So much happened last week (6/21-6/27/15) that it's hard for one to properly process it all. I certainly cannot process it all, but I do have a few thoughts, if they're worth anything. I'll try to keep it short, but depending upon which viewpoint one holds, it won't be sweet.
|Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC|
First, the Charleston shooting. It was horrible, deplorable, wicked, sinful. What else is there? But what is highlighted by the whole situation is two things, one mass assemblies make easy targets. Schools, churches, and some workplaces are targets that these murderers want to attack. They make for large targets and big news. But mostly, they're easy targets, because the shooter is almost certain to attack unopposed for at least a few minutes. In war, the enemy army attacks areas of weakness, they do not attack areas that are perceived to be solid. The thought is the same with these murderers.
Next, I had the ironic "privilege" to sit in a waiting room on Friday to hear President Obama deliver his speech concerning the Charleston shooting. Normally I'd be at work, but I had to have my car inspected. During that waiting period, I wanted to sit and read. I'm always looking for time to read a page or two if I can. Then the speech interrupted the daily soap operas.
Here's where the irony comes into view. I was reading Revolution: 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire, by Victor Sebestyen. Could I be reading a more poignant book at the moment? The United States (Government) is trying to reinvent itself, the same government is fighting many (undeclared) foreign wars on many fronts in many countries, most notably in Afghanistan, the same type of war that helped bring the Soviet Union to her knees.
In an odd twist, however, it occurred to me that the Soviets attempted to reform their socialist state in an effort to survive. The Americans are doing the exact opposite. They're trying to become more socialist in order to survive. As President George W. Bush said, "We're abandoning free market principles in an effort to save the free market." The Soviets went to great lengths to reform their society in the early 20th Century, such as banning religion, changing the way people work, changing why people work, and rewriting history, among other things, but I'm trying to keep this short.
|President Obama delivering the Eulogy for those murdered|
in the Charleston Church Shooting
Isn't contemporary American Government attempting the same reforms? Political Correctness has severely limited what can safely be said. Sin cannot be called sin without some agency threatening legal action. "Hate speech" has been used as a blanket to suffocate. Relativism has also played a part in that everyone is right in his own eyes. Such a way of thinking spawns the ever present social media debates that have no victors, less wisdom, and even less of a point. If everyone is right, and no one is wrong, ever, confusion can only abound. Welcome to modern America.
|The Hammer and Sickle, a real flag of slavery and hatred|
Modern America is nothing new, however. The Soviets did the same thing, but on a lesser scale, because they did not have the same mass communication that we presently use. Confusion breeds the need of a firm totalitarian source of power.
This is where government steps in. It has our best interest at heart, right? That's one of the things taught in our government (as well as many of our private/parochial) schools. Historian Tom Woods illustrated the folly of such thinking with a personal experience. He and a friend were robbed in New York City. They told a police officer, who showed his indifference, and even gently encouraged them to let it go. Would the IRS respond in such a way? Even if it were a few dollars? Ask Al Capone.
President Obama said many of the right things to make a religious crowd happy. He sounded like a preacher (or is it that many preachers sound like politicians? I think the line has been blurred). One thing he said, however, caught my attention. His remarks about the "Confederate" Flag
finally made me listen. Until those remarks, I, as well as the other people in the waiting room (all of whom were people of color), were noticeably trying to not pay attention.
|The Army of Northern Virginia|
The President's remarks started, "For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate Flag
stirred into many of our citizens..." From there President Obama's comments extended into education, racism, bias, political correctness, and poverty. All of which ideas, at least semantically, stemmed from the Confederate Flag.
I don't care about the flag. It doesn't matter to me which flag one is talking about. They all in some form or manner have represented some form of problem. I've seen memes detailing various statistics, such as how slavery was legal under the American Flag before the War of Northern Aggression, or that more than 100 million have been oppressed or died under the current American Flag.
I don't care. Flags represent mankind. Mankind is sinful by choice. Yet I do care about intentional misrepresentation. I have nothing new to offer in my remarks, so I will just rehash some basic history.
|The "Stars and Bars" Confederate Flag|
The "Southern Cross" was not the Confederate Flag. It was the battle flag of the Northern Army of Virginia. Because so much of the War occurred in Virginia, many have come to associate their flag with the Confederacy. I get that. That army, however, was anything but racist.
The heroic Virginians in question took to defending their state in opposition to an invading army. They were defending, not attacking. But who cares about that. The textbooks and educators tell us that they were wrong, because they were racists.
Just a cursory study, beyond the shallow surface, of the era should bring the painful truth to the surface. I don't have time to deliver that history lesson. Let me point the reader into the right direction, however. First, the issue of slavery, though a big issue between 1776 and 1865, was not THE issue. In fact, the issue of slavery wasn't even mentioned for the first year and a half of the war. Further, Lincoln himself proved to not care about the black cause in many of his speeches, notably hist first inaugural address. The issue was, and has been states rights. Virginians knew that from very early on, as can even be evidenced in her current state flag.
|"Sic Semper Tyrannis"|
States rights is now an open and shut case. The "Civil War" essentially ended the discussion, but the fallout has plagued American politics ever since. No more. The Supreme Court
decisions this past week killed the argument in a way that war could not.
By declaring every state has to take part in "Obamacare", and cannot opt out due to financial burdens, as well as making homosexual marriage legal in all 50 states, the Supreme Court rendered the 10th Amendment null and void, in an odd fit of anti-nullification. Obamacare will bankrupt states, give it time. This is what the states, who were trying to opt out of the health-care scheme, understood.
To firm up the federal government's power, the Supreme Court further imposed federal will upon the states by bypassing any and all votes concerning the marriage issue. It was a brilliant stroke. Most people will not understand that their state just lost any and all right, because most people are focused upon the morally polar issue of marriage. Slavery just returned, but most simply just do not understand that.
|A symbol of Love or Hatred?|
On a final note, the Rainbow flag, the symbol of the "Love" movement, is not, and has never been a symbol of love. Read Genesis 6-9, and tell me how the rainbow was a symbol of love? Sin plagued the world, as the Bible says, wickedness was great in the earth and the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). God hates sin and the sinner according to Psalm 5:5, Psalm 10:3, etc. In such a manner, God destroyed the world. At the end of such destruction, God planted the rainbow in the sky. It is a reminder of how intense God hated and still hates sin. It's also a reminder of how God will destroy the world in the future, by fire.
A lot of change happened in America this week, but a few things did not change, sinful man hates God. God's Law has not changed. History cannot be rewritten. Most powerfully, Christ's shed blood can still wash away all of that sin. Love cannot win without truth. Together, they're indefatigably unconquerable.