If you sign up for Denver college professor Charles Angeletti’s American Civilization class, be forewarned that you’re going to have to recite his invective-filled ‘New Pledge’ — and according to some of his students, also be ready to swallow a big helping of his politics.
Angeletti, who teaches at Metropolitan State University of Denver, has students learn an anti-American spoof of the Pledge of Allegiance that denounces the U.S. as a Republican-controlled bastion of injustice, all while spewing his own far-left brand of politics, according to current and former students.
“I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American,” reads Angeletti’s version. “And to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want abortions, Communists, welfare queens, treehuggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, and you, if you don’t watch your step.”
“We’re very racist, we’re very repressive, we’re very Christian oriented, we don’t tolerate other kinds of thinking in this country.”- Charles Angeletti, professor at Metropolitan State University
The anti-U.S. recitation, first reported by higher education blog Campus Reform, was a satirical pledge aimed at getting students to question their nation’s leadership, Angeletti said. The self-proclaimed atheist and socialist told the site that he has been distributing the pledge in his classes for nearly 20 years as part of his lesson plan.read more- College prof makes students recite anti-American ‘pledge of allegiance’ | Fox News.
R.J. Moeller graduated from Taylor University in 2005 with a degree in business and is currently a…Read more about RJ Moeller
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something in my “Bible & Economics” series, but I think a return to the topic is well served by the verses from II Thessalonians I’ve selected to delve in to today. This passage, more than perhaps any other in all of the New Testament, is responsible for directing a younger version of the R.J. Moeller that blogs before you today on a path leading sharply away from conventional modern thinking on the topics of welfare, wealth redistribution and the seemingly inescapable “social justice.” (By the way, is there “social truth” or “social patience”?)
From II Thessalonians 3:6-12:
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
A simple, straight-forward reading of this text is a clear and present danger to advocates of a welfare state, but especially to those who also claim allegiance to the body of Christ and his word. However, in a sinful, fallen world—one wrought with hypocrisies, guilt, past societal sins, etc.—“simple” and “straight-forward” are luxuries the thoughtful believer can rarely enjoy, at least not when entering the contentious fray of the public square with their theological convictions in tow (as they most definitely should).
So let me quickly give my brief exegetical overview of the passage above, and then connect a few dots between what Paul wrote and some of the appropriate conclusions one ought to be able to draw in terms of public policy debates.
Now there are some who try to deflect the very real importance of these verses to a Christian’s attitude about how best to help the poor by saying that the “idlers” Paul is calling out are simply misguided believers who are under the impression Christ’s return was imminent. This is a distinction without a difference. Being lazy on a nuclear submarine with the key that launches Armageddon might be different in form, but is no different in substance than an idle Dairy Queen worker who procrastinates sweeping up the sprinkles his portly manager asked him to take care of the previous day.
Habitual idleness is a matter of the heart. (Believe me, I know first-hand.)
Refusing to work or provide for your family because you’re convinced Jesus is returning over the upcoming three-day weekend is, according to scripture, just as much of a sin as an able-bodied human being refusing to work or provide for their family because some well-intentioned bureaucrat is intent on giving them money they didn’t earn.
Right off the bat in verse 6, Paul exhorts the church body to “keep away from” anyone who is living an idle, lazy life and remains needlessly dependent on others. Pretty harsh, no? Not very “social” of him, right? I’ll even admit that nearly every time I read these words, I wince a little. All of the “But what about…” exceptions and exemptions start piling up on my conscience.
But if we’re serious about scripture, we know that scripture is serious about sin. Idleness and making yourself a prolonged and unnecessary burden on someone else, is a sin. There’s no way around that. The Greek translation for the phrase “in idleness” translates to “in an undisciplined, irresponsible or disorderly manner.” Keep that definition in mind for later.
Verses 7-9 are Paul’s reminder that he hasn’t simply preached against things like idleness and being a burden on others, but has modeled for the good people of Thessalonica the appropriate way to live. Paul was a minister of the gospel, and therefore was entitled to living off of the charity that came from other believers. But he feared that a lifetime of such dependency would weaken his witness, and, I don’t think it is unfair to infer, his character.
Verse 10 is the big one: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Paul did not teach this difficult practice of the Christian life from afar, but said it face-to-face. Christian friends don’t enjoy confronting friends. Christian parents don’t delight in having to withhold certain things from their beloved children. Confronting people with difficult subject matter is made no less daunting by how true the subject matter is. It stinks. No way around it.
Read more via Loving Your Idle Neighbor | Values & Capitalism.
Sometimes the blindness of those who forgo God leaves me speechless. There is simply too much to say about God, Life and Eternity that silence and prayer must suffice, especially when you know that no one is actually asking the questions that might turn on the lights and light up their life.
Here is an email I received that begs God’s grace and an answer:
“By the way, besides my atheist status I am a full out Liberal ready to take everyone’s extra money to feed hungry children so watch out! 😉 I get in as much trouble for my Liberal Democrat status as my non faith in mainstream religion. I am spiritual and giving but don’t recognize religion as something that works for me. That’s the difference. So many people proclaim their loyalty and belief in a god but are not good people, I try to be good without the need of a god’s blessing or promise of eternal life. In other words, I try to be good for nothing…… joke here.”
I thought I would answer by bringing in the Big Guns for the really Big Picture:
From Jesus of Nazareth by ‘Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI:
“At the heart of all temptations… is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive Him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives, constructing a world by our own lights without reference to God, building on our own foundation, refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion that is the temptation the threatens us in many varied forms. Moral posturing is part and parcel of temptation. It does not invite us directly to do evil; no, that would be far to blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and threw ourselves into the work of actually making the world a better place. It claims moreover to speak for true realism; what’s real is what’s right there in front of us, power and bread. By comparison, the things of God fade into unreality, into a secondary world that no one really needs.
God is the issue. Is He real, reality Itself or isn’t He? Is He good or do we have to invent the good ourselves? The God question is the fundamental question, and it sets us down right at the crossroads of human existence. What must the Savior of the world do, or not do that is the question the temptations of Jesus are about.”
Alfred Delp, a German theologian, executed by the Nazi’s said:
“Bread is important. Freedom is more important, but what is most important of all is unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration.”
Benedict XVI continues:
“When this ordering of goods is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering the result is rather ruin and destruction even of material good themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily, or permanently, on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things, that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of a Marxist experiment that proves this, the aid given by the West to developing countries has been purely technically and materially based. It has not only left God out of the picture but has driven men away from God. and this aid proudly claiming to know better is itself what first turned the Third World into what we now mean today by that term.It has thrust aside indigenous religious , ethical and social structures and filled the resulting vacuum with its technocratic mindset. The idea was that we can turn stones into bread; instead our aide has only given stones in place of bread. The issue is the primacy of God.”
American freedom’s are under attack and the enemy is within. From efforts to transform our nation into a welfare state to President Obama’s continuing tactics to constrain freedom of speech, the attack is unrelenting. American’s have never needed to be more vigilant and pro-active. Michelle Malkin warns that even our language is used to wage war against us. Words and phrases, high-sounding camouflaged rhetoric, manipulate us, while masking the word crafters’ dark intent. Michelle Malkin in Obama’s FCC, liberal churches, and the “media justice” mob points to the phrase “transformative change” meaning: “Transformative change” = a media landscape purged of the Right’s most powerful voices.”
Here is a voice we can’t ignore for America does have a “Rendezvous with Destiny”.
NPR says it’s out of the bag. Justice Souter will retire. President Obama will have his chance to change things once again. Hopefully he’ll be more circumspect in his appointment. Souter was appointed by Bush but proved to be something of a surprise with liberal leanings.
Michelle Malkin writes, “Now, we’ll get an out liberal as opposed to a stealth one.”
What’s next? Will Obama shape the court in his image?
Pray,pray,pray! Crying come naturally!
Allah simply groans.
Does Arlen Specter’s defection from R to D strengthen the President’s hand in Congress? Perhaps overall but not on judicial appointments because breaking (the equivalent of) a filibuster in the Senate Judiciary Committee requires the consent of at least one member of the minority. Before today, Specter was likely to be that one Republican. Now what?