Donald Trump, Political Correctness, and the Sexiest Woman

trump two

Do you feel that? The emotional anticipation in your bones as you are wondering how something positive could be said about silly ol’ Donald Trump. Impossible, right? Or could it be that a figure as polarizing as he causes your emotion to have a presuppositions on one side or the other?

This was the case when I commented on a friend’s Facebook post a compliment of how Donald Trump may “inadvertently” bring something positive to our country, in terms of political correctness. The feedback from others was quick disregard of anything I brought up. They jumped the gun to assume I was a die-hard Trump supporter of hatred, when that simply is not the case. Just because I say that one musical group has a particular virtue doesn’t mean that they are my favorite. Neither does it mean that there are not many other artists out there who are better.

Their reaction is understandable – so is much of our nation’s reaction to Trump and with any topic or person so polarizing. Just bring up abortion and watch people’s head explode.

But for a second, can we dive deeper? We have to go deeper than Donald Trump and the other candidates. Deeper than the election. Past our feels and past our self. Not that those are bad things, bu to take a second and reflect on whether there may be trend happening that we are a little too blind to see at the moment?

Three points:

1.What is the New Age of Political Correctness?

One may suggest that if I were to say some of what Donald Trump says in my own workplace, I’d be fired. That is correct. Although, that is not the issue; the issue is that I can say something far less controversial at work and still get fired in Today’s society. A celebrity almost can’t almost anything on Instagram or Twitter without getting verbally attacked by millions of people. Most stand up comedians now avoid performing at college campuses because the college students boo them at the first offensive joke

Political correctness at its core has good merit, but we are increasingly abusing it to the point of chaos. Our society has turned the action of “political correcting” from a transitive verb into an intransitive verb. That is, it should be applied to a direct object, but in Today’s world it doesn’t need an object anymore. Political Correctness is now a means to an end – You start with the end that you want, and then you work it backwards to fit what you want inside. It is a person without a set principle. As the 1800’s government reformer Samuel Smiles said,  “A man without principles and will is like a ship without compass; it changes direction with every change of mind.”  

This new age political correctness is like a powerful, untamed snake. Who can comfortably live around snakes?

 

2. Why is the new age political correctness dangerous?

If being politically correct has changed to an intransitive verb AND we’re working a means to an end…then any goal that we’re working towards is no longer an actual goal we’re trying to attain because there is no standard since the standard is always changing. Progression is effective only unless it eventually finishes on some known objectivity which it is destined for. Otherwise we are left with an open-ended path that leads people into a bottomless pit of insane, never-ending bickering.

Lets put it this way: Historically, successful societies would base their standards toward what they saw as perfection. Whether it be God, gods, a king, a famous warrior, a hierarchical  governmental system, or some other large historical figure – a morally perfect being or system. They had an end goal to march toward and this kept their sanity intact. Today, the perfect being is bodiless because it has no standard behind it anymore. His every purpose in life is purposeless. Therefore, our guide that we’re marching toward is empty.

When a man secretly adores a picture in the Sexiest Woman Alive magazine, he subconsciously seeks for his wife to look similar to that standard. The man who dislikes his wife for not looking like ANY woman, would be considered foolish and even asexual. Our nation’s thinking is not asexual, but it could be leading to infinite irrationality.

Our desire for growth and improvement may be deceiving us in a way. Our desire for altruism slowly turns into a subconscious desire of egoism. In that, we are wanting everyone to satisfy something at one end and then contradicting ourselves in another end:

The extreme feminist claims that she should be treated just like every man, then she expects for a man to pay for her dinner on the first date.

The atheist and scientific materialist claims that the Bible is false because the Holy Trinity does not make sense, but then they claim to adore the unseeable astrophysics theory of event horizons and black holes.

One ethnic group claims that police are unfairly killing their innocent, then they turn their
head as people in their own ethic group kill one another.

Another ethnic group claims not to be racist, then actively moves far away to areas where they are the only ethnic group around.

As Chesterton famously said, “In an author’s book about politics, he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book about ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.”

Not having an end standard could lead to a society of never-ending contradictions. Madness. Insanity. People in an insane asylum swear that someone is out to get them, though they have no proof to back it up.

 

3. Is  Donald Trump inadvertently good for America’s future?

The ongoing reaction of Trump highlights our increased emotional sensitivity as a nation. Maybe if elected he could miraculously swing the pendulum of political correctness back toward the middle. Wishful thinking, huh? haha.

He is in NO way our nation’s savior. Neither is any other candidate. Trump has said some foolish, horrible things. There is never going to be a candidate, democrat nor republican, who can save us. Everyone can agree that Trump’s style and credentials, or lack there of,  could make him the riskiest presidential choice of all time. However, there are two sides to a risk.


At the same time, lets be honest with ourselves and admit the climate our nation is in right now and not ignore the depth of
SOME of what he’s saying. Lets not let our feelings cloud reasoning and create biases that could potentially hold back our thinking. Let’s investigate what he is saying and truly see if it is plausible or not.

contradictionWe already have uber low attention spans (especially millennials) and limited knowledge of what is going on around us. In today’s world, we are becoming more and more limited in objectivity.  Additionally, most of us are not aware of the geopolitical ramifications of what been going on in the world the past 20, 50, 100 years. Who can say they know about the root of the Syrian conflict going back to 1916? Who claims understanding of the complexities of ethnic, cultural, religious, linguistic and economic realities all over the world and how they tie back into our life? We are very limited in scope and knowledge.

There is only one Savior we can cling to who actually comes through for us. He, my lovely friends, is Jesus. The perfect standard.

 

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HALLOWEEN: Joel Osteen RETURNS

There I was, lazily sitting on my parent’s comfy sofa in their Atlanta home a few weeks ago. I was watching old NBA highlights on YouTube when, unexpectedly, my father’s brother walks in through the front door. My cool uncle. After greetings, he led our conversation through such topics as life, dating, and then he somehow switched to Joel Osteen. I was shocked! Apparently, he had read a blog post I wrote over a year ago on Osteen’s teaching and my uncle has had a few reservations since then.

Though my uncle does not fully agree with Joel Osteen’s ministry, he wanted me to understand that his teaching is not wrong because still does large amounts of good and gives purposeful drive in people’s lives. I then brought up many of the points that I wrote in my past blog post, here.

We continued on until he asked a certain question that I was unable to give a solid answer to at the time. That question is what I will now address: He asked me… how do I know that what I am saying IS correct and what Joel Osteen is saying is NOT correct?

Now there are two ways to hear his question. He was not “entirely” asking me to biblically show him proof for which preference gives a governing, correct version of God’s message – though that is possible and has been done numerous times before. His question is for the breakdown of a fundamental rule(s) of how a particular person can come to know that whatever he or she believes – within a particular society, system, doctrine or group – governs over a different belief, within the same context.

Well, to my handsomely cool uncle, the answer involves four aspects: facts, intuition, reasoning, and authority.

When you take what you believe and find that (1) the facts are clear and undisputed, (2) your basic intuition is undoubtedly intuition, (3) your reasoning which connects this intuition with the particular belief is strong, and (4) you are in agreement with humanly or divine authority; then there is a good chance that you are correct and you can trust in your warm blanket of thought. The more that each of these 4 factors is not met, the more you can conclude that your belief is probably wrong.

(There is much to say on this topic, but it will be greatly shortened for a low word-count, ha. Neither is this only limited to Osteen’s teaching)

As to the Facts. It is agreed among everyone that happiness, wealth, and health are beautiful gifts. Lets say that the prosperity gospel is true. If this is so, then overseas missionaries should be getting the best treatment from God. If belief in God were numerical then no one would have earned more points than a martyred missionary. But the fact that they are killed for their faith to begin with goes directly against the promise of prosperity teaching. That argument/teaching collapses. The same goes with most people in the Bible. Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man alive. A few verses later we see John The Baptist being beheaded. It seems that any prosperity preaching is more so a rhetorical account of someone who is already in a prosperous position … likely a pastor. Therefore this teaching isn’t based on fact because it is barely an observable opinion.

As to Intuition.  Intuition would be the ability for our mind to perceive self-evident truth. If A equals B, then anytime you have A then you should have B as well. If being a Christian and fully trusting God to give you prosperity works, then it should always work. Since most Christians, historically and today, die without ever having prosperity then it seems that prosperity and Christianity do not go hand in hand. Such an opinion is highly improbable of being true.

As to Reasoning.  Proving the prosperity gospel is a means to an end. In order to give the teaching a firm and sustaining foundation its reasoning must always work backwards. You must start with the end that you want, and then you work it backwards to fit the Bible in. So you work in a few things Jesus said; but only a few. You’d omit his teachings on salvation, hell, sin, and even omit mentioning his death on the cross. Because you’d want more members and just mentioning a guy being beaten bloody and nailed onto a tree isn’t a crowd pleaser; catch my drift. Then you’d re-word a few of his verses to fit your style (something Joel Osteen has said that he does). No one starts fresh with the Bible and concludes with the Prosperity Gospel, you must start in reverse… because the end must always be the same. That is how you can have people speaking believable heresy; since the lines can be constantly moved to maintain their preferred end. Still, why can’t we keep prosperity teaching AND include the whole meta-narrative of the Bible? You cannot because the latter portion would directly interfere with sustaining the foundation of the end goal of the prosperity portion. Each book of the Bible rubs against prosperity teaching.

With this reasoning piece we must always be careful that we do not have a passion swaying our mind. We are always liable to be corrupted by our passions when we are considering truth and falsehood. When a popular sports athlete gets in trouble, sometimes we’ll side in their favor not because they are innocent but because they are on our favorite team. Do you read for yourself that Jesus wants you to have financial blessing? Or do YOU just want to have financial blessing? I think I remember verses cautioning on that.

This reasoning style is a game that only makes sense in the context of the end goal. A logical fallacy game. Admittedly, I use the same tactics to argue that Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan  😉

As for Authority.  Since his question is not for the Biblical answer, we can leave out divine authority for now and just address human authority. The prosperity gospel has only been around in the past 70 years. Therefore, we’ve found something new under the sun that was not taught by any of the apostles nor by any of the old church writers. We would then have to say that we have found something that the Apostle Paul was not aware of. We would find that Augustine, Blaise Pascal, Charles Finney, John Calvin, Leonard Ravenhill, Thomas Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards, and the writings of many others are against us. We would not be able to find any literature to back us up that is dated before the 1960s. Whatever authority we find 2000 years prior to the 1960s would not mention the prosperity gospel. Surely we could not have been so far incorrect all those years. Somehow we were always intellectually off until this recent generation of fast cars and Facebook. That basic assumption is flawed in itself. With that said, human authority does not seem to line up with the prosperity gospel either.

So, Uncle. That is my answer to your question. I pray this helps. I love you.

Same-Sex Marriage, Michael Vick, and Mythical Blindness

Goodness gracious, I would probably wash Michael Vick’s feet if I could! If there were 25 hours in a day, I would decrease my working hours as an engineer and apply for a part-time job to be Vick’s personal butler.  Vick is without a doubt my favorite athlete of all time. I grew up in Atlanta and had just reached the age of sports awareness while Vick played there. It was awe at first sight. Every Sunday that the Falcons played was like watching the Grand Orchestra playing a rhapsody on Broadway. I kid you not, from 2002-2006 Michael Vick had the entire city of Atlanta in the palm of his hand … and infamously lost it all.

To this day I am still one of his biggest fans and can intellectually break down why he is one of the greatest football players to ever play in the NFL. I can even pull a Jesus card of forgiveness to defend him. I mentally look past the dog-fighting but, in my numerous debates of defending him, I sometimes dive into the dog-fighting discussion and use cultural relativism to twist Vick towards innocence. I may not be able to convince a person of Vick’s professional value but, with the same token, it is nearly impossible for me to lose a debate on the matter. My brain has been trained to interpret any inflow of NFL/social data related to Michael Vick INTO his favor. This tendency is called confirmation bias. This dynamic is seen all throughout our society; usually to the detriment of our society. We have a tendency to leave objectivity behind and grasp ever-so-tightly to any subjectivity that currently suits us, our values, goals, or the people we love.

This can be clearly seen in the domain of the Same-Sex Marriage and homosexuality. Very rarely does a day go by where there isn’t a new article on Google News, or some other news outlet, of a parent writing a touching letter to their child that has recent come out of the closet. They then vehemently fight in favor of same-sex marriage. In addition, there are also many news stories of people treating a homosexual with hate or bigotry. The socially liberal-leaning media is rampant in news outlets and hunger for these type of stories. My curiosity looks into the people who rejoice as these stories strengthen their ranks in favor of same-sex marriage and expose people as wrong who oppose them. My conclusion is that they treat the same-sex marriage issue in a similar manner that I treat my reasoning for Michael Vick – skewed, biasedinconsistent, and selectively blind

Not too long ago, I had a family member go through an abortion. Knowing that abortion is sinful I could have given my two cents before the abortion happened. Nonetheless, I stood back and disgustingly, in my heart, hoped they’d choose abortion. Because it was more convenient since I’d also be affected. Looking back, it is obvious to see just how unknowingly cloudy my judgement was when put in that emotional situation. At the time, I was not thinking about God’s creative design but selfishly about emotional convenience. Hmm, seems like I became one of those parents who change their mind on homosexuality as soon as a loved one joins the team. Look at how biased, selfish and blindly hypocritical we can quickly become. What causes this?

Based on whatever our mental bias may be we will have a natural tendency to interpret news, decipher scripture, and receive information in a manner that reaffirms our current beliefs. We see this is politics, sports, relationships, and other areas. The homosexuality topic is a tricky one because it is very hard on emotion and is a concrete reality in today’s society. As the late philosopher David Hume would somewhat put it, “Your brain attains more and has higher effectiveness when going through tangible, vivid and intense experiences than with the experiences gained from listening or reading abstract ideas (i.e. God, The Bible, parental sage advise).” Unfortunately in our American society, God and the Bible are generally seen as abstract ideas at best. Because most people do not see God as physically real and the supreme creator, it becomes easy for Satan to influence mass amounts of people into believing other ideas via various “concrete, intense experiences” of life. I am not using the term “intense” as an exaggerated term, but more-so as something we sharply value or anything we can immediately relate towards (i.e. A child you love coming out of the closet, or Michael Vick playing amazingly well throughout the influential years of your puberty).

Ephesians 6:11 and John 8:44 describe the Devil as tricky, deceitful, and ingenious. If this is the case then it would be wise for us to look into what he could possibly be doing here to make God seem abstract. At least three things are obvious:

(1) Satan is doing his best to downplay spiritual warfare in America. In third-world countries demons and the tangibility of spiritual darkness is so rampant that it is downright trite in some nations. In America, however, Satan can sit back and allow our love for material and self destroy us … leaving us astray from the awareness of spiritual warfare.

(2) Satan uses our busyness to keep us from having quality time to spend with the Lord. All throughout the Gospels we see Jesus escaping everyday life just to spend time with the Lord (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35; 14:32-34). He needed that valuable time as it kept him focused on where God wanted him to be both mentally and spiritually.

(3) The Devil is steadily twisting Jesus’ death on the Cross into a fable. We tend to read the Bible as if it were the casual comic book section of the newspaper. Yeah, abstract idea.

With those objectives at play, along with others, Satan is subtly able to skew our historically biblical view of relationships between men and women toward a secularized, unnatural view. Would it not help if we spent as much time as possible with God where we acknowledge Him and the death/resurrection of Christ as tangibly real? Knowing who we are as sinners lines us up in the best place for us to allow Jesus to take us where he has always designed us the be. Should we not be careful of the things we value and hold up high? Yes, lest we give Satan a chance to pervert an outside idea that centers around that particular love. But hey, who cares…maybe it’ll be fine. Maybe I can just continue on romanticizing Michael Vick. Surely that will get me far in life.

Cute Puppies May Make the Best Atheists!

I hate my roommate’s dog. My roommate loves his dog.

I hate way his dog charges the front door when I arrive home. I hate the way he watches my every movement as I eat. I hate the way that he follows me when I am cooking. I hate the sound that the hardwood floor makes as he gently walks around. I hate the way he stares at me as I walk up the stairs. While at work, I have daydreams of doing “things” to that dog.

My roommate adores his dog. He loves the way his dog joyfully greets him every time he comes home. He loves the way his dog easily follows instructions. He loves that his dog will relax with him on the couch and also go jogging with him. My roommate loves to tell people about his dog. Even if they are separated whenever my roommate is out of town, he is constantly worrying about his dog.

I do not necessarily hate the dog. However, I do not like him. However, my roommate does like him. Who is correct in their thinking? Him? Me? We have two opposite and competing solidarities. Who wins? I have a coworker that is from a country where they eat certain dogs in their soup. There are numerous other countries of the like. Are they more hateful than I am since there are killing dogs? Or are they better than me because it is purely acceptable in their country?

I have joking debates with my co-workers at least twice a week about the benefits, or lack thereof, of owning dogs. Usually I am alone against 20 other people. It is safe to say that I have yet to win one of those arguments. At least once a week my roommate will ask if his dog has won me over yet. Haha, he honestly believes that I am going to “cave in”. Maybe I was born during a full-moon and, therefore, have been genetically predisposed into disliking dogs because of werewolves.

Ohhh yes, the werewolf. Such a mythical, fairytale creature. Speaking of fairytales, here is the thing about atheism: There are similar age-old questions that many people have asked since the beginning – Is God good? If God is real, the why is there evil? Is Christianity good for the world? The believer would say that God is good and Christianity is good for the world. On the other hand, the atheist would say the opposite. Who is correct?

Lets presume that the atheist is correct. Lets say that because there is so much evil in the world, that there is no such thing as a god. With that in thought, if there were no god, then religion would also be bad since it is based off of a false notion. The collapse of atheism occurs because there is a problem with stating that there is evil in the world:

  • When you say that there is such a thing as EVIL, you are also assuming that there is such a thing as GOOD.
    • If you say that then you must also assume that there is a moral law/moral standard that differentiates between GOOD and EVIL.
      • Now if we admit there is a moral law, then there MUST be a moral law-giver who supplies this information … hence, God.

Therefore, if there is no God, then there is no moral law-giver. If there is no moral law-giver then there is no moral standard. If there is no moral standard then we have no way or reason to distinguish between good and evil. If we cannot differentiate between good and evil then we cannot even say that there is evil in the world. Atheism, in this argument, collapses on itself. #Fairytales. Yeah, fairytales.

A rebuttal is that humans are able to differentiate between good and evil due to human solidarity. From evolution, we have evolved into having an innate sense of “knowing” good and evil. The problem here is that if macroevolution is indeed real, then morality has to have evolved along with it. Our behavior as a people should be improving. This does not seem so as the 20th century was historically the bloodiest time in the history of the universe. Even today we have a plethora of technological advances and medical breakthroughs, but our selfishness allows for people to die from curable illnesses EVERYWHERE (violence of omission). Our greed has caused breakdowns in ALL aspects of our society. With technology we build more efficient warfare weapons. The 20th century alone drew more blood than the previous 19 centuries combined. Second and third-world country rebellions and causalities have become so cliche that our news media would rather talk about Justin Bieber’s latest excursion.

It can be said that we have evolved into knowing morality because we have learned to help one another in order to survive. This is a half-truth. We have also killed one another, conquered countries, and cheated on exams in order to progress together as human beings. Who can then say that one way is correct and one is not when they both achieve the same goal. Some people prefer to cheat on an exam rather than study for one. Some people do not like dogs staring while they eat. Where do we find objective standards? It will sound arrogant to some, but the source has always been God.

Romans 1:20 is going to claim that evidence of God’s existence can be seen in everywhere. It can be seen in the greatest, extraordinary things of this world. It can also be seen in the smallest particulars of this world. Are we opening our eyes to see the Truth? The same problem that was blinding our grandparents, Adam and Eve, still blinds us to this day. Luckily, Jesus left his throne and came to earth to die and resurrect for forgiveness of our sins. Luckily, for those who believe, the blinders have now been lifted (2 Corin. 3:14-18). We have freedom to see! Praise God, we can see!

The Praise of Cute Babies, Ryan Gosling’s Abs, and Holiness

There we sat in the movie theater, with about 200 other people, just in time to see the opening of Crazy Stupid Love. With this being in the genre of a romantic comedy, it is safe to say that the female gender took the majority count in the room, ha. Midway through the movie we finally approached the imminent flirtatious scene between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (my future wife). What happened next turned out to be hilarious – Ryan Gosling takes off his shirt… and on the 32-foot tall, 75-foot wide movie theater scene, 200 people received a full HD view of his 8-pack abs. I kid you not, every girl in the theater automatically gave some type of audible reaction. 70 girls gave a deep gasp, 70 other girls giggled, and 30 other girls clapped. The 30 guys in the movie theater just smacked their teeth in a jealously retorted gesture. However, the reactions from the girls were priceless. There was a warm delight that triggered in their eyes and bubbled up into a spontaneously audible reaction. An external praise.

ImageNow, let us ask ourselves a question: Why is it that there was such outward expression givien off by those girls? Why did they not just feel the delight and keep that feeling to themselves? We know that their reactions to Ryan’s abs were not forced out but, on the other hand, were naturally performed. That action is slightly weird when you think about it, is it not?

Another example – In the church that I attend we have experienced this “baby boom” over the past 10 months. Literally, there are babies everywhere. I am scared. (I have a prophetic theory that the babies are going to take over the church and turn us into their slaves… but that is neither here nor there). One established fact is that the babies are awfully adorable. I mean my goodness they are precious.  They turn heads like it’s their jobs. People are continuously complementing the babies, continuously gathering around them, and continuously telling other people about a new baby that they must see. What is it that causes us to react like this? It is not as if we haven’t seen a baby before.

The answer happens to be the exact same reason that God asks us to praise him. All throughout the Bible we see numerous instances where God says to give him joyful praises.  C.S. Lewis, who used to be a staunch atheist until his conversion, used to hate Christianity for this reason. He felt as if God was this old beggar-woman asking for praises all the time. After his conversion, he realized the truth behind why God demands that we praise him:

C.S. Lewis –

Just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: ‘Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?’…

…“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”

What Lewis is saying is that the reason girls in a movie theater naturally give an external reaction to Ryan Gosling’s gorgeous abs is because their joy in those abs does not feel complete until they let it out. The reason we tell people about cute babies is because we have to share this news in order to complete the feeling. The initial joy is fuel that leads us into some form of obedience to achieve the full joy. We see this with Instagram and Facebook as well. We post pictures of the coffee we’re sipping or the delicious meal we’re eating because we must tell someone. Weird, huh? We do it all the time. We are by design worshipers and want people to join us in that feeling of gratification. God wired us for this. God’s demand to praise him is not meant for Himself.  God does not need our approval. He tells us to praise him because in the act of praising we walk into a fulfillment of the eternal-like joy that we were created for. If God loves you he would want what is best for you. What is best for you is Himself. In order for your joy to be naturally completed, it must be expressed. The scriptures are hinting to us, “do you want fullness of joy…do you want everlasting peace and freedom…then praise God in all things with all your heart.” Isaiah 25:1, Psalm 150:2, James 5:13, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, etc.

The Lord wants us to understand that anything we praise that does not end in praise of the triune God will be fleeting (Job 7:6-7, Psalm 144:4, James 4:14). Ryan’s abs will not last forever, babies eventually reach the terrible twos, delicious sandwiches will quickly disappear, and Tom Brady will eventually grow too old for the game. Unless our everyday pleasures end in ultimate praise in Jesus Christ then those pleasures are restricted. Everything that is seen is transient. Our hope lies in focusing more on what is unseen. Jesus takes our sins, dies on the cross in our place for our sins, then rises from death. He gives us his righteousness. He gives us his heart. The more our affections are stirred for Christ, that joy will fuel our obedience to worship, to evangelize, and to naturally give off fruits of the spirit…freely. Not as a job or obligation but because we already feel his affections for us. Continually sitting underneath this Gospel story causes us to continually remember, which in turn, naturally triggers that “joy of eternal significance”. That joy that creation yearns for.

Let us adore Him. Let us praise Him.

Sources:

Reflections on the Psalms. C.S. Lewis. 1958.