So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

“Boys, the old flag never touched the ground”

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

As dusk fell on the evening of July 18, 1863, about 600 men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry assembled on a beach near Charleston, South Carolina. At the shout “Forward, Fifty-fourth!” they began to move across a narrow spit of sand toward Fort Wagner, a massive sand-and-wood Confederate stronghold with walls that rose thirty feet high. As they neared the fort, a storm of cannonballs and bullets tore into the blue-coated line.

The 54th Massachusetts was a Northern black regiment organized shortly after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Its ranks were full of young men who volunteered to fight because they knew that if blacks helped win the Civil War, no one could ever think of them as slaves again.

Twenty-three-year-old Sergeant William Carney helped lead the assault on Fort Wagner. At his side ran Sergeant John Wall, carrying the American flag. When enemy fire struck Wall down, Carney threw his rifle aside and grasped the colors before they hit the ground.

As he pressed forward, a bullet hit him in the thigh. He fell to his knees but managed to get up and struggle onto a parapet, where he planted the flag. There he knelt, bearing the colors as the battle raged around him.

When the overwhelmed Union troops fell back, Carney struggled back down the earthworks, determined not to let the flag fall into enemy hands. He was shot twice more as he staggered across the sand to his own lines, still clutching the Stars and Stripes. “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground,” he exclaimed as he collapsed.

The 54th Massachusetts lost nearly half of its men during the assault, but its courage won respect for black soldiers in the North. William Carney recovered from his wounds. For his bravery in protecting the flag that night, he received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.

In case any of this sounds familiar, yes, the events of this (true) story are what the movie Glory--starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington--was loosely based upon.

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. You’ll read about heroes, their achievements, and key events that took place “On This Day” in American history. Click here to subscribe.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Thought for the week

Among my problems with the logic of social justice is that its practitioners start from the answer and then look for the right questions to fit it. They start from the conclusion that women make less, on average, than men because of sexism, and then they design questions that confirm the conclusion. Inequality is bad because shut up, it just is. Inequality exists because capitalism is cruel and bigoted at its heart.

The world should be a better place than this. And if it’s not, the reasons are an indictment of the system, not the free choices made by individuals or the political choices made by enemies of the market. Capitalism is always to blame because there’s some perfect alternative just waiting around the bend to replace it.

--Jonah Goldberg