I have been burdened for a long time now about the state of American morality, especially concerning politics–rather, the inability of Americans to reason with others concerning their moral stances. Assertions and mere accusations do little to persuade or show a moral stance righteous.
Since my life and ministry have been so public, I have withheld my comments for the most part. I do not preach politics from the pulpit. My primary blog is so worldwide that commenting about issues particular to the United States makes little sense on that platform. Up until now, I have resolved simply to produce biblical expository content. I will still not preach politics. My preaching and primary blog will remain simple biblical exposition. I do feel that I bear some responsibility to speak into the moral state of things in my country because I love my country. I have decided to speak. This blog will bear a much more philosophical tone than my preaching or biblical commentary (which is expository, not philosophical, in nature). I will not tell others what to think. I will not at this time endorse political candidates or legislation. I will not take the position of a political discernment blogger. I want you to think for yourselves. I desire to speak to national moral issues that face the most powerful nation on Earth. I want to do so for the following reasons:
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Confusion about my beliefs
I spend most of my time simply teaching Scripture. I must be a decent expositor because people often assume I believe things that I do not–especially politically. Preaching the Bible is not about presenting my political opinion but about revealing the word of God. It is a good thing that people find it difficult to discern where I am on the political spectrum when I teach the Bible because it means I am teaching the Bible well instead of ranting about my political views. This platform affords me the opportunity to be open about what I believe concerning current trends in my country in a logical way (as opposed to plastering unreasoned assertions on social media).
Lack of logic
In order to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts degree in philosophy, every student must pass a critical thinking or logic class. In my critical thinking class, I remember watching a presidential debate for the purpose of identifying all the logical fallacies. I remember identifying many logical fallacies throughout–mostly ad hominem attacks, straw-men, and red-herrings. If you pay any attention at all, almost every political debate degenerates quickly into name-calling, misrepresenting opposing viewpoints, and diverting attention from the issues or philosophies that matter to issues or philosophies that win voters. We are left with a political system in which presidents win elections based on their identification with people rather than their ability to solve real-world problems. As a result, they enslave themselves to their platform, policy, and people. If a president does not continue to win people, he will not be reelected. That trajectory seems recently familiar. Public office has become more a celebrity status because we are concerned about approval ratings rather than whether or not a public servant is thinking through issues well and taking meaningful action–by action I do not mean control.
I am a conservative, and I voted for President Trump in 2016 and 2020, so I hope my conservative friends don’t make too many assumptions based on what I write here. I remember studying President Trump’s rise to power. Trump built his real-estate empire by cheating people into forced labor, conning New York City into granting him tax-breaks that no one else received, and firing anyone who stepped in his way. While I like what he was able to accomplish as POTUS, I am afraid he did so in a way that incited greater disputes, pushed the left further left, and created the trump evangelicalism and Q-Anon cult of our day–religions built on power ideals and superiority complexes.
This past election season, things were not better. Instead of reason, we witnessed a power struggle between two opposite ideals–complete with ad hominem attacks, straw-men, and red-herrings. Identity politics won the day. President Biden is just like Trump when it comes to power, possibly worse–signing quadruple the number of executive orders during his first few days in office that Trump did and introducing legislation to further regulate firearm sales and codify Roe v. Wade. The increasing use of executive orders means the expanding use of big government overreach to force change. A general rule of thumb–the more executive orders being signed, the less representation American citizens have in Washington. President Biden has claimed to work for the American people and had President Obama accuse President Trump of “two-bit” dictatorship, yet already operates in a way that excludes the voice of the American people by himself dictating what should and shall be done by the American people. Reading through the tens of executive orders signed up to this point, it is clear that they will cost the American people trillions in higher taxes, which means a large portion of the American people are therefore being taxed without meaningful representation in Washington–the basis upon which the revolutionary war was fought against English colonialists. Essentially, President Biden is treating the American people like his subjects and the united states like colonies of the federal government. That’s a monarchy, not a democracy.
The whole system is about popularity and power. Those trying to speak reasonably are silenced because the system seems to view knowledge as a threat. To the contrary, if the public is informed, less resources have to be expended on legislation, welfare, and economic crises. Public knowledge=public power=public progress. More legislation=greater dependance=deeper ignorance=higher maintenance. Break these chains and let American ingenuity thrive.
Concerning current trends, I want to present a formula in order to prove that the current system will never facilitate equality. The meaning of discrimination has been changing in recent years to mean nondistinction. For the sake of argument, I am going to assume that equality means nondistinction:
- P1- If all people are equal, women are equal to men.
- P2- Men are physiologically stronger than women.
- C- Therefore, all people are not equal.
At least, they are not equal in strength. Nondistinction necessarily creates inequality. One sex can obviously overpower another. Such is one reason there are historically clear distinctions between the two natural sexes and why, historically, civil rights have been concerned about giving women more equal opportunity–so that women can be seen as having equal worth as men (a movement I fully support).
When there are no sex-distinctions, we eliminate any ability to offer one or the other equal opportunity. Society plummets into social darwinism–survival of the fittest. The current push for non-distinction is made in the name of equality and will effectively undo all of the women’s civil rights progress made throughout history in America. The state essentially becomes a neopatriarchy. The movement toward nondistinction is one of the more sexist movements I have witnessed in my lifetime. Yet, men and women pursue nondistinction and gender fluidity as if it were a form of feminism. The moral ideal of nondistinction is incoherent at best, proving moral ambiguity in our time–not to mention the inability to think critically about issues and outcomes. I am not a consequentialist, but those who are should be very afraid of the logical outcome. According to the nondistinct definition of equality, no equality is actually possible.
I offer a second formula to further my point. Assuming equality means nondistinction:
- P1- If all people are equal, African Americans (AA) are equal to Anglo-Saxon Americans (ASA).
- P2- AA and ASA have different skin colors, cultures, music, demeanors, bone structures, etc…
- C- Therefore, all people are not equal.
When Rev. King peacefully fought for the equal rights of AA, he did not fight for them to escape all forms of judgement but to be judged by the content of their character. Rev. King defined equality much differently than most do today. It wasn’t nondistinction but personhood. Today, the push for nondistinction in order to end racism creates a worse racism. Nondistinction leads to forced integration. Forced integration leads to the conflation of different cultures and languages–effectively smothering any sort of diversity. The conflation of different cultures and languages forces aberrant cultures and languages to be canceled. Cancel culture leads to retributive programs in order to cancel the cultural sins of past generations. History is torn down. People are left with a legislated uniformity–cultural colorblindness. Nondistinction steals the black man’s culture away from him. It steals the white man’s culture from him. It forces integration and mocks heritage. The fight against discrimination is now the worst kink of discrimination. We are no longer multi-ethnic and multicultural. America is becoming more racist–uniformity masquerading as diversity. If you’ve seen The Giver, you know what is happening in America. Uniformity does not equal equality. Many are forwarding racist and sexist agendas in the name of equality. Why? Our ethic is incoherent and ambiguous at best. That’s why the decisions being made for the American people seem so contradictory. To the contrary, if equality concerns personhood:
- P1- If all people are equal, they are judged by the same standard.
- P2- The same standard does not apply to all people under the current system.
- C- Therefore, all people are not equal under the current socio-economic, political system.
This sort of equality is being ignored but is achievable. In order to facilitate equity among persons, the rich cannot be treated differently than the impoverished. True equity taxes and represents all people by the same standard–not in a graduated way. Impoverished people cannot be stolen by offering free citizenship or welfare. People cannot be exalted because of the color of their skin. True equity affords all people the same opportunities rather than exalting or silencing anyone based on their identities. Physiologically stronger people cannot be enabled toward dominance. Those who can’t defend themselves cannot be murdered in order to increase the general health and wealth of the nation. The current system is self-defeating and will intensify discrimination rather than end it. We can only facilitate equity by caring for all people rather than our national statistics or social identity. I hope to address the moral ambiguity of our current cultural climate in single, pore precise posts in the upcoming weeks and months.
I’m sure you noticed it in the first half of 2020. Instead of informing the public about COVID-19 and letting citizens be adults, federal and state governments simply tried to legislate restrictions and business in the name of safety. Welcome to legislation nation–The United States. In the past several years, we have seen an exponential increase in the signing of legislation to solve problems. Gun violence? Here is some legislation. Discrimination? Here is more legislation. Our response to a pandemic? Legislation… The legislation in this country has gotten so out of hand that all three branches of our government (Executive, legislative, and judicial) are all taking it upon themselves to try to pass legislation. The executives are signing orders that seem to hold the weight of law. The legislative is moving bills through both houses of congress. The supreme court seems to be legalizing things. With essentially three legislative branches, there are no checks and balances–no real accountability for the good of the people or assurance of equal representation for American citizens. Having a democratic executive and legislative branch decreases more the likelihood of checks and balances between the branches.
Our country is currently operated by an accumulation of powers, but it was designed to operate based on a separation of powers–to ensure that no dictator would gain power and run the country by means of actions like executive orders. The constitutional design of the American government was mean to prevent the type of dictorial actions we have seen more of in recent history. I hope to speak moral reason into a society now dominated by legislation rather than reason.
Our government is like a bad game of badminton. Republicans stand on one side and Democrats on the other. Every four or eight years, they toss legislation back and forth each in an effort to score higher than the other team. As a result, more executive orders are necessitated with each new president and the country is focussed on undoing the previous administration’s work rather than moving forward. Consequently, the United States is a nation of contradictory rules (e.g. elevate women but cancel gender, make retribution for the past but cancel the past so it isn’t remembered, be united but tell on your neighbor for not wearing a mask, or love culture but make all things uniform). Our addiction to legislation has crippled us.
There will, for the time being, always be negative things to address. We need to do that. We cannot, though, fail to recognize the good and be encouraging. During the last four years, we had a president who consistently donated his entire paycheck back to the people and seemed to be for the people even though his methods were not praiseworthy. The current administration desires to care more for God’s creation and use more renewable resources. In the case of the current democratic platform, the actions do not match the rhetoric. Yes, we desire equality. No, we do not desire the villianization of different groups in order to achieve equality. Like Jesus said of the Pharisees: Accept some their principles, but do not follow them (cf. Matthew 23:3). Many states are signing laws against abortion despite the federal push to expand it.
I trust in Jesus Christ’s promise to bring peace and justice to the world. Everything we see as wrong is being worked together to accomplish the divine purpose and the establishment of Christ’s nation on the earth. I hope our consideration of the national ethics in the United States draw us to consider the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We do not have to fear. We do not have to speak hatefully or namecall. We can evaluate trends reasonably and speak life into our land. Perhaps, God will grant us all repentance and lead us into all truth.
- Safety vs. freedom is not a new conflict. It is also not a necessary conflict. The conflict indicates a power struggle more than a sincere care for the American people.
- Legislative badminton doesn’t accomplish much more than creating philosophical conflict–which is interesting from a party that claims to want unity.
- Knowledge is power is progress. Inform the public rather than trying to legislate regulations without much substantial explanation.
- This applies to gun-control, mask mandates, business regulations, industry, and so on. More regulations means less progress and prosperity.
A final thought
I work with people in impoverished nations all over the world. None of those I am connected with in impoverished nations around the world wanted President Biden. No matter what you or I think about Trump as a person, his policies were benefitting impoverished people worldwide. In the United States, we have a dangerous tendency to compare ourselves to other 1st world countries, and we define progress in terms of the general consensus of the world. Why? Should we not be more concerned about people’s good than our own social progress according to the standards of nations we once surpassed in wealth, power, and innovation? Should we not consider others to be more important than ourselves? We don’t make America great by domineering (in either the Trump or Biden sense), but by serving the good of all people–beginning with America.
Things to be thinking about
- Is it morally right to accept a vaccine that was developed and tested using fetal stem cells cultured from mid 70s aborted fetuses?
- Is health and wealth really bettered by getting rid of those who threaten our health and wealth?
- How does a nation re-separate the branch-powers in order to restore a government by the people and for the people?
- What are the moral issues underlying the closed vs. open borders debate?
- Does it help or hurt to push any agenda without the opposing political party’s involvement?
- Are economic impact payments really helpful. How did we get here?
Please subscribe to this blog and we will philosophize more particularly together. My posts on this blog (after this one) will be single-topic ethics posts. In this short introduction, I could not get at ethical argumentation. The issues mentioned in this post are merely mentioned to show the moral ambiguity of our society, politically charged atmosphere, and the need for more basic philosophical reasoning concerning the moral issues of our day.
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.Proverbs 18:12-21 (NASB)
- Miller, Justin. “Trump’s Riches and the Real Estate Tax Racket: The Industry Where You Really Can Make Billions and Pay No Taxes.” The American Prospect, no. 4 (2016): 20-25.
- Bilali, Rezarta, Erin Brooke Godfrey, and Samuel Hansen Freel. “How an Election Loss Leads to a Social Movement: Reactions to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election among Liberals Predict Later Collective Action and Social Movement Identification.” British Journal of Social Psychology 59, no. 1 (January 2020): 227–47.
- Myers, William R. “Following Trump: Are Evangelicals Willing Participants in a ‘New’ Religion?” Theology Today 76, no. 2 (July 2019): 103–13.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW1lY5jFNcQ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPiofmZGb8o; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCA1A5GqCdQ
- Williams, Reggie L. “Christ-Centered Concreteness: The Christian Activism of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr.” Dialog 53, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 185–94.
- “Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling Legalizes Homosexual Marriage Nationwide!” Voice of Freedom, The (USA), June 27, 2015.