Saturday, 4 July 2015

Tsunami Warning Siren Sounds

And Why Not?

Well, that didn't take long. 

Montana polygamist family applies for marriage license

BILLINGS - Given the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, a Lockwood family is now looking to solidify rights of its own. . . . The polyamorous movement is a national push to allow marriage between multiple partners.  Nathan Collier and his two wives, Vicki and Christine, said Tuesday that they are simply looking for equality.  Nathan is legally married to Vicki, but also wants to legally wed Christine.

On Tuesday, Nathan and Christine traveled to the Yellowstone County Courthouse to see if they would be awarded the right to marry under the Marriage Equality Act.   Polygamy is illegal under Montana state law, and recognized as a misdemeanor offense.  "We just want to add legal legitimacy to an already happy, strong, loving family," said Nathan.

Daily Devotional

One State or the Other

On freedom (and predestination)

C. S. Lewis

It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.

Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By
Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Age of the Sophists

Epistemological Sandcastles

Yesterday we published a piece on a false dichotomy being perpetrated throughout schools and colleges in the United States.  The dichotomy alleges that a proposition is either a fact or an opinion.  It also alleges that an opinion can never be true.  Only facts can be true.  It goes further: morals are statements of opinion, not fact.  Therefore, they also can never be true.

Suppressed in all of this nonsense are the presuppositions of empiricism and materialism.  In other words, materialism and empiricism are presupposed as truths and facts.  Then the implications are worked through to morals, facts, opinions, ethics and so forth.  Naturally, when school children and naive college students are exposed to this kind of sophistry, the presuppositions upon which their whole castle of epistemic sand is built are kept carefully hidden behind closed doors.  Concealing the family secrets is the order of the day. 

Nevertheless, the sandcastle is washed away by a simple question: is the dichotomy that a proposition is either a fact or an opinion, a fact or an opinion?  The only answer possible is that it is an opinion, and therefore, according to the dichotomy itself, is untrue.  Truth, after all, belongs only to those things which can be empirically proven as facts.

In summary, it is scandalous but illuminating that the epistemologies which reign in the secular schools of the United States in these days (that is, pretty much most schools) amount to little more than vacuous, empty sophistry.  Let us remind ourselves that the sophists of the ancient world were radical relativists, synonymous with speciousness and deception.  Nothing much has changed.  Some things cannot change their spots.

Let's get our children into Christian schools so they can be taught to think truthfully and clearly.  Anything less would be a travesty.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Empty Sophistry

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

What I didn’t know was where this attitude came from. Given the presence of moral relativism in some academic circles, some people might naturally assume that philosophers themselves are to blame. But they aren’t. There are historical examples of philosophers who endorse a kind of moral relativism, dating back at least to Protagoras who declared that “man is the measure of all things,” and several who deny that there are any moral facts whatsoever. But such creatures are rare. Besides, if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.
Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

Hoping that this set of definitions was a one-off mistake, I went home and Googled “fact vs. opinion.” The definitions I found online were substantially the same as the one in my son’s classroom. As it turns out, the Common Core standards used by a majority of K-12 programs in the country require that students be able to “distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” And the Common Core institute provides a helpful page full of links to definitions, lesson plans and quizzes to ensure that students can tell the difference between facts and opinions.

So what’s wrong with this distinction and how does it undermine the view that there are objective moral facts?

Daily Devotional

Mere Adjectives  

On self-suffiency

C. S. Lewis

They [Adam and Eve] wanted, as we say, to “call their souls their own.” But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.

From The Problem of Pain  Compiled in Words to Live By
The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Reign of the PR Meisters

Getting Away With Horrendous Crime For Years

The fruits of Unbelief, nurtured in self-sufficient "we know best" delusions, are devastating.  The curses of the Covenant are never pretty, never noble, never nice.  We have followed the horrible story of authorities in various English towns and boroughs turning Nelson's eye to horrific, systemic crime because they feared being labelled racist or of being accused of exacerbating community tensions.

Behold the cowardly inversion of the childhood proverb: "sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me."  In our rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ, the rotten fruits of Unbelief have made words or labels hurtful--so much so that it is better to witness the vulnerable being tormented with far worse than with sticks and stones, than risk being defamed as a racist.  Cowardice is ever the mark of the Enemy.

Police Withheld Child Grooming Gang Report For Five Years For Fear Of Stoking Racial Tension

by Sarkis Zeronian

West Midlands Police withheld a report warning that more than 100 predominantly white children – some only 13 years old – were at serious risk of child exploitation for fear it could inflame racial tension ahead of a General Election. It was finally revealed today, under the Freedom of Information Act, that Britain’s second largest police force withheld the March 2010 document – ‘Problem Profile, Operation Protection’ – which set out how grooming gangs of 75 mainly Muslim men from Birmingham targeted schools and children’s homes across the West Midlands.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Letter From America (About the New God)

Is Supreme Court Declares Itself God

Redefines Marriage and Rights

Ben Shapiro

The day after declaring Obamacare magically rewritten and that the lawsuits against discrimination in housing require no proof of actual discrimination, the Supreme Court found a unicorn in the 14th Amendment.

By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy under that aforementioned 14th Amendment (adopted in 1868, when every state in America criminalized sodomy) requires that every state in America grant marriage licenses to men who want to marry men and women who want to marry women, and that every state recognize such licenses from every other state.

By this point, nobody should be surprised that the Supreme Court sees new rights in its Cheerios. As our Supreme Rulers, the Supreme Court can declare what they want to declare, since rule of law died long ago at the hands of leftist deconstruction of language. But this decision is particularly galling to those who believe words have meaning and that government is not God. The Court rejects both of those claims. Words have no meaning; they are merely tools to be used in implementation of the utopian agenda of the far-left. Government is God, a dignity-conferring institution capable of making moral that which religion teaches is sinful, logic teaches is worthless, and societal experience teaches is societally counterproductive.

Naturally, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has made it his lifelong work to read same-sex rights into the Constitution (this, after all is the man who once wrote, based wholly on the authority of the voices in his head, that the Constitution mandates “respect” for sodomy), delivered the majority opinion.

Daily Devotional

Enduring When Obeying Hurts

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2)
What faith performs is sometimes unspeakably hard.

In his book Miracle on the River Kwai, Ernest Gordon tells the true story of a group of POWs working on the Burma Railway during World War II.
At the end of each day the tools were collected from the work party. On one occasion a Japanese guard shouted that a shovel was missing and demanded to know which man had taken it. He began to rant and rave, working himself up into a paranoid fury and ordered whoever was guilty to step forward. No one moved. “All die! All die!” he shrieked, cocking and aiming his rifle at the prisoners. At that moment one man stepped forward and the guard clubbed him to death with his rifle while he stood silently to attention. When they returned to the camp, the tools were counted again and no shovel was missing.
What can sustain the will to die for others, when you are innocent? Jesus was carried and sustained in his love for us by “the joy that was set before him.”

Grace does signify that its objects are undeserving. So I won’t say that Jesus put his hope in grace. I will simply say that he banked on future blessing and joy, and that carried and sustained him in love through his suffering.

Whenever we follow him in this, which we should, that blessing and joy for us is grace — future grace. As a man, modelling for us how to take up our cross and follow him on the Calvary road of love, Jesus entrusted himself to his Father (1 Peter 2:23) and banked his hope on the resurrection and all the joys of reunion with his Father and the redemption of his people.

The Tyranny of the Administrative State

Asinine Tyrannical Law

The administrative state is one which busies itself organising the lives of its citizens.  Granted, there must be a certain body of administrative law.  Road rules, which prevent accidents, are an excellent example.  But more and more secular Western states seek to administer the lives of their citizens by means of endless administrative regulations.

Breaches of administrative law result in fines and eventual imprisonment.  Note that under administrative law the "criminal" might not have done any actual harm to his neighbour's life or property.  His "crime" was that he transgressed an administrative law which had been promulgated to prevent any harm to his neighbour in the first place.  Administrative law is what we call "cocoon" law.  It is preventative in nature and intent.  But the outcome is a progressive statist tyranny, where, in the end, the only part of the human anatomy not regulated by government rules, regulations, and statutes is the rear end.  For every other human function and activity there are bureaucratically promulgated rules and regulations.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow (About The Red Queen)

Red Queen Rising


After all those unpleasant choking sounds and the consequent demise of our constitutional republic, we are just a short way into the reign of our dear queen, the red one out of Alice. Her principal talent lies in her ability simply to insist on arbitrary authority, with no logic whatever to back it up. So in just the space of a few short weeks, Bruce Jenner identified as a woman, Rachel Dolezal identified as black, and I identified as svelte. Consider the possibilities before us!

Okay, let us treat this thing for what it is — an intellectually crippled attempt to build the Übermensch. This New Future Man has forearms that look like they came right out of 1930’s Stalinist agricultural art, the better to pound you with, and a forehead that appears to be made of brass three inches thick, the better to not think very hard with.
I don't know what you mean by your way, all the ways about here belong to me.
I don’t know what you mean by your way, all the ways belong to me.

Allow me to cite one example before proceeding to some other words of sunshiny encouragement. Here is one tenet of the worldview that is being crammed down our throats, to then be washed down with a fire hose.

The division between male and female is FLUID, and Bruce Jenner can overcome it simply through the power of individual choice. The distinction between the various races of men is also FLUID, and Rachel Dolezal can transcend it simply through the power of her subjective feelings. The Confederate battle flag, however, has a meaning that is apparently FIXED. It only means hatred, and can mean nothing but hatred. Like the law of the Medes and Persians, it resides in a mystery place that admits of no change whatever. It is as though Derrida’s work was all for naught, and I for one am just heartsick about it.

Not really.

Daily Devotional

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

"Looking unto Jesus."
Hebrews 12:2

Charles H. Spurgeon

It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument--it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.

We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him.

Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.
"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name."

Whitey Privilege

Faux Guilt, Faux Pity, Genuine Ignorance

We came across a tragic tale today.  New Zealand is rife with entrenched privileges for male whiteys.  It took us some time to stop laughing and get up off the floor.  Here is the whale of the tale:
The Human Rights Commission has launched an interactive tool revealing the full extent of gender and racial inequality in the workplace.  Young Middle Eastern and African women are at the bottom of the heap, with median pay of just $14.75 an hour, on par with the minimum wage.  At the other end of the spectrum, white men aged 45-64 command top dollar, earning a median hourly rate of $28.77.  [Stuff]

And here is the punchline that generated all the mirth:
Middle-aged white men might be sick of being cast as villains, but a report suggests they should check their privilege.
Oooooh.  Let's check our privilege.  Note the implicit guilt-manipulation in this sentence: "white men might be sick of being cast as villains . . . "  You see, if they "checked their privilege" they would learn they really are villains.  They are the reason other (non middle-aged, white) people are being paid less than them.  What a hoot.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Heads in Sand

In the last week of May, the Qatar-based Arabic news network Al-Jazeera polled its Arabic-language audience on the question: "Do you support the victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in your region?"

The results were shocking. Of the 56,881 Arabic-speaking respondents, a whopping 81% voted yes. The results of this online survey may not be scientific. But they do provide anecdotal evidence of what many see as a rise in the support of Islamism in the Arab Middle East, among Muslims in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, and in the diaspora in Britain and France.

On Monday, a 17-year-old Briton became that country's youngest suicide bomber after he blew up a brand new SUV packed with explosives in the northern Iraqi town of Baiji. Talha Asmal had Arabized his name to Abu Yusuf al-Britani and is the latest young person used by jihadi Islamists as cannon fodder in their quest to establish an Islamic caliphate. This is laid out in sharia law, as a precursor to the Islamic Armageddon enshrined in Hadith literature, based on Prophet Mohammed's prophesy.

Daily Devotional

The Death Trap Called Covetousness

Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9)

John Piper

Covetousness can destroy the soul in hell.

The reason I am sure that this destruction is not some temporary financial fiasco, but final destruction in hell, is what Paul says in verse 12. He says that covetousness is to be resisted with the fight of faith; then adds, “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession.” What’s at stake in fleeing covetousness and fighting for contentment in future grace is eternal life.

So when Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:9 that the desire to be rich plunges people into ruin, he isn’t saying that greed can mess up your marriage or your business (which it certainly can!). He is saying that covetousness can mess up your eternity. Or, as verse 10 says at the end, “It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (literally: “impaled themselves with many pains”).

God has gone the extra mile in the Bible to warn us mercifully that the idolatry of covetousness is a no-win situation. It’s a dead-end street in the worst sense of the word. It’s a trick and a trap.

So my word to you is the word of 1 Timothy 6:11: “Flee these things.” When you see it coming (in a television ad or a Christmas catalog or an Internet pop-up or a neighbor’s purchase), run from it the way you would run from a roaring, starving lion escaped from the zoo.

Secular Statists Wasting No Time

Ahab and Jezebel Redivivus

Imagine a world where the government of the day declared that opposition to abortion must end in the name of a tolerant society.  Those groups and individuals who opposed abortion must be restrained, restricted, and punished by law.  No medical professionals were to be permitted on the grounds of conscience to remove themselves from murderous termination procedures.  No doctor would be permitted not to consent and facilitate all abortions sought by patients.  Any doctor who refused to arrange abortions for clients of his or her respective practices would be fined, and even stripped of their practising certificates.

There are plenty of Unbelievers who would rejoice at this and see it as a great leap forward.  They would regard it as enlightened public policy and judicial interdiction.  They would fulsomely support such appropriate punishments.

We are now entering precisely that world in the West.  The present front line, however, is not over abortion; it is homosexual marriage.  Governments currently feel themselves somewhat constrained in the matter of abortion because it does not enjoy strong public support.  In fact due to the sterling work by many Christians and churches, support for abortion is waning.  But homosexual "marriage" is a different case.  And if a pagan, secularist state can, it will.  Before you can say, "I told you so".

Thus Scotland is proposing draconian controls to enforce not just society's acceptance of homosexuality and homosexual "marriage" but to punish those who refuse to support and celebrate it.  This, from The Telegraph:

Monday, 29 June 2015

Letter From the Netherlands (About Aborting Down Syndrome Children)

Down Syndrome Screening Could Eliminate an Entire Group of People

Upon delivering my first child 11 years ago, I heard the words "Down syndrome", and my world collapsed. Visions of children sitting passively in a corner watching life go by, not participating, kept me awake those first nights as a mum.  It didn't take me long, though, to figure out that my ideas were based on negative, outdated information that had nothing to do with the reality of life with Down syndrome today.

My daughter April is an active, outgoing girl. She's my nature child, wildly passionate about anything with four legs. Although April uses few words, she's a master communicator. Through her, I've learned that Down syndrome is not the scary, terrible condition it's made out to be.  But while governments (rightly) ban gender selection, selective abortion continues to be encouraged for children with Down syndrome. In the United States and abroad, screenings are a routine part of healthcare programmes, and the result is the near-elimination of these children.

When pregnant with my daughter Hazel, tests showed she, too, would be born with Down syndrome. I was shocked when an acquaintance asked me why I did not choose abortion – as if she were a mistake that could be easily erased.

Daily Devotional

Keep Swimming

TO EDWARD LOFSTROM: On his need to think less and to fulfill his daily duties with charity and justice.
8 March 1959

C. S. Lewis

I very much doubt if any book, least of all a book by me, would much help anyone in the condition you describe. For a book can offer only thoughts and thoughts are not what such a person, perhaps, needs most. One can argue against egoism, but then egoism is not his trouble. If he were a real egoist he would be either bliss- fully unconscious of the fact or else fully convinced that egoism was the rational attitude. You, on the other hand, suffer from a more than ordinary horror of egoism which you share with us all. And therefore, as you will see, the thing you need is not to think more or better about it but to think less: to act unselfishly—that is, charitably and justly—and leave the state of your feelings for God to deal with in His own way and His own time. And this of course you know better than I do.

But how to do it? For the very effort to forget something is itself a remembering of that something! I think, if I were in your shoes I should try to regard this sense of self-imprisonment not at all as a sin but as a mere tribulation, like rheumatism, to be endured in the same way. It has no doubt its medical side: diet, exercise, and recreations might all be considered. And, though this is a hard saying, your early upbringing may have something to do with it. Great piety in the parents can produce in the child a mistaken sense of guilt: may lead him to regard as sin what is really not sin at all but merely the fact that he is a boy and not a mature Christian.

At any rate, remember: ‘I cannot turn one hair black or white: but I can brush my hair daily and go to the barber at regular intervals.’ In other words we must divert our efforts from our general condition or frame of mind (which we can’t alter by direct action of the will) to what is in our power—our words and acts. Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming. You will be in my prayers.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

White Collar Crime

 Justice Rolls Down Like a Mighty Trickle

In our humble opinion, "white collar" crime is seriously under-punished.  We suspect it's a class thing.  When people like "us" (that is, members of the Chattering Classes or the Commentariat) commit fraud or steal, somehow the spine of the Body Politic turns to jelly.

Auckland City has seen just such a case.  One of the glitterati, Alex Swney stole more than $4m over a long period of time.  In other words, the theft was planned, calculated, and carefully perpetrated.  It was also the work of a narcissist who felt his "employer" was not properly valuing his gargantuan talents, and he deserved more money.  So he was going to get it by hook or by crook, but mainly by crook.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Enforced Paganism

The Established Religion of the United States

The Supreme Court Ratifies a New Civic Religion That Is Incompatible with Christianity

By David French

Daily Devotional

Without Holiness, Without Faith

"Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
2 Peter 1:4

C.H. Spurgeon

Vanish forever all thought of indulging the flesh if you would live in the power of your risen Lord. It were ill that a man who is alive in Christ should dwell in the corruption of sin. "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" said the angel to Magdalene.

Should the living dwell in the sepulchre? Should divine life be immured in the charnel house of fleshly lust? How can we partake of the cup of the Lord and yet drink the cup of Belial? Surely, believer, from open lusts and sins you are delivered: have you also escaped from the more secret and delusive lime-twigs of the Satanic fowler? Have you come forth from the lust of pride? Have you escaped from slothfulness? Have you clean escaped from carnal security? Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the pride of life, and the ensnaring vice of avarice? Remember, it is for this that you have been enriched with the treasures of God.

If you be indeed the chosen of God, and beloved by him, do not suffer all the lavish treasure of grace to be wasted upon you. Follow after holiness; it is the Christian's crown and glory. An unholy church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell's laughter, heaven's abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.

O Christian, the vows of God are upon you. You are God's priest: act as such. You are God's king: reign over your lusts. You are God's chosen: do not associate with Belial. Heaven is your portion: live like a heavenly spirit, so shall you prove that you have true faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life.
"Lord, I desire to live as one
Who bears a blood-bought name,
As one who fears but grieving thee,
And knows no other shame."

Scientists, Demagogues, and Lysenkoism, Part III

Far Worse Than the Dark Ages

Science used to be respected as a discipline which, although restricted to empirical reality, could be relied upon to discover truth with a high degree of truthfulness and reliability.  Then, as materialism took hold and the West came to believe that the only reality was brute matter, science necessarily had to expand.  It became an authority literally upon everything, since matter alone existed.

At this point, the integrity of science began to decline rapidly.  Science was made a serving girl to realms and issues way outside its competence or ability.  The inevitable consequences were the rapid rise of junk-science and its capture by powers and authorities to serve their venal ends.  It is rapidly getting to the point where to claim science as an authority on any question is to invite sniggers from not just the back seats, but even in the reserved section. 

Our third example of faux-science comes courtesy of Quadrant Magazine.  Whilst this is a fairly lengthy article, every paragraph is of importance.  It demonstrates that Lysenkoism is rampant in our academies, schools, and laboratories--let alone in our media, Cabinet rooms, and halls of bureaucracy.  Science has become thoroughly politicised.  It risks a rapid loss any final shreds of credibility.  Would the last scientist in the room, please turn out the lights. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Letter From The UK (About Systemic Evil on an Industrial Scale)

300 Suspects Identified In ‘Horrendous’ Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Scandal

By Nick Hallett

Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has said it has identified about 300 possible suspects in an investigation into child sex abuse in the town of Rotherham.

Steve Baldwin, senior investigating officer at the NCA, said the 1,400 victims in the town identified by Professor Alexis Jay in her damning report last year was “a very good estimate”.  The Daily Mail also reports that two current or former town councillors are under investigation over allegations they were involved in the abuse.

The investigation – named Operation Stovewood – began in December following the publication of the Jay Report, which described how hundreds of children in Rotherham had been groomed, trafficked and raped by gangs of mainly Pakistani men between 1997 and 2013.  The report was also severely critical of the police and the local council and led to a number of high profile resignations.

Daily Devotional

Warning to the Undead

On self

C. S. Lewis

A rejection, or in Scripture’s strong language, a crucifixion of the natural self is the passport to everlasting life. Nothing that has not died will be resurrected.
From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Scientists, Demagogues, and Lysenkoism, Part II

Fool's Gold

When scientific endeavour becomes the tool of a social or ideological crusade, the "science" rapidly descends into faux-science.  Science, having become the means to an ideological end, must needs conform to the interests to which it is now enslaved.

The most common device employed along this road to perdition is selective data picking.  "Science" can "prove" anything if it is allowed to cherry pick data.  Here is our second example of bogus science suborned to a political cause.  In this case the cause is egalitarianism.

Back in 2010 much was made of the hypothesis put forward by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett which purported to show that all kinds of social evils resulted when wealth and property were unevenly owned.  The Left and other egalitarians seized on the book and raved over its devastating arguments and conclusion.  Here was hard evidence that a large gap between rich and poor actually did serious harm to human beings.  Suddenly a vacuous ideology was baptized into reality by a full immersion into data, facts, and scientific analysis.

Except that the data turned out to be cherry picked, selectively chosen to manufacture certain pre-ordained conclusions.  Here is Christopher Snowden, writing for the Institute of Economic Affairs:

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Old Glory and Abortion


In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in South Carolina, a cry has arisen calling for the Confederate flag that flies on the capitol grounds in South Carolina to be taken down. Russell Moore has joined in the call, and I have been called out on Twitter to do the same. Let me explain my reasons for declining to do so — I am declining to say anything about it, one way or the other. There are three reasons.

First, as I explained in another post after another shooting, it is unseemly to politicize these horrors when the families are still weeping. Whether the issue is gun control or something else, whenever a hard sell comes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, the only thing it makes me want to do is wonder at how boorish some people can be. If this the case when the political issue is arguably connected, as with gun control, how much more is it the case when it is so obliquely related? Did the alleged shooter even know about the flag? Boorish behavior can be exhibited by either side. If one man starts a roaring debate in favor of gun control the same day of the shooting, the situation is not improved if an advocate of open carry does the same thing the next day. The families involved, who include godly Christian people calling for repentance and a turn to Christ, ought not to be distracted by apparatchiks trying to make some political hay out of their grief.

Daily Devotional

Faith Honors Him Whom It Trusts

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God. (Romans 4:20)

John Piper

I long for God to be glorified in our pursuit of holiness and love. But God is not glorified unless our pursuit is empowered by faith in his promises.

And the God who revealed himself most fully in Jesus Christ, who was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25), is most glorified when we embrace his promises with joyful firmness because they are bought by the blood of his Son.

God is honored when we are humbled for our feebleness and failure, and when he is trusted for future grace (Romans 4:20). So unless we learn how to live by faith in future grace, we may perform remarkable religious rigors, but not for God’s glory.  He is glorified when the power to be holy comes from humble faith in future grace.

Martin Luther said, “[Faith] honors him whom it trusts with the most reverent and highest regard, since it considers him truthful and trustworthy.” The trusted Giver gets the glory.

My great desire is that we learn how to live for God’s honor. And that means living by faith in future grace, which, in turn, means battling unbelief in all the ways it rears its head.

Scientists, Demagogues, and Lysenkoism, Part I

Not Well Suited to the Task

If we were scientists we would be hanging our heads in collective shame.  These days whenever an utterance commences with the words, "Scientists say . . . " it seems a collective groan arises from the bowels of the body politic.  Not again!  The fruit loops have been scattered from the packet again.

Now this is not to be construed as a verbal barrage against the empirical scientific method.  Not at all.  Empirical research and investigation has been a great boon to the race.  It's just that in our generation, science has all too frequently become the preserve of demagogues and charlatans.  For the most part these folk are exposed, contradicted, and refuted--by other scientists.  However, it is becoming more and more the case that politics and power overtake the issues and science and scientists become the hand maiden of the demagogues.  Think Al Gore.  Barack Obama.  And even, most recently, the Pope--who should know a great deal better.

We have three examples of how science has been degraded to the status of a useful tool for demagogues.  We will deal with the first example in this piece.  Two additional examples will follow respectively.

The first is the Pope's woeful ignorance of the alleged most dismal of sciences--economics.  The editors of the National Review, an excellent rag, representing some of the best Christian social analysis and thought emanating from mainly Roman Catholic convictions, have taken the Pope to task for promoting the faux cause of global warming.  His ideology has trumped reasoned common sense and led him to embrace pseudo-science.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Faux Free Trade Agreements

Betting the House

We at Contra Celsum are free-traders.  We believe in free trade because it is an application of property rights.  If one owns one's property, one has a right to sell one's property, or buy property from others freely--without government authorities interdicting private trading decisions and choices.

But we do not live in a free-trading world.  We live in a world where governments and their authorities attempt to regulate and control trade.  These days, because there is widespread evidence that free trade actually generates huge benefits over time, there is a well spring of popular support.  So governments have started using the cloak of free trade and free trade agreements to increase surreptitiously government controls and regulations over commerce.  Thus, in our days, free trade agreements risk being anything but.  Rather they are are morphing into agreements to do the exact opposite--to regulate trade and restrict free commerce.

US Senator Jeff Sessions explains what he believes to be really at stake in the Trans Pacific Partnership "free trade" agreement, now being pushed by the United States, and long sought for by New Zealand.  Sessions argues that TPP, while cloaked as a free trade agreement, will result in a quantum increase of  government and bureaucratic control over trade and commerce.  The following piece was published in Breitbart News:

Daily Devotional


TO EDWARD LOFSTROM: A letter of great encouragement for someone who had been struggling with excessive self-awareness.

C. S. Lewis

10 June 1962

You are of course perfectly right in defining your problem (which is also mine and everyone’s) as ‘excessive selfness’. But per- haps you don’t fully realise how far you have got by so defining it. All have this disease; fortunate are the minority who know they have it. To know that one is dreaming is to be already nearly awake, even if, for the present, one can’t wake up fully. And you have actually got further than that. You have got beyond the illusion (very common) that to recognise a chasm is the same thing as building a bridge over it.

Your danger now is that of being hypnotised by the mere sight of the charm, of constantly looking at this excessive selfness. The important thing now is to go steadily on acting, so far as you can—and you certainly can to some extent, however small—as if it wasn’t there. You can, and I expect you daily do—behave with some degree of unselfishness. You can and do make some attempt at prayer. The continual voice which tells you that your best actions are secretly filled with subtle self-regards, and your best prayers still wholly egocentric—must for the most part be simply disregarded—as one disregards the impulse to keep on looking under the bandage to see whether the cut is healing. If you are always fidgeting with the bandage, it never will.

Discomfort In the Hive

Love the Cold

The coldest temperature ever recorded in New Zealand was one which transpired in 1905.  In Ranfurly the temperature dropped to -25.6 degrees Celsius in 1903.  Now, that's not to claim that the temperature had never been as cold or substantially colder in the centuries before 1905.  It's just that, as far as we know, there was no-one around to measure such things.

But since that time way back in 1903 we have had regular records (albeit adjusted in recent years by meteorologists with axes to grind).  Moreover, we have had an alleged century of global warming.  All that carbon dioxide spilling out into the atmosphere, warming up the planet.

Consequently, it came as some surprise to read that yesterday we came mighty close to that record low of 1905.