Quote of the Day

From Kurt Schlichter:

“When you own a weapon and can defend yourself and your rights, you are a citizen. When you do not, you are a subject.”  (emphasis added)

And that, in a nutshell, is the real root of the Left’s desire to gut the 2nd Amendment.  This week marks the centennial of the advent of communism.  The body count that ideology racked up was due in no small part to the fact that its targets were usually unarmed and unable to fight back effectively.

one execution from utopia

The entire article is worth your attention, in light of recent events.

Advertisements

History is rarely black and white

One of the most obvious targets of multiculturalism over the past 40 years has been a reinterpretation of Columbus’ voyage to the New World.  Where Americans in the early history of our nation learned the rhyme “In the year of our Lord 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” today’s progressives take issue with every part of that statement.  Their reinterpretation might run something like “In 1492 of the Common Era, Columbus unleashed all the New World’s terror.”

Columbus was neither saint nor monster.  It’s a symptom of the culture wars we live in that people expect to subscribe solely to one of the two views above.  Perhaps only a descendant of both Christopher Columbus and Montezuma II can truly appreciate the mixed bag of results from that fateful voyage of discovery:

History has some truly evil people. Columbus is certainly not one of them. Most often, history is not made up of perfect people and evil ones, but of complex people who must be understood in context.

What is happening at the hands of Columbus’ detractors is political, not historical. As his direct descendant and namesake, I should know.

Two cultures meeting for the first time in 1492 was no easy thing, but blaming Columbus for everything that went wrong hides the truth about him and about those who followed him. It also obscures the great things that the countries of the American hemisphere have accomplished.

What is lacking in the anti-Columbus narrative is any sense of history or of nuance…

Those who now question Columbus conveniently ignore the fact that slavery, cannibalism, warfare and even human sacrifice all existed in the Americas before he even sailed.

The modern Columbus points out that today’s generation has a difficult time understanding how religious faith permeated European society in the early 1500s.  Thus it is difficult for the modern “don’t judge” generation to understand the reaction of Europeans to seeing towers of skulls adorning Aztec architecture, or the bloody sacrifice of scores of natives by Aztec priests.  There was no sense of moral relativism at that time — or for centuries afterwards.  What the natives were doing was simply wrong by the most basic understanding of the Spaniards’ moral foundations.  So “civilizing” natives became a driving force in colonialization — as well as a rationalization for cruel behavior on the part of some Europeans, who took it as a license to abuse the “savages.”

This rationalization for abuses is rightly criticized today.  But it leads frequently to another error: assuming that the abuse of the natives means that their culture was somehow more noble than that of their sometime European tormentors.  This overreaction leads some today to whitewash the history of the precolumbian Americas. It’s not hard to detect this at work in the arts, when a prominent Hollywood production can be entitled “1492: Conquest of Paradise.”

Despite Disney’s Pocahontas singing about painting with “the colors of the wind” or the obvious parallels to the native experince in blockbusters like Avatar, the New World of 1492 was not some sort of New Age pantheistic utopia.  Such things simply don’t exist on earth.  Only the rejection of the Christian worldview (which sees all of creation as fallen and flawed — even the Western Civilization that was once known as Christendom) can lead to such a romanticization of indigenous life.  Yes, the arrival of the Europeans meant much of that way of life was lost.  But unless we’re arguing for a return of human sacrifice to one-up the current revival of tattoos, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

The truly sad thing is that so many of those today who focus on what was lost take little to no time to think about what was gained as well.  Representative government was unknown in the Americas before the Europeans arrived —  and it further developed and prospered in the incubator of the New World.  Even the poorest in the hemisphere today largely enjoy a standard of living higher than that of their ancestors (though you wouldn’t know that by the rhetoric of the Marxist-inspired Bolivarists who have wrecked Venezuela without any help from Columbus). By focusing on the admitted excesses of the post-1492 story, the tale of the very progress the progressives claim to seek is lost. Instead, grievances are nursed and divisions maintained.

Who benefits from that?

The third certainty

It’s said the only things certain in life are death and taxes.  To that I would add it’s certain the Left will call for strict gun control that guts the 2nd Amendment every time a mass shooting occurs.  After all, as Rahm Emanuel put it: “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  So it’s no surprise the friendly fascists at moveon.org already have a petition up for “commonsense gun control:”

* Ban civilian ownership of weapons designed for warfare.
* Close the gun show loophole.
* Create certificates of ownership for firearms, similar to automobiles, which should be governed by similar regulations, including the need for training, testing, and insurance.

Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?

First of all, who would decide whether a weapon was “designed for warfare?”  I’m sure they have in mind the spooky black rifle of their feverish nightmares known as the AR-15.  Never mind that civilians can only own semi-automatic versions of this, which makes it no different from most hunting rifles.  There are also many people who are proud owners of Springfield M1911 handguns.  These were originally designed for war, but are now commonly owned by civilians.  Would that no longer be permitted?  Maybe they’re thinking about automatic weapons (which the ignorant on the Left often claim AR-15s are).  Here’s the problem: it’s been illegal for more than 30 years to own an automatic weapon without a specific federal license that is extremely difficult to obtain.

That’s right, kids: our shooter in Las Vegas was in possession of more than a dozen weapons that were just as illegal for him to have as it was for him to kill people with them.  But feel free to cling to your fantasies that laws will prevent this kind of thing.  Just don’t drag me or my legally owned weapons into your unworkable utopias.

Second: “close the gun show loophole.”  This ridiculous phrase is used after every shooting, as though these killers are buying their weapons at the local Shriners show before going on a rampage.  There are no specific loopholes in federal law that apply to gun shows.  None.  Those who engage in the business of selling firearms, whether at a gun show or at a private business, must run a federal background check before completing a sale.  Period.  The only way around this is personal resale (for instance, if I sell a weapon to a relative).  To be accurate, what gun control advocates need to say is they want to require everyone to get Uncle Sam’s permission before selling their own legally owned property.  That sounds much more infringing on personal liberty than “closing a gun show loophole,” though, doesn’t it?

Third: ownership certificates with various requirements attached.  This is where I may part company with some.  I believe the 2nd Amendment is a crucial liberty and non-negotiable.  Every law-abiding citizen has the inalienable right to self-defense, and that includes the mechanical means to enable that defense.  That said, every right carries a responsibility, and it’s clear many people don’t take that seriously.  So just as I would advocate a citizenship exam before allowing people to vote, I do not necessarily object to requiring citizens to pass a safety and qualifying course before receiving a certificate to own personal weapons.  The only issue here is one of degree.  There are plenty of gun controllers who would use such a concession to create a process so onerous that nobody would be willing/able to complete it and thus obtain a firearm.  If such a process were permitted, it would have to be under the guidance that the burden is on the State to show why someone should NOT be issued a weapon, rather than on a citizen to show why they should.  (This is similar to the difference in “may issue” versus “shall issue” for concealed permits.)

So of the three items in the petition the first is deliberately ambiguous, the second is a tired sound bite, and the third may — MAY — have some merit if done correctly.  Instead of putting enormous effort behind such an ill-thought petition, here’s a better use of your time:

Ask why it took police SEVENTY-TWO minutes to respond and breach the shooter’s room in Las Vegas.  (This is the first of many odd things that stand out about the Las Vegas attack.)  Then ask yourself if you want to outsource your personal defense to institutions that have, at best, a questionable ability to actually protect you in the event someone has murder in mind.  (As the saying goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.)

No civilian crowd should ever be under (illegal) automatic weapons fire for more than an hour. And none should ever face such a situation without recourse to their own ability to defend themselves.  Granted, concealed carry weapons at the concert likely wouldn’t have done much against a madman firing from the 32nd floor.  Remember, though, the reason this is news is that such an event is an outlier, not the everyday experience.  In many crises there are often plenty of veterans (both of the military and police) and brave lifelong civilians present who, given the tools, would be willing to respond much faster to such a public emergency.  The public should not have to depend on someone else to save them when they are capable of saving themselves.

I’ll close by pointing this out: many of those yammering about gun control the past couple of days were fully on board both with the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun running scheme to Mexican cartels, as well as his release of billions of dollars to Iran — a known terrorist-supporting government openly determined to obtain atomic weapons.  Given this, their pleas of “give me your guns so we can make you safe” sound more than a little hollow and self-serving.  Besides, if Trump is “literally Hitler,” isn’t calling for public disarmament self-defeating?  (Never try to look for consistency in Leftist arguments — it isn’t there.)

We live in an increasingly dangerous world, where terrorists maim with weapons as varied as automatic weapons and automobiles.  At the same time our governments seem determined to allow a continued flood of strangers from violent lands to settle among us. Between terrorists and the mentally ill, there is simply no way to predict when the next incident will occur.  As someone who carried a weapon and defended this nation–including the Constitutional right to carry firearms–for 24 years in uniform, I’m not about to give up my legally acquired weapons or the right to defend myself and my family.

Period.

Hope in the storm

Hurricane Irma is scheduled to start her run Sunday up the spine of Florida–a State I have many ties to.  It’s a unique display of the destructive chaos of a fallen universe.  I don’t put much stock in leaders who often jump to declare individual disasters as specific judgments from God for specific failures of a group of people.  The Bible certainly confirms He has done so in the past.  And we live in an age literally hell-bent on thumbing our nose at God.  But I believe in this age of Grace we now live since the sacrifice of Christ, these “acts of God” are less often conscious action on His part than they are inaction to stop the built-in consequences of a creation frustrated under the weight of sin.

There are two things to consider here from God’s view.  First, the world increasingly rejects anything to do with Him.  Second, times of catastrophe focus us on what’s truly important and necessary far more than do times of calm and comfort.  So rather than seeing God as a cosmic killjoy looking for excuses to hurl lightning bolts at wrongdoers, I believe the better analogy is one of a rejected Lover who has sadly granted our world’s desire to leave His presence and prescriptions, and as a consequence lose His protection as well.

But that’s the “big picture,” so to speak.  The wondrous part of all this is that God doesn’t just deal with humanity.  Or a specific nation.  Or a specific city.  He treats with each of us individually, desiring a personal relationship based on reciprocal love.  This is unlike any “religious” conception on earth: the Creator desiring individual communion with His created.  Despite humanity’s sinful nature He cares for us and hears us — our needs, wants, fears, and confessions.  Just this week a family I know was stranded far from home with a broken car well after business hours.  Yet God answered their pleas for help with an amazing turn of events that brought the right people (including an off-duty mechanic) and provided the resources to get them safely on their way again.

So in the midst of the storm; in the midst of the effects of the rule of this present darkness, we all have the privilege to seek shelter through prayer in the love of the Father, made possible by His Son, Jesus Christ.  It’s not simply a “get out of jail free” card, or some kind of magic spell to ward off tragedy.  No, this presence He offers provides comfort, perspective, and strength regardless of what happens physically:

(King) Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.  But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

That is the comfort and strength I’m talking about: the confidence to trust God, obey Him, and let Him work all things for the good of those who love HimIt may not be the “good” we think we want.  “Unfair” things will happen.  We may lose our jobs.  Our earthly possessions.  Even our life.  But for those who love God and trust Him, any and all of that pales in comparison to the eternal joy that awaits us when we see Him face to face.

Everyone reading this is facing storms.  It may not be a Category 4 hurricane, but we each have pressures that threaten to crush us.  Know there is a God who cares for you, who is far more powerful than any storm you could face, and who desires what He knows is the best for you.  Ask Him for peace.  For calm in the midst of the storm.  And    *Even If*    it seems the storm has taken everything away from you, know that if your trust is in God you already have everything you need.  There is nothing that can take that away from you.

Nothing.

May the Lord bless and keep us all, according to His good will.

Leading the little ones astray

And [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  (Luke 17:1-2)

The post is also known as Reason #34,892 to stop entrusting your children’s indoctrination education to others:

An elite charter school in California has been rocked by scandal since the end of the last school year, when a kindergarten teacher read her class a pair of books advocating transgender ideology, and a male kindergartener was reintroduced to the class as a girl.

Now first-graders at Rocklin Academy Gateway risk a trip to the principal’s office if they refer to their transgender classmate by the wrong name or gender pronoun, said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family group based in Sacramento.

“There was a little girl who had been in class with the little boy all last year,” Ms. England said. “They’re in different classes now, but she saw him on the playground yesterday and called him by his name. The little girl was told ‘you can’t do that, his name is this name,’ and ‘you need to call him a “her.”’ Then she was called to the principal’s office.”

We had this quaint notion about thirty years ago that there was a “culture war” going on in this country.  That is no longer the case.  There is a spiritual — and all to often, physical — war for the soul of this nation under way.  Six year olds have enough to be confused about as they observe the world around them without adults trying to teach them there are upteen numbers of “genders,” and that one can flow from one to another.

In a more civilized era we’d have called this what it is: child abuse.  Anyone with this agenda should not be allowed within 100 miles of society’s most vulnerable minds and hearts.

What are we doing to protect those hearts?  What are we doing to push back against the present — and growing — darkness of this world?

Where have all the Christians gone?

This is a lengthy excerpt.  I recommend you read the entire piece here.

A generation ago pop star Bonnie Tyler famously asked: “Where have all the good men gone?”

Since then, the situation has only gotten worse, Bonnie.  As C.S. Lewis noted, men in the English-speaking world have largely been emasculated, and men in the Church are seldom an exception to this decades-long trend.

To stand strong for one’s faith in Jesus Christ and push back against a culture that, in the words of Isaiah 5:20, “call[s] evil good and good evil” is to be “divisive,” “unloving,” “bigoted,” and “intolerant.”

This is because evangelicals have confused Christ’s command to love others with being likable, as if that were an attribute of God. (It isn’t.)  As such, they endeavor to be, above all else, inoffensive and polite.  This doctrinal malpractice has given us a generation of men who are what Lewis called “men without chests.”  …

I urge you instead to be offended by the way our God’s name is blasphemed in our country every day; by the 54 million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973; by the sordid sexual agenda that is eroding the very fabric of Western civilization; by the fact that Christians are dying for their faith, largely at the hands of Muslims, at a rate of 100,000 per year; and, most of all, by the reality that these things are being ignored, trivialized, or celebrated.  These are things that offend me deeply, and I hope they offend you, too.  Righteous anger has a place within the Christian life.  Tap into it.  In the words of Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin.”   …

Evangelical Christians comprise a hefty 26 percent of the U.S. population. I fully believe that if they were to find their voices, their courage, and were to dispense with candy-assed Christianity, that we would see a Great Awakening in America.

Agreed.  Christ himself on several occasions was contemptuous with the authorities of the day, and felt no need to be “nice” to the those who wore the trappings but denied the Truth.  The Church should worry less about getting along with the world, and more about challenging that world, whatever the cost.  We need Paul’s persistence, not Osteen’s opulence.

What have we become?

After a very busy day, I made the mistake of checking the news before turning in.  Dallas is the latest reminder that our nation is coming unglued, beset by enemies without and within.

Earlier this week I was leading my family in prayer, and found myself breaking down in tears as I confessed to God I don’t recognize my country anymore.  I’m a student of history, so I know full well we don’t live in the roughest of times.  Yet.  As one commenter put it this evening, “1968 wasn’t fun the first time around.”  All the symptoms of another great storm are here, however.  The clouds have been gathering for some time, and only the grace of God can avert what seems to lie ahead for our land.  We don’t need new regulations… we need renewed repentance.  Policy tinkering won’t address the real issues… but prostrating ourselves before the Lord can.

Christians, are you in prayer?  Is your heart breaking?  Not just because of a sense of losing your country, but because it seems the Evil One is poised for another of his days, and his goal is the same as it ever was: to “steal, kill and destroy” — to keep away from God and destroy as many precious lives as he can.  If there is any good that can come out of the lawlessness and terror that is on the increase, it is that people may be jolted from the vanity fair long enough to ask in earnest: what have we become?