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Saturday, December 31, 2016

FAUX HATE 2016

And we come to 2016, when things got really crazy.  More fake hate crimes are reported this year than any previous one, especially with an explosion of them after Donald Trump is elected president of the United States.
  • January 2016, a hispanic man claims he was attacked by a group of white men, stabbed with a screwdriver, and racially harassed.  Police find that he had actually been attacked by members of a rival hispanic gang.  He has been charged with "falsely reporting a hate crime," a misdemeanor.
  • January 2016, five black girls from University of Albany SUNY claimed that they were called racial epithets and physically attacked by white men on a bus.  Rallies and the usual outrage resulted but upon examining the twelve cameras on the bus at the time, policed noted that there is absolutely no evidence of any such activity taking place whatsoever.
  • March 2016, a woman claims she is intimidated outside a Toby Kieth concert by a white male, calling her a "cross dressing fag" and other slurs, then later that same man punched her in the face.  When police later offered to go over the video evidence from surveillance cameras, she suddenly decided to drop the case and left.  Later, she admitted she'd made the whole thing up and punched herself in the face, then went into psychiatric care.
  • April 2016, a homosexual orders a cake from Whole Foods.  When he gets the cake, he is outraged that it says "Love Wins Fag."  He files a lawsuit, runs to the nearest camera weeping, and gets lots of press.  Whole Foods counter-sues, revealing surveillance video showing that the cake did not say "fag" on it until the homosexual had control of it. 
  • April 2016, a transexual claims he was forcibly and violently removed from a bathroom in Durham, North Carolina.  Video footage shows the man walking out of the women's room alone and peacefully.
  • April 2016, the Associated Press publishes an article about a Muslim woman who claims a white man slashed her cheek with a knife then ran away.  The woman claims he called her a "f***ing terrorist."  While knife attacks rose 20% last year in New York City, it turned out that the woman cut her own cheek and made up the entire event.
  • May 2016, a man and his family claims three white guys struck him "several times" while calling him racial slurs.  The family raised a lot of noise about him being ignored by the university authorities.  Later, he admitted it was all a fabrication.  The University still changed its policies and probably punished the men who didn't leap into action based on his allegations.
  •  June 2016, British man makes a video on You Tube all about how he was assaulted in America for being homosexual.  His Arabic friend claimed to be with him on the night and witnessed the assault.  But police found that the two men's accounts were very different, and further found the man to be utterly unharmed at the club when they answered a complaint about 3 men attacking him.  The police arrested the man for vandalizing a car at the scene.  He was seen later beating himself in his cell with the receiver to a pay phone to produce bruises.
  • November 2016, a Muslim college student files a report with the police. Young white men came up to her, insulted her, beat her, and stole her hijab.  The white men were wearing "Make America Great Again" 'Trump hats' she claimed.  It was all a lie.
  • November 2016, a chapel in Northwestern University in Chicago was vandalized with swastikas, racial slurs, the word Trump, and more painted on the walls.  Investigation revealed it was done by two freshman leftists trying to make it look like Trump supporters were responsible..
  • November 2016, a black college student claims along with several others that they are getting threatening messages in their University of South Florida dorm.  She then said she was set upon by several black men and robbed.  Police were able to recover all of the things she said were stolen at the scene of where she reported the act.  She later admitted to the police that the robbery was a lie.  The messages are still under investigation.
  • November 2016 (yes, this was a bad time), a 20 year old black man tells police he was jumped by two white men who told him its "Trump country now" and threatened to lynch him.  He says he was able to elude the men and called the police.  Yes, it was all fabricated, all a lie.
  • November 2016, a girl at Bowling Green State University tells Facebook she was attacked by three men wearing Trump shirts.  They threw rocks at her, and yelled explicit language at her.  Taken to the police by her mother, she reports the crime.  Police investigate and find that she was not in that location at the time of the reported crime.
  • November 2016, a Santa Monica homosexual man is shown in an image on twitter covered in blood, with the claim that he was hit in the head with a bottle for being homosexual by Trump supporters.  He supplied media outlets with forms supposedly of him being admitted to the hospital for injuries.  However, police found that the forms were fake, that the man is a makeup expert, and that they can find no evidence of him being admitted for any harm.  The case is still open, but the man now shows no signs of the alleged harm the image shows, and admits the people may have even been Hillary supporters at this point in his story.
  • November 2016.  A student complains of getting hateful messages toward her at North Park University, both in emails and in print.  One said "back to hell" and all had #Trump on them, to make sure the association was clear.  The university later noted that the entire thing was fabrication.  There's a running theme here I'm sure you've picked up on: the repeated clear indication of Trump being somehow connected... but not.
  • December 2016.  Orlando emergency services responded to a report of a car on fire. It had been doused with gasoline and a brick thrown through the window. Taped to the mailbox of the home was a note with "KKK" and "trump" on it.  The woman's ex-boyfriend was arrested and confessed he had done it over a child support dispute.
  • December 2016.  A Muslim woman at University of Michigan claimed she was "approached" by a man with a "lit lighter" threatening to burn her hijab if she did not remove it.  Police later ascertained that the entire incident was fiction.  Amazingly enough she didn't claim the man had any Trump merchandise on.
  • December 2016.  Swastikas began showing up at Long Island College, scrawled on walls and the letters "KKK" as well.  Trump supporters are suggested as the origin by local press.  Police investigate and find that a Pakistani man who apparently has problems with Jews is to blame.
  • December 2016, A church is burned in Mississippi, one largely attended by blacks.  "Vote Trump" is found spray painted inside.  Police investigate and find the perpetrator: a black man with no connection to the Trump campaign.
  • December 2016, A man's home is spraypainted with "Nigger Lover" on the garage and set ablaze.  The white family inside is traumatized, and calls for help.  A GoFundMe page gathers more than $5000 for the family's bills.  Later the man admits he did it, and checks himself into a mental institution.
This is part of the Faux Hate series.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

FAUX HATE

"Brawley has been the victim of some unspeakable crime. No matter how she got there. No matter who did it to her and even if she did it to herself."

It was May in 1992 when Azalea Cooley said that vandals had spray-painted a swastika and "Burn, Nigger, Burn" on her house. Cooley, a black 40 year old former corrections officer won instant support from those living in the Portland, Oregon area. The mayor, the Police Bureau, the Urban League, the Anti-Bigotry Coalition, the Metropolitan Human Rights Commission all expressed their outrage and fury at the hate crime, and it was on the national news.
She claimed to get threatening letters. A black doll with a .38 bullet in its forehead was found on her porch. Swastikas painted on the property and finally a burning cross was found in her yard. Chris Woodgate writes in Willamette Week:
On Nov. 1, supporters held a rally to "Take a Stand Against Hate," which began with a spiritual "wombing," after which Azalea, in her wheelchair, led a throng of 500 protesters in a march across the Hawthorne Bridge to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Those protesters had no idea that a secret police videotape from that very morning showed a woman with close-cropped hair step past her wheelchair, stick a wooden cross in a flower pot on her back porch, and set it alight.

It was Azalea.

When detectives confronted her with the evidence, she slashed her wrists and was hospitalized. A week later, she penned a handwritten note, confessing that the incidents had been staged, and admitting that she didn't have cancer or need a wheelchair.
As Woodgate puts it: black woman in a wheelchair? She was the perfect victim. Nobody even questioned her claims. And it was all lies, from start to finish. She was the first fake hate crime victim I remember hearing about, although there had been plenty invented to demonize the south in the past. As if the lynchings and church burnings weren't bad enough, people invented more to make the civil rights struggles more dramatic and horrible, I suppose.

I'm actually having a hard time remembering the last valid 'hate crime' even assuming the category has the slightest shred of credibility. It doesn't of course, its just a crime. Only Big Brother type tyrants would insist on making a crime worse based on the bigotry of the perpetrator. As if killing someone is not as bad because you failed to harbor some special bigotry.

The litany of fake hate crimes, of course, is long and pathetic. Here's a quick rundown of the faked hate crimes of our times in years past:
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Monday, October 31, 2016

THE CURE

In 1996, a group of theologians, teachers, pastors, and Christian thinkers gathered and decided that a single, guiding statement of faith and intent would be useful for the church to follow and consider.  They formed CURE: Christians United for Reformation, with the sole intent of being a focused, united front to help guide Christians and shape the Christian Church toward more Biblical theology.
Cure was founded by some of the greatest living leaders in Christianity at the time: Michael Horton, Rod Rosenbladt, James M. Boice, David Wells, Gene Veith, Robert Godfrey, Albert Mohler, Alistair Begg, RC Sproul, and many more.  They produced a document, a statement of intent that came to be known as the Cambridge Declaration.
So why bring this up on Halloween?  Because for protestants, October 31st is when we remember that Martin Luther hammered his 95 theses on the Whittenberg chapel door, as was the fashion of the time, laying out what his next talk was going to be about.  I've written about that in the past, but in short, it kickstarted the Protestant Reformation.  And that's what the Cambridge Declaration was about as well, a return of the church to the Bible's teachings.
The document was a statement of faith, with a series of declarations of concern and complaint, followed by the answer and where the church should then go.  It was in effect, a 20th century version of the 95 theses.
Here is the declaration:
Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ. As evangelicals, we call ourselves to repent of this sin and to recover the historic Christian faith.
In the course of history words change. In our day this has happened to the word "evangelical." In the past it served as a bond of unity between Christians from a wide diversity of church traditions.
Historic evangelicalism was confessional. It embraced the essential truths of Christianity as those were defined by the great ecumenical councils of the church. In addition, evangelicals also shared a common heritage in the "solas" of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation.
Today the light of the Reformation has been significantly dimmed. The consequence is that the word "evangelical" has become so inclusive as to have lost its meaning. We face the peril of losing the unity it has taken centuries to achieve. Because of this crisis and because of our love of Christ, his gospel and his church, we endeavor to assert anew our commitment to the central truths of the Reformation and of historic evangelicalism. These truths we affirm not because of their role in our traditions, but because we believe that they are central to the Bible.
Sola Scriptura: The Erosion Of Authority
Scripture alone is the inerrant rule of the church's life, but the evangelical church today has separated Scripture from its authoritative function. In practice, the church is guided, far too often, by the culture. Therapeutic technique, marketing strategies, and the beat of the entertainment world often have far more to say about what the church wants, how it functions and what it offers, than does the Word of God. Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of the music. As biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and as its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction.
Rather than adapting Christian faith to satisfy the felt needs of consumers, we must proclaim the law as the only measure of true righteousness and the gospel as the only announcement of saving truth. Biblical truth is indispensable to the church's understanding, nurture and discipline.
Scripture must take us beyond our perceived needs to our real needs and liberate us from seeing ourselves through the seductive images, cliches, promises, and priorities of mass culture. It is only in the light of God's truth that we understand ourselves aright and see God's provision for our need. The Bible, therefore, must be taught and preached in the church. Sermons must be expositions of the Bible and its teachings, not expressions of the preachers opinions or the ideas of the age. We must settle for nothing less than what God has given.
The work of the Holy Spirit in personal experience cannot be disengaged from Scripture. The Spirit does not speak in ways that are independent of Scripture. Apart from Scripture we would never have known of God's grace in Christ. The biblical Word, rather than spiritual experience, is the test of truth.
Thesis One: Sola Scriptura
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.
We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
Solus Christus: The Erosion Of Christ-Centered Faith
As evangelical faith becomes secularized, its interests have been blurred with those of the culture. The result is a loss of absolute values, permissive individualism, and a substitution of wholeness for holiness, recovery for repentance, intuition for truth, feeling for belief, chance for providence, and immediate gratification for enduring hope. Christ and his cross have moved from the center of our vision.
Thesis Two: Solus Christus
We reaffirm that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.
We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ's substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.
Sola Gratia: The Erosion Of The Gospel
Unwarranted confidence in human ability is a product of fallen human nature. This false confidence now fills the evangelical world from the self-esteem gospel to the health and wealth gospel, from those who have transformed the gospel into a product to be sold and sinners into consumers who want to buy to others who treat Christian faith as being true simply because it works. This silences the doctrine of justification regardless of the official commitments of our churches.
God's grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. We confess that human beings are born spiritually dead and are incapable even of cooperating with regenerating grace.
Thesis Three: Sola Gratia
We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.
We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.
Sola Fide: The Erosion Of The Chief Article
Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. This is the article by which the church stands or falls. Today this article is often ignored, distorted or sometimes even denied by leaders, scholars and pastors who claim to be evangelical. Although fallen human nature has always recoiled from recognizing its need for Christ's imputed righteousness, modernity greatly fuels the fires of this discontent with the biblical Gospel. We have allowed this discontent to dictate the nature of our ministry and what it is we are preaching.
Many in the church growth movement believe that sociological understanding of those in the pew is as important to the success of the gospel as is the biblical truth which is proclaimed. As a result, theological convictions are frequently divorced from the work of the ministry. The marketing orientation in many churches takes this even further, erasing the distinction between the biblical Word and the world, robbing Christ's cross of its offense, and reducing Christian faith to the principles and methods which bring success to secular corporations.
While the theology of the cross may be believed, these movements are actually emptying it of its meaning. There is no gospel except that of Christ's substitution in our place whereby God imputed to him our sin and imputed to us his righteousness. Because he bore our judgment, we now walk in his grace as those who are forever pardoned, accepted and adopted as God's children. There is no basis for our acceptance before God except in Christ's saving work, not in our patriotism, churchly devotion or moral decency. The gospel declares what God has done for us in Christ. It is not about what we can do to reach him.
Thesis Four: Sola Fide
We reaffirm that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.
We deny that justification rests on any merit to be found in us, or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ's righteousness in us, or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.
Soli Deo Gloria: The Erosion Of God-Centered Worship
Wherever in the church biblical authority has been lost, Christ has been displaced, the gospel has been distorted, or faith has been perverted, it has always been for one reason: our interests have displaced God's and we are doing his work in our way. The loss of God's centrality in the life of today's church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.
God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interest. We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God's kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.
Thesis Five: Soli Deo Gloria
We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone.
We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self-fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.
A Call To Repentance And Reformation
The Faithfulness of the evangelical church in the past contrasts sharply with its unfaithfulness in the present. Earlier in this century, evangelical churches sustained a remarkable missionary endeavor, and built many religious institutions to serve the cause of biblical truth and Christ's kingdom. That was a time when Christian behavior and expectations were markedly different from those in the culture. Today they often are not. The evangelical world today is losing its biblical fidelity, moral compass and missionary zeal.
We repent of our worldliness. We have been influenced by the "gospels" of our secular culture, which are not gospels. We have weakened the church by our own lack of serious repentance, our blindness to the sins in ourselves which we see so clearly in others, and our inexcusable failure adequately to tell others about God's saving work in Jesus Christ.
We also earnestly call back erring professing evangelicals who have deviated from God's Word in the matters discussed in this Declaration. This includes those who declare that there is hope of eternal life apart from explicit faith in Jesus Christ, who claim that those who reject Christ in this life will be annihilated rather than endure the just judgment of God through eternal suffering, or who claim that evangelicals and Roman Catholics are one in Jesus Christ even where the biblical doctrine of justification is not believed.
The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals asks all Christians to give consideration to implementing this Declaration in the church's worship, ministry policies, life and evangelism.
For Christ's sake. Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2016

THE GROWING CANCER

"Maybe not solvable within your laws"
-Mathematics

We are in a time in America where everyone is massively divided on politics, to the point of tooth-gnashing rage over every single issue and candidate. Not just divided like two friends, but turning into enemies with furious bitterness.
The last time this happened, we erupted into the bloodiest and most ghastly war in American history. And I know the cause. Its not "heated rhetoric" or the internet, or radicalism in candidates or culture wars, although all that contributes.
The cause is power.
The federal, state, and local governments have gotten so much power over every aspect of our lives that instead of being a contest over which fellow will waste our time and smoke cigars in office, they affect us in critical, absolute ways. The bloat and expansion of the government at all levels, particularly federal means that there's too much at stake every election. We're not voting for representatives. We're voting for our future, desperate to control what the state can and will do.
A smaller government would have so much less impact on your life and influence your liberty and day to day behavior that elections would have significantly less import.  150 years ago, the government was so much smaller and weaker it had little impact on most people's lives.  You could go weeks, months, even years without even being aware there was a federal government -- there wasn't even a yearly federal income tax to pay.
 Even just thirty years ago nobody seriously believed the government would monitor all our phonecalls and drag people off to prison. Nobody seriously believed that you could be arrested for how the dust blew off your property when you plowed a field or where you smoked. Nobody believed you could be fined or jailed for who you baked a cake for or didn't. And already by that time the federal government was far too vast.
Now its even bigger, exponentially, like the Blob. Its eating everything. And that means every election everything is at stake. The last 8 years of President Obama has seen a deliberate, systematic, and overwhelming drive from the top down to totally change the culture and throw everything that we know and became in America away for something radical and new.
 Even if you believe this is a good change, its so fast and so dominating and so top-down that it is incredibly disruptive to culture and our identity as a nation, not to mention the function and identity of the nation in the world at large.
And that is something people do not take lightly or go through easily, even if they aren't really aware of what's happening. This complicates matters, making people especially uneasy as life is unstable and unpredictable, but its also an example of how power is being exercised at an even greater rate and with even greater force, making each election more dire and important.
Every election becomes ever more important and the stakes get ever higher, because every election the federal government has spread further like a cancer devouring more and more freedom, power, and influence. Each election is a desperate bid to control that power, because of how it can and will be used.
 And as each presidency goes by, we see that power used for more and more extreme and expansive things -- in the name of doing good and helping out of course -- but used either way. So each election is more horrifying and important. The stakes have gotten so high that I fear there will be blood on the streets before the next one.
And there's only one way out of this: for the monster to be cut back, for the government to shrink. And I see no possible way for that to happen within the system and within the boundaries of law. And that's an outcome we all should fear and pray God does not happen.