Learning something new every day

I’ve never had much use for the United Nations or the European Union.  Neither seem particularly responsive to the desires of the average person on the street.  Both are attempts to create structures that subordinate the nation-state, something I’m extremely wary of.

I just didn’t realize until this week how open they could be about their chosen symbology.   This is a somewhat well-known painting from 1563 of the Biblical Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel:

2

Compare this with the pictures below of a 1990s European Union poster promoting the theme of “many tongues, one voice,” as well as the shape of the European Union parliament building in Strasbourg France:

img_4429067786def     2011_04_12_parl_european

Not exactly subtle, is it?

Both the European Union and the United Nations push strongly for multiculturalism and the amalgamation of nations into some sort of global entity.  So a second attempt at a Tower of Babel seems a pretty apt symbol to adopt.  There was a reason God scattered the nations at Babel, and this statement of intention to overturn that action is possibly one of the most arrogant ones ever fashioned by human beings.

Wow.  Just… wow.

Advertisements

Is “diversity” good for America?

At every turn, we are assured by the media, too many politicians, and a whole host of activists that “diversity is our strength.”  Is it?  Some of the Founders would have dismissed such an idea.  John Quincy Adams, son of the second President, had this to say to his father in 1811:

“America is destined to be peopled by one nation, speaking one language, professing one general system of religious and political principles, and accustomed to one general tenor of social usages and customs.”  (emphasis added)

In this he was not falling far from the tree, so to speak.  During and after the American Revolution, the elder Adams strongly advocated English as a common language for the new nation.  George Washington, in his Farewell Address, noted the conditions of the younger Adams’ later observations were already present:

“With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.” (emphasis added)

We’re told that American-style liberty and self-governance is the desire of every human being; that in everyone, there’s an American struggling to break out.  Is that really true?  If so, then why are second-generation immigrants participating in terrorism?  Why are some advocating the adoption of an alien Sharia law system in the U.S.?  Why are there alien enclaves here waving foreign flags (while burning the U.S. one) and looking more like the lands of their ancestors than part of the United States?  Most importantly, who benefits from this conscious policy and why?

Culture is the wellspring from which a nation’s institutions flow.  The culture that created the United States was steeped in the Christian faith, the history of British self-governance and Enlightenment thinking about limited government.  Even today, those are hardly universal foundations for societies.   Around the world there are plenty of examples of what results when any or all of those pillars are missing.  So why would we not demand they continue to predominate here?  

America is now decades into its multicultural fetish.  But there is a tremendous difference between enjoying colorful assortments of dress, dance and cuisine, and acting as if all worldviews produce the same positive results.  They clearly do not.  I couldn’t help but think of the multiculturalists when I recently read about the custom in Madagascar of literally dancing with the corpses of dead family members.  I guarantee there are doctrinaire multiculturalists who would demand we not frown on such a horrific practice; that instead we celebrate what they would emphasize as an expression of love.  The problem is, such things have predictable consequences, such as the spreading of disease.  In most of Latin America (especially Brazil), the annual “Carnival” celebration is a license for utter debauchery.  In much of Islamic Africa, the genitals of young girls are mutilated in an attempt to mute their sexuality, a practice now flourishing in immigrant communities such as Detroit.

So what do we expect to happen when we have “diversity lotteries” for admission to the U.S., resulting in people moving here in large numbers directly from societies with such practices?  Is it not strange we have elected officials more concerned with protecting illegal immigrants than U.S. citizens?  We have forgotten, to our own peril, that the U.S., and more broadly Western Civilization, is unique in human history and that most of the world’s story is a uniform one of various flavors of subservience and misery for the average individual.  Too few Americans have personally experienced how different life outside the “developed world” can be, so they have no idea what’s at stake.

At the rate we’re going, though, many are about to find out.  Western Civilization once had the audacity to proclaim universal truths and standards of right and wrong.  But today it thinks of itself as merely one voice among many, and nothing special worth defending.  I believe the “diversity drive,” coupled with the now-prevalent idea there is no objective truth, will be noted by historians as the fatal acid that ate away the foundations of the United States.  The key question at this point is whether any of the original culture of this country will be preserved in what follows its approaching demise, or whether, as Winston Churchill once warned of the Nazi threat, “the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” 

Quote of the day

From Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds: “…it’s easy to see why lefties think “rape culture” is everywhere. In their world and institutions, it is.”

NBC fires Matt Lauer after complaint about ‘inappropriate sexual behavior’

NPR Chief News Editor departs after harassment allegations

Minnesota Public Radio fires Garrison Keillor over allegations of improper conduct

CNN producer fired over misconduct allegations

Second ex-staffer accuses Conyers of sexual harassment

Pelosi defends ‘icon’ Conyers, excuses Bill Clinton’s misconduct

Questions arise over what Disney knew of John Lassiter’s behavior

Showrunner for ‘Supergirl,’ ‘The Flash’ fired following sexual harassment claims

Aspiring actress details allegations against Harvey Weinstein

As another online wag put it, the Sexual Revolution, like the French Revolution before it, has reached the Reign of Terror phase, with the revolutionaries devouring their own.  This is more evidence that in a nation where anything goes, eventually everything will.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. – Galatians 6: 7-8

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.

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.