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Why, and how is it possible, that decades-old and influential American institutions are now in the process of destroying themselves?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #152 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

 

Referring to institutions in the West and specifically in the United States, writer and scientist Alan Joseph Bauer recently noted, “One institution after another is destroying itself, its credibility, and its influence.” 

It’s like American institutions are on a bender, rapidly adopting wrong, injurious ideas and practices based upon evil values diametrically opposed to what America has stood for since its founding.

For example, “the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to stop its offensive in Rafah. Israel will not stop its offensive in Rafah…By demanding that Israel stop fighting a critical part of its campaign to destroy Hamas, the ICJ has shown that it cannot stop Israel and is a paper tiger.”

“This empty ICJ order is one more step in the decline of the post-war major institutions that for seventy years have played outsized roles in world affairs…the FBI and DoJ have beclowned themselves to the point where nobody believes them any longer.”

“What we are witnessing is the self-destruction of major institutions, national and international. The UN, through its billion-dollar (United Nations Relief and Works Agency or) UNRWA office, was an active part of Hamas’ activities in Gaza. Their staff and facilities provided Hamas with a large part of their manpower and infrastructure.”

“The universities have made complete fools of themselves. Professors, once highly respected scholars…run interference for their demented students. Those students, after four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, don’t know which river to which sea, could not find Gaza on a map, and are completely clueless as to what actually happened on 10/7.”

Given the number of public-school boards now dominated by woke ideologues, the rabid commitment of public educators to LGBTQ and specifically trans activism, declining productivity in learning, increases in school violence and safety concerns, and curricula given over to critical race theory racism, and the indisputable fact that while universities tout diversity, equity, and inclusion, there is a decided lack of conservative voices, i.e. intellectual diversity, allowed on campus, the public is losing confidence in all levels of public education.

The medical profession, once sitting atop the totem pole of respect in American culture, is increasingly seen as a vast bureaucracy given over to dependency on government funding, overpriced medical insurance, declining scientific rigor in assessing disease, and increasing politicization seen in the COVID-19 and vaccination experience, the willingness to mutilate children in the name of trans affirmation, and an unhealthy inclination to prescribe addictive drugs.

Mainstream media lie about political matters and candidates every day, so much so that media has suffered enormous drops in credibility and for some, even viability, going out of business.

Social media, though it has grown in number of users, has declined in credibility. About 59% of American adults do not trust news on social media. Too many stories, with documentation, of Big Social Media intentionally peddling disinformation about C-19, masks, vaxxes; too many stories, with documentation, demonstrating how Big Social Media intentionally shut down conservative websites and accounts – most prominently when then-named Twitter discontinued Pres. Donald Trump’s account for what they said was a “risk of further incitement to violence” – and then evidence of Big Social Media liberal bias, anti-free speech policies, and arrogance all combined to reduce the public’s trust of social media.

“Hollywood used to be the source of American entertainment. Hollywood made the movies and later TV shows that kept Americans busy and entertained. Those days are mostly behind us. Today, movie studios insist on lecturing or looking down on the audience.” The studios seem to want to virtue signal by being the studio that speaks the loudest about an alphabet of sexual proclivities. One movie after another is going woke, then going brokeThis includes Disney, and this includes the video gaming industry.

The Trump trials are shredding what was left of respect for the criminal justice system. This follows the post-George Floyd riots of 2020, the so-called “Summer of love” featuring demonstrations laughably described in media coverage as “mostly peaceful” as fires raged behind the reporter, which destroyed billions of dollars of property, a significant portion belonging to minorities.

Then came the advent of what’s been called “rogue prosecutors,” which is to say, city, county, and state elected law enforcement officials who refuse to enforce the law. “Progressive” prosecutors sabotage the rule of law, raise crime rates, and ignore victims.”

They believe the entire criminal justice system is racist. It’s absurd, but they believe it.”

The U.S. military, once considered the greatest and best in world history, is becoming a pale reflection of itself, thanks largely to Biden Administration policies emphasizing DEI over preparedness. “Today's American military has fully embraced the social imperatives of the Left and the most progressive aspects of American society. The U.S. Air Force selects officers based on a race- and sex-based quota system for officer applicants—an affirmative action program that would make the Ivy League blush.”

Over-commitment to woke social goals, including vigorous promotion of trans ideology, alongside decreasing and under-commitment to patriotism, readiness, and excellence, has translated to the US military failing to meet its annual recruiting needs. Young Americans don’t see opportunity, patriotic pride, and esprit de corps but rather division, rancor in the ranks, absence of earned stature, and dead-end.

Churches, or religion, is also suffering a decline in credibility. Many churches are shooting themselves in the foot, going woke, then, like entertainment, inevitably, going broke. These churches think the way to save the world is not by sharing the Gospel but by blowing with whatever new wind is passing.

If it’s a new idea, if it is not traditional Christianity, it must be good, so let’s jump on that bandwagon. 

Climate change is one of those new winds blowing. Churches in Europe and now in the U.S. are drinking the Kool-Aid of this latest culture of death. Soon, the church offers nothing different from the world, for the church is the world.

American institutions are in decline. Actually, they are one by one committing suicide through their own, active efforts to advance ideas and values contrary to and directly undermining the historic ideals that made America strong in the first place.

Our culture now “believe(s) in an ever-evolving world where moral standards are not constant, not absolute, are to be defined by the individual (or government), where there is no God to provide a fixed, final answer for mankind’s reason for existence, for mankind’s hopes, for mankind’s guidance. We live in a world today where the zeitgeist is defined by Darwinian, Marxian, naturalistic, materialistic atheism—no God will save us, we must save ourselves. Our “god” thus becomes whatever each individual wants him (or her) to be. Everybody defines their own purpose for existence, their own carnal lifestyle, their own personal moral code.”

This all sounds so liberating, so nice to do what’s right in our own eyes with no one to whom we report or are held accountable.

It sounds like, at last, humanity has evolved to a level of self-sufficient pleasantry wherein life is one long bacchanalia.

Charles Darwin thought humanity would evolve without God. But we’re devolving. No God, no truth, no morality, no accountability equals no sense of purpose, progress, or hope – just meaninglessness, which human beings can’t endure so we strike out in anarchistic nihilism. Chaos. 

Look what’s happening in American and European cities, everyday in the streets. Look what’s happening to our social institutions.

You’ve heard it said that ideas have consequences. Embrace the wrong ideas and reap negative results.

America needs a spiritual awakening, and soon.

 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.  

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

*This podcast 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 or https://twitter.com/RexMRogers.

From what source do we receive our civil liberties and civil rights, and what is the difference?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #140 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

We hear a lot on social media about rights and sometimes liberties. Generally, the trend is to argue for more perceived rights for one group or another, but rarely is the word “rights” defined and even more rarely is the word “liberties” understood or distinguished.

A cornucopia of new rights—or should I say demands?—are now promoted, all in the name of addressing some perceived discriminatory wrong, or increasing the quality of life, or living our best life now, but most often, simply trying to liberate us from traditional moral standards now considered restrictive and oppressive.

People put their faith in government to provide these rights, to give us our narcissistic due by the power of legal coercion or protection, perhaps not realizing that if indeed government can give us certain rights than government can also take them away.

“The terms "civil rights" and "civil liberties" are often used synonymously or interchangeably, but their meanings are distinct.” 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

Civil liberties are inviolable or in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “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, called rights in the Declaration, are “unalienable,” meaning they cannot justly be taken away by some human power, and government is designed “to secure these rights” – not to grant them but to secure them. This is a critical distinction lost on contemporary politics.

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

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, natural or human rights, ours by birthright.

Civil liberties as enumerated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence include life, liberty. In the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers expanded on these unalienable rights to include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly or to petition the government for redress of grievances, the 14th Amendment’s due process, the 6thAmendment’s right to a fair trial, equal treatment under the law, and right to own property. 

Unlike Civil liberties that are guarantors against government, 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 15thAmendment granting male citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” the 19th Amendment 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 access public facilities, employment, housing.

More recently, a right to privacy and the legalization of same-sex marriage have been added to American understanding of basic rights.

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 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, like the 2020s pandemic panic, in which state governments via overreaching governors issued “orders”-upon-orders, telling citizens what to do and in a number of cases limiting their civil liberties.

People argue for more government to create more of what they consider rights.

Several countries now make abortion on demand a right protected their constitutions: Canada, South Africa, Uruguay, Nepal, India to name a few.

Today, a newer set of perceived rights are being vigorously promoted by leftist, progressives or so-called social justice warriors, including right to be free from pain, right to die, right to food, education, work, health, right not to be hungry, right to dignity, right to safety, right to fair rent, right to asylum, right to cultural and minority rights of indigenous peoples, right to housing – even if a squatter who has moved into someone else’s property and now is protected and legally cannot be evicted, right of criminally convicted men identifying as women to be placed in women’s prisons, right to transgender surgery, right to water and sanitation, immigrant rights, and many more. Indeed, the list is endless because every time someone thinks of something he or she does not have but desires, argues it is their right, i.e., demands, government grant it.

It’s not that all of these things are necessarily bad or wrong, though some are clearly unbiblical, but it is that the idea is lost that because something is desired does not make it a “right” that must be guaranteed by government.

Any of us would wish to be free from pain, and some among us suffer miserably, but is it a “right” to be free from pain? Where does God’s providence fit into this idea? 

Equality before the law or equal opportunity are one thing, meaning all stand on their own merits, talent, vision, and work ethic. But equity of condition in society, i.e., the contemporary definition of “fair,” means that all must be the same, leveled. 

It is the classic Marxist perspective of the haves vs the have nots, oppressor and oppressed, a philosophy based not upon freedom of honest enterprise but upon envy, entitlement, coercion, and legalized theft. 

Once God is tossed from the equation, anything goes, and American culture has done just this in my lifetime.

G.K. Chesterton reputedly said, “When people cease to believe in God, they do not then believe in nothing, but in anything.” This is what we have now, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

For example, immigrant rights have absorbed criminal rights resulting in illegal aliens pursuing whatever lawlessness they please, then claiming rights that protect them against prosecution and justice. One flaw in this argument is that if they are illegal, then they have no U.S. civil liberties or civil rights because they are not citizens of this country.

Rights, plucked from the air, are the currency of American politics and culture, with little or no consideration of responsibility or liberty.

The U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights may not be perfect, but no other civil documents create a governmental system more protective and more supportive of individual liberty. This is a precious heritage we are fast losing in the chaos currently allowed by the ruling class.

 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

*This podcast 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 or https://twitter.com/RexMRogers

Have you ever felt like the world is upside down, or have you ever witnessed something so egregious you never thought you’d see it in your lifetime?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #124 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

 

In the early days of the pandemic in April 2020, I wrote a blog in entitled “Things I Never Thought Could Happen in America.” I noted things like governors issuing “orders” requiring citizens stay home, or governors determining a) there’s such a thing as essential and non-essential businesses, b) actually assigning businesses to these categories, or the absurdity of pet, marijuana, liquor stores, and abortion clinics considered essential while churches were considered non-essential, or mayors threatening churchgoers with fines and directing police to record the vehicle licenses of anyone attending a drive-in church service, or county officials mandating churches exclude singing from live stream programs, or police empowered to break up groups of more than three people.

Looking back, these developments still strike me as examples of government overreach and a threat to individual freedom.

And now, it’s happening the way many of us predicted it would, scholars are gradually demonstrating that much of the masking frenzyforced shutdown of schools, and other fear-based control, did not prevent the spread of COVID.

Clearly, the pandemic accelerated big government trends that were already underway in the US. That was December 2010 to pick a date for end of the pandemic – Pres Biden declared the pandemic over Sept 18, 2022, then multiple sources tried to walk it back.

Then came the post-George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020, coupled with the rise of the organization Black Lives Matter, which spurred the rapid embrace of woke philosophies that literally took over education, corporations, government, even the military, leading to politically correct demands, victimhood, and the idolatry of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This, too, demonstrated and contributed to cultural moral breakdown and social upheaval.

Now, we’re experiencing more moral confusion in the aftermath of the Hamas Massacre in Israel, Oct. 7, 2023, which opened floodgates to the animosity grounding left-leaning philosophies, most especially antisemitism on campuses, in the streets, and in the halls of Congress.

These trends are all discouraging and threatening, and with the latest open hostility, even calling for genocide of Jews, it feels like we’ve crossed a critical Rubicon in our culture’s moral collapse.

And we don’t seem to have learned much from our earlier experiences, because things continue to occur in America that I never thought I’d see. 

Some are utter silliness, much are irrational, and some are disruptive to the future of the body politic. Consider these developments:

  1. Billionaire Bill Gates calling for developing new breeds of cows who do not burp as much methane so that we can save ourselves from climate change. With a straight face, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that bovine flatulence is a large contributor to global warming.
  2. A Los Angeles freeway blockedby protestors demanding a cease-fire in Gaza. Progressive Jewish organization IfNotNow, a pro-Palestinian group which supports ending U.S. support for Israel, said it organized protests timed for Hanukkah.
  3. Hundreds of people participating in a “Queers for Palestine” protest blocking the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. The protesters waved Pride flags while chanting slogans such as “queer, trans, no peace on stolen land.” 
  1. Pro-Hamas protesters threatening to kill Jewish attendees as they leave the Israeli Embassy's Hanukkah ceremony in Washington, DC. A woman screamed, "We will kill you all, occupiers."
  2. A Seattle high schooler marked incorrect on a quiz for saying only women can get pregnant.
  3. Concern about plagiarism is now declared illegitimate because such concern is part of the “white supremacist agenda.”
  4. US soccer player Megan Rapinoe, a sexually out, in-your-face, perennial malcontent, hurt her leg and said it was “proof” there is no God. She later said that playing for United States Soccer was “the worst job in the world,” this after she became famous and made a very good living because of soccer yet played poorly in her final games.
  5. A Senate staff member was arrested for filming a gay porno of himself having gay sex in a Senate Hearing Roomof the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Need I say more?

Here’s one you couldn’t imagine just a few years ago under any President, Republican or Democrat:

9. As of June 2023, approximately 16.8 million illegal aliens reside in the U.S. Since the beginning of the Biden Administration in Jan 2021, illegal immigrants coming across the nation’s open southern border with Mexico now stands at more than 3.8 million, including more than 1.7 million “gotaways” who crossed undetected,“the greatest number in historyand of any administration. Illegal aliens increased 16% during just two years of the Biden presidency such that the total is now more than the individual populations of 41 states.” The annual net cost of illegal migration was approximately $116 billion. This is not only astounding for the numbers involved, but also shocking when          you consider  this has happened because a given Administration simply chose to ignore the law, suspend policies, and in general thumb its nose at the safety and security of the American people. 

Now, about 49.5 million people in the U.S. are foreign born, the largest in history.

I have long been in favor of legal immigration, and I still am. But this willful grab for political power perceived to lodge in these immigrants is illusory and dangerous. 

    1) We don’t know who these people are because they have not been vetted, 2) Many are military age males entering alone, 

    2) the fentanyl drug cartels are using this surge to bilk Americans, 

    3) children are being trafficked in the midst of this,

    4) and while some of immigrants may truly wish for a better life, others are coming for nefarious reasons with no intention to assimilate – just look at what’s happening  in Europe.

Many European articles now replace the word “immigrant” with the term “cultural enricher,”usually ironically or sarcastically. It refers to invasion or general violence caused by people of different cultures. The phrase has roots in Germany in WWI and was used by Hitler to refer to Jews. 

The people who have been admitted en masse to European countries under the false philosophy of multiculturalism, in the hopes they’d provide a new workforce to make up for the low birthrate in these countries, 

are not for the most part integrating. They are now acting out violently, making economic and religious demands, and otherwise have become a major problem across the continent. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the effort to bring foreign workers to a happy multi-cultural society, “has failed, utterly failed.” The U.S. should have long since taken note, but it may now be too late.

10. Given my long background in higher education and love for campus life, the rapid decline of American higher education has been hard for me to watch. In the past few years, it’s been a slippery slope embracing moral relativism, the re-emergence of racial segregation in the name of inclusiveness, the destruction of standards in the name of equity, the utter absurdity of gender pronoun madness, the development of “free speech zones” because elsewhere on campus speech is restricted for a list of politically correct reasons – that is, until this past month when antisemitism has been permitted, endorsed, and encouraged at the nation’s’ elite universities. 

But you say, surely not every university is like this, nor every professor. Maybe not, at least among individual professors, but numerous incidents can be listed wherein professors were harassed, silenced, or lost their jobs because the dominant woke mentality takes no prisoners.

11. Abortion has been legal since I was in college, but a list of things I thought I’d never see in my own country still must include this travesty. Who would have predicted we’d get to a point that pro-choice advocates would refer to laws protecting the innocent unborn as “government-mandated pregnancies”? Any culture that so blithely dismisses the vitality and rights of babies is capable of any moral outrage.

There is in fact no end of ridiculous, irrational, or dangerous offshoots of humanity’s desire to avoid living as God intended. The late Christian philosopher Rousas Rushdoony observed a long time ago that there is no end to error. More recently, political philosopher Dennis Prager made a similar observation, saying in effect that the Left, major media, and the contemporary university constantly focuses upon made up “fake problems” rather than considering the real moral issues of good and evil in a real world. This seems to be the state of our union.

But as a Christian believer, our commission in life remains the same, to love God, to be ready always to give an answer of the hope that is within us, and to “let those who love the Lord hate evil,” Ps. 97:10.

 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023     

*This podcast 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.  

You’ve undoubtedly heard the rumblings about President Biden and former President Trump’s age.  Are they too old to assume the presidency?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #100 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

So the question, are Joe Biden, born November 20, 1942, now 80, and Donald Trump, born June 14, 1946, now 77, too old to be President of the United States?

Well, to speak constitutionally, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 states:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

So, are Biden and Trump too old?  According to the U.S. Constitution, no, they are not tool old.

As to the natural born citizen stipulation, this is why, for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger, now 75 but born in Austria, can never run for president. Even 100-year-old former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is not too old to be president, but he’d be excluded for the place of his birth, Bavaria, Weimar Republic.

So, regarding eligibility for the presidency, the Founding Fathers were more concerned about maturity—on the young end—and citizenship, than they were about age or aging per se. The Founders left to the voters any considerations about appropriate top end age.

“The median age at inauguration of incoming U.S. presidents is 55 years.”

“The youngest person to become U.S. president was Theodore Roosevelt, who, at age 42, succeeded to the office after the assassination of William McKinley. The youngest at the time of his election to the office was John F. Kennedy, at age 43.

The oldest person elected president was Joe Biden, the nation's current president, at age 77. Biden celebrated a birthday between Election Day and Inauguration Day making him 78 when sworn into office.”

“The oldest president at the end of his tenure was Ronald Reagan at 77; this distinction will eventually fall upon Joe Biden, who is currently 80.”

Jimmy Carter's retirement, now 42 years, is the longest in American presidential history. At age 98, Carter is also the oldest living president and the nation's longest-lived president.”

As a side note, I might also add that Mr. Carter is the most-published former president, taking this honor from Teddy Roosevelt.

“Should Biden run for re-election in 2024 and win, he would be 86 years old at the end of his second term. Former President Trump, who already announced his 2024 bid for office, would be 82 years old at the end of his second term if he were to become president again.”

“Trump was 70 years old when he took office in 2017. During his last stint at the White House, Trump faced questions about his age and health following a bout with COVID-19, which was revealed to be more severe than the former president let on at the time. If Trump were to win a second term, he’d be the second oldest president in U.S. history after Biden.”

Both men hoping for another four years in the White House are already older than the average male life expectancy in the United States of 74.5 years of age. Each is also more than a decade past the average retirement age, 65, for American men.”

“A vast majority of Americans don’t wish to see a rematch between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden next year, and their respective age is cited as one of the primary factors that would-be voters see as a concern. According to a recent Yahoo/YouGov survey, 67 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of Democrats, said that Biden is too old for another term; while 42 percent also said former President Donald Trump was too old to run again. In addition, a recent NBC survey found that 70 percent of the respondents said that Biden should not run again, and about half of them said that Biden’s age was a ‘major factor.’” “There are valid reasons for such concern among voters.”

Some arguments against voting for a person as President who is considered "too old" may include:

  1. Health Concerns: Age can be associated with an increased risk of health issues, and the demands of the presidency can be physically and mentally taxing. Concerns about a candidate's ability to handle the stress and rigorous schedule may arise.

Sometimes people note the advanced ages of many Supreme Court of the United States Justices as a comparison. But this is apples and oranges. Justices are driven between their home and office in limousines and spend their day in palatial offices with a fleet of clerks to bring them research, food, you name it, while they think and write deep thoughts on matters of the law.

Presidents also occupy an impressive office and have a fleet of staff at their beck and call, but Presidents are responsible for the security of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, they get scary briefings every day, they regularly have to make high-pressure, high-risk decisions that put Americans in harm’s way, 

they travel extensively, they meet international dignitaries, and on and on. The stress of the presidency is at quantum levels higher than anything confronted by Supreme Court Justices, so the President’s mental and physical health are of paramount concern.

  1. Cognitive Decline: There could be worries about cognitive decline or diminishing mental sharpness in older candidates, potentially affecting their decision-making abilities and judgment.
  1. Technological Disconnect: Older candidates might be less familiar with rapidly advancing technology and modern communication methods, which could hinder their ability to govern effectively in a digital age.
  1. Generational Disconnect: Concerns may arise about their understanding of a and connection with the concerns and needs of younger generations, leading to potential policy gaps.
  1. Lack of Long-Term Vision: Some may argue that older candidates might not prioritize long-term issues as much as younger candidates who have more years ahead of them.

Frankly, I don’t like it when partisans make age jokes, making fun of Biden or Trump or Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell or anyone else. Aging comes to us all.

Of far greater importance, offering plenty of fodder for discussion if not also humor, are values and religious convictions, policy positions, competence, experience, and leadership qualities.

“Perhaps the most important age-related question for voters is whether there is any established relationship between age and effective leadership. The answer might seem less than satisfying but, broadly speaking, research has found mixed results. 

For example, as leader age increases, research has found productivity and peer evaluations of effectiveness both increase while supervisor ratings of effectiveness slightly decrease.”

“In other words, there is no research declaring a certain number “too old,” as aging is an individual process.”

This all said, “Not since Woodrow Wilson's incapacity rendered him bedridden and all but incommunicado for the last 17 months of his presidency, has a president appeared so enfeebled. The 80-year-old Biden has fallen repeatedly. He often slurs his words to the point of inaudibility. His halting gait radiates frailty. Often aides must remind Biden where he is. Biden appears frustrated and angry at his increasing cognitive decline--forgetting the names of foreign leaders and close associates.To be blunt, Biden is one more serious fall from physical incapacity -- and a Vice President Kamala Harris' stewardship of his presidency. Apparently Democratic insiders hope Biden does not run for reelection—but by all accounts, must finish his term to prevent a Harris presidency in either 2023-4 or thereafter.”

I agree. There is the idea of a “young 80” and an “old 80.” President Biden is clearly an “old 80.” He is experiencing cognitive and physical decline before our eyes. In fact, one of the things that scares me is that he will not be able to fulfill his presidency, and, God forbid, Vice President Kamala Harris would be sworn in as President. She is younger, but she is woefully incompetent, inexperienced, an ideological leftist, and would be a danger to the security of the country.

While I can support many of Mr. Trump’s policy perspectives and in some ways, he may be a “young late-70s,” I also think former President Trump is showing signs of aging, not like Mr. Biden, but in Mr. Trump’s increasingly caustic, agitated, frenetic, unorganized, and narcissistic speech and actions. 

We are blessed to live in a country that has inherited a gift of liberty, opportunity, and abundance, not perfect, because we are human, still with needs to change or improve, but nevertheless, the freest country in the world. This is why immigrants come by the thousands to our borders.

We should not squander this inheritance based on ideology, misplaced loyalty to political leaders, false premises that somehow President Biden or former President Trump are the best we can do. As citizens we need to act responsibly.

May God give us wisdom, and may God bless America.

 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023     

*This podcast 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.  

It seems like politics has come to dominate our lives, but is politics after all the end-all-be-all of life?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #8 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

It is now virtually impossible in the U.S.A to make a statement—about almost anything—without someone assigning it political or partisan or ideological bias or intention. 

In other words, everything is politics

In one sense, this is true if you define politics as the “art of the possible,” the continual effort through negotiated interaction to make decisions and propel progress.

But politics that is government and public policy, not so much. Politics is not everything

In other words, there’s more that matters in life than politics, whether everyday negotiated interaction or the process of government and public policy. 

But it’s the latter that seems to have taken over our culture.

Even as we continue to walk through the pandemic, too often, common sense, health and medical counsel, and spiritual perspectives are set aside for the all-knowing god called Politics. 

In Scripture, “Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s’” (Mark 12:17).  

This we do because God created government for our good: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad…”

And then the Apostle Paul gets down to brass tacks, saying: “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:1-7).

That said, the Bible also says, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). 

So, we honor, and we render to Caesar what is due, but we render to God the things that are God’s. It is our responsibility as Christians to discern the difference

While giving honor to those in authority, the American people’s tendency has been to build up our leaders to bigger-than-life positions, to look upon them as virtual saviors. This tendency to overstate political leaders’ capacity to solve our problems has increased in the early 21st Century, at least in terms of partisanship or, increasingly, ideology. In so doing we’ve become more divisive, that is,” My man or woman is our ‘savior’ but yours is the ‘devil.’”

There’s no middle ground now. You’re for us or against us.  You’re a patriot or a traitor. Our favorite political leader is going to take us to the Promised Land. Yours would lead us, well, to Hell on earth.

Meanwhile the Bible says, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3).  

This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best.  If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, look for us on your favorite podcast platform.  Download an episode for your friends.

We’d do well to remember that political leaders have a shelf-life. They are but finite human beings with all the wonders, faults, and shortcomings this entails. Sooner or later, they all will fail us.

Politics is important, but politics is not the end-all-be-all of life.

In his book Last Call for Liberty: How America’s Genius for Freedom has Become Its Greatest Threat, the Christian scholar and social commentator Os Guinness said, “The first thing to say about politics is that politics is not the first thing.”  

Politics is not the sum total of our existence. Sure, some of our challenges require political solutions, but for the most part, politics is downstream from culture and society.

What happens in politics is a reflection or extension of what’s happening in culture and society. By far, most of our personal and social problems today are not political but spiritual.

The solutions we require, therefore, lie not in political policies but within our understanding of Godwhat he says about human beings and the reality he created and defined, and our willingness to acknowledge his truth.

Americans’ freedom and well-being have never depended simply upon leaders or politics.  

Our freedoms and our wellbeing depend upon ideals:

         “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.”

The Declaration of Independence is not Holy Scripture, but it is an incredibly well-worded, prescient document that set down ideals in 1776 for this “First New Nation.” 

The United States of America is an experiment in self-governance. It is different from any other on earth, what’s called American exceptionalism. This is not an arrogant claim to better-than-thou but a recognition that no other nation was built upon not government-given but God-given human rights. For more than two hundred years, with adjustments, the American system has worked amazingly well. 

One of the keys to its success has been a confidence in people, individuals free to live out their faith in God, to live according to his principles, and to exercise the talents he granted us.  

Our freedom has not come from politics or politicians or partisanship or ideology as such. It comes from our Sovereign God, who entrusted us to maintain it. To take freedom and well-being deeper into this century, this wise perspective needs to be rediscovered.  

Everything may be politics in a broad sense. But politics is most assuredly not everything.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022    

*This podcast 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.    

Given the division, rancor, and politicization of virtually everything—along with the social media-driven “hater” mentality—have we witnessed the death of discussion?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #6 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

During the U.S. Presidential campaign in February 2016, I stopped posting political content on social media. I just quit cold turkey.  

Before this I’d tried to post about issues. I didn’t mention just one but always several candidates, attempted to be non-partisan, never spoke negatively of the previous Administration, and in no way attacked Democrat or Republican candidates or otherwise use my social media to campaign. In retrospect, I guess I was naïve. I actually tried to conduct a discussion about important issues. Usually, it didn’t happen.

I found that people didn’t read the nuances of what I said, and they didn’t discuss the issue. Mostly, they reacted emotionally, defending their partisan view and/or candidate—who I had often not even mentioned—and frequently did so with rancor not found in my posts. 

I also noticed that my comments about political issues, in part because they got hi-jacked, divided my family, friends, and colleagues. People just couldn’t hang together for an issue discussion without quickly voting each other off the island.

At that point I decided political posting wasn’t worth dividing or losing friends. So I stopped.

Some of my friends have stopped referencing any social or political topic on social media too.

It isn’t that they don’t have opinions or that they don’t care, though perhaps some are less politically interested than others. They don’t want to get into a back-and-forth vitriol on opposite ends of the teeter-totter. 

Think for a moment about “panels” on major television news channels: 

these panels have largely devolved into shout fests about who can talk overtop the other. There’s not much reasoned discourse. 

This same kind of phenomenon showed up not long ago when my wife and I attended a home-gathering comprised of people from the same church—middle class Midwesterners, most who’d grown up locally and graduated from the same high school and who otherwise had much in common. It was a very nice evening. Then someone mentioned the U.S. President relative to a given political issue. Just like that the group divided, including a few prickly comments and negative facial expressions that stayed that way until someone changed the subject. 

Amazing. Good friends suddenly turned edgy when politics came up. 

So the old maxim stands: “Never talk about politics or religion in polite company.”

Years ago, I wrote a book called “Christian Liberty: Living for God in a Changing Culture” (Baker, 2003). I talked about God’s moral absolutes—not a long list by the way— for all times, countries, and cultures, which we ignore at our own peril.

And I talked about the enormous room for discretion, or better, discernment with which God charged us as a way of making good decisions about cultural matters (Phil. 1:9-11). As long as our attitudes, viewpoints, and actions do not violate the moral will of God, he gave us the liberty to decide and to be different.

But I said then and I still believe today, Christian liberty is the least understood and least practiced doctrine of the Bible. I cannot prove this, but I experience it regularly. People in the Christian community do not allow for differences in others.

This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best.  If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, look for us on your favorite podcast platform.  Download an episode for your friends.

Growing numbers of people in our country and culture do not want people to speak if their views diverge from what the dominant group considers correct. 

The answer to opposing views is not a free and open debate on the merits of the argument but to silence, somehow to keep the other view from being heard

If it is heard, then the solution is to react with emotional diatribe or attacks on the character of others who hold the “wrong view.” People who disagree with your view, or who might offer critique, are called “haters.”

The First Amendment’s guarantee of Freedom of Speech is no longer considered a sacred political ideal for whom men and women have given the last full measure of devotion to protect.

We’ve come to a point in a so-called post-truth culture in which politics and polarization are so pronounced we can no longer communicate, resulting in a virtual inability to discuss, much less debate, any social-political issue without it exploding into defensive partisanship, ideological condemnation, or lack of civility.

Discussion, at least public discourse, is dead on arrival

I’d like to discuss political issues via social media but to do so invites dysfunction. 

I think this is sad, among believers an absence of Christian liberty,and among the public, a disappearing understanding of what Freedom of Speech means in and to a constitutional republic.

This trend, whether from Left or Right, is not good for the future of this country.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022    

*This podcast 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.