The calls in recent years to ban Confederate symbols and historical figures from the public square were initially explained as addressing particular historical or contemporary grievances, typically of a racial nature. But the quick extension of such bans to various other symbols and figures with little or no connection to the Confederacy, and even to seemingly innocuous things such as a cartoon frog named Pepe, has strongly suggested that this explanation is insufficient. A simpler, more comprehensive explanation for these calls to ban supposedly “racist” or “white supremacist” symbols is that they attempt to remove from public acceptability anything that might lend support to white people positively identifying themselves as a group. Continue reading “No Symbols For White Men: Why The ADL & SPLC Condemned A Frog”
Is Christian Love Egalitarian? Familial Duty In The New Testament
Christianity is often presented today as a religion whose adherents are to care for everyone “equally.” One logical tendency of this egalitarianism is to flatten all human affection, and thus deny the particular, natural affections for one’s own relations. But this denial runs counter to the explicit teaching of the New Testament whereby affection for kin is permitted, expected, and even demanded — a teaching affirmed by the example of Christ Himself. Continue reading “Is Christian Love Egalitarian? Familial Duty In The New Testament”
Christianity & Non-Discrimination: Equal In The Eyes Of God?
Christianity today is often portrayed as a religion of non-discrimination, whose adherents are not supposed to recognize or act upon distinctions between groups on the basis of race, sex, etc. But the arguments typically put forward are insufficient to establish non-discrimination as a matter of doctrine. A few of the more common viewpoints will be addressed here, namely that non-discrimination is demanded by some sort of equality of men in the eyes of God, by the supposed unimportance of biological differences, by man’s creation in the image of God, and by man’s common ancestry. Continue reading “Christianity & Non-Discrimination: Equal In The Eyes Of God?”
No “Respect Of Persons”: Biblical Impartiality, Or Non-Discrimination?
Throughout the Bible, one finds condemnation of “respect of persons,” a term most often referring to partiality in judgment. Some have claimed that this means condemnation of discrimination in general. The strongest example supporting this view is perhaps James 2:1-9, which popular theologian John Piper uses to claim that racism is a sin. But such attempts to expand the meaning of “respect of persons” in this passage are unwarranted, given the term’s use in context and elsewhere in Scripture. It is far more plausible that this passage encourages equitable judgment, instead of declaring a new teaching of non-discrimination. Continue reading “No “Respect Of Persons”: Biblical Impartiality, Or Non-Discrimination?”
Conservatives Love Identity Politics, Except For White People
A recurring theme of American conservative political commentary is that identity politics is an evil tool of the left to be shunned by the “principled” right. But conservatives regularly employ identity politics when it’s useful for them. This was especially evident in the 2016 election cycle, when conservative commentators relied considerably on appeals to identity than on appeals to facts and reason, which they claim to prefer. But there is one form of identity politics that they shun and denounce consistently, namely white identity politics. Continue reading “Conservatives Love Identity Politics, Except For White People”
Good Samaritan: Love Of Neighbor, Not Refugee Resettlement
Are Christians obligated as “good Samaritans” to encourage their nations to bring in refugees of war? No. As opposed to popular culture’s proof-texting of the parable of the good Samaritan, Christianity does not require, as some suggest, the relocation of foreigners from distant lands to one’s own country. And it certainly does not require being concerned with the well-being of those foreigners more than the well-being of one’s fellow citizens. If anything, the parable of the good Samaritan discourages the privileging of foreigners to one’s actual neighbors. Continue reading “Good Samaritan: Love Of Neighbor, Not Refugee Resettlement”
Americans First: The Foundation Of The Declaration & Constitution
The political philosophy expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution demands a government that puts the good of the American people first, in securing their rights and pursuing their common good. This stands in contrast to the notion today, often pushed by conservatives, that America instead stands for universal ideals that ultimately demand the subordination of the good of American citizens to the good of non-citizens. Continue reading “Americans First: The Foundation Of The Declaration & Constitution”
“Neither Jew Nor Greek”: Is Alt-Right Race Realism Unchristian?
Is it improper for a Christian to notice significant biological differences between racial groups, and to allow such knowledge to influence his thinking and behavior? Erick Erickson seems to suggest as much when he contends that the race realism of the alt-right contradicts biblical teaching, in particular Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:28 that “there is neither Jew nor Greek […] for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Erickson claims that this verse commands Christians to “transcend race” — in other words, to deny or disregard racial differences. But this verse and others like it clearly concern a sort of equality between Christians with respect to their salvation, not total equality between all people, or all races. Continue reading ““Neither Jew Nor Greek”: Is Alt-Right Race Realism Unchristian?”