The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, December 16, 2017

O Tempora, O Mores!

In this, which will be my last posting for 2017, I would like to begin on a positive note by announcing the publication of The Other North America: Traditions and Identities. Edited by D. H. Graham, and published by the American Anglican Press, this book is an anthology of essays by North American writers, some of the past, others of the present, but who are all Anglican Christians who dissent in their political thinking from the vision of the revolutionaries of 1776 and who draw upon traditions older than the liberalism that inspired that revolution. Some of these, such as Michael Cushman and V. Francis Knight, speak for the cultural tradition of the antebellum South, which the Yankees went to war to extirpate in 1861. Others, such as Professor Ron Dart, the Rev. Canon Kenneth W. Gunn-Walberg, and myself, speak for the monarchist, Tory tradition of Loyalist Canada. I am very grateful to Mr. Graham for the honour of being included in such distinguished company in this book.

Jerusalem

Imagine if Germany were to declare that it was offensive to her that France considers Paris to be her capital city and tried to blackmail the rest of the world into moving their embassies in France to Marseilles with threats that they would otherwise renew the armed hostilities of almost a century ago. Would any government anywhere in the world regard this demand as anything other than hubris taken to a degree that is both absurd and insane? Of course not. At the risk therefore, of sounding Zionist, might I suggest that everybody can their faux outrage over US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would be recognizing Israel’s choice of its own capital and moving their embassy there from Tel Aviv. Spare me the nonsense about this derailing the peace process. There is no process that will ever lead to a lasting peace in this region unless someone finally persuades all of the Arab and Muslim countries to recognize Israel’s existence as an established fact which, they do not have to like, but which they are bloody well going to have to put up with and live with.

Hollywood


When l’affaire Weinstein broke a couple of months ago, I was initially skeptical. My skepticism was due to a case of mistaken identity. Having heard the name Harvey Weinstein, my mind for some reason processed it as Harvey Fierstein, and since the latter’s erotic proclivities are well-known to be directed elsewhere than towards the ladies, multiple charges of sexual harassment against him by the fairer sex seemed rather implausible. When I realized my mistake, and who the actual subject of the accusations was, my skepticism evaporated – at least, until the accusations were elevated from offering stardom in exchange for sex and generally being a sleazebag to include rape.

Rape, as the term was defined prior to 1975 (the year that saw the publication of Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Wills), is, of course, a heinous crime, worthy of castration, or perhaps even capital punishment. It is precisely because of the heinous nature of the crime, and the severity of the punishment it deserves, that all accusations of such must be regarded with a healthy skepticism until such time as their truth is established by overwhelming evidence. This attitude is one upon which the “Me Too” crowd looks aghast and indeed, regards as worse than the crime itself. Their position is that victims of rape or sexual assault have a “right” to be both heard and believed and that to doubt or question their accounts is to “victimize” them a second time. They rationalize their position with the argument that victims of rape and sexual assault are reluctant to speak out and that those who question and doubt their testimony by so doing add to this reluctance.

This argument is a rationalization rather than sound reasoning. It ignores the distinction between a victim – someone against whom a crime has actually been perpetrated – and an accuser – someone who says that a crime has been perpetrated against her. An accuser is only a victim if her claim is true – if it is not, then she is not a victim but a victimizer. There is no way to give victims a right to be believed without giving this same right to all accusers, both the true and the false. To give accusers the right to be believed, is to throw away the long-established rights of the accused to a fair trial, to confront and cross-examine their accusers, and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Those who claim a “right” to be believed for rape accusers are well aware of this for they do not make their arguments in bona fide. What the so-called “right to be believed” is really all about is giving one sex a weapon – the career-reputation-and-life-destroying false accusation – to use against the other, at the expense of sacrificing an ancient right that protects both sexes.

None of this is written in defence of Weinstein who, whether or not he is guilty of crimes like rape and sexual assault, certainly seems to be a major sleazebag. This goes with the territory, him being a major Hollywood producer at all. Hollywood has been full of enough sleaze to make Las Vegas look like the most virtuous city in North America by comparison since the day its first movie studio opened. Indeed, show business was a notoriously sleazy business long before the motion picture was invented. At the risk of further outraging those who would find my comments in the last two paragraphs offensive, might I follow Ilana Mercer in making the suggestion that blame for the resemblance between the inner workings of show business and that of a bordello, does not rest upon the shoulders of lecherous managers, agents, and producers alone, but has as much to do with the ambitious young actresses and divas who are more than willing to sleep their way to fame and fortune?

Hypocrisy Anyone?

It appears that for all those left-liberals, determined to crucify Weinstein and other big name Hollywood types – who are generally all long-time supporters of progressive causes, including feminism, the Democrat Party, and Hillary Clinton – there is an exception to a woman’s right to refuse. The other week the news broke that a young actress – to use the term extremely loosely – who went by the stage name of August Ames, had been driven to commit suicide, not by the extreme emptiness that accompanies the kind of ephemeral stardom achieved through allowing oneself to be filmed in the most private of acts for mass voyeuristic consumption, but because those exemplary models of letting other people be, the LGBTTQ et alia ad infinitum gang, launched a social media blitzkrieg against her after she withdrew from a shoot in which she was cast opposite a co-star who has primarily appeared in films of a same-sex nature. Apart from illustrating the well-known fact that it is those who talk the most about tolerance and letting others be who are the least likely to practice these things, this demonstrates the truth of a remark I made last summer about how “We are fast approaching the time where social and legal pressure to conform to the new culture of “tolerance” will be the instruments of a raptum omnium ab omnibus.”

Robert Charles Sproul, Requiescat in Pace

One of the first books of serious theology – or what passes for serious theology in contemporary evangelicalism - that I ever read was R. C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God, which my pastor lent me when I was still in high school. While I have not read all of the approximately 100 books that Sproul wrote during his ministry, of the several that I have read, I still consider this to be the best. I have not always agreed with everything he wrote – and indeed, have charged him with serious heresy – but, as Dame Joan Collins’ Alexis Carrington Colby had a habit of saying in Aaron Spelling’s Dynasty to those whom she had previously stabbed in the back, but wished to use in the present, “that’s all in the past” and the sacred and ancient principle of de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est is now in play, as Dr. Sproul, who had suffered from chronic pulmonary obstructive disease for several years, passed away this week from respiratory complications brought on by the flu. I offer my condolences to his loved ones. May he rest in peace.

The Stalinism that is Strangling the Dominion of Canada to Death

On Friday December 8th, Mary Wagner was dragged out of something that euphemistically refers to itself as the “Women’s Care Clinic” in downtown Toronto and tossed in the clink. Her crime? Passing out red roses, to which models of unborn babies, and cards with contact information for the Sisters of Life and the message “You can choose life for your baby. Love will find a way” in an effort to dissuade young women from having their babies murdered. It used to be illegal, in the Dominion of Canada, for women to murder their babies. Trudeau pere changed that, by legalizing abortion in certain circumstances in 1969, and by corrupting our constitution with the addition of the diabolical Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which the Supreme Court of Canada then used as the basis for striking down all our remaining laws against abortion in 1988. Now, under Trudeau fils, it is attempting to prevent abortion, by gentle persuasion, that is treated as a crime.

Last month, at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, 22 year old teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd was censured by the University administration. Her offence? In a class entitled “Canadian Communication in Context”, she showed a brief clip of a televised debate between University of Toronto Professors Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte on the subject of gender-neutral pronouns, in which the former took the con side and the latter the pro. To those who censured her, the acknowledgement of the existence of any other than the pro side on this issue, constituted a hate crime, a promotion of “transphobia.” Shepherd had the foresight to record the interview in which she was censured in abusive terms by a professor who absurdly compared Peterson to Hitler. The university, faced with a backlash of negative public opinion after the recording was released, backed down and apologized to the TA. One wonders how many students, teacher’s assistants, and staff and faculty members, in universities across the Dominion – or across North America for that matter as universities in the United States are no better – have faced similar censure, from administrations that tolerate no dissent from the increasingly radical, Marxist agenda on cultural and social issues, that they have been ramming down everyone’s throats?

Around the same time that the Lindsay Shepherd story was breaking there was an incident here in Winnipeg that further demonstrates the chilling atmosphere of Stalinism that has fallen upon our Dominion now that a Trudeau is once again the Prime Minister’s Office. Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, had scheduled a talk in his hotel room at the Hilton Suites for November 15th, on the subject of “Charlottesville Changes Everything.” The day before the scheduled talk, the left-liberal Winnipeg Free Press ran a front-page editorial, about how a “white nationalist” had planned an “event” in Winnipeg. The mendacity of this wording cannot be understated. The word “event” was intended to obscure the nature of what was planned by implying that it might be a public rally or demonstration rather than a closed door meeting, in which Mr. Fromm in suit-and-tie, would give a non-incendiary, informative talk, to those interested in hearing him. The words “white nationalist”, to the writers and readership of the Winnipeg Free Press, have only one connotation, and that is neo-Nazi, which, to anyone who actually knows Paul Fromm, is an absurd description of a man who has been fighting against the kind of soft-totalitarian thought control that the Grits introduced to our country during the first Trudeau premiership for almost as long as I have been alive. To left-liberals, who applaud and lionize every other sort of racial and ethnic identity group, anyone who tries to speak for white people and their rights and interests is the equivalent of Hitler. By this ridiculously pathetic excuse for reasoning Sir Winston Churchill, portrayed by Gary Oldham in the upcoming war drama Darkest Hour, was the equivalent of the tyrant he defeated in war in 1945, because ten years later he tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce immigration restrictions, suggesting to his Cabinet that they adopt the slogan “Keep England White.”

The Winnipeg Free Press’s activism-disguised-as-journalism had its intended effect. The Hilton Suites cancelled Mr. Fromm’s reservation. When he relocated to the Main Stay Suites, black clad, masked “antifa”, whom the sympathetic media call “protestors” but in my opinion would be better described as “terrorists” descended upon the premises. Again Mr. Fromm’s reservation was cancelled and he soon discovered that he had been blacklisted – “whitelisted?” – by every hotel in town.

Now, if you have the courage and honesty to do so, think about this story and ask yourself who bears the closest resemblance to Adolf Hitler – Paul Fromm or those who went to such great lengths to prevent him from giving a talk to those who wanted to hear him?

The Trudeau Liberals have made known to MPs what they will publically announce next week – that to receive grant money from the government for summer jobs for students, employers will need attest that:

both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

In other words, anyone who disagrees with Trudeau’s Marxist agenda, need not apply.

One Last Thing

If there is anybody that I have not offended, with any of my preceding remarks, allow me to make up for this oversight by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

I would like to begin on a personal note since I owe my readers an explanation and an apology for the long hiatus since my last essay. I have been working for the past couple of months on my upcoming book, The High Tory: Essays on Classical Conservatism by a Patriotic Canadian. The book is a compilation of essays, some of which have been self-published here, others of which have appeared in the journal Anglican Tradition, and some of which will be making their first public appearance in the book itself. This project has been consuming most of my writing and researching time and is likely to continue to do so for several months yet to come.

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

On June 26th, 1284, 130 children from the town of Hamelin in Germany, were led away into the hills near the town and never returned. We are all familiar with the version of this story that appears in the Brothers Grimm, in which the children were spirited away in revenge after the town reneged on their promised payment to the man who rid them of a rat plague with hypnotic music. Less embellished versions go back much further, almost to the very date of the incident. With or without the rats and magic music, all accounts attribute the loss of the children to a man who played a pipe and wore a coat of many colours as if he thought he were the Biblical Joseph – or Dolly Parton. Due to this description this figure is universally known as the Pied Piper.

Within the evangelical world another Pied Piper has arisen to lure the children of God away into the hills of heresy. His name is John and he was, until fairly recently, the pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year, the eve of All Saints marked the five hundredth anniversary of the posting of Dr. Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, the event that launched the Reformation. To celebrate this important anniversary, Piper, who is well-known as a “Reformed” or “Calvinist” theologian, posted an article in which he denied the Pauline truth that lay at the heart of the Reformation – that man, who is a sinner, can be justified in the eyes of God, whether in this life or at the final assize, only through the completed, atoning, sacrifice of Jesus Christ, given to the world by God in His grace, and received through faith and not by works. In an article published on his ministry’s website, dated September 25, 2017, and entitled “Does God Really Save Us By Faith Alone?” Piper answered the question in his title with a resounding “no.”

In the article Piper distinguished between justification in which “faith receives a finished work of Christ performed outside of us and counted as ours — imputed to us”, sanctification in which “faith receives an ongoing power of Christ that works inside us for practical holiness” and final salvation in which, according to him, “at the last judgment, faith is confirmed by the sanctifying fruit it has borne, and we are saved through that fruit and that faith.”

Piper disingenuously attempted to pretend that he had not handed the orthodox the stake upon which to burn him (figuratively speaking, of course) by saying that Sola Fide only ever applied to justification, not final salvation, as if, when St. Paul wrote “διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ” (1) he had only the believer’s entrance into the Christian life and not his standing before God throughout that life and at the Final Judgement in mind. The plain truth of what the Apostle wrote simply cannot be explained away. Some have attempted to do so by pointing to the fact that ἔργων is qualified by the word νόμου, but the very distinction between “works of the law” and “works of love” is lost entirely if we make the latter into something upon which our final standing in the eyes of God depends. Piper turns, as all who wish to avoid the truth of Romans do, to the epistle of James which declares that justification is “οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.” Note that the last word does not match the word which precedes it in case. This means that it is not modifying faith adjectively, but is rather the adverbial form of the word and applies back to justification itself. This means that what St. James has in mind when he says “ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος” (2) is not that at the final judgement we will be saved “through that fruit and that faith” together, as Piper suggests, but that two different sense of justification are in view. Contrast the first word in the verse, ὁρᾶτε (ye see), with ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ (in His sight) from the verse in Romans and the distinction between the two justifications becomes clear. In the sight of God, justification is never by works, but our faith can only be justified in the sight of men by our works.

For a fuller examination of Piper’s article and its errors I refer you to “John Piper on Final Justification by Works” by Timothy Kauffman and Tim Shaughnessy in the Trinity Review.

This is not the first time that Piper has expressed his view that final salvation depends upon works as well as faith. He said very much the same thing two years ago, ironically in his introduction to Thomas Schreiner’s Faith Alone---The Doctrine of Justification: What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters, part of the Five Solas Series edited by Matthew Barrett for Zondervan. Indeed, he has been associated with various forms of works-righteousness for the duration of his ministry.

I first encountered Piper’s name during my formal theological education at what is now Providence University College (at the time it was Providence Bible College) in the 1990s. He was one of several evangelical celebrities, mostly from the Reformed/Calvinist tradition, who had placed their imprimatur upon the book The Gospel According to Jesus, which had been published by Zondervan in 1988 with forewords from the late Presbyterian theologian and pastor James Montgomery Boice and from J. I. Packer, a Puritan who thinks he’s an Anglican. Its author, John F. MacArthur Jr., is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as a seminary president and radio Bible teacher. This book, which recycles the ideas found in the The Cost of Discipleship, the most well-known book of German liberal God-is-dead theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, foolishly celebrated as a “martyr” by today’s evangelicals (he does not qualify as he was put to death for his political activities, however laudable they may or may not have been, rather than his faith), was an attempt to smuggle works into the Gospel by making them part of the definition of faith. MacArthur’s interpretive methodology was to take all of the demanding challenges that Jesus presented His followers with and treat these as if they were identical to His promises of everlasting life to those who believe in Him and explanations of what it means to “believe.” To get the meaning he required from his texts, he tortured them beyond recognition. To give but one example, of John 3:14-15 he wrote “In order to look at the bronze snake on the pole, they had to drag themselves to where they could see it. They were in no position to glance flippantly at the pole and then proceed with lives of rebellion.” (p. 46)

The paperback edition of this book, which was still being widely discussed and debated when I entered Providence, carried an endorsement by Piper. His review of the book for the February 1989 issue of the Baptist magazine The Standard could hardly have been more gushing. Piper wrote:

As for my own personal response to the book, I could scarcely put it down for joy. Its exegesis is almost always compelling. Its analysis of the contemporary scene is shockingly accurate. Its description of conversion is wonderfully radical. Its exposure of rampant nominalism is life saving. Its grief over the impurity of the church is moving. Its zeal for the glory of God’s holiness is contagious. Its vision of God’s sovereign grace is large and fully biblical. My prayer is that the BGC Commission on Evangelism will make it second to the Bible in their deliberations, and that our Conference will have about it the radical Christlike flavor of this book.

Quod onus stercoris!

Quite apart from the book’s own demerits, at the time it was published its author could not have affirmed the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed which was composed in the first two ecumenical councils of the church in the fourth century in response to Arianism, Sabellianism, and other Christological heresies and has remained the most important statement of basic Apostolic orthodoxy since. The Creed affirms of Christ that He is:

τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων

which Thomas Cranmer rendered in English as “the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all worlds.” This is the doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son, also known as the Eternal Sonship of Christ, and it is an essential element of the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is not just that God is One in Being and Three in Person – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – but also defines the eternal relationships between these Persons. The eternal relationship between the Father and the Son is defined by the word γεννηθέντα (begotten) which is distinguished from ποιηθέντα (made) to show that while the relationship between the Second Person of the Trinity and the First has eternally been that of a Son to His Father, this does not mean, as the Arians maintained, that He had a beginning. That the relationships within the Trinity are an essential part of the doctrine is not well understood by the average evangelical today – which is a good reason for conservative Protestants to reconsider the quite recent equation of the terms “evangelical” and “orthodox” – but Piper cannot hide behind this excuse. At the time that he endorsed MacArthur’s book, MacArthur taught Incarnational Sonship, that Jesus’s relationship to the Father did not become one of Sonship until the Incarnation, a doctrine that logically leads to Sabellianism the heresy of confusing the Persons as the agent in the Incarnation is clearly said in the Scriptures to be the Holy Spirit. MacArthur had begun teaching this heresy in 1972 and did not recant of it until the fall of 1999. It is still present in the doctrinal statement of his Seminary (sixth paragraph under the heading “God the Son”).

By giving MacArthur’s book his glowing endorsement, Piper demonstrated that he thought so highly of its teachings that he was willing to overlook the author’s defection from Nicene orthodoxy. Furthermore this is not a comparison of two unrelated matters. MacArthur, by reading every demanding challenge Jesus ever gave into His invitations to faith, produced a meaning for the word “believe” that has little to do with what that word means in ordinary usage. Nor does it bear any closer resemblance to the ordinary meaning of either the Latin credere or the Greek πιστεύειν. To get MacArthur’s Piper-endorsed meaning out of the word believe, and its Latin and Greek cognates, one would have to have some kind of special knowledge reserved for a select few. The kind of special knowledge that the oldest defectors from Apostolic orthodoxy, the sectarians described as “antiChrists” by St. John in the Scriptures, claimed for themselves under the term γνῶσις,

The early Reformers taught the Augustinian doctrine of predestination but by the time the Synod of Dort was convened in 1618-1619 by the Dutch Reformed Churches the doctrine of election had come to resemble the Gnostic doctrine of salvation reserved for the select few who possess the γνῶσις more than anything found in the teachings of the orthodox, fifth century, Bishop of Hippo. Theodore Beza had gone much further in subordinating the doctrine of justification to that of election than Calvin had and this produced a reaction, on the part of one of his own students, Jacob Arminius, whose followers produced the five-point statement known as the Remonstrance, to which the Synod of Dort was a response. Although Beza had died thirteen years before the Synod met, his influence can be found all over it. The canons it produced are known today as the “Five Points of Calvinism”, usually arranged in the order Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints in order to produce the mnemonic acronym TULIP. (3) The difference between this version of predestination and that taught by the early Reformers can be seen in the L.

Limited Atonement is the doctrine that Christ died only for the elect rather than for the entire world. Those who hold to this doctrine explain it as a limitation in design or intent, rather than in value. Christ’s death is sufficient, they say, for the entire world, but is limited in its efficiency, those it actually saves. To be fair anyone who is not a universalist believes this in some form or another. There is a world of difference, however, between saying that the Atonement was designed to save those who believe in Jesus and saying that it was designed to save only the elect, even though the two groups be coterminous. The former, preserves the sincerity of the Gospel as a message of universal “good news.” The latter does not. The Bezan-Dortian doctrine seriously distorts the nature of the Gospel message. The orthodox Gospel is Christianity’s message of good news to the world, that God has given to the world a Saviour in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, Who made a full atonement for the sins of the world through His death on the cross and in Whom, having been raised from the dead, all are invited to believe and by believing receive pardon for sins, justification and everlasting life. Limited Atonement transforms this into a Gnostic message about what God has done, not for the world, but for His select few.

Reformed theologians refer to the doctrines of Dort as the “doctrines of grace” but in reality the Limited Atonement ensures that this view of predestination is actually a form of salvation by works hiding behind the mask of salvation by grace. If Christ died only for the elect then one cannot know that Christ died for him merely by believing the Gospel but can only know that Christ died for him by first knowing that he is one of the elect. The way to know this, in this theology, is by seeing the fruit of one’s election in one’s good works. Since, in this theology, only final perseverance in good works counts, one can never be fully sure of one’s election prior to the Judgement. This was stated explicitly in the Canons of Dort in which “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is listed among the grounds of assurance in Article 10 under the heading “Final Perseverance of the Saints.” To say that “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is part of the grounds of assurance, however, is the same thing as saying that we must trust partly in our own good works.

This is not what John Calvin himself taught, and undoubtedly if he had lived to hear this doctrine taught in his name, those so teaching would have faced a fate worse than Servetus. Calvin wrote:

Quodsi in eo sumus electi, non in nobis ipsis reperiemus electionis nostrae certitudinem: ac ne in Deo quidem Patre, si nudum illum absque Filio imaginamur. Christus ergo speculum est, in quo electionem nostram contemplari convenit, et sine fraude licet. (4)

Which means:

“But if we are elected in him, we shall not discover the certainty of our election in us ourselves, and not, indeed, in God the Father, if we picture Him to ourselves naked, apart from the Son. Christ therefore is the mirror, in which it is suitable and permitted, without delusion, to contemplate our election.” (5)

Calvin, in other words, was a Lutheran not a Calvinist. In Luther’s teachings, from which the Lutheran tradition never departed in the way the Calvinist tradition did from Calvin’s, our salvation was accomplished for us by Christ, is announced to us through the Gospel, and received by us through faith, which looks outward away from ourselves and rests in Christ, and our assurance of our salvation is found in the same place in exactly the same way. It is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile this teaching with the idea that Christ died only for a select few, an idea that was completely absent from the teachings of the Lutheran John Calvin. (6)

“ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται”, (7) the Lord said, and fruit of the Calvinism that bears the Reformer’s name but not his doctrine, shows the tree to be corrupt indeed. In England, the Calvinism of Dort developed Puritanism, a fanatical movement that sought to purify the established church and impose a rigid and Pharisaical code of morality upon the nation, bred sedition, revolution, and regicide, becoming the template and inspiration for the rebellion of the Yankee traitors and the bloody revolution of the French Jacobins in the eighteenth century, and of the Communist and Nazi movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For a theology that proclaims itself to be about grace, it proved remarkably addicted to law. This is the theology that in England sought to ban Christmas, Easter, and any and all harmless amusements on Sundays and that in North America put people on trial for kissing their own spouses in public and spawned the notorious witchcraft trials of the late seventeenth century.

More relevant though, to our immediate subject, was the fruit it bore in the hearts and minds of those it first taught to ask the question “am I one of the elect?” and then taught to seek the answer through introspection. Ignoring Calvin’s “non in nobis ipsis”, the Puritans misapplied passages in which St. Paul told his Corinthian readers to examine the manner in which they partook of the Eucharist and to look to their own faith as evidence of the validity of his calling, Apostleship, and ministry, turning them into general commandments to look to their good works for evidence of the validity of their election and faith. This doctrine could produce but two possible results – arrogance, hubris, pride and self-deception among the spiritually dead and doubt, misery, and despair among those awake to their own sinfulness. The poet and hymnist William Cowper, driven mad by the thought of his own reprobation, is but one example of the casualties of this doctrine of which, John MacArthur’s efforts to revive, were loudly applauded by the same John Piper who now says openly that at the Last Judgement, our Final Salvation will depend on works as well as upon faith.

Against this new Pied Piper, seeking to lure the children of God away to their doom, let the words St. Paul first pronounced against those who taught that the salvation begun by grace and entered into by faith is to be completed by works, be the final word:
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς ἢ ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ εὐαγγελίζηται ὑμῖν παρ' ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (8)



(1) Romans 3:20 (Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight - KJV)
(2) James 2:24 (by works a man is justified, and not by faith only - KJV)
(3) In the canons of Dort the order was ULTIP.
(4) Institutio Christianae Religionis, III, xxiv. 5.
(5) If you want a better English rendition than my own Henry Beveridge’s reads “But if we are elected in him, we cannot find the certainty of our election in ourselves; and not even in God the Father, if we look at him apart from the Son. Christ, then, is the mirror in which we ought, and in which, without deception, we may contemplate our election.”
(6) I came to this conclusion myself when I first read Calvin over twenty years ago. Not only is the concept that “Christ died only for the elect” not formulated as such in his writings it is impossible to reconcile with passages like this, from Calvin’s Commentary on John 3:16 “And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.” R. T. Kendall, who succeeded D. Martin Lloyd-Jones as pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, argued in his published doctoral dissertation that Calvin had taught an unlimited atonement and later Calvinists, especially the Puritans, had taken a step towards salvation by works by departing from his views of the Atonement and assurance. Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979).
(7) Luke 6:44. (For every tree is known by his own fruit – KJV)
(8) Galatians 1:8

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Justin's Virtue-Signalling is Actually Vice-Signalling

So it appears there are things happening in the world other than Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un calling each other names and threatening to blow each other up. The American news has been dominated this week by a bizarre religious controversy that is dividing their country over whether it is ritually correct for people to kneel or stand while their national anthem is sung during a sacred Yankee ceremony that is called a "football game." Meanwhile, here in Canada, Justin Trudeau has been trying to divert our attention away from his vile speech to the United Nations last week expressing his hatred of the country whose government he leads and his scheme to bleed small business owners dry, by preening and grandstanding and virtue-signalling his supposed moral superiority to his political and ideological opponents on the matter of "women's rights."

There is a standing committee in the House of Commons that addresses the "Status of Women." This should not be confused with the Cabinet Ministry or the National Action Committee (a private lobby/activist group, albeit one that once was heavily funded by the government) of the same name although historically these all have their beginnings in the Pearson/Trudeau Liberal cultural revolution of the '60's and '70s and have been ideologically in sync with each other. The House committee is one whose chair, by established custom, is selected not by the governing party, but by Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, which at this time happens to be the Conservative Party of Canada. Accordingly, the new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer nominated Rachael Harder, the MP representing Lethbridge to chair the committee. When this was announced on Tuesday, all the Liberal MPs on the committee walked out, along with the New Democrat members, and Trudeau immediately called a press conference in which he declared his support of those who walked out.

What was the reason for the walk out? Does Harder support the importing into Canada of cultures in which the genitals of young females are ritually mutilated or in which male relatives are encouraged to kill daughters and sisters that in their opinion have brought dishonour upon their family through promiscuity or dress that they see as being too provocative? No, it is the Liberals and NDP themselves who do that, who want to criminalize all criticism of such cultures, and who accuse anyone who disagrees with them of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry (and probably anti-Semitism and homophobia as well since in left-liberal usage these kind of words have a purely expletive function that has little to do with their literal meaning). The reason the progressives are having conniptions over Harder is because she is pro-life. She does not believe that women should have the right to murder their unborn babies.

The neoconservative press has subjected the MPs who walked out and the Prime Minister who supported them to much deserved criticism and ridicule. The Sun newspaper chain, for example, published an editorial entitled “Liberals Fail to Embrace Diversity of Opinion” which pointed out the hypocrisy of the Liberals who loudly proclaim their devotion and dedication to “diversity” but seem to have little regard for diversity of viewpoint in that they are notoriously intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. The Grits deserve every word of this criticism which brings to mind the old quip of William F. Buckley Jr. about how liberals “claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” On this particular issue you might recall that a year and a half before the 2015 Dominion election Trudeau had announced that new candidates seeking the nomination of the Liberal Party would be required to give their full support to women’s “right” to murder their unborn babies. Not to be outdone in his support for the right of baby murder, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair declared that all NDP candidates, new and old, were required to vote the party line on this issue.

Yes, the Grits and their socialist doppelgangers, with their idolatrous cult of diversity on the one hand and their neo-Stalinist, ideological, party line on the other, are every bit the hypocrites the Sun editorial makes them out to be. There is other, far more important, criticism that deserves to be heard, but which sadly, you will never read in the pages of a mainstream Canadian publication. Neoconservatives, which is to say people who call themselves conservative but by this term mean “American classical liberal”, such as those who set the editorial policy for the Sun chain, are the only dissenters from the left-liberal ideological monolith that are tolerated in the mainstream Canadian media.

What really needs to be said is that the pro-life position is the only sane position and that anyone who believes that women have some sort of natural right to terminate their pregnancies that ought to be protected as a legal right is bat-shit crazy and ought not to be allowed into any position of authority, power, and influence or entrusted with any responsibility higher than that of sweeping the floors in an institution in which they are humanely kept for their own safety and that of society. No, in case you are wondering, my saying this does not make me guilty of the mirror image of the hypocrisy displayed by the Liberals and NDP. I don’t worship at the altar of diversity.

When a human sperm fertilizes a human egg a zygote is formed that is a) living and b) human, ergo, a human life. To deliberately take a human life is murder except in the following circumstances: when you are acting out of necessity in self-defence, when you are the state official entrusted with executing a sentence of death determined by a lawfully constituted court on someone found guilty of a capital crime, or when you are a soldier fighting for your country. None of these exceptions can possibly apply here and so the termination of the life of the unborn is murder. It should not be thought of as a medical procedure since it is in complete violation of everything the medical practice has traditionally stood for. It is a particularly odious form of murder in that it is done at the request of those who have a particular responsibility to love and cherish that life.

Those who defend it, rely entirely upon spurious, easily-refutable, arguments such as the hard cases argument about pregnancies that ensue from rape or incest, or those which endanger the life of the mother. Even if it were not the case – and it is – that such cases represent only a tiny percentage of the total number of terminated pregnancies each year, it is a well-established legal maxim that hard cases make bad law.

Even the real motivation behind the demand for legal abortion is ultimately a lie. Giving one sex the unilateral power of life and death over the next generation does not create “sexual equality.” Feminists accuse the traditional, patriarchal, family, of dehumanizing women but if anything does that it is this insane insistence on their supposed right to murder their children.

There is one other thing that really needs to be said about all of this and that is that a standing House committee – or a Ministry for that matter – devoted to the “Status of Women” sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. The status of women – and of men for that matter – in any society, arises out of the way the sexes interact and relate to each other, primarily within the family, and it is best to allow it to evolve within the living tradition of a culture rather than to try and artificially engineer it. If you reflect for a moment on the slogan of the 1960s revival of feminism, “the personal is the political”, you will see that this is a recipe for totalitarianism. Which is why this is the sort of thing that belongs in a regime like the former Soviet Union, Red China, or North Korea and not in a free, parliamentary country of the British Commonwealth that is heir to the Common Law under the Crown.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lessons to be Learned

On September 30th, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to London in the belief that he had secured “peace for our time” by negotiating a deal in which the German speaking areas in Czechoslovakia were ceded to Hitler in return for a promise that he would make no more territorial demands. The ink on the Munch Agreement had hardly had time to dry before Hitler broke his word and occupied the whole of Czechoslovakia – the government of which had not been party to the agreement that assigned it to its doom – before turning his eyes on the Klaipėda Region of Lithuania and the city of Danzig in Poland. By the time September 30th, 1939 rolled around, the Second World War had been underway for almost a month.

Chamberlain has been severely judged ever since – not primarily for giving away part of somebody else’s country but for failing to observe one of the basic lessons of the schoolyard, i.e., that giving a bully what he demands is more likely to increase his demands than to satisfy him. After World War II the Western world, now led by the United States of America, determined never to make this mistake again. Unfortunately, it seems to be a failing of human nature that when we have learned one lesson thoroughly it tends to drive other lessons that are just as important out of our heads.

Let us consider two other lessons that pertain to dealings with other nations.

One such lesson is that you should not threaten the use of force unless you have both the ability and the willpower to follow through with your threat. The reasoning behind this should be self-evident. Bluffing, if you know what you are doing, can work as a strategy in poker but in international relations the moment someone calls your bluff you are exposed as an impotent buffoon.

The other lesson is that if you have the strength and the willpower to back up a threat of force you should still hold that threat in reserve to be used only when all reasonable efforts to find a diplomatic solution have failed. War is destructive, awful, and costly and should only ever be entered into as a means of last resort. This is a lesson that those who are on a constant lookout for the next Hitler that they might not appease him are especially prone to neglect. Diplomacy involves talking, negotiation, and compromise and these things smack of appeasement to those for whom the lesson of Munich overrides all other considerations. Diplomacy and appeasement are not the same thing, however, and if, in your determination to stand up to bullies, you bypass the diplomatic process altogether and lead with threats, you will yourself have become the bully.

Need I go further and point out the compounded folly of leading with empty threats that are no more than bluffs?

It becomes much easier to forget these lessons the closer the “Hitler of the month” comes to resembling his archetype. For the last month the world has been treated to yet another round of the dark comedy stylings of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who dresses, talks and acts like a supervillain who has somehow escaped the confines of a Hollywood film version of an Ian Fleming novel to wreak havoc on the world stage. From shooting missiles over Japan and threatening to sink the island nation to apparently detonating a 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb and threatening to reduce North America to ashes and darkness he has been hamming up his bad guy act with real panache.

Governments around the world have responded to these shenanigans by condemning North Korea’s actions and hoping that somebody else would do something about it. The designated somebody else for most of the world, the government of the United States of America, has itself been trying all year to pawn the North Korean problem off on yet another somebody else, the People’s Republic of China. The reasoning behind this was that since China is North Korea’s neighbour as well as the regional power it is their responsibility to make Kim toe the line. The problem with that reasoning, of course, is that Red China is the power behind North Korea. North Korea demands that the United States withdraw its military presence from the region where it is protecting South Korea and Japan. Some see Kim’s motivation as aggressive – that he wishes to complete what his grandfather Kim Il Sung started in 1950 and to subjugate the entire Korean peninsula to his despotic regime. Others see his motivation as defensive – that he fears, and not without reason, that the Americans have targeted him for regime change. Whatever may or may not be going on in Kim’s head, it is certainly the case that Beijing regards America’s ongoing military presence as standing in the way of its regional hegemony and it has been playing Kim as a pawn against the United States. To expect China to pressure Kim into behaving is like expecting an opponent in chess to sacrifice a piece that is threatening your queen but which you cannot remove without placing your king into check. It is not going to happen.

As the American government has come to realize what they ought to have known from the get go, they have turned to other strategies for dealing with Kim. President Trump has been attempting to match Kim rhetoric for rhetoric, but what he hopes to accomplish by this is unclear. As Kim has responded to each of Trump’s Mr. Tough Guy tweets with yet more defiance it would seem to be a counterproductive strategy. Then, last week, the Americans convinced the UN Security Council to impose economic sanctions on North Korea. This too is a dubious strategy. It worked well enough for FDR when he imposed an oil embargo on the Japanese Empire but this is because his intention was not to pressure Tokyo into abandoning its militarism and expansionism so much as to provoke an attack that would give him a casus belli for entering World War II. It failed JFK, however, when he embargoed Cuba to try and bring down the Castro regime. Most often it is nothing more than a particularly perverse form of virtue signalling – a gesture that demonstrates our disapproval of a government by punishing that government’s people.

American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis both maintain that there is a military option for dealing with North Korea. Sunday’s training exercise, in which American bombers from Guam, accompanied by South Korean and Japanese fighters, dropped live bombs on a range a short distance from the 38th Parallel, was obviously designed to give credence to this threat. China and Russia have also stepped up their military presence in the region, however, and unless the Americans have completely lost their minds and are actually willing to sacrifice millions of people on the altar of Mars in order to take out one petty tyrant, this is all bluff.

There is no realistic military solution here. The only solution – if one exists – is to be found through diplomacy which ought to have been turned to long before this escalating war of threatening rhetoric began. This means that the distinction is going to have to be drawn between what is non-negotiable and what is merely desirable. The security of the United States and her allies against the threat posed by North Korea – and more importantly, the Red China behind North Korea – is non-negotiable. A non-nuclear North Korea or a North Korea with a better regime than the neo-Stalinist Kim junta may both be desirable, but they are not realistically attainable as the security of the Kim regime and the nuclear program that protects it are North Korea’s non-negotiables. Therefore, enter into talks – real talks, mind you, not petulant, “my way or the highway”, unyielding bombastic demands – with Pyongyang, with the firm resolution to never compromise the former, but prepared to give way on the latter. Drop the hubris and the Manicheanism and enter into negotiations. Back up your bargaining position with strength, as Reagan and Thatcher did when negotiating with Gorbachev, but follow their example by going to the table and talking.

That is the only sane approach to this mess.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trudeau and the Middle Class

In Rob Reiner’s 1987 film adaptation of William Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride, Wallace Shawn’s character of Vizzini, the leader of a trio hired to kidnap the title character, utters the word “inconceivable” every time something happens that interferes with his plans. After the umpteenth such exclamation, his associate Inigo Montoya, a Spanish swordsman portrayed by Mandy Patinkin, turns to him and says “you keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This is something that should have been said to Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau during the 2015 Dominion election every time he promised that the Grits would make the “middle class” stronger. He accused the previous Conservative government led by Stephen Harper of pandering to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and claimed that his party would do the opposite. The Liberal Party’s “New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”, their platform during that campaign, stated:

A strong economy starts with a strong middle class.


This is a true statement, but it is probably the only true statement in the entire document. It immediately went on to say “Our plan offers real help to Canada’s middle class and all those working hard to join it”. Among the promises made were “We will give middle class Canadians a tax break, by making taxes more fair.”

Over the summer, however, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government’s intention, when Parliament resumes in the fall, to introduce changes to the tax code as it pertains to the incorporation of small businesses. Trudeau’s evil henchman, of course, described these proposed changes in terms of closing loopholes that the wealthy exploit to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This, however, is what in the language of Apuleius would have been called an onus stercoris. It is not the superrich, the “1%” about which there has been so much talk in recent years, that “trust fund” Trudeau and his gang are going after. It is the couple who own the local grocery store that barely manages to survive against the competition of the giant corporate chains, the family struggling to scratch out a living on their farm, and the guy who had a great idea for a business that would provide a valued service to his community and employment for his neighbours and who has sunk everything he had into the uphill battle to make this dream come true. In other words, the middle class.

Justin Trudeau does not have a clue what a middle class is. When the question was put to him directly in the 2015 election he answered “I’m going to let economists, and I have a few around me, argue over which quintile or decile the middle class begins or ends in.” In other words, he thinks the middle class is a group of people whose income falls between an upper and lower limit, even though he cannot define what those limits are. In the old days, however, when the words middle class actually meant something, they referred to those who were neither the “rich”, who could live comfortably off of their already accumulated wealth nor the “poor” whose only respectable means of subsistence was by earning wages by manual labour but rather those whose income came through the management of their own small properties and businesses. Two and a half millennia ago Aristotle argued that it was this class that made for a secure and stable state because it was a responsible class and where it is strong neither poor nor rich are likely to be oppressed as one or the other would be in an oligarchy of the rich few or a democracy of the poor many. This is lost on our Prime Minister, however, who could not understand the Politika even if someone translated it into English or French for him, and who is most likely unaware that there ever was any other Aristotle than Jackie’s second husband.

The Trudeau government’s proposed tax code changes have nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with their desperate need for revenue due to their fiscal mismanagement. They have been running deficits far in excess of those they had projected during the election campaign, saddling our country with a load of debt that will take centuries to pay off. Pierre Trudeau had ran massive deficits in the ‘60s and ‘70s and Justin’s attitude to the Canadian taxpayer is summed up in the words of Rehoboam – “my father chastised you with whips, but I shall chastise you with scorpions.” Nor is the spending that the Grits are unwilling to curb going into development projects that will benefit Canada and Canadians for generations to come so much as into sustaining Trudeau’s international image of a generous humanitarian at the expense of Canadians.

During the election campaign Trudeau said that his government would commit to growing the economy and that as a consequence of that growth “the budget would balance itself.” Those who sought to defend Trudeau from the charge of reckless fiscal irresponsibility that these poorly chosen words suggested maintained that this was basically a restatement of the premise of Reaganomics. While there is a resemblance, to be sure, there is also a fundamental difference. The idea of supply-side economics is not that economic growth eliminates the need for fiscal responsibility but that a larger total tax revenue can be generated at a lower rate if the tax cuts provide enough entrepreneurial incentives to spur economic growth. It is an argument for lowering taxes – not an argument for reckless spending.

At any rate, if your strategy for balancing the budget is to rely upon economic growth to raise tax revenues, then your policies ought to encourage economic growth rather than discourage it. The policies of the Trudeau Liberals, however, have all the appearance of being designed to bring Canada’s economy to a grinding halt. Their carbon tax needlessly and pointlessly – for even if the anthropogenic theory of climate change were true it would do nothing to alleviate the problem – increases the expense of doing business and in a way that further belies their talk about “fairness” as it is a thoroughly regressive tax, affecting people the hardest the further down the economic ladder they are.

Then there is their approach to the NAFTA renegotiations. Regardless of what one thinks about free trade in the abstract – I think that however good the arguments behind the theory sound on paper they have been completely debunked by history – a country’s closest neighbours will usually be its biggest trading partners and when you have a trade agreement with those neighbours and one of them decides that it needs renegotiation, your job, when you go to the negotiation table, is to look out for the interests of your country and to secure for it the best deal possible. Two of the three governments involved in the NAFTA talks understand this – one does not. The Liberals have made it their priority to inject climate change, gender equality, and a lot of other irrelevant and inane progressive nonsense into the discussions. This will not help them to secure the best deal possible for Canada and if anything will have the exact opposite effect.

Trudeau’s apologists will argue that the economy is healthy and growing because the GDP has been increasing faster than anticipated since the final quarter of last year. All this means, however, is that money has been changing hands at a faster rate in Canada over the last twelve months. GDP is calculated by adding up the sum of private consumption (C) with that of investment (I), government expenditure (G) and total exports minus total imports (NX or X – M). It is a pointless exercise because the figure you get doesn’t measure anything real. C and G go up the same regardless of whether it is wealth accumulated from past production or money borrowed that is spent. Neither is a distinction made between spending on projects that will have enduring benefits, spending on immediate needs, and spending that is wasteful or even destructive. Demolishing and constructing a building both raise the GDP and every time a bomb is dropped the GDP goes up. GDP is no indicator of productivity and real economic growth. Its chief purpose – perhaps sole purpose – is to enable finance ministers and economists to boast about their “growing economies” even as real incomes and savings drop while unemployment and debt grows. It has been used to obfuscate the truth about the devastating consequences of free trade for years.

Every time Justin Trudeau throws away money that the Canadian taxpayers’ will have to spend the next century or so paying back on some project of self-aggrandizement it increases our GDP. What it doesn’t do is benefit our middle class – or those working hard to join it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wars and Rumours of Wars

One of the most aggravating consequences of last month’s false flag fiasco in Charlottesville was the removal of the only member of the Trump administration who possessed any degree of sanity with regards to international geopolitics. I said many times during America’s last presidential election that although I considered Trump to be the better choice by far of the final two candidates, as a patriotic Canadian rather than an American and a royalist who disliked republics and presidents on principle, I did not really have a stake in the campaign. There was an obvious exception to this in the realm of international geopolitics and it was here that Trump stood out above not only Clinton but all those he beat out to win the Republican nomination. The Clinton Democrats and neoconservative Republicans are not so much rivals as the left and right wings of the American war party, both firmly committed to the Pax Americana, the “new world order” that George H. W. Bush proclaimed at the end of the Cold War on the eve of Operation Desert Storm, and the ultimate outcome of the trajectory upon which Woodrow Wilson set American foreign policy in the first World War. The combination of overseas bombings, regime changes, and other military actions with open immigration even from the parts of the world where the former is likely to have created mortal enemies gave birth to the wave of terrorism that has hit not only the United States but her allies in the West and indeed throughout the world in the last two decades. Trump campaigned on the policy of doing the opposite of this and the member of his administration most committed to that policy was Steve Bannon, formerly and now again, of Breitbart News.

The liberal-left have been attacking Bannon as a “white supremacist” since he was first appointed. There is not the slightest truth to this accusation – there seldom is except in the rare occasions that they are talking about someone who self-identifies as such – but the demands for his head greatly increased in the aftermath of Charlottesville, and Donald Trump’s sensible condemnation not just of white racism but of the anti-white racism of the Marxist thugs who initiated the violence. Bannon would likely still be Trump’s chief strategist, however, were it not for a published conversation he had with Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the ultra-left American Prospect magazine, in which he said regarding North Korea:

There’s no military solution, forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.

While saying this was perhaps unwise – in effect calling his own President’s bluff – it was nevertheless true even at the time which was a couple of weeks before North Korea successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.

The time for a military solution to the North Korean regime has long passed. In the 1986 film, Back to School, the following dialogue took place between Professor Terguson, portrayed by comedian Sam Kiniston and Rodney Dangerfield’s character of Thornton Melon, a successful businessman who has gone back to university to gain some respect. Terguson has just snapped and furiously berated a younger student for a naïve textbook response to a question about the Vietnam War:

Melon: Hey Professor, take it easy will you. I mean these kids they were in grade school at the time. And me, I’m not a fighter, I’m a lover.

Terguson: Well, well, I didn’t know you wanted to get involved in the discussion Mr. Helper. But since you want to help, maybe you can help me, okay? Do you remember that thing we had about thirty years ago called the Korean conflict? Yeah, where we failed to achieve victory. How come we did not cross the 38th Parallel and push those rice eaters back to the Great Wall of China and take it apart brick by brick and nuke them back into the f***ing stone age forever? Tell me why, how come, say it, say it!

Melon: Alright, I’ll say it. ‘Cuz Truman was too much of a pussy wimp to let MacArthur go in there and blow out those Commie bastards!

Terguson: Good answer, good answer. I like the way you think. I’m going to be watching you.


Although the movie is fictional, there is truth in this comedic dialogue in that had Harry Truman followed General Douglas MacArthur’s advice in 1951, and allowed him to drive the China and Soviet backed Communists out of North Korea, the spread of Communism throughout Asia would have been nipped in the bud and the later, longer, and far worse Vietnam War would never have taken place. More relevantly to the situation at hand, the regime of Kim Jong Un would not exist today.

Of course we cannot go back to 1951 and undo Truman’s big mistake, any more than we can go back to 1945, prevent Eisenhower from delaying the march of the Western allies so that the Soviets could reach Berlin first and authorize Patton, once Hitler’s regime was dead and buried, to keep going and take out Stalin’s. 1945, when Patton wished it, was the last time an attempt to take down the Soviet Union militarily would have been feasible. By 1949 the Soviets had the atomic bomb and six years later they had the hydrogen bomb as well – a war between them and the United States at this point would have been insane and the more each country developed and expanded their nuclear arsenals the more insane it became.

North Korea has been developing its own nuclear weapons program for decades. A quarter of a century ago it withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and eleven years ago it detonated its first nuclear weapon. The full extent of its capabilities is unknown but it has developed ICBM’s capable of reaching North America and has just conducted a successful test of a 120-140 kiloton hydrogen bomb. It is nowhere near having anything like a first strike capacity against the United States, of course, but what it has is sufficient for a deterrent especially when we consider that even without its nukes it could lay waste to Seoul, the capital of its southern neighbour, if attacked, and that it would almost certainly be backed by China which has been in the nuclear game much longer.

Bannon is quite right – there is no military solution here.

If the unthinkable happens and an all-out nuclear war breaks out between the United States and North Korea it will either be initiated by North Korea or by the United States. While Kim Jong Un has often been accused of madness, it is madness of the megalomaniacal variety and not of the suicidal, and he would have to be suicidal to attack the United States. The liberal-left thinks – or at least professes to think – that if the United States initiates nuclear war with North Korea – or anybody else, for that matter – it will be due to the temperament of Donald Trump. This has been a meme on the left ever since the election campaign when it was propagated by Hillary Clinton, herself not exactly known for her pacific temperament. It is a nonsensical meme.

No, if the American government does do something as stupid as initiate a nuclear war it will not be because of the temperament of their president but because the man with the most sense on the subject has been driven from his administration, to the cheers of the liberal-left, leaving Trump surrounded by hawkish advisers. Hey, but at least those hawkish advisers do not disagree with the left-liberal dogma that the more ethnic, cultural, religious, and racial diversity a country has the better off it will be, to which all right-thinking people give their whole-hearted and unquestioning assent. After all, what’s a little thing like the threat of nuclear Armageddon, compared to the evil of thinking thoughts that liberals maintain to be racist.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Moral Cowardice and Idolatry Among Today's Christian Leaders

Almost a century ago, poet and critic T. S. Eliot famously remarked “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” This was in a Cambridge University lecture given in 1939, on the eve of the war that was precipitated by the short-lived alliance between these rival alternatives to God, the text of which would be included in the book The Idea of a Christian Society. Seventeen years earlier a young Eliot had decried the cultural and spiritual bankruptcy of post-First World War Western Civilization in the poem “The Waste Land.” Five years later he had found the roots he had been looking for – note that he would later write the forward to Simone Weil’s The Need for Roots – when he converted to orthodox Christianity, joined the Church of England, and swore his oath of loyalty to the Crown becoming a British citizen. He had found the true path and in the words quoted above warned those who were pursuing materialistic ends and placing their hope in democracy of where their path would ultimately lead them.

It is just under eighty years since Eliot spoke those words and Western Civilization has not turned back to God in the interim. Indeed, it has become far more godless, materialistic and secular than anyone could have imagined back then, and in the process, despite Stephen Pinker’s recent arguments to the contrary, become far more crude, vulgar, and immoral. Sad to say, much of the blame for the state of our civilization belongs to the leaders of the church. If you read the historical and prophetic books of the Old Testament you will be struck by the number of times a particular cycle recurs – the leaders of God’s people go whoring after heathen idols, the people follow them into sin, and judgement and a curse comes upon them and their land as a result.

That the leaders of the church in our day and age are just as prone to lead their flocks into worshipping the false gods of the day as the leaders of the ancient Israelites were is evident in the moral blindness or cowardice that so many have displayed in their response to the recent events in Charlottesville even while tooting their own horns about their great courage in daring to resist the evil of white racism. It requires no courage whatsoever to speak out and condemn white racism in this era. All you have to do is go along with the mob. The true test of your moral courage is whether or not you dare to condemn the anti-white racism that hides behind the mask of anti-racism. Those who do so risk incurring the wrath of both the mob and the corporate globalists. The vast majority of church leaders, even among the supposedly orthodox, have failed this test badly. This is because they have bowed the knee to the false deity that presides over today’s pantheon of idols – the idol of diversity.

The events in Charlottesville as reported by the mainstream media seem to have produced a wide-spread breakdown in moral reasoning. Which is interesting because the disparity between the facts and the interpretation placed on those facts by the media is particularly glaring when it comes to this incident. We are told that because the “Unite the Right” rally was unambiguously pro-white and because neo-Nazi and KKK-types were unquestionably among the participants that all of those participating in the protest were white supremacists, and that therefore because of who they were, and because one of the counter protestors, Heather Heyer, was killed, it is the organizers and participants of the rally who must be singled out for blame and moral condemnation over the violence that occurred that day. This is morally bankrupt nonsense. It confuses consequences with culpability – just because the former were unevenly distributed between the protestors and counter protestors with the most severe consequence of death falling to one of the latter it does not follow in the slightest that in the allotment of blame the largest share must go to the former. Worse, it requires the premise that if a group’s views are regarded as repugnant or even if those views actually are repugnant, it is to be blamed for the violence that ensues when another group attacks them.

The facts of the case are these: the organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally went through all the legal hoops to get a permit to hold a legal demonstration; the antifa showed up armed and masked with the intention of shutting the demonstration down with violence; the Charlottesville authorities declared a state of emergency and ordered the police to shut down the legal demonstration; the police forced the demonstrators to evacuate the park, leaving them only one way out – through the antifa; and the antifa then attacked the demonstrators with baseball bats, clubs, homemade flamethrowers, and projectiles of various sorts. The man, James Alex Fields, who drove into the crowd injuring several and killing Heather Heyer may very well have been acting out of fear for his life rather than homicidal malice – that remains to be determined. What is clear is that the bulk of the blame for this event going violent is to be divided between the Charlottesville authorities and the antifa.

Although the media have been consistently portraying the antifa as “counter protestors” it would be more accurate to call them terrorists. They do not show up to picket, hand out literature, and forcibly but peacefully express their disagreement with those they consider to be racists. They show up masked and armed, to intimidate, harass, and attack, to block access and shut down events. Although “antifa” is short for anti-fascist, in their tactics they bear a far closer resemblance to the thugs who followed Hitler and Mussolini than do their opponents, which can be explained by the fact that they are generally fronts for Marxist-Leninist groups, Marxist-Leninism or Communism being the parent ideology of which Fascism and Nazism were mutant offspring. They claim they are fighting racism but you will never find them trying to shut down a lecture by a Marxist academic who calls for the abolition of whiteness or a concert by a rapper who explicitly calls for violence against whites in his lyrics. They show no sign of comprehending either that a racist might not be white or that a white might not be a racist but instead treat racist and white as if they are synonymous. This is itself, of course, a form of racism.

The voice of moral clarity in the aftermath of Charlottesville has been that of American President Donald J. Trump of all people. He unequivocally condemned white supremacism and neo-Nazism, but rightly distinguished between white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the one hand and those who were neither but participated in the rally to protest the erasure of history and the changing of culture. He did not shirk from calling out the antifa and allotting them the share of the blame that they so rightly deserve. This refreshing moral clarity was sadly lacking among many Christian leaders.

Take Timothy J. Keller, for example. Keller is the founding pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. An apologist and the author of numerous books, Keller has something of a celebrity status among evangelical Protestants. In an article for The Gospel Coalition that came out the same day that President Trump gave his press conference, Keller began by asking the question:

How should Christians, and especially those with an Anglo-white background, respond to last weekend’s alt-right gathering in Charlottesville and its tragic aftermath?

Note the words “especially those with an Anglo-white background”. Keller is guilty of the very racism that he condemns so vehemently in this article. Indeed, he is guilty of the worst form of racism possible – racism against your own people.

Later in the article, Keller commits gross eisegesis when he reads the modern political discussion of race into St. Paul’s address to the Epicureans and Stoics at the Areopagus in Acts 17. The Apostle was not addressing the Greek idea that other peoples were barbarian, when he said that God had made “of one blood” every nation on the earth, but rather was establishing that the God he was preaching and Whom he identified with their “unknown God” was not a tribal deity but the One True God Who created the universe and to Whom all people owe worship. Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that Keller does not know this and that this was an honest hermeneutical error on his part rather than sheer mendacity in order to pander to the spirit of the times.

Keller makes reference to “the idolatry of blood and country.” Keller has written extensively about idolatry in his book Counterfeit Gods. There too he refers to the idols of blood and country or race and nation. Now, I have no objection to what Keller says about this form of idolatry. Obviously blood, country, race, and nation can be made into idols, as the history of the early part of the last century proves all too well. Let us return to the quotation from T. S. Eliot with which I began this essay. “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” Hitler, was the very embodiment of the idolatry of blood, country, race and nation. Note, however, that Eliot saw another option for God-rejecters in Stalin.

What I don’t see anywhere in Keller’s article – or his book for that matter – is any condemnation of the idolatry of those who brought the violence to Charlottesville on August 12th – the antifa. Again, it is easy to rail against the idols of blood, country, race, and nation, for these are the idols of a century ago. These idols were popular in the early twentieth century, but when they devoured their worshippers in the bloodbath of the Second World War, twentieth century man rejected them. He did not, however, turn back to the true and living God, but erected yet another idol – the idol of diversity. It is this idol whom the Stalinistic antifa worship and barring a revival in which there is a mass turn back to the true God, she, by the time her cult has run its course, will have exacted more in the way of blood sacrifices from her worshippers than her predecessors ever did. It is this idol that the faithful and courageous man of God is called to speak out against in our day and age. This is precisely what Timothy Keller – and far too many other – Christian leaders refuse to do, preferring to bow their knee to the new idol, just as the “Positive Christianity” cult that Keller rightly condemns as heretical, prostituted itself to the idols of the Third Reich.

Orthodox Christian teaching is that God divided the nations at Babel but in the Kingdom of God outside of history (the Fall to the Second Coming) He will gather “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” before the throne of the Lamb. Within human history, the Kingdom of God is represented on earth by the church, the body of Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that accepts into its membership through baptism, anyone from any nation who believes in Jesus Christ. There is nothing in orthodox Christianity that requires us to support efforts to undo Babel politically, whether they be by dissolving the nations of the world into a global order of world federalism or by maximizing diversity within countries through mass immigration and then attempting to administer race relations bureaucratically. Indeed, to do this is to commit the utmost folly, to do the very thing most likely to exacerbate racial tensions, hostility, and violence. It is what the idolatry of diversity looks like.

Those who today are returning to the idols of blood, race, and nation are doing so because they have had a glimpse of the apocalyptic disaster that lies ahead of us if we continue down the path of the idolatry of diversity. Their solution is no solution – we must turn back to the True and Living God, through Him Who is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It is not likely that this will happen, however, if Christian leaders continue, like Timothy Keller, to whore around with the idol of diversity, and to refuse to name the evil of anti-white racism disguised as antiracism, while hypocritically pretending to a moral courage they do not possess by reserving their vehement denunciations only for those evils the mob is howling after.