Two Cars Spinning

On the morning of June 23, 2016, I was working with my head down in a local coffeeshop. Tunes blared in my ears as I stared and typed. Then, in a moment, someone left and the room got quiet. This place was never quiet. I looked up.

At 12:09pm, a westbound silver minivan made a blind turn across four lanes of traffic and hit a small eastbound black SUV, sending both cars spinning. The crash totaled both cars, demolishing the front left corner of the SUV. I had never seen an entire wheel assembly lying on the pavement, but there it was.


At the scene, people swirled, helping each driver and the passengers. The woman in the SUV shook terribly, surprised that her simple trip down the hill became a nightmare. Men swept the busy street. Police arrived on the scene. EMS removed the injured woman from her car. I directed oncoming traffic to the nearest detour.

There was a palpable mourning across that intersection. We mourned the pain, the terror, the shock. We moved to help. But only one driver was at fault. 

Which brings us to the the hot topic of the last thirty-ish months: police shootings.

Instead of merely looking at a wreck the way a child does, “Wow, that’s a mess,” we should be mature in our thinking and consider the biblical claims of the following:

  1. God values human life, regardless of ethnicity, age, criminal history, socioeconomic class. All life is valuable in the first place.
  2. The government bears the sword, and in our culture that most directly means the local police force.
  3. Police officers are called to enforce laws. If they do not do so, they are putting other citizens in danger and are themselves liable for the damage criminals subsequently cause.
  4. Not all crime is equal. Please read the Old Testament. There is unquestionably a civil hierarchy of sins. “Every sin is the same” is nonsense, in this life and in the next. Some sins are culmination of years of sinning, others are momentary acts. Some give a bruise; others take a life.
  5. All unjust killing, whether of the preborn in the womb at the local Planned Parenthood (a direct slap in the face to parents) or of a citizen by a police officer, is evil and must be prosecuted.
  6. Every human is a sinner and tainted, mind, body, and soul, with sinfulness. Every human, because he is a  sinner, is an innate self-server, racist, and liar. 
  7. Sinfulness doesn’t excuse mistrust in an entire system, because you are a sinner, too. Transparency and accountability are needed.
  8. Policemen have hard jobs and are not perfect. You and I likely do not know the first thing about what it takes to approach a dangerous situation and handle everything involved. This doesn’t mean they’re always right or always wrong.
  9. It is not a sin for an authority to shoot a dangerous criminal. Please see #2 and #3.
  10. The media, being full of self-serving sinners (#6), have a vested interest in speaking half-truths and outright lies to make better “news.” This news, in these cases, is not the truth at all.
  11. The viper-tongued media puts police officers and citizens at risk. Please see the Dallas shootings and the widespread anger toward police.
  12. Marching is one thing; loving is quite another. Both have their place, but one is immeasurably more important. You also don’t have to march with people in order to love those people.
  13. Disobedience is not necessarily racism. A hatred of authority by one party (a young man, let’s say, detained by a police officer) does not necessarily equal a surface-level racism by the acting authority. The facts, instead, must come to light. The officer may have been acting in a racist fashion, or the young man may simply hate authority, or both.

Each of these can (and maybe should) be expanded into a separate post, but for now these categories are important because they help us think through issues like that of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and the host of part-myth, part-real stores the media tells us. 

If this local crash were a more “sensational” story, there’s no telling how the media might have portrayed it. It might have been an issue of environmentalism, or driver brutality, or racism.

Eyewitnesses know that, in the wreck on June 23, both drivers lived. Both suffered very real damage to their lives, bodies, and potentially souls. Either driver could have avoided the wreck.

In this case, only one was at fault.


Fathers Believe the Lie and Let Their Children Die

An excellent article, “A Woman’s Body and Fatherlessness,” from Doug Wilson:

Someone might interject and say that surely aborted children are motherless as well. This is true, and tragic. Motherlessness, the fierce suppression of the mothering instinct, is the immediate cause of an abortion. But that motherlessness is, in its own turn, a function of fatherlessness. This all happens because fathers have believed the lie that it is possible for them to opt out of the creation mandate. That mandate is assigned to every man who is ever given the tremendous privilege of making love to a woman. First the pleasure, then the provision and protection. The privilege of planting seed in a garden brings the necessary responsibility of tending that garden.

But fathers have been excluded, by law, by peer pressure, and by their own selfishness. It has been done by law in that the pattern established by Roe v. Wade has made everyone think that a decision to abort is to be made by a woman “and her doctor.” Fathers are removed from the decision by law. It is irrelevant to our ruling class whether or not the father in question has bound himself with a solemn oath to provide for his children, and to protect them. There is nothing a man can do under our current legal system to take full legal responsibility. The family has been aborted.

Child Labor, Entitlement, and the Lost Gulf in Between

Yesterday, we took our high school students to the local museum of history. An exhibit on the third floor decried the supposed atrocities of children working in North Carolina factories and farms early in the 20th century. But, like most strange, side-angled pieces of quasi-socialist art, it got me thinking: are our children really better off today than 100 years ago?

To wit:

  • Would you prefer a young man or woman with an inbred work ethic, or an inbred entitlement ethic?
  • Which group is more prepared to succeed in adult life, premature adults or grown children?
  • Which generation is better prepared to run and lead our country, the former child laborers or the former child slobs?

Don’t misquote or misunderstand, I’m not advocating child labor or the repeal of child labor laws. But wonder with me for a moment: when we gained a supposed “fair treatment” for children, what did we lose?

From working with children and adolescents for the last 14 years, I’d say we lost a lot.

Ad Hominems, Shenanigans, and Scaremongering

Often I find interesting, informative articles about any number of cultural, political, or practical topics. Tonight, I read this lengthy, enlightening piece on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by The New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.

The Not-So-Hidden Ad Hominem
Toobin both chronicles Thomas’ court decisions and recasts a dark veil over his personal life. Mixing philosophical, logical analysis with personal attacks is the classic example of an ad hominem (“against the man”) argument. Toobin tries to discredit Justice Thomas’ beliefs by discrediting his character; but this, as every logic textbook reminds us, is a logical fallacy.

The Double Standard
Just one example will here suffice:

  • Over and over again, Toobin claims that Thomas acts as a lone ranger on his own ideological initiative, making him the conservative puppeteer behind the right-moving court system.
  • But, late in the article, Toobin mentions that the Attorney General of Virginia and a Federal District Court Judge in Florida both fought against Obama’s Healthcare plan, all the while citing that they simply followed Thomas’ lead.

Here’s the problem: how can Thomas be acting on his own initiative but the other conservative judges, lawyers, and activists can’t? Why must Clarence Thomas be the Darth Vader behind “the dark side” of originalism?

Toobin’s Shenanigans
The answer lies in Toobin’s hidden agenda shenanigans. He means to publicly discredit and defame Justice Thomas’ judicial philosophy before the fight against Obamacare begins in the Supreme Court. That’s why Toobin begins and ends the way he does, using descriptions of Thomas’ influence to scaremonger the American public. But will we see through it and read the logic for ourselves?

If we do, we’ll see that Justice Thomas simply reads the Constitution using historical authorial intent, the way any document must be accurately read.

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