May 20, 2018

Acknowledging a Cultural Crisis, Seeking The Wrong Solution

I’ve been involved with media platforms as tools of promoting thought, propaganda, news, subjective discussions, etc. for long enough to have an understanding of how it can and does work. One method of flooding the airwaves is a daily routine but something not everyone is even aware of.

Most “news” agencies are not independent creators of news and information. They collect it from one source and then the Media, as a whole, becomes a giant echo chamber. The question might then become is this a planned event or is it happenstance? It might be both but be assured that if someone wants to rapidly spread something, all systems are in place to carry out a massive and rapidly spreading propaganda machine.

It seems on several occasions of late writers are talking about America’s “Cultural Crisis.” Let’s not kid ourselves. If you or I perceive that America’s Culture is in crisis, is that not our opinion – a subjective determination based on our own lifestyle and moral compass, if we have one at all?

But let’s not debate whether America’s Culture is in crisis. It is being discussed and therefore there must be a reason.

One of the reasons I suspect that the Parkland, Florida school shooting was a planned out event is because of what transpired after the shooting. It is virtually impossible to have put together all of the events that transpired after the school shooting unless at least some or many of those plans were in place beforehand. No other shooting event caused such a seemingly united attempt at addressing the destruction of the Second Amendment with proportionately little attention given to a “Cultural Crisis” up until now.

The point of all this is to draw attention to what the Media is doing in its plans to promote and perpetuate what it intends to or are told to do.

So we have articles and opinion pieces showing up attempting to address a “Cultural Crisis.” Why?

Maybe someday we will understand all the ins and outs as to who and what is behind the mass Media but for now we must deal with it and hope and pray that our knowledge base is strong enough and accurate enough to recognize when we are being bamboozled and when we are not, and/or we can divide truth from fiction.

As I see it, one of the problems with any of the discussions I have read about a cultural crisis isn’t about what constitutes this crisis but the solutions offered to counter the crisis. It seems that whether you are a progressive/liberal or a conservative, because of our indoctrination we tend to always assume the high ground and that we have the answers. It only becomes necessary to take the high ground when solutions offered are only presented as being from the Right or the Left as though those are the only two places where answers are found.

For regular readers, recall that I have often said that one of the more serious issues Americans face in this country is that we have all become programmed to see everything as either Right or Left- problems are right or left, solutions are right or left.

With all this in mind, two recent articles were sent to me that attempt to address America’s cultural crisis and the threats driving this nation toward civil war.

In John Hawkings piece published at Townhall, he lists “7 Forces Driving America Toward Civil War,” he mentions as two items, “Lack of a Shared Culture” and “Moral Decline.” While the acknowledgment of these two items is presented, both are given as problems caused by the false paradigm of Left vs. Right, and thus any proposals for solutions are therefore given within that same context.

Hawkins doesn’t necessarily present his discussion on culture as being in crisis, I would suppose that if he deems it worthy of an ingredient that may ultimately lead to civil war, then one might conclude he considers the issues confronting the American culture are in crisis.

The author’s idea of a moral decline isn’t that much in line with what I would describe as a moral decline. Hawkins sees the moral decline as “A large number of Americans HAVE LOST their principles, manners and virtue and it shows through from the sort of politicians they elect, to their rudeness online, to the sort of shallow hedonism and fame whoring they find appealing.”

No solutions are offered.

It should be said that a moral decline and a cultural crisis go hand in hand and cannot be separated.

The second article is a Lee Edwards piece published in the National Review. His work goes quite a bit deeper into history and offering quotes and the work of many conservatives from the past up until the present. Edwards offers existing past performances, mostly including those of Russell Kirk, as the solution to America’s Cultural Crisis.

Again, there is little argument about those things in our society that are listed as being a problem. He quotes Judge Robert Bork when he warned: “We are on the road to cultural disaster.” Bork blames Liberalism: “radical egalitarianism becomes tyranny and radical individualism descends into hedonism.”

I’m not fond of these kinds of statements because in describing egalitarianism and individualism, both are qualified with the subjective adjective “radical.” It makes it more difficult to completely understand what the owner of those words really meant. I work very hard at my individualism but I see none of that as even approaching hedonism. Does that mean my support of individualism is not radical? Where is the line drawn? Not to get off topic.

It’s difficult to argue with Edwards’ assessment of the results of a progressive lifestyle which basically views all things in what some of us would call a post-normal society – wrong is right, black is white, bad is good, etc.

He also lists C. Northcote Parkinson’s 6 Stages of Decadence – political over-centralization, excessive taxes and government interference, top-heavy intrusive government, crooks and criminals in government, debt, liberal sentimentality.

Edwards uses Kirk’s words describing those issues that need to be addressed to expose the liberal agenda that is driving America’s culture into crisis: militant secularism, soft socialism, legalistic internationalism, rabid egalitarianism, arrogant relativism, and radical societal change.

All of this and a few words about the water that Donald Trump must walk on and the solution is to begin a systematic approach to rebuild our culture on conservative principles. Many so-called conservative principles I see as far better, at least from the perspective that those principles include a certain degree of liberty and individualism. But these are still man’s values and solutions.

Included in the suggested solutions is a call to look to a higher existence in order to make us into a “good” society. This is typical of Catholicism’s call to their gOD and not our Creator. Until the American Society individually and as a whole can seek Yahweh for guidance and direction, man’s solutions will fail. That is the reason we are where we are at now.

It is mostly a cop-out to claim the high ground when Americans say we are an “exceptional” nation, basically good, who gives a lot of money to charity, etc. etc. but isn’t this really a lot about easing our guilt phobias?

Not all givers are this way but to live the lifestyles so prevalent in American Culture, which is decadent, selfish, hedonistic, and perverse, then pop into the church, give a few bucks, somehow makes us a good society?

It’s a daily event now that we read about some display of our radical Godless society – mass murders, random killings, terrorism, evil bloody attacks, etc. and we want to blame liberalism for them, believing that conservativism wouldn’t do those things.

Our culture continues to move further and further away from Yahweh. The Scriptures told us this would happen and here it is. Commend those who want to expose the realities of our culture and offer their solutions. Real solutions can come from only one place. It must begin with the individual. Isn’t this why a Godless society strives to destroy individualism?

If we all get on the right track, all the rest will no longer be a problem.

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White Privilege? Christian Privilege? Don’t We All Have Some Kind of Privilege

Every last one of us experiences some kind of “privilege” throughout our lifetime. It is inescapable. It’s part of who we are whether natural (sin) or a learned apparatus, privilege is exercised daily whether we want it to or not or whether it was consciously intended to be that way. The real issue with so-called “privilege” is whether or not such actions were of a malicious intent resulting in a significant consequence. Adding to this confusion is the fact that making a determination of significant consequence is subjective. Because of our sinful nature, we can never please everyone.

I got thinking about all this after reading an article on Powerline Blog about “Christian Privilege.” It seems that I agree with this author to the point that it appears the rhetoric about Christian Privilege has picked up in recent weeks, and for what reason I’m not sure other than to ask, why not? If you are so mixed up and weak minded to not understand how life is, I suppose it is easy to think someone else is getting something you are not or more of it and thus it is easier to make accusations of some sort of unequal privilege instead of just going out and earning it for yourself.

Oh, sure, I understand the roadblocks that do exist – not all are imaginary – that wrongly prevent someone from getting what they want, but then again, we can’t have everything can we?

There is a line that ought to be drawn between what is a real privilege, which was once recognized as discrimination of consequence, and perceived privilege – like I got more attention from the teacher because I had blue eyes.

We can’t help ourselves. We find ourselves continually placed in situations where we must make decisions that involve selecting one person over another. As a child playing games or picking sides for the recess softball game, the captains learn quickly who to choose for their team. Those choices are based on friendships, ability, popularity, and good looks. Does that somehow translate into privilege? How do you prevent natural things like this from happening?

We would kid ourselves to think things like good looks doesn’t provide some a better chance than others. Good looks are also a subjective topic and to some guy, a young girl he sees across the dance floor that he perceives as good looking, or friendly, or a great personality, will be the first asked to dance. Is this privilege or just the way it is? Can you say you know the mind of the other person?

Growing up, I was a gifted athlete. I was captain of the football and ski teams. Was I privileged? I know I was in some way. But, now that I am an adult and have put away childish things. With much sincerity, I can say that I earned much of that privilege. I didn’t seek out to become captain of the team. I worked to become the best I could be at what I did. Did I experience privilege along the way? Probably. Am I now to be punished for that because someone else sees that as some kind of inequitable privilege?

Any person has a very tough life ahead of them who sees things in this manner. I feel sorry for them.

The only time in my life that I can recall feeling angry toward someone because they got something I wanted, was when I was passed over for a job and it was given to another man because I was told, he was married and I wasn’t. Was that privilege or discrimination? Maybe it was neither. Maybe it was both. Time to move on.

The real discrimination comes from those who practice favoring one group, race, religious group, etc. over another for reasons of bigotry, anger, hatred, and ignorance. I will be chastised for saying so, but because of a man’s nature to sin, discrimination will always exist. All we can do is work toward mitigating the level of discrimination in order to bring it to levels that are inconsequential – a seemingly insurmountable task.

One thing is for certain though, burning up energy and fomenting anger and hatred at another person or a group of persons because you think they have been placed in positions of privilege over you is beneficial to nobody.

Discrimination/privilege exists. I don’t doubt it. I have seen it. I have experienced it. What I choose to do about that is up to me. Hating someone and being angry because of it doesn’t help.

The talk has shifted to Christian Privilege…whatever that is. I can only guess the reasons for this targeting. Placing bullseyes on groups setting them apart because of one’s perceived privilege is driven by many things or perhaps I should say people or groups of people.

Christians have always been targets of hatred as have all religious groups. As wrong as this is doesn’t change the fact that it is real. However, lumping Christians into one large group as being one and the same is a terrible thing.

Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, Episcopals, Pentecostals, Methodists and many more are all lumped together as Christians. I can guarantee there exists, in someone’s perception, Catholic privilege, Baptist privilege, etc. etc. So is it even correct to speak of Christian privilege? I would suppose to some degree.

I consider myself a Christian but I can also say I belong to none of the so-called Christian denominations. To somebody, I am privileged because I have a strong faith in a just God. To some, I have privilege because I accept that the promises Yahweh made to those that believe and follow him as real and I reap the benefits of those blessings even though I tell Yahweh daily that I really am not deserving of them. Is Yahweh showing privilege to some and not to others? You could look at it that way but I will tell you this. He gives to those he promised to give to and never goes against His Word.

Man’s sinful perception of privilege is rooted in the belief that somebody else has and/or is favored over another because of some distinction between them that is different than another’s. Yahweh doesn’t operate that way. You can have the same “privilege” I have with no strings attached. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin or whether you are good looking or homely enough to stop a clock. Yahweh doesn’t see those things because he created you. He doesn’t care if you are a gifted athlete. Nothing is different. And we’re all the same.

The choice is yours of where you want to focus your energy – on being angry and hateful because you think somebody has something you don’t or you can make your own life better by seeking Yahweh’s privileges.

Discrimination is a terrible wrong. Obsessing on silly “privilege” is a distraction. One that takes your focus and attention away from the Creator.

 

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