One and Only

I have had this idea in my queue for almost  a year, and I never got around to finishing it, figured it was time to remedy that.

Story Time:

I had a conversation recently too that seemed to go along with the topic (of course I’ll simplify it in the recounting.)

We were having “philosophy class” (as I jokingly call it) with mes cousines  (French plural form of “cousin” if you don’t know), and we began plying my 13 year old relative with some questions about moral compasses, and worldview.

I introduced the Kohberg 6 levels of Moral Development to him. You can Google that, I got the idea from Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire” and have found them very useful for examining people’s character, real and fictional.

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  1. I don’t want to get in trouble
  2. I want a reward
  3. I want to please someone
  4. I follow the rules
  5. I am considerate of other people
  6. I have a personal moral code and I stick to it

Well, finding his level to be from 1-3, in his opinion, maybe also 4, we asked him why. Upon more delving into worldview, we pointed out that though level 6 is the goal, according to the author of said book (Rafe Esquith), level 6 is only good if you know your moral code is good. Suppose you were Hitler, or Stalin, people with their own code… and it was of the devil. 

Well, that’s a difficult question for a 13 year old, though, I will say, one I would have definitively been tackling at that age, I’m special. But he considered it and said that “We can’t really know we’re right. Anyone could be right or wrong.”

My sisters and I exchanged looks.

“So, pluralism,” I said. “Or, Post-Modernism, moral relativity. You believe that there is no right or wrong answer.” 

“Yes, ” he said “anyone could be right, and it’s just the majority’s opinion that they are wrong.”

“What about Hitler, don’t most people feel that Hitler was wrong?” We pointed out.

After some discussion, he declare “Hitler could have been right. If that majority went with him at that time.” The rest of his argument basically constituted that society determines our moral compass because we don’t go against it, but since he admits that majority rule is really no guideline, he refuses to pick a single world view that is right.

The news that he, in fact, already has a worldview, Pluralism, seemed to come as a bit of surprise to him. Especially when I asked “Where did you hear that?”

“Nowhere” he said.

I said “But you must have got the idea of pluralism form somewhere, someone must have said it.” 

(Naturally, I was thinking of a previous debate I had with his mother while he was in the room that included the flaws of pluralism among other things, the kid had to remember that, I asked him later what he thought, his answer back then was “I don’t know.”)

Finally, he seemed to leave it at “I don’t know. I just thought of it.” 

I informed him that his view was held by quite a lot of people nowadays, though it didn’t used to be popular. Then I explained at some point that I wouldn’t have his same difficulty with answering our questions about how he knew right from wrong, because I didn’t believe in majority rule, or that people decide that answer. I’m not sure what he thought of all that in the end.

But when I looked at this old post idea, I saw a similarity:

About a year ago now, my history class was covering Ghandi for about a- week.

No denying he was a great man.  I studied him back in my homeschool co-OP days. But even back then I wondered why we were studying this philosophy as well as Christianity, theism, communism, etc. Without a real point, it seemed, except to compare them.

In this history class we do the same thing, with far less direction than before, not really discussing what was right or wrong.

I didn’t know this before, but apparently Ghandi saw it as fine for Hindus and Muslims to share their faith as both being seeking the same God.

So… yeah

I remember years ago now, I mentioned that creepy movie “Life of Pi” in a post (I could not find the post for the life of me…) Anyway, the guy in the movie is Muslim, Christian, and Hindu, and claims he gets different things from each religion.

It’s been said that to be completely open minded is to also be empty headed.Image result for open mindedness is the same as empty headed ness quotes

Image result for G. K. chesterton, 'merely having an open mind

Image result for open mindedness is the same as empty headed ness quotes

 

I hear more and more this idea, people who don’t wish to condemn religion entirely decide to just say that you can get something good out of all of them. This is the wisdom of the world.

.Image result for open mindedness is the same as empty headed ness quotes

To me, among other objections, this has always been a statement of gross ignorance of what religion is, and what some of them teach. If you;re going down that road, you can call a cult a religion, and justify some of their thinking. This is the wisdom of the world.

If anything, diving deep into other cultures for studying purposes has convinced me that if there is an obvious problem on the surface, if you go deep down it only gets worse. It does affect the whole attitude of the culture and people.

Why are some cultures so passive in the face of oppression, and others so violent about enforcing their beliefs?…Is it not because that is what those beliefs lead to?

Of course, someone could say “Well, Christianity does not always lead to peace, so how are you any different?”

Fair enough, but I’m not saying that violence is wrong, or that passivity is wrong. The Bible allows for both approaches in their proper time, Ecclesiastes 3 says “a time for war, and a time for peace.”Image result for To everythin there is a seaon, a time for war, and a time for peace

It’s a mistake to rule out any one approach completely, history will always provide you with counter examples, even if you don’t care about religion. If I learned anything from my philosophy class, it’s that someone can always find counter evidence, though we may not always decide it’s valid.

But, I find this fad of accepting all religions disgusting for another reason:

It can sound good at first, it would create peace between people if we all stopped arguing about our beliefs right? It’s our own truth, and if we respected that, no one would die over it.

Yes, Religious Exclusivity is the problem, if Muslims and Christians would just stop insisting that one of us had to be right, they’d stop killing us off…

(This is meant to be ironic, I’m not making light of either faith, but the implications that come with saying it could be solved that way)

Look, let me say it like this. I am a Christian, and I would never tell a Muslim to just be more open-minded. I would not blame them in the least for getting offended if I said that, I don’t agree with terrorism, but I agree with their sentiment that you must do whatever God requires of you, in that way, they are far more similar to us than Hinduism is with it’s nonviolent, detached way of looking at worldly things.

Of course, any extremist would be insulted if I compared us at all, but let’s just say we are both willing to die for what we believe, they are just also willing to kill for it, and not in war, where it is an understood thing, but innocent people (I know not all Muslims are extremists, just like not all Christians are radicals, but we get compared to that, so it’s the best example of what I’m talking about).

Like many Americans, I don’t consider War, or Self Defense killing to be murder, or evil, but anything beyond that is not justifiable except as legal punishment.

This is what I mean by whatever God requires of you, it should be unpleasant to have to do these things, but it can be necessary.

If we take issue with the Muslim, or Christian, because we say they are too exclusive, we fail to understand what they really believe.

Some Christians, influenced by the culture, are now trying to be inclusive. They are welcoming the LGBTQ practice into their churches, they justify abortion, they teach things that contradict the Bible, not because they have decided that those things have just been misinterpreted, but because they think the Bible can be ignored, completely, since it’s more important to just believe in Jesus and love other people.

That is an effort to make peace. But at what cost?

Jesus said “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

Yet, Jesus brings “peace on Earth, and goodwill to men?”

It can be confusing, but certainly, Jesus brought anything but peace with his ministry, always stirring up trouble with the Pharisees.

 The biggest problem in the Christian Church, at least in the Western part, is the compromise with worldly ideas.

I run into it all the time. Other people my age who just can’t understand why I’d bother arguing over beliefs. Often I find out people even at Youth Group have this idea.

The point is not that I like to argue (though I do) but that even when I’d rather not make more work for myself, I still feel I need to, not because I feel I will lose my faith, but because people need to hear.

And the question I finally want to get to, is why is it so important to have a Single Belief?

Isn’t that old fashioned? Isn’t it more progressive to try to include everyone? Wouldn’t Jesus want us to do that?

Actually, no.

In fact, Jesus might have called it blasphemy to even suggest God had part in more than one religion. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6: 15-16 “And what accord does Christ have with Belial? [a false god mentioned often in the old testament] Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols. For you are the temple of the living God.

Jesus said “No one can serve two masters.”

It could not be much clearer that it’s against biblical doctrine to be inclusive about religion.

Now, the intellectual might ask me “Why? Why does your God have to be the Only God?”

The Bible tells us (and any christian with a living relationship with God would confirm it) that God is a jealous God, a consuming fire, and that we should not serve any other Gods but him.

Or before Him, as it’s put in the older translation.

That’s an important difference. If we serve any other god before God, eventually we will not serve God at all. Why? Because the Nature of God makes it impossible to serve Him the way He requires of us, and serve another god, if you stop serving God, you’ll serve something else. You cannot do both.

Which is why I decry anyone who claims to believe Christianity as well as two or three other religions as a hypocrite who understand nothing about it.

It’s, in fact, pleasing lie to the skeptics. It gives them such a smug feeling of rubbing it in the Christians faces, I see it on YouTube all the time.

“Just let us enjoy this…”

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s religious or not…”

“Let’s all just get along…”

Newsflash: Human beings are not meant to “just get along”

And we never will, till Jesus comes back. Even then there will be rebels (see Revelation and Isaiah)

I am not sure why even we in the church are so obsessed with getting along. Jesus said we never would get along with the world. That it would hate us, as it hated Him.

It does make me mad, too, this compromise. It’s not because I don’t like to have my beliefs challenged, its because it’s fraud.

I care about truth (hence the blog name) too much to want to see it water down and mixed with other stuff like some juice concentrate. Till it’s of  no use to anyone.

And I would not consider myself a Real Believer, if I did not feel this was the only Way, Truth, and Life.

I would be more furious with someone trying to blend two incompatible religions, than one sticking to one I don’t agree with it, but doing it with integrity.

The person who knows what devotion is, can change the object of it and not lose their character, the person who never understood devotion will be useless to anyone as anything, because they cannot really believe any more than they can commit.

The problem with how little the church is confronting this belief, at least in the mainstream, is that it knocks the spine out of new believers and old alike.

They are passive, they accept the world’s way because they are never presented with an alternative.

And me, as someone who has always been fiery and passionate, have been told by my pastors and leaders that students just aren’t ready for that.

It’s a lot of poppycock, no one ever is ready. Can you be ready for God’s power? It is something only He can give to people. Do I feel ready now to do anything He might tell me to do? No, but that has nothing to do with doing it.

We are told to be ready in season and out of season, but the church is often not teaching us that we have A Single Religion, that we must not be afraid to tell people that, that if we accept multiple faiths, we dishonor all of them.

It’s like people think Christianity will somehow override the other beliefs and make the person okay, but nothing in the Bible or in history implies that is true. Everything tells us that once you let in a conflicting world view, it takes over until it’s rooted out.

I think this old song by Green Day gets more of what we’re going for here:

 

At risk of sounding nuts,  I could almost picture this song being from Christ to the church, I mean, the biblical allusions are there:

“She’s a rebel, she’s a saint, she’s the salt of the earth and she’s dangerous.

She’s a rebel, vigilante, missing link on the brink of destruction.

… She’s the symbol of resistance, and she’s holding on my heart like a hand grenade.

Is she dreaming, what I’m thinking? Is she the mother of all bombs, about to detonate?

Is she trouble, like I’m trouble, make it a double twist of fate, or a melody that

She sings, the revolution, the dawning of our lives. She brings this liberation, that I just can’t deny.”

My pastor was preaching on just this subject this week, and I would encourage any Christain reading this to see it as a call to action. I don’t know what all you can do, in your situation and life, but I know that my cousin is not the only kid who desperately needs to be taught about this, the whole world does. 

I think that’s where I’ll leave it.

 Although I literally added a bunch to this old post, it’s still like 500 words shorter than my recent ones, go figure, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

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Why do so many College Students turn out dumb?

Before you read any further, I recommend watching this video, it just popped up on YouTube and I was curious.

 

I do try to avoid politics due to not wanting to make this blog all about that, but given the current situation, of course I’m thinking about it, like most people are.

I was not too surprised with this video, just with the quick turnaround of all but one of the students.

If you must criticize someone, keep to the moral side of the issue and explain why you think they are wrong, don’t just spout off terms everyone uses and no one really understands.

Take the term “racist” no one even knows what that means anymore, it’s used so much.

Wearing back face paint in kids movie has been called racist, even though no connections to Africans were actually made.

Racist means to see someone as lesser because of their color or ethnicity. Less smart, honest, capable, etc.

The term has been expanded to mean any generalizations about a race, even if it might be considered a good thing, like black people can rap, or dance.

(Saying White people can’t rap or dance is perfectly okay, however.)

Not everyone takes it that seriously, but as far as politics are concerned, if you so much as reference what life is like in a bad neighborhood, it can be construed as racist.

Or you seeing things through your “white privilege”.

Anyway, the point is these students are clearly not thinking for themselves, and that can’t be denied, but they think they are.

The thing is, while I am disgusted, I can no longer judge them quite as harshly as I used to, because I’ve started to experience why they turn out the way they do.

A lot of them it’s their parents, but assuming not every single one of these students has liberal parents (or just ones who hate Trump) then why do they end up like this?

And some of you may even think they are right, though I don’t think a whole lot of liberals read my blog just because the nature of what I write about, but hey, it’s possible.

Or you may not be american and may not care that much.

Well, whoever you are, I think you’ll still find my story interesting.

So, before this year I had not taken any completely leftist themed classes at my college. Of course I noticed a bias in all the textbook for any of my humanities courses, but it wasn’t a huge focus, and at least one of my professors was far more fair.

Then I took a Philosophy class, and so it began.

That class was far more fun though, the real trouble was that dang history class I’ve taken this last semester.

I really began to see why college students are so dumb.

It’s a real strain on your mind to be fed propaganda constantly and tested on it, but the problem is even worse when its hidden in what are true historical events and facts, the propaganda gets slipped in with a lot of interesting and useful things.

The average college student at a public college like mine will already be primed for Leftist philosophy by their high-school experience and the News media–and Twitter.

So they enter college, and the textbook are ready for them.

All of us have been taught to be triggered by a few key words.

Black

Racism

Trump

American Supremacy,

White Supremacy,

Entitlement,

Colonialism…

Textbooks throw these terms in whenever they need the student to start coming to a certain conclusion.

To demonstrate:

When we are looking at the past hundred years and how America, England, France, Belgium, and Portugal  (to name a few, and to ignore the Asian countries doing similar things) interfered in other countries, to “improve” them, we will call it Western ideals of “Manifest Destiny.” White Supremacy, you know. Cultural Appropriation.

When we look at the past 30 years, such as the horrible holocaust in Rwanda, we will drop the political terms and start saying America should have gotten involved in another country’s business, because it was clearly our moral duty to stop them from killing each other off.

Now, when the Portuguese stopped Aztecs from sacrificing each other to gods, that was intruding into their culture

but when we didn’t interfere in Rwanda, after its own government told us not to, (for 3 months, we did help eventually) we were to blame for it.

I don’t disagree with us helping, of course. I am pointing out how doing very similar things can be spun two different ways by using the right words, and the right pictures.

There are differences between now and then, naturally. But the point of the history course is to make it clear to students that getting involved in other countries moral problems is arrogant on our part, the nuances about how and why it was done are inconsequential.

That said, how does it tie in to the present situation?

In every way.

The students even referenced some of the ideas I’ve been hearing. It’s arrogant, it’s not right…it’s America’s Superiority idea.

The college student who goes to my class is not likely to realize exactly how all this is presented to them in such a way to make sure they get to one conclusion. Because it’s sneaky.

Out of one side of their mouth, curriculum makers say they want everyone to be equal, but they make sure you know that anyone who disagrees with them is ignorant.

I got called ignorant and narrow minded, in so many words, in the class discussions, just for daring to disagree or to suggest we were being too hard on one people group. Imagine that.

It’s hard to explain unless you live through it, but even as strong willed as I am about what I think, I found it tempting to give in.

I am sure my professor would tell me if I opened up to it, I might learn a new perspective.

But I neither want to, nor see the wisdom in allowing my thinking to be influenced by these books and people. They often don’t know all that much about what they are talking about.

In fact, I read more of the curriculum, and faster, than a lot of them did.

This book covered slavery in America but neglected to mention there were Black Slave owners, a lot of them.

My professor also strove to justify the slavery in Africa as of a different nature than slaver in America… because somehow, that makes it better.

Hey, I think maybe it was, but if your argument is that slavery is inherently evil because it’s removes equal rights (the argument in every college class) then it doesn’t exactly matter how good or bad it was, the slaves were still not equal to their masters.

Digressing, College Students are not just inherently stupid.

It’s very artfully planned.

But no one can control your mind without your permission.

You make a choice at some point to look no further than school and Twitter for the worldviews you support.

Despite having conservative parents, I read liberal philosophy plenty growing up, before I even knew what it was, and later because I either had to for school, or because it was part of the book and I just had to take the meat with the bones.

It’s easy enough to get that without even trying, it’s all over TV and movies too.

But it’s far harder to get a Conservative perspective without trying to.

In fact, since we’re on the subject, I’ll open up the floor.

I am not ultra Conservative, but I’ve been raised around it and I have a pretty good grasp of the general philosophy, if anyone is curious about it, comment a question, and I’ll try to answer it.

I mean just a genuine question, like “how can you support this?” “Doesn’t it bother you when..?” “Why do you believe in so and so?”

Since I’m preaching that we should get informed, what better way to follow up than to offer to answer myself.

But you don’t have to take me up on it, just thought I’d put it out there.

The thing is, the actual students I’ve talked to don’t even know what people like me believe, and are surprised when I can explain anything to them in a way that makes sense.

All they hear from TV is prejudice, prejudice, prejudice.

And to be fair, I know the few Conservative news Networks are prejudiced against the Left, and I’ve taken some of what they said with a grain of salt.

(Though this last week, I think I’ve never agreed with them more, I really can’t believe some of the crap that’s going down.)

But I cringe sometimes, people like to say controversial stuff when they talk politics, and the drama is mostly why people enjoy it anyway, and I am not a huge fan of that way of discussing stuff, but I recognize that doesn’t make all of it untrue, just uncomfortable.

Anyway, I think I’ll have to end it there, look forward to your responses if you have some, and until next time–stay honest–Natasha.

The Shocking Truth! (most controversial post about history)

Hmm, I just found out something pretty shocking…

You know how I’m taking a history class right now?

Well, this anti-European history class covered slavery in America last month, and no mention was made of this very strange fact:

(I mentioned it to my professor who denied any knowledge of it. But I remembered it being in a movie that came out 5 or 6 years ago I think, about America.)

Did you know that there were black slave owners in the U. S.?

It’s true. It’s documented on census’es taken from the 1800s, in fact, a black man was one of the first people to legally win ownership of another black man in court

“It depends on how you parse the timeline. Anthony Johnson, the black ex–indentured servant whose bio opened the first episode of our podcast, did sue to hold John Casor for life in 1653, and the resulting civil court decision remanding Casor to Johnson’s ownership was (as historian R. Halliburton Jr. writes) “one of the first known legal sanctions of slavery” in the colonies.” (Slavery Myths, click link for full article https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2015/09/slavery-myths-seven-lies-half-truths-and-irrelevancies-people-trot-out-about-slavery-debunked.html)

There’s a book about it actually, called “Black Slaveowners Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860” See link below:

(https://www.worldcat.org/title/black-slaveowners-free-black-slave-masters-in-south-carolina-1790-1860/oclc/1124410642)

So, now you know I’m not making this up, but why am I bringing it up?

Because in a college history class, this is not mentioned. I have never seen it mentioned in any history book I’ve ever read, especially not ones about slavery. They grudgingly mention that slavery existed in Africa, taking great pains to tell us that it was “different from Western Slavery” and “Europeans made it worse” and oh, we had slaves at a time when slavery was a social norm and no one would have thought much of it.

It wasn’t, from the accounts we have of the slaves who came from Africa, the idea of slavery that they objected to, it was the nature of slavery of Europe was different, and they didn’t like it. That’s fair, but is it fair to make it seem like it was mostly the Europeans fault?

Usually, in politics, we blame the preexisting system for the fact that outside forces can take advantage of it. Like, do we blame China for the fact that we outsource our businesses to them because its cheaper that way for us, even though it’s an inefficient system that hurts the people actually making the products?

Is it China’s fault? Or ours, for building our economy on that?

No one is going to say China, here, guys.

Yet, it was somehow Europe’s fault for doing the same thing, when slavery preexisted in Africa and we could only take advantage of it because of that, in Europe, after the Empires died away, slavery was not a thing.

But, they will say, Slavery is a clear evil, and Europeans should have known better.

Well, firstly, slavery is not denounced as evil in almost every major world religion, though it is given parameters, at least in the Bible, for fair treatment, and the ability of slaves to be freed after a certain length of time.

Slavery is a historically acceptable thing, up until the last 200 years, in fact.

So, why should the Europeans have known better? Do human beings innately question things like that? We’re told it’s wrong now from preschool to adulthood, to the point where no one can have an intelligent conversation about why it happened at all, just that it was wrong.

I am no fan of it myself, I live in free country, I like freedom. I am not interested in enslaving anyone.

But I am also not interested in presenting a view of history that is completely skewed one direction, not by logic, not by virtue, but by the wish to inflate the crimes of 1/3 of the world, and ignore the crimes of the other 2/3.

I call it facing facts. The fact is, everyone sucks. No matter what country you’re from, unless its Greenland, because they never do anything that I’ve heard of (but if you go back far enough, who knows? Vikings right?)

Does it not strike anyone else as irresponsible to leave out of history books about the Slavery movement, that black people owned slaves?

I mean, doesn’t it suggest a certain… bias?

Even that one of them maybe was part of normalizing it to begin with?

That’s not something anyone wants to hear, is it?

There’s a lot of white people who get a kick out of shaming their ancestors over slavery, and it’s fair enough to say it was evil… but it’s not fair to say white people are to blame.

The terms “White Supremacist” “White Misogynist” get thrown around a lot.

And if a white person has the audacity to stand up for this country, or any aspect of European history, well, prepare for battle (I should know, I get this in my history class if I ever try to bring up counterpoints.)

Now, I am not blaming black people. (Which is a blanket term anyway, because if I said African, I’d actually exclude a lot of the countries slaves were taken from.) I think all of use are responsible. There were other races involved too. Eastern peoples.

Slavery was a Global problem, it looked different in different nations, but it was Global.

History books now slide a certain way, against White people.

Never mind that Irish, Scottish, and any number of other ethnicity in Europe could be almost as oppressed as slaves, and rarely if ever owned enough property to own slaves. And I am more those ethnicities than I am any that would have had slaves. So, as someone with a very small claim to fame in that part of history, I feel even more annoyed at the marginalization.

Profiling is only profiling if you’re not white.

I wish I was kidding, but I just watched a movie last week, a good movie, that has a couple of lines in it that are just… so, so hypocritical.

The worst is a black woman in the movie makes this joking comment “I never get tired of watching white people fight.”

It’s laughed off, and truthfully, I am not really offended by the idea of it being funny to see white people fight. I think it’s funny too. BUT

Can you imagine the same line, spoken by white person, of a black couple?

Picture it “I never get tired of watching (insert any other race) people fight”

I am pretty sure the Racist Comment Police would be all over this in two minutes.

And this movie is not supposed to be social commentary, it didn’t see any problem with saying that.

Because no one would have a problem with it, on any given TV show, because it’s okay for black people to make fun of white people because we can’t dance, can’t rap, and fight differently  (supposedly) but it’s not okay for white people to say even a good thing about black people, if we say it’s because they are black. At least not without feeling like we’re taking our interracial social life into our hands.

I know some people at my church who don’t care if I say “black” because they know I am not trying to be disrespectful, it’s just easier than trying to remember where they are from. Cause guess what? My church has had black people from the UK there, so I can’t very well just assume everyone is African American, can I? (See why that term is so stupid as a blanket term? It’s more exclusive than black is because it makes it sound like there are only African Americans, and my French Professor was black too, she was form France.)

To be fair, usually it’s other white or Hispanic people who make the jokes that we can’t say “black” no black person has ever told me they don’t like it. (If you don’t, sorry, no offense intended).

Anyway, Political Correctness is dependent upon being technically incorrect, a lot of the time, as I think the above examples illustrate.

If I suggested that black people were partially responsible for slavery on any social media platform, I would get flame warred to death.

Even if, I could historically prove I was right. It wouldn’t matter.

The reason I think I have to talk about this is because my blog is literally about finding truth, protecting the truth, and understanding the value of it.

If the truth doesn’t fit any political agenda, that’s a shame, but it doesn’t make it not true.

Well, I think this is the most controversial post I’ve written all year, I wonder if it’ll get comments.

Though, why it is so bad to just give historical facts and suggest that they should be in history books, I’ll never know. 😐😤

Until next time, stay honest and stay healthy–Natasha

Cutting off the Hand

I’ve been going through my history book’s Imperialism section. Otherwise known as the make-white-people-look-bad section.

Our companion book right now is called “King Leopold’s Ghost” it’s got its own movie, King Leopold is quite famous as it turns out, though I never remember hearing of him before now. People say this part of our history has been hushed up. Now that I’ve read of it, I think maybe it was better that way.

I’m not about suppressing the truth, but for as much good as rehashing it has done us, we might as well not.

Think about it, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But do we learn from history?

Or does dwelling on the past lead us to repeat its mistakes?

It’s a sad fact of humanity that we tend to repeat our errors whenever we are most desperate not too.

In our age’s rush to eradicate racism and inequality, we’ve gone to the other end, making more racism and inequality.

Case in point:

In my history class we’ve had two separate discussions of European conquest over black people, some Aborigines and some African.

One week, my classmate and the textbooks ripped one British missionary to shreds for presuming to eradicate the culture of the Aborigines by teaching them European ways, and how to read, and plough, and raise crops.

My reaction?

“Oh he taught them how to grow their own food, and how to read, so shoot him! That’s just so despicable.”

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For real, Education, the thing people now say changes the most for oppressed people, and brings about the most Social Equality, is decried in this case because it destroyed their culture.

I’m sure it wasn’t the fact that the army was slaughtering them like sheep, this Missionary was trying to preserve them, in the end he failed to save most of them, and felt it badly, crying at their deaths, as his own account goes. But he felt they were better off dying there than in the bush.

My classmates and the textbooks called this an attitude of “Moral Superiority.”

I called it common decency, thinking someone is better off dying with some dignity, around people who care for them, then shot in the bush like a wild animal. Morally speaking, that sounds like the superior option, doesn’t it?

I wish I was exaggerating how unfair this was. But because he was a Christian, he must be wrong for assuming he was morally superior to these people. He must be justifying his part in this.

Robinson, was his name, if you want to look it up. Robinson seems to me to be more against his own people’s ruthless treatment, then to feel he is better than the Aborigines, but I suppose I’m just too white to understand.

The following week, we discussed the Congo, the subject of the book I mentioned above.

My teacher made the ironic statement, backed up by our textbooks, that the reason things finally changed in Africa after many decades, was because some of them were educated like Europeans, and learned to speak their language and reason with them in ways they could understand.

You catch that? One week, it’s bad to educate them and override their culture, the next week it’s the only path to their freedom. (My professor said it was complicated, which is another way of saying we don’t have an answer for if it was right or not.)

I would add that is why The Civil Rights movement succeeded here in America, slaves who got educated, freed people got educated. One can quibble all day about equal opportunity, but education was the only doorway to it for them.

And it was often White Masters who educated some of their slaves, though later it was made illegal, and white people started schools for them.

It was unfair still in many ways, prejudice is ugly, but it’s kind of funny that the very people (by race) who enacted it, also gave the oppressed the tools to break free.

If you think my Secular history class at my liberal college is going to acknowledge that with any sense of injustice toward the White people for ignoring it, then…you didn’t read the above carefully.

While my class begrudgingly admits there was good Europeans, they pass over the glaringly obvious truth, that Europeans were always part of toppling the Imperialism that they enacted. No nation is entirely unified in how it perceives what its leaders are doing.

They are even more anxious to ignore the other obvious truth: Christianity, which is blamed for aiding in the oppression, was the only reason it ever ended.

It’s like an inoculation. Christianity came into the other countries with the Oppressors, like a mild form of the disease, carrying some incorrect ideas of the times, but also the worldview that does the most universally for the dignity of human life, and the value of charity. Like a vaccination, Christianity helped the native peoples build up an understanding of European ways and religion that they later used to protest their rights to freedom and fair treatment. The Missionaries were also the only ones who usually educated the natives, which is what enabled them to integrate and rise above the culture.

In effect, Christianity was warped into something that would justify White Oppression, but it also preserved the idea of all human beings having value, which later was what put a stop to at least some of the oppression.

People fault Christianity for being used the wrong way,, but will barely give a mention to how it was used the right way, to help people.

And I have yet to hear anyone talk about how Christian based systems basically give power to anyone they oppress to eventually overthrow them, based on moral reasons. It’s like they give the knife to cut off their own arm, if they start to sin.

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)

The only thing that would satisfy these people is the notion that Europeans should have just stayed home to begin with, never changed anything, and contented ourselves with our eager resources…how unrealistic that option is is negligible, because it’s clearly morally wrong to take over another country…

Says who?

I mean, are we going to start saying it’s morally wrong to take over another business? Where does it end?

Despite what they try to paint it as, the Europeans were not solely violent. A lot happened with trade deals, also. Sometimes unfair ones, sometimes they started out as mutually beneficial and then devolved. Sometimes, it didn’t happen that way at all.

You won’t find it in too many religions that Conquest is actually Wrong, in the sight of God, or the gods. Some cultures glorify it to a divine calling.

Where does the notion that is is wrong even come from?

No country can really back this up. Even if it’s wrong, no one can hope to prevent it from happening in one way or another.

So, I fail to see the point of teaching us that it was wrong, and then leaving it there… well, what now? What’s the big conclusion, History?

The claim can be made that History class should not be giving us new ideas, but telling it like how it happened.

That’s ludicrous. Any narrative of history is going to present new ideas to a student who has not studied it before, and a clearly slanted narrative is going to lead them to blame one party more than another.

It used to be slanted in Europeans favor, it is not slanted against us, we must look bad at all costs.

Maybe it was bad, I think in the context of the time, it’s harder to tell.

But even so, it’s over now. We have real world problems. Oppression continues in new forms, and old forms, but not the forms of the Modern Era, as it’s called.

I don’t think we are being taught to recognize the signs of this any more in our everyday lives, or we’d realize how the modern devices every single student has in their pocket are products of a system very similar to the ones we read about.

And do we care? Can we give them up?

Maybe, it’s harder to judge, hmm?

There will always be oppression as long as people are sinful, and people are in charge, or their creations are in charge. Running things by computers has not improved them.

The question for us, is what can we do to make it better or worse? 

We are dependent on these businesses for our way of life, undoing that is not the work of  a day. It was the same in the Congo, the same everywhere. By the time people realize it’s a problem they’re stuck, just like with an addiction.

I choose to keep applying my faith to every situation, because I think G. K. Chesterton was right when he wrote that the charge that Christianity obscures progress and keeps us in the Dark Ages is ridiculous when “Christianity is the only thing that has ever gotten us out of it.” (Orthodoxy)

Which is not to say Religion has never been an obstacle to advancements, but it has also been the main drive behind them. It comes down to the individuals every time.

The Bible is also concerned more with men’s souls then their station, and Christians have often taken that attitude also, but in the process, have done more to elevate men’s station in their concern for his soul.

For Missionaries have worried that mistreatment will make men bitter against God.

This is how things come right in the end, that and the Grace of God. There’s ups and downs in history, I for one think we should be looking to see what they did right, and not forever listing what they did wrong, as if we are free from error and know so much better than our forebears.

That’s what they thought too.

Mistakes have to be remembered if anyone is tempted to think their nation is perfect (that has led to a lot of evil) but it’s better to feel there is nobility left to preserve than to feel your people have always been irredeemably bad.

That’s where I leave it, I’d rather be proud of my heritage than ashamed of it, until next time– Natasha.

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Outbreaks–a Christian’s perspective

Well, this is quite a time to be a blogger.

On the one hand, everything being closed means more people are going to be bored out of their minds and surfing the web, on the other hand, people are terrified.

In case someone reads this post in the next few years and has no idea what I’m talking about, we are currently in the middle of the COVID virus epidemic.

I have not been following the virus closely, as I don’t believe news reports to be the most reliable sources for realistic looks at any situation, let alone one causing panic. I just keep getting updated on what’s closing, and how many people can be in a room.

Right now we’re down to 10, hopefully it stays there, even that’s way too few to be practical.

If we hadn’t had such a run on supplies, this maybe could have been handled differently, like making any large group of people all wear masks and gloves before mingling. Only for crucial stuff though, of course who decides what’s crucial? I don’t envy the people trying to sort this out.

I’m just sad that my church services and Sunday school are shut down, and now my college is taking a break from classes to deal with it. I hope they don’t just stop, I don’t want to retake these classes.

Even without looking it up, I  know there’s people on both sides of the extremist spectrum who think that this is a plague from God, or a science experiment to weed out the elderly and infirm in our population.

As a Christian who reads her bible, I can’t rule out an act of God, but it’d be weirdly inefficient as a plague if it only targets those who are already old and ill. God is no respecter of persons.

If I was going to be a conspiracy theorist, I’d say man made, because a lot of sick people think that we need to decrease the population, and have no regard for the elderly.

However, even so this virus is pretty pathetic in terms of strength, for an epidemic. They say that kids may not even know they’re sick because their symptoms could be so light.

I did  not even take this seriously till it started effecting my life, and even  now, I am not that concerned, my family is generally pretty healthy, we rarely even get a regular flu. being homeschooled and genetically having strong immune systems has its perks.

I guess like most humans, until it’s bothering me, I don’t care about a lot of problems. I don’t see a point to worrying about something I cannot stop.

People ask around times like these why God allows such things to happen.

In the Bible, the first mention of disease is pretty late in, I don’t think it’s mentioned at all until Exodus, and if it is, it’s not with the principle characters. We know that God made the world perfect, and set up a diet for Adam that would keep him healthy  (see Genesis 1-3), Proverbs also says that following God’s word will bring heath to your bones.

God sends pestilence on Egypt and warns the Israelites the same will happen to them if they disobey him. Jesus and the prophets heal the sick. Jesus promises heath to those who serve him (though we know it is not exclusive health, just enough for us to keep serving him.) Paul says if we lay hands on the sick they will recover.

In modern day times, science suggests that most of our health problems are caused by bad environment, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise, or too much, for some people. Also insufficient clothing, in many countries.

If we human beings took better care of ourselves, and each other, God would have a lot less to do about it.

But even so, we really should be worse off than we are, some people’s good health just can’t be explained by their life choices, and I’ve known many health-focused Mormons who still get sick all the time.

The Bible would teach that Disease is the result of living in a sinful world. Like sin, disease effects multiple people. When someone sins they inflict pain on someone else, just like someone can spread a disease to an otherwise healthy person. You can’t blame the victim. Sickness can be a judgement, but as the book of Job warns us, only God can know when it’s a judgement, and when someone has been the victim of someone’s else wrong, or if it’s a test.

My dad would usually jump right on the Judgment train for any terrible thing that happened. While I could not prove he was wrong, it’s foolhardy to assume every evil is a judgement.

God says that He sends good times and bad times (Isaiah), but we know the Satan also causes disaster (Job 1-2), that human beings have agency and can cause ourselves problems, and that this fallen world has certain weather patterns and genetic flaws that cause problems periodically.

Sin is behind all of it, but the direct cause is not a thing anyone can know without special revelation. I don’t claim to be that much of a prophet. Hindsight is usually how we can judge the effects of something.

The point I’m trying to make is, we can try to make sense of this, but in the long run, it’s less frustrating to just trust God with it. To do the best we can to help each other and not give our leaders trouble by disobeying them over little things, and not to panic.

Whether you’re a tinfoil that kind of guy, or just trying to get through this with your sanity intact, keep in mind that everything passes away. No disaster can last forever, and epidemics usually don’t last long in each location. It’s almost come full circle as it is. A few months, and hopefully this will be a memory for most of us.

Also, my condolences to anyone who has lost anyone to this disease. Death happens, but it’s never expected or normal feeling.

We all should be praying for those who have to work still, or who are old enough to be in danger.

Until next time, stay healthy–Natasha.

Healer:

White Guilt

Whoo, let’s just start the flame wars now.

JK, my followers aren’t like that…so far.

Actually, given how many international followers I have, I wonder if everyone even is familiar with the term White Guilt.

This is a term those of us in the USA who are white have for the feeling of shame associated with the actions of our ancestors, and with our many privileges we have allegedly because of our race.

While people of any other ethnicity claim that they really are worse off and we just don’t understand.

Now I’m taking a World History Class at my public college, and its predictably anti-European.

Not that anyone calls it that, they cal it “Fair and Balanced” “Telling the Real Story” “Coming at it from a different perspective” and not using “The European Narrative.”

Now, there are no really honest generalizations if you’re talking about individual views. The Narrative of history from a European perspective is no more biased than from any other, if you mean in general. If you want to talk about the individuals, than it becomes a matter of each person’s story. Our judgment shifts from national and global to biographical. That’s fine. It’s human nature to be more interested in personal stories than vague histories.

If you want to look at the spirit of the age, that’s another matter. Certainly some ages had a general cruelty to them, others a more general sense of justice. I’m not sure any country has even been overwhelmingly kind, as kindness is always an individual sort of virtue, but some have been more fair, less likely to condone horrible things.

What my point is is that the claim of the public schools, at least in my country, that our older history is slanted toward the Europeans, and therefore it’s inaccurate, is bogus.

Of course it is, and our modern way of telling it slants it against the Europeans and if favor of literally anyone else, no matter how corrupt they are.

For example, a real instance that happened last week in my class discussion. We talked about the Aztecs, an ancient Mesoamerican civilizations (meaning they lived in the general area that is now Mexico or Central America). During the discussion, my professor and classmates criticized the Spaniards for disrespecting the Aztec’s religion by saying its gods were evil for requiring human sacrifice.

A little more history about the Aztecs: They were conquerors in much the same way the Spanish were. They took over and absorbed other cultures around them, took slaves (something that the Spanish did not do at the time) and sacrificed them to their gods as part of their blood ritual religion. Regularly.

My professor and classmates showed no sign of horror at this abominable practice, and when I suggested it was wrong, and the Spanish were right to criticize it, my professor decided to bring up some troubling beliefs in Christianity, the religion of the Spanish at the time (and, I’m certain she had guessed, my own religion, as I wore a cross to make it obvious.)

It’s only fair to share her points. She said that part of Christianity is symbolically eating the body and blood of Christ (which is not human sacrifice, even if it sounds gross) and that Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.

She should have brought up the time Japhthah sacrificed his daughter. That would have been a much stronger case than the time when God stopped Abraham form doing it.

Now, even among the people Jesus said it to, the Sacrament was a pretty weird idea and a lot of his followers left over it. Peter said they would stay because Jesus had the Words of Life. Jesus later established that eating his body and blood was to be symbolic thing, using bread and wine. Common foods that rich and poor alike would be able to eat.

While I agree it’s a strange practice, you won’t find any real religion that doesn’t have bizarre practices. And most are real, not symbolic. In the Bible God forbids cannibalism and human sacrifice (not self sacrifice, however).  God does not contradict Himself. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was before God had commanded against it, and God prevented it from actually happening, then later forbids it to make ti clear that it was a test and not something to actually do as an act of worship.

The Holy Communion is one of many parts of Christianity that use symbolism to show spiritual truths. When you eat something it becomes part of you, Jesus is a part of all of us. We are his body, and his blood is for our healing, when we eat and drink the symbolism of it, it is showing our oneness with Christ. IT has nothing to do with cannibalism.

Much the same way the Bible refers to suffering and judgment as a cup, it uses eating and drinking to symbolize the nearness and intensity of an experience or connection, but the followers of Christ understood that it was a symbol. And anyone who confuses a symbol for a real thing is generally starting a cult.

Which brings me back to the Aztecs. They were not symbolically shedding blood, they were actually doing it. The Christians’ own religion is not one that condones this or anything like it, and my Professors using it as such displays her ignorance of it, not my or the Spaniard’s ignorance of history or our own religion.

Why would an intelligent woman, who does not seem unkind, and a class of the brightest students at the college (if Honor Roll means anything) not see that they are defending murder sanctioned by a corrupt religion?

Because in their own words, no one is really right or wrong, there is no black and white.

But just to be clear, it was the Europeans who were in the wrong. They make sure we know that.

White Guilt. This is where is starts. Actually, it starts in Elementary School, with the view of history that justifies everyone but the ancestors of  many of the kids learning it, not to mention our Founders who gave us the country where we have the freedom to question them and our current leaders alike.

No race or ethnicity is perfect. No nation is perfect. Most are not fair. Most have been or are currently cruel.

Human Government as a rule has to be harsher than the individuals in it, because human justice is damage control. Unlike the justice of God, it cannot fix anything permanently, it is simply trying to assuage some of the evils that every society has.

No matter where you live and at what time, some class or race of people is being treated unfairly. Oppressed, perhaps. Though oppression is a tricky word. If the person really has no choice, than sure, they are oppressed. But in the Western world and some of the Eastern wold too, people can choose to quit a job and look elsewhere, or get a divorce, or not marry at all, or move. Then oppression becomes more of a mentality.

We in the USA are taught to feel ashamed of our past, and to strive for a vague idea of equality that the people who promote it do not even understand how to achieve, except by calling the rest of us who dare to have a spine out for being bigots.

I try to stay away from politics in my posts, but this goes beyond politics. It affects relegation, people’s sense of culture, and self respect.

I find it revolting to apologize for being an American and being White. While I do have ancestry that dates back to the colonies, I also have ancestry that dates back only 3 generations in America. And my people are some of the most hated and oppressed worldwide that exist, maybe the most.

I went to a Black Church for 6 years of my life (they were mostly 1st or 2nd generation Americans, so they didn’t feel as awkward about the race thing). There’s people at my current church from Sri Lanka, Africa, China, and Latino America, plus white people.

So I hardly think it’s really a matter of skin color or background. It’s an attitude to feel guilty for something you didn’t do, and to feel like a victim for something that never happened to you.

White Guilt is ridiculous in more ways than one, because it puts all White people into a box. I’m technically white, I look White, but I’m Slavic, with some Scottish, people who were not really a huge part of the European Slave trade. I’ve got Irish too, they were shipped around as indentured servants right along with the Africans, treated badly also.

My point is, you can’t look at me and assume I or my ancestors had any part of slavery or racism. You can’t assume that we were privileged, as Irish and Scottish people were looked down on in America, and still are in Britain, had the worst jobs just like the Africans did, and on my other family side, my people were hated even more.

So White Guilt, as an idea, is just as racist as Racism against anyone else. It’s saying that because you’re white, you’re a perpetrator of these ideas, or you come from people who perpetrated them, and now you need to make it better.

In the end, if you look at history honestly, everyone sucks. Humanity is a mess.

“There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” (Romans 3:10-11)

There’s Human Guilt, that’s all there is. No sense blaming it one any one group of people.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.