Andrew Sullivan, of New York Magazine, has a compelling description of the new cultural faith.  I strongly recommend it.

Seduced by scientism, distracted by materialism, insulated, like no humans before us, from the vicissitudes of sickness and the ubiquity of early death, the post-Christian West believes instead in something we have called progress — a gradual ascent of mankind toward reason, peace, and prosperity — as a substitute in many ways for our previous monotheism. We have constructed a capitalist system that turns individual selfishness into a collective asset and showers us with earthly goods; we have leveraged science for our own health and comfort. Our ability to extend this material bonanza to more and more people is how we define progress; and progress is what we call meaning.  – America’s New Religions

Of course, these new religions are really just updated versions of the old secular humanism and self-worship in a world supposedly without God.  What is different is society’s willingness to openly embrace the selfish and destructive as an acceptable choice in a relativist, and nihilistic, universe.

 

 

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Suggested Readings: Beware!

November 30, 2018

Two important articles, both from the American Spectator, warning us of disturbing trends that threaten our prosperity and freedom.

In North Korea, students learn that the United States started the Korean War. In Stalin’s Russia, the commissar vanishes from the photograph. In China, the Chinese Communists, not the Americans, deserve most of the credit for defeating Japan in World War II. And in San Francisco, techies with the social skills of Napoleon Dynamite regulate social behavior for the rest of us by insisting not only that men are indeed women but that any contention to the contrary amounts to beyond-the-pale hate speech. Falsehood, not truth, requires censorship to thrive. – Censorship, Alas, Works

According to the YouGov survey, one-third of all Americans would prefer to live under socialism rather than capitalism. Why? Is it idealism — the desire for a classless society in which everyone is equal and envy does not exist because everything is owned in common? Is it a lack of knowledge? When asked how many people have died under communism, only 31 percent of Americans could provide the correct answer — “Over 100 million.” About seven in ten Americans could not define communism.  Commented one millennial about his peers, “They don’t recognize that much of what they enjoy in life is a result of capitalism and would disappear if socialism were to be implemented. They haven’t seen socialism’s failures firsthand.” – What Americans Must Know About Socialism

On a lighter note, here is a very entertaining satire piece on how we can address the concerns above, starting with the nation’s second-most-famous budding socialist leader – Aides Force Ocasio-Cortez To Watch Entire Run Of ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’

(Actually, I highly recommend ‘Schoolhouse Rock” as a primer of American governance.  You’ll find select videos from the series throughout this blog .)

The unemployment rate among those with a high school education is 3.9 percent. The poorest quintile of Americans have seen their post-tax incomes increase 80 percent since 1979, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and post-tax and transfer income for that quintile has skyrocketed 32 percent since 2000. The upper-middle class in America constituted 13 percent of the population in 1979; as of 2014, it constituted 30 percent. According to Pew Research from 2015, when it comes to standard of living, “The U.S. stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world. More than half (56 percent) of Americans were high income by the global standard … and 2 percent were poor.” – Ben Shapiro, The Ungrateful Nation

The overall crime rate for 2018, meanwhile, is projected to fall by 2.9 percent compared to 2017. “If this estimate holds, this group of cities will experience the lowest crime rate this year since at least 1990,” – German Lopez, So far this year, crime and murder are trending down in America’s biggest cities

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.  – Read The Bill of Rights (Constitutional Amendments 1-10) courtesy National Center for Constitutional Studies

“The Whirlwind Is Already Here” writes Scott S. Powell.  He’s probably right.

The Critical Theory project emphasized and prioritized the demolition of Christianity and the nuclear family. They also sought to exacerbate race relations and promote massive immigration to destroy national identity. Additional focal points in their agenda encouraged dependency on state benefits and the bending of the legal system to favor perpetrators of crime over victims. And lastly, the agenda sought to dumb down the media and undermine schools’ and teachers’ authority.

An important part of the Critical Theory project of total transformation of society was to break down traditional relationships between men and women by promoting and legitimizing unhinged sexual permissiveness with no cultural or religious restraint. Building on the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, leaders of what came to be known as Postmodernism advanced the wrecking ball cultural deconstruction project right through the turn of the 21stcentury.

Postmodernists have had no use for tradition or any standards of normalcy, believing that all truth is contrived illusion rather than absolute.

You can read his full essay (and you should) here: https://spectator.org/the-whirlwind-is-already-here/

 

 

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

Yanan Wang, of the Associated Press, has an excellent article detailing personal stories of recent persecution of Christians in China.   Required registration with the government, constant surveillance, and destruction of church property by government officials are just some of the consequences faced by religious citizens.  Read more here.

You can read the US State Department profile of China in the International Religious Freedom Report of 2017  here:  http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?year=2017&dlid=280814