Wednesday, April 18, 2007


It is often said that hindsight is 20/20. Even in the VaTech tragedy there are those who, in hindsight, say that this could have be averted if the murderer has been helped in some way or institutionalized earlier, if the administration had locked down the school after the first two murders, if other students had been allowed to carry concealed handguns to defend themselves and others, or if there existed tighter gun control laws in the state of Virginia.

This is, like the wisdom of almost all hindsight, patent nonsense. It is just as likely that if any of those changes in history had been made, the murderer may have slain 100, escaped, and duplicated the incident on 10 other campuses throughout the country.

Humans, confusing themselves for God, regularly feel that they can manipulate the script like the director of a movie and bring to bear the ending that is more pleasing to them. Foolishly they do not see that their changes bring into play other unforeseen variables that result in an end far from the intended result and regularly much worse than that of the original.

So often is the case with political action. Legislators or judges whose vision within the greater scheme is only 'seeing through a glass darkly', attempt to play God and direct the 'movie' of human society. So many of their actions have resulted in disasters. Yet, in their blindness, they fail to learn and follow the adage, 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'

Whether attributed to Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein, the following is more applicable: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

So, in hindsight, I would say that the only way that this tragedy would have been averted would have been for someone to murder Cho Seung-Hui before his actions at the university. But then again, perhaps, 7 angry relatives or friends might have taken vengeance and slaughtered even more. I'm not God and therefore lacking in omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. If there were 9 of me on the U.S. Supreme Court, or 50 of me in the U.S. Senate, or 435 of me in the U.S. House of Representatives, or even 6 billion of me, my hindsight, as well as my ability to direct reality would be laughable.

Pitiful, just pitiful.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Separation of God from Culture

To listen to the portrayal of America in the modern press, both news and opinion; to view the Hollywood depiction of America, both historically and at present, is to be led toward the understanding that the United States is, and always has been, the epitome of evil in the world. George Bush is Hitler. American foreign policy is one of imperialism; of ill-treatment of other cultures that leads the rest of the world to naturally develop hatred and nurture terrorist cults. The United States attacks Sadaam to control his oil, but disregards the slaughter in Darfur because no benefit will be derived for Halliburton or ExxonMobil. Our lifestyles and policies are even credited with spearheading the destruction of the planet. America, the world's bully, seems to be despised as much at home as it is by al-Qaeda.

How could so many citizens, who are so lavishly nourished at the breast of America's luxury, mangle the fruitful nipple that feeds them with such ferocity? Countless speakers and writers are persuaded to account for this by reaction to deep-seated guilt. This guilt provides the impetus for the great number of irrational actions and charges.

In his book, The Politics of Guilt and Pity, Rousas Rushdoony addresses the presence of this guilt that well explains the incongruous activity that is spurred by today's American guilt. This book was first published in 1970.

The direction of American culture:

The human race, in apostasy from God, is deeply involved in a rebellious claim to autonomy and in the guilt which follows that claim. As a result of this omnipresent sense of guilt, there is an omnipresent demand for justification. The expression, "He's trying to justify himself," points to this demand by man for justification, and insistence on psychic or spiritual wholeness of health. A sense of guilt leaves a man feeling like a leaky, sinking ship: the energies must all be resolved to the repair of that breach. The psychology of the guilty man is this geared to self-defense, to spiritual survival, by means of an overcoming of the breach of guilt. The concern is a demand for salvation: the sinking ego wants to save itself, to find justification by making atonement for its guilt. [...]

A common recourse is to self-atonement and self-justification. A modern term for such behavior is masochism... self-punishment as atonement...

This masochism manifests in a variety of ways:

-Psychosomatic ailments; to suffer for sins
-Gambling; losing inevitable
-Alcoholism and drug use
-Burden-bearing; self-conscious public works of virtue, worry and fretting, worship or penance
-Injustice collecting; finding pleasure in displeasure, placing oneself in positions where he will be sure to feel offended
-Will to self and others' failure; individually as well as through political and economic views and activities calculated to fulfill the urge to mass destruction, factors which enter in include the craving for individual power and the motive for revenge. Victory through defeat.

A closely related activity is sadism, the transfer of guilt to an innocent party to reduce them to the same level of impotence and guilt. [...]

The reality of man apart from Christ is guilt and masochism. And guilt and masochism involve an unshakable inner slavery which governs the total life of the non-Christian. The politics of the anti-Christian will thus inescapably be the politics of guilt. In the politics of guilt, man is perpetually drained in his social energy and cultural activity by his over-riding sense of guilt and his masochistic activity. He will progressively demand of the state a redemptive role. What he cannot do personally, i.e., to save himself, he demands that the state do for him, so that the state, as man enlarged, becomes the human savior of man. The politics of guilt, therefore, is not directed as the Christian politics of liberty, to the creation of godly justice and order, but to the creation of a redeeming order, a saving state. Guilt must be projected, therefore, on all those who oppose this new order and age. [...]

...the caretaker state masks its tyrannical love under the name of 'social justice.'

The more a civilization advances, the deeper will its sense of sin become, because the increase of prosperity and cultural advantages will only increase the masochistic desire to pay for progress, which the individuals unconsciously believe requires atonement before enjoyment. As a result, the very liberating forces of civilization themselves call into existence the forces of enslavement. [...]

...Communism has used moral nihilism to prepare the way for passive political slavery: guilty men are more docile slaves.

...In the United States, as the nation has departed progressively from God, it has indulged progressively in a debunking of its history, in a general confession of many past faults, some often imagined. The hypocrisy of such confessions is striking: by confessing the sins of past generations, the present scholar or generation thereby implies its own superior virtues and it innocence of those sins. By the fact of such debunking or confession, it confesses also, very modestly, that wisdom is now born to us and is among us, so that confession again becomes a vehicle of pride. [...]

Again, Americans are repeatedly assured that American history is a long account of guilt, towards Indians, Negroes, minority groups, labor, Mexico, and, ultimately, all the world as well for refusing the to enter the League of Nations. This is defective history and perverse politics. Its purpose is the cultivation of guilt in order to produce a submissive populace.

More basically, the subtle indoctrination of humanistic scholarship infers that the Christian, and, in America, the Protestant in particular, is guilty because he is a Christian. The inference is that the Christian has no right to his identity; he must recognize all others and their rights, but he himself has none. The principles of the atheist must govern state and school; the wishes of all others have status before the law, and his have none. [...]

Wherever false responsibility is promoted, and ugly strategy of power is present. This strategy can be briefly summarized. First, make men feel guilty for all things and for everyone. Whatever happens on any continent or country is their responsibility and their burden. All the starving, needy, oppressed, and all the indigents, criminals, and diseased of the world are their burden, and they are guilty of evading their responsibilities if they do nothing about them.

Second, it is obvious that men cannot do much more than care for their own families. Therefore, ask them to exercise this imposed responsibility for the world by delegation, to delegate it to the state and the elite planners.

Third, by being given this world responsibility, the state and its elite planners become gods, governors of all things. They can now begin to remake the world in terms of their superior wisdom. God, after all, hardly had their superior and scientific intelligence.

Fourth, salvation has thus become the work of man. Man remakes man by statist law and action....

Rousas Rushdoony's description of 'the slippery slope' of humanism was written over 35 years ago, but it depicts so well the attitudes and cultural criticisms that we see happening today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Jason Apuzzo reviews the new film, The Reaping on LIBERTAS, a forum for conservative thought on film.

Here are some selected portions of his review:

The Reaping is about a small Southern town hit by 10 Biblical plagues brought on by a supposed Satan worshiper.[...]

As two dozen white Southern Christian bigots drove off in their shotgun filled pick-up trucks to kill an innocent child due to their white Southern Christian bigoted need to kill all things they don’t understand, one of them actually yelled, “Yee-Haw!”

I lived in the south for ten years. I’ve seen white Southern Christian bigots grab their shotguns and jump in pick-up trucks to kill something they didn’t understand. But no one ever yelled “Yee-Haw.”[...]

The favorite Director Scare is the screeching cat jumping out of nowhere. Cats don’t screech and jump. They may jump. They may screech. But they never jump and screech.

I grew up with cats, and never once did one jump and screech. And if one had I would’ve grabbed a shotgun and jumped in a pick-up truck to kill it.[...]

In the end, The Reaping is good for nothing more than yet another insight into how elite Hollywood views the South and religion. To them the South is filled with scary, pious, hypocritical fanatics, who are both unsophisticated and dumb. And naturally, religion has turned them ugly and worse. It’s okay for the Black Guy to be religious. For some reason Christianity isn’t threatening to Hollywood when the Christian is black. Maybe they find it cute and quaint.

Hollywood treats no other culture in the world as poorly and with such contempt as they do the Southern Christian. And yet, they probably don’t even see their own bigotry. They just believe that what they portray is fact. Of course, that’s the worst kind of prejudice. The most dangerous. The most ignorant.

Yeah! We Northern White Christians are just as scary, pious, hypocritical & fantatical, unsophisticated, and dumb. When do we get our due?

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I recently finished reading two books by Bruce Bawer. The first is titled While Europe Slept- How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. Bawer, from New York, moved to Europe in the late 90's.

"In the Netherlands, where political dicourse had moved beyond 'culture war' platitudes, I felt light-years removed from the foolishness of fundamentalism. There, for the first time, I allowed myself to feel the rage that had built up inside me. Yes, I loved my country, but I also realized that I wanted to be away from it-away from the idiocy, the intolerance, the puritanism. More and more I felt that I belonged in Europe." (p. 10)

After years of immersion in the European culture in several EU nations, Bawer came to realize that behind the outward 'high culture' there lurked a denial of the realities of the present situation.

"The main reason I'd been glad to leave America was Protestant fundamentalism. But Europe, I eventually say, was falling prey to an even more alarming fundamentalism whose leaders made their American Protestant counterparts look like amateurs. Falwell was an unsavory creep, but he didn't issue fatwas. James Dobson's parenting advice was appalling, but he wasn't telling people to murder their daughters. American liberals had been fighting the Religious Right for decades; Western Europeans had yet to even acknowledge that they had a Religious Right. How could they ignore it? Certainly as a gay man, I couldn't close my eyes to this grim reality. Pat Robertson just wanted to deny me marriage; the imams wanted to drop a wall on me. I wasn't fond of the hypocritical conservative-Christian line about hating the sin and loving the sinner, but it was preferable to the forthright fundamentalist Muslim view that homosexuals merited death." (p. 33)

He asks a question that summarized the situation:

"In a war between people who had rock solid beliefs and people who are capable of nuancing away pure evil, who has the advantage?" (p. 161)

I tend to think that the U.S. has slipped closer to the European political/cultural situation than Bawer seems to. The American 'brilliant elite' strives ever to catch up to their European counterparts begging for similar results.

While Europe Slept is an excellent piece of work and I highly recommend it.

The second Bruce Bawer book that I picked up was Stealing Jesus- How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity. Owing to the respect that was earned through While Europe Slept, I wanted to understand Bawer's analysis on Christianity in America.

Bawer's observations on selected portions of Christians' activity in the U.S. were well taken. We often do act in hypocritical ways. However, Bruce's views on what Christianity actually means is based only on finely selected Scriptures. He deletes the whole Old Testament, Revelation, most of Paul's epistles, and ignores most of the writings of the Gospels.

In effect, Bawer creates a Christian doctrine similar to the elitist/multicultural/diversity doctrine of the European culture that he fisks so well in While Europe Slept. In other words he creates a Christianity from his own feeling and emotion just as the European elite have done while ignoring the truth within their own culture.

Don't waste your time on Stealing Jesus.

Has Lucy Pulled Away the Football Again?

Michael Medved posts an article titled 'Biblical Liberation from Liberalism' on based on a verse from Leviticus.

"You shall not commit a perversion of justice: you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great, with righteousness shall you judge your fellow." (Leviticus 19:15)