Monday, June 25, 2007

Comrade Diaz

Poor Cameron Diaz! Breitbart reports that Cameron Diaz was in Peru and while out and about she was photographed carrying a bag with Chinese Communist symbols and the (in)famous Mao slogan "Serve the People". The bag was missing the understood follow up words "or else".

Peru was terrorized by the Maoist group Shining Path back in the 1980s and 90s and is still in an uneasy truce with the group I believe. Needless to say Peruvians are uneasy with Maoist "wisdom" since thousands have been slaughtered there in pursuit of service to "the people". Local papers pilloried Diaz since the locals were rightly outraged.

Diaz's apology stated,
"I sincerely apologise to anyone I may have inadvertently offended," Diaz said in a statement. "The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China and I did not realise the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan printed on it."
That's not much of an apology. I know she didn't "mean" to hurt anyone. The main issue is the appalling ignorance of this woman. Would she wear a Hitler bag? Many on the chic left have no problems wearing gear with the images of such real and wannabe mass murderers as Mao, Che Guevara, or even "Uncle Joe" Stalin. Mao makes Hitler look like a petty criminal. RJ Rummel of the University of Hawaii estimates Mao's death toll to be 73,000,000. That number will probably rise. Does Diaz support mass democide? Most likely not. Does she inadvertently give cover to murderers through her ignorance and pious liberalism? Yes. I assume if she were to read up on the issues she would recant and perhaps change her mind.

Her main problem is typical liberal irrationalism. Perhaps she thought Mao was harmless -- after all they're selling his stuff in China. It's illegal to buy Hitler gear in Germany because Hitler was evil. Not just "evil", but dangerous to a civil society and world peace. If Mao were evil China would outlaw him right? Earth to Cameron -- China is still a COMMUNIST state. Let's try a little historical perspective and good old-fashioned logic. Perhaps Mao looks like a nice harmless smiling Chinese peasant while Hitler is always glaring and yelling and waving his arms with wild-eyed abandon. Whatever her reason for this ignorance; I suggest Rummel's Death by Government.

Jesus the Progressive

Barack Obama gave a speech in CT last week -- as reported in the New York Times". Obama thinks the right has "hijacked" religion for conservative political reasons thereby "dividing" the nation on abortion, same sex marriage, etc.

Where to begin? Here are his exact words, “But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together,” Mr. Obama said. “Faith started being used to drive us apart. Faith got hijacked.”

To my mind this is the money quote from both Sen. Obama and the NY Times:
“My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I go out and do the Lord’s work,” he said, speaking before more than 9,000 people at the Hartford Civic Center in front of a red and black backdrop with the church’s marketing slogan: “God is still speaking.”

This highlights Obama's bad theology and the bad theology of the religious Left in general. I have no doubts that those in liberal churches want to ease the suffering of the sick, the poor, the inmate, etc. I'm sure the left thinks the same of those of us on the right. Stop laughing.

This is the problem with the Socialist or Progressive Jesus. He doesn't exist and never did exist. Where is there even the hint of a political message in any of His words? Slavery, poverty, disease, political corruption (which obviously had a religious bent in 1st century Judea) get many mentions but only the most oblique political references, if even that. Individuals are called to follow Christ and pick up His cross. Individuals are "called" -- not coerced -- to give of their lives, material, etc. to care for the needy of the world.

Would Jesus denounce a social program to feed the poor? Probably not -- on moral grounds -- but I think he would question the efficacy of such programs in healing the ultimate issues of poverty (and a host of other consequences of living in a fallen world).
Would the individual get "credit" for merely paying taxes as opposed to Paul's "cheerful giver"? Christ paid our debts so there is no "credit" to earn of course, but there are general principles to be drawn that can redeem our politics. Means matter -- not merely ends. It is good to care for AIDS patients and feed the hungry and care for the forgotten prisoner. How we go about doing so matters greatly and that is where I believe conservative principles most jibe with Christianity.

I want to feed the hungry just as much as Barack Obama -- I just think that promoting individual responsibility among the poor, cultivating ongoing voluntary donations of money and in-kind contributions from like-minded folks works better than a huge government bureaucracy raising money by confiscatory taxes from the many, while spending much of that money on the bureaucracy, and which excludes any meaningful communication of the root causes of poverty or the means to ameliorate the internal suffering.

The left has always accused conservatives of not caring for the needy of the world because we don't favor government programs. The church is the best vehicle for helping these people. Christ was many things, but he was no enabler or rationalizer of bad behavior. He felt compassion for individuals, healed and helped many and told most of them... "Go and sin no more." What government program tells any of its clients that? They can't under the Constitution and perhaps shouldn't in any case because that is not government's mission.

Can our politics be redeemed? Undoubtedly so if each individual is redeemed -- otherwise it will be rife with ego, graft, etc. from both sides. Neither Conservatism nor Liberalism, especially in their post modern formulations, are redeemed ab initio, but conservatism most closely aligns with the basic tenets of Christianity. Those on the left -- seeking to ameliorate the consequences of sin (if they even recognize the concept) -- then fail to address the real causes of the problem. Those on the right -- while often getting it wrong too -- recognize generally that humans are flawed and while soothing people's pain is important -- encouraging and equipping them to address the fundamental issues (sin) is important. This individual responsibility cuts both ways. It is my responsibility to help others as much as possible. It is also my responsibility -- as much as it is within my control -- to refrain from behavior that might land me in need.

Obama is half right. Religion has been hijacked -- by those on the left -- to justify huge byzantine social programs that adequately deal with the ultimate issue of sin and thereby inadequately deal with the consequences of living in a fallen world.