Intrigued: A Ten Year Old Book Predicts a Political Tsunami – Morality Wars

The past few weeks and especially the past few days has been particularly revealing. I have said “only in 2018” so many times this year that it does seem to be the swell one sees before a tsunami. *

(* – actually, not a perfect analogy as the water rushes OUT to sea just before a tsunami hits)

It started this morning when I read this from Lew Rockwell’s fantastic site, an article from Michael S. Rozeff that has a line stating:

America used to greet bringing the boys home from foreign wars with applause. Now there is immense criticism from all components of the pro-empire contingent, who act as if the empire and Washington will crumble because 2,000 American soldiers are leaving Syria.

We are talking 2000 soldiers (if we can trust Pentagon numbers, since they failed their first ever audit and also misplaced trillions, as in, “we can’t account for that money” over the course of the past 20 years) but more importantly is the continued US and coalition efforts in Syrian airspace without Syrian permission!

But I digress, what this article then led me to, which is so intriguing to me, is the relationship between empire, religion and political correctness. I love it when society, and the human psyche can link so many things like this into the “real life” experience here in 2018. Below was my segue:

For an explanation of the relation between the empire and immoral moralism, see here.

It does look to me like I will be spending $20 for this Kindle version of Morality Wars: How Empires, the Born-Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the Name of Good in order to blog about this from time to time going forward. As usual, I have a dozen or so books that I am in the middle of and they all are vying for a blog post or two to highlight my own research and my own learnings.

Here are a few excerpts:

From Amazon reviewer John Williamson, Provincetown, MA shares that the authors of this book point out:

… the US Government has long been involved in immoral actions that have often been justified using arguments suggesting that the action was being taken for moral reasons .. We learn that, “In 1783 George Washington characterized the colonies as `a rising empire,’ and nearly all the Founders saw America as destined to become one of the world’s great empires. A great deal of attention is given to examples drawn from prior empires such as the Roman empire, the Spanish empire and the British empire to name only a few ... They review also describe how the neoconservatives used moralistic rhetoric to justify US involvement in Iraq .. The argument is that PC puts limits on “the range of acceptable thoughts, seeking to outlaw or marginalize those ways of thinking that might challenge the powers that be .. Right PC uses the concept of patriotism to intimidate and silence those on the left who are critical of the war in Iraq. They are vulnerable to the criticism of being unpatriotic .. the PC of the New Left during the 1960s as well as the current identity politics of feminist, gay, and race movements. Their focus is on the ways in which these movements use PC pressures to keep certain issues off the table. For example, in connection with feminist PC such questions as: (a) Do fetuses have any rights? ( b) Or are fathers discriminated against in marriage laws and divorce courts?..

The authors tell a story of the evolution of the American empire or more precisely what they refer to as the five American Empires: (1) The Fledging Constitutional Empire, 1776-1828, (2) Manifest Destiny Continental Empire, 1828-1898, (3) Allied Global Empire, 1898-1945, (4) The Good Empire versus the Evil Empire, 1945-1991, and (5) World Hegemon: 1991-Present. This section of the book basically reviews the many ways in which the US behaved badly – in the name of high moral ideals – like other prior empires during each of these periods.

So a clip from the book’s introduction states (remember, this is a ten-year old book):

I do not know about you, but I do see, especially since Trump’s surprise victory in 2016, quite the storm, perfect in only that there are so many triangulations involved that the average person can’t keep up and they depend on MSM or the government to explain what is going on.

I still say, there is a LOT to learn from history that helps the discerning thinker and reader to consider things that they previously had made up their mind on. Critical thinking is extremely in scarce these days, however, it is these kind of people that will be invaluable in charting the course in this storm and into the world beyond it.

This thinking will be scary to most, however, as I have said before here, a crumbling empire is a perfect environment for a grassroots, black market, underground networking of Love to give hope during and after the storm, as was demonstrated in the 1st century in the Roman Empire. It will be in that environment I do hope many can entertain a thought without accepting it as they try to adjust to a very different world.

Just thinking of my kids and grand-kids yet again, seems to be a theme .. (yes, I am not your typical “boomer”)

Stay tuned

SF1

America: Identity Crisis .. Did It Ever Really Have One Identity?

We have civil unions and then we have civil wars, am I right? What was one becomes two (or more) when trust is lost, fear of overt conflict (keeping the peace), lack of commitment, and avoidance of accountability which in fact are four of the “five dysfunctions of a team” in the book of the same name.

When talking about America, well first one has to understand that the whole TWO continents of North and South America were considered “America”.  But if we narrow this down to the British colonies in America, we still have to ensure that we are talking to just the thirteen colonies that decided to seek independence from a colonizing empire.

Once you understand this, only then can you see the birth of this republic was one that had thirteen different personalities! Thirteen sovereign entities decided to “federate” (join forces on a temporary basis) to push out or wear down the colonizing effort England had on these territories.

Each of the thirteen entities decided what government to have themselves first and joined at their own volition into a joint effort against the British.

What got me thinking about this was an article from Abbeville Institute which has been addressing this topic all year and since its inception in 2002. In this article they point out several important factors into the current identity crisis we are having in the United States of America:

Since our conferences in 2018 were on the coming apart of American national identity, it’s appropriate to the end the year with some reflections on that topic. After 15 states peacefully seceding from the Soviet Union in 1991, John Updike famously asked, “without the cold war what is the point of being an American?” A good question. Is American identity based on a historic self-sustaining culture, or has it been held together by the constant centralization demanded by War: the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria? War, Randolph Bourne said, is the “health of the state.”

War unifies, rightfully or wrongfully, since those who are not caught up in the patriotic spirit are indeed marginalized in this country. In other countries, that are more collectivist like socialistic, marxist or communist states, this can easily get you killed! What if our whole identity was held together by having a common enemy for 140 years, as I would add the war on the American Indians in the late 1880s as part of this?

What about the time before civil union led to civil war?

The Jeffersonian America that existed from 1776 to 1860 was not a unitary state “one and indivisible” as it was said to be after 1865. Just as the European Union is a federation of nations and not itself a nation, so the pre-Lincolnian America was a federation of sovereign states and not itself a nation state. The closest thing to a “national” identity were state and regional identities. Tocqueville said that in federating the states had not forfeited their distinct “nationality.” Everyone understood this.

People identified to their community and to their state:

An early 19th century New England poem reads:

Amy Kitteridge is my name,
Salem is my dwelling place
New England is my Nation
And Christ is my salvation.

After the civil war where the eleven states were terrorized back into the “civil union”, the effort was made to cement this union more permanently so that this would not happen again:

the America that emerged after the Union victory in 1865 did claim to be a unitary nation state “one and indivisible” from which secession would be unthinkable.

We are now, after the distractions of many wars and many enemies, face to face knowing in our heart that we are united in name only. What is to become of the “united” States?

the conflict between Red and Blue states is here to stay for the foreseeable future. A recent Reuters poll found that nearly a third of Americans believe some sort of civil war will occur within five years, and some security analysts issued similar warnings.

This does not bode well, however, we can learn from history.  The USSR dissolved into 15 republics, and our own history tells us of better times when the culture extremes were tempered with state and local sovereignty:

The only part of our tradition that has anything to say about these disunited Red and Blue states, and the mosaic of conflicting cultures that are drifting toward violence, is the founding Jeffersonian tradition (1776 to 1860) which worked quite well without being a unitary nation state. It was able to check the growth of central power because it was grounded in state and local sovereignty not the fantasy of “national” sovereignty. What is needed today is political devolution, division, and separation, not more unification and centralization. How to do this in a civil and peaceful way, in a country still under the spell of “indivisibility,” is a much needed national debate.

Unfortunately, at this time, it seems that dialog is not even possible as polarized as the factions in this nation are. To peacefully seek our own separate ways and yet hope for each entity to go in peace and prosperity is a very mature attitude. Can today’s society act mature? That is a tough question to answer. Maybe this nation has to go through some major trials and culture storms in order to emerge on the other end a bit more humble.

Time will tell.

-SF1

 

14DEC1780: Nelson’s Ferry Skirmish – When 700 Patriots Engage a Supply Boat

When you can field 700 instead of 20, 40 or 80, you are able to intimidate the enemy without bloodshed to obtain well needed supplies from their supply line. Lord Cornwallis is attempting to supply himself from the South Carolina coast but due to Marion’s streak of wins and his reputation, Lt. Col. Nisbet Balfour modifies the normal port of Charlestown to Camden supply route that includes a stretch from the Nelson’s Ferry and the Santee Road over to a “bypass” from Moncks Corner to Friday’s Ferry on the Congaree River. There is one supply boat does not receive this order in time and the Patriots board the vessel at Nelson’s Ferry on 14DEC1780 and Col. Marion’s men remove all supplies of military value, then they apply the torch.

The British 64th Regiment happened to be near Nelson’s Ferry at the time of this raid, but their numbers are not even adequate to pursue Col. Marion’s large number, 700 of them, mounted men.

The British and Loyalists continue their “no quarter ways” as the story comes out in December 1780 that Patriot leader Lt. Roger Gordon wast out with a small force to patrol on Lynches Creek, stopping at a house for provisions and refreshments., is attacked by Capt. Butler with a much larger force of Loyalists and they set the house on fire. Gordon then capitulates on the promise of quarter, but no sooner has his Patriots grounded their muskets than they are all put to death.

In addition to this, the British have a “Christmas present” for Marion, on 21DEC1780, Maj. Gen. Alexander Leslie arrives in Charlestown with 2000 British regulars. The gloves are coming off in South Carolina as the British desperately desire to move into North Carolina in early spring and take aim at Continental Gen. George Washington in the north.

Stay tuned for details as to how Marion deals with the swarming British forces that are all after neutralizing him and getting on with routing these farmers with pitchforks!

-SF1

Topics for Faith Communities: The State, Politics or Not?

Movie: “The Patriot” (2000) 21 second clip

In context, the first faith communities that followed Jesus more or less did it His style. Where ever He was in life’s journey, there He shared life with those around Him. Accused of being the “friend of sinners” by the religious elite of the day, the Pharisees, He never stayed out of the “den of thieves” which were the taverns and pubs of the day. He mingled with tax collectors and prostitutes and so his public reputation would suffer, but He touched people’s hearts, for life and created stories that would last through the generations. His life stories would be the glue that helped this grassroots movement impact the Roman Empire for its good, and they never saw it coming.

In those days there were not special buildings, a special class of teachers or gurus, or anything physical that held the faith community together except their hearts. These people would be so touched indirectly with these stories and yet at the same time touched directly in a spiritual way so that their lives would change, and their neighbors would notice. These people would be the first to a neighbors door in their time of griving a death of a loved one, which happened a lot since the average age of life in that empire was under 40 years old. What was the topic of the discussions that were held in people’s homes during the week or in the marketplace? My guess was anything and everything. These people were seeing their hope and faith in God change the way they looked at life, they were not alone as they faced the day-to-day struggles in small cities, rural communities and even in very large pagan-centric metropolitan areas. Those that tended to lead in anyway in these communities led by example and were asked to share their wisdom without a title. Some would call them elders, but the ones with His character would just asked to be called by their own name. Their times together usually centered around a meal if they were not in direct persecution, otherwise they met in the early hours of the morning, or late at night in secret.

This gathering was as informal as any pool party or picnic one might have today. Again the point of these gatherings was sharing, in every aspect of life, what God was impressing on their hearts.

Today, while there are those that meet this way, any time and any place, there are many others who do gather in a special building and listen to mainly one teacher or leader. There is nothing at all inherently wrong with this as long as it all is about helping others to know God and His desire to see with different eyes the circumstances we are in.

The tough part, as many communities of faith have faced over time, is when the state demands compliance and obedience to their agenda. Most communities of faith in the United States have to register and incorporate with the government (501C3) in order to claim the tax free/deductible status that many benefit from. But like anything else with the state, there are unintended consequences of these good intentions.

As someone who had led such churches over the years, Chuck Baldwin has seen over time how the state has muted churches, especially in areas of embarrassment for the United States government that should be obvious for Jesus-followers to spot. His church fellowship chose NOT to file 501C3 status due to the limitations it would have forced on their group.

At what point does a faith community talk openly about these things and as necessary, speak to the state about their immoral decisions and actions. Below you will find excerpts from his latest article about the time for people in the church to talk about the wolves and determine the appropriate non-violent actions to consider:

I have said for years that it’s not what you hear in most churches that is the problem; it is what you don’t hear. The same goes for most conservative politicos. On the issues that are the most parlous to our liberties, the vast majority of Christians and conservatives are silent. I mean totally silent.
Here is about all most Christians and conservatives have to say about things:
*Donald Trump is very good.
*Democrats are very bad.
*Israel is very good.
*Muslims are very bad (except the Muslims in Saudi Arabia are good).
I don’t think I left anything out.

So in the years I have been in and around faith communities, there was this unwritten rules about not talking about “politics”. It was similar to the common saying to steer clear of BOTH politics and religion in marketplace discussions. I think I know why: 

In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

Mark Twain

This then begs the question. Why could the first century communities talk about these things but we can’t today? I would dare say that the first century communities, like those of the Revolutionary War, were in a time when there was much more at stake. Living in the shadow of an Empire that is evil abroad, is bound to be despotic at home. With the atrocities our government has been responsible for in the Middle East, but also in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, you name it and add to that the more recent erosion of our liberties, the spying on the people, the squandered tax revenue, well I will just let Chuck share his laundry list of offenses this State, this Empire is guilty of:

.. what about America’s War Empire killing innocent people all over the world? Silence. What about America’s War Empire building military bases on Russia’s borders and pushing China’s territorial waters almost to dry land? Silence. What about America’s War Empire selling billions of dollars of weapons and munitions to the terrorists in Saudi Arabia and Israel who can then slaughter tens of thousands of Yemenis and Palestinians with impunity? Silence. What about America’s War Empire dropping thousands of bombs on innocent men, women and children all over the Middle East and Northern Africa? Silence.

I would say that the US Empire’s support of ISIS and the atrocities accomplished in Syria since 2011 is the icing on the cake, yet CRICKETS!

What about 45 years of electing “pro-life” Republicans to Congress and the White House, and the federal government is still fully funding America’s largest abortion provider: Planned Parenthood? Silence. What about 45 years of appointing Republican “pro-life” justices to a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Roe v Wade is still the law of the land? Silence. What about the fact that “pro-life” Republicans have controlled the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 of the last 24 years, and no Sanctity of Life bill that provides personhood to the unborn baby has ever been brought to the floor for a vote? Silence. What about the fact that even though a “pro-life” Republican Party has controlled both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government (House, Senate, White House) for no less than 6.6 years during the Bush II and Trump administrations, nothing has been done to overturn Roe v Wade via Article. III. Section. 2. of the U.S. Constitution? Silence.

Yes, the Republican party has a horrible track record when it comes to sanctity of life, the War Against Southern Independence and Sherman’s March is their trademark.

What about the militarization of America’s local and State police agencies? Silence. What about the growing number of unarmed American citizens (especially black citizens) being shot and killed by trigger-happy policemen? Silence. What about Donald Trump calling for the confiscation of firearms without due process? Silence. What about the numerous “red flag” laws being passed by both Republicans and Democrats that authorize police agencies to confiscate the firearms of innocent American citizens who have not harmed a single person, have not committed a single crime nor have even been accused of a crime? Silence.

Nothing says “The Redcoats are coming” like the militarization of those who will be charged with protecting the political class in the near-term with ever more paranoia now with the Yellow-Vest movement in France.

Here are more things you won’t hear most Christians and conservatives talk about:
*The Rights of the Colonists, a List of Violations of Rights, and a Letter of Correspondence, by Samuel Adams
*Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress
*Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms
*The American Crisis (No. 1), by Thomas Paine
*George Washington’s Farewell Address
*Ron Paul’s Farewell Address to Congress
*The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights

It is true that in a majority of faith communities, they have been neutered by our government, and this is by design. However, the time has come when we could address this threat, because there is a lot more at stake.

Personally I see the majority of these entities effectively marginalized in being anything that could help the people of this land once yet again deal with an Empire in their face.

Maybe we will see a continuation of an underground faith movement in the United States that can help the people survive and thrive in the middle of a very broken world in the months and years to come. The first century church did this, as well as the underground church in Communist China! I know that this remains my own prayer.

We need to talk about this at the same time the PC/Marxist movement wants NOTHING talked about. It is time to be radical, in love 🙂

-SF1