Global Christian Perspectives – September 25, 2015

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News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Pope’s visit

               General reaction to the Pope’s visit and what he says over the next few days

Ben Carson’s Statement on Islam and the Presidency

While At first I was troubled by the clips of Carson’s statement I heard when I heard the full clip I changed my view, and now see this in just another in a very long line of media hit pieces.  While I think he could have been a bit clearer, given it was an off the cuff answer, I do not really see any problem here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUJvUDdtp8w

Immigration in Europe

This remains a growing and major crisis.  My view is that it is likely to remain, and in fact get worse, until the source of the problem is dealt with, something few seem willing to address.

News Segment:  30  mins

Rights ? Do they exist? What are they?

Historically human rights were grounded in a belief in God, i.e. what God had given no one not even the King could take away.    This view was beautifully summed up by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You can see this behind the argument of Lincoln in the 7th and last debate against Douglas when near the end he argues,

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles-right and wrong-throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Today rights have been disconnected from God, and without a basis have drifted into chaos where China can claim it can suppress individual rights because it has a Right to Develop.  Where every wish become a right because it is desired.

The slavery issue remains a factor here. I do not believe there is such a thing as a right that impinges on others.  Your right to life, liberty and the pursue of happiness, for example, should not affect me, nor does it make any demands of me.  The moment it does, it ceases to be a right.

The “right” of another cannot be to force me to work on their behalf, and yet much of the modern welfare state is built on just that sort of mandate. 2/3 of the US budget is transfer payments, taking money from some people to give it to others. Thus if I am lucky, I will only have to work well into my 70s before I can retiree because in part I have to pay for government workers some of whom retire with 100% pensions at 55.  What do we normally call it when one person is forced to work for the benefit of another? Now days it is called a right.

GCP Topics for September 18, 2015

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Note: This section is prepared by co-host Elgin Hushbeck, Jr. and is subject to change as the news changes. Anyone is free to comment on these topics or make suggestions.

Here are the proposed topics for this week. 

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Pope’s visit

                14 of 18 speeches in Spanish.

                I do not have a problem, as he is more comfortable in Spanish.  I am also not familiar with the tradition. (Do Popes normally give their speeches in their native language?)  However, I not sure it is wise if he has the goal of pushing for more tolerance of illegal immigration.        

               http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/15/pope-francis-us-visit-spanish-english-speeches

Unrest at the Vatican

Is this the press making much to do about nothing, or is this the beginnings of a serious conflict?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-conservative-revolt-is-brewing-inside-the-vatican/2015/09/07/1d8e02ba-4b3d-11e5-80c2-106ea7fb80d4_story.html

Problems for Science

As someone who has been concerned about the politicization of science for some time I am not surprised.  A key focus here will be why was the vote mentioned early in the article for requiring reproducibility a party line vote.

http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-will-not-cure-what-ails-science-1.18339

Assisted Suicide

This is a growing issue both here and in Europe.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/12/us/california-assisted-suicide-legislation/index.html

News Segment:  30  mins

Dealing with death

How should Christians approach issues of death and dying.

 

 

Global Christian Perspectives – September 11, 2015

Here are the proposed topics for this week.  .

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Congratulations!

                Queen Elizabeth is now the longest reigning British monarch.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34177107  

Unrest at the Vatican

Is this the press making much to do about nothing, or is this the beginnings of a serious conflict?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-conservative-revolt-is-brewing-inside-the-vatican/2015/09/07/1d8e02ba-4b3d-11e5-80c2-106ea7fb80d4_story.html

Problems for Science

As someone who has been concerned about the politicization of science for some time I am not surprised.  A key focus here will be why was the vote mentioned early in the article for requiring reproducibility a party line vote.

http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-will-not-cure-what-ails-science-1.18339

Going to Jail for Christ.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423709/kim-davis-constitutional

 

Allan Bevere has a slightly different position.

http://www.allanbevere.com/2015/09/letting-our-yes-be-yes-and-our-no-be-no.html

 

I generally agree with Eastman.

News Segment:  30  mins

Church and State.

How to be a Christian with a hostile government.   Granted Hostility towards Christians in the United States and Europe is minor compared to elsewhere in the world, but it is also new.  In my lifetime we have gone from supportive to mildly hostile, and the conflicts are growing to the point that even the concept of religious liberty is now controversial.

(Note that the topic list is prepared by host Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.)

Global Christians Perspectives – September 4, 2015

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Here are the proposed topics. Remember that topics can change up to show time as the news marches on!


Here are the proposed topics for this week.

 

The Poor

Lead Quote: “By one dismal measure, America is joining the likes of Third World countries.

The number of U.S. residents who are struggling to survive on just $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-surging-ranks-of-americas-ultrapoor/

We probably agree that this is a real tragedy.

Here is a somewhat long view that somewhat counters the above.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/the-unfinished-work-of-welfare-reform

My view is that the 1996 reforms were initially a positive first step, but with the initial success, and the war on terror, the issue dropped out of sight.  For me the key problem is that the move to work requires that there be jobs and the current recovery under Obama has been the worse in modern history.  While Government unemployment number as dropped, this has actually been because more people have given up even looking than have found jobs and many who have found “employment” have been part time and poor paying jobs.  (exactly one of the problems pointed out the first article).   Real unemployment it still well above 10%, and under employment much higher.

Inclusive vs thought control

University of Tennessee has told staff and employees to stop using he, she and instead use xe, zir, xyr.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3214567/University-Tennessee-tells-staff-students-stop-using-switch-xe-zir-xyr-instead.html

                While at one level, just another story about political correctness to laugh at.  Yet while many laugh, these is become more ingrained in out society.  At a deeper lever I see it as a much broader attack on gender.  One thing that has amazed me is how many Biblical statement I used to take as blinding obvious to the point I wondered why they were even stated, but have in recent years become important injunctions.    One was Deuteronomy 30:19 and the admonition to choose life.  Now we have Hamas who proclaims they love death, more than the Jews love life.   I now add Genesis 1:27 declaration that he created us male and female, though at the University of Tennessee that could get you in trouble.

News Segment:  30  mins

Would Jesus choose Democracy?

I see this as somewhat of a trick question, as Jesus would/has picked monarchy with him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   So with your permission I would like to modify this to “Would Jesus have us choose Democracy?”   Though we could keep the question the same and explain this at the start.

I would clearly answer yes.  For as Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all the rest.  However, there are many types of democracy, and I would argue that the best democracy is the one that keeps power closest to the individual, with lots of checks and balances.  I believe that the system of government set up in the constitution was the best so far, and worked very well for the first 150 years, but has largely been dismantled starting with the progressives in the early part of the 20th century, at this point is largely gone. We are seeing the results and are rapidly approaching, and in some respects have already passed the point of no return.  I detail the reasoning for this in my books Preserving Democracy and to some extent in What is Wrong with Social Justice.