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I saw a car the other day with a bumper sticker that read “celebrate every color.” On the one hand, this is a fine message since it attempts to treat all people equally. However, I find the concept of “celebrating color” to be troubling. Why should we celebrate the color of our skin? Why don’t we celebrate every eye color? What about every hair color? Why just skin?

There are all sorts of external differences between humans, but we don’t tend to form identity groups based on those. We come in a variety of hair colors and eye colors but we don’t group people by such things. We don’t identify with others because they have the same eye color as us. We don’t have government reports that distinguish the crime statistics of blondes versus brunettes.

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About a year ago, I explored the notion that Republican-led states (known for being more relaxed in the area of Covid restrictions) were experiencing a higher rate of Covid-19 deaths than Democrat-led states (known for being more stringent in the area of Covid restrictions). Specifically, I wanted to see if there was a correlation between the severity of a state’s Covid restrictions and their death rate. I found that there was not. Some of the strictest states had higher death rates, and some of the freest states had lower death rates.

A lot has changed since last July, and now that the pandemic is essentially over, I wanted to re-run the data and see how the states fared at the end of the day. This time, I added an additional data set to the mix. We know that the majority of Covid deaths occurred in elderly populations, so states with a higher percentage of elderly people would be expected to have a higher death rate than states with lower percentages of elderly populations. Is that true to experience?

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If you had to guess, how many white people would you say have been killed by the police since the beginning of 2020? Based on media coverage alone, you might think it is fewer than five, or perhaps even zero. Now, how many black people would you guess have been killed by police during the same time period? Thousands? Hundreds?

Perceptions vs. Statistics

While most people can name several black people that have been killed by police since 2020, very few could name even a single white person who was killed. Why is that? It’s not for lack of white blood. Per the Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, cops have killed 580 white people since last year, compared to 314 black people. How many of those were unarmed? Thirty white people and 22 black people.[1]

If you’re not wondering why all of these unarmed white men killed by the police didn’t make national news, you should be. The media is pushing a particular narrative, namely that the police are racist and targeting black people. To that end, they choose only to feature the stories that fit (or are forced to fit) that narrative, and ignore those that don’t. Unfortunately, this media bias is causing Americans to think cops are nilly-willy gunning down black people simply because they are black. The narrative is that policing is systemically racist. (more…)

There’s no question that systemic racism existed in this country in the form of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the like. However, all forms of systemic racism have been made illegal since the 1960s. Systemic racism does not exist in America today. That’s not to say there are no racists left in America. Surely there are, but they are few in number. To say systemic racism no longer exists in America is to say that racism is no longer embedded in society’s systems. There are no institutions or laws that are explicitly or implicitly based on racist ideology, nor policies that treat people differently based on their race.

Many disagree with this assessment. They will agree that there are no institutions, laws, or policies that explicitly treat people differently based on their race (racism proper), but they argue that racism is still implicit in our institutions, law, and policies as evidenced by racial disparities in outcome. Black people are arrested at higher rates, have a higher incarceration rate than whites, earn less income than whites, etc.

While such racial disparities could be the result of implicit systemic racism, they could also be due to other factors as well. Racism must be proved, not assumed. If the racial disparities can be explained by differences in personal choices or behaviors, then there is no reason to think racism plays any major factor.

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Based on my research, if you have been infected with COVID-19, there is no good reason for you to get vaccinated. Getting Covid provides you with a natural immunity to future reinfections that is thousands of times more effective than the immunity conferred by the vaccines. Also, the vaccines fare no better than natural immunity at preventing the transmission of Covid. Let me explain.

Personal protection

Studies have shown that those who become infected with Covid develop a natural immunity that lasts for at least 7-8 months, and most likely, years to come. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a study that was published January 6, 2021 in Science.[1] Speaking of this study, the NIH writes: “But, promisingly, their levels [of antibodies] remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection. …. 95% of the people had at least 3 out of 5 immune-system components that could recognize SARS-CoV-2 up to 8 months after infection.”[2] A decline in antibodies does not mean that immunity is diminishing rapidly over time. Immunologist Scott Hensley, of the University of Pennsylvania, notes that “[i]t doesn’t mean that those people no longer have antibodies. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have protection.”[3]

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The telltale sign of fascism is the silencing of dissent. If you don’t agree with the fascists’ point of view, you will be de-platformed, cancelled, fired, imprisoned, or killed. Which side of the ideological aisle is engaging in fascism these days? Here’s a clue: It’s not the Right. While we haven’t seen the Left imprisoning or killing anyone in this country yet, given enough time, and given enough power, it will happen. It’s already happening in other countries, and we can see the same trajectory in our own.

Perhaps you have heard of the former Interior Minister of Finland, Päivi Räsänen, who is being charged for a hate crime because she publicly expressed her disapproval of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. She is facing up to two years in prison. Stories of people being arrested for expressing moral disapproval of homosex have been mounting over the years in Europe, Canada, and Australia. We are headed in the same direction if we keep electing the Left to positions of power because the Left is fascist at heart.

Over the last year, the Left has popularized the phrase “systemic racism.” What exactly does this mean? It doesn’t mean racism is widespread throughout America, or even that there are some racist individuals within the power structures of various social systems. Rather, it means that the very systems of our society and government are rooted in racist ideology, and thus necessarily result in discrimination against non-whites. That’s why some of those who claim there is systemic racism are also calling for us to tear down these power structures and start anew. They don’t want to eliminate the racist people from the systems, but eliminate the systems themselves. The systems are deemed irredeemable.

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If you listen to the media, you would think that Republican states are experiencing the highest percentage of Covid-19 deaths, and that this is because Republican governors were not severe enough in their lockdowns or because they lifted lockdown restrictions too early. States like Georgia, Florida, and Texas have routinely been accused of botching the handling of the pandemic and causing unnecessary death.

Based on my limited knowledge of some stats, this narrative caused my bologna detector to go off, so I decided to do a little research. I wanted to see if there is any correlation between the severity of a state’s lockdown, political parties, and the number of Covid-19 deaths. Given the media narrative, I expected to find Republican states with non-severe lockdowns topping the list, such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia. What I found is that the truth is quite the opposite. Democratic-run states with more severe lockdown restrictions top the list of Covid-19 deaths per capita.

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Makes sense.  Take a look.

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Testing

 

doubtThe sociological data is clear: Christianity is on the decline in the United States.  The decline is not limited to one “type” of Christianity (though it is more drastic in some than others), nor is it limited to a particular race, gender, or age.  It is pervasive, but the most significant loss of faith is occurring in the Millennial generation.  Only 56% of Millennials identify as Christians.[1]  Larry Barnett of The Next Generation Project (TNGP) sought to discover the cause.[2]

Using three large representative data sources[3], he discovered that doubt is the major reason people are abandoning their Christian faith.  Christians who report having little or no doubt regarding the truth of Christianity are the most likely to be confessing Christians, regardless of age.  Millennial non-doubters are just as likely as all other generations of non-doubters to be confessing Christians.  Those who harbor significant doubts about the truth of Christianity, however, are more likely to abandon their Christian faith.  Age is a significant factor among the doubters, with Millennial doubters being much more likely to abandon Christianity than older Christians.

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Cohabit - Not MarriageThe American College of Pediatricians explains why cohabitation is bad for society in just about every way imaginable.  And yet cohabitation continues to rise as the folk wisdom says it will increase one’s chances of marital success.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The most happiness does not come from receiving the benefits of marriage (sex, playing house) without actual marriage, but from marriage itself.

 

See also: The sociology of cohabitation: “Shacking up” isn’t such a good idea after all

refugeesA lot of Christians are arguing that our Christian principles, based in Scripture, demand that we welcome the Syrian refugees. This article shows why this is a hasty conclusion regarding the teaching of Scripture.

Surely the Scripture does not mean to say we should allow foreigners to come into our nation who intend to kill us (as if the Israelites would have let the Philistines or Babylonians into Jerusalem!).  And surely those who argue that Scripture demands we accept the Syrian refugees would not cite those same passages if they knew members of ISIS or Al Qaeda were among them, but could not be identified.  But here’s the thing: We know from the experience in France that terrorists are coming in with the refugees undetected, and people have been murdered as a result.  Until and unless we can properly vet these refugees to determine who is a possible terrorist and who is not, how can any reasonable person say we should just let them into our country?  It only takes a few terrorists to produce mass killing.  9/11 and the French attacks are proof of this.

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CohabitationCohabitation – the politically correct term for what used to be called “shacking up” – has become very common in our day.  Nearly 8 million opposite-sex couples live together today, compared to less than 1 million 30 years ago.  Nearly 10% of all opposite-sex couples are cohabiting, and over half of all first marriages are preceded by a period of cohabitation.

How did we get here?

How did cohabitation go from being illegal in all states prior to 1970 and held in moral contempt by society at large to being so ubiquitous and accepted today?  There are several reasons:

  • The sexual revolution removed the moral stigma of premarital sex.
  • Our culture has moved from a culture of traditions and social conformity to a culture of individualism and personal gratification.
  • We shifted from a deontological view of morality to a pragmatic and relativistic view of morality in which any activity that does not cause harm to others is morally permissible.
  • The recognition of the fragility of marriage, and a corresponding fear of divorce.
  • The rise of feminism which rejected the traditional roles played by married women. Cohabitation promised personal autonomy and more relationship equity.
  • The increasing economic independence of women made marriage less necessary for them. And men, who are generally more fearful of commitment, supported the arrangement since it still provided for their needs of sexual gratification and domestic support.[1]

Cohabitation is not what it seems

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The Heritage Foundation did a study that discovered children raised in a home with married parents are 82% less likely to face poverty.  Only 7% of children living in homes that fall below the poverty line were living with married parents. – Salvo Magazine, Issue 23, Winter 2012, p. 20.

If we truly want to fight poverty, then let’s promote marriage!

CA has proposed a bill that would allow for school kids to use the bathroom of their choice, based on their own perceived gender identity.  Craziness.

Salvo24Here is a gem from Louis Markos in “Just Brilliant: Three Things only a PhD Can Believe,” appearing in the latest edition of Salvo magazine:

Though most Americans fancy that feminism only means “equal pay for equal work,” the feminism I have witnessed being taught in our modern universities has little to do with the rules of fair play in the workplace. Students who enroll in a psychology or sociology class today, even if that class is taught in a Christian college, are indoctrinated to believe that there are no essential differences between the sexes. More than that, they are taught that there is no such thing as masculinity and femininity, that the differences we see between boys and girls are merely a product of long-standing customs of socialization, such as giving boys trucks to play with and girls dolls to play with.
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STIsFrom the Huffington Post:

According to new government reports, there are nearly 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year in this country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half of these new infections occur in people between ages 15 and 24.

Researchers also found that there are 110,197,000 cases of STIs in total in the United States right now, including those occurring in people who newly contracted an infection and those who have been living with an infection. Young people between ages 15 and 24 make up more than 20 percent of the overall cases of both new and established infections.

Let me get this straight:

  • There is one sexually transmitted infection for every three people in the United States.
  • There are 20 million new infections each year
  • This costs us $15,600,000,000 annually

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Tom Chivers defines secularism as “the belief that the state should be neutral towards the religious beliefs of its citizens.”[1]  As I read his definition it struck me how different it is from other definitions I have read, and how one’s theological bias can affect their definition.  For example, Christians have often defined secularism along the lines of “ordering society as if God did not exist, or His existence is irrelevant.”  Tullian Tchividjian defines secularization as “the process through which God and the supernatural are relegated to the fringe of what’s important in society,” adding that “a secularized society is a society that has determined to make God and the supernatural socially irrelevant even if they remain personally engaging. It restricts the relevance of God to the private sphere only. …God may be important individually but he is rather unimportant socially and culturally. He may be alive and well privately but publicly he is dead.”[2]

So is secularism the idea that government should be religiously neutral, or is secularism little more than social atheism?  Is it just a matter of perspective?


[1]Tom Chivers, “Atheism may be lonely, but it’s honest – and the loneliness can be fixed, http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100149264/atheism-may-be-lonely-but-its-honest-and-the-loneliness-can-be-fixed/; Internet; accessed 30 October 2012.
[2]Tullian Tchividjian, “The Irrelevance of God”; available from http://theologica.blogspot.com/2007/07/irrelevance-of-god.html; Internet; accessed 30 July 2007.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the birth rate has declined to 63.2 children per 1,000 women, the lowest in national history.  Birth rates are declining for those in lower age-brackets, but not surprisingly, increasing for women aged 35-44.  Unwed mothers account for 40.7% of all births.  Not good.

A lot of people think the government can recognize same-sex unions as “marriage” without any detrimental effects on religious institutions and religious liberties.  I think this is a delusion.  The legal recognition of same-sex unions will almost inevitably result in religious discrimination on a social level, and likely on a legal level as well.  

How can the government say on the one hand that a failure to legally recognize same-sex unions as “marriage” and treat them as equal to opposite-sex unions in every way is to engage in discriminatory behavior, and yet at the same time permit churches to discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to marry them?  Talk about legal schizophrenia!  Consider the logic involved: 

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