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American higher and now secondary and even elementary education are being swamped by “woke” people looking for things about which to be offended, claiming victimhood based upon race, gender, or class, and seeking to install their propaganda at the expense of liberal education.

Universities like Princeton, Cornell, Rutgers, Northwestern, to name a few, are trying to outdo one another in proclaiming their racismabject apologies, and kowtowing to the new woke ideology. Their political correctness knows no limits.  Even elementary schools are being required to embrace Black Lives Matter racist propaganda.

The more woke education becomes the more it declines, turns in on itself, and implodes. Education is no longer perceived as a place of free inquiry and exchange of ideas to advance knowledge but as a political battleground where the Left vies for the minds of America’s youth.  It’s what one commentator called the “Great American Awokening.”

Leftists—not classical Liberals who actually believe in freedom—promote “wokeness,” to the point they don’t discuss but make demands, which turns them into tyrannical bullies. They attack and demean, destroy reputations, get people fired, and tear down history and tradition, offering racist solutions in the name of “anti-racism,” an ironic lack of self-awareness.

Woke education leftists are anti- intellectual. They believe misogyny, racism, and bigotry characterize all whites and American systems, which they say are ipso facto against women and non-binary people, affirm patriarchy, binary gender roles, and heteronormativity and thus further exclusivity, classism, racism.  They argue these terrible discriminations are irredeemably embedded in all structures, systems, and institutions (which themselves are setting on “stolen land,” rooted in historic colonization and white supremacy), so they cannot be changed, repaired, reformed, or saved. So they must be “burned down.”

So in the end, woke education is about little more than destruction in the interest of power.

I spent 34 years in higher education. Loved every minute of it. I hold a Ph.D. in political science and to this day appreciate the critical thinking, energetic grad school seminars discussing world issues, the joy of learning, the feeling nothing was beyond our ability to comprehend, and the great camaraderie with other academics. But alas that campus culture is mostly gone and what’s left of it is fast disappearing.

This is an harbinger of worse to come, because what happens in the university does not stay there. It turns up in a few years in society and culture. This is what we are witnessing now, 20-somethings who’ve been sold a bill of goods, who despise their heritage, reject its gifts, and offer no better alternative. And worse, none of this makes them feel better. They are in fact full of anxiety, fragile, and ill-prepared for life.

Woke education is not just ill-advised. It is threatening, dangerous, damaging, and destructive.

 

© 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.

Year 2020 seems to be the Year-of-Discord. We’re a divided and fragmented people, and it feels like it’s getting worse.

Christians used to disagree about music, church worship format, versions of the Bible, and lifestyle issues. Remember the old ditty, “I don’t drink, and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do?” That was funny, and though it strikes us as innocent now, it captured some of the church battles of the past fifty years.

In 2020, issues are more intense. 

We strenuously disagree about COVID-19: Wear a mask—Don’t wear a mask.

We disagree about how to deal with racism and position slogans in opposition: “Black lives matter” vs “Blue lives matter” vs “All lives matter.”

We disagree about sexuality – LGBTQ, same-sex marriage, and much more. 

…about the 2nd Amendment and defunding the police.

…about climate change, and what causes wildfires or hurricanes.

…about immigration, borders, and how to help the poor.

…about “Make America Great Again” vs. “Build Back Better.”

These issues are dividing the Church. The Body of Christ is increasingly at odds with itself.

Yet God said, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all. (Eph. 3:4-6).

Discord makes a field day for the Devil. A divided Church, one lacking unity, is a less effective Church. If we are not able to get along with other Christians in our fellowship—or God forbid we’re exchanging rancor and distrust—we are not blessed with fellowship. And worse, we offer nothing to those seeking peace and hope.

Now this does not mean we cannot disagree. In fact, respectful disagreement promotes critical thinking or spiritual discernment and wise decisions. Nor is this an argument for the moral equivalency of all issues, because this is untrue. The Bible speaks directly to the morality of some issues, while providing principles upon which we can draw to decide our stance regarding other issues. 

In all this, we must disagree in a context of a Christian faith, meaning 

--we affirm biblical values, 

--we embrace Christian liberty and allow for differences of conscience, 

--we speak the truth in love, 

--we exercise grace with humility, knowing we all see through a glass darkly.

Politics are important but not more important than Christian faith. 

We must honor others above ourselves…even and especially those with whom we disagree.

 

© 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.    

For people who ask, "What's happening in America?" The answer in part is that American social cohesion, once grounded upon a Judeo-Christian value consensus, is breaking down – No, is no more.

What's now happening daily is a titanic cultural tug-o-war of diametrically opposed worldviews. One is Christian, at least its roots, and the other is not secular per se but humanistic, morally relativistic pan-everything-ism. We are witnessing a battle of worldviews for America's soul.

Christianity once sat at the head of the table in American culture, metaphorically speaking. Now it isn't even at the table, at least not among cultural elites in academia, media, entertainment, sports, and increasingly in politics. Check out this article in West Michigan Christian News.

 

© 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.    

What is it going to take? Or bluntly, who is going to have to die before American political leaders develop the moral courage to distinguish between peaceful protestors and violent agitators bent on destruction of property, systems, and life?
 
When a "gunman" walks up to a sheriff's vehicle and shoot a 31-year old female a mother, and a 24-year-old male deputy without provocation, then individuals variously called "protestors," "Black Lives Matter protestors," a "crowd" block the emergency entrance to the hospital and chant "We hope they die," and other F-word descriptions of the police, and it gets scant coverage in certain major media, our culture is in deep trouble.
 
Wantonly shooting anyone, black or white, is not about ending racism, nor is it about anything other than evil.
 
When the Portland, Minneapolis Mayors all but sang “Kum ba yah” with rioters, only to have them turn on them; when major media tap dance around nightly violence, calling it “mostly peaceful,” when crime becomes a partisan matter, this has nothing to do with genuine interest in improving civil rights and race relations. Such anarchy hurts everyone, including minority-owned businesses.
 
I for one am concerned about the future of the USA, no matter who wins the presidential election, and I’m especially concerned about what happens Nov 3-4, particularly if the election is close.

© 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.    

Great Lies seducing American culture:

  • God and religion are irrelevant in the public space. 
  • Truth, if it exists at all, is determined not by the Creator, Scripture, natural law, unalienable rights but by gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or the latest identity du jour. 
  • Abortion is women’s health.
  • Abortion on demand is acceptable late trimester, and even after-birth or “born alive” a mother and doctor in some states can choose whether the baby lives. 
  • Sex and/or gender are a complex spectrum.
  • Cancel culture is legitimate, even if the “offense” happened decades ago, and even to getting people fired or ruining reputations. 
  • Suppressing free speech and debate are justifiable in the name of social justice.
  • Questioning the “prevailing acceptable woke narrative” is “violence” and prima facie racist. 
  • Disregard for the rule of law, violent rioting, looting, arson, and destruction of property are justifiable in the name of social justice.
  • Race matters above all else and “racial harmony” is racist.
  • Antifa is anti-fascist.
  • Black Lives Matter the organization is simply about assuring black lives matter. 
  • Moral opposition to some behavior or action makes one ipso facto a “hater.” Thus, disagreeing with Islam = Islamophobia; with homosexuality = homophobia, with same-sex marriage = bigotry; with taking a knee to the National Anthem = racism; with “All-white-people-are-racist” = white fragility and evidence of “privilege.”
  • The USA was founded not upon religious liberty but white supremacy and slavery.

“The devil…does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44). “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

 

© 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.    

 

 

Racism qua social justice has become a front-and-center issue in American society. I’ve written on the topic before, attempting to apply a Christian worldview to the subject, but there’s more to the story.

American culture, at least if Big Media is to be believed, doesn’t seem to have made much progress in recent weeks. Tensions remain high and, sadly, new incidents of police actions involving white officers and black individuals have occurred, which fan the flame of frustration among black citizens in particular. 

And there’s another influence afoot. You don’t have to buy into conspiracy theories to conclude that certain groups, Left and Right, want to keep this issue raging because in their view it helps move them toward their political goals. This perhaps is especially the case in 2020, a presidential election year in the United States.

Insofar as the topic—race, racism, social justice—is raised, comments seem to be one-sided rather than conversations, which may generate more heat than light. Examples might be the broadsides now offered regularly by celebrities and sports figures, whether on social media or covered in “the news.” Some are just virtue signaling. Some hold deep convictions and make strong comments, which is their right to make in a free society, but not much give-and-take is encouraged or is yet possible.

A number of barriers stand in the way of conversations about race, racism, or social justice right. In no particular order:

  • Nuance seems to have been lost. It’s all or none. You’re for me or against me. Either you agree with me or forget it, it’s not worth my time to talk with you. Cancel culturecan take over here.
  • Feelings not facts rule the landscape. Much of what’s being promoted on Big Media, let alone Social Media, is about emotion, passion, or “righteous anger” rather than evidence or history (in fact some of the worst arguments are ahistorical, like the idea the USA was founded upon white supremacyand has been ipso facto about slavery from the beginning, which in this view was 1619 not 1776).
  • Reductionism is the prime directive, meaning everything is now about race. This is the erroneous idea that everyone is a racist, and sooner or later racist ideas, generally white supremacy, are somehow involved in the structure and function of American society. 
  • Arguing America, the least racist society in history, is about nothing but racism ignores progress. The USA did fight a Civil War to end slavery, Jim Crow segregation laws were largely ended by the Civil Rights Movement, and the USA elected to its highest office a person from a formerly rejected race. There is now plenty of case law and cultural support for black Americans, such that nothing really stands in the way of any given person working to pursue opportunities. 
  • There is an enormous difference between the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement today and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Indeed, the BLM leaders today are not in the same league with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. BLM is an organization given to Marxist ideas, anti-American perspectives, and a comfort zone with violent protest, whereas Martin Luther King Jr’s approach was based upon peaceful resistance and nonviolence. Plus, he wanted black citizens to have access to all their civil liberties as American citizens. He did not want to destroy the American system. BLM does. BLM’s social justice does not ultimately offer justice for anyone.

For example, destroying property is not considered violence by some activists because it can be rebuilt. But what if it’s your house? Your business? A minority-owned business, like many that have been ruined in riots in American cities> 

It’s like state governors deeming some businesses “non-essential,” in their COVID-19 lockdowns. This may be fine for them, but these businesses are indeed essential to the people who own and/or work there and who depend upon them for their livelihoods. Same for property destroyed by riots. It’s violence to those owners.

  • We've been hearing, or seeing on placards, "No justice, no peace." But there is a precursor to this that the wisest political philosophers understood. "No law and order, no justice no peace." It is impossible to have the latter without the former.

No less than Pope John Paul II said the American Founding Fathers “clearly understood that there could be no true freedom without moral responsibility and accountability."

So, people who work outside the law to tear down society tear down their opportunity for what George Washington called "ordered liberty," and thus for justice and peace.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters," Benjamin Franklin

Embrace lawlessness, jettison moral virtue for the "prevailing acceptable narrative" du jour, and risk losing liberty and justice for all.

  • But if racism exists, can’t we find ways to root out the actual source of racism without falsely accusing everyone of racist attitudes and without tearing down the American system of order and liberty that gives all races the best chance to succeed?
  • Huge problems confront American society affecting all races: children born without a father in the home; female-headed households which in themselves are not the issue, the issue is an associated lack of education, undeveloped employment skills, and limited to no assistance from a spouse earning income; alcohol or substance abuse including prescription medications; poverty; mental illness; child abuse; domestic and sexual violence; human trafficking; pornography; gambling, and more. 

Each of these problems are unforced errors, self-inflicted wounds. Each involve human choices. Each can be avoided, yet they persist at overwhelming levels threatening thousands of families and millions of children. Racism exists. We should combat it based upon facts and time-tested religious values. But racism is not alone responsible for harming personal wellbeing and opportunity. 

 

© 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.