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Culture and Religion

Boycotts, protests, and SOBs



Boycotts protests and SOBs

I respect the decisions of those with the fortitude to follow through boycotting the National Football League. It really doesn’t matter why. What matters is that individuals have the liberty to choose “[p]rinciples over pleasure” (as J.D. Rucker discusses his perspective here), boycotting the NFL. Like Mr. Rucker, football players have the liberty to speak on issues and protest in a peaceful manner. The difference between the two forms of protest is the stage upon which the protest is made. Football players are viewed live by 60k to 90k fans in stadiums and by millions on television. Mr. Rucker’s protest, and others like him, is a private protest. Boycotting the NFL has been effective and noticed by ultra-liberal ESPN. Personally, I haven’t felt the conviction to boycott the NFL, and that is my liberty. That said, I was surprised by President Trump’s tirade railing against individuals for asserting their freedom of speech.

The perception is that when football players gather to play their games, they are in business mode – that is, on the clock. Although it is entertainment, NFL players are independent contractors paid to perform a specific role. For that work, they get paid, the NFL gets paid and the teams’ personnel and owners get paid. I can fully understand and be sympathetic, then, toward those who find it distasteful for protests during the National Anthem on this stage. Athletes, while on the clock, are not paid for their personal beliefs. Fans attend games for a break from political and ideological differences and they would like that break honored. Given any other business, private or public, it would be unacceptable for employees, while on the clock, publicly demonstrate personal ideologies that remove focus from the product.

I do not agree with the form of protest that NFL players have been demonstrating – taking a knee or holding up a fist during the National Anthem. First, I don’t think the demonstration fits the purpose of the cause. Second, I cannot help but think, “Is this the best you can do?” In other words: 1) if you just turned on a football game and saw a player kneeling during the National Anthem, would you know why, and, 2) a millionaire athlete demonstrates his protest with as little effort as possible. As an aside, I have some difficulty taking seriously a millionaire athlete’s protest against inequality. Wrapped in all of this, there are three points I am going to address.

Problems with President Trump’s message

I cannot express more contempt for the divisiveness and vulgarity of Trump’s message. This is personal for me because I chose to vote for him in order to vote against Hillary Clinton. Thank you, Mr. President for pouring more salt in that wound. Please, focus on NorKo, Iran, China and Russia.

“Son of a bitch” is derogatory towards two individuals, one of whom may not agree with her son. The mother of Colin Kaepernick is rightfully upset. The President should know better than create publicity that supports negative perceptions. If I were in his cabinet, I would resign. If I could rescind my vote, I would. Trump’s message is based on emotion intended to resound with a portion of his base. There are some things that, given one’s title and position, should remain unsaid. He should not, as POTUS, rail against (much less call for firing) a private citizen demonstrating a peaceful protest.

Vagueness of athletes’ message

The message of the protest is inequality. Or is it injustice? Well, depending on whom you ask, you may get a different answer. That is part of the problem. Inequality is too vague in that there are multiple contexts in which we can discuss equality – financial, ethnic, liberty and constitutional to name a few. Likewise, injustice is vague. The point is that the message is lost in connecting the speech with the cause. My perception – subject to correction, of course – of the core issue is an inequality of justice. The perception on one side is that persons are not held to the same degree of judgment as others due to skin color (ethnicity) or financial status.

Protest as a form of speech is protected

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech …”

Both protests – Trump’s and the athletes’ – are protected forms of speech by our Constitution. I don’t agree with the athletes’ chosen demonstration of protest for the reasons I mention above. I detest President Trump’s hateful message although he has the Constitutional right to say it. It’s okay to have certain convictions that motivate you to protest – either through boycott, peaceful demonstration or picketing.


The millionaire athletes should be able to find a way to publicize a unified message (without employing divisive tactics or groups) through a unified movement with a public relations team. But they need to articulate the message so that we all get it and it needs to be on their own time.

Trump needs to stick to refining his political acumen. Right now, he stinks and his verbal filter, if one exists, is broken. In spite of his divisive message, a great unity appeared in Sunday’s games during the performances of the National Anthem. I saw players standing side by side, arms locked. If anything, that is more unity than I have observed since Trump’s election.

There are inequalities in our justice system. The appropriate thing to do involves root-cause analysis. Following due diligence through analysis, they should develop a message. As educated millionaires, they should then have the tools to formulate appropriate actions to rectify the problem. One suggestion might be finding individuals who agree with and support challenging the current legal culture to fix the issues. Another might be programs to help minorities understand the roles of and become upstanding members of law enforcement, driving cultural change from within rather than rioting.

I am hoping that something good will come out of Trump’s ignorance – arguably, his stupidity. On the subject of inequalities within our justice system: I am unified with those who properly challenge culture and stand determined to seek an appropriate course of action to rectify the system.

David is a Christian, a husband, father and patriot. He loves the fundamental first principles of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As a full-time student at Regent University (online), he is earning a BA in Paralegal Studies with the intent to continue on to law school at the University of Texas, Austin. Whenever possible, David argues for the principles of natural law with whoever will listen. David lives in Georgetown, Texas with his wife, Mandy and two children, Ethan and Meredith.

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  1. Dale McNamee

    September 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Like the players have the right to protest… The rest of us have the right to protest them, not to purchase league, team, and player gear, or to buy tickets, not to attend games, watch games on TV nor listen to them on the radio…
    That includes having the freedom not to have an interest in sports at all !

  2. Steve Bliss

    September 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    I was with you until you said that the protests marked an increase of unity. Maybe you witnessed unity among teams and in some cases, not even teams but pockets of players on teams but in the big picture I would not call it unity. In most cases where there were large groups of players kneeling you could also hear fans booing. All of the Steelers except one player didn’t even go out to the field. And the one player who did go out for the anthem and stood with his hand in heart is a former Army Ranger, but that didn’t stop Mike Tomlin from throwing him under the bus at the post-game press conference. No, in the big picture the players protests did not enhance unity at all but instead they just further perpetuated the divide.

  3. Dale McNamee

    September 25, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Mike Tomlin, “coach” of the Steelers, is putrescent for his trashing of the one player who is a true hero and war veteran who did 3 tours of Afganistan…

    I used to be disinterested in sports, now I’m “woke” and enraged !

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Culture and Religion

Evangelicals prostitute themselves to a pimp running for Nevada state assembly



Regular readers and listeners of the Strident Conservative are no doubt familiar with my views when it comes to the so-called leaders of the evangelical community and their goose-stepping loyalty to Donald Trump. Spreading the same “cheap grace” theology that gave rise to Hitler and Nazi Germany, this Fellowship of Pharisees peddle moral relativism and lukewarm Christianity as they gleefully accept the crumbs falling from Trump’s table under the delusion that they have a seat in his dining hall.

In an article I wrote back in March about how “God’s man” in the White House was fundamentally transforming the GOP and America into his own hedonistic image, I issued a warning about how this compromising attitude by evangelicals would give rise to an army of “mini-Trumps” across America who would not only be completely sold-out to Trump, but who would be equally lacking in moral character.

In that piece, I introduced you to Dennis Hof, a self-proclaimed pimp who owns a strip club and five legal houses of prostitution, who had just announced his campaign for a state assembly seat because he was just like Trump.

“We’re both famous and infamous. We’re both high-profile. We’re both successful businessmen. We both have reality television shows. We both have written books. We’re both rich and can’t be bought. There’s a lot of similarities.”

Hof left out other things they have in common–multiple divorces, serial adultery, and sex with porn stars–but you get the idea.

I joked at the time how, since Hof was exactly like Trump, evangelicals would eventually support the man who campaigned as the “Trump of Pahrump,” the Nevada town where Hof’s notorious Love Ranch Cathouse is located. Unfortunately, as so often happens when discussing Trump and evangelicals, Hof’s primary victory proved that it wasn’t a joke after all.

As we learn in a recent Reuters article, Hof is sitting pretty and is likely to win the seat in the Nevada legislature thanks to the support of evangelicals willing to set aside morality and religion–just as they did for Trump. Ironically, Hof recognized evangelical hypocrisy as the reason for his success while simultaneously praising Trump for his “honesty.”

People will set aside for a moment their moral beliefs, their religious beliefs, to get somebody honest in office. Trump is the trailblazer, he is the Christopher Columbus of honest politics.”

And the evangelicals shouted in unison, “Amen!”

Evangelical pastor Victor Fuentes, in a calling evil good and good evil sort of way, boldly declared his support for the Nevada pimp.

“People want to know how an evangelical can support a self-proclaimed pimp. We have politicians, they might speak good words, not sleep with prostitutes, be a good neighbor. But their decisions, they have evil in their heart. Dennis Hof is not like that.”

Robert Thomas, a retired prosecutor and evangelical who voted for Hof in the primary and will support his election in November, essentially agreed with Hof about evangelicals laying aside their morals to embrace Trump’s brand of morality. Even though Hof’s prostitution business bothered him “a lot,” Thomas promised to support the self-proclaimed pimp because he “seems to be a man of his word and he does what he says.”

Trump’s fundamental transformation of America is only a symptom; evangelical transformation of America is the real disease; and the prognosis for America’s future is terminal.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Culture and Religion

Snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory: ‘Writing out’ Most Guns with the Bump-Stock ban.




Bump Stock

The latest Liberty grabber wave has crested, but Trump is about to give them a tremendous victory over the 2nd amendment.

Now that the Sturm und Drang of the March for gun confiscation has ‘died down’ it has become evident that, much like previous movements of the past, it came to nought aside from some localised suppressions of Liberty. The problem is there a vestige of this assault of freedom that is still rearing it’s ugly head, that of the infamous ban on so-called “Bump-Stocks”.

Those who are rightly concerned about this assault on Liberty can still inscribe their opposition with the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-sticks bureaucracy [Better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF]  pushing through a new ‘law’ that all by himself, Trump has taken to “Writing Out”.  The deadline is June 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET for everyone to post their opposition to this ‘Law’.

First they came for the Bump-Stocks.

For those who may not care about someone else’s concerns over freedom, just be mindful of a reprise of Martin Niemöller Poem starting with the line: “First they came for the Bump-Stocks, and I didn’t object – For I didn’t care about Bump-Stocks…. Soon enough, they get around to coming after the firearms everyone else cares about, and eventually that will be hunting rifles or shotguns. If you chose to remain silent those guns will be “written out” as well.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what the Liberty grabbers have stated in bragging about the subject:

Delaney Tarr [March for Our Lives]

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.):

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, “So what? … I certainly hope so.”

Apparently we’re not supposed to notice when the Liberty grabber Left broadcasts their intentions to the world. We’re supposed to let them get a foot in the door of a pretext for further bans before objecting.

Giving up the question.

David Deming over on the American thinker, Made the very important point that sacrificing one more time to the Liberty grabbers of what seems to be nothing is in essence:

If we agree to ban bump stocks because they facilitate rapid firing, we have given up the question. We have agreed in principle that any dangerous gun can be banned and confiscated by an arbitrary executive order. All guns are capable of rapid fire, and all guns are inherently dangerous. Pump-action shotguns can be rapidly fired and reloaded. Jerry Miculek can fire five shots from a double-action revolver in 0.57 seconds. High-capacity magazines most certainly facilitate rapid fire, so they also will have to go. A writer who wants to ban all “private individual ownership of firearms” recently argued that “even bolt-action rifles can still fire surprisingly fast in skilled hands.” He’s right. All magazine-fed guns will be outlawed.

Automatic redefinition.

In point of fact, the ATF previously ruled that Bump-Stocks [and presumably other ways of ‘bump-firing a gun – Fast fingers, Rubber bands and Belt-loops] don’t actually convert ordinary semi-automatic firearms to a “Machine gun” because the trigger has to be pulled for every shot. Now with the President’s authorising this linguistic legerdemain, this definition codified in the law has been blurred to the point that any gun that can be ‘Bump-fired’ could also be banned. However, they can’t very well ban fingers, belt-loops or rubber bands, so they will just ban each and every gun that can fire too fast.

Just ‘Write-out’ this legal requirement and Voila! Any gun that can be fired too fast for the sensibilities of the Liberty grabbers can be thought of as a “Machine Gun” and banned instantly – converting most of the 120 Million gun owners into instant felons. With a bit of training,  most guns can be fired faster, so in essence, letting them change this legal definition could have them ban just about every gun in existence.

The Takeaway.

One might not care about the fate of thousands of inert pieces of plastic or what happens to those who have them. One might not care if someone won’t be able to bump-fire a weapon in this particular way. But we on the Pro-Liberty Right will rue the day that we let this go through in exchange for nothing.

If we let the powers that be arbitrarily proclaim that some guns with these pieces of inert plastic are “Machine Guns’, the day will soon dawn when ALL guns are dishonestly ‘written out’ as the same. It will then just be a slippery slope to everyone having to undergo a background check, registration and of course – TAXES – on guns that we already own. Followed by the inevitable confiscation of those guns.

Those who remain silent now will only have themselves to blame when this happens – so now is the time to stop this dead in it’s tracks. The comment window is only open for a few more days [Jun 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET], make the best of it.


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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?



There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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