingly see the other as a literal enemy (and for many, one that must actually be destroyed, not just voted out of office).  I’m sure many Democrats were greatly disappointed when Wednesday’s shooter turned out to be a Bernie Bro and Rachel Maddow fan, instead of a militia member or such rot.  (That didn’t stop their automatic pleading for more gun control.)  Facebook apparently was quick on the trigger to take down the shooter’s page, but not before some of the wiser denizens of the web captured it all for posterity.

Trump is easily one of the most questionable occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and continuous scrutiny is prudent.  That’s not what the other party offers.  They’re trying to nullify the last election by waging an overheated rhetorical war on two fronts: obstructionism in Congress and the courts, and riling up their base to vandalism and worse with some of the most vile language imaginable.  (Note to the Democrats: increasing the frequency of F-bombs in your public addresses might endear you to some of the college crowd, but for the rest of us it just shows you to be a crass juvenile who feeds on emotion, not careful thought.)

College campuses seem out of control, to the degree that self-appointed vigilante groups of students have to be asked by administrators to stop roaming campus with baseball bats and other instruments.  Attempts by conservatives to speak on a campus are now met frequently with vandalistic temper tantrums.  And protestors on both sides of issues like immigration are now showing up suited for battle, not just to carry signs.

Why write all this?  Because I’m concerned our nation crossed a critical line today, and the path we’re on is leading to disaster.  There are plenty of nuts in both camps, and a continuous backdrop of violent rhetoric (particularly on the internet) only encourages them.  As each side looks warily at the other, the mutual distrust leads many ordinary people to wonder if they need to be making preparations for war.  Thus does the divide get wider and more hostile.

We all need to realize that when ballots no longer settle issues, bullets do.  Is that really how we want to go forward?  Do the posturing online ‘toughs’ really want to see their friends and family caught up in the bloodshed of civil war or anarchy?  I spent 24 years in uniform believing I was helping defend America.  I’ve seen firsthand what a country looks like in a civil war (spoiler: it isn’t pretty).  Now it seems we’re determined to destroy ourselves.  If Wednesday’s any indicator, I have a feeling those who are playing with fire to score political points are going to be among the first to get burned.  But probably not the last.

God help us all.

WaPo to white middle class: drop dead

The Washington Post’s Johnathan Capehart explores “The Real Reason Working-class Whites Continue to Support Trump.”  To his credit, he manages to find one of the main underlying causes:

Working-class whites feel not only voiceless, but also silenced, especially in matters involving race. “The way they understood racism is different from the way we understand racism,” said Gest. “For them, racism has become an instrument of silence. It is a way of invalidating people. By saying someone is a racist, it means they cease to matter. Don’t listen to them.” ((emphasis added)) Gest spent three months in Youngstown, Ohio, and three months in East London, England, conducting interviews and researching his book. “So, when people said to me, ‘Now, I’m not a racist but …,’ what they were actually saying to me was, ‘Listen to what I’m about to tell you, and don’t dismiss me.’ ”

Indeed, for too long, traditional Americans have been shunted aside politically by the label ‘racist.’  It’s a far easier process than actually having an honest discussion of the issues.  The dangerous thing about this long-standing trend is that many average Americans have reached the point “if you’re going to call me racist no matter what I say or do, then what do I have to lose?”  This is one of several reasons race relations have deteriorated since the Civil Rights Era.

Another is the contempt shown by various colors of our social rainbow to the plight of working-class whites in an era of globalism, open borders, free trade agreements, loss of purchasing power (and jobs to foreigners) and reverse discrimination.  But the Post reports on how to deal with these:

“The only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care,” he said. “These are communities that are on the paths to death. And the question is: How can we make that as comfortable as possible?”

It’s no secret the Left has been giddy about the approaching demographic shift in America to a nation made up of competing minority groups, with no one group making up a majority.  The Huffington Post even looked at “Ten Reasons You’ll Love Living in a Minority-Majority America.”  After discussing such insignificant ‘advantages’ as “culinary diversity,” it goes on to say:

Without a numerically dominant race, people of every group could be more inspired to drop discriminatory biases and challenge the racial injustices that continue to define the American experience for many.

It’s cute that they expect such a utopia, but visible trends today seem to indicate it’s not going to happen.  Our political class has stoked social divisions for so long that a minority-majority nation will end up being even more a collection of squabbling interest groups, determined to ensure their demographic gets a “fair share” (as they define it, of course).  That such an outcome results in more government power as a referee is not coincidental.  At least one public college has attempted a “day of absence” for white teachers and students, and when a white (and by all accounts, liberal) professor protested, the campus erupted.

Since 1965 and its notorious Immigration Act, the percentage of whites in the population has fallen from 85% to just over half.  In those same 52 years, the dwindling white population has been increasingly vilified as personally culpable descendants of previous generations of slaveowners and bigots.  (Hint: this is not a good way to win friends and influence people.)  As the Evergreen State College professor found out, even if you go along with most of The Narrative, any deviation will be dealt with harshly.  Devastated by the loss of good-paying blue-collar jobs, often to immigrants, many whites have fallen into despair and substance abuse.

Is it any wonder this demographic overwhelmingly went for Trump?  His election represents one big raspberry (and a couple extended middle fingers) to the system that has pulled the country out from underneath them.  Many see Trump as the last chance to have a voice in the largely faceless U.S. bureaucracy that for so long has been stacked against them.  So I believe the Instapundit is right when he shows the latest outrage from the Left and asks “do you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.”

No matter how “comfortable” the Washington Post may want to make the allegedly dying white community, it’s not likely that community is going to softly and suddenly fade away.  Perhaps the Washington Post should do an article on why middle-class Americans no longer put much stock into anything they (or any other traditional media outlet) have to say.  They might find out that calling certain groups ‘racist’ at the drop of a hat, while musing that such groups need to be put in ‘hospice care’ might not draw many subscriptions.

Where are the grown ups?

So the former FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress about his prior investigations and his dealings with President Trump (it’s still strange to type that).  Here’s how much of a circus this has become:

  1. The Director admitting leaking information to the NY Times via a friend
  2. The leak supposedly contained notes he wrote after meeting with Trump
  3. When asked for his notes, he claims he no longer has a copy
  4. Congress has to ask his friend for any copies he received

Really?  Really?  Either the former Director or the President (or, quite likely, both) is shading the truth considerably.  If it can be shown the Director broke rules on protecting information, or has perjured himself before Congress, there needs to be severe penalties.  Congress also needs to take Trump up on his offer to testify under oath.  And finally, it appears former Attorney General Lynch put more pressure on Comey than Trump ever did… something you likely won’t hear played up in the press.

Meanwhile, both Nancy Pelosi and John McCain are amply demonstrating in a bipartisan fashion how geriatric Congress has become (and how much we need term limits).

Any last vestiges of credibility our government may miraculously have seem to be vanishing right before our eyes.  At this point, maybe an EMP blast from North Korea would be an improvement.  At least then we wouldn’t have to listen to these idiots and their pageantry on radio or TV anymore.  And we’d all be too busy scratching out an existence to care about anything beyond the next town.

Reason #427,508

…to homeschool your children, rather than handing them over to the State:

A newly filed federal lawsuit claims that police officers groped 900 students at Worth County High School in Georgia during a warrantless drug sweep that yielded no results.  The human rights group, Southern Center for Human Rights, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the students against the Worth County sheriff over an April 14 incident when 40 officers came into the school with no advance notice, KTLA-TV reported.  …

The lawsuit mentions one girl in particular, using only her initials K.A., who was searched by Deputy Brandi Whiddon. The lawsuit goes into disturbing detail about how in-depth Whiddon’s search of K.A. was. KTLA’s report stated:

“Sheriff Hobby entered K.A.’s classroom and ordered the students to line up in the hallway with their hands on the wall,” the suit said. “Deputy Whiddon took one of K.A.’s arms, placed it higher up on the wall, and kicked her legs to open them wider. Whiddon pulled the front of K.A.’s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up.

“Whiddon also looked down the back and front of K.A.’s dress. Whiddon slid her hands from one of K.A.’s ankles up to her pelvic area. Whiddon’s hands went underneath K.A.’s dress as Whiddon felt up K.A.’s leg. Whiddon’s hands stopped on and cupped K.A.’s vaginal area and buttocks. Whiddon then slid her hands down to the other ankle. Whiddon was wearing gloves, but did not change them before or after her search of K.A.”

The story concludes noting the interim superintendent of schools claims the system did not approve “of touching any students,” but it’s pretty clear the school system also took no action to stop what was going on .

Well, at least some education occurred.  Nine hundred students now know first hand that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is dead… and has been for a long time now.  Once they graduate high school they can move on to the adult version of that education: the Transportation Security Administration.