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Jeffrey ToobinNew Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst, has been suspended by the New Yorker while it investigates his behavior and given time off by CNN to deal with a “personal issue.” He exposed himself—allegedly engaging in a sex act—on a Zoom call with colleagues. His excuse was he thought he’d muted the video and that no one could see him—nothing about why he thought having his pants down during a work Zoom call was necessary or appropriate, mute video or not. Toobin got his own hashtag, #MeToobin.

Since Toobin is a well-known liberal star conservatives have gloated online about his downfall. But this is nothing new. When conservative star Bill O’Reilly fell from the limelight due to sexual harassment claims, liberals and the Left gloated

Rose McGowan, the actress who helped launch the #MeToo movement, slammed liberals who rushed to Toobin’s defense. Toobin joins media figures Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin on the list of do-badders. And if you branch out to entertainment, there’s Bill Cosby or chef Mario Bartali, then of course the new measure of lowest of the low, Harvey Weinstein. 

The same happens in politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dennis Hastert, Republicans, and John Edwards and Al Franken, Democrats, come to mind. Then there are the big names: Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, all accused of sexual misconduct before or during office. And by the way, the same happens in religion and the Church.

The point here is not sexual misconduct, though this is wrong, nor is it that men have done this before and will do it again, not that this excuses anyone.

The point is: whether you are on the Right or the Left, Republican or Democrat, both sides of the ideological spectrum and partisan aisle have and will again sometime soon find themselves in a scandal related to sexual misbehavior.  

Neither the Right or the Left, Republican or Democrat have any room to gloat.  

If your political opposite is publicly suffering now due to sexual malfeasance, just wait a bit and your team will be in the wrong limelight soon enough.

Christians are reminded:

“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God” (Psalm 146:3-5).

Worldwide culture with all its segments, Far East or Middle East or West, is becoming ever darkened by sin. 

Sexual misconduct and perversion among society’s elite will get worse (Romans 1). This is just one manifestation of Satan’s influence as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work” (Ephesians 2:2).

But no nation-state, no politician, no political party platform or ideological manifesto has ever been able or will ever be able to resolve the spiritual challenges facing humanity

Only Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Light of the World (John 14:6; 8:12). And he has given to Christians the honor of being ambassadors:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

There is no place for gloating, only grace.  

 

© 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 years, I’ve found the phrase, “willingly are ignorant of,” 2 Peter 3:5, in the old King James Version of the Bible (the version with which I and virtually everyone in the English speaking world since 1611 grew up) to be useful in a variety of contexts. 

In other versions, the phrase is variously translated: “deliberately forget” NIV, “escapes their notice” NASB, “willfully forget” ASV, NKJV, “purposely ignore” GNT, “deliberately ignore” RSV, “deliberately overlook” ESV. 

They all mean essentially the same thing: people intentionally choose to believe falsehood. 

I’ve always preferred the old KJV wording, “willingly are ignorant of,” maybe because it is the vocabulary I learned as a kid, or maybe because “willingly ignorant” seems to me to summarize much of what I hear, see, and read in American politics today. 

I won’t provide examples. It would spoil your fun.  

 

© 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.    

Deep thoughts Saturday afternoon:
 
1-Politics is not what’s most important in life, yet politics can be constructive or destructive to individual and social well-being.
 
2-Political parties are useful, but like denominations, party labels matter less than what proponents actually believe.
 
3-Ideology, Left-Liberal-Moderate-Conservative-Right, is now more socially influential than partisanship.
 
4-Left and Liberal are not synonymous, nor are Conservative and Right, but four distinct, diverging political philosophies.
 
5-The Bible is not a political handbook but speaks to foundational issues that find expression in politics, e.g., created order; origin and purpose of life; liberty; good and evil; work and property; family; sexuality.
 
6-American society and politics are not secular, meaning irreligious, but postmodern DIY religious with no moral calculus but feelings, meaning doing what’s right in your own eyes.
 
7-I am blessed with political liberty by virtue of my birthright. Like most Americans, I did nothing to earn it. God forbid that I would ever take it for granted.
 

© 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.    

—If I burned down my house to get a mouse, a snake, or even a man-eating tiger, would you consider me rational?

—If I drained Lake Michigan because about 40 drown in the “Big Lake” each year, would you think it wise?

—If I somehow forced auto manufacturers to stop building and selling vehicles because over 35,000 die on American highways annually would you say, Yes, that’s appropriate risk aversion?

—If I labeled all American military personnel killers, then decommissioned the military because we’ve experienced tragedies like the Wounded Knee, My Lai, Abu Ghraib, would you think this action justified given these war crimes?

These illustrative scenarios sound ridiculous, and they are, but this is the kind of logic now being applied in debates ranging from Defund the Police to Immigration and Border policy to even the First Amendment right of freedom of speech…i.e., by all means don’t offend anyone and if you do, be prepared for silencing, personal ridicule, and professional ruination.

No empirical, honest and unbiased review of the actual data re police killing alleged perpetrators demonstrates police are disproportionately killing, much less hunting, black Americans. It just isn’t happening. Yes, there have been some egregious cases like George Floyd, but this is not the pattern being marketed by the Defund the Police narrative.

And given that police are by far good people trying to do a decent job serving and protecting citizens, and given that crime rates would suggest we might need not less but more police in certain areas, wiping out PDs is like burning your house to get a mouse.

But much of what passes today as political discussion (there is none) or reporting (there’s very little of this) is ideological narrative. Its’s the place we find ourselves in postmodern 21st Century America.

 

© 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.    

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.

 

© 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.    

Civil liberties are not granted by government but are guarantees against government taking them away.  

The terms civil liberties and civil rights are often used synonymously or interchangeably. Both words are used in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. But they are different. 

Civil liberties are identified in the Bill of the Rights, here called rights. They are similar to what is referred to as human rights or natural rights, those that adhere to human beings as gifts of God or designations of nature. 

They are inviolable or in the words of the Declaration, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

Civil liberties “are freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution to protect us from tyranny (think: our freedom of speech), while civil rights are the legal rights that protect individuals from discrimination (think: employment discrimination).” Civil liberties “concern the actual basic freedoms; civil rights concern the treatment of an individual regarding certain rights.”

Civil liberties are protections against government action. Civil liberties restrain governments; they list what governments cannot do. The United States federal, state, or local governments did not give us our civil liberties. They are gifts of God, ours by birthright.

Civil liberties include life, liberty, the freedom of religion, freedom of speech (expanded to expression), freedom of the press, freedom of assembly or to petition the government for redress of grievances, the 14th Amendment’s due process, the 6th Amendment’s right to a fair trial, equal treatment under the law, right to own property. 

Civil rights are actions governments may institute to extend additional protections to citizens. Civil rights list what governments must do and have been expanded over time through “positive actions” of government, for example the 13th Amendment ending slavery in 1865, the 15th Amendment granting male citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” the 19thAmendment of the US Constitution in 1920 giving women the right to vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, attempts a comprehensive list.

Civil rights include the right to vote, right to public education, or right to use public facilities. More recently, a right to privacy and the legalization of same-sex marriage have been added to American rights.

Consequently, citizens’ civil liberties may never lawfully be abridged without due process of law, while citizens’ civil rights may change over time according to new legislation enacted into law as interpreted by the courts.

In liberal democracies, civil liberties or natural rights predate and are a priori to governments. It is enormously important to recognize and remember this, particularly in this time period when a number of “big government” philosophies are ascendent and people frequently call for government to alter basic liberties according to their proclivities. And it’s also a time in the 2020 pandemic panic in which state governments via overreaching governors have issued “orders” upon orders telling citizens what to do and in a number of cases limiting their civil liberties.

The U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights may not be perfect, but I challenge anyone to cite civil documents creating a governmental system that is more protective and more supportive of individual liberty. This is a precious heritage.

 

© 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.