Faith without works

or talk without action

Wilberforce and other Christian leaders of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used moral argument and persuasion to get the British government to suppress slavery. The British government stopped slavery by force, using their navy to seize slave ships.

It’s unfortunate that Christian clergy in the west today would use their powers of moral suasion not to get the government to do something about Boko Haram raiding villages and taking slaves, but to prevent the government doing anything about it, at least anything that might work.

Because there’s just about only one thing that will work: hanging the slave takers, the slave sellers, and the slave buyers, and hanging them with a for-real rope when and where they’re caught, and taking all their money, and the money of anyone who does business with them. Now some well-meaning people would say that’s unreasonable, and they do have a point. The exigencies of the situation may require some slavers to be shot instead of hanged.

Christians should start with prayer, but not stop there. We should work for what we pray for. And yes, we should pray for the members of the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. We should pray they’re held to account for their evil sooner instead of later, and that they repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

Join the party

“How would you act politically – what kinds of arguments would you make, what kinds of laws would you support, what means of persuasion would you use – if you knew that those whom you most despise will at some point hold the reins of political power in your country?”

If your reaction would be ‘Let’s get them before they get us,’ there’s a political party for you.

UPDATE 30 April 2014: Charles Pergiel says we are already at that point, ruled by people we despise, though “despise” may be too strong a word for our feelings for the ruling class. It seems to me that it’s not too strong a word for the ruling class’s feelings toward us though. I’m pretty sure both Senator Boehner and President Obama despise people like me.

David armed

Italy’s culture minister stupified

The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign,” says Italy’s culture minister. But it is 2014. Maybe the culture minister doesn’t know the story:

David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand. Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath he killed him, and cut off his head. — 1 Samuel 17

Maybe the ad, from Armalite, does infringe the law. It might be in poor taste to use a great masterpiece to promote products. But to complain because in the ad David is holding a weapon (an Armalite AR-50) is simply stupid; very nearly offensively stupid. Michaelangelo’s David is always holding a weapon. He has a sling in his left hand, and a rock in his right.

It’s not the economy, stupid

Someone says “The thing about an increasingly childless economy is that it has major implications for consumption.”

No, that childlessness has economic implications is not the thing. That our economy, society, and culture in their present state discourage people from having children, that is the thing. Moreover, the habit of mind that casts a shortage of children as “an increasingly childless economy” is part of the reason so few people are having so few children.

Civilization and its enemies

At work the door to the rest room is always open first thing in the morning. The cleaners work at night, and they leave them open with the ceiling fan running. That’s fine. I shut the door, thinking I’m doing my bit to maintain civilization. If I don’t shut it, it will still be open at noon. There’s not really a privacy or modesty problem, because there’s an interior wall for a baffle, but it seems to me that if there’s going to be a door on the rest room, then the door needs to be shut. If the door is always open, there is no door. It’s best not to say anything though; just quietly shut the door. Because at another place where this was happening, they took off the door completely. Notionally this was to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but really it was just HR proactively degrading the work environment.

They grow up so fast

At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. — At Twenty-Three

It’s just possible that the people who write the news are not like the rest of us.

Sure, why not?

Robert F. Kennedy himself may not have said “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” though it’s commonly attributed to him. Misattributed to RFK or not, the underlying source may be a play from the early twentieth century by George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah:

THE SERPENT [to Eve]. If I can do that, what can I not do? I tell you I am very subtle. When you and Adam talk, I hear you say ‘Why?’ Always ‘Why?’ You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ — Back to Methuselah, by George Bernard Shaw. Seen in The Campus Utopians, by Jonah Goldberg

See, “The Serpent.” That alone should have made the best and brightest pause before basing their plans to re-build government, society, and culture on a foundation of “why not?” Even if they didn’t know the story. And there’s another hint, because that story is called The Fall of Man.

Now and then

Worrying about global warming, driving a Prius, and hating the Tea Party, are comparable to hating the Hippies, driving a Buick, and worrying about the coming ice age.