Friday, August 17, 2012

A Lack of Respect

      One of my favorite comedians was the bug-eyed Rodney Dangerfield, who died October 5th, 2004. His catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect!” heralded a coarse wit that always cut straight through an issue in a few short phases. For instance, “Last Christmas I got no respect. I gave my kid a BB gun. He gave me a sweatshirt with a bull’s-eye in the back!” Or how about, “I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, "There goes the neighborhood!” Lack of Respect is far and beyond the greatest malady of our time. Rodney was great at pointing this out.

When I was a kid, forty-plus years ago, society was fundamentally different. Respect was taught at home, church, school, Boy Scouts, the YMCA – everywhere a young boy went for work or play. It was unheard of to address an elder, meaning anyone older than yourself, without the title of Mister, Misses, or Miss. “Don’t hit a girl for any reason. Never hit a guy with glasses. Never throw the first punch, but always finish the fight.” These and many other mantras were repeated until they became a part of every boy’s emotional makeup—moral foundations. Of course, morals make all the difference when deciding between Right and Wrong. Respect is at the root of morals: respect for God, respect for others, respect for self – in that order.

Respect is a sense of consideration, to hold someone or something in high regard, honor or esteem. We Christians are supposed to respect God’s position as Supreme Being. That’s why conservative English grammar rules call for capitalization when referring to God, or any aspect of His Trinity. During the last thirty years though, even church publications have downgraded respect for God by not capitalizing references to Him when called for by traditional grammatical norms. For example, the latest NLV Bible says, “5Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLV) Also, the Lutheran Book of Worship, by Augsburg Fortress, 1978:

Pastor                   O sing to the Lord a new song;

Congregation      tell of his salvation from day to day.

Pastor                  Worship the Lord in holy splendour;

Congregation      tremble before him, all the earth.      Psalm 96

In secular writings such disrespect will most likely always be prevalent, but why are churches espousing incorrect grammar? Reasons may stem from consternation between believers and nonbelievers. “For theists, the issue can be a sore point because they are sure that it is grammatically incorrect to spell the word as 'god,' thus leading them to wonder if atheists are simply ignorant about good grammar - or, more likely, are deliberately trying to insult them and their beliefs.”[1] It is an argument steeped in Political Correctness (P.C.).

For others, we are to treat them favorably as outlined by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”(Matthew 7:12) For ourselves, we are commanded to hold an inner esteem for the body and talents that God gave us, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”(1 Cor. 6:19-20) “When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up,” said Rodney. Unfortunately, our society is in the “sandbox” these days because a majority of us have little or no respect for anyone or anything. Thus, our morals are lacking, and the difference between Good and Evil is blurry. We no longer offer our children the benefit of a moral upbringing founded upon Respect; therefore, we leave them open to assault from secular society and its pseudo-morals.

Judeo-Christian teachings were the basis of all the tenets I grew up with. Of course, by today’s secular view, what I just said is considered politically incorrect – yet anyone of another religion or lack thereof may bash my Christian beliefs and be lauded for it. Political Correctness is the new face of an age-old concept called agnosticism, or the belief that the existence of any deity cannot be proven or disproven. Agnostics will not deny that God might exist. They simply will not commit; they are neither hot nor cold on the subject. With this attitude it becomes easy to pretend that there are no absolutes; no Right versus Wrong, no Good versus Evil. Political correctness is nothing other than a lack of respect for any moral concept coming from a religious background, although dictionaries would like everyone to believe otherwise. “Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, and age-related contexts.”(Wikipedia) What a wonderfully agnostic definition for the basic prescriptions put forth by Christ Himself.

In place of religiously founded morals, agnostics, and hence, the politically correct, substitute pseudo-morals, fake morals based on human experience. Rodney’s assessment: “Some dog I got too. We call him Egypt, because in every room he leaves a pyramid.” The morals of American society today are the pyramid, which leaves us open to our enemies, the cats who would bury us, i.e. China among others. In our desire to remove God, or separate Church from State, as the agnostics among us are battling to do, we have brought forth a generation who no longer respect the sacred foundations on which this country was built.

For the record, nowhere in the Constitution of the United States is there a peep about removing Church from State. This is a fallacy perpetuated by those who wish to tear down the distinctly Christian-based laws of the land. Too, in addition to teachers and media, even President Obama repeatedly tells us we are a Democracy. Does anyone even remember the words of the Pledge of Allegiance?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation, under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The United States is a republic and always has been. Only the morally-challenged could perpetuate the idea that our government is a democracy. For what purpose is this being done? Does the word slavery have any meaning to you? “The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest,” said Rodney. Because we have allowed political correctness to run rampant within our society, we have opened ourselves up to becoming slaves of the State, controlled by pseudo-moralistic, power-hungry, politically correct liars. Examples are abundant straight from where the “buck stops.”

So, what are the differences between a democracy and a republic? Chip Wood, in an article entitled, “A Republic – If You Can Keep It,” June 18, 2010, stated quite well the differences, “A lynch mob is a democracy in action. Democracy is five wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. If you were the sheep, which would you rather live in—a republic or a democracy?” The inference here is that in a republic, the sheep cannot be overrun by majority rule. The least among us is protected by the shackles of the Constitution from those who would change our republic to a democracy.

Since the majority of our Founding Fathers were deeply religious men – Christians to be exact – bound to create a Declaration of Independence and Constitution firmly grounded in Christian moral values, this makes the very essence of our country suspect in the eyes of the Politically Correct. In order for the moral depravity of an agnostic to become the norm, our society must be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. What better ways than to use media, law-making bodies, monetary outlets, elected officials, public schools – and yes, even churches – to pound immorality into our lives on a regular basis? One should feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that agnostic moral arbiters, under the guise of the Politically Correct, are methodically chopping our country’s very roots from under our feet.

Both secular and ecclesiastical leaders who “ride the fence” on issues, rather than taking sides, are displaying agnostic tendencies. This is why so many can profess one thing and do another. A prime example is how the Catholic Church, until recently, has been quite good at covering up for depraved child abusers among their clergy. Rather than stamping out immorality in their ranks, they let it continue. Where are the moral compasses to distinguish between Right and Wrong? They are gone; hence, our children will pay the price. This is the toll of political correctness swallowing up our evermore globally-oriented American society.

Numerous politicians and clergy say they believe in God, yet many of the laws or litany they craft are blatantly immoral when compared to actual Judeo-Christian beliefs. Just think of all the laws that are outfitted with the Robin Hood syndrome: take from the rich and give to the poor, i.e. the Health Care Bill. Nearly everything Congress does these days is designed upon that precept. Nowhere in the Bible does God say, “Taxeth the rich and spreadeth the wealth.” That’s a socialist credo espoused by our country’s leadership, both secular and church, these days. Of course, the clergy hide behind the Bible, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) This passage is bent to make it very convenient for clergy to ignore what political correctness is doing to our country, thereby caving and waffling on political issues that are immoral. “God says we should submit to the demands of the state,” they say, rather than, “God owns everything, even Caesar. Let’s take back our country from these liberal agnostics!”

This clerical mindset was recently demonstrated to the world. It took the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) seventeen thousand words to make a social statement, August 19, 2009, concerning their corporate stance on sexual relationships, called “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust.” God only required twelve words on the subject in Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” The Lutheran document attempts to smudge the lines between correct human sexual behaviors and – oh, let’s face it – whether it’s okay to lead a homosexual lifestyle.[2] It makes out like human sexuality is one great big gray area – a very agnostic approach – like riding the fence. The Bible can’t be more clear, yet the “social teaching statement” passed by a 2/3 vote out of just over a thousand representatives. Never mind that a tornado nearly took the end off of the convention center and knocked the steeple off the church next door as the voting was completed. The liberals among the voters proclaimed immediately that God had spoken his approval of the proceedings. The ELCA reinstated homosexual pastors that had been suspended pending the outcome of the 2009 vote. At that point, Rodney would have crowed, “Hey, that's some hat. Did you get a free bowl of soup with it? Oh, on you it looks good, though!” Are the ELCA Lutherans choking on their free bowl of liturgical soup yet? You betcha! The schism is happening right now. More power to the new Orthodox Lutherans that are finally rising up to combat the plague of agnostic political correctness overtaking their beliefs.

Apparently some of our churches are now professing the name of the new, genderless, P.C. god. It’s the same god as the one professed daily by the Congress of the United States. Thus agnosticism must already be the moral norm of our present day society; otherwise, there would be an outcry from the pulpit.

In all fairness, there are a few preachers with the fortitude to speak the Truth despite demonization by politicians and the public media. Lawmakers are daily trying to gag them with threats of rewriting the FCC fairness doctrines or accusing them of gender-based prejudices. These days, to shut off free speech, simply claim something P.C. against someone, like “He hates gays and lesbians.” Or, “He’s a white male Christian.” The truth doesn’t matter after that.

Where is Dietrich Bonheoffer when we need him? Oh, don’t know who he was? Well, he was a Lutheran pastor who preached against the Nazi war regime during WWII despite continual warnings by the Gestapho (SS) to desist. Eventually the Third Reich had had enough of Dr. Bonheoffer’s sedition. Thrown into Flossenbürg concentration camp, he was finally stripped naked and hung on April 9, 1945, a month before Germany surrendered. To his dying breath he remained true to Christ, attempting to influence anyone who would listen that what the German government had done to its people was an abomination, and the state-sanctioned German Evangelical Church was the work of Satan.

We have been told that withholding funds from churches in protest over P.C. actions will prevent them from handling God’s business. We have been told by Washington that we must pay our taxes or the I.R.S. will cart us to jail for evasion. Smug leaders both in church and out quote P.C. attitudes as a matter of fact, aiding and abetting the destruction of all that it means to be a patriotic American. Wrong is now Right. Genderless secularism sponsored by the liberal P.C. among us is eroding our freedoms. We have become slaves to the State, just as every other country in the world. But, it’s P.C. That makes it okay. We are all the same. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” about what we have lost – our respect as the greatest country on Earth, our respect as God-inspired individuals, our respect for each other. “I was so ugly my mother used to feed me with a sling shot,” said Rodney. Psalm 14:1 states it differently, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, and there is none who do Good.” If only Rodney were still here to lend us a bit more satire over the falling of a great nation so we could get a good laugh before the end.

[1] Austin Cline, “God or god?” excerpt from About.Com,, Dec. 8, 2010.

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