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It’s morally wrong to say “It’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty”

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Pantego Christian Academy, a private Christian school in Texas, has announced that, in order to protect the students entrusted to the school’s care each day, several administrators will now be packing heat. Each administrator “who double as a school marshal will carry a concealed handgun, will have extensive weapons and scenario-training from the state and undergo a psychiatric evaluation” (foxnews.com).

Dr. Jeff Potts, the school’s president, stated:

We are arming select individuals who meet certain criteria. And they are administrative type people who are in close proximity to all of our classrooms.

It’s not Florida. It’s the culture today, and it’s something we felt led to do.

One former Pantego Christian Academy student did not welcome this news. Ryan Waller is an assistant rector at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, TX. Waller authored a March 2nd, 2018, article at the Dallas Morning News entitled, “It’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty.”

According to Waller, “Pantego’s decision to arm administrators with guns is not only ill-advised, it is morally reprehensible,” (emphasis mine).

 

Waller begins by presenting his own, secular arguments.

“It is the job of law enforcement and other security professionals to keep us safe,” he stated. Using a firearm is “problematic and complicated, even for professionals.”

For this reason, rather than allowing trained administrators to carry a firearm on school grounds in case of an emergency, Waller pleaded:

This is a time to trust the system and allow it to adjust. Let’s change gun laws. Let’s support police. Let’s praise companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods for stopping the sale of weapons meant only for war… Let’s not put more guns in schools.

The assistant rector did not attempt to reconcile the incongruity of relying upon law enforcement for protection while insisting on the prohibition of firearms; a firearm being a necessary feature of every law enforcement officer’s ensemble.

He also did not address the massive system-wide failure that enabled the school shooting in Florida to take place.

 

Waller then entered the theological realm:

I make one final appeal as a Christian priest. There’s nothing safe about being a Christian. Jesus Christ himself said that if we are to follow him we must pick up our cross and deny ourselves. When violence came for Jesus, he offered no defense of himself and instructed those around him to also resist a defense.

I’m not a true pacifist. I wish I was but I’m not. I believe there’s a time for fighting and for war. I support not only the police but also the armed forces. But as Christians we must allow those trained in the art of warfare to engage in war. Our role is to do what Jesus called us to do. Be his hands and feet. Feed the poor. Care for the widow and orphan.

Waller concluded his article with one final exhortation: “And may God bless America as it decides what kind of nation it hopes to be.”

 

My take:

Here’s my take, summed up into a single sentence: It’s morally wrong to say that “it’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty.”

Ryan Waller might be a lovely man. Unfortunately, I’d never know it from reading his article. Waller’s ease and confidence in twisting scripture and omitting context mirrors the deceptive acts of the most notorious profiteering, sleazy TV evangelists.

I take no issue with the assistant rector voicing his opinion – his opinion.

I do, however, object to Waller’s abuse of Holy Scripture and Waller’s exploitation of his own religious title in order to disguise his personal, political agenda by concealing it beneath the cloak of religion.

 

There are several issues regarding Waller’s theological arguments that must be unpacked…

First, Ryan Waller is correct to state that the world is unsafe for Christians. Christ specifically said that those who follow him will be hated by those who rebel against God (John 15:18). We should expect this hatred to manifest in various forms of religious persecution, including martyrdom.

However, the fact that Christians live in a hostile world is in no way an excuse for nor a directive to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

Second, Waller correctly stated that Christians are to deny the self and carry one’s cross. In Luke 9:23, Christ stated, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.” With these words, Jesus explained that to be His followers we must commit daily to faith and obedience, “even to the point of being shamed and persecuted by the world” (Orthodox Study Bible).

However, neither denying one’s selfish plans and desires nor the daily bearing of one’s own cross are in any way an excuse for nor a directive to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

Third, Waller’s statement that, “When violence came for Jesus, he offered no defense of himself and instructed those around him to also resist a defense,” is wholly misleading.

Let’s examine the actual Scriptures (John 18:3-11):

3Judas led some soldiers and some men who had been sent by the head religious leaders of the Jews and the proud religious law-keepers to the garden. They carried lamps and sticks that were burning and swords.

4Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him. He went out and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

5The soldiers answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said, “I am Jesus.” Judas, who was handing Him over, was with them also.

6When He said to them, “I am Jesus,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.

7He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said again, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8He said, “I have told you that I am Jesus. If you are looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9He said this so the words he spoke might happen, “I have not lost one of those You gave Me.”

10Simon Peter had a sword. He took it and hit a servant who was owned by the head religious leader and cut off his right ear. 11Then Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back where it belongs. Am I not to go through what My Father has given Me to go through?”

Here, Jesus interrupts Peter’s physical defense, because it interfered with the completion of Christ’s mission to lay down His life so that Christians may have salvation, life everlasting. Jesus’s words to Simon Peter that night in the Garden of Gethsemane were in no way an infinite command to all future generations.

Christ’s words were not an excuse for nor a directive upon humanus infinitum to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

In fact, “the idea that one is required to surrender his life – or the lives of his family, neighbors, or even strangers – in the face of armed attack is alien to scripture” (David French, National Review).

Does caring for the widow and for the orphan not entail the preservation of life?

Jesus is not a new, separate “god,” one at war with His Father or with the Old Testament scriptures. The Old Testament’s rests great emphasis upon the value of life, including the right to defend oneself and others from bodily harm (Nehemiah 4:14 is just one example). This reverence for life is present in the New Testament as well. For instance, it was at the Last Super when Christ instructed His disciples, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one,” (Luke 22:36) (emphasis mine).

This brings me to my fourth and final point: Waller never presents theological evidence to support his thesis that it is immoral for faculty and administrators to be armed in defense of students. Christ’s disciples were themselves teachers of the Word and good news. This thought appears to have escaped the assistant rector altogether.

Ryan Waller is quick to launch the barb of moral reprehensibility at Pantego Christian Academy, and by default, at all Christian schools who choose to follow Pantego’s lead.

Yet, to read Waller’s article one may be led to believe that Christ was a pacifist – He wasn’t – and that Christians should simply do nothing in the event of a school shooting, but passively accept our demise and the demise of countless children via the bullets of a madman…  as the minutes pass by before the first law enforcement officer arrives.

To use Waller’s own words: His decision to twist scripture and omit context in order to lend credence to his personal, political opinion, draping non-theological sentiments in the cloak of religion, “is not only ill-advised, it is morally reprehensible.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Patrick McHargue

    March 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Well written! God did not give us life so that someone else could take it from us.

    • Paige Rogers

      March 18, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you, Patrick.

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Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Culture and Religion

Reason: Socialism fails every time

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Reason Socialism fails every time

If Socialism Actually Worked, the Left wouldn’t have to Lie about it.

John Stossel has a new video featuring Gloria Álvarez who knows the truth about Socialism. She passionately decimates all of the Left’s lies about what is truly organised evil.

Socialism has become cool in America, under the nice name “democratic socialism”.

Gloria Álvarez knows better, because she’s from Latin America and studied socialism there. She says: watch out! Socialism has a clear track record of wrecking every country that implements it.

Cuba tried socialism. Things got so bad that tens of thousands fled the island on dangerous, makeshift rafts. Others paid lots of money to be allowed to leave.

After Cuba, the next Latin American country to get totally immersed in socialism was Venezuela. For a while, things seemed to work okay thanks to the country’s oil wealth; Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and used to be the richest country in Latin America.

Celebrities like Michael Moore and Sean Penn visited Hugo Chavez and praised his socialism.

Venezuelans were happy, too. A former mayor in Venezuela’s capital city told Álvarez: “People were clapping so hard. They were like, ‘Oh, finally there is somebody here making social justice.'”

But eventually socialism led to a mismanagement of the economy that was so bad that money started to run out. The government just printed more, so much more that it led to million-percent inflation.

But some still defend socialism, saying that what happened there “isn’t real socialism.” Bernie Sanders says: “when I talk about Socialism I am not looking at Venezuela, I’m not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark, like Sweden.”

But Denmark’s prime minister says that’s a mistake: “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” he clarified.

In Scandinavian countries, government regulates business less than America’s government does. Scandinavian countries don’t even have a minimum wage.

Real socialism looks more like Cuba and Venezuela.

Álvarez hopes people look at socialism’s track record before implementing it anywhere else.

If the stakes weren’t so deadly serious, the Left’s absurd contradictions on this subject would be quite amusing. The video had several celebrities trying to claim that normal government functions are somehow ‘socialism’, without explaining how this is the case. Other Leftists will claim that certain socialist regimes weren’t actually socialist, but were really ‘Right-Wing’, again without explaining how this is the case. However, those supposedly non-socialist, ‘Right-Wing’ regimes had normal government functions – road, liberties etc. So by the lights of the first contention, wouldn’t they be socialist?

But let us put this as succinctly as possible:

If Socialism Actually worked:

The Left wouldn’t have to falsely claim that normal government functions are ‘socialism’.
The Left wouldn’t have to Lie about the definition of the word.
The Left wouldn’t have to pretend that Scandinavian countries are socialist.
The Left wouldn’t have to lie, claiming that totalitarian Socialist regimes are supposedly ‘rightwing’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need ‘revolutionary terror’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need Tanquetas’ or ‘Ballenas’ to keep the people in line.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need secret police and torture to suppress dissent.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need barbed wire or mine fields to keep people from leaving.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need concentration camps, gulags or ‘re-education’ camps.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need firing squads or as ‘Che Guevara’ put it, the ‘pedagogy of the wall’.

The Takeaway.

If the organised evil that is socialism [Or it’s 40+ alternative labels] didn’t defy basic human nature, being a functional system, there would be no reason for the nation’s Socialist-Left to Lie about it. If it had actually accomplished something useful – aside from 100+ Million dead – it’s proponents could simply sell it without all of the falsehoods and outright lies. Those who advocate for that collectivist system – while claiming they aren’t it’s advocates – could simply be honest about what they want to impose on the rest of us.

Compare this to the entirely workable – but never claiming to be perfect – system of economic Liberty.
Those of us who are advocates for freedom have no need to pretend that systems of economic Liberty are something else. We have no need to make false claims or pretend it something that it is not. We only need to sell it on it’s great achievements, something the advocates of socialism can never do.

 

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Culture and Religion

The Left is losing the argument. Don’t respond to their desperate provocations.

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The Left is losing the argument Dont respond to their desperate provocations

It is axiomatic that when someone is making a mistake that you get out of the way.

For some reason the current situation suggests a scene from Star Trek VI: ‘The Undiscovered Country’ when Spock (Leonard Nimoy) declares that the Klingons are dying and Kirk (William Shatner) responds ‘Let them die!’ Of course, that’s an unfair comparison to the nation’s Left – for the Klingons. They were at least honourable, it would be difficult to say that about the Left these days.

The national socialist Left has lost the debate in the marketplace of ideas.

Recent events have seen the Left become increasingly unhinged. The web is replete with many examples – Leftists futilely banging on the doors of the Supreme Court , Fascist ‘Anti-facists’ out in the streets, trying to provoke an incident in Portland, etc. The trends are quite disturbing to say the least with, it seeming as though it’s getting worse by the day. It doesn’t help that certain politicians and media mavens are issuing statements that are ratcheting up the tension, encouraging people to confront those of us on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. Nor does it alleviate the stress with others of the media trying to deny the use of certain words.

The admittedly equally disturbing rumblings from the Pro-Liberty, Conservative side.

This isn’t a condemnation of the exaltations of victory after the bruising confirmation fight. Those were very understandable and well deserved. This refers to those on the right side of the spectrum who seem to be ‘itching for a fight’ as it were. Granted, the nation’s Left is clearly trying to provoke some kind of a response so they can play the victim. It’s the tried and true playbook of the Cry-Bully, something we’ve seen far too many times as of late. The point is that we cannot let them provoke us into a response that they will cynically use to claim ‘victim’ status.

Everyone on the Pro-Liberty right needs to keep several facts forefront in his or her mind.

1. The Left has the misguided idea that they have a birthright to power. Socialist dogma has it that it is supposedly ‘inevitable’, that it is the ‘Right side of history’

2. The Left is losing the argument in the marketplace of ideas. They are becoming unhinged because they are losing.

3. It is only out of desperation that they are coming out of the authoritarian closet, fully embracing their failed base ideology of socialism.

4. Their loss of the supreme court was one of the last pathways they had to carry out their socialist national agenda -–that is why they put so much into the fight and why they have lost the plot these days.

5. They are trying to provoke a violent response because they have no other choices (other than advocating freedom and supporting economic Liberty)

And most important:

6. We will win by avoiding their provocation’s. We will win by letting them LOSE.

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