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Partisanship, not politics, is the real problem for the Church and Christians.

The Church expressing interest in what the State does, i.e. in politics, and offering perspective on moral values to guide political activities is essential. When this goes missing, States like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union show up.

Christians as individual can and should engage in politics. Think of the examples in Scripture like Joseph, Daniel, and Esther. They made a considerable impact in their day because the exercised their faith in the political arena. In contemporary parlance, they made a difference.

So, too, today. All countries need Christian engagement in their politics and those who suppress it are the worse for it. In free countries, Christians can engage in politics directly and openly. They can work as citizens to influence political policies or they can become politicians themselves.

So yes, politics matter. It’s just not the end-all-be-all of life and what matters most in life cannot be addressed via politics. 

Partisanship is a particular kind of political engagement. It’s the “strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause, or person.” Partisanship in American terms generally means a preference for, commitment to, or even emotional allegiance to being a Democrat or Republican, or perhaps one of a few assorted Third Parties.

Partisanship is not in itself morally threatening, particularly if it is not “blind” but simply a preference for or commitment to an approach to government or a set of principles in a political party platform.

Where partisanship becomes a problem, for the Christian and for the Church, is when it supersedes the faith or worldview. In other words, the filter through which each question or development or circumstance is evaluated is not one’s Christian perspective but one’s party allegiances and perceived advantage. When this happens, party positions or politics become ascendant, thus beyond critique or criticism. 

The danger should be obvious. If you are working with your partisan view and I am working with mine, we can debate but there is nothing outside our own party perspectives to which we can appeal for evaluation. We can only argue, never achieve consensus, and debate is then not about truth but power and advantage.

The American Church is today divided, of course theologically in a variety of historical denominational ways, but of equal importance and impact now is a division rooted in partisanship. There are Red churches and Blue churches. There are, if we switch to ideology, Left churches and Right churches. What’s minimized, maybe lost, is the struggle to develop a Christian worldview and apply it in this age to all issues and developments--including partisanship. 

The Christian Church is encouraged to unity, but partisanship divides. It is today not just a tool but a threat.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Whatever your view of various state responses to C-19, I hope one thing that comes out of this experience is that we now understand and value our freedom--particularly what it is to not have it--maybe like never before: worship, speech, assembly, mobility for example. 

1-Perhaps we'll be more inclined to learn what civil liberties are and respect what others sacrificed to provide them.

2-Perhaps we'll grasp that civil liberties are not something government grants to citizens, but as noted in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are "unalienable" natural rights people already possess as human beings and as such are something government may not take from citizens.

3-Perhaps we'll be more sensitive to others in our own country or abroad who do not yet possess these freedoms.

4-Perhaps we'll see why every political philosopher who's written about civil liberties has observed how quickly and easily they can be lost.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Of all God’s creatures, honeybees are among the more important. 

I’ve always loved honey, more so now than ever, and after some misadventures with insects as a kid I’ve come to appreciate honeybees as an essential “bee-loved” part of creation. I enjoy watching them work, flower to flower, as I walk in neighboring areas or explore our own property. And I now realize just how critical honeybees are to agriculture.

Honeybees produces more than 157 million pounds of honey every year in the United States. That’s from about 50-65 lbs. per colony.

Meanwhile, approximately 400 million pounds of honey are consumed in the US each year. Obviously, that’s considerably more than our bees produce so we import 70% of the honey consumed in the US.  

Honey is good for you

Raw and regular honey are differently processed. Raw means the honey is much as it was from the hive. It contains pollen and has no added sugars or sweetners. Regular or commercial honey is processed, pasteurized, and thus while it gets that beautiful amber look that American consumers want and it tends not to crystalize as quickly, it’s lost much of its original nutrient value.

Raw honey contains many nutrients, including sugars, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and protein, and approximately 22 amino acids, 31 different minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Raw honey also contains some 30 types of bioactive plant compounds called polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.  

Numerous studies have connected antioxidants with reduced inflammation and lower risk of heart disease and some cancers. Honey also helps gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes, reduces coughs, increases athletic performance, heals wounds and fight bacteria. 

I eat raw, pure, unfiltered honey. It's worth the extra cost and I highly recommend it.

Bee pollen is good for you too

Bee pollen is another honeybee product with food value. It’s low in calories while rich in proteins, enzymes, vitamins, beneficial carbohydrates, amino acids and bioflavonoids. Bee pollen contains over 250 substances, including vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants. 

Bee pollen is a natural allergy relief and is responsible for the many health benefits of raw honey. Bee pollen contains more protein than any animal source and more amino acids than an equal weight of eggs or beef. Bee pollen’s health benefits include, fights inflammation, improves liver function, helps stabilize cholesterol, stimulate organs, accelerate rate of recovery, strengthens capillaries, helps fight heart disease and stroke.

And then there’s beeswax

Beeswax is also a valuable honeybee product, often worth more per ounce than honey. Beeswax is used in skin care products, candles, and furniture polish, along with what one organization listed as 101 uses for beeswax.

Honeybees pollinate food crops

Honeybees are also important for their work pollinating about one-sixth of flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plant.

More than a third of all crop species in the United States including avocados, almonds, and apples, depend on honeybees for pollination.“ Other examples of crops which depend on bees for pollination: macadamia nuts, Brazilian nuts, the kiwifruit, avocados, mangoes, almonds, apples, watermelons, passion fruits, and the rowanberry.

What makes bees so important for pollination is that honeybees and bumble bees typically practice “flower fidelity,” meaning that on a given foraging flight they tend to visit the same type of flower. This enhances pollination by moving pollen between the same type of flower.

Honeybeekeers

According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are about 212,000 beekeepers in the country. Honeybee farms or hive locations are called apiaries and a beekeeper is otherwise known as an apiarist. These people may employ up to four workers to manage the colonies. More people work as honeybee pollination services providers while others are employed in organizations that deal directly with bee products. About 1.5 million people whose employment is connected to honeybees.

Honeybees were thought to be endangered in the past few years due to Colony Collapse Disorder, but this fear has lessened as bees seem to be making a comeback.

Bee-loved Honey

Honey is gold. Honeybees are better than goldminers. They’re gold producers of what is one of the creation’s best sustainable foods.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.   

In the country, the virtues of a pastoral life are evident. It reminds me what matters in life: Faith, Family, Friends.

Sure, Food, Fortune, Fun are OK too, as long as these things don’t misdirect our lives.

Solomon said,

“Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

The toll is now 38.6 M Americans unemployed due not to Covid-19 as claimed by most media coverage but due to state governors’ executive order shutdowns. Meanwhile, not one governor is out of a paycheck. 

Peggy Noonan noted, “On Tuesday Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf said in a press briefing that those pushing against the shutdown are cowards. Local officials who ‘cave in to this coronavirus’ will pay a price in state funding. ‘These folks are choosing to desert in the face of the enemy. In the middle of a war.’ He said he’ll pull state certificates such as liquor licenses for any businesses that open.  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called anti-lockdown demonstrations ‘racist and misogynistic.’ She called the entire movement ‘political.’

Maybe some protestors fit Governor Whitmer's description, but not most and this is not the message most protestors were trying to convey. They were saying they are worried and facing very real financial catastrophe. Meanwhile, she plays the victim, changes the goalpost of what she says she’s trying to accomplish via her executive orders, and continues to hold tight to the reins. While people have no job, no paycheck as a direct offshoot of her shutdown polices, she still has a job and collects her check.

Protestors are also portrayed as anti-American rabble: “But this is what they’re getting in return: ‘Coronavirus protesters turn the American flag into a symbol of selfishness.’ In other words: Fight for freedom — fight for a return to saner times — fight for the Constitution, for self-sufficiency, for any of the rights that have been long-cherished, long-held in this country as God-given — and that’s ‘selfish.’”

Jobs are purportedly the concern of both the Left and the Right, but state governors have willingly deep-sixed consideration of the ripple effects of their shutdown polices in the name of public health. Now that so many governors have taken such extreme positions it’s making it harder for any of them to backtrack because, in their minds, it makes it look like they are backing down, or worse, that they were wrong all along. 

Without yielding to cynicism, it seems likely the shutdowns would not have lasted as long as they have and would not yet be in place if governors had also lost their jobs and paychecks. 

History is going to judge these statewide lockdowns harshly.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Bill Maher is not my Go-To guy, and I probably disagree with 90% of his views, especially his anti-religious worldview (He says he believes "in a force" but not religious "bureaucracy"), but his commitment to freedom of speech and open discussion is now rare on the Left, as is the point expressed here. In this 2:03 min video he speaks more common sense than I've heard from politicians, Left or Right, in three months. But he gives God no credit for the human immune system.

I still think it's interesting that Maher, Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock all stopped taking public university gigs because in this era of political correctness and self-righteous "silencing" of all with whom one disagrees the university students, faculty, and administrations couldn't handle their (free speech, crude, over-the-edge) jokes...and these guys are capital L Left. No wonder Condi Rice and a few like her also gave up on most university gigs, or I should say universities cancelled or stopped inviting anyone deemed potentially "offensive."

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.