Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tired of the Guilt

In the news recently, the latest case for the 24-hour news media has been the case of the so-called "Jena Six." Since I listen to the radio and watch tv, I feel that I am at least moderately (if not severely) informed about the case. As if this weren't enough, we have Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and a number of other "civil rights" leaders stirring the pot on the issue and milking the situation for all it's worth.

See, that's what bothers me about cases like this. And I don't think I'm the only one. I believe that so many Americans, and especially young white Americans are tired of the load of guilt that Jackson, Sharpton, and others attempt to foist upon us every time there's an issue to which they devote themselves as they make it a "race issue." To tell the truth, the more I learn about Jena, the less it all makes sense to me.

Recently I read a great book written by Shelby Steele entitled
White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era
. I must say it was a fascinating and truly enlightening read. I highly recommend the book. In it Professor Steele discusses the history of the Civil Rights movement and deals with where he believes it all went off course.

He discusses the issue of moral authority as a central theme of the book. He discusses how prior to the 1960's in America, white supremacy was seen as a legitimate source of moral authority, along with the other "traditional" values of American society. Steele explains that when white supremacy was recognized as evil, Americans threw the baby out with the bathwater--that is, our society delegitimized other traditional values of which white supremacy had been one. In this process, he explains, moral authority was transferred to the unjustly oppressed minority (Black Americans). However, social power remained in the hands of wealthy white men.

In America today, Professor Steele says, the white elites still have the power, but they still lack the moral authority to wield it. This authority is something that Black "civil rights leaders" have made a business of trading to these white elites. You see, Steele's point is that these leaders, like Jackson and Sharpton, profit nothing from Black Americans achieving a higher status or becoming powerful. Rather, they benefit in using their inherited moral authority to leverage those in power to do their will. This works because the authority figures live in fear of being called racist. Of course we know that today there are few things worse than being called racist. Read the book, it's very enlightening.

Today so many of us are tired of being held hostage by those like Sharpton, Jackson, and others who are constantly trying to leverage their authority for more power. The plight of minorities in America is not as they would have us believe. Our society does care about people, regardless of their color or background. There are opportunities for anyone who is willing to look for them and work for them. So often I hear more and more young whites (usually men) complain that they are often denied opportunities because of their race or made to feel guilty because of the sins of previous generations. It's time to move on. I'm tired of the guilt, and I'm over it.

Anonymity, Pseudonymity, and Reality

Here's a post that I posted some time ago, and given some of the debate that's been going on lately, perhaps it's timely once again. I hope you enjoy:

The internet is an amazing thing. It allows dialogue on a scale that has never been accomplished before. In fact, through the internet now everyone can have a say about anything--and quite often they do. All of us have seen the results of this new freedom. People get to express their thoughts, opinions, and feelings on a myriad of issues with or without their true identity being known.

The problem with this is that often too many hide behind the mask of anonymity (being anonymous) or pseudonymity (using a fake name) as they say things which may or may not be true or good. In the years that I've been using the internet I've discovered an intriguing phenomenon. Whether they be bloggers, internet gamers, or anyone else--people often become who they really are, or wish they were, when they interact with others via the internet.

Here's what I mean: If an introverted person has thoughts and opinions that they would not or could not share in real life, they can be heard and even become influential via the internet. Conversely, if a person seems quiet or non-confrontational in real life, they might take on an assertive or belligerent persona on the internet. I've seen many so-called "computer geeks" become many different things within the guise their internet persona. I believe that this can be a good thing or a bad thing, but it depends on the character of the individual.

The blogosphere is an excellent showcase for this principle. There are some who are the same in real life and on their blog--I try to be one of these people. There are others who say things on their blog that they would never dream of saying in real life--some of these things may be good ideas, but others should never be said anywhere.

As I've said before there is a responsibility that comes with the anonymity or pseudonymity that we have on the internet. We have a responsibility to speak (or write) words that uplift and build up the body of Christ. Sometimes these words may be criticisms, but they are never lies, never malicious rumors, never personal attacks. Paul gives good advice for sound thinking, and I would add, sound speech when he says: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8, ESV).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Liberty Flames Football - Looking for a good season

I'll be the first to say that I might not be too thrilled about cheering for a team called the "flames" especially with all the negative connotations today of "flaming" things. However, what I am excited about is the possibility of a winning season for my alma mater's football team.
It's Coach Danny Rocco's second season at Liberty and the program is growing into something that I and other LU alumni can be proud of.

After last week's win in our opener against Tusculum (38-14), I'm anxious to see what the Flames can do against Shippensburg tonight. Oh how great it would be to have a winning football team to cheer for!

I am not disappointed! Liberty wins 35-14, making us 2-0 and off to a good start for the season!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Leaning on Christ

It's been a tough week. I am a full-time seminary student at SWBTS and work part-time at my church. My wife lost her job at the end of last week and we are trying to cope with the difficulties of paying bills and finding her a new job. I am already beginning to see how God is using this time to strengthen our faith as we wait on Him for my wife's new job.

I was encouraged earlier today when I visited one of my favorite blogs. Monk-in-Training quoted Psalm 37 at length. It's interesting because that is one of the passages that has been on my mind over the past few days.

A few verses in particular have given me great comfort and assurance that everything is going to be ok. Psalm 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act."
Verses 23-25 also speak to me:

23The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

25I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.

These verses remind me that God does care for our physical, spiritual, and financial wellbeing. He wants us to submit ourselves to Him, and when we do, He does bless us, because He ultimately wants what is best for us, and He knows what that is, even if we don't.

A New Look

I'm trying out a new look for the blog. I'll be playing with it a bit more, but I hope that you like it. I thought it was time for a change. More to come later.