Of The Making Of Moral Equivalence Arguments There Is No End

It seems that the machine continues to try and justify the words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Most recently what is being attempted is trying to equate the words of Wright with the words of well known orthodox ministers, such as Francis Schaeffer. What is hope to be accomplished is not only that Wright’s words will be seen as justified but also that orthodox ministers will be seen as extremist as Wright.

Unfortunately, it is Franky Schaeffer that is leading the charge against his own dead father’s memory. In a column written yesterday Franky wrote that,

When my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

Franky seems to forget that not all denouncements are equal. Francis Schaeffer’s denouncements were against those matters which Scripture denounces, and Franky’s Dad didn’t suggest that the sins of this country belonged uniquely to any one people group. Wright on the other hand denounced a country and a people that in the last 50 years has bent over backwards to accommodate black sensibilities — to the great harm of black and white people alike. The accommodation of which we speak has come in the form of Welfare, Quotas, Family, and Education policy and legislation and has only made muckier the mire that many black people are stuck in while at the same time impoverishing a nation while creating a new plantation massa class in governmental politicians and bureaucrats to which blacks and whites are both enslaved. Franky apparently remains too bitter towards his father and towards what his father built in order to see that not all denunciations are created equal.

Franky goes on with his immoral moral equivalence argument,

Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father’s footsteps) rail against America’s sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the “murder of the unborn,” has become “Sodom” by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, “under the judgment of God.” They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama’s minister’s shouted “controversial” comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.

America should be condemned for what Franky notes above. Wright fault wasn’t in saying God D*&% America. Wright’s fault is that his purported evidence couldn’t carry the weight of his indictment. Wright also made blanket bigoted statements against white people as a whole — something that his father never did regarding any people group. Wright’s comments weren’t mild because Wright’s comments, unlike Franky’s fathers, missed the mark. 1.3 million aborted children annually confirm America’s indictment. Nobody can confirm that the American government infected black people with AIDS per Wright’s indictment. If any minister is going to say that ‘we are under the judgment of God’ he better have his facts straight. Wright didn’t.

Finally, on this score, Wright made it clear on the video clip that he wasn’t going to sing God Bless America because “uh uh uh, God D*&^ America,” suggesting that his congregants would be better served singing that refrain. There are few people that are harder on the sins of this nation then myself but I sing ‘God Bless America’ with passion because it is my desire that God would bless America. I don’t want God to D*&% America though I know a just God eventually will unless we repent.

Franky, you’re comparing apples and mosquito bites.

Franky continues quoting from His Father’s book, “A Christian Manifesto” — a book that every thoughtful Christian should read,

If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]… then at a certain point force is justifiable….

In the United States the materialistic, humanistic world view is being taught exclusively in most state schools… There is an obvious parallel between this and the situation in Russia [the USSR]. And we really must not be blind to the fact that indeed in the public schools in the United States all religious influence is as forcibly forbidden as in the Soviet Union….

There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate… A true Christian in Hitler’s Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion… It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God’s law it abrogates it’s authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation…

Again, Franky wants us to believe that this language is at least as bad, if not worst then what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said. But consider that Dr. Schaeffer’s diagnosis was accurate, whereas Rev. Wright’s comments were not accurate. The reason that Wright has incensed so many people is not because he is a black man and people are showing their racism by having a different standard for him then what was applied to Francis Schaeffer. The reason that Wright has incensed so many people is that the reasons that he is giving for his indictment is either old news that no longer is the current coin(Tuskegee experiments, Jim Crow) or is just plain loopy (Government infecting black population with AIDS).

Franky complains that a double standard is also seen in the Wright case in the response each has generated. Franky says his dad was wined and dined by the Republican political establishment when he gave his sermons while quite to the contrary Wright is being vilified. Franky complains that while his dad was embraced the outcry is for Wright to be denounced. The answer to that though is easy to see. What Dr. Schaeffer was saying resonated with people. People could see that a tectonic cultural shift had taken place and they sensed that Dr. Schaeffer had his finger on the pulse of the reasons behind that shift. Rev. Jeremiah Wright on the other hand is in lala land with his accusations. They bear no correspondence to reality. It is the difference between embracing a physician who rightly diagnosis gangrene in the right leg of a sick man, calling for it to be cut off, and repudiating a physician for wrongly diagnosing gangrene in the left leg of a sick man, when in point of fact it is the right arm that is gangrenous. There is no moral equivalence between Franky’s Dad and Rev. Wright, nor is there any double standard between those who heaped accolades upon physician Schaeffer while repudiating physician Wright.

Continuing with Franky,

Take Dad’s words and put them in the mouth of Obama’s preacher (or in the mouth of any black American preacher) and people would be accusing that preacher of treason. Yet when we of the white Religious Right denounced America white conservative Americans and top political leaders, called our words “godly” and “prophetic” and a “call to repentance.”

I don’t believe this is true. Speaking only for myself if you took the exact same words of Dr. Francis Schaeffer and put them in the mouth of an inner city Black minister I would be sending checks to his ministry. Franky’s words reveal that not only does he harbor hatred for his immediate family but also that he harbors hatred for his people in general.

I am saddened for Francis that his son has made an argument that suggests that his dad was no better or worse then Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Responding To Dr. R. Scott Clark

Dr. R. Scott Clark of Westminster West keeps missing the problems inherent in radical two kingdom theology. In an article he posted recently on his heidelblog site he tried to show how radical two kingdom theology would rescue the day when it comes to social concerns as well as continue to provide impetus to not compromise the Gospel by signing documents like Evangelicals and Catholics together (ECT).

First we should note that there are great numbers of people who are not radical two kingdom Reformed people that didn’t sign the ECT document. This reality demonstrates that the desire for co-belligerence in the civil realm does not necessarily lead to compromise on the Gospel. Those Reformed people who signed the ECT document were in egregious error. Those Evangelical people who signed it were just be consistent with their Evangelicalism. Dr. Clark should realize that the semi-pelagianism inherent in Evangelicalism serves more to explain the Evangelical signatories of ECT then Clark’s explanation that the cause of such evangelical declension is a lack of his radical two kingdom theology. The common front that was pursued in the ECT document is explained by the reality that Theologically, Evangelicals and Romanists really do share a common front, due to the synergism that is involved in both camps. In order to be as plain as possible Dr. Clark needs to realize that even if Evangelicals had owned a radical two kingdom theology that would not have necessarily kept them from signing ECT. Actually, ECT should have been called ‘Synergists Together.’

Clark desires to explain ECT as a document that was motivated by the desire to rally conservatives together to form a common alliance against the inroads of modernity, aping earlier work that existed in Britain in the 60’s. What Clark doesn’t seem to understand is that it is possible for people to be conservative and still be semi-pelagian — if even only as their theology is expressed pragmatically. I’ve read the McGrath volume that Clark cites and it was the same type of cast of conservative synergists in the 60’s in Britain that was seeking to build coalitions as it was in the 90’s in America. The common fault then and now was and is synergism and not a lack of Clark’s radical two Kingdom theology among the signatories. The doctrine of Justification did not get in the way in Britain or in America for the signatories because they were janus faced in their theology. Radical two kingdom theology would not have healed their janus faces.

Dr. Clark keeps insisting that if only Evangelicals had held radical two kingdom theology they wouldn’t have signed the document, but it seems to me that, at least theoretically speaking, there is no reason why an Arminian Evangelical couldn’t be radical two kingdomist, and so have signed the document. It seems to me the only reason that such an eventuality didn’t happen is because radical two kingdom theology is so obscure that only a very select breed of people embrace it.

Dr. Clark insists on the cure of radical two kingdom theology for weak kneed Evangelicals. The problem here is that the cure is worse than the disease. What consistent Evangelicals (guys like J. I. Packer) should have done, is that instead of signing the document they should have told the folks from Rome,

“Look, y’all, we’re never going to agree on Justification or on the Gospel, but you know what — we can still be co-belligerents in the culture wars, on particular issues. We are going to have to remain divided on the Gospel, but we can unite on any number of other issues.”

The last thing they should have said is what Clark might have told them,

“Look, y’all, Christ’s Word doesn’t apply to what we call the common realm — but we can still work together as individuals by appealing to something subjective that is called natural law. Now, if we all together objectify the subjective and agree and pretend that our mutually agreed upon objectified subjective is really objective we can make sure that the world doesn’t get as evil as our eschatology says it must — at least not to hastily.”

Clark goes on to site the things that natural law teaches that could be common ground for Roman Catholics, Reformed, Evangelicals, Muslims, Hindus, and Mormons. The problem of course is that those self-evident things that Clark insists that all these people can agree upon are only self-evident things when people have been conditioned by a largely Christian institutional framework that they have been informed by over the centuries. Try to get someone from the Democratic party to agree that liberty vs Statism is self-evident. Try to get someone from the house of Saud to agree that sharia isn’t self evident. Try to get someone from queer nation to agree that heterosexuality is self-evident. Dr. Clark refuses to see that natural law is not going to solve these problems, and indeed, that these people likewise appeal to their own versions of his precious natural law theory.

Dr. Clark finishes his article by insisting that in this world there are two Kingdoms. We agree. The problem is that for radical two kingdomists, like Clark, there is a desire to divorce the two Kingdoms from one another as opposed to merely distinguishing them in a way that non-radical two kingdom folk would. We agree that the Spiritual Kingdom finds its central expression in the Church. We agree that “in the Christian life we live by the law of God in the grace of God by faith.” However we also believe that the Christian life, lived by the law of God, in the grace of God by faith, means that we together build public institutions that reflect a people who are living by the law of God, and who are kept by the grace of God by faith. We agree with Clark when he says “that the power and authority of the visible church is spiritual and it touches spiritual ends: faith and sanctity and its means are spiritual: Word, sacrament, and discipline.” But we also insist that the spiritual ends that he speaks of, faith and sanctity, end up incarnating themselves in realms outside of the Church. Further we believe that the Word he speaks of, applies not only to individual piety but also to the public piety of Kings, Economists, Journalists, Lawyers, Educators, Artists, etc., and that the Word needs to be brought to bear on the public realm. We agree with Clark “that law is revealed in nature, in the human conscience and is universally known by humans.” Where we part with Dr. Clark is where he refuses to embrace the scripture that teaches that fallen men suppress that law revealed in nature and conscience. Finally we agree that “Christians, who live in both kingdoms simultaneously, may cooperate as members of the civil kingdom toward common ends without agreeing on the sorts of issues entailed in ECT.” Where we disagree is that when we are working on common ends with unbelievers, we, unlike Clark, realize that we are agreeing with people who are being inconsistent with their religious presuppositions which should have them behaving in a very different way. Thank God for common grace and providence.

Dr. Clark continues to advocate for a realm where religion or religious presuppositions don’t apply. He continues to advocate for the active pursuit of irreligion in what he calls the ‘common realm.’ Such theology is most unfortunate.

Hypocrisy on Stilts

From an article dated 11 April, 2007 recording a interview with Barack Hussein Obama.

“I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus,” Obama told ABC News, “but I would also say that there’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”

“He didn’t just cross the line,” Obama said. “He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting.”

“And the notion that somehow it’s cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case. We all have First Amendment rights. And I am a constitutional lawyer and strongly believe in free speech, but as a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids,” he concluded.

So, Senator Barack Hussein Obama believed that Don Imus should have been fired for referring to female Black Basketball players as ‘nappy headed ho’s,’ but the vile vitriolic hatred that spewed from Jeremiah Wright’s mouth must be understood in the larger context of American racism?

I know … I know … the double standard is a black thing and so I wouldn’t understand.

If you haven’t been able to tell, I am definitely exercised over this bilge.

B. Hussein Obama’s Moral Equivalence Speech — Final installment

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances — for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs – to the larger aspirations of all Americans — the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives — by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Are we to expect more insistence of justice of the type that Al Sharpton insisted upon for Tawana Brawley? Are we to expect more insistence of justice of the type that the Duke Lacrosse players were threatened with in that case? Are we to expect more insistence of justice of the type recently promoted with the Jenna six? If Obama is going to insist on justice, how about justice for all those black unborn babies that are slaughtered every year in abortuaries throughout the nation? Nope… nothing but silence from Obama for justice for the black babies.

Also note here that Obama’s vision of America is one that sees America as oppressive. White women are oppressed by glass ceilings — blacks are oppressed with injustice, the immigrant oppressed by lack of food. The area that is the most clearly oppressive in America is abortion and Obama say’s nothing.

By the way … Why is it that Rev. Wright is upset about the US Government in the US of KKK A producing the AIDS virus in order to kill off the black population but says nothing about the US Government trying to kill off the black population by abortion? Why is it he complains about Tuskegee and doesn’t complain about White Margaret Sanger’s racism being embraced by the US government in abortion policy?

Ironically, this quintessentially American — and yes, conservative notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

Yes, Rev.Wright should have believed that whitey could eventually be snuffed out.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds — by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

“Investing in our schools” means the government takes more money from the taxpayer and gives it to the teachers unions. Socialism.

“Current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed,” means more affirmative quota programs and possibly reparations.

“Investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children,” means taking more money from the taxpayer and giving it to the government so it can pour it down the rat hole of a managed health care system. More Socialism.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

We don’t need the State to force us to be our Brother’s keeper. Some of us would get more joy out of being our Brother’s keeper if we weren’t being told we had to be our Brother’s keeper while having a gun pointed at us.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle — as we did in the OJ trial — or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

Moral equivalence.

Ferraro equals Wright.

White racist men will only vote for white McCain.

It’s not fair that Rev. Wright’s sermons are played nightly.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

My children do not belong to America, and as such I don’t want America taking care of my children. That is my job. That language reveals Obama’s socialistic mindset.

The best thing that could happen to the government schools is if they would all crumble to the ground.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

If Obama is proud of the flag, then why does he refuse to wear the standard flag pin on his lapel? Could it be due to Rev.Wright’s influence? If Obama is proud of the flag then why is the Cuban flag flying in his Huston campaign office and not the American flag? And what gives with the Che Guevara picture Barack? If Obama is proud of the flag, then why has is wife only recently felt proud of this nation?

Overall, I think Obama’s speech is beautifully crafted. It will definitely be swooned over by those who only hear whats on the surface. However, if people begin to dig into this speech they will see the problems of the speech.

My opinion is that Obama will not be able to transcend Wright’s turning him into a uniquely black candidate. Before this gaffe I didn’t think America was ready to elect a black liberal and the Wright event and this speech only confirms that instinct. When people begin to see the moral equivalence argument that this speech represents they are not going to embrace Obama.

Shelby Steele’s Outstanding Analysis


I’ve already been called hateful and semi-literate for some of what I’ve written on Barack Hussein Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. For some reason, that I’ve yet to figure out, it is acceptable for a black person to say some of the things that I’ve been saying and not be considered hateful or semi-literate. Shelby Steele is a African-American and the analysis from the link above is superb.

I’ll be glad to hide behind Dr. Steele.