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My recent SAT-7 USA blog, What I've Learned From Middle East Believers, listed a few lessons gleaned from eleven years of service, during which I've developed good friendships with believers from more than a dozen countries.
 
The USA is experiencing serious social and political unrest. Some are afraid for the future, not simply or necessarily due to the election of the Biden/Harris team but due to what they consider genuine anti-Christian trends in American culture. This involves suppression of speech online by Big Tech and in workplaces, especially the academy, as well as incursions on freedom of religion across the country. Some of this is rooted in government-instituted responses to COVID-19 in the name of public health, some of it is rooted in emerging and rapidly ascendant new woke or cancel culture.
 
As I say in this piece, "What God’s providence is for the future, I do not know. I do know that Americans can learn from our Middle Eastern and North African Christian friends on how to live out our faith in an unfriendly culture or government, how to be resilient in faith, and how to care for believers here and abroad as God continues to work His perfect will."
 
I salute my Middle Eastern and North African Christain friends. I believe we now need to learn what "Middle Eastern and North African believers have long since learned, the wisdom of 'Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation'" (Psalm 146:3).

 

© 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 Nashville bomber, who damaged 41 buildings and injured 3 people, reportedly believes shape shifting, blood-sucking reptilian humanoids are invading earth to control the human race. He apparently thinks these lizard aliens hang out in the local park.

Some of the Capitol Building invaders, damaging the seat of democracy and causing the injury or death of 5 people, were adherents of QAnon, a collection of conspiracy theories arguing an underground cabal of Satan-worshipping, pedophile, liberal elites control everything globally, including the deep state clandestinely running the US government, funded by their human trafficking sex ring.

It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. Now it is a casualty of peace. American culture has been jettisoning belief in truth, i.e. moral absolutes, since at least the 1960s. “Post-truth” and “truthiness” are now part of our vocabulary.

When truth disappears, there’s nothing left but superstition, fakery, myth, talking points based on emotion not evidence, and outright paganism.

American culture and many of its leaders have been seduced by the dark side and are now sadly the victim of our own unforced errors, self-inflicted wounds, bad choices. Satan, the father of lies, is having a field day. How else can we explain lizard people?

This is not simply a problem of the Left but also the Right, not a problem unique to one party but not the other. Hypocrisy is rampant across the board.

So, “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).

Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Focus upon this, test what you hear, think critically not emotionally, learn and use a Christian worldview to critique every political leaders’ values, statements, and actions, do not look to government or politicians as your source of hope, do not mistake your politics for your faith.

Our Christian friends in the Middle East and North Africa have lived for decades in countries and cultures where government is not friendly to them. They put their faith in providence not politicians and politics. We can learn from them.

 

© 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.    

Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, has been around for decades, but a new, aggressive Corporate Social Activism took a big leap in year 2020.  

“Through pronouncements, policies, boycotts, sponsorships, lobbying, and fundraising, corporations are actively engaged in issues like immigration reform, gun regulation, racial justice, gender equality, and religious freedom. This is the new reality of business and social activism in America.”

Such corporate social activism is no longer about ethics but ideology. “In a highly polarized and fragmented society such as the one we live in, taking a political stand and engaging in social activism means supporting one ideology and one party over another. We can certainly see how this could become a breeding ground for controversy and contention not seen through traditional corporate social responsibility measures.”

Here are a few examples:

-Nike’s collaboration with Colin Kaepernick.

-Starbucks embrace of LGBTQ+ causes, including informing stockholders that if they didn’t like it, they could leave.

-Chick-fil-A’s stance, based on religious views, against LGBTQ+ causes and later reset indicating the company welcomed and would serve any customer.

-Innumerable companies, including professional sports, Amazon, Facebook, promoting Black Lives Matter the organization and other “social justice” causes.

-Big Tech banning Donald Trump permanently from their communication apps.

-Dick’s Sporting Goods deciding not to sell guns.

-Big box discount stores, including Walmart, deciding not to sell ammunition that can be used in semi-automatic rifles and handguns, then Walmart returning guns and ammo to their stores.

-Corporations increasingly making “anti-racism” policies a required part of their employee training.

This list does not include companies that have rushed to establish COVID-19 protocols.

Some backlash to corporate social activism is possible:  Assistant Professor of Management Mary-Hunter McDonnell, says, “We’ve seen a 75 percent increase since 2000 in the number of social movements targeting firms.” “Firms are increasingly more vulnerable to activism, McDonnell noted, thanks partly to the rise of socially conscious consumerism. Millennials, who are more inclined than their elders to link their purchases with social causes, look for products that meet their needs and express their political values as well. Also on the rise are socially conscious investment firms—up from 55 in 1995 to 260 in 2007.”

This new corporate social activism is fostered in part by three larger, interconnected factors in business, law, and society: 

(1) the convergence of government and private enterprise, 

(2) the maturation of corporate social responsibility efforts, and 

(3) the expansion of corporate political rights.

First, the public responsibilities of government and the private endeavors of business have blurred as government and business frequently act in interchangeable ways. Given this public-private convergence, activists seeking social change will pursue not only traditional public channels of government but also the new private channels of corporations to achieve their goals. Moreover, contemporary political gridlock and obstructionist partisanship have made new corporate channels of social change more appealing relative to the traditional public channels of government. Second, the maturation of corporate social responsibility efforts is another key contributing factor in the rise of contemporary corporate social activism. As businesses profess and position themselves to be socially conscious, social activists will more readily try to leverage the tools and resources of businesses towards achieving their aims. Third, the expansion of corporate political rights has played a significant role in fostering contemporary corporate social activism. Following the landmark cases of Citizens United v. FEC and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., business interests are playing an ever-growing role in politics, policymaking, and social activism. Consequently, social activists have made greater efforts to leverage the expanding political means and influence of corporations to serve their ends. Collectively, these three factors have created fertile conditions for corporations and social activists to engage one another on some of the large, pressing issues confronting contemporary society, leading to a new form of corporate social activism.”

“While one can be reasonably and cautiously optimistic about the long-term outlook of corporate social activism, one should also recognize the very real, potentially corrosive effects that such activism can have on our politics, our markets, and our society.”

It's a free country, or at least it is so far. So corporate social activism would seem to be part and parcel to individuals in these companies making decisions to pursue social causes and also assuming the risk that consumers may take their business elsewhere. This is true, for example, with Starbucks. If you don’t like their politics, there are countless other coffee cafes available to you.

The problem, though, arises when companies hold a monopoly or nearly so, like Big Tech. If Facebook, Google, Twitter and the subsidiaries they own like YouTube or Instagram or WhatsApp decide to put the kabosh on conservative or Christian or any other viewpoints, what alternative online communications platforms are available to them?

If professional sports athletes want to engage in social justice issues re their views on racism, which most recently has been BLM, more power to them. When teams and game telecasts make BLM messages central to their offerings, fans are left with putting up with the propaganda or turning it off. (I’m not talking about being in favor of racism or in any way justifying it – I’m talking about being opposed to BLM’s values and methods that are antithetical to Christian and I’d say American ideals.) There’s nowhere else to go. This is the sad politicization of professional sports

Again, I have no problem with businesspeople or professionals including athletes promoting their political views. I do have a problem with them making these views a condition for engaging or acquiring their goods and services, meaning forcing their views on consumers.

Corporate social activism today is taking on the methods and characteristics of woke and cancel culture, i.e., we are right, you are wrong, and you should be silenced. This is a smug authoritarianism, and it is a dangerous precedent and bodes ill for the future of a free society. 

 

© 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.    

In the wake of a challenging political week—

I find interesting the Apostle Peter’s (1 Peter 2:12-13) direction on living in an irreligious society:

1-“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

OK, got that, but then he immediately follows noting government:

2-“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors.”

In other words, if we want to live right and live well, we mind our own character, then honor current government. 

If you think this is difficult in the US today, remember the government Peter referenced was the Roman Empire and the despicable Emperor Nero.

 

© 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.    

If I were Pres-Elect Joe Biden and I was interested in reducing public angst, unifying the country, and beginning to look forward, I would never mention Pres Donald Trump by name again, starting immediately. In this, Mr. Biden can leave campaign mode at the door.

Mr. Biden could still contrast his views with what he considered wanting in the previous Administration, but without making it personal. Given Mr. Trump’s egregious persona, the temptation to hit back is understandably overwhelming. But doing so only digs a deeper hole, and Mr. Trump is not off the hook. He will still have to deal with his own issues.

I earlier made the same recommendation re President Trump’s ongoing, needless blasting of former President Obama. 

Knocking one’s predecessor is an injudicious ego trip and inherently divisive because it implicates all those who supported the former incumbent. It suggests blame and rejection to a group you wish to unify and inspire. Besides, for Trump, being ignored is the greatest possible affront.

This no-name approach makes it easier for the new President to be positive, make conciliatory comments, build bridges, and promote tranquility. Biden’s age, like Gerald Ford’s lovable clumsiness, could help him here, and like Mr. Ford after Watergate and a Pres who resigned in disgrace, reinforce work toward “a time of healing.”

I won’t hold my breath, but I’m hoping Mr. Biden is more wise and magnanimous than partisan.

 

© 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.    

 

“Cancel culture” is not a myth. It’s been happening weekly for months on university campuses and in some corporations, a new kind of social authoritarianism that can’t abide ideas or even people with which it disagrees, so abandoning free speech by “silencing” is its death penalty. 

The Left (not Liberalism and not Democrats or Republicans per se) is propounding a cultural revolution based on a worldview that contradicts and opposes Christianity, which means much of American history and its ideals. The build-up for this reaches back into the 1960s, but the outright cultural coup of 2020 has been unbelievably swift, solidifying earlier gains by capturing academia, media, corporations, and, sadly, many in religion who trade doctrine for “cultural relevance.”

This is not what our soldiers n sailors fought n died for in yesteryear’s wars. This is an attack on America’s most basic, defining character. 

Pray those in political leadership discern between policy that reinforces liberty and justice for all versus policy that is about power and pandering the few.

 

© 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.