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I read articles written by conservatives, liberals, and leftists, many of which now regularly resort to juvenile insults. Name-calling masquerading as erudition. 

Words like moron, maggot, idiot, their softer equivalents goon, clown, jerk, twit, the all-purpose hater, or the latest nasty epithet du jour are now the common parlance of pundits, politicians…and people on social media. Some even use vulgarities.

Former President Trump is a leading if not the lead example of this, but he’s not alone. Playground rhetoric has been used by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, and many more politicians. It’s like there’s an arms race to see who can come up with the lowest, most childish nickname or rejoinder.

But what good is this kind of cheap shot? Calling someone with a different point of view a derogatory name doesn’t win the argument? It doesn’t encourage people to change their mind. Indeed, it can harden opposition. It only demeans, the speaker more than the recipient. 

Name-calling has tainted US politics since before there was a USA. But insults accomplished nothing back then, and they accomplish nothing now. They only divide, which is the enemy of consensus and achievement.

We can’t make others change, but we can raise the level of our own discourse. We can have a sense of self-respect that intentionally improves the caliber of our vocabulary and incisiveness of our critical thinking. We can never use juvenile name-calling again, which is what most of our Mothers told us in 1st Grade anyway.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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.    

Thou Shalt Not:

1-Enjoy wearing clothes or eating food developed by another culture because you’ll be guilty of cultural appropriation.

2-Oppose abortion, because if you do you really don’t care about women’s health.

3-Question any “settled science” re climate change or coronavirus orthodoxy because you will be spreading misinformation.

4-Express your ideas in public forums, i.e., freedom of speech, for you might use a microaggression and make someone uncomfortable, so you will be canceled.

5-Express moral convictions regarding LGBTQ+ because this makes you a bigot.

6-Be patriotic, for this is white supremacy.

7-Consider it straightforward that men who identify as women should not participate in women’s sports, for this is discriminatory, at least toward women but apparently women don’t matter. 

8-Argue critical race theory, intersectionality, and “anti-racism” are actually racist, directly counter to the tenets of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Civil Rights Movement, and you’ll be dismissed as someone caught in your own white fragility.

9-Favor border security and question the wisdom of open borders, because this makes you racist.

10-Own a gun, for this demonstrates you clearly don’t care about gun violence.

11-Disagree with, criticize, or even question another person’s behavior or attitudes because then you will be a hater.

12-Identify as an Evangelical, for this means you are a racist deplorable who endorsed everything former Pres Trump said or did, even if you didn’t vote for him.

13-Support law enforcement, for this means you are supremacist and racist.

14-Expect teachers to teach for this is common sense, something no longer endorsed by teachers’ unions.

15-Point out that every cell in the female body possesses XX chromosomes and every cell in the male body is comprised of XY chromosomes and no gender fluidity or sex change efforts will ever change this, which means that you are a hater who does not care about people struggling with gender dysphoria.

16-Note the threat to religious liberty written into the proposed Equality Act, for this makes you intolerant and prejudiced.

17-Point out the wildly anti-family, anti-Christianity, anti-American and racist values of the organization Black Lives Matter because this means ispso facto you support racism, bigotry, and discrimination.

18-Eat meat or other animal products because this is offensive to the animals.

19-Speak about virtually anything for fear of political correctness missteps.

20-Be assertive or express middle class bourgeois values for this is too much whiteness.

21-Expect media news programs to present developments without partisan or ideological messaging, encouraging citizens to decide for themselves, because this demonstrates you are hopelessly naïve.

22-Say you believe the U.S.A. was founded upon principles of liberty in 1776 not slavery in 1619, or say you believe American culture should be “color blind,” for you are demonstrating your white privilege.

23-Refer to your favorite animal as a pet for this is supremacist language.

24-Oppose the idea college debts should be forgiven because this destroys accountability and disillusions those who paid their debts, for this demonstrates you are privileged and insensitive.

25-Note the smug moral superiority of cancel culture and you’ll be considered a retrograde fly-over person.

26-Ask about a political appointee’s credentials, who is being celebrated for little more than his or her demography, and you’ll be noted as sexist or racist.

Woke-ism is about power created through victimhood. It can only perpetuate itself by continually identifying oppressors and newly perceived affronts, starting with language. Indeed, controlling the definition of words or inventing new vocabularies is one way to control the debate. 

So, to demonstrate their bonafides, the newly woke or woke activists now continuously and endlessly seek out new social activities about which to be offended. Celebrities and corporations in utter fear of being labeled “racist” or some other epithet suggesting they are not “with it,” rush to virtue signal their level of “offended-ness” and their newly declared woke status. In their rush to ride the wave, public institutions of learning embrace new “anti-racist” curricula and policies that condemn them to states of paralysis where everyone informs on everyone else or they just try to keep their head down, both approaches stifling education.

And the list of what’s not allowed or what’s racist or sexist or intolerant or “hateful” grows by the minute. The list here is simply an illustrative not an exhaustive list. But does any of this really help anyone?

Meanwhile, legitimate, needed discussions about racism, male-female relationships, gender issues, environmental concerns, election integrity, immigration policy go wanting. 

Is this the kind of country re really want?

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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 Left is a new religion in which right and wrong exist not based on objective moral truth but upon sociological definitions, the will of the moment. 

This new religiously held worldview is not confined to a given political party or denomination. 

Its tenets include pro-choice, sexual progressivism, identity politics, us vs them victim vs oppressor, multicultural relativism, “intersectionality” and a woke mentality ironically propagating racism as “anti-racism,” equality defined as equity or sameness of results, suppression of disagreement, i.e., free speech, to the point of cancelling opposition. 

This new religion now empowers much of journalism, academia at all levels, Hollywood and Broadway, Big Tech, and increasingly, big corporations and government.

Sexual progressivism is the Left’s point of the spear vs traditional and certainly Christian morality, and increasingly vs freedom of religion. To be committed to biblical sexuality is now in the Left, Big Media, Big Social Media, the organization Black Lives Matter, Amazon, and Starbucks’ view to be ipso facto intolerant and unworthy of free speech or even a right to exist. 

The Left cannot tolerate biblical Christianity, which acknowledges a real God who reveals himself and holds all accountable to the moral absolutes He wrote into the fabric of creation.

It’s going to get worse as the US rushes pell-mell to embrace “inclusion” as a sacred right.

  1. There are going to be more instances of religious liberty being challenged, or accused, or even denied based on Leftist arguments about “hate speech.”
  1. Women’s and girls’ sports are now facing a highly divisive and destructive time in which men or boys “identifying as” women or girls seek to compete in women’s and girls’ athletics. In the name of anti-discrimination and tolerance these sports are being destroyed by discrimination and intolerance toward women and girls.
  1. More organizations and individuals are going to be accused with today’s ultimate epithet, “racist,” in the Left’s woke mission to root out “privilege” and “white supremacy” not simply wherever it is found but finding it wherever any woke person wishes to say it exists.

The current Left may be a new religion, but it offers the same old story: rejection of God and truth as He revealed himself in the created order, an effort like ancient Babel to build a tower to utopia and significance of its own making (Gen. 11:1-9). But like Babel, the Left is doomed to failure because it starts with false presuppositions. 

Biblical Christianity’s ethic of love your neighbor as yourself is still the most powerful expression of acceptance, tolerance, inclusion, and respect ever expressed.  Pointing individuals and indeed American culture toward its historic Judeo-Christian moral consensus is the culture’s greatest hope.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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.    

1–What will the Internet, originally envisioned as a place open to everyone for the free exchange of ideas, become in the months/years ahead?

2–Who will control the Internet?

3–Will tomorrow’s Internet block certain religions, like Christianity—what historically has been considered a matter of religious liberty and freedom of speech?

4–Will tomorrow’s Internet censor given religious beliefs deemed misinformation or out of sync with the “prevailing acceptable narrative,” e.g., biblical moral teachings about sexuality, gender, abortion, or maybe ideas about health or climate change, etc.?

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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 all the noise, politics cannot offer solutions to most of America’s problems, which are not political but spiritual/moral.

E.g., breakdown of the family, abortion, child neglect, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, trafficking, alcohol, opioid, and drug abuse, sexuality/gender issues, poverty, crime, racism, pornography, etc. 

Solutions for these problems are matters of individual responsibility and accountability that come from our worldview, i.e., acknowledging God and truth, understanding right vs wrong, and making virtuous choices. 

James Madison said, “If there be no virtue among us, no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is an illusion.”

It’s not government’s role to instill virtue. This belongs to citizens and the church.

We’re losing this battle in many homes and certainly most schools, and churches too. The worldview being taught claims one’s circumstances are the source of problems, something outside ourselves: environment, family, government, anything but our choices. And wrong if it’s called that at all is not sin, which has been replaced by “bad luck” or victimhood or the medicalization of problems, etc.

Calling something sin sounds harsh or condemning, but if persons own their sin, they then can take personal responsibility and in turn have hope of real change through forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation. So, calling sin sin is actually a truthful way to offer hope. But if our bad experiences are always determined by something outside us we can’t control, we have no hope.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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.    

Culture is generally defined as a “way of life.” 

It involves language, religion, shared attitudes, values, beliefs, goals, social mores and habits, music and arts, laws, politics and institutions, education, technologies and tools, cuisine, clothing. 

The word "culture” comes from the Latin "colere," meaning to tend the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture.

The word therefore fits well with what’s called the Cultural Mandate, Gen 1:26-28, in which God gave humanity responsibility for caring for and developing the earth’s resources. Theologians understand this command to include not only agriculture but all forms of cultural expression, i.e., that human beings are charged by God to develop and build culture. We are to be stewards of all that God has given us.

Most definitions of culture include religion as simply one item in a list of ingredients, as if religion happens to be just another expression of human behavior not unlike wearing pants or kilts.

But the late theologian Henry Van Til defined culture as “religion externalized.” Religion is not just part of culture; it generates and determines culture.

Culture is simply a worldview made evident. It is basic beliefs worked out into habits of life. It is theology translated into sociology. Culture is a very practical expression of the common faith of a community or a people or a nation. “

“What is true for one person is equally true for a whole community of persons. In 1905, Max Weber, the renowned political economist and “founding father” of modern sociology, affirmed this fundamental truth for modern social scientists in his classic work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. He argued that the remarkable prosperity of the West was directly attributable to the cultural, personal, and ethical prevalence of the Christian tradition. In contrast to so many other cultures around the globe, where freedoms and opportunities were severely limited and where poverty and suffering abounded, Weber found that faith brought men and nations both liberty and prosperity.”

So, culture is a living color picture of our values, just as Scripture said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7 KJV).

What we’re seeing today in the fragmentation and hyper-polarization of the American culture is not simply partisan or ideological tribalism, though this exists. It’s not simply the Haves and Have Nots, a division as old as time. It’s not for sure just a matter of oppressors and victims, White supremacy and racism, or some increasingly complex intersectionality being propagated.

What we’re seeing today in the hyper-polarization and increasingly hateful, borderline violent and at times actually violent culture wars is a clash of worldviews.

One (religious) worldview acknowledges, even if sometimes vaguely and inarticulately, God, the existence of objective truth, and the reality of revealed moral absolutes that at one time formed a consensus upon which American culture was built.

The other (religious) worldview(s) rejects the idea of God and truth, even if still holding on to these words that have long since been hollowed out and lost their meaning. This other worldview(s) does not believe in any absolute other than there are no absolutes, thus everyone can do “whatever is right in his own eyes” (Deut. 12:8).

Political disagreements no longer center on differing levels or what kind of taxes should be levied or how government should encourage more job creation, etc.

Now political disagreements involve fundamentally moral considerations:

  • Prolife or prochoice.
  • Support, legalize, advance LGBTQ+ rights even where the convictions of some religious citizens disagree.
  • Legalized not simply marijuana but other narcotics.
  • Disallow capital punishment for the most heinous crimes.
  • Breakdown the nuclear family in the interests of those claiming the family reinforces white supremacy.
  • Embrace new “antiracism” policies that do not honor and extend the legal gains of the Civil Rights Movement but rather create new racial categories in every corner of modern life, and call anyone who disagrees, racist.
  • Breakdown law and order in the name of antiracism, including not prosecuting lawbreakers.
  • Refusing to reform legal immigration processes, making orderly, peaceful, and lawful immigration and naturalization possible, while opening to illegal aliens access to rights of citizens like voting, and much more.

This is an illustrative not an exhaustive list.

There is little chance of agreement or even consensus when the issues debated are looked are moral issues and those debating disagree at the level of the moral presuppositions of their worldviews.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*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.