Light Engaging Darkness 5 –
1) Feel the Hate – Barcleona, Finland and Charlottesville –
The world seems full of violence and hate. one person killed in Charlottesville by a far right extremist, another two in Finland and 14 in Barcelona by Islamists. What has astounded me, and it really shouldn’t because now we should expect it, is the different reactions from most of our media and many of our politicians and commentators. On the one hand we have an endless stream of news about the danger of far right extremists in the United States. On the other, any time an Islamist attack occurs, our media and politicians are very quick to reassure us that this has nothing to do with Islam and that to even suggest that it does is to commit the sin of Islamaphobia!
Once again Brendan O’Neill expresses it best
“The footage coming out of Barcelona is deeply disturbing. In terms of ideological hatred, violent misanthropy and utter contempt for the freedom of everyday life, America’s neo-Nazis don’t even come close to these Islamist sects.”
“They’re still talking about Charlottesville. Still. Even as the barbarism in Barcelona raises the number of European citizens slaughtered by Islamists since 2014 to *461*. Four-hundred-and-sixty-one people killed in Europe in three years. Four-hundred-and-sixty-one. Let that sink in for a minute. By extremists who loathe liberty, democracy and mankind far more seriously than those sad neo-Nazis in the US do. But don’t look back in anger, eh? We wouldn’t want to create community tensions. “Don’t make a scene” — that’s always the response to Islamist terror.The message is so clear now: the political set will only give a shit about you if you’re killed by a white extremist.”
The reactions are so contradictory – on the one hand the Islamist question is ‘complicated’ – on the other far right extremists in the United States are simple – they are Nazis and Nazis are bad. End of. The latter simplistic attitude allows people to virtue signal on social media like crazy – something that the wonderful Babylon Bee captured well in this satirical piece. Man Willing to go on Internet to say Nazis are Bad
But we have no idea how to deal with Islamist extremists. Militant secularists say that it’s all religion to blame – as though the Catholics and Quakers are as culpable as the Islamists. Politicians say it’s nothing to do with Islam. This tweet shows the weakness and pathetic ineptitude of the West. We deal with militant Islam by tweeting pictures of cats!
Even as I post this I am listening to a UK government spokesperson say that we need stronger legislation on online hate crime – and the example he gives is Charlottesville – not Barcelona. Why?
2) Feel the Love –
But if you’re fed up of the hatred in our cultural elites have a solution for you – feel the love! Love is Love as Glasgow takes to the Streets with Pride
The Glasgow Pride weekend received an enormous amount of coverage – despite the fact that it was attended, even with all the publicity and promotion, by just 5000 people. But that did include the great, the good and the corporations. What fascinated me most about it was Nicola Sturgeon’s speech. I suspect it will not be used in any collection of great 21st-century speeches! There was an astonishing revelation – apparently “love is love”. Cue loud applause at this brilliant insight! Ranks with ‘Brexit is Brexit’ and ‘Bread is Bread’! Who would have thought it?! But what is love? Is it different from lust? Is it just an emotion? Is it a chemical imbalance? Is every feeling that we call ‘love’ justification for what we want to do? If a man says that he loves his wife, but he also loves his secretary, and his best friend – does that mean that he is entitled to sleep with all three? After all love is love! Was our first Minister telling us that she’s about to allow polygamy – because after all love is love? What about two brothers who ‘love’ one another? Love is after all love.
From the Christian perspective we know what love is – God is love. “God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as the an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”(1 John 4:8-11). This is how I know what love is – but what does our First Minister mean when she uses the term? – and when people applaud, do they know what they are applauding?
There was a more chilling aspect to her speech:
“We are going to continue to make progress – over the next months we are going to continue to work with the TIE campaign…to stop bullying…”. Also to get Equal marriage in Northern Ireland and we wil start consultation we have committed to, to reform the gender laws…..transgender, non-binary or intersex……‘with the love that is in Glasgow Green today – together we will do it….”
Notice once again the farce of the ‘consultation’ on reforming the gender laws to allow anyone just to change their gender at the stroke of a pen. There will be no consultation – at least not in any meaningful sense. The First Minister has decided that love is love and that love means allowing people to change their gender whatever the medical and scientific evidence says. And if you don’t agree we will hate you…!
Speaking of love, this has apparently become the most retweeted tweet of all time.
I cannot help but feel that it is well-meaning and expresses a great sentiment but that it is trite and superficial. One hesitates to disagree with former President Obama but when he states that ““People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” I’m afraid I have to question – on what basis does he make that statement? He may wish it to be true but is there any empirical evidence that it is true? There is a tendency to ignore the biblical teaching about the human heart – which is is that it is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Ignoring that means that we end up with trite comments and superficial solutions. The fact is that both love and hatred are in every human heart. Nice tweets don’t change that and don’t make the world a better place.
Back to the Glasgow Pride Rally. Although the gay lobbyists now have control of the Establishment all is not well in ‘Pride’ world. There was some dissent at the role of the police, heading the parade (they are setting themselves up nicely for being the thought police of the regime) and at the role of the corporations. This article was fascinating.
It appears that even with all the victories the gay lobbyists have won – in the most successful social change movement in modern times – it will never be enough. Victim status is so ingrained that it needs to be continually fed. When the results of the social revolution don’t turn out as expected you can expect the blame shifting to begin and the ‘love’ to quickly turn to hate.
Meanwhile the State sponsored indoctrination continues – Nick Gibb another ‘equalities minister’ wants all children to be taught explicit gay sex. http://www.christian.org.uk/news/equalities-minister-push-pro-lgbt-sex-relationships-education/?e180817
In case you missed it last week I received the most ridiculous and inane response from a government minister that you are likely to. Justine Greening Responds – The Banality of Evil In actual fact several people I know received almost word for word the same response. In other words the UK government, like the Scottish government, has no interest in what voters think – if we do not go along with their authoritarian doctrines, we are just to be dismissed by robotic inane letter which answers nothing.
3) Sacked for telling the Truth –
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40959387 Sarah Champion, the shadow Equalities minister has ‘resigned’ after stating that ““Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.” She is from Rotherham where over 1500 white working class girls were abused because the social work, police and politicians were too scared of being called racist. To make such a statement is not to accuse all Pakistani men of being abusers. But to ignore the culture and ethnicity of those mostly involved is not only foolish but dangerous. Imagine if this had been a situation where it was only black children who had been abused – by white racists. You think for one minute that Jeremy Corbyn would have fired his equalities Minister for pointing that out? There is a complete double standard.
4) The Real Modern Slavery
Please listen to this superb podcast from the Spectator and then read Julie Bindall’s article. on the same subject.
Again it is astounding that many of those who were marching at the gay pride event argue that there is such a thing as a ‘sex worker’ – as though it were a legitimate career and something to be desired. Bindal’s article destroys the myth of the Happy Hooker – and shows that many of those who class themselves as “sex workers” are in fact pimps, brothel owners and pornographers. This is modern-day slavery and so many of our cultural elites support it because of their ignorance and their fear of being perceived to be non-politically correct. Bindal researched this article for over a year and it is clear that her work has been well done.
5) The Media Portrayal of Christians in Drama continues to reflect and create prejudice.
I loved Inspector Morse – and then the sequel Lewis – but astonishingly for me I think the prequel – Endeavour is even better. Watching one of the latest episodes though reminded me of how ‘subtle’ the media is in portraying Christians. Without spoiling the plot it involves a ‘Mary Whitehouse’ figure campaigning against ‘filth’ on the BBC and in the media – cue images and caricatures of hard, miserable fuddy-duddies who are total repressed hypocrites. It is a drama but it is from such dramas that people get their impressions and images. I just wonder what any script writer will have the courage, intelligence and nuance to portray Christians as human, real and yes sinners but also people who may have a point?
6) Google’s Orwellian Version of Tolerance-
This article from Spiked is a good commentary on the intolerance of Google – who fired one of their employees, James Damore, for daring to express something that was true (like Sarah Champion) but which didn’t fit with their ‘values’.
The reality, as we are now glimpsing, is that Google is just like other companies: it doesn’t really welcome free expression, and it doesn’t like to be criticised. That doesn’t mean that Google is ready to discard its claims to openness. In the midst of explaining to employees why he fired Damore, Pichai asserted that ‘we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves’. But presumably only if they express agreement with Google.
And don’t think it is just their employees. There is the extraordinary case of Jordan Peterson whose thoughtful and stimulating videos were banned by Google because he refused to use what they considered to be proper gender pronouns. http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/01/google-and-youtube-ban-prof-who-refused-to-use-gender-neutral-pronouns/
It was good to read this article from Kevin McKenna in The Herald – recognising what is going on in our culture – ironically an article about hatred and intolerance was met with a response of hatred and intolerance!
7) Is the Church like an empty Whisky bottle?
I have been engaging in a clear out from my study. Its been really hard trying to be ruthless and get rid of books – but so far I have managed – duplicates, ones I won’t read again and some that are really just taking up space. Some have gone to the local second hand bookshop – the good ones have gone to the Church for people just to take – and the rubbish ones went to the dump. I’m sorry but there is no way that for example I could pass on any of Brian Mclaren’s heretical drivel. I want to give the pure water of the Gospel, not the poison of that which seeks to destroy the Gospel.
Another thing I have found hard to get rid of is my whisky bottles and containers. (Before the e-mails start I fully accept that there are Christians who think that drinking alcohol is wrong and I respect but disagree with their opinion – for me malt whisky is a small pleasure which the Lord has given us to enjoy – the ‘wine that makes glad the heart of a man’ as Ps 104 tells us – of course drunkenness is wrong). I don’t actually have any bottles that contain whisky – the well has run dry!
But I do collect the containers. Much to the puzzlement of Mrs R. Why? is the not unreasonable question she asked. I have to say that I didn’t really have an answer beyond – ‘I like it’ – which was not really adequate and since I need the space they have all gone!
Which set me thinking – empty bottles of the ‘uisge-beatha’ (water of life) are useless if they don’t contain any of it. Like churches which once knew the blessing of the Lord and had spiritual life, but now have just become empty shells (and I am not referring to the buildings but to the congregations, denominations etc). The container is there – but the life has long gone. It reminded me of something that I read in John Owen’s the Glory of Christ –
“That which was faith truly spiritual and evangelical in their first planting, becomes a lifeless opinion in succeeding ages. The same truths are still professed, but that profession springs not from the same causes, nor does it produce the same effects in the hearts and lives of men. Hence, in process of time, some churches continue to have an appearance of the same body which they were at first, but – being examined – are like a lifeless, breathless carcase, wherein the animating Spirit of grace does not dwell. And then is any church, as it was with that of the Jews, nigh to destruction, when it corrupts formerly professed truths, to accommodate them unto the present lusts and inclinations of men.” (P103- Owen vol 1) . )
Finally something to cheer up your work – this wonderful clip of Kris Kristofferson explaining how he wrote the song ‘ Why me, Lord?”…Enjoy – see you next week…
LED 4 – Neo-Nazis and Antifa – Trump and North Korea – State Religion enforces Female Clergy – The Morality of Holidays – The Decline of the SNP and rise of Labour – Shoes, Gender Neutral Tampons, KLM and the Genderless Child – Glenn Campbell – Bill Jamieson