Superiority Of Western Culture

“Cultures are equal in value only if there is no standard against which to judge them. The culture of the West, infused as it is with Christian values, is superior to any other, and all the valid charges against the West are indications that it has betrayed its own heritage. It is not superior because it is wealthy. It is wealthy because it is superior, because it believes that work is a calling, that matter is important, that reason is a gift of God. This culture, God’s gift, transmits its material blessings along with its interpretation of reality.”

Herbert Schlossberg
Idols For Destruction — pg. 72

That which differentiates Christian from Pagan society

“It is not enthusiasm, but dogma, that differentiates a Christian from a pagan society.”

T. S. Eliot
Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes towards the Definition of Culture — pg.47

It seems in our church and culture today that enthusiasm is like a drug, the dosage of which, constantly needs to increased in order to get the same high. In light of this one can hardly fault those who abjure from the cult of enthusiasm who look upon Christians and mock the whole notion of what passes for Christianity. To be honest, there are times, when I don’t even want to be known as a Christian.

The more we continue to pursue enthusiasm, the more we communicate to our children that Christianity is about attending F.I.R.E. conferences, and the more we refuse to attempt the heavy lifting of knowing, understanding and entering into our dogma the more we will justifiably be characterized as pagan.

Defending Blue Collar, Working Class America From The Illinois Muslim

“But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

B. Hussein Obama
Democratic Presidential candidate

Legions have been the number of pundits who have opined on this quote. Still, despite that I though I would give it a go.

B. Hussein made the above statement in light of the loss of jobs. According to Barack Hussein people get bitter because jobs disappear and economic conditions go bad. Now the first thing to note is the non-sequitur in this quote. According to B. Hussein Obama people cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment not as a result of their frustrations but as a way to explain their frustrations.” Unless you mentally provide that switch in the quote it doesn’t make any sense, after all, who uses guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them in order to explain their frustrations? That’s just ignorant. I have listened to and read a good amount of punditry on this quote and I haven’t read anybody yet notice what a hatchet job it was on basic reasoning.

Secondly, many have already commented that such an attitude belies a typical liberal arrogant elitist attitude. Middle class working America, being unenlightened, grow bitter and so cling to things that provide security the way that toddlers cling to their favorite blanket or stuffed toy in times of insecurity. The subtext is that benighted elites like B. Hussein have risen above that simplistic behavior. Just as an adult knows, unlike the immature toddler, that the favored stuff toy or blanket doesn’t really solve the toddler’s threat so Barack knows, unlike the immature blue collar working class, that guns, religion, etc. doesn’t really solve the toddlers threat.

Americans, do yourself a favor and realize that when you ship your children off to American Universities, especially the elite Ivy League type schools, your children are going to be trained in this kind of condescending arrogance, and likely are going to come home looking down their noses at you and at their beginnings.

What I want to add to the conversation is that Barack may be right in his observation that people are bitter. Second, I want to even suggest that he may be right, if he was saying, in spite of his inability to craft a sentence, that as a result of middle class bitterness, the middle class clings to certain things. Where I would like to correct him is his thinking that somehow it is wrong or irrational for blue collar America to cling to the things, to which they cling.

First, let us consider the bitterness. At least some blue collar middle class Americans are bitter because the Government is creating the conditions whereby their way of life is disappearing. It is the policies of Democrats and Republicans alike that are exporting our industrial base overseas. It is the policies of Democrats and Republicans that levy such onerous taxes on the small businesses in small town America that result in people not being able to keep their heads above water. If blue collar middle class America is bitter, it is bitter because the State is crushing the life out of them.

Now as to what they ‘cling to,’ as a result of (not, per Obama, in order to explain) their frustrations.

First, according to B. Hussein Obama Americans cling to guns as a result of their frustration. I think that this is eminently reasonable. When people perceive that they are endangered the first thing to do is find the means of self defense. The key of course is to encourage the gun clingers to point their guns in the right direction. One can only hope that the direction that they are pointing their guns is towards those who would take them away.

Second, Hussein Obama implies it is wrong for Americans to cling to religion. I imagine that Barack Hussein would prefer if Americans would cling to the Federal Government. Still, at least in the Christian faith we believe that all things, including adversity, comes from the hand of God. The Christian faith further teaches that God is the only one we should cling to and that we shouldn’t cling to man whose breath is but in his nostrils. Middle Class, Blue collar America are being obedient to their Christian faith when they cling to God and religion as a result of their frustrations. Barack Hussein better hope that in light of the fact that they are clinging to their guns that they keep clinging to the Christian religion that informs them to respect those magistrates that are crafting policies that are making their economic conditions miserable. Barack Hussein doesn’t want to see a people clinging to guns who aren’t at the same time clinging to their Christian religion.

The next thing that middle America clings to is anti-immigrant sentiment and antipathy to people who aren’t like them. Here again I think this could be true and I don’t think there is anything wrong with this clinging. The US government has pursued a policy on illegal immigration that is killing middle America. Middle American is not only losing jobs and finding their wages depressed as a result of the influx of cheap labor by way of illegal immigration, but Blue collar America is also being required to fund the illegal immigrant horde by way of paying for education, hospitals, and welfare benefits. Now add to this that this illegal immigrant invasion is having the effect of changing the American way of life and it is altogether reasonable and fitting that middle class, blue collar Americans would cling to anti-immigrant sentiment and antipathy to people who aren’t like them.

Finally according to the Illinois Senator with a Muslim name Americans cling to anti-trade sentiment in order to express their bitterness. Again, as mentioned earlier, it is the government version of free trade (NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT,) etc. that is a large reason behind why middle class America is in its current economic condition. We need to keep in mind that in as much as this ‘free trade’ is government manipulated it really isn’t ‘free trade.’ So, if there exists bitterness and if it is expressed in a anti-trade sentiment it makes perfect sense.

So, I conclude that the Illinois Muslim was potentially correct in his observations though he was woefully incorrect in his arrogant posturing that this somehow communicates less than salutatory insights about middle class blue collar America.

Cultural Ecosystems

“Our anti-philosophers are especially vulnerable in this age, because the media fill our environment with popularized philosophies. Marshall McLuhan was right in saying that environments tend not to be noticed….We see many of their explicit contents, but the environments themselves are imperceptible. We do not see the environment, as Os Guinness says, because we see with it. That means we are influenced by ideas we do not notice and therefore are not aware of their effect on us. Or, if we see the effect, we find it difficult to discover the cause.”

Herbert Schlossberg
Idols For Destruction – pg. 7

The Chinese have a proverb that says, “If you want to know what the water is like, don’t ask a fish.” The thrust of the proverb is the same as the thrust of what Schlossberg is getting at above. Like a fish swimming in water people swim in their culture and like that fish in water, a person in their given cultural environment, doesn’t tend to notice the ecosystem of which they are a part. For a fish not noticing that ecosystem is no problem but for people not noticing their cultural ecosystem can lead to grave problems when that ecosystem and the assumptions upon which it is premised is in revolt against King Christ.

It takes a great deal of work to begin to see the cultural ecosystem in which we live, and where the work is successful the result can be a sense of alienation if one concludes, as a result of the work, that there is something profoundly wrong with the cultural ecosystem in which one is living. People who are self conscious regarding the cultural ecosystem in which they are swimming and who take great pains to point out the deficiencies of the premises upon which the cultural ecosystem is built are sometimes called prophets. People who like their cultural ecosystem don’t typically like prophets — hence the alienation.

Most people spend their whole lives not questioning their cultural ecosystem. They absorb their convictions by way of the osmosis that comes in the course of being saturated in the culture. I believe when the Apostle told the Romans that they were not ‘to be conformed to the world’ his warning was tantamount to saying don’t absorb the premises of non Christ honoring cultural ecosystems. I believe Christians, by definition, are supposed to be a people who do the work of seeing the cultural ecosystem in which they live for what it is.

The reason that this work is so difficult is that it often amounts to taking out your eyes in order to look at them. That is how close the cultural ecosystem is to people who live in and with their system. As the quote says above we see with our cultural ecosystem and so in order to see it we have to either get out of it or we have to get it out of us in order to examine its premises and how it is shaping us in troublesome directions.

Lord Christ, grant your people grace to see with and not through their eyes.

Beza –Rights of of political subjects a condition of good government

“If the magistrate rules properly, the people, must obey him. But if the magistrate exceeds his authority, the people, through their representatives, have not only the right but also the duty of conscience to resist such tyranny. No magistrate should be suffered who has fundamentally breached the covenant he had sworn to God and his people. To suffer such a tyrant would insult God who had called all rulers to represent his divine being and authority on earth and to strive for divine justice and equity for all of God’s people.”

John Witte, Jr. — Summarizing Beza’s position
The Reformation Of Rights — pg. 139