Progressive Phariseeism

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

Matthew 23:23 (ESV)

This past week, the Washington State Supreme Court in Olympia ruled that Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland in the eastern part of the state, discriminated against a gay couple who requested flowers for their wedding.  The decision stated that the public accommodation laws served a legitimate social purpose and that the goal was to eradicate barriers to equal treatment of citizens.  One must ask who decides what is a “legitimate social purpose.”  Who decides the legitimacy of the purpose?  The people?  The lawmakers?

It seems that the hypocrisy in this situation is palpable.  Many states before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision outlawed abortions citing “legitimate” state interests.  Of course the Supreme Court decided that such interests were trumped by the right to privacy.  Yet, in the Arlene’s Flowers case, the state court ruled that Ms. Stutzman had no right to free association and that the state had an interest to further the eradicating of barriers to equal treatment.  So the question here is not whether moralty is being imposed, the question is whose morality is being imposed.

In the past few weeks after the inauguration of President Trump, progressives were keen to call on people to “punch Nazis” and that the smashing of windows and burning of property was legitimate in their sight for the purpose of furthering their worldview.  So it seems that we live in a day of what the late Sam Francis called anarcho-tyranny.   Vandals and abortionists are treated like saints while flower sellers are made into the foulest and most evil of people.

It is time to call out the progressive pharisees who congratulate themselves for pounding the flower seller while turning their heads on the murder of unborn children and the destruction of property.

Witch hunts continue on

My defense of Bishop George Bell received some more ammo from the Sunday Telegraph out of London courtesy of Charles Moore.    It is incredible that George Bell is receiving the same type of justice as Dietrich Bonhoffer got from SS judges in the waning days of World War Two.  Baseless accusations, no evidence and and summary “justice.”  It seems that many of the giants of the past including Bell and Enoch Powell are being torn down in an age that really does believe in anything anymore except atoning for guilt real or imagined.

Exploring North Texas

Well, here we are in Wichita Falls, a nice place of 100,000 people located near the Red River about 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth.  The adjustment to a new job and a new culture is definitely a challenge, but it is one that I want to take on with relish.  I now work as a librarian for the Wichita Falls Public Library and am eager to learn the ins and outs of circulation, reference and acquisitions, something that I learned little of in my previous position.

The weather here is deceptively warm for this time of year from what they tell me.  However, that will change in short order as a storm is coming in tonight.   We did our first explorations of the surrounding area since we settle down by going to Fort Richardson near Jacksboro and Lake Arrowhead which is south of town.    There is a lot of history here and it is good that I love subjects like the Old West and the history of Native Americans.  We hope to explore more soon, but with the weather being cold, it might take us a while to do extensive traveling.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Tragedy in Paris

As of the writing of this post, over 120 people were gunned down or were killed in explosions across Paris.  Apparently, this dastardly deed was done by members who are sympathetic to the ISIS group which has occupied vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq as well as small portions of the Mediterranean coast in Libya.   Little is known about the men themselves, but it is clear that events that led to this event have developed over many years dating back to the  unwise actions of the United States in Iraq beginning in 1990 and interventions from other nations  dating to the end of the First World War.

Ever since the end of the First World War, the Middle East has been a cauldron of instability with either leaders ousted in violent coups (Iraq and Syria) or emirs and their decedents holding power for decades (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain).   Some good books to read on the early years of this transition from Ottoman rule to countries ruled by strongmen are John Hulsman’s fine book To Begin the World Over Again: Lawrence of Arabia from Damascus to Baghdad”  which is a short book that explains how we got  to this tragic situation and “Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nationsby Georgina Howell.   The West’s refusal to heed the counsel of Gertrude Bell and Lawrence of Arabia with regards to post-Ottoman rule has led to unnecessary interventions by the West to stabilize that part of the world.    There is much more to this story on how events of a century ago led to the shootings in Paris, but suffice to say, it all began with the Sykes-Picot treaty which is mentioned in Hulsman’s book.

 

Welcome to my site

In the coming weeks and months, I will take you all on a ride through my thoughts on a whole range of subjects.  Politics, theology, sports, culture and much more will be coming through this website and it is my hope that I will invigorate your thought and challenge you on exploring new things.  I chose the funny name for my site (Last Plane from El Paso) as a random event that has happened in my life.  I hope that you will enjoy the ride.