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.

DZtZTzpWkAIdqHd

For those with ears to hear

I was impressed by President Trump’s State of the Union address.  It was one of his better public speaking performances, and whoever helped him craft the remarks instilled some great message discipline.  The speech covered a wide range of topics, some of which I thought could have been left for a different venue in order to tighten up the key points.  But those key points shone through, as this analysis by Glenn Reynolds shows:

So one of the interesting things about Trump’s speech last night is how it seemed calculated to demolish all the standard anti-Trump tropes from the media and from the left and to do so with compelling imagery. Consider:

Trump’s a Nazi: Praise for Holocaust survivors, and a touching rendition of “Happy Birthday.” (With Trump waving his fingers like a conductor).
Trump hates minorities: Brags about record low black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment — while white-clad Democratic women, overwhelmingly white themselves, sat prune-faced.
Trump’s a Russian tool: Withdrawing from the INF Treaty.
Trump’s a warmonger: Without me, Trump says, we’d be at war on the Korean peninsula. Also, I’m looking at pulling out of Afghanistan.
Trump hates women: Except he got even the prune-faced white-clad Democratic women up dancing (and chanting “USA! USA!”) when he talked about record female employment in and out of Congress.

And his rebuke to socialism was designed to strip the glamour that the media have tried to imbue it with by tying it to the abject misery of Venezuela.

In debate, I think this is called cutting across your opponent’s flow. ((As a former competitive debater, I can confirm that term.  – Jemison))  And I think it’s Trump’s opening shot at 2020, as well as an effort to undercut the “Resistance” in and out of Congress. Plus, as Ann Althouse notes, despite the predictions of lefties like Robert Reich (see below) it was all wrapped in optimism and sunny American exceptionalism.

Genuinely Reaganesque.

There’s one Reynolds missed.  While I’m not in favor of the government providing taxpayer-funded family leave after the birth of a child, I was very glad to see him pivot from the “image of a mother holding her new baby” to the horrors of the recent pro-abortion legislation in New York and Virginia.  The contrast was deliberate and well-executed, followed by a call to Congress to outlaw late-term abortion (it’s a start).

Overall I was encouraged by the way in which the speech was an invitation to work together for the good of the country, without retreating from strongly held policy positions.  If the goal in politics is to capture the middle ground, I think Trump did a good job of it last night.

Naturally, many in the country today are dismissing everything he had to say.  Some, like Senator Chuck Schumer, were dismissing it even before hearing it.  No matter how reasonable Trump tries to be, nor how many facts he arms his talking points with, there will continue to be those partisans who refuse to listen.  Not only because they are invested in the Democratic party, but because they abhor the vision of America Trump’s election represents — a return to the roots, if you will.  The most “Reaganesque” moment of the speech in my opinion was when Trump pledged our nation would never be a socialist country.  The fact there were audible boos in the halls of Congress to this rejection of socialism should be a wakeup call to Americans who value their freedom.  It is not hyperbole to say there are members of Congress dedicated to subverting everything our Constitution and our history stand for.  They will not be swayed by reasonable arguments, demonstrable facts or the evidences of history.  They will have to be fought tooth and nail as if the survival of our nation depends on it.

Because it does.

A nation killing itself

Anticipating the possibility the monstrous Roe v. Wade decision might be overturned eventually, New York State passed landmark legislation to ensure the practice of sacrificing children to convenience will continue… and that the value of unborn life will continue to fall:

New York, with a newly empowered Democratic legislature, legalized late-term abortion on Tuesday and removed criminal penalties for botched abortions or other violence that leads to an in utero baby’s death. The sweeping law would remove the state’s ability to prosecute a Kermit Gosnell–type offender or a person who kills a child in utero through domestic abuse, for example.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, was not bashful about putting his signature to the new abortion law, wearing a pink tie, cracking jokes about how many years it took to pass the law, and ordering the World Trade Center to be lit in pink in celebration.

And the governor made sure to sign the bill on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to make a statement.  Most concerning is the fact this legislation permits abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, provided the mother’s life or health is at risk.  The act does not define health risk, however, leading some to believe this could be a loophole to allow near or full-term abortions under the guise of “emotional health risk” or other such interpretations.  The new law also moves regulation of abortion from the criminal law code to the public health code, lessening the impact of any sanctions.

Some news coverage of the event noted New York’s abortion rate is already twice the national average, with 23 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age.  That statistic conceals the true impact, however.  New York States own reported statistics show that for the period 2012 to 2014, there were 712,497 births in the state.  Over the same three-year period, there were 285,127 abortions.

This means just over 1 in 4 pregnancies in New York end in abortion.  1 in 4!

New York City is a center of world banking and commerce, with fantastic amounts of money flowing through it.  Fortunes are made and lost every day.  Could it be New Yorkers are literally sacrificing their futures for the fleeting prosperity of the moment?  If so, they would hardly be the first.  Governor Cuomo celebrated the new law by ordering the new Freedom Tower (the replacement for the Twin Towers toppled on 9/11) to be lit in pink.  That prompted someone to update this old image with the same color.moloch

We have descended from the piousness of the Pilgrims to the practices of the pagan Ammonites.  They, too, sacrificed children in the hope of material prosperity.

reverse gospel Today, the Ammonite civilization, such as it was, is dead.  When we’re extending a big pink middle finger towards the heavens, should we expect any different?

Pray for our nation!

Confronting real horror

As we close in on Halloween this year, the usual crop of horror movies are being advertised.  Yet the most horrific storytelling of all — a true story — is being ignored by the mainstream media:

Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia that was shut down after he was arrested for a myriad of crimes. And that’s where Gosnell begins, with the lead-up to and raid on Dr. Gosnell’s clinic. Ending with the trial completed, Gosnell is a stirring call to value and protect life…

Gosnell resists the temptation to devolve into a melodramatic serial killer movie. In large part because of the tone set by the tightly constructed screenplay that never once waivers off point, Searcy and his cast are able to deliver an entertaining movie that also calls the viewer to think and feel deeply about the presence of the evil of abortion in our society, but without using cheap dramatic tactics to manipulate the audience’s emotions.

We live in a society that revels in movies about chainsaw massacres, and which willingly subjects itself annually to increasingly sadistic rituals in the name of “fun.”  Yet it seems not to have the stomach to confront the face of real evil.  Here’s hoping Gosnell forces us to take a long, close, uncomfortable look at the worldviews we’ve allowed to take root in our culture.  It would also be great if viewers walked out of the movie wondering “why is this the first time I’ve heard about this?”

Those blissful pre-Columbians

Archeologists continue to find out more about the utopia that was the Western Hemisphere before paradise was troubled by the arrival of the Europeans:

Aztec human sacrifices were far more widespread and grisly that previously thought, archaeologists have revealed.

In 2015 archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found a gruesome ‘trophy rack’ near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

Now, they say the find was just the tip of the iceberg, and that the ‘skull tower’ was just a small part of a massive display of skulls known as Huey Tzompantli that was the size of a basketball court…

Some Spanish conquistadors wrote about the tzompantli and its towers, estimating that the rack alone contained 130,000 skulls…

And since not only men but women and children are represented in the excavation’s finds, it shows how progressively egalitarian Aztec society was.

OK, enough sarcasm.  Imagine being a sincerely devoted Spanish Christian who came upon such a scene in its heyday.  Would you have tried to understand it as a legitimate alternative cultural norm equally valid to your own, or would you have seen a literally monumental affront against God’s greatest creation (human beings), and acted accordingly?

It’s one thing to criticize the abuses Europeans inflicted upon the native peoples of the Americas.  It’s quite another to consider the two societies to be on the same moral footing.  The word “savage” is no longer in vogue, but correctly used it describes a society completely cut off from the Truth and the Word of God.

But before we moderns become too conceited, let’s remember that savagery and human sacrifice aren’t extinct, and some of the worldviews that lead to it are still very much with us.

Reaping what’s been sown

A friend recently wrote in a conversation we were having that “Trump is simultaneously the worst thing we could do and absolutely the best outcome we deserve.”  I think he’s on to something there.  Or, as another writer put it (links below added by me):

The truth of the matter is that America is finally under the judgment of God. Our nation has been given over to what it wants. America is under a deluding influence. Such a deleterious condition cannot be remedied with better and more aggressive public policy arguments. The Scripture teaches that people can go so far in their sin that God finally removes His hand of restraint upon them and finally gives them over to what they want to do. …

Why do I believe that America is now at this delicate tipping point? Largely, it is because of the meteoric rise of a person like Donald Trump in American politics. The man is a moral and verbal sewer. He has no political resume. Rather, his campaign has been buoyed by empty promises devoid of any real substance or meaningful content. He merely repeats mantras that the voters want to hear similar to the types of statements that Barack Obama gave us back in 2008. … This type of rhetoric seems more akin to that of a used car salesman rather than that of a serious presidential contender.  …

The fact that all the evidence indicates that Trump throughout the course of his entire life really never believed all of the conservative positions that he now supposedly holds is really of no consequence to people. …

Further evidence of God withdrawing his hand from America might also be found in the recent deaths of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Theologian Dr. Charles Ryrie. Both of these men were similar in their ambition to honor authorial intent. They were both giants and sources of great spiritual light in their respective fields. What Scalia was to the field of Constitutional interpretation, Ryrie was to the field of biblical theology. Yet, within the span of a few days, as both men passed, these lights to the culture were removed by the hand of God.

My friend made an interesting analogy to the book of Judges, which details the descent of ancient Israel into increasing disobedience and hard-heartedness towards God’s law.  God rescues Israel multiple times from oppression and disaster, but the character of the judges He raises as His instruments declines steadily over time (a reflection of the loss of the nation’s character).  Just before the story of rebellious Samson (a seriously lapsed Nazarite and a horrible judge of women), we encounter the story of Jephthah.   My friend proposed in his comments that “If Reagan was Gideon Trump is Jepthath.” 

If he’s correct, may God have mercy on us.  For if our trajectory parallels that of Israel, we are destined soon for captivity and worse.  I do not know whether Trump can provide the temporary reprieve for America that so many seriously flawed judges did for Israel.  I have serious doubts he can, and even if he succeeds in some material relief he will be a spiritual disaster.  The story of those judges, though, are a reminder that God can use the most unlikely of people to accomplish His purposes.  That does not absolve the faithful of looking for spiritual character in our leaders, but it might be a hopeful thought in this time when so few seem to have any.  We also need to be reminded from time to time of our Lord’s warning that “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Far too many of our politicians — sadly, now including The Donald — profess a publicly convenient faith when their lives show no evidence of the fruit of such a relationship.

I’ve said it before and will continue to say it: I don’t know where all this is going, but I strongly suspect we won’t like the destination.  We have lost discernment as a people, and that includes inviting ever-larger numbers of people to our land who are actively hostile to the faith of our fathers.  This is a time-tested recipe for conflict.  As the Philistines were first emulated by Israel and then enslaved them, our importation into the West of millions of Muslims may result in the same fate.

If ever there was a time for a people to humble themselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, it is us, and it is now.  There is much we need to repent of, individually and as a people.  And as we watch the rise of people like Trump the Con Man, Clinton the Crooked and Sanders the Commie, it’s enough to make me wonder if God feels towards us the exasperation He once expressed to Jeremiah:

“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?”

Dear reader, are you ready for the storm?  We’ve sown the wind for far too long, and are on the verge of reaping the whirlwind.  Just remember, no matter what happens, ‘the journey does not end here.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”