Tag Archives: Europe

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

This is a must-listen lecture from famous pastor Wayne Grudem.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.

Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades

Crusader
Crusader

Here is an interesting article from Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Intro:

The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.

But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

The four myths:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
  • Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
  • Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Here’s the most obvious thing you should know. The Crusades were defensive actions:

In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest. The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them.

If you asked me what are the two best books on the Crusades, I would answer God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Baylor professor Rodney Stark and The Concise History of the Crusades by Professor Thomas F. Madden. If you get this question a lot from atheists, then I recommend you pick these up. Anything by Rodney Stark is useful for Christians, in fact.

Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades

Crusader
Crusader

Here is an interesting article from Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Intro:

The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.

But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

The four myths:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
  • Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
  • Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Here’s the most obvious thing you should know. The Crusades were defensive actions:

In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest. The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them.

If you asked me what are the two best books on the Crusades, I would answer God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Baylor professor Rodney Stark and The Concise History of the Crusades by Professor Thomas F. Madden. If you get this question a lot from atheists, then I recommend you pick these up. Anything by Rodney Stark is useful for Christians, in fact.

Why did European countries import millions of unskilled Muslim immigrants?

Muslim populations in Europe
Muslim populations in Europe

I am currently reading a book recommended to me by Dina, my wise advisor. The book is amazing. I want to put it in the hands of all the naive, leftist Christian leaders and Republicans who favor amnesty, and not building a border wall. If I can’t convince you to read the book right now, at least take a look at this review of it in The Federalist.

Excerpt:

“The Strange Death of Europe” is a polemical but perceptive book culled from Murray’s extended sojourns across Europe’s frontiers – from the Italian island of Lampedusa, a flyspeck in the Mediterranean closer to the shores of North Africa than it is to Sicily, and to Greek islands that sit within sight of the Turkish coastline. These places have borne the brunt of the recent exodus from the Middle East and North Africa, but the author has also ventured to the remote suburbs of Scandinavia and Germany and France where many of these ­migrants end up. The resulting portrait is not a happy one.

[…]The distinguishing feature of modern Europe is its persistent ennui, shown in the inability or unwillingness “to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument.” What’s more, Europeans seem less stirred to face these unpleasant facts than they are fearful of interpreting them too precisely.

The book analyzes how the secular left “argued” for more immigration of low-skilled Muslims from countries that do not accept Western views on things like the respectful treatment of women.

The never-slacking thirst among Europe’s political class for more immigration has rested on two flawed assumptions, one economic and the other normative (and usually in that order). The economic assumption cites the benefits of immigration without accounting for its costs, and seldom acknowledges that benefits accrue chiefly to the migrants themselves and to highly compensated native inhabitants. Most of the rest of society is left to foot the bill for this immense regressive redistribution of wealth from the poor (who are squeezed out of the labor force) to the rich (who benefit from cheap labor).

Any public concerns about the financial downsides of this immigration – from increased pressure on housing markets to depressed wages – have been swept aside in deference to Europe’s dwindling fertility rates. (In a classic instance of one erroneous public policy begetting another, Murray shrewdly notes that the political left encouraged a “one-child policy” in order to attain an “optimum global population” only later to demand mass immigration in order to lift birthrates back to replacement levels.) The problem of Europe’s birth dearth is very real. The working-age population of Western Europe peaked in 2012 at 308 million – and is set to decline to 265 million by 2060.

So how will immigration schemes alleviate Europe’s fertility-driven strain on the welfare state? It is not clear that they will. Advocates of the rejuvenating effects of immigration are seldom obliged to spell out the wisdom of importing the poor and dispossessed of the world who generally lack the skills required for success in an advanced market economy. Can these migrants reliably be expected to contribute more in taxes than they consume in state aid? (They wouldn’t be alone in their dependence on government largesse: plenty of native workers, too, are struggling mightily to cope with the creative destruction unleashed by the march of globalization and technology.)

When advocates of open borders are pressed on these points, they generally repair to the normative argument. It has been claimed that when a flood of migrants started to pile up at Europe’s frontiers in 2015, the issue ceased to be economic and instead became moral: tending to the needs of beleaguered strangers. Thus Europe’s longstanding debate over immigration suddenly transformed into a contest between head and heart, and in a stampede of sanctimony it was decided that soft-heartedness was better hard-headedness.

What was amazing to me, is that people from these Islamic countries were able to just walk in to Europe and claim asylum. This put them on an immediate path to citizenship. Since there were so many people coming, their claims were not vetted. The immigrants would destroy their own identity documents after arriving in Europe, and then claim to be coming from whatever nation had a war going on, e.g. from Syria. Even if they could not speak any Syrian, they would still be let in and put on a path to citizenship! Incredible.

I have to include this:

After the 7/7 bombings in London, polls revealed that 68 percent of British Muslims believe that British citizens who “insult Islam” should be arrested and prosecuted.

See, no problem at all integrating into Western civilization. It’s not like their just going to start raping and murdering 14-year-old Jewish girls, or start up underage sex-trafficking rings. But the people making the immigration policy don’t care about public safety. They want to appear compassionate. And they do it by spending other people’s money and by risking other people’s safety. There is no concern for the money and safety of taxpayers, the important thing is that the politicians feel good about themselves. They’re better than the people who they stick with the bill. Or the people they stick with the machete. I know that compassionate leftists like Russell Moore want me to think that they are good people, but I don’t. Because I always think of the victims of their compassion. Anyone who votes for more immigration without oversight and accountability is responsible for the harm.

For me, the most interesting part of the book was not about why secular leftist politicians decided to open up the borders, how many Muslim immigrants commit crimes against their welcoming hosts, how European activists subvert the law to welcome in more immigrants (including lying about their own rapes at the hands of Muslim refugees, to cover for the rapist), or how the police cover up crimes committed by Muslim refugees and immigrants. The most interesting part was how anyone who tries to make public safety or fiscal arguments against the mass importation of low-skilled Muslims was vilified. Careers were ended. Reputations were ruined. And then the Muslims themselves would launch lawsuits or take more violent, and even murderous, measures to silence their critics.

UK police ignore underage sex-trafficking to focus on policing people’s thoughts

Scotland Police has time for monitoring social media
Scotland Police has time for monitoring social media

By now most people have heard about how gangs of Middle Eastern immigrants formed sex-trafficking rings in the UK. Some of the girls and/or their mothers went to the UK police for help, but the UK police wouldn’t do anything because the sex-traffickers were men of Middle Eastern descent. They didn’t want to be accused of “racism” for protecting underage fatherless white girls from gang-rape.

So, what are the UK police up to instead? Well, their top priority is policing people’s speech and even their thoughts.

The UK Daily Mail report on a recent incident:

A mother was arrested in front of her children and locked up for seven hours after referring to a transgender woman as a man online.

Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing her at a police station about an argument with an activist on Twitter over so-called ‘deadnaming’.

The 38-year-old, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken and remains under investigation.

More than two months after her arrest on December 1, she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned…

[…]Writing on online forum Mumsnet, Mrs Scottow – who has also been served with a court order that bans her from referring to her accuser as a man – claimed: ‘I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present.

‘I was then detained for seven hours in a cell with no sanitary products (which I said I needed) before being interviewed then later released under investigation … I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter.’

They needed three police officers to arrest this dangerous criminal, to let her neighbors know how dangerous her hate speech was.

Does this happen a lot in the UK? Well, you just have to go back a few weeks to find another case.

Limericks are illegal in the UK, if they make people feels sad
Limericks are illegal in the UK, if they make people feels sad

Here is the UK Telegraph to report on another recent incident:

A docker from Humberside has been investigated by police over a limerick he posted on Twitter after an officer claimed it constitutes a ‘hate incident’ against transgender people.

Harry Miller, 53, from Lincoln was contacted on Wednesday by a community cohesion officer following a complaint that had been made about the plant and machinery dealer’s social media posts.

Citing 30 potentially offensive tweets, the PC singled out a limerick Mr Miller had retweeted which  questioned whether transgender women are biological women.

[…]Even though no crime was committed, sharing the limerick online was recorded as a ‘hate incident’.

[…]After Mr Miller questioned why the complainant was being described as a “victim” if no crime had been committed, the officer told him: “We need to check your thinking”.

The fact is, having the police show up at your door to investigate you is a daily occurrence in the UK. They need to do this intimidation and harassment, so that the other taxpayers who pay their salaries understand that their speech is being monitored.

But if police resources are being dedicated to policing other people’s thoughts, then some other crimes won’t get any attention from police.

UK police ignore underage sex-trafficking

What kinds of crimes might be ignored by the UK police, because they are busy policing Twitter tweets that make people feel sad?

The UK Daily Mail reports:

A victim of the ring said she was ‘let down’ by police and the Crown Prosecution Service because the issue of [Middle Eastern immigrant] gangs grooming young white girls was ‘unheard of’ at the time.

The girl, who was 15 when she was targeted by the gang, reported the abuse to police in August 2008 but the CPS decided not to prosecute because they did not believe a jury would find her ‘credible’.

The Evening Standard reports:

Police and council leaders today apologised for their failings as a gang of paedophiles was convicted at the Old Bailey of serial abuse of schoolgirls while in care.

The girls, some as young as 11, were drugged, raped, trafficked and used as prostitutes while supposedly in the safe-keeping of the local authority in Oxford.

[…]Today five men of Pakistani origin and two from North Africa were convicted of more than 40 charges spanning eight years.

[…]The charges involved six girls between the ages of 11 and 15 who were abused over nine years in the Cowley area of Oxford.

[…]Girl D told how, at the age of 11, she was branded with a heated hairpin by a trafficker and loaned to other abusers for £600 an hour.

Over five years she was repeatedly raped by large groups of men in what she described as “torture sex”.

[…]Another victim, Girl A, complained of her plight to police on two occasions but no one was charged.

In the UK, being yourself and expressing yourself is a crime, because it’s important that people on the left don’t have their feelings hurt.

Keep in mind what the secular left is doing in other countries now, because these will be the policies of the Democrat Party 5-10 years down the road. We have to learn what the Democrats are planning by looking at what the secular leftists are doing in countries where they are the majority. There isn’t a Democrat politician in the USA who doesn’t agree 100% with these UK policies.