France’s socialist leader Macron raised gas taxes in order to encourage people to drive their cars less. His gas taxes were supposed to reduce carbon emissions, and “stop global warming”. The people who have to pay those taxes, many of whom voted for him, protested. So Macron decided to persuade them.
Vincent Picard describes himself as a “militant ecologist.” But when protesters took to the streets to express their rage over a planned increase in France’s fuel tax, Mr. Picard joined their ranks.
He acknowledges that the tax might encourage the conservation considered critical for a healthy planet. But with the nearest train station 35 minutes away, he has to drive to work every day.
“I am conscious that we have reached the end of fossil fuels and that we have to modify our habits,” said Mr. Picard, a 32-year-old pastry maker from northern France. But, he added, “You have to continue to live.”
The gas tax is part of an effort started by France in 2014 to regularly raise the tax on fossil fuels to fight global climate change.
The so-called Yellow Vest protests against the tax increase have become the biggest obstacle yet to such attempts to encourage conservation and alternative energy use.
[…]Mr. Picard, the pastry chef, for instance, earns €1,280 a month, or about $1,450, after payroll taxes. For him, the planned tax increase of 6 or 7 cents per liter of gas “is enormous,” he said.
Wow, the “ecologist” (pastry chef) wants to save the planet, but he doesn’t want to have to pay for it.
This tweet made me laugh out loud:
She doesn’t like the socialism she voted for, either. Taxing the rich made her feel so good, until she found out that the government thinks she is rich, and taxed her.
But isn’t green energy working in Canada?
But France isn’t the only socialist country passing carbon taxes to stop the global warming monster. Canada is doing it too, especially in the province of Ontario, where they switched from nuclear power to wind power.
Here is a helpful graphic from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank that focuses on fiscal policy:
But it’s not just green energy, they wanted a carbon tax, too. Environmentally conscious Canadian voters handed their socialist leader Trudeau a majority government two years ago. But now that they are getting the carbon tax that they voted for, they’re having second thoughts about paying for it.
Two years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a set of aggressive policies to reduce his country’s greenhouse gas emissions, centered on a nationwide price on carbon.
As that price is about to take effect, growing opposition has put Trudeau on the defensive and has provincial governments rolling back other measures, raising questions about the appetite of this oil-exporting country to tackle climate change.
[…]The growing backlash to Canada’s climate push reflects a number of changes, experts say. Those include widespread anger in Ontario as electricity prices soared in recent years, driven in part by a shift to renewables.
Canada’s environment minister “Climate Barbie” (she has no earned degrees in climate science, or any applied science, but she sure is glamorous and hawt) says they’re going ahead with the carbon tax:
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, said in an interview that the dangers associated with global warming meant her government had to cut emissions. She said the government would proceed with its plan in the face of provincial opposition.
Canadian socialists felt so good when they elected a socialist. They wanted their carbon tax, and they thought the rich would pay for it. But just like the socialist voters in France, they are learning that they are going to have to pay for it. It felt so good to save the planet by voting for socialism… voting didn’t cost a thing, and it felt so good. You can tell your friends “I voted socialist”, and they’ll think you’re compassionate and caring. But then the bill came, and you find out that you have to pay for what you voted for.
The nice thing about consumption taxes (e.g. – gas taxes and carbon taxes), is that everyone has to pay for it. Income taxes are only pad by people who earn money. But consumption taxes are paid by everyone. If France is any indication about what’s ahead for Canada, then we should soon see young Canadian socialists choking on tear gas. (Maybe they will think that’s an improvement from the pot they’re smoking now that they legalized it). It’s time for Canadian socialists to understand the price they have to pay for their belief in global warming mythology. Bring. It. On.
Although we live in a culture that is dominated by the thoughts and opinions of secular leftists, science provides useful information for those who want defend Biblical morality. Consider the issue of sexuality and marriage. Secular leftists claim that sex outside of marriage is natural, and produces happiness. Bible believing Christians and Jews say chastity is best. Who is right?
Here is the latest study authored by Dr. Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah. His previous book on relationships was published by Oxford University Press. In his analysis of the data, Wolfinger controlled for divorce rates, religiosity, and socioeconomic status.
Here’s the most important graph:
Other factors that increased marital happiness: having a 4-year college degree (5%), having a salary > 78K (5%), regular church attendance (6%). Notice that women are more dissatisfied with marriage (in general) than men are, and they tend to blame the spouse they freely chose for that unhappiness.
The Federalist also reported on previous research relevant to this study:
Psychologists Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley found that women who have had sex with someone other than their husband report statistically significant drops in marital quality over those who don’t. A 2004 study by sociologist Jay Teachman showed that intimate premarital activities such as cohabitation and intercourse increased the rate of marital dissolution by anywhere between 28 and 109 percent, depending on the activity.
Wolfinger also noted in a previous study that only 5% of women were virgins when they married.
Wolfinger noted that a possible explanation for the link between promiscuity and unhappiness is that people look back on their past partners and compare their spouse unfavorably to them. This is especially the case with women. My concern about this is that feminism has taught women to try to increase their social standing by having hook-up sex with attractive bad boys. If those women ever marry, they do it when they are older, less fertile, and less attractive. The husband they eventually “settle” for will (in their minds) always compare unfavorably to the hot bad boys they had sex with when they were younger and prettier. This, I believe, is what leads to their unhappiness with the man they chose to marry.
More partners also means more marital instability
In a previous post, I blogged about several studies linking virginity to marital stability. Couples who don’t have sex before marriage, or even who delayed it, reported better communication, higher satisfaction, better quality sex, and a lower chance of divorce.
Men ought to be aware of this research when they are choosing a spouse. Obviously, you want a virgin, for the increased happiness and increased stability. For marriage-friendly character, you want to avoid women who are promiscuous thrill-seekers. You want to avoid women who run up debt doing easy non-STEM degrees and traveling. You want to avoid women who hook up with hot bad boys aren’t serious about commitment. Women who choose fun and thrills in their teens and 20s are setting a pattern of using sex as a way to get happiness in the moment. Later on, they’ll continue that pattern of seeing relationships as commodities that are designed to make them feel good, moment by moment. They’ll look at marriage as a way to fulfill their needs. They’ll have internalized the view that relationships are not commitments to invest in self-sacrificially. The pattern will be: “if it doesn’t make me feel happy right now, then it should be ended”. Men who aren’t serious about evaluating the character of the women for the marriage enterprise are running the risk of divorce, it’s that simple.
The best way to make sure that you have a clear head when evaluating a woman is to stay sober, and keep her hands off of you. When a man refuses to let a woman cloud his judgment with sex, then she is forced to learn how to love him, help him, and submit to his leadership. Male chastity encourages women who have been influenced by feminism to abandon selfishness, fun-seeking, and thrill-seeking, so that they learn to care for others. Male chastity also helps a man to resist older women who chose bad boys in their teens and 20s and want to get married to a good provider in their 30s. The studies discussed above clearly show that such women are more likely to be unhappy, and their future marriages are more likely to be unstable. Avoid them.
I’ve been blogging about skyrocketing rates of sexually-transmitted-diseases for the last few years, and particularly how it impacts high risk groups, e.g. – men who have sex with men. The attitude that the culture is taking towards this is to not make any moral judgments, but someone is going to have to pay for all the health care that is required to “fix” this problem.
Sexually-transmitted diseases continue to hit all-time highs in the U.S. with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting a 10 percent spike for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017. The federal health agency said in a report released Tuesday that the numbers, which include nearly 2.3 million new cases of the aforementioned diseases, reflect a “steep, sustained increase” in STDs since 2013.
“We’re sliding backward,” Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”
The data, which was presented at the 2018 STD Prevention Conference, found a 67 percent increase in gonorrhea diagnoses, which officials sounded alarm over due to the growing threat of untreatable strains.
The CDC gives us the numbers well enough, but like all government agencies, their attitude is not to tell the selfish adults to behave morally. They blame “stigma and discrimination” for the rise in STDs, and recommend more government as the solution. I.e. – they think that people who disapprove of sex outside of marriage are to blame for the skyrocketing rates of STDs. If we all stopped making the irresponsible, reckless people feel bad with our ignorant moral judgments, then the STD problem would immediately be solved.
Scientists have found a “superbug” strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all recommended antibiotics and say it could transform a once easily treatable infection into a global public health threat.
The new strain of the sexually transmitted disease — called H041 — cannot be killed by any currently recommended treatments for gonorrhea, leaving doctors with no other option than to try medicines so far untested against the disease.
[…]Gonorrhea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection and if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.
British scientists said last year that there was a real risk of gonorrhea becoming a superbug — a bacteria that has mutated and become resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics — after increasing reports of gonorrhea drug resistance emerged in Hong Kong, China, Australia and other parts of Asia.
Now, I know it’s tempting (for some people who like tolerance) to say that we should let people do whatever they want to do, and not judge them. After all, we can just take some money from the wealthy in order to solve these problems without making anyone feel bad. I hear this a lot from the the “don’t judge” crowd. But this time, it looks like no amount of money is going to solve this problem, and maybe the judgers were right to warn.
The sometimes-deadly disease syphilis is exploding in the United States, with most of the increase since 1995 among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to a new report from the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control (CDC).
As recently as 2000, researchers believed the total elimination of syphilis was within reach. The recent dramatic increases in infections, coupled with the observation that syphilis closely tracks with other diseases like AIDS, have the medical and scientific community deeply concerned. The CDC report considers “the increase in syphilis among MSM is a major public health concern.”
According to the report, “During 2005-2013, the number of primary and secondary syphilis cases reported each year in the United States nearly doubled, from 8,724 to 16,663; the annual rate increased from 2.9 to 5.3 cases per 100,000 population.”
The report also says that “men contributed an increasing proportion of cases, accounting for 91.1% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2013.” Most of the increases came from men who have sex with men, which were responsible for 77% of cases in 2009 but 83.9% in 2012, what the report calls “the vast majority of male… syphilis cases.”
A fact sheet released at the end of June by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that HIV rates, already at epidemic proportions, are continuing to climb steadily among men who have sex with men (MSM).
“Gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” says Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention.
The CDC notes that while homosexual men make up only a very small percentage of the male population (4%), MSM account for over three-quarters of all new HIV infections, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010 (29,800).
“Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by HIV in the United States,” the fact sheet states.
We do have certain segments of the population who think that normal sexuality means having sex with dozens, hundreds and even thousands of partners. Just on the grounds of “they’re hot”. And naturally, these people are at higher risk for STDs.
I’ve sometimes struggled with getting young, unmarried Christians to follow my advice, especially about learning apologetics and developing a Biblical worldview. For some, their priorities seem to be more in line with the secular culture than what I would expect from a follower of Jesus. So, I am thankful for wise Christian women like Alisa and Lori who are able to make a persuasive case to them.
Let’s start with The Transformed Wife (Lori Alexander), who responds to a Facebook post by Rachel Hollis. (H/T Lindsay)
There is a post going around Facebook that was written by a popular “Christian” woman named Rachel Hollis. I am going to share it with you and my comments are in parenthesis.
[…]I love Jesus, and I cuss a little. ( I love Jesus and I don’t cuss because God doesn’t want any unwholesome words to come out of our mouths.) I love Jesus, and I drink alcohol. (I love Jesus and I don’t drink alcohol. No, it’s not a sin to drink alcohol as long as it “just a little” or “not much” as clearly outlined in Scripture; for we are commanded to be sober.) I love Jesus, and some of my best friends are gay. (I love Jesus but my gay friends are struggling against their sins.) I love Jesus, and I adore hip hop music. (I love Jesus, and I adore worship and praise music! Most hip hop music promotes worldliness which we are to have no part with.) I love Jesus, and I totally read romance novels where vampires fall in love with librarians or school teachers or female detectives with a tortured backstory. (I love Jesus and I try to only read those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and of good report as stated in Philippians 4:8.)
[…]Diversity is our jam. (Christlikeness is our jam.)
Judgment is our enemy. (We are to make righteous judgments and clearly judge between right and wrong. “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” – Romans 12:9)
[…]I love everyone AS THEY ARE and if you’re in this community that means you commit to loving everyone as well. You know, just like Jesus would do. (The same Jesus that said that if your right eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out and if your arm causes you to sin, then cut it off? And the same Jesus that told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more? Are you talking about this Jesus? Yes, He loved people but he hated the sin that so easily entangled them and kept them in bondage…)
Alisa Childers did a more apologetics-oriented review of Rachel’s book on her blog. (H/T Eric, Terrell, Lindsay)
She has five points:
Lie #1: You come first, and your happiness depends on you
Lie #2: You should never give up on your dreams
Lie #3: Religious Pluralism is true
Lie #4: Judgment is bad
Lie #5: Sin is not the problem
Let’s look at #2:
Lie #2: You should never give up on your dreams.
[…]]What is Rachel Hollis’ dream? I felt actual sadness when I read it:
I’m a big fan of displaying visuals inside my closet door to remind me every single day of what my aim is. Currently taped to my door: the cover of Forbes featuring self-made female CEOs, a vacation house in Hawaii . . . and a picture of Beyoncé, obvi.
Jesus never called us to chase after power, money, and fame (and He actually had quite a bit to say about those things). He called us to lay our pursuit of all that stuff down and follow Him. He said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
Are female CEOs and Beyonce advancing the Kingdom of God? How does a vacation house in Hawaii advance the Kingdom of God?
And also #3:
#3. Religious Pluralism is basically the idea that all roads lead to God. There is no right way or wrong way to think about God, and my religion is no better or more “right” than yours. This is a message Hollis shouts from the proverbial rooftops. The only problem? It’s a worldview. It’s an actual religious belief about God that claims to trump all others.
What do I mean? If you claim that all religions are equally valid and true, then you are excluding all religions that don’t affirm that.
. . .Just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone. . .Faith is one of the most abused instances of this. We decide that our religion is right; therefore, every other religion must be wrong.
Logically, this sentiment can’t be true—because all religions contradict each other at some point. And Christianity is, by nature, exclusive. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Religious Pluralism is a dogmatic religious belief—and it contradicts Christianity.
If I had to take the spin off what Rachel is saying, it would be this:
Be your own Lord instead of accepting Jesus as Lord (e.g. – Jesus defines marriage as one man and one woman, for life)
Don’t worry about sanctification or holiness or discipleship
Get your worldview from culture: feel good, be liked, don’t judge
I have non-Christian co-workers that I speak to regularly, and her view is essentially the same as their secular left worldview. Making herself God, inventing her own morality by consulting the secular left culture around her, embracing postmodernism and moral relativism, demanding acceptance and approval from Bible-believing Christians for doing what feels right to her, etc.
Christians should plan so they avoid doing evil and harming others
What sort of life outcomes should we expect from Rachel, when she surrounds herself with non-Christian peers and advisors? I would argue that she is less likely to achieve the life outcomes that a Christian is supposed to be aiming for. It’s not just that Rachel doesn’t want to do what the Bible says. It’s that she is taking action to go down a path that leads to outcomes that no Bible-believing Christian would want.
OK, the next paragraph is the most difficult paragraph in the post, so just be ready to read something a bit rough.
When a Christian woman wants to have premarital sex with a non-Christian she is attracted to, she doesn’t write on Facebook how she is setting out on a course that will result in an abortion, or a divorce that deprives her children of a father, or dependency on social programs paid for by her neighbors. She starts out by writing a post like Rachel wrote, explaining how she has managed to reconcile her Christian upbringing with all her new non-Christian behaviors, non-Christian influences, and non-Christian friends. Her parents and pastors remain silent, because after all, she is so tolerant and accepting, it just seems “nice”. But when the predictable damaging outcome arrives later, then she will holler to everyone about Jesus, grace and forgiveness, i.e. – “who are you to judge me?”.
What happened? The function that Christianity plays in such a person’s worldview is 1) as a feeling that the universe will mysteriously make her desires work out, so that she feels good. And 2) as a “get out of judgment free” card, so that no one can disagree with her or teach her. Jesus is not her leader. He is her cosmic butler.
Note: Christian men do the exact same thing.
Well, God does forgive sin. But only those who sincerely repent of it, and who don’t encourage others to do it. If your priority is to do what you want, then punt to grace when your own bad choices blow up in your face, it’s a very good sign that you were never a Christian at all. David sinned with Bathsheba because he was far from the battlefield. To be a Christian means that you never stop fighting against your own sin, and you’re always arguing against sin in the marketplace of ideas. No Christian should ever publicly assert that a sin is “acceptable”. If we do it, we should regret it, not “accept” it.
The Christian life is not a life of following your heart, avoiding the wisdom of proven Christians, and then acting surprised when your sin destroys you. You need to be actively planning out how to avoid sinning, and arguing persuasively against sin in public. For example, you can can make wise choices with your education, career and finances in order to avoid the temptation to steal, gamble or defraud others. Since the Bible is against premarital sex, abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage, but the culture is not, then you can change your convictions about these things to be in line with the Bible instead of culture by reading research papers on these topics. Instead of putting Christianity down to the level of “faith”, you should study so that you can trust Jesus’ teachings and be ready to promote the truth claims and moral values of the Bible to others.
Christians ought to be about protecting others from the damage caused by selfish adults who want to choose immoral behaviors. Doing the right thing is an engineering project. With your choices, you build a worldview, a peer group and a set of influences on you that makes sin very hard to choose. That’s the real Christian life.
Christians disagree with non-Christians
When Christians don’t study apologetics, then they often find themselves uncritically coming under the influence of the secular culture. To transform the secular culture, Christians should learn how to demonstrate the truth of Christianity with evidence.
I know that women tend to be motivated to avoid conflicts with others, and so they tend to avoid apologetics. But truth matters. Non-Christians need to know what’s true so they can make good decisions – including becoming a Christian.
I recommend everyone read this excellent post by Dr. Michael Brown, entitled “Love Warns“.
Are people on the secular left interested in conforming their beliefs to what scientists discover about the universe? Do they greet the progress of science with an open heart and an open mind? Well, we already know that secular leftists are hostile to what science has shown about the origin of the universe, and the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life. But what about moral issues like transgenderism?
This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.
[…]The study was published on Aug. 16 in PLOS ONE.
Littman surveyed more than 250 parents of children who suddenly developed gender dysphoria symptoms during or after puberty.
The pattern of clusters of teens in friend groups becoming transgender-identified, the group dynamics of these friend groups and the types of advice viewed online led her to the hypothesis that friends and online sources could spread certain beliefs. Examples include the belief that non-specific symptoms such as feeling uncomfortable in their own skins or feeling like they don’t fit in — which could be a part of normal puberty or associated with trauma — should be perceived as gender dysphoria; the belief that the only path to happiness is transition; and the belief that anyone who disagrees with the teen is transphobic and should be cut out of their life.
“Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” Littman said. “A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.”
Additionally, 62 percent of parents reported their teen or young adult had one or more diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before the onset of gender dysphoria. Forty-eight percent reported that their child had experienced a traumatic or stressful event prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria, including being bullied, sexually assaulted or having their parents get divorced.
This suggests that the drive to transition expressed by these teens and young adults could be a harmful coping mechanism like drugs, alcohol or cutting, Littman said. With harmful coping mechanisms, certain behaviors are used to avoid feeling negative emotions in the short term, but they do not solve the underlying problems and they often cause additional problems, she noted.
Well, this seems like a OK study, and, as a Christian, my gut response to scientific data is to agree with it, and adjust my beliefs accordingly. I am a little concerned that her data is coming from self-selected individuals who are self-reporting, but it can be hard to find transgender test subjects.
This article at The Federalist had a few examples to illustrate the conclusion of the study:
The study includes other eye-opening information, such as case studies of several children’s stories.
“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends were taking group lessons together with a very popular coach. The coach came out as transgender, and, within one year, all four students announced they were also transgender.”
“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends are part of a larger friend group that spends much of their time talking about gender and sexuality. The three natal female friends all announced they were trans boys and chose similar masculine names. After spending time with these three friends, the 14-year-old natal female announced that she was also a trans boy.”
I thought this quote from that article was interesting as well, given the culture’s obsession with “bullying”, which is a nebulous term that can mean actual bullying, or mere disagreement.
The study also may indicate that school “anti-bullying” programs typically created by LGBT activist organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign may help accelerate children identifying as transgender by pushing peers and authority figures to profusely express their support. It also may suggest that Marxist-style identity politics that brand heterosexuality as oppressive increase gender dysphoria.
Coming out as transgender means instant fame and popularity, because you’re a victim, and everyone has to be nice to you… or else:
“Great increase in popularity among the student body at large. Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one parent on the study response form. Another wrote, “not so much ‘popularity’ increasing as ‘status’ … also she became untouchable in terms of bullying in school as teachers who ignored homophobic bullying …are now all at pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.”
Very interesting. But the secular left had a completely different reaction to the study.
In any case, this Brown University study could not stand — any effort to actually research the environmental component of transgenderism is met with raucous calls for censorship. And Brown immediately caved. The University pulled down a news article about the study. Realistically, Brown and the journal in which the original comment was published, PLOS ONE, turned against the study because it offended politically correct sensibilities about transgenderism.
Here’s what the spokeswoman for Brown University had to say about pulling the study:
Independent of the University’s removal of the article because of concerns about research methodology, the School of Public Health has heard from Brown community members expressing concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.
[…]There is an added obligation for vigilance in research design and analysis any time there are implications for the health of the communities at the center of research and study.
So much for the spirit of free inquiry and academic debate on the Brown University campus. The progress of science has been overridden by the hysterical reactions of the secular left.
The future is Canada
In Canada – a country that does not have free speech protected by law – it’s actually a criminal offense to make transgender people feel bad by disagreeing with them.
Brown, who appeared with Peterson before the Senate last May to argue against Bill C-16, said a “small cadre of trans activists” have “made a successful revolution” by instantiating a social construct into law.
Denying gender theory under Bill C-16 could result in jail or bankruptcy, he said.
A human rights tribunal can levy fines, or assign a “public interest remedy,” such as sensitivity training, and non-compliance would be considered contempt of court, said Brown.
[…]He advised people watch the case of Barry Neufeld, a British Columbia school trustee facing a human rights complaint for “transphobia” for criticizing the province’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) curriculum.
If you want to know what’s coming to America in ten years, just look north to Canada. Right now, we are having gay activists sue Christian business owners who refuse to take part in same-sex weddings. Canada was doing that in the late 90s and 2000s. Now Canada is arresting people, bankrupting them, and putting them in jail, for using the wrong pronouns when referring to transgender people. That shows you where the secular left in America would like to take our country. Are you comfortable with having your free speech limited like this?