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Tennessee School District Earns Its Alinsky Stripes
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 1:23 PM

In Tennessee a few months back, there was quite a hubbub about the fact that a local school district was requiring 7th graders to recite the Shahada, the Muslim declaration that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed was his prophet. Well sure there was a hubbub.

Was anyone working for the Maury County school district honestly surprised by the uproar in forcing middle-schoolers to do such a thing? Were any of them surprised when state legislators sponsored a bill to ban the teaching of religious doctrine to middle schoolers? Were any of them surprised when CAIR said bills aimed at banning the teaching of religion in school is “Islamophobic”? Of course not. On the contrary, I think it’s exactly what the school district had in mind when they came up with this Muslim prayer tactic in the first place.

Tracey 300x184 Tennessee School District Earns Its Alinsky Stripes

It is tempting to say, “okay, well, all this Muslim prayer stuff just goes to show you that there shouldn’t be a trace of faith in our public schools.” And I think that is clearly the message the Maury County school district meant to send. Giving students a moment of silence for private prayer never would have done the trick in rural Tennessee. No, if you want to ban any trace of faith in our public schools, anyone half-trained in the tactics of Saul Alinsky knows that in this day and age you have to have students praise Allah.

If parents say nothing about forcing their children recite Muslim prayers in school, then I assume the Maury County schools would be fine with that. And if they say something, well then new legislation that bans any trace of faith in the public schools is the best outcome of all. Heads they win, tails you lose.

It is, by the way, the same tactic used in the marriage redefinition movement, where supposedly small-government libertarians now do the bidding of redefinition advocates by demanding that government “get out of the marriage business.” The upshot of that is a more powerful government no longer constrained by a non-governmental understanding of what marriage actually is–ironically, the very thing libertarians are supposed to be against.



Gallup and the Monstrous ‘Miswanting’
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 10:24 AM

In doing a little research for another article, I went to Gallup and pulled up all their recent polling tagged under “moral issues” and “social issues.”  Two titles caught my eye: “Americans Continue to Shift Left on Key Moral Issues” and “Majority in U.S. Still Say Moral Values Getting Worse” (the political scourge in me wants to end this post right here).

In the first survey, the respondent was given a list of behaviors and asked to judge each as either morally acceptable or unacceptable.  The second survey asked “How would you rate the overall state of moral values in this country today—as excellent, good, or only fair to poor?”  Is it any surprise that individuals say they’re cool with behaviors (the first survey) that they nonetheless know to be destructive (the second survey)?  Apparently working without the benefit of Romans 7:14-24, psychologists have puzzled over the affliction and named it “miswanting.”

Alexander Pope had their “miswanting” right here:alexander pope 4 sized 227x300 Gallup and the Monstrous Miswanting

Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen,
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
First we endure, then pity, then embrace.

According to Gallup, we’re now well past endurance.



From the Touchstone Archives: The Soul of Liberty
Friday, October 23, 2015, 11:39 AM

I stumbled across a 2012 Touchstone article by Hunter Baker this week that demands a second look by any Christian contemplating the tension between his faith and his government.  In brief, here is what Hunter Baker had to say:

The 2009 Iranian student revolutionaries demanded a secular government because they wanted to  escape the tyranny of an Islamic state.  And in 1979, their revolutionary predecessors demanded an Islamic state because they wanted to escape the tyranny of a secular government.   

What, if anything, can restrain a state from turning tyrannical?  Secular revolutions (e.g. the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, etc.) produced more blood and tyranny than the 300 years of the Spanish Inquisition.  And the Catholicism of the French did nothing to curb the horrors of the secular Reign of Terror.  Revolutionaries should take note of history, which tells us that a populous bent on secularism or religion poses no particular roadblocks to a tyrannical state.

In Muslim nations, the church is the state, whereas in so-called secular states, the state becomes the church.  So how, Hunter Baker asks, did early America manage to thread the needle between the two? 

Baker argues that the Calvinism of America’s Revolutionaries so emphasized man’s fallen nature that it fostered a tremendous suspicion of power held in human hands (it makes little difference whether those hands claim a secular or religious nature). “The United States Constitution,” he writes, “more than any other foundational political document, is an acknowledgment of the problem of Original Sin.”

One can imagine the protest of today’s libertarians. “Even if a debt is owed to the church and Calvinists in particular,” they might say, “today’s America doesn’t need the church for a healthy suspicion of government to survive.”  Not so, says Quaker philosopher Elton Trueblood. “A flower grows and becomes beautiful because it is rooted in the soil where it can access the things it needs to live…If you cut the flower and put it in a vase, it will remain beautiful for a time, but will soon decay and die.”

You can, and should, read the whole thing here.


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