Thursday, June 26, 2014

Which is Despicabler?

I fell far behind on my Wretched-listening over the course of December and January, when I spent several hours each day walking to and from work in anywhere from 9-60-degree weather (crazy extremes this year), before I finally acquired a vehicle at the end of January. But now, I've made a good run of keeping up with the podcast uploads since June. I'm going to download some before I leave my wi-fi location for the night. One of the recent podcasts opened with the question, "which is more despicable?" And offered audio clips or descriptions of recent events for consideration.
To choose from, you had:

  • Barack Obama, at a commencement address, jokingly claims he blacked out and couldn't remember his graduation ceremony or even the 'after-party.' To many laughs from the crowd.
  • A pedophile priest answers the prosecutor by saying he "wasn't sure when he learned" that having sex with minors was illegal. Todd added, what about that it was homosexual? And out of wedlock?
  • Denmark is now forcing churches to allow anyone who wants to be married in their church (read: gay couples) to be married there. Tolerate it or face punishment.
  • Planned Parenthood instructs a 15-year old on S&M and asphyxiation, and how to get her 17-year-old boyfriend to buy condoms for her without her parents' consent, when he turns 18. Todd added, but won't he be in a sexual relationship with a minor, then? The New Morality is nothing if not consistently inconsistent!
  • A Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple has been ordered to take sensitivity training.

On an individual level, I think the pedophile priest "courtroom defense" takes the cake in demonstrating the depravity of thinking at play in the minds of people we sadly share this planet with. It only very narrowly beats out Planned Parenthood, only because they aren't also a hospital and orphanage. You have to actually go to Planned Parenthood, and that requires some choice on your part, and therefore some minute consciousness about what you're doing. But a church leader, regardless of the false nature of the RCatholic religion, is supposed to be a trusted person who will protect and lead young people in the paths of righteousness. This case is more akin to a paramedic "rescuing" someone from a brutal assault, only to take them to a dungeon somewhere and forcibly sterilize them. Like, what happened to 'Do No Harm?' When people who are in the business of promoting promiscuity so they can profit off of murder are trying to give you sex advice, that's nasty but expected. When someone you're supposed to be able to trust and rely violates your confidence in them and takes advantage of you, there's more of an element of deceit in that. And maybe now that I think about it, that's why I find it more revolting. Since lies are the things I hate the most, it's only reasonable that the thing which is most like a lie is the thing that I find the most despicable.

If what bothers you most is government infringement on individual liberties, I suppose you'd find the court-ordered sensitivity training to be the most offensive, with churches being forced to hold gay weddings coming in second because it isn't directly attacking the individual, but a group.

I was surprised that Todd and Tony (the show's co-host) thought that Obama's speech was so terrible. I agree, it shows his lack of good discernment very aptly. But for a video that shows his moral depravity, I think the "God Bless you Planned Parenthood" one is a far more effective sound-bite.

With regard to the Colorado baker, he avoided the issue by choosing to not offer wedding cakes. A good idea in the short run, but one could see the slippery slope where Christian businesses, if they were to take the "scorched-earth" route, would eventually be elbowed out of the wedding industry altogether, and presumably later on also anything having to do with the American flag or advertising on television. I just think it looks a little too much like giving up. Which is why I really liked the suggestions Todd read from a facebook user:

  1. Say "I want you to know that I love you and because of that, it is against my deeply held religious convictions to offer you this wedding cake. But, the US government is forcing me to, so here you go! But before you pay, I want you to know that as a token of appreciation for your business, I will donate 100% of the price of this cake to the Family Research Council or other organizations for the purpose of addressing homosexuality in the culture from a Biblical approach. May God bless you, but not your marriage, and I hope you repent and believe the Gospel before it's too late. Thank you for your business."
  2. Alter your company logo, especially if you're a photographer, to include 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in every iteration thereof. On your cakes, on your photographs, on your stationery, on your advertising, etc. Wait, you don't know what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says? Let me read it for you. You won't forget it.
I'm a much bigger fan of those approaches. The first one negates the promotional effect that your business would have on their sin, at least to the people you directly do business with. And the second would negate the promotional effect on anyone who does not do business with you, but observes the business you have done with others. I would suggest that since letting people be deceived into thinking God is approving of their sin is the central reason for refusing to partake in certain acts, that if you are totally forced to do it and there's no way to avoid it, ("eating food sacrificed to idols," if you imagine living in an all-muslim society where everything is to Halal standards and you can either starve to death or eat food that's been slaughtered while a chant was said to Allah), doing it while actively educating anyone who sees you do it that your conscience will not rest unless you warn them that this is sin and that they must repent--hey, that would seem to address the issue, wouldn't it? Why would we have to quietly submit, anyway? Of course, if they start killing us, we'll have to keep adapting our approach. But these suggestions (I forget who the person was) show us that there is more than one way to go about being persecuted without violating your own conscience or dishonoring God.

~ Rak Chazak

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