The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

The Bible Against American Gun Culture

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark Hiskes writing for Reformed Journal.

… when I was 21, two ski-masked men with guns reinforced her teaching. Around midnight they snuck into our college home of 5 friends, rapped a loaded gun at the back of each of our heads, made us lay face down on the floor, tied our hands behind our back and our ankles together, and then for about 5 hours ransacked every inch of our house for anything of value. When the police arrived the next morning and dusted the place for fingerprints, they made one thing clear, as we shivered close by in this house that no longer felt like home: “If you’d tried to resist in any way, you’d be dead.”

To this day I have absolutely no doubt that owning a gun would have gotten us killed that night.

So, when I read about God and Guns, The Bible Against Gun Culture, edited by Christopher B. Hays and C.L. Crouch, I knew I had to read it–because as a Christian I also believe, as Hays puts it early in the book, that “any Christianity that supports guns as a solution to social problems is not Christianity at all” (10).  Written and edited by seven Biblical scholars with an excellent foreword by Stanley Hauerwas, each chapter is steeped in Biblical scholarship but written for a wide audience. The authors recognize that there are good people on both sides of this issue; however, as Hauerwas says, they still “must challenge what has been and continues to be taken for granted by good people” (x).

[ … ]

Yolanda Norton’s essay uses the Old Testament story of Rizpah to show how a mother’s public lament over a slain son can be “a prophetic witness” to both state and community, citing contemporary instances of such lament by mothers of slain black sons. Her essay is a powerful indictment of American gun culture, which, she argues, “has again and again, demonstrated its own willingness to sacrifice Black bodies to its own purposes” (53).

[ … ]

Of course, the Bible has nothing to say directly about guns per se, but T.M. Lemos makes a fascinating comparison between Israelite bows and American guns, showing how hypermasculinity is common to both. He argues that “This idea of personhood, grounded in domination, is something that other parts of the Bible take great pains to reject. This has important implications for the place of the gun in the life of contemporary Christians” (78). Given the multifaceted, violent media environment we inhabit in 2023 and the pride with which mostly men pose, biceps bulging, their AR15 front and center, it’s hard to argue with Lemos’s point.

David Lincicum’s concluding essay, “Can a Christian Own a Gun?” cuts to the Biblical chase: “The gun is a temptation to arrogate life-destroying power to the wielder and should be resisted by those who follow in allegiance to a crucified Messiah” (116).

Looking at the ‘about’ page and also the names of the commenters, it didn’t take me long to figure out that this is mostly a CRC publication (Christian Reformed Church).  The CRC has had many problems of late, mostly having to do with accepting modernity into their church and the full rejection of core doctrinal beliefs.  Calling them “reformed” is a throw-back to what they may have been 100 years ago, but it’s certainly not accurate today.  They are no more followers of Calvin than I am a globalist.

He sets up various straw men to make it easy to knock them down.  No one I know, Christian or otherwise, believes that guns are a solution to the ills of society.  Only turning to Christ will do that.  Furthermore, the ease with which he is persuaded to believe falsehoods is lamentable.  He doesn’t know any more about the existence of all “possible worlds” than the cops did when they told him they would all be dead if they had resisted.  I recall covering two elderly people who didn’t resist a home invasion, and they were both doused with gasoline and set on fire before the home invaders left for the night. They both perished.

In the comments I see that some people see it as a duty to acknowledge that hunting is legitimate.  I “accept it,” say some commenters.  Honestly, God gave mankind dominion over the animals, and it doesn’t matter to me whether they “accept it” or not.

Finally, let’s assume that this man is married or has other family.  He might defend their lives with his hands, and then end up getting killed by a firearm in a home invasion, but in either case (live or die), he wouldn’t be available to defend him wife against rape, torture or kidnapping. I’ve often wondered how wives feel about husbands like that.

As I’ve said before, I consider such men no better than child molesters.  They wouldn’t lift a finger to defend the weak, helpless or downtrodden among us.  They’re worthless as defenders.  I’ve addressed this so many times before it makes no sense to keep rehearsing it. But rehearse it briefly I will.

… the best case for the necessity of self defense comes straight from the Decalogue.  John Calvin, commenting on commandment and prohibition, observes:

We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden.  There is no one who doesn’t concede this.  That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment.  Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned.  But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify.  For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice.  We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds.  Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so.  Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).

Matthew Henry observes the same concerning Proverbs 24:11-12 (“If we see the lives or livelihoods of any in danger of being taken away unjustly, we ought to bestir ourselves all we can do to save them …”).  Far from a weak or forced case for self defense, this is one of the strongest in the Scriptures.  Thou shalt not kill means that thou shalt not allow yourself or those around you to be killed, thus says the Lord.  It isn’t an option – it is His commandment.

There’s Calvin for you, Mr. “Reformed.” Jesus Himself was so adamant about self defense that He ordered His disciples to break the law in order to carry weapons.

Jesus, who wasn’t the Bohemian hippie flower child pacifist he’s made out to be in contemporary culture, demanded that His followers find weapons themselves.  It’s important to remember that this command involved disobedience to the state.  Jesus’ command involved civil (and if necessary, violent) disobedience, thus forcing his followers to become criminals if they followed His command.

… for some evidence, see Digest 48.6.1: collecting weapons ‘beyond those customary for hunting or for a journey by land or sea’ is forbidden; 48.6.3.1 forbids a man ‘of full age’ appearing in public with a weapon (telum) (references and translation are from Mommsen 1985). See also Mommsen 1899: 564 n. 2; 657-58 n. 1; and Linderski 2007: 102-103 (though he cites only Mommsen). Other laws from the same context of the Digest sometimes cited in this regard are not as worthwhile for my purposes because they seem to be forbidding the possession of weapons with criminal intent. But for the outright forbidding of being armed while in public in Rome, see Cicero’s letter to his brother relating an incident in Rome in which a man, who is apparently falsely accused of plotting an assassination, is nonetheless arrested merely for having confessed to having been armed with a dagger while in the city: To Atticus, Letter 44 (II.24). See also Cicero, Philippics 5.6 (§17). Finally we may cite a letter that Synesius of Cyrene wrote to his brother, probably sometime around the year 400 ce. The brother had apparently questioned the legality of Synesius having his household produce weapons to defend themselves against marauding bands. Synesius points out that there are no Roman legions anywhere near for protection, but he seems reluctantly to admit that he is engaged in an illegal act (Letter 107; for English trans., see Fitzgerald 1926).

I’ll also point out that the very cause of the violence to which Ms. Norton speaks remains unaddressed in her essay, at least the part quoted.  Fatherless families, children out of wedlock, and government handouts. Go fix that problem Ms. Norton and you’ll see a different society.

Finally, the author says, “You are different with a gun in your hand,” or at least he seems to quote it with approval. Here we are again back at that superstitious belief that an object can change a man’s heart.  So tell me, Mr. Hiskes, how does that comport with 1 John 1:8, Eccl 7:20 and Eccl 9:3? Give us some theology here, Mr. “Reformed.” Make sure it agrees with the confession and larger and shorter catechisms.

Fourth Circuit Playing Games With “Assault Weapons” Ban Case?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

I told you that the fourth circuit was as worthless as the gunk between my toes. I meant it.  Now you see why.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Maryland Handgun Licensing Laws and Unconstitutional

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

I hate the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. I consider them to be about as worthless as the gunk between the toes of my feet.  But occasionally they get it right like a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.

Also from Mark, a state judge in Maryland granted a win for civil rights by striking the sensitive places law.

Of course, the communists in Maryland will continue to enforce the law until told to stop.

Violence in Chicago (and the rest of the bad inner cities)

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Source.

I guess it doesn’t help when the police are too afraid to chase men who point rifles at other people.

But you see, rather than tackle the root cause of the crime (fatherless homes, welfare, payment for having children out of wedlock, etc.) and quit doing the very things causing the problem in the first place, they’d rather send SWAT teams to wrong addresses in the suburbs and pester you about gun ownership.

This is your tax dollars at work.

War on the Southern Border

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Via David Codrea.

Report: ‘Mysterious’ Entities Giving Migrants GPS Coordinates to Unsecure Locations on Southern Border [More]

Virtually none of the things the FedGov currently does (medical subsidies, SNAP, welfare, control over firearms, social security, the department of education, the department of the interior, ownership of land, and on and on the circus could go) are called out in the constitution as being within the purview of the federal government.

The federal government is basically tasked with a single duty – control over the borders and security from invasion.

And it ignores the one thing for which it is tasked.  So then what good is it, and why should it exist?

Savage Enters The 1911 Market

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Savage enters the 1911 market.  They have a .45 ACP gun and a 9mm gun.

I hate cheaply made firearms, and I hate the idea of paying $3000 or more for a 1911.  I like the price point of around $1500 for a 1911.  It doesn’t appeal to folks looking for a steal to get a good 1911 (there is no such thing as a 1911 for cheap, just cheaply made 1911s), and it doesn’t break the bank.

If they work right, I’d like one of each, but it’s very easy for manufacturers to make bad 1911s.  Has anyone had a chance to shoot either of these builds?

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Improper Cleaning can ruin your AR15 Bolt Carrier Group

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

I didn’t even know there were devices like this one.  I would never put metal to metal on my BCG.  What’s wrong with solvent and a toothbrush?  It’s worked just fine for me all these years.

National Park Service Law Enforcement Is As Worthless As The Rest Of FedGov

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

If you recall we covered this event in some detail concerning what they should have done with a member of their party suffering from Rhabdomyolysis.  This is a Malum Prohibitum crime with no victims.  This was a victimless crime.  Moreover, forcing the rest of the party to move very well could have placed their very lives at risk.

Is it possible for the NPS to look any stupider?  Then there’s this comment.

I am a retired law enforcement officer and in nearly all things, you have officer discretion. Unfortunately, many new or younger law enforcement officers don’t understand that concept and treat everyone regardless of the incident as if they were a mass murderer. They don’t comprehend the impact their actions have and understand basic humanity and compassion. The National Parks Service and the Rangers are why I avoid National Parks with a vengeance. I had a similar run-in in a National Park where I was the subject of a traffic stop for 18mph in a 15mph speed zone. Family and friends in the vehicle (while still an active law enforcement officer), young guy who starts yelling at me for going by him 3mph over the speed limit. Asks if there are any weapons in the vehicle and then draws his firearm when I say yes. I remained calm and explained my status and showed him my credentials. Then demanded to speak with their supervisor for the behavior and pointing a firearm at someone without justification. Supervisor basically blew it off and said, “If you don’t like it, don’t visit a National Park.” Public lands that are definitively not “for the people” and absolutely out of control behavior of those expected to set the example and uphold the law. The National Parks service, Rangers and Law Enforcement have a difficult job, but their behavior is making it far worse and turning them into an enemy of the people. Almost as if they are forcing people with their rules, permits, timed entry and such to stay out of the National Parks. You derive your authority from the consent of the governed. Many have lost sight of that fact.

Firearms in National Parks has been legal since 2010, and lives have been saved because of access to firearms.  The very first shooting of an attacking bear occurred in Denali National Park soon after the rule change.  In this instance, the LEO apparently muzzle flagged someone because of legal carry.

Idiot.  Dangerous idiot.

But in this case there were three parties to blame for this stupidity: the LEOs, the prosecutors and the judge.

Happy Thanksgiving 2023

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Happy Thanksgiving!  I wish you and your family all the best of God’s good graces.

Oregon Court Declares Magazine Ban Unconstitutional Under The State Constitution

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Here is an article on the ruling.


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