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I don’t comprehend how celebrities think. Probably because I’ve never been one, am not one, am not the son of one, and never will be one. But still, not all for sure but a bunch of ‘em that make social media “news,” what are they thinking?
 
1—Work to be famous then whine about lack of privacy.
2—Wear provocative clothing and post selfies then say how “hurt” they are by online comments saying they’re beautiful etc., calling this sexual harassment.
(I recognize there are indeed vicious forms of harassment online re sexuality, race, religion, politics, you name it, and in no way excuse it.)
3—Assume anti-gun or gun control positions then travel with armed security.
4—Call for open borders but live in fenced and gated communities.
5—Virtue signal their global warming bona fides and ostensibly low carbon footprints then fly globally in private jets.
6—Like to convey they stand on moral high ground yet criticize the morality of the “wrong” party while remaining silent about moral failures in their party.
7—Often reject Christianity, saying it is prejudiced toward the latest sexual permutation or racial justice then oddly wink while supporting various global religions that marginalize, persecute, and prosecute women, minorities, et al.
8—Bluster they will move to Canada if the wrong person is elected but, alas, they never do.
 
Culture and various self-appointed celebrity influencers say things like, “We should all be entitled to live without judgment,” meaning no one should question anyone else’s behavioral choices. But really? What if the choice is murder, child abuse, terrorism?
 
Labeling behavior sin, that God calls sin, is not harsh, judgmental, or hateful. Actually and ironically, this truth-telling offers a “second chance,” because there is a remedy for sin. There is forgiveness, reconciliation, transformation. So speaking the truth in love with gentleness and respect is not hate, it’s 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.    

Ipso facto. It’s a Latin phrase meaning an inevitable result, by the fact itself, or that a specific outcome is a direct consequence or effect of some belief or action. It’s what we’ve come to in American culture.

If you hold to traditional or biblical moral standards, you now can expect ipso facto to be called intolerant, bigot, prejudiced, discriminatory, hater, or depending upon the issue, homophobic, transphobic, or sexist.

This is now par for the course, especially given Year 2020’s wholesale rush to throw off moral codes, law and order, and common sense.

Consider March Madness. According to the author of a recent piece on Oral Roberts University’s run in March Madness, the school’s views regarding homosexuality are “wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency…prejudiced teachings and moral regressiveness…toxic notions of fundamentalism that fetishize chastity, abstinence…their anti-LGBTQ+ stance, which is nothing short of discriminatory… decrees banning homosexual conduct, stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and specifically banning male students from wearing makeup.” For this the author argues ORU, which “is a hotbed of institutional transphobia, homophobia with regressive, sexist policies (with) no way to separate their men’s basketball team from the dangers of their religious dogma,” should be banned from the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The author provides no actual examples of the phobias, i.e. hateful acts toward someone, that she decries, and she does not acknowledge that ORU forbids not simply homosexual activity but all sexual activity between non-married individuals. Apparently, she is unfamiliar with the First Amendment, because her values are more righteous than thou and thus trumps religious liberty. In her view it is acceptable for her to be prejudiced against Christian teaching and to deny Christians their religious freedom to hold to matters of moral conscience.

As I’ve noted before, sexual progressivism is becoming the point of the spear for the Left, a way of advancing its agenda while overpowering religious or specifically Christian traditional views of morality

This is now becoming a growing concern for Christian colleges and universities, so ORU is not alone, and will not likely be alone going forward. In fact, along with churches, Christian colleges and universities stand in the way of the Left’s march toward acceptance of its sexually progressive, brook-no-debate orthodoxy. And it’s happening to states and other entities without overt religious commitments but with concerns about fairness in athletics. Consider North Carolina.

Whatever one thinks about ORU, the university’s articulation of its views about LGBTQ are in line with traditional Christian views of morality, and for that matter, what most of the general public considered moral until only recently. 

What is called the Gay Rights and later the LGBT Movement is not something routed in antiquity but one developed just in the past 70 years, for example, some highlights:

1969 – The Stonewall Riots, NYC. Stonewall Inn a clandestine, gay club in Greenwich Village.

1973 – Homosexuality no longer considered mental illness by American Psychiatric Association.

1978 – Rainbow Flag first used in a Gay Pride parade.

1979 – first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

1980 – American Psychiatric Association added gender identity disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). 

1980s-1990s – AIDS.

1993 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” via B Clinton, allowing Gays to serve in military. Law repealed under Obama 2011.

2013 – DSM changes gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria.

2015 – Boy Scouts lift ban on transgender.

2015 – Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US 644 (2015), same sex marriage allowed by SCOTUS.

2016 – Military allows transgender soldiers to serve openly but curtailed by President Trump 2018.

2021 – President Biden via Executive Order lifts ban on most transgender individuals serving in the military.

From a Christian point of view, the Word of God does not change and has not changed. What God considered sin or immorality before the 1970s He still does today. And it should be noted the Scripture does not say homosexual immorality is somehow a worse form of sin than heterosexual immorality.

God as Creator gave us a perfect design that met humanity’s needs. But in 2021, American culture largely embraced the tenets of the Left’s sexual progressivism in the name of personal freedom. If “consenting adults” are involved one may do what one wants and no one should judge. Any one or any organization that disagrees with this view is ipso facto a bigot and a hater, to be denied, suppressed, removed, ruined, stamped out as unworthy.

Sad to say, but this ipso facto equation is going to get worse.

 

© 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.    

Christianity is often reduced to “Don’ts,” restrictions, perceived prudish limitations. And it’s true, there are “Thou shalt nots,” but that list is actually rather short. These principles are given to protect us from harm and evil, so we ignore them at our own peril. 

But Christianity is also about so much more, about goodness, order, blessing, peace. Christian faith in the Sovereign God provides meaning (w/o God you can’t determine who you are or why you exist) and truth (w/o objective truth you don’t know right from wrong, fact from fiction), defines reality (w/o the Creator you live in a world of your own making governed by unreason, irrationality, insanity), and produces grace (w/o God there is only power not mercy) and hope (w/o God, the future is an abyss). 

The intellectual decadence of our age claims Christianity is irrelevant. But this is delusion for Christianity is in the 21st Century temporally applicable and eternally significant…and you are eternally significant, made in the image of God. Know Christ, live out a Christian worldview, experience light and life, and promise.

 

© 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.    

I understand that I do not understand:

--How this country seems to have fallen off a cliff called common sense and rationality in just 12 months.

--How anyone can argue with a straight face that abortion is about “women’s healthcare” and that boys/men “identifying” as girls/women and playing girls/women’s sports does no harm to girls/women.

--Why people trash American ideals when their freedom, opportunity, education, general well-being provided by these ideals enables them to do what they’re doing.

--How what once was considered sexual exploitation of women is now featured on the Grammy Awards and defended as “women exploring the power of their bodies.”

--How hating “whiteness” is somehow “anti-racist” rather than just another form of racism. 

--Why people seemingly fear the coronavirus above all other threats, including now when the initial goals for prevention, cure, flattening the curve, etc. are being met.

--Why disagreement is now so often equated ipso facto with offensiveness, i.e., if I disagree with your view somehow this means I disrespect you?

--Who died and made Big Tech King of the world.

 

© 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.    

From the moment we first heard of the coronavirus, media have provided us with a daily presentation of the nature, threat, global progress, and for some, deadly effect of the pandemic. 

With more than 119 million worldwide and about 30 million in the United States listed as confirmed cases and over 2.6 million deaths worldwide and over 535,000 deaths in the United States, clearly it is a virulent disease.

I

For much of year 2020 we heard the pandemic described as “unprecedented,” but while the coronavirus pandemic may be the greatest physical ailment to attack humanity in our lifetime, pandemics are really not unprecedented. Historically, whether the bubonic plague or the Spanish flu, great illnesses have periodically infected the human race.

II

Media, with many politicians as willing accomplices, has also treated us to a steady drumbeat of fear. In saying this, I’m not belittling people’s genuine anxieties or their legitimate concern for the elderly or other highly vulnerable loved ones. I’m simply saying media knows fear sells, so to speak, and knows it’s a good business plan for their channels to hype the threat. There’s no question this approach has heightened peoples’ mental stress. Extensive coverage of the pandemic on social media also increases people’s stress.

III

Meanwhile, overreaching government in the U.S. and around the world has leveraged the pandemic to increase political power, e.g., tapping into state emergency powers laws to introduce a steady string of “executive orders” that limited freedom, undermined civil liberties, curtailed dissent or silenced reporting all to reinforce “public safety.” 

IV

Politicians, especially executives, want to appear to be in charge. They and their supporters and to some extent the general public want them to “do something.” But what do they do in the face of a pandemic? They begin issuing a series of behavioral orders, ostensibly to “flatten the curve” or “save hospital beds” or “slow the spread” or “save lives”…  In Michigan and California, for example, these orders became increasingly obtrusive and, because politicians are not omniscient, inevitably inconsistent, contradictory, and for some, lacking common sense. Why? Because governors and public health officials play God but can’t pull off the role. 

Then there is the politics of COVID. Governments issued a string of propagandistic statements encouraging behaviors in the name of public health, like “We’re all in this together,” “Stay at home, save lives,” “Stay six feet apart,” “Wear a mask,” “Wash your hands,” “Hands, face, space.” There is nothing wrong with these statements per se. But they can become a problem when they’re promoted with religious zeal as a new unquestioned orthodoxy, about which if you disagree or act differently, you will reap some sort of dire condemnation. In this regard, these statements become big sticks to control the public.

VI

Worse, officials in several states eventually were caught violating their own policies, as if somehow such rules were for the masses and not for them the philosopher-kings. Some visited restaurants (CA Governor Gavin Newsom; RI Governor Gina Raimondo), got their hair done in salons (Speaker Nancy Pelosi), traveled to other homes or events (MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer), held gatherings (White House Coordinator of COVID Response Dr. Deborah Birx), and more. This kind of hypocrisy only undermines public confidence.

VII

Government leaders have acted as if their COVID restrictions—lockdowns, stay at home orders—occurred in a vacuum with no side-effects. Somehow, for example, governors seem to think they could require children to stay home from school to protect them from the virus yet not incur any other downsides. Actually, though, there are an enormous number of confounding variables (those that always exist but are not usually foreseen yet affect the independent and dependent variables in an experiment) and unintended consequences. We’re just now beginning to understand the huge personal, social, economic ripple effects COVID-19 lockdowns have unleashed. Some are calling these restrictions the biggest mistake in human history.


I say “unintended consequences” because I’m not accusing politicians of malicious behavior or purposefully malevolent actions. I’m just noting, again, that politicians are not omniscient, so what they do in their effort to create in essence planned economies do not work.  Planned economies have never worked. Among the unintended consequences of government pandemic lockdowns are increases in:

  • domestic, child abuse.
  • mental health problems.
  • drug and substance addiction.
  • suicides
  • unemployment and underemployment.
  • poverty.
  • hunger.

In addition, children and youth have experiencing a year of lost education. And children are damaged by social isolation.

VIII

Another and I’d say the most serious impact of government response to the pandemic has been the repression of freedom of speech, including curtailing or silencing dissent, and threats to religious liberty, in the name of public safety. While this voracious virus, bad though it is, is short-term, the loss of liberties can be long-term and of much more significant impact upon the future of free societies.  

IX

And it hasn’t just been government politicians willingly using the virus to wield power. It’s been people willing to trade freedom for perceived securityThis is a cultural trend that was well underway before the pandemic hit, but Year 2020 saw this writ large. 

This is something the late Francis A. Schaeffer warned us about in the 1970s: “I believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old will sustain the loss of liberties without raising their voices as long as their own life-styles are not threatened. And since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must promise these things. Politics has largely become not a matter of ideals–increasingly men and women are not stirred by the values of liberty and truth–but of supplying a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence. They know that voices will not be raised as long as people have these things, or at least an illusion of them.” Growing authoritarianism, he said, arises out of desperate people given to self-interest.

X

A related freedom issue is Big Tech’s selective censorship of any content it deemed “misinformation” or “dangerous” vis-à-vis the “prevailing acceptable narrative,” particularly concerning the pandemic. Big Tech has acted in a similar fashion re partisan and ideological politics, so this is also a cultural trend that’s bigger than the pandemic. But with its actions, Big Tech affirmed a kind of monolithic COVID orthodoxy that must not be questioned, thus curtailing the free exchange of ideas. Big Tech has also threatened religious liberty, not with anti-religious statements but in suppressing religious posts or videos a committee working with Facebook’s “Community Standards” (which are not all bad or wrong) decides is somehow unacceptable. 

“The argument is made that First Amendment speech protections only pertain to government action, not private companies. But technology has enabled a concentration of private power not previously imagined. The Communications Decency Act could be amended such that speech on technology platforms receives the same protections as all speech protected by the First Amendment.”

“In no “free” society can mass censorship, by government or the private sector, be considered a positive trait. History teaches us that when censorship occurs, authoritarianism is not far behind.”

Some states are now finally beginning to push back. Let’s hope their efforts are the beginning of a trend to curtail the excesses of the Big Tech monopoly.

I don’t claim to have identified all the negative side-effects that have resulted from COVID politics in 2020-2021, only highlights. There are more that we’ll come to understand with the passing of time. Hopefully, we’ll consider them objectively.

But for now, chaos, confusion, irresponsible and hysterical media, opportunistic politicians, we’ve seen it all. The pandemic has brought out the best, the noble in some of us, and the worst, the ignoble in a lot of us, particularly among the ruling elite and the tech oligarchs of Silcon Valley.

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, COVID-19 will pass as other plagues, afflictions, and pandemics before it have passed. But it remains to be seen if or when the steady increase of government power and consequent loss of individual freedom in the United States will be stopped or reversed. Pray that it will, for the future of this free society depends upon it.

 

© 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 some time now, I’ve been saying that sexual progressivism (abortion, LGBTQ+, SOGI=sexual orientation and gender identities) is the point of the spear for the radical Left’s onslaught on American culture.

In the name of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion—or negatively stated, attacking those who disagree as bigots, racists, or haters—the radical Left is conducting a full-on, worldview-based, ideological attempt to rewrite America’s moral consensus and identity.

The sexual progressivism of the radical Left overlaps with equally pernicious movements like “woke” race and gender wars and ugly efforts to cancel anyone who disagrees.

Advocates of sexual progressivism know their demands cannot mutually exist with biblical morality, so Christian teachings about sexuality and the family are now targets for suppression. In this way, both freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the First Amendment are threatened. Pastors in some European countries, Canada have been charged with hate speech for preaching biblical moral views of homosexuality. This could happen in the U.S.

The radical Left’s politics, as almost daily propounded, show up in Hasbro declaring Mr. Potato Head henceforth gender neutral, several of Dr. Seuss works deemed racist, the Cartoon Network running public service announcements telling children to “see color” when they look at people, public school districts and universities adopting policies and curricula demanding gender neutrality and gender-neutral pronouns, Coca Cola instructing employees to “try to be less white,” or celebrities and some corporations falling all over themselves virtue signaling their woke bonafides asserting their support for the latest amoral radical Left orthodoxy.

The radical Left keeps moving its goal posts, for it is never satisfied, in large part because each cultural victory is a matter of power and a step toward its utopian vision. However, another sad consequence of all this is that sexual progressivism’s results or its reality is not a happy place. The people caught up in this movement, who are not simply activists but participants in this false sexual worldview, find an endgame of sadness, suffering, self-harm, destruction of life and relationships, and all too often, suicide. Sexual progressivism that rejects God’s design for the human being yields nothing but darkness. They need our compassion and the Light of the Gospel.

In none of this am I supporting the denial of any American citizen his or her civil liberties and established civil rights. Nor am I in any way advocating any kind of personal animosity, much less harm. But I do disagree with the moral choices referenced here. This is what I'm talking about, ideas and values. For the individuals involved, God says to Love our neighbors as ourself.

Finally, there is much about this that is sad and frightening, including that these irrational arguments suck the air out of public discussions that should be taking place about genuine issues re sexuality and race in America.

 

© 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.