States' Rights, States' Flags

After crossing the eastern half of the country and listening to NPR for at least 10 per cent of it, you’d have thought that the Confederate Flag shot those AME church members in Charleston (though it sure did knock Laudato Si below the fold). Nothing about Dylann Roof and his family or background, nothing about the families of the victims, or about the congregation itself and how it is going to go on. Instead, aside from the escaped convicts in New York State, the media is all about stories related to taking the flag down.

I have long suspected that the Confederate Flag stood not for slavery or white supremacy but signified a form of protest resolutely American. Most Americans believe in limited government. Even proponents of big federal programs don’t want government infringing on civil liberties. So if you see a Confederate Flag in a dorm room window at the University of Michigan, which I have, my suspicion is that here is a mid-westerner who has chosen the flag of one political body that tried to resist the centralization of the federal government.

Many people do not view the flag so innocently. And I can well understand why African-Americans object to it. But I have trouble believing that the flag is a means for vindicating homicide or starting race wars. David Duke is not Dylann Roof who is not Robert L. Dabney.

At the same time, the Confederate Flag could hardly represent well the political conviction of states’ rights. It is one flag that stood for the 11 states that fought the North. Each of those southern states had their own flag. That is why I, as a states’ rightser, have always flown the state flags of our several residences. When we had only lived in four states, I would change the flag at each season — Massachusetts in the winter, Pennsylvania in the spring, Maryland in the summer, and Illinois in the fall. The flaw in this plan came when a funny and cynical friend told our neighbors during the First Iraq War that the red, white, black, and gold flag we flew in the summer was the Iraqi flag.

But if you do want to show your loyalty to states, we have 50 options. And almost 48 of them communicate nothing offensive to the descendants of American slaves.

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223 thoughts on “States' Rights, States' Flags

  1. NPR learned history from Quentin Tarantino movies, so they naturally think of Confederates as crazed mass-murderers.

    A few weeks ago, Diane Rehm was celebrating Lincoln and a caller started talking about Lincoln’s racism and his plan to ship slaves off to Liberia along with a number of other less-known facts. She sounded incredulous until her guest said that was true, yet then went on to justify Lincoln. She seemed a little startled and admitted that she had never heard such a thing. I was astonished the caller got on at all.

    Maybe with this Confederate flag nonsense we will have passed peak Lincoln.

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  2. Could one of the benefits of taking down the Confederate Flag be that the discussion of State’s Rights doesn’t have to be married to slavery in peoples minds any longer? By letting the Confederacy die, the good aspect(s) no longer need to be married with the terrible things people associate with it.

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  3. Greg The Terrible
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 12:57 am | Permalink
    “Race” as a whole is a diabolical distraction designed to divide the idiotic American church along those lines.

    Indeed, indeed, indeed, Mr. Turrible. Please to meet Mr. Douglass.

    http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1083.htm

    Slavery in the Pulpit of the Evangelical Alliance: An Address Delivered in London, England, on September 14, 1846

    When the Presbyterian assembly was called on a few years ago, to say that slavery is a sin against God, it was voted by the Assembly, that it is inexpedient to take action on the subject, and as soon as that was done, Dr. Cox jumped up and clapped his hands, and thanked God that their Vesuvius was capped; and having got rid of slavery, they all engaged in prayer; while the poor heart-broken slave was lifting up his hands to them, and clanking his chains and imploring them in the name of God to aid him; and their reply was, it is inexpedient for us to do so: and Dr. Cox clapped his hands and thanked God that the Vesuvius was capped; that is, that the question of slavery is got rid of. And so it was with Methodists; and so it is with almost all the religious bodies in the United States. It was these reverend doctors who led astray the British ministers in the Evangelical Alliance, on this question of slavery; they dared not go home to America as connected with the Alliance, if anything had been registered against slavery by that Alliance; they knew who were their masters, and that they must be uncompromising—(hear, hear) . . . .

    Two Kingdoms, “2k” theology. All yours, Greg, Yours too, Dr. Hart. This is where the rubber meets the road, in your own tradition, in your own theology.

    “Dr. Cox jumped up and clapped his hands, and thanked God that their Vesuvius was capped; and having got rid of slavery, they all engaged in prayer; while the poor heart-broken slave was lifting up his hands to them, and clanking his chains and imploring them in the name of God to aid him; and their reply was, it is inexpedient for us to do so: and Dr. Cox clapped his hands and thanked God that the Vesuvius was capped; that is, that the question of slavery is got rid of.

    God bless Dr. Cox.

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  4. When I was a wire service photographer I covered only one event with my three-year-old son riding on my back in a child carrier. It was some innocuous march or rally at the Arkansas State Capitol building. The picture I sent that day was of two friends, a little black girl and a little white girl, playing on the base of the Monument to Confederate Women. They were quite happy, not having been instructed in what they should be outraged about. They spoke more eloquently than the old brass and concrete pile.

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  5. When in LA on holiday make sure and stop by Tom’s place to get a whiff of his bathroom after he’s been in there. Must smell like lilacs in the spring time…

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  6. From of November 2014 poll of South Carolinians:

    When broken down by race, three out of four whites – 73 percent – said the flag should continue flying, while 61 percent of blacks said it should come down.

    Fifty-three percent of whites thought strongly it should stay up, while 51 percent of blacks said it should come down.

    Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article13917458.html#storylink=cpy

    Is there an objective meaning to this symbol, or does it come down to the eye of the beholder? For meanings not connected to slavery, is this the best way to express them?

    For those who have positive associations, what are the meanings?
    – Honoring the dead?
    – Preservation of a correct principle of the South in the Civil War?
    – What else?

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  7. It’s a provocative and hateful thing to tell people to despise their ancestors. Most Southern soldiers owned no slaves and were fighting for their states in a time when states loomed much larger in the mind of citizens than they do now — Washington was a long way away and didn’t dole out nearly so many favors or rules in those days. Many signed up for the local regiment because everyone else was or because someone told them to. The same was probably often true in the Revolutionary War and in every war before or since, at all times and in all places. The unintended consequences of the flag ban may exceed any perceived benefits.

    Note — I’m a life-long Southerner and I do not own a Confederate flag, nor do I plan to purchase one.

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  8. Zrim, Doug Wilson a clown remaineth. For all his cultural snot slinging he has an APP available on the (insert unrighteous/rainbow category)-friendly Apple app store. And from Idaho pedals the Black Confederates tripe. What a moron.

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  9. CW: my disclosure: born in Kentucky, otherwise lived my whole life in the North.

    You are right, it is a powerful thing to tell someone to despise their ancestors. But what about other ways of honoring those ancestors – memorials, museums, graveyards, etc.? Why a flag at the statehouse?

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  10. I do not support the flag on state property or anywhere else, necessarily. But there’s still such a thing as individual freedom of expression. And where does the excision stop? Any mention or memorializing of all previous slaveholders? Washington? Jefferson? Jackson? What will be left?

    We saw in recent weeks many throwing a founding father of the PCA under the progressive bus. OPCers should be afraid: Machen’s racial views were not much different as I recall. Your founder may be next.

    http://thechristiancurmudgeonmo.blogspot.com/2015/06/somebody-must-defend-92-year-old-man.html

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  11. Time to ditch the Confederate Flag, the NFL Washington nickname, and the Sanduski patch on PSU uniforms.

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  12. It’s a deplorable thing to peacock over being on the cutting edge of all that is appropriate as of June 24, 2015, at 8:30 AM. My mother holds views that I find unacceptable. Shall I scold her? No. People in history books are people of their time. We are people of our time as well, and future generations will find reasons to look at us with scorn.

    I hate PC mobbery.

    All true. And yet it may just be another way of being distracted from the question at hand.

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  13. CW,

    So a Southerner needed to own slaves in order to feel he had a stake in the slavery issue? The historical evidence suggests otherwise, especially in the case of poor whites in the South. You are correct that Southerners fought for many reasons, but slavery was certainly one of them and was inextricably connected to several others. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest James McPherson’s excellent little book, What They Fought For. He convincingly argues that Southern soldiers in particular were very much motivated by the broader issues of the war, even if not exclusively so.

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  14. I mean that the Southern soldiers were often pawns, stooges, or cannon fodder as were many Northern soldiers, some right off the boat from Europe, doing what they were told. As were British soldiers in World War I, dying for nothing by tens of thousands. Their service, loyalty, bravery, and camaraderie is laudable though — as men and as citizens. To the extent any of these causes were joined to Christianity, though, great harm was done. MLJ said WWI and its support by the CoE was pretty much the death of Christianity in Britain. But in the US after the Civil War you saw lots of rapprochement and even fellowship after the war between soldiers of both sides. They were better than those who led them. And better than those who lead us.

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  15. After a three hour guided tour last summer of a particular national military park ending with the site of Pickett’s Charge and trying to cram the vital statistics into the acreage available for those few days…

    I’ve given up even trying to fathom a simple answer on what drove either side to suck it up and carry out that carnage.

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  16. The whole idea of scrubbing our history clean of all blemish is not only dishonest, but it’s boring and unhelpful. At least part of the point of history is to provide context for where we are now. And even if the insistence is improvement and evolution, then that process is hindered by an inability to understand how we got here and what steps we want to avoid going forward. The idea of practicing much less surrendering all initiatives of social engineering to the PC crowd-activists, writers, academia and politicians is unappealing. Plus, much of this gets targeted, intentionally or otherwise at the greatest generation in favor of the sensibilities of boomers, Xers, and millenials, and that’s not a trade up.

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  17. Dylann Roof murders 9 people after attending a Bible Study in a church. And the result is…ban the Confederate Flag? That’s people’s response? It makes no sense. I understand that people struggle to make sense when lone gunmen murder people in cold-blood but the disconnect is staggering. Perhaps, the appropriate lesson to be learned is that of the total depravity of man.

    And by the way, maybe we should excise Acts 12:12-15 while we’re at it. I’m pretty sure Rhoda’s employment contract wasn’t quite up to snuff. And Philemon’s not cool either. I don’t want anyone to have to think about anything that makes them uncomfortable.

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  18. And since I’m embedded among this charming demographic I can tell you that telling rednecks something is HIGHLY FROWNED UPON or PROHIBITED is a sure way to get them to love it, buy it, wave it, shoot it, smoke it, make it, grow it, or drink it all the more.

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  19. CW – And since I’m embedded among this charming demographic I can tell you that telling rednecks something is HIGHLY FROWNED UPON or PROHIBITED is a sure way to get them to love it, buy it, wave it, shoot it, smoke it, make it, grow it, or drink it all the more.

    I may not be a smart man, but me thinketh this may increase regional divisions rather than break them down.

    But again, me-ith a dumbasseth.

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  20. I recall when the Towers went down Doug was speculating on how many of its occupants had been planning their adulterous affairs for that night. Not quite sure I always understand how his mind works. We all sin, bad things are judgments against sin, but when the Tower of Siloam fell, it wasn’t necessarily because the people it fell on were worse than any of us. Maybe Doug would agree, though. Who knows.

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  21. Chortles – Note — I’m a life-long Southerner and I do not own a Confederate flag, nor do I plan to purchase one.

    Erik – Time to come clean on those Stars & Bars bikini underwear you know you own.

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  22. Interesting read on what it symbolizes, and where.
    __________
    Since the incorporation of the battle flag into Georgia’s state flag occurred long after the Civil War ended, the central question arises as to how that adoption refers to any racist connotations that the battle flag may have acquired since then. It must be understood how the meaning of the battle flag has changed since the Civil War and explore what it meant at the time Georgia and other states adopted it or paid homage to it. From the end of the Civil War until the late 1940s, display of the battle flag was mostly limited to Confederate commemorations, Civil War re-enactments, and veterans’ parades. The flag had simply become a tribute to Confederate veterans. It was during that time period, only thirty years after the end of the war and fifty years before the modern civil rights movement, that Mississippi incorporated the battle flag into its own state flag – well before the battle flag took on a different and more politically charged meaning.

    In 1948, the battle flag began to take on a different meaning when it appeared at the Dixiecrat convention in Birmingham as a symbol of southern protest and resistance to the federal government – displaying the flag then acquired a more political significance after this convention. Georgia of course, changed its flag in 1956, two years after Brown v. Board of Education was decided. In 1961, George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, raised the Confederate battle flag over the capitol dome in Montgomery to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War. The next year, South Carolina raised the battle flag over its capitol. In 1963, as part of his continued opposition to integration, Governor Wallace again raised the flag over the capitol dome. Despite the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War, the likely meaning of the battle flag by that time was not the representation of the Confederacy, because the flag had already been used by Dixiecrats and had become recognized as a symbol of protest and resistance. Based on its association with the Dixiecrats, it was at least in part, if not entirely, a symbol of resistance to federally enforced integration. Undoubtedly, too, it acquired a racist aspect from its use by the Ku Klux Klan, whose violent activities increased during this period. However, it is important to remember that in spite of these other uses, there remained displays of the battle flag as homage to the Confederate dead, with no racist overtones.

    It must also be remembered that despite the controversy over Georgia’s and Mississippi’s flags, the two were created under very different circumstances. One determining factor of whether a symbol is racist is if it is adopted at a time when the symbol had racist significance. Therefore, it is doubtful that the state flag of Mississippi – adopted in the nineteenth century – has the racist connotations of the 1940s and beyond. Mississippi’s flag was simply adopted too early to have the racist connections that would come later. Georgia’s 1956 flag and South Carolina’s and Alabama’s respective raising of the battle flag in 1962 and 1963, however, have a different meaning when placed in their historical context. Despite some nonracist uses, the Dixiecrat, segregationist, and Klan uses of the flag by that time had distorted the flag’s connection with the Confederate nation and its soldiers. The raising of the battle flag over the capitols is clear – intimidation of those who would enforce integration and a statement of firm resolve to resist integration. Likewise, when the battle flag was incorporated into the Georgia state flag, the state was in a desperate situation to preserve segregation. Resisting, avoiding, undermining, and circumventing integration was the 1956 General Assembly’s primary objective. The adoption of the battle flag was an integral, albeit small, part of this resistance. The 1956 state flag, as Representative Denmark Groover so clearly stated, “…will serve notice that we intend to uphold what we stood for, will stand for, and will fight for.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/420015/two-thoughts-confederate-battle-flag-reihan-salam

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  23. One thing this has made me reflect on is that more law-abiding Christian citizens probably need to be carrying concealed weapons. I think Roof reloaded several times. It’s an act of Christian charity to be able to protect the defenseless against hateful aggressors like him. If we’re going to allow most anyone with a pulse to have weapons, more decent people probably need to have them.

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  24. Not a bad piece, Hart.
    I’ve never needed more than the Lone Star, but I hold no grudge against anybody having the confederate flag. I understand the states right issue and appreciate it well. Had a good black friend when I was a bit younger who had it tattooed on his right arm. Pretty clear he wasnt using it in a racist way.

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  25. A neighbor of mine has pickup truck and airbrushed on the tailgate is an image of a buck with a large rack bursting its head through a Confederate battle flag. The deer has a confused expession. I know how it feels.

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  26. There’s the visceral, knee jerk reaction side of all this, like driving along an interstate in Alabama and emblazened on the side of a hill along the freeway is an ginormous confederate flag/monument commissioned by the sons of the confederacy or some such outfit. Probably not intended to be just a friendly reminder of the protest nature of state rights. Or the guy flying his confederate flag from his pickup as he heads into the African American side of town. One of my hispanic employees getting lost on the backroads of Georgia and worried about night approaching and calling me in a panic talking about all the churches and crosses(not KKK) in front yards and he’s scared. Or an African American employee transferring to Texas from North Carolina and reminding me he won’t be driving through Miss. at night. We need to own all aspects of this.

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  27. Erik,

    In most states with concealed carry, churches are “no-carry” zones, unless the individual church opts out (in?).

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  28. Erik, how would pistol packing Christians do anything for martyrdom? Just to be clear, would these be the same people whining about persecution over wedding cakes?

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  29. EC, D4 –

    Not sure about the cities, but in rural NC I don’t think Roof would make it through the first mag before someone pulled a heater on him.

    The more liberal or urban or progressive the denomination the less likely a CCW will be in the room.

    But there is no spiritual conflict for carrying in church.

    There are more than a couple in my PCA church. Or so I’ve heard…

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  30. An older kid in my neighborhood used racist slurs against a younger black girl. It was witnessed by others. I went with the girl’s parents to the house of the kid and we had a conversation. This is a kid (16? 17?) who would ride up and down the street with a Confederate flag on his bike or lawn mower, and he generally has some significant issues relating to others. These details don’t have much significance except that some people who have problems with race like to use that flag as symbolism for white superiority. So, again, who gets to define the symbol? And if the most well-grounded argument for its proper symbolism gets overwhelmed by visceral reactions to its misuse, is it a given that symbolic correctness should prevail?

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  31. zrim, aside from Doug’s outrage, he is exactly right that most Americans who oppose the Confederate flag are completely unwilling to recognize that slavery also haunts the U.S. flag — and just as much.

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  32. DGH – Nate, yes. And let’s let Texas and California revert to their republic status.

    I know where I would seek asylum,

    Also, zrim, aside from Doug’s outrage, he is exactly right that most Americans who oppose the Confederate flag are completely unwilling to recognize that slavery also haunts the U.S. flag — and just as much

    And what about the U.S. flag’s association with other evils like abortion – legal and government funded? Slavery (man-theft) is arguably not as bad as abortion (murder). And the Feds didn’t underwrite slave purchases for indigent farmers. It’s a lot easier to adopt a tone of moral superiority about an institution that existed 150 years ago about which you can do nothing than to address the evils right in front of your face.

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  33. @dgh It is a pretty serious and thoughtful article… Not as good as videos of cats falling off of window sills, but a few are worth a chuckle… Here is the text from the article without the images of the flags.

    Every state flag is wrong. If you don’t believe me, look at them. Here are the 50 worst.

    ALABAMA:
    Someone gave the state of Alabama a box to check with the question “DO YOU WANT TO CREATE A FLAG” and this was the response. That or Alabama is unable to write its name and has to sign everything with a big red X. In general, it is a poor idea to pick as your flag an image that could be regarded as a negative answer to the question, “Should you visit Alabama?”

    ALASKA:
    Alaska, that’s not a flag. That’s a child’s crude rendition of the Big Dipper.

    ARIZONA:
    Come on, Arizona. What is this? Are you Imperial Japan? No, you’re not. Get it together.

    ARKANSAS:
    What is this, Arkansas? This looks like a design for a Confederate ketchup bottle.

    CALIFORNIA:
    Okay, California. Half credit for containing a bear. But you have not been a Republic since 1846, so this flag is misleading. I guess the words “California Republic” were necessary because otherwise you could be mistaken for something having to do with the Soviet Union.

    COLORADO:
    Colorado, this is worse than the Hillary 2016 logo, and that’s saying something. I could have come up with something more visually dynamic in MS Paint.

    CONNECTICUT:
    Go home, Connecticut. You’re drunk. At least you say something that isn’t “Connecticut” but…”He Who Transplanted, Sustains”? If that’s what you picked, what did you reject? “He Who Mulched, Will Probably Check For Aphids”?

    DELAWARE:
    “Were we supposed to dress up for this?” the guy on the left is asking. “I didn’t, but it looks as though you did. And why is there a cow?” Whatever committee designed this flag clearly solicited suggestions for what should go on a flag of Delaware and then said “YES” to all of them. Date? Seal? Cow? Ship? Motto? Hoe? Guy In A Fancy Hat? Sure, why not! Slap ’em all on.

    FLORIDA:
    “Can we just use the Alabama flag?” Florida asked.
    “No.”
    “How about if we put our seal on it?”
    “Yeah. I guess, but –”
    “Great.”

    GEORGIA:
    I see what you did there, Georgia. “But if we put the words ‘Wisdom’ ‘Constitution,’ ‘Justice’ and ‘Moderation’ on it, they’ll never guess that it’s secretly a Confederate flag 1.0.”
    “How about if we put WIS DOM on instead?”
    “Sure, okay.”

    HAWAII:
    “Okay, I have a perfect idea for a state flag. We average the British and American flags, but with a hint of Yugoslavia!”
    “Sure. What state is this for, again?”
    “Hawaii.”

    IDAHO:
    “I”m worried. There’s a lot going on here. Horses. Horns of plenty. A big steaming pile of what I hope is dirt. How will they know it’s Idaho?”
    “I know! Let’s put the name on TWICE!”

    ILLINOIS:
    This ill eagle should be illegal. Why is “Sovereignty” upside down? None of the other words are. A lot going on here, none of it good.

    INDIANA:
    Indiana made this in six minutes just before class ended!

    IOWA:
    Iowa tried to turn in the French flag as its own work, but Iowa’s older brother told it to put “an eagle with, like, something in its beak” on, too, to throw the teacher off.

    KANSAS:
    I’m not sure, but I think this is the logo for Oregon Trail.

    KENTUCKY:
    This flag is uncomfortably intense, like Daniel Boone just wishes he knew how to quit you, Henry Clay. Points for “Commonwealth,” though.

    LOUISIANA:
    Union. Justice. Confidence. Pelican cannibalism.

    MAINE:
    “I LOOK LIKE A PIRATE, BUT IN MY HEART WHAT I AM IS A PAINTER. SEE, LOOK, I MADE A MOOSE UNDER A BIG TREE. I HOPE YOU LIKE IT. I HAVE A CUTLASS.”

    MARYLAND:
    Maryland was told that the primary use of flags was in NASCAR and designed its own accordingly.

    MASSACHUSETTS:
    OH GOD, THERE’S SOMEONE CLIMBING OUT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS FLAG, AND HE’S GOT A WEAPON.

    MICHIGAN:
    “Yes, of course we have people in Michigan,” this flag says. “It’s just full of people. That is why we have a moose and an elk holding up this sign with a picture of what appears to be a jovially waving yeti on it. But everyone else here is people. And we totally know how to spell TUBER.”

    MINNESOTA:
    Minnesota bought more supplies than it needed for this project, but it tried really, really hard to work them all in.

    MISSISSIPPI:
    “Two words: Confederate Yugoslavia.”
    “But neither of those places exists any longer.”
    “Sounds to me like their flags are free for the taking.”
    “Well –”
    “MISSISSIPPI!”

    MISSOURI:
    Remain calm. The state of Missouri definitely has not been overrun with bears, and they definitely did not kill a fat knight and use his body to display a crude coat of arms, one part of which is an image of another bear. There is nothing to see in Missouri.

    MONTANA:
    I take it back. This is the Oregon Trail logo. Good of them to put the name on.

    NEBRASKA:
    “Put a blacksmith and a train on it,” Nebraska said. “And don’t change the default background at all, not even a little. No one pays attention to state flags, right?”

    NEVADA:
    Nevada was not told the correct size for the file it was supposed to upload. When asked if it wanted to change what it had sent, Nevada said, “Nah.”

    NEW HAMPSHIRE:
    “I have a love of ships. What can I say? They transport food around the planet.” That is a quote from “Grey,” the “Fifty Shades of Grey” book told from Christian’s perspective, but it could equally describe how New Hampshire came up with its state flag.

    NEW JERSEY:
    Liberty and Prosperity have not spoken since Liberty killed Prosperity’s prized horse and put its head in Prosperity’s bed.

    NEW MEXICO:
    “Look, we’re going to be next to Nevada. How hard do we have to try?”

    NEW YORK:
    Stan Lee designed this. Also, the lady on the left has killed the Sorting Hat and impaled it on her long stick for some reason.

    NORTH CAROLINA:
    This is just a mess. These dates mean nothing to the rest of us, North Carolina! It looks like NC perished tragically after less than a year.

    NORTH DAKOTA:
    “Shhh, if we put a big crown on the top and write ‘NORTH DAKOTA’ on the bottom, no one will notice that we stole this entire design from the Seal of the United States.”

    OHIO:
    This is what the wildly successful Obama logo would look like if it were the wildly unsuccessful Hillary logo.

    OKLAHOMA:
    The least Oklahoma could have done is put an “!” on there.

    OREGON:
    Okay. Fine. THIS is the Oregon Trail logo. But they could have colored it in, at least.

    PENNSYLVANIA:
    MUFFINS.

    RHODE ISLAND:
    Someone on Twitter whom I can’t find now described this flag as “hope being crushed by a giant anchor,” and that is exactly correct.

    SOUTH CAROLINA:
    “Tell me again about the things flags usually have.”
    “Um, seals — people — stripes — colors — maybe the state name?”
    “Let’s put on NONE of those things. And a palm tree.”

    SOUTH DAKOTA: “You’ve definitely heard of South Dakota,” this flag says. “Look at this seal, full of familiar images! No? Okay, well, have you heard of Mount Rushmore?”

    TENNESSEE: I’m sorry, but everything about this is just terrible. What was Tennessee even trying to accomplish here? You know something is the matter with your flag when you make Arkansas look good by comparison.

    TEXAS: “You mean this isn’t taken yet?” Texas asked. “How is this not taken? This was literally the first thing I thought of.”

    UTAH: “OUR FLAGS HAVE HIVES. Er, I mean, ‘Industry.'”

    VERMONT: This is just a picture of some hunter’s wall.

    VIRGINIA: Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, Virginia happened. Virginia, do you know there’s a dead guy on your flag? “Yeah,” Virginia says, shrugging nonchalantly. “That’s what we do to tyrants here. Kill them, and then we pose for pictures on their corpses.” Don’t mess with Virginia.

    WASHINGTON: Come on. You can’t just pass a crude rendition of a dollar bill off as a flag. I don’t care if your name IS Washington.

    WEST VIRGINIA: This picture of two rugged men in hats leaning on a big rock also doubles as West Virginia’s online dating picture.

    WISCONSIN: If the sailor moves, that crouching badger will attack him.

    WYOMING: “Sometimes,” Wyoming said, “I doubt other states’ commitment to GIANT BISON. Let’s show them we mean business.”

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  34. Darryl, then, you mean just Texas. “California? Are you sure? because you already own that b*8%$”-See Enron and soon, water.

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  35. Iowa’s flag is likely better than its symbol:

    “1A.1 Seal — device — motto.
    The secretary of state be, and is, hereby authorized to procure a seal which shall be the great seal of the state of Iowa, two inches in diameter, upon which shall be engraved the following device, surrounded by the words, “The Great Seal of the State of Iowa” — a sheaf and field of standing wheat, with a sickle and other farming utensils, on the left side near the bottom; a lead furnace and pile of pig lead on the right side; the citizen soldier, ** with a plow in his rear **

    Prepositions are important.

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  36. TVD is entirely incapable, it seems, of comprehending that only Rome’s totalitarian ecclesiology is vulnerable to attacks like the one he addressed to me on the first page.

    We can denounce and disown error where the papist plebes cannot. Well, not without a host of glaring contradictions and inconsistencies just like the ones his church is presently pickled in.

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  37. But Publius, the American Flag has been around a long time – its symbolism is no doubt myriad and continues to develop. The Confederate Flag is more closely associated with a particular period of time. No doubt there is more than one interpretation but there aren’t as many to choose from. So drawing lines from the Confederate flag to race is going to have more potency than going from the American flag to abortion.
    ____________

    On another note, this debate – the one out there – is all about “those liberals” v. “those conservatives,” alleged inconsistencies within those groups, and slippery slope argumentation. Really, it’s a collection of all the worst kinds of argumentation and mobbery on both sides.

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  38. Sean, don’t watch the documentary King Corn, which pretty much explodes the myth of the wholesome family farm feeding the world. Yeah, its all about high yield and low quality so we can put corn syrup in just about everything you buy at the grocery store. But I psychologically deny this as I ride bike trails through the cornfields and think nostalgic thoughts.

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  39. Zrim,

    Protecting others & martyrdom at the hands of government persecution are two separate things.

    Also easier to protect people from lawless individuals than a government bent on a group’s destruction. Ask 20th century European Jews.

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  40. Publius, people see what they want in certain symbols. You can take Wilson’s lame cue and start making connections between slavery and abortion (even trying to morally rank one over the other), but plenty won’t see what you do. Rewind back to the early 20th century and some suffragists will say the American flag represents misogyny. Seem tortured? Hello.

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  41. Erik, if persecution is only something that happens at the hands of the government. Seems a bit contrived and an easy way for American to circumvent martyrdom. Besides, make the NT case for wielding worldly weapons against spiritual threats.

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  42. I think those poor people were murdered because they were black, not because the we’re Christians so I’m not sure how martyrdom enters into this situation.

    Even if it did, I don’t think we’re required to passively accept martyrdom. The apostle Paul didn’t.

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  43. Also, when someone kills your body it’s not a “spiritual threat” it’s a physical threat. Our loved ones depend on our physical bodies being around as long as possible.

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  44. Erik, Jesus did. Why are we exempt? And body and soul are inextricably linked. Are you saying when martyrs physically died it wasn’t really martyrdom? You sound more Platonic than Christian.

    Still, the NT case for actively resisting martyrdom is…?

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  45. Zrim,

    If a gunman bursts into the room and we’re together, remind me to stand behind you. Ha, ha.

    This is actually a great 2k issue for discussion.

    Unless you are going to insist on a pacifist ethic, you have to agree that the law grants us a right of self-defense and also a right to defend those in our care. Probably even the right to defend others as a good Samaritan. Likewise Christians can serve as policemen and in the military where they may even be the aggressors when necessary.

    I think martyrdom is a scenario where we have no choice. Think Daniel in the lions’ den or Christians in the Roman Coliseum. If Martyrdom is mandatory, head to ISIS territory and start handing out tracts.

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  46. The classic NT case for resisting martyrdom is Paul. He exercised whatever remedies were at his disposal as a Roman citizen to prolong his life and his ministry.

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  47. Jesus is also not normative for us on his death. He had a specific mission to accomplish that required his death. Likewise his rebuke to Peter. Peter was impeding the mission, not acting inappropriately in attempting to defend a friend.

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  48. Erik, yes, the law of the land affords us a right to self-defense (and no pacifism here–military and law enforcement service is kosher). I’m asking for where the Bible affords NT believers the right to raise worldly weapons to resist persecution. You cite Paul and his Roman citizenship, and that’s fair as far as it goes. The problem with it is that it’s rather insufficient to make the case for packing heat to proactively ward off all spiritual threats, especially with NT data that overwhelms Paul’s instance in favor of willingly refusing both the means and opportunity to ward off spiritual threats.

    That Jesus’ mission is different from ours is also weak. Nobody is making a one-to-one correspondence between his mission and ours. The point is emulation. If he willingly laid down his weapons and life for us, aren’t we to do the same for him? Or do we really want to say our lives are more worth preserving than his?

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  49. Zrim,

    Say a violent man breaks into your house. How is that “persecution”?

    Do you stand by while he rapes your wife and daughters and say, “Sorry ladies. My spirituality precludes me from resisting this evildoer.”

    Do you dial 911 and just wait for lawful authority to arrive?

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  50. The standard, as always is the glory of Christ and being a living witness of his love and grace. If being persecuted because of the name of Jesus, we are to die rather than resist.

    If confronted in our home by an armed felon who just wants our money, then being possessed of actually Christian intuitions and sensibilities by a life consumed with the word and prayer will be necessary for the quick godly discernment required in a situation like this. Whatever course of action will most display the goodness and holiness of God is what should be done.

    This can range from still not resisting, to shooting the man dead depending on a host of particular circumstances. The aforementioned godly discernment from a mind thoroughly trained in righteousness is the only kind that will make God pleasing decisions in the split second pressure of the moment.

    THIS is spiritual warfare. Being trained ahead of time is essential. You can’t go into boot camp when the bombs start falling.

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  51. @Zrim
    “That Jesus’ mission is different from ours is also weak. Nobody is making a one-to-one correspondence between his mission and ours. The point is emulation. If he willingly laid down his weapons and life for us, aren’t we to do the same for him? Or do we really want to say our lives are more worth preserving than his?”

    Jesus didn’t own anything and never married. How far does this emulation thing need to go? But I’m not sure emulation is the right word here. Jesus willingly gave his life – it wasn’t taken from him – save the elect. Martyrs aren’t doing the same thing. Additionally, Jesus did ask to get out of it (please take this cup), but still submitted to the will of the father.

    I don’t understand why you dismiss Paul’s example. It strikes me as far more apropos to Christians living in a republic. He defended himself using legal means, why shouldn’t we?

    Finally, isn’t the heart of 2K & liberty of conscience about leaving believers free to follow their conscience when the scriptures do not explicitly circumscribe behavior? The NT does not seem to forbid self defense, so it seems we shouldn’t forbid it either. But if you feel compelled to live as a pacifist, feel free.

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  52. Greg The Terrible
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
    Jesus says in Matthew 5:39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

    ________________________________
    Erik Charter
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
    Zrim,

    Say a violent man breaks into your house. How is that “persecution”?

    Do you stand by while he rapes your wife and daughters and say, “Sorry ladies. My spirituality precludes me from resisting this evildoer.”

    Do you dial 911 and just wait for lawful authority to arrive?

    “And if a man rape your wife, offer him your daughter as well.”

    It’s right there. In the Gospel According to St. Bastard.

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  53. Weren’t they shot for being African American? I understand they were at a church. Or have we gone beyond the particulars of this case and moved on to a position paper?

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  54. Erik says: “That’s a wide range.”
    Yes. It is.
    There are hundreds of potential factors in whatever confrontation one might find themselves in. Just previous knowledge of the assailant, or not, brings dozens all by itself. That’s why only a mind renewed in righteousness, or being sought, will be able to make such decisions in a God honoring fashion.

    What you are under the extremest of pressure, is what you are. Sunday morning Christianity ain’t cuttin it.

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  55. Greg, the whole intuiting gun use, spirit led or otherwise, is unwise. Training(exterior and alien/foreign) and repitition are a surer means. And then, if you’re really smart, you’ll anticipate scenarios and develop protocols sans weapons.

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  56. Was Machen a conscientious objector in WWI? I know he was over there but was a noncombatant. What entered into that?

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  57. Erik asks: “Have you ever had to use force in your work on the streets of Detroit?”
    No. We do not go armed. We do pre-mission canvassing during the week before (just did Saturday) And we setup under the banner of the cross. Everybody knows us and why we’re there. Any aggression would automatically be in the name of Jesus. We will not resist. We’ve gotten some (REAL) interesting critters and had some action around us, but never had any of our crew hurt.

    Was Machen a conscientious objector in WWI? I know he was over there but was a noncombatant. What entered into that?
    Darryl would know better than me. I saw something years ago about Machen and war, but don’t remember. I do realize that “just war” can be somewhat in the eye of the beholder, but when there is one, I’m not real big on people who won’t fight, but want to live under the victory. That’s another whole topic though.

    And Sean. To be clear, I’m not advocating “hearing from God” or some mystical conscious “leading of the Spirit”. I’m talking about a mind and conscience that has been trained by a consuming devotion to God and His word so that life is lived with our instincts and intuitions driven by the principles and the glory of the risen Christ. Good times and bad. This will not happen in front of television set or in a movie theater, drinking in the spiritual sewage of the world.

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  58. Erik, I’ve no idea how your scant scenario is persecution either. Sounds more like ordinary violence, which clearly calls for defense. Try harder.

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  59. sdb, I’ve already made the point that Jesus’ mission and ours isn’t the same, i.e. our persecution has no salvific force (this seems silly–you don’t really think anyone advocating for turning the other cheek thinks he’s saving anyone, do you?). And I’m not saying using legal means to defend oneself is out. I’m saying it’s a long distance between Paul appealing to his Roman citizenship and us carrying weapons to make sure we never have to suffer for our faith. My sense is that Americans nurtured on self-defense and the Second Amendment have a very hard time thinking seriously about what it means to willingly lay aside means and opportunity to suffer for the faith (like those nurtured on American made self-reliance struggle with election).

    On your liberty point, agreed. This is a conversation between those who see merit to willingly laying aside means and opportunity to suffer for the faith (as difficult as that is) and those who seem to see very little merit in it.

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  60. Greg,

    Any truth to the notion from The Wire that gang bangers call a truce on Sunday mornings to take their moms & grandmas to churvh?

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  61. sdb, how does your logic not lead to posting guards outside churches? And where is your NT case for that? Hiding, sure. Making an armed fortress, huh?

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  62. Any truth to the notion from The Wire that gang bangers call a truce on Sunday mornings to take their moms & grandmas to church?
    Not here that I’ve ever been aware of. Life is not a TV show Erik.

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  63. Zrim,

    You’ve not made a case that anyone we have been talking about was “suffering for the faith” so I guess that burden is on you.

    We seem to agree that self-defense is valid so I’ll drop that line of questioning.

    On your next vacation are you planning to go to hostile territory to seek out an opportunity to suffer? If not, why not?

    And you seem to be against things like Christians attempting to share the gospel at abortion clinics. Isn’t that hostile territory?

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  64. Zrim,

    Why would we need to post guards when people can discretely carry?

    We have a former Marine who often does.

    You draw no line between protecting self and other Christians in the church? Aren’t officers in a shepherd/sheep relationship with those under their care? Why is the life of an intruder (maybe under the influence of who knows what) more valuable than the lives of church members?

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  65. Man you guys are on a good Texas subject. To bad I’ve been tiling the floor all day. This was a great piece I read on this topic about a month back talking to another local guy about descerning this issue. It IS NOT from a Catholic, though he is well versed Biblically and thoroughly in line with the catechism. Enjoy.
    http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com

    Here is a quote:
    The focus of this study is specific. I am not dealing with whether lethal force can legitimately be used in wartime. I am not dealing with capital punishment. I am not dealing with Biblical principles involved in the American Revolution or the War Between the States.
    This study is organized in five sections. First, we will look at the Biblical obligation to preserve life. Secondly, we will look at the Biblical view of bloodshed. Thirdly, we will look at passages dealing with the application of lethal force in self-defense. Fourth, we will look at what the Bible says about possession of weapons and skill in using weapons. Finally, we look at limitations and warnings about self-defense.
    The Biblical Obligation to Preserve Life

    We begin by first looking at the Biblical obligation to preserve life. The Bible clearly teaches that we must preserve life–our own lives and the lives of other people. 1 Corinthians 6:19f teaches that our bodies are not our own. Rather, our bodies belong to God. Our bodies are His property and so we are not permitted to treat or destroy them as we please:
    19 Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; 20 for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body. (1Co 6:19-20 ASV)
    Not only are we to take care of our bodies and the life contained. We have an obligation to preserve the body and life of other people. Psalm 82:4 even cites an obligation to protect those who are in danger:
    Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
    Consider also Proverbs 24:11, which indicates we have a duty to preserve the lives of those who are harming themselves:
    Proverbs 24:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
    Ezekiel 33 is a well-known passage:
    Ezekiel 33 “… 6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
    If you know danger is coming to others, and you deliberately fail to warn the others of the danger, you are guilty of harming the victims. This is not to say that you can make people heed your warning. The surrounding verses also say that if the people refuse to heed the warning of the watchmen, the watchman is not guilty if they are harmed.

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  66. “sdb, I’ve already made the point…”
    Sorry about that. I didn’t see your response when I wrote above.

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  67. “sdb, how does your logic not lead to posting guards outside churches?”
    My position is that if you want to pack heat at church (assuming it isn’t illegal to do so), that should be your prerogative (let each be convinced in his own mind and all that). Not sure how logic leads to posting guards…in my experience, logic doesn’t lead to much.

    “And where is your NT case for [posting guards outside churches]? Hiding, sure. Making an armed fortress, huh?”
    It is right before the case for putting locks on the door and wiring the church for an alarm system and right after the case for putting a parking lot behind the church.

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  68. It is possible to get so biblically minded that you can forget Moses had a family and knew how to take care of it before there even was a Pentateuch.

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  69. Zrim,
    Sorry about slipping in on you and sdb.
    This is a conversation between those who see merit to willingly laying aside means and opportunity to suffer for the faith (as difficult as that is) and those who seem to see very little merit in it.
    I see great merit in suffering for the faith, who is to say that it is not a faithful suffering to be in the hard position of having to take a persons life to protect the innocent or even one’s self. Is this not a testament to the value of the life given by God as well? Martyrdom for the faith is one thing, living the faith in protection of the non-faith based oppression of life is another. Both display the wonder of the life God gives. Right?

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  70. That article was not too bad MichealTX. I would adjust a coupla few things, but pretty solid overall. Far better than many others I’ve read. They say there is one on the way about applying those principles in the event of persecution for Christs’ sake. What they say there will either strengthen or weaken my support for this first article. Because it will further clarify what they meant by some things said in it..

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  71. Greg, I was with you right up to, mind and conscience has been train……….then glory, driven, principles, tv, movie, drinking, sewage. The only other times I have these fade outs and faulty synapse firing is about sixty minutes into a training session. Fortunately for me, training, repetition, conditioned to suffering, exterior motivation(yelling), peer pressure and a heavy bass line all overcome my deep intuition and I execute, more or less, according to training. Then I go home and watch GOT or something off Tivo, where I let the warm glow of the TV and sound and flashing images wash over me. It’s like being high but better. Throw in some alcohol and fouget about it.

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  72. Zrim – Rewind back to the early 20th century and some suffragists will say the American flag represents misogyny. Seem tortured? Hello.

    I know we’re way past this but I couldn’t reply earlier. I think I agree with you in part. My point is that all of the moral posturing about something that happened well over a century and a half ago is tedious and self-congratulatory.

    Why don’t we spend our time on the issues of our day rather than patting ourselves on the back about how much more enlightened we are than the poor saps who came before us? Everybody loses when we lower ourselves to these theatrics. And once we go down this road we’ve already granted the entire liberal/progressive – theological and political – argument viz the inevitability of human progress towards future enlightenment/perfection/glory in this world. In other words, “those slobs back then didn’t understand the truth, but now we do…” And on and on it goes – by this time next century we’re the crass, immoral slobs everyone caricatures. We probably are, but we’re not much better or worse than other people in other times and places. We’re just as much slaves to sin without the finished work of Christ – and so were our forebears and so will be our posterity.

    Instead, I propose that the SC flag is neither good nor bad. It’s just a flag that means different things to different people. For a lot of people in South Carolina it probably just symbolizes their Southern culture and a certain defiance to overweening Federal power. No harm there. There is no pro-slavery movement about to burst on the scene and the flag certainly did not cause Dylann Roof to shoot anyone. He and he alone is responsible for the murders he committed.

    The argument over symbols is always won with either force or fraud – never reason. There certainly is no reason in the debate over the SC flag – just a bunch of people trying to trample over each other as they scramble for the moral high ground in a debate that requires absolutely no courage and risks no social capital. I have heard the argument made that discussion of the 10th Amendment is just code for segregation if not slavery – which is hogwash. Ah, but it’s a symbol – and one that has just about been done away with by the Court to the detriment of our political union. Is that really the appropriate way for a free people to govern themselves?

    It is likewise believed in certain parts of the political left that the Gadsden flag is basically seditious and the “Live Free or Die” motto on New Hampshire’s license plate is similarly suspect as it calls into question one’s allegiance to our Leviathan government. Shall we ban these too?

    Would we not better serve ourselves and our communities by addressing the real, practical issues over which we may exercise some control with some amount reason and dignity rather than chasing fireflies?

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  73. DGH, I would tailor my view to request that government not use the Confederate flag. Individual use cannot be legislated but hopefully wisdom prevails in the use of it over the future.

    Many friends are shaken unusually by this sick and evil event in Charleston.

    The examples of people there and in Boston who can say they have forgiven the perps is inspiring and a good example. It doesn’t relieve the need for the imposition of temporal justice though.

    I pray for the wisdom and strength to be able to do what is needed if some day I am called upon to help others in a disaster. Staying alert to my surroundings in public is a priority and not tuning out with an iPod or iPhone.

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  74. “Instead, I propose that the SC flag is neither good nor bad. It’s just a flag that means different things to different people.”

    Then the default would be not having it adorn the state capitol grounds, right? Look it may be somewhat of a non sequitur to have the topic be so hot right now, but that doesn’t mean the topic is ridiculous. A high percentage of SC citizens of a particular race find this expression on state property to be highly offensive. I think that’s enough. Why don’t you?

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  75. Erik, if your Marine is faster on the draw than the guy who walks into our church brandishing I’ll be glad to walk away that day with my life and limbs. But will your Marine stop to think about what his warrant is from Scripture (I know he’s got one from the Second Amendment) to unsheath his weapon? The point isn’t to be cavalier about life and violence. It’s to wonder if there is ever a time for the innocent to lay aside means and opportunity to resist an evil man. Your side of the table sure doesn’t make it seem like there is. If Jesus had that mentality we’d still be dead in our sins.

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  76. Publius, got it on the moral high ground point. It’s why connections between abortion and slavery annoy, i.e. today’s unborn are yesteryear’s Kunta Kinte. Everybody trading on moral superiority and emotionalism.

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  77. Ok, but I tried Greg. Let me try again, Conscience, training, drink…………tv…….sew………glory.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….princip..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Dang it. This used to happen to me in college sometimes,too. I always blamed the teacher, but I know that maybe it was just me……………………Nah, I keed. It was always the teacher. Had a teacher in High School who would bring extra chalkboard erasers to class, and would wing them at guys sleeping during the class. Wing……Poof. Mr. Moore can you please repeat back to me what I just said! Cough,cough, well, coach Higgins which do you want I can stay awake or listen to what you’re saying? Wing, wing, wing.

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  78. Zrim,

    Whose sins would my death or my kid’s death atone for?

    Lots of gospel confusion around here today.

    People generally do a poor job using Jesus as an example for their pet theory.

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  79. But, Z, clear out the moral posturing. Think: public place, tax payer money, optional symbol, understandable offense, a way to alleviate the understandable offense.

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  80. Chris says: “Greg, give THIS a listen.
    Ok Chris. I did. All the way through, including the Q&A.. I honesty don’t understand your point in having me do so. Are you agreeing with me or correcting me? Seriously. Near as I can tell, I don’t disagree with any major point he made and don’t know that I’ve given any indication otherwise on this blog. I sent him a friend request in Facebook.

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  81. “Instead, I propose that the SC flag is neither good nor bad. It’s just a flag that means different things to different people. For a lot of people in South Carolina it probably just symbolizes their Southern culture and a certain defiance to overweening Federal power.”

    Who’s offended by the SC flag?

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  82. like Charlie Hebdo, the flag to me is just something people like to play with that has no other purpose than some kind of giddiness at dreaming of how “those folks are gonna FREAK OUT when they see this” ho ho ho ho

    i don’t see any possible wise or edifying purpose in this day and age

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  83. If it’s legal and commendable for us to pay taxes for police who will restrain evildoers, how is it also not commendable for us to stop them ourselves when warranted using legal means?

    One of the objections that 2k raises is the overspiritualization of common, ordinary aspects of life. Restraining evildoers with force is common and ordinary.

    Who knew Zrim would go anti-2k?

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  84. Shootings bring out strange answers, Erik.

    We had a shocking situation last year when a ceremonial guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa was senselessly murdered, before being expertly taken out by a man doing his duty.

    Liberals and others at meals used it to rail against everything they hate in life. I had to coach a few of them to say “this is a terrible tragedy and I feel sorry for those who have been harmed, hopefully we can learn things from this and stop it from happening again.” I think one took it to heart how much of a jerk he was being when the matter had effected a large part of my country.

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  85. sdb, OK, but “South Carolina flag” could refer to any flag in SC, including the Confederate flag. You didn’t say the state flag. So you avoided the point – kudos to you.

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  86. Greg,

    You had quoted a passage of Scripture (without any comment) that led me to believe you don’t think someone should defend themselves – ever. I thought that explanation of 2K would be helpful in that regard and understanding 2K in general. So, you are 2K then since you agree with MT on every major point he made? 2K is something I’m still chewing on but have appreciated listening to that explanation by Tuininga and reading “Living in God’s Two Kingdoms” by David VanDrunen. After having read the book and listened to that explanation by Tuininga, I’m not seeing what all the hubbub is in the broader reformed community, except maybe among neo-calvinists.

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  87. Erik, so Who Would Jesus Shoot? But I thought you said I was kosher on ordinary violence? Now I’m spiritualizing the common by turning the other cheek? Maybe you should do like Jefferson and tear out all those texts. They seem irrelevant to you.

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  88. There’s something to be said for not making any policy decisions based on immediate public outcry. Makes for bad precedent that government will use for worse purposes. Appoint a committee to consider the idea of taking down the flag and by the time they are ready to report, Americans, whose collective attention span lasts about two weeks, will have moved on to a new outcry.

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  89. Todd says: “There’s something to be said for not making any policy decisions based on immediate public outcry. Makes for bad precedent that government will use for worse purposes”
    This is a positively brilliant point. Especially today’s American public. Which will sign away every last liberty we have left in the name of some emotionally charged misconception of “fairness”.

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  90. Todd: There’s something to be said for not making any policy decisions based on immediate public outcry.

    And no government body was invented to stall out progress and needed change more than the US Senate.

    Caro’s bio on LBJ was for me the best writing on this process for all I’ve read on US history and overall political theory, very much hope he is able to finish the final part of the whole thing.

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  91. Greg, but it’s curious how the point about “emotionally charged misconception of ‘fairness'” comes up in the context of race relations among conservatives, yet never in the context of reproductive law, especially when (like Wilson) there is always an awkward effort to make a link between the two. IOW, why is “emotionally charged misconception of ‘fairness'” a problem when it comes to race relations but not when it comes to reproductive law? Progressives can’t rail about making sure there are enough minorities on staff but rightists can about how “every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great”?

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  92. Greg, the question was more rhetorical based on an observation I’ve had over the years when these topics come up. Race begets slavery begets abortion. If you read the Wilson piece I linked, he does this.

    If Wilson wants to make a connection between chattel slavery and elective abortion, and if in doing so he wants more charity for those who defended slavery and criticism for those who rail against it, does that mean Wilson is willing to show the same toward his abortion opponents and his co-belligerents? Is he just as willing to concede that pro-choicers may have valid points (the way pro-Confederate flagers seem to) and question at least some of what may motivate pro-lifers (the way he wants to question what motivates anti-Confederate flagers)? Maybe, but I’ve yet to see him write anything like that yet. All I’ve ever seen from him (and those who take his kind of cue) is a lot of blustery speech about child murder and holocaust and Nazi and slavery and God is coming to judge, hence the point about “emotionally charged misconception of ‘fairness.'”

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  93. The abortion ship sailed 30 years ago. Wish the evangelical community would have raised even a finger to be a co-belligerent with the Catholic Church on the matter. We blew it totally….

    And now our role is to live a decent godly life, try to raise future generations in a decent godly lives (knowing how much we have failed) and give time and $$$ to legal protest and helping those caught in an awful bind to move forward in a godly way.

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  94. Except, Greg, this is not a new debate – it’s been going on for some time now. And politicians need incentive to do something – notorious events are one of their motivators. I mean, let’s get real, politicians aren’t a board of august thinkers who will just make the right decision give enough time to do the research.

    Politicians. Thinking. Research. Heh, heh.

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  95. Muddy – Then the default would be not having it adorn the state capitol grounds, right? Look it may be somewhat of a non sequitur to have the topic be so hot right now, but that doesn’t mean the topic is ridiculous. A high percentage of SC citizens of a particular race find this expression on state property to be highly offensive. I think that’s enough. Why don’t you?

    No, I don’t think the default is ban the flag from capitol grounds in SC. That’s a pretty bold assertion with no argumentation to support it. The duly elected legislature decided to use that flag and was well within their rights to do so. In doing so they represented the clear will of the majority of the citizens of South Carolina. This subject has erupted a few times over the past 20 years or so. Using that flag violates no moral standard to which the legislature can reasonably be held. So to the extent that they, reflecting the will of the citizens of their state, choose to have that flag minority opinions should submit to that decision. That’s how free government works.

    And you are correct, bringing this subject up in the highly charged, emotional aftermath of Dylann Roof’s murder spree is a non-sequitur. But the public discussion of the subject does not recognize this, opponents of the flag trade on the tragedy and attempt to draw a connection between the two. It is rank demagoguery and that does it make it ridiculous.

    With regard to your final point, that a high percentage of citizens of a “particular race” (euphemism alert) find the flag offensive is not binding on me or anyone else. There are lots of minority opinions in a large, pluralistic society but they cannot and should not be given veto power over the majority – particularly in the subjective world of “sensitivity” and “offence.” I would suggest that “hurt feelings” should not drive public policy and that all citizens should focus their attention on issues where there are important principles at stake.

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  96. “they represented the clear will of the majority of the citizens of South Carolina….So to the extent that they, reflecting the will of the citizens of their state, choose to have that flag minority opinions should submit to that decision. That’s how free government works.”

    So really this just comes down to saying the pro-flag side has had more of influence on legislators. So you win and that’s that. Certainly that’s one way to think about citizenship.

    “And you are correct, bringing this subject up in the highly charged, emotional aftermath of Dylann Roof’s murder spree is a non-sequitur.”

    See my response to Greg. This may be a political occasion but there has been plenty of discussion and a good deal of agitation over this issue before.

    “With regard to your final point, that a high percentage of citizens of a “particular race” (euphemism alert)”

    Wow, really, Pub? Generalizing this matter to make a point is somehow a misstep? Look who’s PC now.

    Like

  97. Where is this ‘free government’, Pub.? You can buy a city councilman in my town for under 2k, The national guys(just deal with it, I’m going full pig this whole response) are more expensive but equally as available for purchase. If you’re working off the saturday morning, ‘I’m just a bill” civics lesson, We need to upgrade your TV consumption-The Wire.

    Like

  98. No, Mud — just all about that truth in advertising. Unlike that love-soaked sappy prog who once sub-prayed against me in presbytery, piously asking for forgiveness for “feelings I have even now towards some other brothers here…” Jerk. All because I sunk his battleship.

    Like

  99. sub-prayed! If Larry David is the first born among the…….can our RC buddies tell us how we’re doing in our ongoing justification/sanctification in likeness? Greg, he’s a jewish guy, so, it’s all good-biblicism.

    Like

  100. Zrim,

    Are you suggesting that anyone who dies in a church is dying for their faith and we are required to die for our faith rather than defend ourselves or resist?

    What if Christians were having a church picnic or bowling party? Same thing?

    Your irresistible desire to be a contrarian frequently leads to you painting yourself into a corner.

    Present evidence that Roof sought these people out because they were Christians as opposed to him seeking them out because they were black people. What better place to find unsuspecting, undefended, unarmed black people than in a black church?

    If you take Jesus words in the Sermon on the Mount as explicit commands that must be obeyed without exception, I command you to send $100 check to National Right to Life today. Jesus says if someone asks for our coat we must give them our tunic as well. In addition to the $100 check to NRTL, send $100 check to me as well. I require it – you must obey without exception.

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  101. I think we could correctly understand that there are multiple reasons why people fly the Confederate flag today. But as for its beginning, what it stood for included slavery and a hateful bigotry. That slavery was an important issue as to why the South wanted to break away from the North is documented even in some of the official statements of the Southern states. That the stars and bars stood for a following support of Jim Crow also supports the idea that this flag is intertwined with racism.

    On the other hand, the politically conservative boogyman ‘Big Government,’ provides too simplistic of a model of what we have seen in our history and what we see today. Instead, we can think of government as being like love in that size doesn’t matter, fidelity does. It isn’t the size of our government that causes it to hurt its own people, it’s whom is the object of its loyalty. When government pays more attention to special interest groups than to the population at large, it is being unfaithful and it will enable the oppression of the people regardless of its size.

    We must also note that those who opt for limited government also opt for limited democracy when democracy is the form of government. And the more limited democracy is, the less power is shared and the more it is consolidated by elite-centered rule whether that rule emanates from the private or public sectors.

    We should also note that big business and most of the wealthy want government to fit into one of two molds: a government that is rendered impotent because it is too small or a government that has been bought and thus is under the control of big business and the wealthy.

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  102. Erik,

    Nope.

    Nope.

    Thanks for the brilliant insight. Yawn.

    I’m not talking about the Roof event. I’m talking about questions that arise in light of it. I agree with you Roof is more a race issue than a faith issue. But what do you mean “what better place to find unarmed people than in a church”? You’re assuming a church should be unarmed? Make up your mind.

    What the hades are you talking about? Break the blue pill in half next time.

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  103. Todd, but at least we’re past Bruce Caitlyn and Laudato Si got us past that. Maybe flash flooding in the Ohio River Valley today will knock the Confederate Flag to Facebook. Oh, wait. Affordable Care Act survives Supreme Court. The papal encyclical needs to be recycled.

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  104. Zrim – But what do you mean “what better place to find unarmed people than in a church”? You’re assuming a church should be unarmed? Make up your mind.

    Erik – I’m suggesting that way too many people follow your wrongheaded pious advice.

    And as far as your contrarianism backing you into corners, I seem to remember you suggesting recently that Baptists offense in not baptizing their children was as serious as committing murder.

    Join the other 99.9% of us in the real world.

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  105. Curt, “When government pays more attention to special interest groups than to the population at large, it is being unfaithful and it will enable the oppression of the people regardless of its size.”

    Hooey.

    You don’t think that running big media campaigns and presiding over the military-industrial complex requires elected officials to seek support form special interests? Do you think that the same problems of special interests exist in small governments like the City of Hillsdale?

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  106. D.G. – ec, is zrim making you give up a gun? Doesn’t liberty of conscience count for anything?

    Erik – He’s free to do what he wants.

    The trick is, this is a public forum and others might be persuaded by him and give their Sessions grief if they want to take measures to help members be safe in church. We have actually had this very issue come up locally. Thankfully no one has given our ex-Marine any grief.

    Like

  107. Erik, nobody follows my advice. I can’t even get my drive through order not to return to me void. But wait, way too many people mistakenly think a church should be like Switzerland (unarmed), yet you’re over there in the sane 99%? Again, which is it?

    So, in other words, don’t question anyone’s desire to arm the church? It’s what most churches do, stay unarmed. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because I’ve said anything. You’re coming off a little dim by now.

    Like

  108. Muddy – You didn’t respond to any of my substantive points, so I would just ask you one question: What is the reason for SC to ban the flag?

    If you’re going to say that it’s because black folks find it offensive I would say that is insufficient. In a free society people don’t have a right not to be offended. The nature of free government is that we have to live with the little offenses and sometimes the big because the alternative is the government of the strong over the weak.

    And sean’s insight that politicians are venal, while true, is neither new nor relevant.

    Like

  109. Zrim,

    I actually think way more people side with you than me on this issue.

    A week or so ago I was talking about a Christian ethics class I took in college. This very issue came up and I was basically the only one NOT taking a pacifist position — even when the scenario involved an armed intruder entering your home.

    That was probably 25 years ago so maybe attitudes have changed. Maybe I’m the one being contrarian, though, if they haven’t.

    Like

  110. This was in an RCA college, though, and they’ve had a knack for getting things wrong for several decades now…

    Like

  111. Curt – We must also note that those who opt for limited government also opt for limited democracy when democracy is the form of government.

    So therefore unlimited government must yield unlimited democracy. Yay! Bring on the Leviathan state!

    Like

  112. Meanwhile on that other disaster of a thread the Catholic apologists are blowing on the dying embers…

    Like

  113. BTW folks. I absolutely do not mean this as a jab at Dr. Hart, but the Tuininga lecture that Chris linked on the last page is virtually indistinguishable in substance from Darryl’s lecture HERE

    Not in anything major. Not that I could tell. Like I said last time this came up. He sounds an awful lot like me in those first two in that series. Which is great because then he gets to be right. All I gotta do now is get him on board with the rest of the stuff he knows I’m right about around here and he can be quite a bit righter still 😀

    Like

  114. “Greg, I have more hair.”
    Touche’. Very good sir LOL! You have a few years on me too. Even if I let it grow, I have a goofy unevenly receding hairline. Looks like a map.

    Like

  115. Telly and drunk in public were mean to me today. And Greg, you spend all the time intuiting the spirit and training in the closet and still. #repent #theninth

    Like

  116. Greg,

    You should go on the lecture circuit.

    Advertise yourself as a power lifting Detroit street preacher with sidelines as a media critic & Van Til expert.

    People might actually pay you to stay away.

    Like

  117. Erik – Meanwhile on that other disaster of a thread the Catholic apologists are blowing on the dying embers…

    Can we just shovel some dirt on them (the embers, that is) and move on?

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  118. Publius,

    Alas, no, since not everyone on our side is convinced that that is the way to go. I fear more 1,000 comment threads on the topic are in our future.

    May God grant me the grace to not participate. I’m not getting any younger.

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  119. EC – I’m all for having the debate. Heck, I can even stomach having the same debate more than once. But eventually it degenerates into obscurantism and rhetorical gamesmanship. And that’s on a good day. On a bad day it becomes people talking past each other.

    Like

  120. Publius,

    You forgot Darryl & Tom dueling it out to see who can be the naughtiest preschooler.

    And Mrs. Webfoot & Susan’s dispatches from Planet Lovetron.

    Like

  121. C’mom get happy, it’s opening night for the Canadian Football League

    Who you Americans picking to win the Grey Cup?

    The Edmonton Eskimos or the Winning Blue Bombers?

    Like

  122. Winnipeg Blue Bombers

    Can I get a smartphone that doesn’t crunk up one third of words plainly typed in the first time?

    Like

  123. D.G.,
    The problem with small government is impotence especially when it must confront big business. A more direct way of saying the problem with small government is that its size forces a negligence on itself.

    We also want to make sure that we are comparing apples with apples. Is any state gov’t comparable to a small city gov’t in terms of responsibilities and needs of the people? If there isn’t any state gov’t that is comparable with your small city gov’t, how is it that the federal gov’t is comparable.

    As for the rest of your note, realize that it is the public’s negligence and preoccupation with prosperity that prevent it from monitoring the gov’t. Just perhaps a working democracy requires more participation that we either expect or are willing to give.

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  124. Publius,
    If unlimited democracy is your goal, then why not unlimited gov’t. But just as a working democracy recognizes the collectiveness of life, not all life is collective.

    Like

  125. Curt, truly small government would require small business. If you had 50 states with their own banking regulations and currency, for starters, you wouldn’t have big business. Big government makes big business possible.

    Like

  126. Kent,

    I’m hoping Flutie can lead the Hamilton Tiger Cats to the promised land.

    If it weren’t for the CFL and “Christian Renewal” I would know nothing of Canada.

    Actually had two high school classmates who played in the CFL — for Baltimore.

    Like

  127. You have learned the names of two cities that bring their specialness to what is Canada: Edmonton and Winnipeg.

    Toronto doesn’t care much for the game, the NFL and NCAA are of much more interest to me. But its a nice thing to have until the end of August. The rest of Canada clings to the CFL like oxygen for pride and entertainment, quite amusing to me.

    Flutie’s younger brother had a good stint in Hamilton as a WR back in the day.

    I’m not a part of the flock that reads Christian Renewal repeatedly. A good scan twice a year when I get a copy is enough for me.

    The US put in a few teams around 20 years ago and the Grey Cup went south of the border during this phase.

    Like

  128. DGH, there hasn’t been any drumming protest circles over the name Eskimos, I think Edmonton has won the most Grey Cups over the last 40 years.

    Again, everyone in Canada outside of Toronto sees the CFL as life and death, they don’t like being made fun of….

    Like

  129. Erik –

    Why would we need to post guards when people can discretely carry?

    My Swiss German great-grandfather lived in East St. Louis into the early 1970s, and used to carry a pistol to Mass. I found out about this not through family history, but by meeting several old East St. Louisans on a Sunday afternoon who by chance knew him well. Perhaps he had to pull it out once or twice, creating a reputation. The place is basically a swamp now – as bad or worse than Detroit.

    Meanwhile on that other disaster of a thread the Catholic apologists are blowing on the dying embers…

    I was avoiding that thread, but started feeling earnest and decided to post DG a few questions that have been on my mind. Perhaps that will be enough to finally put the thing out of its misery.

    ‘talking about something other than Catholicism’

    The subject matter of the moderator’s posts goes a long way toward setting the subject matter of discussion. I’d be happier talking about 19th century American culture.

    Oh, and how did you set up your profile to show off your sweet face, Erik? I’m just a grey blob, and jealous.

    Like

  130. Kevin,

    Most of the rest spoil it for you. If all the apologists were like you, the threads would be very readable.

    Sweet face? Are you sure you’re not Bobby?

    Like

  131. Erik –

    I’ve never in my life thought of myself as an apologist. This is the only blog I’ve ever commented on (ok, a one-sentence comment on a music forum two years ago). DG has created a very interesting place here. Let’s talk more about the U.S.

    I think you’re the one trying to flatter me. Come on, ‘fess up- how do I sign up properly?

    Like

  132. Kevin,

    I think it’s through Gravatar. I set it up through my WordPress blog. I’m not sure how it all works to be honest.

    Like

  133. D.G.,
    If a business’ success depends on its performance in the market, how can a small gov’t limit the size of the business especially in this time when the love of money rules even more ubiquitously than it has before? After all, different currencies didn’t prevent corporations from becoming multilateral. And consider the problems your 50 different shades of currency would provide especially with projects that required a national response such as the military or medicare or social security or the interstate highway or etc.

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  134. Darryl – How about this – we allow private currencies to compete with government issues fiat currency? And yes please to states adopting their own banking regulations – and governing their own affairs more generally.

    Like

  135. It seems to me that the insistence on small gov’t comes from a refusal to be politically engaged because we are to busy with other issues, especially the issue of creating our treasures on earth. Such an orientation eventually allows for tyrant wannabes to exploit the situation.

    Like

  136. Curt – It seems to me that the insistence on small gov’t comes from a refusal to be politically engaged because we are to busy with other issues…

    Right – actually tending to our lives and families.

    Like

  137. Curt, so your solution is that everyone must actively become government politicians/bureaucrats. That sounds like a wonderful society. Why should anyone get good at anything when we could all be bureaucrats?

    I’m glad to see that you’re no longer pretending to be an anarchist by your advocating for big or total government. Either that or you are advocating for anarchic (as chaos) big government. That would be a consistent usage. Government does cause chaos as so effectively demonstrated by the SCOTUS over the last few days.

    Like

  138. Joel,

    “Government does cause chaos”

    Overgeneralization. Government also ensures many common goods.

    Like

  139. Joel,

    This whole thing might be simpler if the government declared us all married to each other. Socialism and absolute marriage equality in one fell swoop.

    Like

  140. Greg,
    You should go on the lecture circuit.
    Advertise yourself as a power lifting Detroit street preacher with sidelines as a media critic & Van Til expert.
    People might actually pay you to stay away.

    That’s it.You blew it Erik. I was gonna give you my next remedial reformed theology class for free again just because I like you so much, but not after a cold hearted and sadistic crack like that.

    Like

  141. Kevin in Newark
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
    Erik –

    I’ve never in my life thought of myself as an apologist. This is the only blog I’ve ever commented on (ok, a one-sentence comment on a music forum two years ago).

    I dig apologists–they argue affirmatively for what they believe, defend it from attackers. This blog is more polemical: Old Life is “conservative” in a way conservatism these days isn’t. Darryl is always on the attack.

    The good thing about attacking all the time is that if and when your attack fails, nobody remembers. You just move on to the next attack. This is your bread & butter, Darryl. A structural advantage you share with the leftist radicals.

    That the world’s going to hell in a handbasket is as old as Socrates. “Conservatives” attack that way. But as we see, it doesn’t work.

    Marriage is between one man and one woman.

    Well, no, it’s not. Polygamy is in the Old Testament, divorce and remarriage ever since Henery the 8th [I am I am]. These days, Christians have made such a joke of marriage, surely one more joke won’t hurt. Why, I know a gay couple who has been together for 35 years and Rush Limbaugh is on his 4th marriage!

    Who’s more “Christian?”

    Good luck with all that, Kevin, esp since Darryl already lost this debate for you. The polemicists always win, because man is imperfect and you can always win by flaying his flaws. Argue the reality of man’s fallen nature against the ideal he aspires toward, and you can never lose.

    Failure is built into man. You will always win by betting against him.

    Like

  142. The PCA was not started about politics, but about conserving states rights. The PCA was not started about the five points of Calvinism, but in the interests of law and order and tradition..

    Matt T asks— Did the change in racial attitudes take place because Presbyterians suddenly started preaching faithfully, or was it the result of the cultural, economic, political, and legal shifts brought about by the civil rights movement? To put an ironic twist on the question, does the racial repentance of the PCA, the SBC, and other southern churches testify to an escape from cultural captivity, or to its ongoing power? After all, these acts of repentance simply followed the broader political repentance of the culture in which they took place.

    Matt t–Southern evangelicalism has never been as individualistic as scholars sometimes claim. Traditional arguments in defense of slavery and segregation generally made use of communitarian arguments, while it was their abolitionist critics who appealed to the individualistic ethic of liberty Indeed, southern evangelicals often implied that because sin takes social form – even to the extent of becoming embedded in whole races of people – major institutional and cultural systems are necessary to maintain social order.

    Matt t— led them to a greater reliance on the Old Testament as the best source of biblical insight regarding social and political life. Lucas points out that the spirituality of the church doctrine did not lead southern churches to avoid speaking toward political matters; it simply made them selective in the issues that they addressed. I would make the point more specific by suggesting that the doctrine led them to prioritize the Old Testament over the New Testament as a source for political insight. The Old Testament rendered plausible the theological defense of a thoroughly communitarian and segregated vision of political life.

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/presbyterians-and-the-political-theology-of-race-part-1-cultural-captivity/

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  143. vd, t this defeat is your fault as much as mine. What did you do? Nothing. And you keep telling me that we are all sovereign in a democracy. Well you have as much power as I.

    Where are your sackcloth and ashes

    (And why do you always attack me?)

    (Love me. You know, faith working through love.)

    Like

  144. D.G.,
    Are low prices the bottom line? If so, how are we avoiding the love of money?

    There are problems with both big and small businesses. But your idea of 50 shades of currency so you can reduce the size of gov’t only makes gov’t impotent to handle big business when it does wrong.

    Again, the question we have to ask is whether our problems with gov’t are due to the size of our gov’t or our lack of involvement with gov’t. And it seems to me that those who say that size is the only problem want a government they can ignore so they can pursue wealth.

    Like

  145. Publius,
    But you live in society and society consists of communities. So you have other responsibilities than just one’s own personal peace and prosperity. This self-isolatoin preference does not match reality in a highly interdependent society. And with the specialization of labor, you can’t escape the interdependence that exists in society.

    Like

  146. D.G.,
    That is not what multinational corporations teach us.

    You want small so you can pick and choose the people you associate with. Capitalism doesn’t allow for that. And for different reasons, neither does democracy. And for even more different reasons, neither does the Great Commission.

    And to quote one of your favorite theologians, personal peace, considered to be an idol by this theologian, is when our lifestyle allows us to say that we don’t care about the person across the street, or we don’t care about the person across town, or we don’t care about the person across the globe. An odd philosophy to have by one who serves God who loved the world

    Like

  147. DG – ‘each state its own currency’

    So NJ, NY, CT & PA all have separate currencies? 4 currencies for 1 metro area? Sounds like a moneychanger’s wet dream. Currency trading algorithms and QE on a state-by-state basis would cause monetary and economic meltdown, probably civil war. You could argue for regional currencies, but that will just enable the same people in power to continue to control things, don’t you think?

    Publius- “rival currencies to compete with government issues fiat currency?”

    Sounds fine, but what I would really like to see is much more barter. It builds social ties as well. My company does it all day long.

    “states adopting their own banking regulations – and governing their own affairs more generally.”

    You’ve got my vote, Publius. Not sure for which office, though. Let me know when you are running.

    Like

  148. curt, when you’re small, no multinational corporation wants to do business there. I know. Not a single Starbucks in Hillsdale — not the city — County.

    Why don’t you care about Hillsdale?

    Like

  149. Tom,

    Attacking Christians on marriage is a bit bogus. I’ve seen only a handful of divorces among the Christians I’ve known for 40+ years. I question the stats we hear from time-to-time.

    Show me Rush Limbaugh’s church membership. He’s really the best you can do?

    Like

  150. TVD –

    The polemicists always win, because man is imperfect and you can always win by flaying his flaws. Argue the reality of man’s fallen nature against the ideal he aspires toward, and you can never lose.

    Well-put – hence the importance of Charity (e.g., including a respect for conversational conventions) at all times.

    I agree those who term themselves Christians have made a mess of marriage.

    Our culture’s ideal of marriage (or at least the ideal within the teachings of the Church) was developed in the middle ages by the Church and entailed a bitter struggle with the nobility, who wanted easy marriage and easy divorce.

    The Church won (Innocent III solidified it, I think). For most of a millennium, at least.

    The great historian Georges Duby has a book on the subject I read years back.

    Like

  151. D.G.,
    First, size of gov’t is not the silver bullet that solves your problems. Several motivations cause the consolidation of wealth and power and among them is greed. Limiting gov’t simply gets an obstacle out of the way of those who continue to want more and more. And again, multinational corporations show that border are not barriers to growth. Second, your statement to Publius that you want to just want to tend your lives and families, again, is not realistic in today’s world where there are more and more interdependencies. In fact, just tending to our lives and families has problems with what the NT has charged us with.

    Finally, this has nothing to do with caring for Hillsdale. It has everything to do with whether Hillsdale can be made into a microcosm of the world. But you knew that so why ask?

    Like

  152. Joel,
    Sorry about the delayed response. You didn’t really represent my view there. Yes, everybody, or as many as possible, should be involved with gov’t, but that doesn’t mean that everybody should be a bureaucrat. We are involved with the gov’t when we vote and yet voting does not make us politicians/bureaucrats. But also, we need more involvement than just voting because of the behavior of our gov’t officials. Activism is another way of being involved with the gov’t. It is somewhat like a marriage in that if one neglects one’s spouse, that spouse could wonder to find other lovers. So when we neglect our gov’t officials, they find other constituents and many times those constituents are ones with money.

    I am not advocating a particular form of gov’t though I lean, but not entirely, toward libertarian socialism. I still see real need for the state though.

    Now either we become active participants with the gov’t so that we can exercise a greater degree of self-rule or put up with being ruled over by those with wealth and power who can dispose of us at their pleasure.

    Like

  153. Yes Curt. We know you don’t advocate anything.

    You just endlessly pick away at every thought that people have, like a mental patient absorbed in removing all the loose threads and dust balls on a table placemat situated on your lap.

    Like

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