Fun and Frustration at a Job Fair

I apologize for the relatively long gap in posts. I’m busy with my work here in DC and I’ve also started work on my Doctorate.
The following is from my new blog at www.benonpoint.blogspot.com I’m including it here because I believe it’s subject matter is germane to the thrust of RevNev’s blog…

The other day I went to a job fair that was held in a building where I work. Almost all of the employers there were from one government agency or another. Out of 60 employers, only 4 were from the private sector.

Anyway, I went around heckling the representatives from the various agencies – one of my favorites was when I walked up to the INS folks and asked, “So… what do you guys do?” And they responded, “We help people stay in America.” To which I retorted, “You mean you help illegals stay in America.”

For the most part it was an enjoyable experience for me – going from one booth to the next asking for a job that pays a ton of money without me having to do any work, asking if they had any jobs for a person with absolutely no skills except the ability to call in sick, etc… it was fun.

But one booth actually made me angry. I can’t remember the name of the agency, but when I asked what they did, the man said that it was their responsibility to regulate and oversee the disbursement of TARP funds.

I got angry, “They’ve created a whole new agency just to oversee bailout money?”

I got angry because this comes on the heels of me learning that the Air Force chaplaincy is getting cut by 1/3. At a time when their workload is at a record high, they’re doing away with a third of their chaplains.

It really pisses me off that whenever a conservative says, “We’ve got to stop spending so much…” The liberal responds with, “You’re right… let’s look at the defense budget to see where we can make some cuts.”

It is true that the defense budget is the “single greatest” category in the Federal budget. And I think it should be. Why? Because every political scientist since Plato wrote The Republic around 380BC, everyone who has thought about it has understood that one of the primary purposes of government is the defense of it’s people and the protection of it’s land. Having a people who are secure in their land is essentially to literally every other aspect of societal and cultural development. Thus in the Constitution, when the Framers specifically discussed the military for the defense of the people, they weren’t being novel. They simply understood that a nation cannot develop and thrive if they have the specter of potential invasion hanging over their heads.

Incidentally, the Constitution doesn’t make provision for entitlement programs, federal law enforcement agencies, or agencies that want to see you naked before you can get on a private business’ plane. (By the way, I made that jab to the folks from the TSA – If I come work for you, when can I start making people get naked?) This is why conservatives typically are “pro military” – national defense is actually prescribed by the Constitution and is fundamentally prerequisite to the society being able to flourish. This is also while leftists, in the name of being “world citizens” and decrying the nation state as a relic of the past, typically wish we could just open our borders and disband our militaries.

So if cuts are to be made – and they need to be made – then start with bogus agencies started to oversee the distribution of a bogus bailout and move down the line… cutting funds from national defense, the one area actually spelled out in the Constitution, should come only as a matter of last resort.

That’s my take on it.

The Truth Is Out There!

In 1923, J Gresham Machen penned Christianity and Liberalism. The inclusion of the conjunction “and” was both intentional and indicative of the thesis of his still-celebrated volume: There is a fundamental difference and distinction between Christianity and Liberalism. The two are at odds, and utterly incompatible with each other.

Of course, Machen was referring to theological liberalism, with its alternative (and counterfeit) notion of “Christianity,” and not specifically political liberalism.

Still, given that most theological liberals are also – and I would add consequently – political liberals while consistent theological conservatives are also – and again, I would add consequently – political conservatives, I take it for granted that there is a connection to be made.

 In this post I want to refer to epistemology, or what is knowledge and how it is that we know.

 For our dear Christian readers, you’re undoubtedly already aware of what I’m about to write. And that is: Leftists of all stripes have a different understanding of what constitutes reality and knowledge and truth compared to the understanding of these things that comes from a consistent application of the cognitive processes employed by us. And unfortunately, since the agents of Leftist thought for all practical purposes control the various forums and venues that influence the culture, it is possible that as lamentable as it may be, that at least some of you have inadvertently adopted an epistemological framework that is in its logical consequences friendly toward liberal thought, which is, as I noted earlier, inconsistent with the Christian faith.

 To what do I refer?

 Specifically here I want to address the distinction between conservative and liberal understanding of the source of meaning. This is important because in subsequent posts I will unpack a few reasons why liberal thought is inconsistent with Scripture, and is therefore something that should be rejected and resisted by Christians.

 When it comes to art, literature, history, reality – you name it, a conservative epistemology understands that truth and meaning lie outside myself, or my “community.” Who determines what something means? The person – or group – who wrote it, painted it, sculpted it, built it, engineered it, etc. And what is our job? To understand what it is that is out there, outside myself, in its objective reality.

To illustrate, consider that conservatives approach Scripture asking, “What does this mean?” And to answer that question we engage in exegesis and in the process of doing so we attempt to understand what the passage is saying. We may end up coming to a different opinion as to what it means, but our goal and intent is identical: We are trying to understand the message conveyed by the author because we understand that it is that message that is authoritative for us. When we apply the same principle to things like the Constitution, we seek to understand “authorial intent” because we understand that the way to discover what the Constitution means is to understand what it is that the Framers meant.

Contrast this with the epistemology of liberalism. Leftists desperately need to convince you that meaning is not “out there,” standing like a pillar that doesn’t change regardless of the fads or trends of the culture. No, Leftists need and want you to believe that there is no inherent and authoritative meaning so that they can sweep into that vacuum and “provide” a “truth” that they can then repeat over and over until people think of it as a shared value.

To reuse the illustration of how Scripture is understood, Liberals don’t ask, “What does this mean?” Instead, they ask, “What does this mean… to me?” They don’t have much use for the meaning intended by the author, what’s important is what we think. And of course, what we think is influenced by the culture around us. And who shapes the culture? The leftists. But then when it comes to the Constitution, leftists like to call it a “living document” as opposed to a “dead document.” Now, this is where they trick you – they borrow the terminology of “living” and “dead” from language, and they say that to be “living” is to have present applicability, whereas a “dead” language is no longer used. But that’s not quite accurate…. A “dead” language is one that is no longer changing. The rules of that language are “set.” A “living” language is one whose rules still change and there is an ongoing “evolution” to it. What does this have to do with the Constitution? Leftists call it a “living document” and they confuse (as they do most things) the difference between interpretation and application. Leftists say that the Constitution can be reinterpreted – which means that it can be made to mean things that prior generations didn’t think it meant. In other words, it doesn’t matter what the Framers meant by, oh, the 1st Amendment. What matters is what we think it means.

There are vast differences between how liberals and conservatives process and understand and attribute meaning. Liberals believe that there is no inherent meaning, or at least that the determiner of that meaning is NOT the author. Conservatives, on the other hand, understand that meaning is determined by the author.

To see the lie of the leftist position, one simply needs to stop and reflect on the basic truths of human communication. When someone opens their mouth to speak, or puts their thoughts to paper, we intend to send a message. When a Leftist pontificates about the plight of the working man, he (or she) wants to be understood. But a consistent application of leftist epistemology would result in me interpreting their words however I want. Maybe I’m in a hungry mood, so while she’s going on and on, I decide that she’s talking about lunch. Of course, that’s ridiculous. The communicator is attempting to send a message, and it is our job to try to understand. Human communication hinges upon the fact that when someone speaks they send a message. Now, this truth we take for granted. But leftists would have you believe that in every other aspect of life we suddenly slip into some sort of surreal twilight zone in which those basic rules are no longer applicable.

So. All this to say: Leftists need people to forget that there is objective meaning in the world so that they can be the ones to come and fill that void for you. Be careful!

Links for the Day

Some good stuff out there today:

  • Rush explains the problem with the GOP by looking at the race in New York 23. He hits one of my hotbuttons. The GOP will not rise again until we have strong leaders who are genuinely conservative. Just won’t happen.
  • Found this headline on Drudge. Looks like the economy was underwhelmed by the stimulus.
  • This story drives me crazy! BO is, through the “pay czar,” going to cut the salaries of top earners at companies receiving bailouts. Here’s the kicker: their pay will be slashed “by 90% on average.” Sure, that’s easier to take when you make over $500k a year but I’m guessing these people have budgets like the rest of us. The Feds have no Constitutional authority to do this. Disgusting.
  • Meanwhile, BO’s poll numbers continue to drop.
  • The Acorn Busters released another video today. This time they were in Philly.
  • I’ve been reading this mammoth article on divorce over at National Affairs. Very interesting conclusions about how divorce stormed the walls of marriage once liberated from social mores only to recede. Once again, it was the poor most harmed by liberal ideas.
  • Jonathan V. Last reveals the plans of the ACLU as they try to scrub the U.S. of any and all signs of Christianity. Let’s hope they don’t win this one.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think about these issues!

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