Appetite for destruction

How joyless must life be for anyone who believes humanity to be merely a plague?

Fifty years ago, I concluded that the best thing for the planet would be a peaceful phase-out of human existence. We’re causing the extinction of hundreds of thousands of other species. With us gone, I believe ecosystems will be restored and there will be enough of everything…

At 25, I wanted to show I was serious. A medical school gave me a discounted vasectomy in exchange for being a student doctor’s first try at the procedure, which was successful…

Procreation today is the moral equivalent of selling berths on a sinking ship.  It’s true that society would be greatly diminished without children, but it isn’t right to create them just because we like having them around.

And on the flip side, if they’re inconvenient, just abort them, right?  The author doesn’t say this, but one can deduce enough of his worldview that it’s a good bet he supports abortion on demand. (“Marriage never made sense to me anyway: I would have missed getting to know many wonderful women had I stuck with one.”)

This desire to destroy humanity comes straight from The Enemy, who sees in us the imago dei and strikes at it in any way possible: war, murder, abortion, suicide — anything that snuffs out the physical vessel carrying the lifebreath of God.

As the Genesis account makes clear, we were entrusted with the stewardship of the Earth.  One cannot steward if one is not around.  Are there areas in which we can do better?  Most certainly.  But the root cause of the world’s problems is not our existence.  It’s our fallen, sinful state – the same state that causes so many to worship the creation instead of the Creator.

Regarding this business of “selling berths on a sinking ship:” I can understand people who wonder about the wisdom of bringing a child into the world.  I first became an uncle days after 9/11, and I wondered what sort of world my niece and my own (then young) children would grow up in.  In many ways it hasn’t been what I would have wished for them.  But one of the advantages of studying history is a realization there truly is nothing new under the sun.  Did Americans in 1942, or 1917, or 1863 have any less reason to wonder about the world they’d leave to their posterity?  What about earlier Europeans facing the plagues, or invasion by the Mongols?  The West has enjoyed such a high standard of living since the 1950s that we forget what a rare exception to the rule this has been (and how much a Biblical worldview has been instrumental).

The West has all but lost the hope that comes from Christ.  Churches are emptying.  Bibles are unread ornaments.  People trust their own wisdom rather than that of the ages.  Other worldviews are not necessarily devoid of logic — their logic simply produces different conclusions.  If we believe our physical environment is all there is, then preserving it at any cost – even human extinction – can seem a reasonable conclusion.

Modern environmentalism (as opposed to Biblical stewardship) is a religion.  It seeks to answer “the big questions:” how did we get here (chance/evolution), why are things imperfect (human activity), and what is the solution (in this case, complete elimination of humanity).  The writer of the linked article clearly takes comfort and derives purpose from adherence to the logic of his beliefs.

But if we believe this is just a stopover on the way to eternity, then the value of each individual human being becomes infinitely greater than a world already subject to entropy, whether we’re around or not.

It behooves us not to knowingly or carelessly foul our temporary home.  It profits us even more to remember it’s just that: temporary.  But love — true, sacrificial love: that between spouses, between parents and children, between those who belong to the Body — is eternal.

Decorum and Defeat

The Christianity Today news site weighs in on impeachment:

Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.

Translation: “yes, Trump managed to put a wedge between Planned Parenthood’s abortion empire and federal funding; yes, Trump has reversed some of Obama’s specific policy targeting of Christian groups; yes, minorities and the underprivileged are faring better economically than they have in ages; yes, Trump is completely reshaping the Federal judiciary by appointing people who respect the Constitution; yes, Trump is resetting trade policy to protect the U.S., and pressing allies to shoulder their share of the defense burden… despite all that, he’s crude, rude, uncouth and must be removed.”

In other words, better to go down to polite defeat than to get dirty while fighting.  What a joke.  I remind this magazine of the personality contrasts between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  The former was fond of alcohol and cigars (which killed him), was notoriously unkempt, and lacked any political polish whatsoever.  In contrast, Lee was the so-called “marble man,” — the West Point graduate who did four years without a single demerit… the consummate gentleman of refined manners and a personal ethos that inspired others to follow him.

Lee lost.

When confronted after the battle of Shiloh about Grant possibly crawling back into the bottle, Lincoln refused to remove him, saying “I can’t spare him… he fights.”  For anyone who wants to see America safe and strong, the same is true of Trump.  I don’t idolize the man (or any other, for that matter).  But results matter.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address one other part of the editorial:

…the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

That is but one interpretation of what happened, and I don’t believe it to be the correct one.  Here’s an “unambiguous fact:” former Vice President Joe Biden openly (and profanely) admitted in a public forum that he withheld U.S. aid from the Ukraine until they agreed to fire a prosecutor.  One who just happened to be looking into a company for which Biden’s son was paid thousands a month to “consult,” despite having no relevant experience.  This is what Trump asked Ukraine to look into — whether the former U.S. vice president had abused his office.  Looking after the nation’s vital interests surely must include investigating possible corruption, right?

To the writers of the editorial, though, that’s abuse of power by Trump.  Sorry, that position is more alchemy than Christianity.  The same people screaming “no one is above the law” are also yelling it’s wrong to look into actions Biden has acknowledged, because he’s a presidential candidate.  So which is it?  Can one now avoid scrutiny simply by throwing their hat in the ring?  The writers of this editorial have swallowed a Democratic talking point without showing any discernment whatsoever.

It’s proper to be concerned about our witness, individually and as the Church.  And it’s a good thing to strive for leaders we can emulate.  We must be careful, however, of allowing the Enemy to use that concern to neuter effective resistance to godless globalism.  I hope Christianity Today is enjoying all the temporary plaudits they’re receiving from people who detest everything Christianity actually represents.  They fell for the trap, creating yet another crossfire that can only benefit the other side.

For all the public fables of Washington and the apple tree, or Lincoln and his log cabin, we never have or ever will elect a perfect man.  I would love Trump to be more Christ-like as a person.  But I need him to be an effective defender of America, its people and its traditions as a president.  I don’t know why that is so hard to figure out.

When all politics aren’t, in fact, local

Former U.S. House Speaker “Tip” O’Neal is most commonly associated with asserting that “all politics is local.”  As we’ve moved away from Federalism and republicanism toward democratic homogenization in this country, I think that’s become less and less true:

Coloradans are drawing a line in the asphalt when it comes to California’s growing influence on their SUVs, trucks and votes.

The Colorado-based Freedom to Drive Coalition filed a lawsuit this month against the state’s adoption of California’s zero-emissions vehicle standards, arguing that the rules violate state law and would add thousands of dollars to the cost of the heavy-duty vehicles favored by drivers navigating Colorado’s snowy roads.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Electoral College are balking at the lopsided flood of cash pouring in from California to prevent Colorado voters from overturning the National Popular Vote bill, which Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed into law in March.

Figures compiled by Protect Colorado’s Vote show that more than 98% of the donations to Yes on National Popular Vote have been from Californians, while Coloradans have contributed 99% of the revenue raised to exit the compact.

“Obviously, California is incredibly engaged in getting Colorado’s votes,” said Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, who heads the referendum campaign.

This situation exemplifies why the Electoral College was put into place.  Without it, just 9 States (California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Florida) could elect the president, since they account for just over half the U.S. population.  Other States would become mere subsidiaries of one of these population centers.  Those who want the popular vote to prevail in presidential elections know they face an uphill battle to amend the Constitution.  Thus the “National Popular Vote” bill effort in many states, trying to put together a coalition to lump together a bunch of States to do what I believe to be an unconstitutional end-run around the Electoral College.

As the article above shows, what may work for California (and that’s arguable) may not apply to the conditions of another State, like Colorado.  This is one of many reasons the Founders intended most governance to be local (State and below), with the Federal government largely charged with handling the external affairs of the federation of States.  Too much of the divisiveness in this country is driven by efforts to impose “one size allegedly fits all” solutions from Washington, D.C. (or Sacramento, in this case).  What’s tragically ironic is that the loudest proponents of unitary government suddenly find their inner secessionist whenever the Federal Government goes against their agenda.  States like New York are passing local bills enshrining the legality of abortion, since many expect Roe v. Wade to be reviewed, revised or overturned in the next few years by a Supreme Court with more constitutional originalists on its bench.  The Left will stick up for “States’ rights” in such a scenario, but more times than not, they are happy to use Federal power to bludgeon the entire nation into compliance with their agenda.

Campaign financing has been another insidious erosion of local politics.  Note in the linked article who is funding the two sides of the National Popular Vote campaign.  Why are Californians allowed to contribute to campaigns in Colorado?  Another example is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes.  Once she won her primary in 2018, out-of-state money provided the majority of her general election campaign financing.  How does this square with the idea a ‘representative’ reflects local opinion and priorities?  (Spoiler: it doesn’t.)

What this does is turn every Congressional/Senatorial race into a national campaign.  We hear about the outsize influence of billionaires.  Well, guess who has the wherewithal to fund candidates all across the country?  That’s not the vision the Founders had in mind.  Want to reign in the influence of campaign contributions?  Two steps: only allow individual citizens (not corporations, PACs or any other organizational source) to contribute, and require them to contribute only to their State/local races.  As is often pointed out, only the office of the presidency was designed to be elected by the entire nation.  The current campaign financing model undermines that.

A truly federal system allows for variations and experimentation of policy to best meet local conditions and aspirations.  We have moved away from that to our great detriment.  How about some of that magic “diversity” when it comes to letting locals set their own agenda?  Save the Federal power for things that truly matter to everyone — like upholding the “Life” part of “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” by protecting the unborn.

Yankee, go home

There’s an old joke: what’s the difference between a Yankee and a damnyankee?  The first describes a person from north of the Maxon-Dixon line.  The second describes such a person who moves to the South, then tries to turn the South into the north.  That latter variety is easy to spot these days, as several States move to restrict or end organized infanticide.  Yankee transplants are having to come to grips that, outside their trendy neighborhoods in select cities that have been seduced economically, there are still wide swaths of the country that reject the currents of the current age:

Living in a very liberal city in a very conservative state is a trick mirror. “You really forget that you are in the Deep South here,’’ she said. The news was an awakening. When she had moved to New Orleans she volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She knocked on doors to ask for donations, expecting at least some to be slammed in her face. But nearly everyone she met was already making contributions to Planned Parenthood…

How will these new abortion laws affect the redistribution of talent to places whose economies prosper from that talent? Under the current conditions, I wondered if women like Tess and her friends, many of whom moved from New York or Los Angeles, would have chosen to relocate to the Deep South. I asked some of them, and they told me that they were not sure.

Well, they moved once… maybe a roundtrip ticket was in order.  Southerners have had just about enough of progressive proselytizing down here.

I concede that it’s interesting to talk to progressive Northerners who moved South, thinking that the Grand March of Progress would inevitably make the benighted (but cheap) metropolises of Dixie into non-deplorable locales — but who are learning that they, in fact, live in the South.

What chaps my butt about the piece is the assumption by the author (and those she writes about) that the South ought to assimilate to the dominant progressive culture. The message of this piece is, If you Christianist troglodytes don’t let us progressives have our abortions, we’re not going to move there and contribute to your economies.

I have an idea! All y’all could pack up your progressive colonialism ethic and go the hell back home.

And all God’s people said “amen.”

By passing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, pro-life advocates are setting the stage to provoke a legal fight they hope will culminate with the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.

It’s like the Alabama legislature watched all the giddy, tone-deaf hubris surrounding the New York legislature’s passage of their own bill expanding abortion rights (you remember the cheering pro-choice crowds and buildings awash in celebratory pink lighting), and said enough.

It is heartening to see a developing repentance and rejection of the idea of abortion on demand.  I pray our nation experiences such revival that one day our descendants look back on its supporters with the same horror reserved today for those who defended slavery.

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A one-way ticket

Democrats must be concerned about internal polling indicating Trump’s policy successes are pulling away minority votes:

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Monday that would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery on the black community and propose slavery reparations initiatives.

Sen. Booker tweeted in reference to the bill he will be backing in the Senate, saying, “I am proud to introduce legislation that will finally address many of our country’s policies—rooted in a history of slavery and white supremacy—that continue to erode Black communities, perpetuate racism and implicit bias, and widen the racial wealth gap.”

Senator Spartacus” obviously doesn’t see the irony inherent in a Black U.S. Senator complaining that blacks just can’t get ahead in this country, less than three years after a Black man left the Oval Office.  That said, let’s examine his complaint:

Few things “erode Black communities” like the twin scourges of welfare and abortion. Both are practically sacraments to leftists.  And both have devastated the nuclear family, which study after study shows is vital to social and economic mobility.  The advocacy of abortion in America, in particular, has demonstrably racist origins.  As for the welfare legacy of the Great Society, let’s review the thoughts of its architect, Democratic President Lyndon Johnson:

These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

No amount of monetary compensation can undo the damage that two generations of government paternalism has caused the Black community.  Only by leaving Uncle Sam’s plantation and its slave mentality of perpetual victimhood, and taking personal ownership of their community’s fate, is there any chance for improvement.  (The same is true for all Americans, not just Blacks.)  Reparations are the exact opposite of that.  It’s “enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”  Of course, it’s good for buying votes, though, which is the real point.

At the same time, reparations represent an injustice to the rest of Americans.  Inevitably, it will open the door for demands by the Native Americans, Hawaiians, the Chinese and others, each with their own legitimate historical grievances.  The fabric of our society will become even more frayed as each group jostles for its share of the loot.

And where will that loot come from?  Largely from the White Devils, of course.  After all, we pale skins are the root of all evil — our college professors told us so.  Sarcasm aside, I’m the first in my family history ever to go to college.  My ancestors were hardscrabble, not wealthy, and none ever owned slaves, even though they were eeeeeeeevil Southerners.  It wasn’t my white skin that got me through college.  It was my parents ensuring I made use of my high school education, and instilling the work ethic that allowed me to work and go to school at the same time.  If he had any sense, Spartacus would see why I’m less than enthused at the prospect of being taxed to pay for others’ historical sins.  Apparently to the Democrats, I’m a “deplorable,” a “bitter clinger,” and a cash cow for redistribution schemes.  I wonder why they’re having a hard time connecting with my demographic these days.

We need a different vision if this country is to survive, a century and a half after it nearly tore itself apart.  (Today, by the way, is the anniversary of the effective end of that cataclysm.)  I’m reminded of a line from the movie Kingdom of Heaven:

“We fight over an offense we did not give against those who were not alive to be offended.”

We are at a crossroads.  Either we acknowledge our shared history — good and bad — has led all Americans to where we are now, which is a place of privilege beyond compare to most of the world’s population.  Or we begin fighting over the scraps of that heritage, and in the process tear apart what remains of it.  We can no longer afford would-be leaders who use grievance-mongering for personal advancement (I’m looking at you, Southern Poverty Law Center).

Which is why I’ll say this: there is one form of reparation I would support, and one only.  The original offense of the slavers was to forcefully remove Africans from their home and transport them to the Americas.  If any slave’s descendants truly believe this country is irreparably unjust to them, I support funding a one-way ticket to whatever African country they choose.  I don’t expect a mad clamor to take up such an offer, however.  Anyone with eyes can see that even the poorest of families in the most violent of Democratic-run cities like Chicago or Baltimore still has more opportunity and more to be thankful for than the vast majority of their distant relatives overseas.  Deep down, Senator Spartacus and his ilk know it.

And that, I submit, is reparations enough.  If it isn’t, by all means book the flight, bill Uncle Sam, and leave your U.S. passport on the way out the door.

A sad contrast

Japan provides an example of how resilient life can be, particularly with the aid of modern technology:

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Keio University in Tokyo said Tuesday that a baby with a birth weight of 268 grams ((just over half a pound)) has been released from care at its hospital after growing to a weight of 3,238 grams ((7.1 pounds)), becoming the smallest boy in the world to be sent home healthy.

The boy from Tokyo was born through an emergency C-section in August as his weight did not increase at 24 weeks gestation and doctors determined his life was in danger, the university said.

The baby was so small at birth that he could fit in a pair of hands. But after doctors treated him at a neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital by managing his breathing and nutrition, he grew steadily and was able to be breastfed.

He left the hospital last Wednesday, two months after the initial due date.

I want people to know that babies can return home vigorous even if they are born small,” said attending Dr. Takeshi Arimitsu.

And I want people to think about how many children this tiny size are destroyed by abortion every year in the United States.