This special November Issue (2020) came at the wake of a radical leftist soft-totalitarianism that seeks to devour all that is human and humane. Now as November comes to a close and the great a-wokening continues forward, we must gather together as Christians to uphold the sacredness of our faith, the Truth of Christ in the darkness of our world.
Our approaching December Issue (2020) will be an evolving one. Not an all at once publication of articles, rather a liturgy of prayer, music, art, scripture, poetry, and articles that all direct the reader to the one essential reality that Jesus Christ is KING.
Hard to believe, but only four months ago, TIF was launched. August marked the beginning of the direction and purpose behind Truth In Focus. Well researched essays, art, poetry, theology… this is a safe haven for Christians and Conservatives.
Beauty assembles itself in many forms. Nature, Art, Humanity, and Architecture are all designs that can culminate beauty. Architectural design requires a synergistic adaptation to its environment either urban or rural, natural or manufactured; there must be a harmony between that which is and that which is becoming. A biomimicry between the incoming architecture and that of the existing world…
Bode Museum, Berlin Germany
Construction for the Bode began in 1897 with Eberhard von Ihne as the museums architect devoted the Bode to a Renaissance design. A masterpiece respectable to the period while symmetrical and honorable to the surrounding city environment.
What fails in respect is the atrocious Soviet Fernsehturm TV Tower seen in the background. An eye sore lacking in respect to the historicity of Berlin, the tower is protruding a modern gaucheness that pollutes the surroundings.
Indoors the Bode, however, continues the synergy between the City of Berlin and the Classical Renaissance design inside the Museum, as though the indoors and outdoors carry semblance in purpose and meaning for the German people and all those who come to visit its humble grounds.
Modernity produced a post-modern movement; an accolade of its success turned rebellious child. Do all thing modern and post-modern automatically lack a Mere Beauty In Truth? Hardly. Rather it is a matter of tact and a real desire to mimic the environment that make a community whole and wholesome by producing an air of remembrance that is transcendental, immanent, and traditional in a way that everyone wants to stay or return again; I would describe it as grandmas café’ where the coffee is always hot, rich in aromas of delicious food, and there is a seat that always feels reserved just for you.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Temples, Churches, or Mosques like the Blue Mosque are fundamental to the whole design of a community as they represent real meaning and purpose as expressed through the architecture outside with its six minarets which call the people of Islam to their daily prayers. Indeed the Western, liberal, and secular mind tends to see religion as an affront, but such minds excuse the quintessential desire of the sacred; a root need to recognize God and the Heavens. Nothing is perfect, but the beauty of Islam for billions is portrayed in their belief of One God.
Sir Roger Scruton was a friend to Islam. Scruton writes that in Muslim philosophy there is a tradition where God and His oneness is definite, “that he is one, the possessor of an inimitable tawhid or oneness, which attaches to him precisely because it does not attach him as a property that might be shared” (Scruton 2014, Soul of the World, p. 190). Any attempt to eradicate the structure of mosques or churches or temples, in most cases, demonstrates a level of unrequitedness toward the higher ends of culture.
Not everything in a culture requires such delicacy but areas of faith are part of the biomimicry, the DNA of societal wellness. And of course I say that as a Christian just as Sir Roger comprehended Anglicanism and the Church of England as sacred for England.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
To speak of beauty is to enter another and more exalted realm—a realm sufficiently apart from our everyday concerns as to be mentioned only with a certain hesitation. People who are always in praise and pursuit of the beautiful are an embarrassment… — Sir Roger Scruton, The Soul of the World
Humble harmony: the street as home, taking the term from Scruton, that is what the town of Florence represents, and the Florence Cathedral is the manufactured mountain side one witnesses in awe as they weave through a large river, never too sure what is exactly around the corner, until you see its immanent precipice; a refreshing liturgy from the day to day. Beauty is not merely ravishing architecture but more so it is humility in the midst of what it is trying to accomplish. Take for example the Sikh Golden Temple:
Think whatever you may of its intended space with which it mimics the surrounding environment (physical/cultural), but consider its purpose of worship and feeding roughly 40,000 people a day for free. Even Christians would do well to remember what good is our churches should they fail at helping the Samaritans in their surrounding communities who are in need of the eternal spiritual nourishment of the Gospel and failing at feeding the hungry or caring for the sick? True beauty, a Mere Beauty In Truth, has intention within its aesthetic value.
Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University
I want to end with Radcliffe as it captures the centrality of Oxford University (old Oxford at least) where truth and knowledge intersect, a temple of knowledge surrounded by devotees and a city that exudes humble harmony.
Aesthetic moral worth is as much immaterial as material, not that the material has no worth, rather the moral worth is determined by factors outside of architectural material preferences. Feeding the hungry is a far more valuable material act than choosing a neoclassical design to match the exterior environment, but considering how an appearance creates or diminishes worth, not just monetary, but having a immaterial or spiritual respect for people and their needs is also a value worthy of consideration as we feed the hungry and care for the sick.
If we can build a community that has self-respect for its surroundings than there is a possibility in creating a respect for one another. Seeing the streets as a home instills eternal values for the soul. Entering a space of learning that inspires, like Radcliffe, can and must be applied to the baker shop, the gas station, and our homes. God created time, space, and matter that includes us; as Imago Dei there is a universal condition of self-worth places upon every human-being regardless of differences and conduct. In some manner, the aesthetic plays a central role in upholding that value.
Thirteen days ago I started a Substack account. Free of charge readers can enjoy a daily report from me about culture, books, art, faith, emotions, and just about anything that does not directly fit within TIF. EKR Report, my Substack page, like Truth In Focus is a new project; a source for Christians and Conservatives like myself to share new, but more likely old ideas for a newer audience.
Christianity is a two-thousans year old faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth that goes even further back into it’s Eastern Judaic roots making it one of the oldest monotheistic faith’s in the world.
Hardly anything true conservatives center their ideas around comes from ten, fifty, hundred, or two hundred years ago, rather they source from principles that are thousands of years old.
TIF is founded on that understanding and application. Yes, we cover current events but often we look to the past for answers; for eternal truths to ground ourselves no matter the frame of time.
My Substack carries the same principles, yet the posts are more personal. An insiders view of yours truly. I have been posting daily since November 6, yesterdays post was titled, Biopic Memories of Cadence Past: Great Balls of Fire. There is a reasoning to my madness with yesterdays post. When I entered my first master’s program, there was an understanding that postmodern thinking had distorted academia. While true it had since morphed into identity politics along with Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Feminism, cultural Marxism, et cetera all the while containing a postmodern milieu. Well last night after a wonderful conversation with my dear friend Thomas Doane concerning postmodernist/poststructuralist “incredulity towards metanarratives” I wanted to poke a little fun at their arguments by making a metanarrative out of several stories from my day. I do hope you enjoy.
There are various reasons why authors and journalists start a Substack account. You can make a living from it if you are good enough and consistent with your work. After leaving The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald went straight for a place where he could have journalistic freedom, a wide audience, and an ability to make a living without much overhead. Substack was an obvious solution.
So far I find it to be a curiosity. There appears to be a good number of people on the network. Yet I find it difficult to traverse. Sure I follow Greenwald and Dreher but I could not tell you who these top twenty-five Substackers are except Andrew Sullivan being one.
As for small fries like myself perhaps it is a good place to just write freely yet it will take more to build an audience let alone make a living. However there is always a good chance that with enough time and effort, as TIF grows along with All Things Veritas and more freelancing that I can gain such a position. Is that why I do Substack? Not exactly. Rather I am more interested in trying to gain an audience in order to dialogue, however, making a livelihood is eventually the goal.
Dialogue seems to be something lacking even on TIF. Granted it has taken me time to learn how WordPress works. I have found WordPress to be less friendly to writers than I’d hoped but I am grateful nevertheless.
Substack is very friendly to writers but it will take a lot more work to build an audience.
Then you have freelance networks like Medium. Neither are like Medium. At Medium you can write an article for thousands if not millions to read and critique and truly gain an audience while while possibly making a profit from each article. I have not jumped onto Medium, yet. To be honest I have a been a bit hesitant. All of these sources feel a bit like an echo chamber. I do not like the idea of an echo chamber. It is vitally important that we have sources of information that can be open to everyone beyond ideological or philosophical or theological differences. That is why I’m spending so much time trying to build a network of Christians for example who are Catholic, Protestant like myself, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican. Surely we must come together on the same foundational beliefs, but we can vary over issues deemed non-essential. Same applies to conservative thinkers. Over the years I’ve discovered that we conservatives can be a bit more conservative than others while some can be a bit more liberal or even hold what may be seen as progressive views, but principally be philosophically conservative at heart.
Truth In Focus is such a site. While it remains an entity by which I can share my ideas I never wanted it to remain just about me. So I am thankful for the writers and audience who have already joined in this journey. There’s much to be done and much more to be said.
Substack tact’s on another role by which to make a connection with readers who share similar values as myself. We do not need to be ashamed of our Christian faith nor afraid to include a non-ideologically driven idea into a society drowning in ideologies. Family, Faith, Tradition these are not poor relics of the past; they are treasures beyond modern enrichment necessary to the continuation of human existence.
I hope to be announcing here soon more editor’s and future goals for TIF. Thank you for being patient. I promise there’s more thorough content coming your way. Nothing comes easy without working hard, an eternal value, and that includes great content.
Looking forward to growing with you. In the meantime keep commenting, join our Facebook Truth In Focus, and listen to our podcast on All Things Veritas which you can see and hear on YouTube. And take a look at my Substack. All of this talk of making America Great Again when really what we need to be doing is making an effort to improve our lives and help others. That my friend’s is how we make everything better again.
We all have character flaws. The funny thing is I just recently considered making a list of my own. I didn’t even know exactly what qualifies as character flaws. There are literally hundreds of them as I searched through all the listed flaws I came upon a useful three-category explanation. What is funny is that these character flaws are for writers creating characters for either literature, movies, or television. Again, I am a theologian not a thespian. However, I think we can apply them to real life.
Minor character flaws are minor physical or mental quirks to a character’s personality. For example, you might have a someone that always seems to say the wrong thing or just makes for awkward conversation.
Major character flaws usually come from life-changing events that affected that person. For example, Jane Doe has a fatal flaw of putting others before herself or putting herself before others. This major flaw in her character nearly gets her killed dozens of times.
Fatal character flaws are the ones that make or break a character. These are flaws they must overcome or die. As Christians, do think we have any spiritual character flaws?
Today, I want to talk about spiritual character flaws. It is the fatal flaw of preaching a false gospel which we fine being proclaimed today. The reality of our situation is that true believers are becoming fewer and fewer. Meanwhile, false preachers, teachers, and apostates increase. The teachings that are being preached from pulpits today are conforming to the world. This means that Christians are turning their backs on God. Some do not realize they are doing so. Even worse many believe they are preaching the true gospel. But they are so distorted a misleading academia, a paranoid media, and brainwashed political ideologies that falsely proclaim Christ when in reality they are promoting a worldly agenda.
A well-known professor and pastor in my area of South Texas said on social media, “that the gospel is not enough anymore.” This was his response to the growing pressure for pastors to acknowledge and preach social justice plus the gospel. Is the gospel message of Jesus Christ no longer enough? Let’s hold that thought and we will be back to answer this fundamental question.
I used to worry that all my sermons were exactly the same and my congregation would grow tired of hearing the same message. Then I thought about the topics that are repetitive in my sermons. I am always preaching about Christ and everything leading to Him. That is all that I preach. Just in case, I double checked to ensure there are no other topics that should be preached other than a Christ-Centered one. There are no reasons other than Christ Alone. I wish I could say that false teachers were few. Unfortunately a false gospel has spread across the world time and time again just like this pandemic. Scripture has much to say about false teachers, false gospels, and false prophets proclaiming the Will of God. It’s not a matter of whether we are living in the end times because we are always living in them. We need not concern ourselves with the exact timing of God. Instead we need only be prepared, to be centered on His Word, fixated on Christ, and do our due diligence by preaching and defending the Scriptures. Therefore, we must recognize and point out the errors in false teachings and present the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“No Other Gospel”
Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV)
Accursed is repeated twice in Galatians 1:6-9. That word appears only six times in the entire Bible, two of which in this passage. God’s Holy Word states that anyone who comes and preaches another gospel, whether it be a man or an angel, he or she will be accursed. That is a serious word in our English language and it a very strong word in the Greek language.
“ANATHEMA (ä-nä’-the-mä) ἀνάθεμα” literally means a man accursed devoted to the direst of woes set apart for complete destruction of the cursed. The accursed person is doomed because they become so separated from Christ. The Apostle Paul declares in the strongest manner that the Gospel he preached was the one and only way of salvation and to preach another was an attempt to invalidate the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul explains that he received the Gospel directly from God. He did not invent it himself nor did he learn it from someone else. It was a divine revelation from Jesus Christ. A person, who does not love Jesus, will not never see glory. He or she will be cursed forever. In the passage above the word anathema is used twice meaning doubly cursed. Scripture is telling us that if someone preaches a false gospel they are going to be absolutely and forever obliterated from His existence. That is why preachers and teachers of God’s Word need to take His Word so seriously because there is a judgment for teaching or preaching something that is in violation against the true Gospel. Those doomed preachers are the ones who say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles? Then the Lord will say, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers” (Matthew 7:22-23).
The Apostle Paul is never one to beat around the bush when it comes to the church and the Lord’s work. Paul preaches clearly on these points. He opens his Epistle by stating his name, then who the audience is, and goes right for juggler by declaring to the Galatians that they are cursed for preaching a false gospel and allowing false teachings into the church.
I used to work in insurance and financials where I had to pass a test to earn a certification. After that there was more testing and assessments. It was constant throughout the year. People needed trustworthiness, integrity, and due diligence from the people handling another person’s finances. Now consider handling and performing God’s Word, His ministry, and caring for His flock? There is more at stake as souls lay in the balance. No one has the right to tamper with the Gospel. When a pastor alters the Gospel, they have done a horrendous thing. They are robbing people of faith. Of hope. This is not the first time Paul had to address the church and call out a false gospel. Before telling the Galatian church, he told the Church of Corinth as 2 Corinthians 11:4 states,
Paul’s warning remains clear.
It was a problem in the church back then and it remains so today. Christians must stand up and take bold action against false teachings. There is more to this than losing your job or your friends or family members. Eternity is at stake. We must confront falsity not matter the circumstances or cost for their is no cost greater.
So what is the true Gospel?
The word “gospel” means “good news,” and the good news is that Jesus Christ came to this Earth born of a virgin. He was both fully God and fully human. Even though tempted and tried in every way He lived a sinless life. While all of humanity is absolutely guilty of sin. We are dead in our trespasses. No hope, but one. Jesus bore the punishment for our sins and offered His life as a living sacrifice on the Cross. A penal substitution; an ultimate scapegoat that relinquished the Judaic sacrificial system forever. Jesus Christ died, resurrected on third day, appeared before hundreds, then later ascended into heaven where he will return from heaven to earth one final day. Jesus promised that if you place your trust in Him alone, confess and repent your sins to Him alone, then you will be saved by His Grace Alone. Christ will prepare a room in His Father’s house for you that is His promise. Until His return Christ commanded us to make ourselves ready for whenever the hour comes by living sacrificially and sharing the Gospel with everyone no matter their creed or background in life. That’s the real Good News. Is the gospel message of Jesus Christ enough? Not just the Message, but the Messenger who gave us the Good News physically? Yes, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is enough because He is alive!
I want us to look at a few false gospels that are relevant because they are prevalent today. However, I must stress that we need only to be aware of false teachings and not indulge ourselves in a life of complete study of these false teachings and religions.
1st False Teaching: The Knowledge Gospel (Gnostic)
This would be the occultist, theosophy, esoteric and mysticism religions. Most of them basically have been adapted and come from Buddhism (also a false teaching). Just to name a few; the Wiccans, Nazi occultism, scientologist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Nation of Islam.
2nd False Teaching— The Racial Identity Gospel
These are the preachers and teachers that believe only a certain race is chosen for salvation and the battle between good and evil comes down to racial divisions. Christian Identity, Black Theology, Pan-Africanism, Ku Klux Klan, White or black power it’s all the same false gospel. They preach a false white Jesus or black Jesus.
3rd False Teaching—The Quick-Fix Gospel- the Christian life is not a quick fix. It is a discipline, an art, a science.
4th False Teaching—Social Justice
Social Justice today has a political agenda and puts Christ secondary if not nonexistent. It tends to be more popular among clergy than laity and its leaders are predominantly associated with radical leftist ideologies.
5th False Teaching— The Politically Correct Gospel
Our contemporary culture expects us to tolerate, accept, and affirm all their radical beliefs and ideologies. Not only are we expected to affirm people, but we are expected to affirm their ideas and philosophies and, in some cases, apologize for having not done all of this in the first place. And in that spirit, it seems that a great many believers in our time have come to embrace the ideas and philosophies of the world. Remember what happened to that generation of people right before the flood? Christ said in Luke 17:26-27, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Jesus was saying that whenever the philosophy of life becomes carnal and worldly (like in the days of Noah), He would return. The gospel is not politically correct. Now this doesn’t give us an excuse to be insensitive jerks. We ought to be marked by compassion and grace. We ought to love and respect people unconditionally regardless of their lifestyle or beliefs. But Christians have a duty and a work to perform through the Great Commission. We must declare the good news faithfully with due diligence and Christ-like integrity regardless of whether it is popular or not.
We must never forget that the Christian life is a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ. A man does not become a Christian merely by agreeing to a set of doctrines. He becomes a Christian by submitting to Christ and trusting Him forever. You cannot mix grace and works because the one excludes the other. Salvation is the gift of God’s grace purchased for us by Jesus Christ on the cross. To turn from Grace to Law is to desert the God who saved us.
(This article originated from a sermon preached Sunday Nov. 15th, 2020 by Brandon Galbreath and was formatted for reading purposes).
We will remain vigilant as to the direction Target takes toward more books concerning sex and gender. It is no surprise that Target has begun to take an illiberal stance in its corporate beliefs. Back in 2016 Target announced per in message of inclusivity that it would install genderless bathrooms but after some protesting it redirected $20 million dollars to install private, third options restrooms according to CNN.
Back in mid-october our own Kimberly Hagen took these photos of the propaganda that Target pushes now on its audience. Violence, gender confusion, and race baiting:
We are calling this propaganda because target has specifically decided to only push one side of an argument. It no longer is of a free market but it has chosen ideological grounds through means of identity and identity politics. No longer are legitimate views allowed that counter gender, sex or other forms of progressive, postmodern, and critical race theorist forms of identity. Clearly Target stores have abandoned all forms of rationality and intends to enforce its values on the general populace to the extent that it’s willing to ban books. Welcome to Soft-Totalitarianism.
What Target and LGBTQ advocates refuse to acknowledge is that there is a legitimate difference between being “anti-gay” and holding the view that homosexuality is a sin, or a person believes that marriage should be between a man or woman, or even consider the scientific gender/sex research that counters transgender arguments. No, these advocates see only ideology.
Glenn Greenwald reported that the ACLU has begun to take a divergent and contradictory stance of its own toward the banning of books in the name of “Hate Speech” specifically advocated by Chase Strangio, the ACLU’s Deputy Director for Transgender Justice of its LGBT & HIV Project. Greenwald writes:
My interview with Strangio was too long ago for me to comfortably summarize it, but suffice to say there was no question that his views on free speech are sharply divergent from those that caused me to regard ACLU lawyers and their free speech absolutism as among my childhood heroes. If you want to hear reasons why the ACLU should be more reluctant to represent the free speech rights of “dangerous” extremists and why free speech should give way to other, more important values — views I vehemently reject — Strangio is about the most thoughtful advocate I’ve heard in defense of that position.
Target is not alone as larger companies like Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Apple all push similar agendas. Terrifying when one considers the possibility of censorship compounded by these multinational companies. That is why it is important to speak out against this illiberalism that now threatens freedom and liberty for all.
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts (Transcript of President George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796)
Our democracy works when this nation has a fair balance of power and transparency, but from what we witnessed this election year was a travesty to modern American democracy.
So as we stand here, looking down the barrel of what appears to be a very long legal battle, Americans are exhausted. Because this election year wasn’t just about the election nor who would be the “lesser of the two evils” and certainly not about America’s soul. You can sell yourself to the devil, you can only freely give yourself to God.
It is about our identity.
The identity in our freedoms that have been bound so tightly by the blood of men and women who have died for it, that the devil himself would have to tear it apart.
I recently asked a friend of mine who served in the Marines what it meant to him to serve his country.
America is the light in a world of darkness. We all owe it to future generations to do something to make the country and in turn the world a better place. There are many ways to serve that are just as important and noble as the military. If we forget the sacrifices made by our forefathers we will no doubt have to relive them.
The United States of America is the longest standing representative republic in the world, and if your happiness is riding on if “your guy” wins the election, you will be nothing but constantly disappointed. Liberty does not come from man, it derives from the Creator. The maker of Heaven and Earth; the Alpha and the Omega; the First and the Last; the Beginning and the End.
For our friends who are on the other side of the nation’s identity crisis, I suggest you take a walk around a local military cemetery. If possible, may I suggest Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. Atop a hill sits the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The white marble sarcophagus depicts three carved Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:
The guards are changed every hour, on the hour, from October 1 to March 31. From April 1 through September 30 another change is added to the half hour. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During nighttime hours the measured and precise step of the on duty sentinel remains unchanged into the daylight. The guard takes 21 steps and then pauses for 21 seconds after his about face to begin his return walk. The significance of ’21’ reflects the twenty-one gun salute, the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary.
This is my message to my countrymen:
It is time to rise up. Rise up and show this nation what our forefathers died to protect. We need to not only speak our truth but to live it out in our everyday lives. Show the world the goodness and love that we learn, not from man, but from the teacher Himself, Jesus Christ. The promise that he made when he died on that cross; bound by nails, and blood ran red, so that we can have real freedom. It is time to drink from the streams of liberty my friends and rediscover that source has, and always will be, God.
In closing I leave you with Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
The Trump Accountability Project. A horror show in the making. This organization comes in light of a Biden victory for the next President of the United States. Frightening when you read the fine print from this site:
Because we all stand united for Biden right? RIGHT?! To be clear, there are no unsubstantiated claims allowed at TIF. Yes, we are a Christian and a Conservative (Primitive Conservative, see details) organization but lying (a sin) and a lack of objectivity (a bad idea) is simply poor research. But this is not unity in any far stretch should the Biden Administration allow this nonsense. Yet it comes as no surprise, Biden tweeted (or whoever Tweets for Biden) a day before the election:
I believe LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and they are on the ballot tomorrow.
Why mention LGBTQ? Because GLADD has their own list: Trump Accountability Project (TAP). The radical left are doing exactly what a totalitarian regime would do which is make a list and go after the people on that list. And they are also changing definitions to words, ideas, and concepts such as “Preference” and “Racism” to meet ideological Woke standards.
To any progressives who may read or follow Truth In Focus I would implore you to reconsider the ramifications of making lists, word changes, and threats as a means of unity for your beliefs or we all may end up looking more like this:
The McCarrick Report (Official Report). Nothing easy about this report from the Vatican concerning the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, now 90 years of age, for his years of rape of adults and children alike. Pages 2 and 3 from the report:
This Report does not examine the issue of McCarrick’s culpability under canon law, since that question has already been adjudicated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. While the Secretariat of State’s examination was not focused on discovering the precise nature of McCarrick’s misconduct, numerous individuals who had direct physical contact with McCarrick were interviewed in connection with the Report. During extended interviews, often emotional, the persons described a range of behavior, including sexual abuse or assault, unwanted sexual activity, intimate physical contact and the sharing of beds without physical touching. The interviews also included detailed accounts related to McCarrick’s abuse of authority and power. The individuals’ full accounts, which proved extraordinarily helpful to the examination, were carefully reviewed, were made available to Pope Francis and are preserved in the Holy See’s archives.
A few key takeaways. First, people (popes, pastors, priests, bishops included) will mislead, lie, and greatly harm others. All are susceptible to sin. It reminds me of the ongoing investigation of the late Ravi Zacharias who suspiciously owned Spas (what kind of Christian Apologist does that?) that he has now been accused by at least three women to have performed sexual acts before them. An official statement was released by RZIM back in October:
What remains a fundamental rule in life regardless of a political candidate, evangelist, or a relative is to never idolize the individual. Everyone is capable of committing horrific crimes. Dr. Jordan B Cooper, an ordained Lutheran pastor, an adjunct professor of Systematic Theology, and a Ministry Fellow with Christian Union at Cornell University, has a superb Youtube page, Just & Sinner, where Dr. Cooper recently provided his own analysis on the matter of Zacharias worth watching: Thoughts on the Ravi Zacharias Situation.
And that is exactly what we are going to do here at Truth In Focus. If you have ever been a victim of abuse or are presently facing abuse please reach out to us. We will fight for you. No matter who you are. This a promise written within the TIF Statement:
TIF November Issue (2020) comes at the wake of a radical leftist soft-totalitarianism that seeks to devour all that is human and humane. Read.Share.Support.
Very much a part of adulteration but importantly distinct as pornography is seen as freedom of speech as a right to sex and a right to sex work are seamlessly integrated into modern liberalized societies. Christians and Conservatives are not free from this burden as pornography runs rampant in churches, colleges, and states. Technology has expedited the profane and the obscene as another commodity in the free market. Under no false pretenses is the pornographic a liberator or an adjudicator of justice rather its is a master over its slaves and a harsh judge over impoverished souls. Youth today have succumbed to its anguish. It is time to cancel porn forever.
Or consider reading Kaleb ‘Kal’ Demerew review of Heather McDonald book, The Diversity Delusion titled, Totalitarian ‘Diversocrats’ and American Higher Education: A Review:
Mac Donald argues that totalitarian ‘diversocrats’ threaten the pursuit of humanities, truth, and science in university, promoting niche fields that provide narrow support to the ‘diversity’ project. Examples of this include the replacement, rather than supplementation, of classical curricula in classical rhetoric, oratory grammar, and literature with abstract study areas in fields like gender, race, and sexuality studies. For Mac Donald, this reflects a narcissistic turn, as these policies assume that students can only gain value by learning about things that they can relate to experientially. In the process, this approach may undermine the transmission of nuggets of knowledge considered more neutral, especially those in the humanities.
Thirdly, read the striking correlation between Soviet Russia and America today by Brandon Galbreath in his article, “In-Doxycated“:
In today’s crazy postmodern society Christians cannot really define themselves with words such as orthodoxy or heterodoxy (heresy). Indeed, both words by definition are clearly direct opposites, such as right vs. left. However, the “doxy” of ortho vs. hetero is really just a paradox. What I mean by that is heresy can easily be orthodoxy because, the side of truth sometimes loses against a more powerful force of heretics. As Alister McGrath characterizes it, “heresy is the orthodoxy of history’s losers”(McGrath 2009, Heresy: A History of Defending Truth). We have not seen this much tension and uncertainty since the brink of the Civil War. Sadly, most media outlets work for the radical left and are not concerned in the interest of truth. So, we must take a “heresy” in today’s context as a social and political approach, where heresy is seen as an ideology used in world views struggling solely for power. We see this today in the political and social clash that has divided America once again. Truth has simply been destabilized for the absorption of power.
Ironically, the title of the Communist Party’s source of news for the people of the Soviet Union was called Pravda, which means truth. Pravda emerged as a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution in 1917. One of the most controversial events that the Soviet Union with Pravda lied and falsified the truth was the Katyn Forest Massacre.
As the days pass the world waits on the ballots to be counted with fraud investigations beginning, U.S. court handling disputes, and protestors marching in the streets for their cause or candidate (or both); the very legitimacy of the United States government along with the Media and Corporate America now all teeter in the balance. Whoever is elected now enters a more susceptible environment, one that may no longer be able to sustain favor of a wary public. Radicals now seek revenge regardless of who is in office. If Trump is reelected there stands a good chance that radical leftist elements will bring fire to the streets. Should Biden obtain the Presidency, it is uncertain if Trump supporters or even if President Trump himself will stand down; or if Biden himself is mentally up to the task, begging the question, under the assumption that Biden is elected, did half of America actually just elect America’s first black female president? All of these concerns are being asked. Emotions have peaked. Late Modernity’s perpetual state is here. It may be time to consider a different way forward by first stepping back.
On September 29, 2018 the following thesis statement was presented before professors at a university:
“Arising from identity-based ideologies, secular modern American colleges and universities have increasingly adopted identity politics into their institutional practices. This adoption has resulted in limited discourses and substantive debates between opposing ideological, philosophical, scientific, and theological systems and their claims. Such practices dilute knowledge which in turn reduces innovation, ideas, and the search for truth. Furthermore, identity-politics is beyond the walls of academia, influencing other public and private spheres. In the wake of these changes, a growing wave of opposition has formed, offering new ideas and possible solutions concerning identity politics. But are these solutions viable?”1
That was my thesis.
In October of 2018 I presented my theory (a model built for higher education in mind) called: “Collision at the Intersection of Ideas:The Crisis of Identity in Higher Education“2
My argument was that identity-based politics or the ideological belief that a person’s identity whether based on race, gender, sex, age, or even areas of religion were becoming a point of irreconcilable contention within higher education to such a degree that it narrowed actual learning concerning facts, knowledge growth, and differing perspectives all at the determent of the core purpose that is higher learning. I defined Identity Politics from Francis Fukuyama’s book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment and a study by Marilynn B. Brewer titled, The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology (2001):
Individuals who, through their sense of identity, feel they are being alienated and demand recognition.3
To argue my thesis I had to present the structure of Identity Politics i.e. how it manifests in higher education, prove it existed within higher education, and present studies that demonstrated a conflict with the identity-based culture in colleges and universities (little did I grasp it was also in Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches at that point).
Using my definition of Identity Politics (IP) I proved actual mechanisms or tools within colleges that are utilized administratively by institutions of higher education including:
Social Justice & Equity
Phobias (e.g. Transphobia)
Along with studies that conflicted with the established narrative that universities hold as their position in opposition to other varying opinions (here are some examples I presented at the time):
Microaggressions and Victimhood Culture
Campbell, B., & Manning, J. (2014). Microaggression and moral cultures. Comparative sociology, 13, 692–726.
Campbell, B., & Manning, J. (2018). The rise of victimhood culture: Microaggressions, safe spaces, and the new culture wars. [No city]: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lewis, H. R. (2007). Excellence without a soul: Does liberal education have a future? New York, NY: PublicAffairs. Lilienfeld, S. O. (2017). Microaggressions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(1), 138–169.
Group Polorization & Identity
Cikara, M., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2014). The neuroscience of intergroup relations: An integrative review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(245).
Even in 2018 I could see the intersection between higher education and the workplace or in politics, but I naively believed that Christian Institutions could safe guard themselves from IP.
Within my thesis I wanted to show two important factors at play within and outside of higher education:
1) A “Conflict of Visions” as explained by Thomas Sowell; a vision being “our sense of how the world works” as Sowell elaborates “Visions are the foundations on which theories are built… Visions are very subjective, but well-constructed theories have clear implications, and facts can test and measure their objective validity” (p. 4).4 From Sowell’s perspective, the place of conflict comes at the degree in which a vision is constrained or unconstrained; the more constrained a vision the less willing the society or group or person is to act on an issue of importance precisely because that action may result in a reverberation of consequences larger than the original issue. For example, ending a ban on gay marriage. An action of this kind, right or wrong, has consequences in relation to those who oppose gay marriage and are at conflict with other LGBTQ issues beyond just marriage. We see this contention between people of faith and a secular view in terms of rights. Without going into that debate, the unconstrained vision says that this is an act of justice; everyone should have the right to marry whomever they want in the name of love or some ethereal concept. A very real point of contention therefore exists between the two visions and neither vision is always right or wrong, rather Sowell demonstrates the need for logic and facts regardless of a constrained or unconstrained vision. Sowell recognizes the imperfection of reason itself as well along with the real emotional and psychological factors that come with these debates or visions of conflict. Nothing is perfect and that is the point by Sowell. There are no utopias, only gulags when a sect moves toward their utopian ideal which will eventually fail.
2) A collision concerning a conflict of visions had occurred; a collision at the intersection of ideas. Fundamental positions are now incapable of coexisting in a liberal democratic society because identity based politics that liberalism and capitalism, neoliberalism, successfully forged. The beginning decay of Liberalism started at the wake of postmodernism in the late 1940s after a disillusioned populace survived WW2 going into the 1950s with a lost sense of trust in human institutions and a desire for more in life. Old bonds, already decaying, were rupturing by the 1960s and onward. By the year 2000 society had reached a kind of peak as cultures became too convoluted and ideologies had heightened to such a degree that society, or my original focus higher education, was no longer capable of maintaining a real viability: the ability to live, grow, and develop outside an increasingly narrowing scope of indoctrination. Now I did not go as far as calling it indoctrination then, however, I maintained colleges have increasingly deduced arguments to a place of irreconcilable differences or a place of “Us vs Them” mentality.5 Conflict had become a wreckage; the ivory tower was now a rubble (a paper I wrote in the beginning of my program).6
By indoctrination I mean to suggest that institutions of higher learning, in order to preserve a status of legitimacy, had to follow and finally instill a progressive moral relativity that slowly influenced colleges which then exported those ideas back into general society. What I learned was that what happened in higher education was happening in the United States and throughout the west.
Today nearly every branch of government and workplace environment is subjected to a form of diversity, equity, and inclusion that goes beyond the boundaries of equality and merit and civil rights. Now a conflict exists to such a level that it slowly forced new convergences and divergences of groups; late modernity (1950 to the Present) was and remains a paradigm shift that now has liberal minded people either “moving” more toward the politically left or politically right; relgious beliefs are in the midst of a defragmentation as Christians and Atheists can more easily find themselves sharing similar social, political, and economic beliefs even though what roots them into their belief about abortion, gender, sex, or economics is not the same. Late modern society is rapidly diffusing but it won’t last forever because it is a paradigm shift, we are merely living in a point at which structures of authority, meaning, purpose, and legitimacy are all changing.
There are two layers concerning a principle of legitimacy as defined by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama: 1) “Legitimacy is not justice or right in an absolute sense; it is a relative concept that exists in people’s subjective perceptions” (p. 15)7 and 2) “A lack of legitimacy among the population as a whole does not spell a crisis of legitimacy for the regime unless it begins to infect the elites tied to the regime itself…” (p. 16).8 Fukuyama is directly speaking to strong-states, authoritarian states, in the latter point but the principle applies to a democratic society such as the United States.
All societies perform some kind of indoctrination in a general sense. But this was my first inklings of a radical leftist drive toward something entirely different than a “perspective” simply worth learning. No it was something much more. Prior to graduating it became clear that these beliefs aimed to throw Westernized, Christian believing, and anything considered “white” or “privileged” or “hateful” to the lions den. These were racist ideologs; Sowell’s worrisome quest-seeking Social Justice Warriors; Marxist at their core. That is not a political statement. These are real facts. Real people. Real radicals. However, after graduation it became readily apparent that QAnon conspiracies, the Alt-Right, Flat Earthers, and other far-right groups had left reality for an America that could be made great again if only they disperse “the enemy” at large.
Totalitarian movements are possible wherever there are masses who for one reason or another have acquired the appetite for political organization. Masses are not held together by a consciousness of common interest and they lack that specific class articulateness which is expressed in determined, limited, and obtainable goals. The term masses applies only where we deal with people who either because of sheer numbers, or indifference, or a combination of both, cannot be integrated into any organization based on common interest, into political parties or municipal governments or professional organizations or trade unions. Potentially, they exist in every country and form the majority of those large numbers of neutral, politically indifferent people who never join a party and hardly ever go to the polls. — Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianisms (1951), p. 311
As it stands a vote for Biden or Trump, however unwilling the populace may have been in their desire to vote, represents a repudiation and judgment over the other. A Biden victory is a win against hate, racism, and evil Americanism; a Trump victory is a vanguard against Woke liberalism and Socialism. Neither the ardent supporter nor the wary voter can see past the conflicting viewpoints. They see only a necessary conflict; a good versus evil. Currently Trump voters fear voter fraud in Arizona, Michigan, and other battle ground states. Biden supporters see it has a necessary reckoning after Hillary and Gore. Speculation runs rampant as major news networks and social media censors information including providing their own fact-checking creating a narrative that spins further the chaos. All the while Covid-19 continually magnifies uncertainty. Life at the moment is an upward battle; a fog of present distrust hangs low. No one knows what to believe or why except they having an appetite for politics in the midst of difficult times. Arendt further states:
The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships. — Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianisms (1951), p. 317
Trends of loneliness, narcissism, nihilism, and fear have been rising for decades according to sociologist like Robert D. Putnam8 along with a great moral and economic bifurcation of White America as demonstrated by Charles Murray.9 America is divided and divided absolutely10 to the point it is frustrating institutions within the paradigm shift of power and authority. Rod Dreher sees the writing on the wall from his publication of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents to last night’s (November 5, 2020) blog article, A Divided Country:
Law and order is so fundamental to the conservative stance towards the world. Had the BLM protests not been violent, they would not have stoked the Right so much. This is something that progressives deeply need to understand. On the Right, it’s not reaction against racial justice protests; it’s reaction against violence, and the justification of the violence we heard from many on the Left in the media. Joe Biden’s criticism of the protesters did not ring true…
We are going to remain a divided country. The election solved nothing. The idea, though, that if only we could have gotten rid of Donald Trump, then things would heal, was always an absurd fantasy. We are a divided country because we have lost the core narratives that bound us: a shared Christian faith (however attenuated), and a shared commitment to the historical narrative of America as an imperfect country that always strives to make life better for the next generation than the one that came before it.
We can’t even agree on what America is for anymore.
A Viable Solution
The United States of America has a real solution to resolving the pressures at present, but it comes at the cost of surrendering (a virtue few have) at at time when surrender appears as defeat. It is a mechanism designed within the very fabric of American Constitutionalism. We risk balkanization or greater tyranny if we fail to make this decision. American’s who wish to protect liberty and freedom no matter their political or religious beliefs must re-embrace a Strong Federalism.
Returning power back to the States so much power in fact that the Federal government is paralyzed from enforcing further legal decisions on the states as it has been in the last one hundred years. Believe in high taxes, enormous regulations, and progressive laws? Move to California, Oregon, New York, or Washington state. Let states decide nearly every aspect of life, make their Constitutions have meaning and purpose again. Take elections away from the national pull that desires a single leader, a hero of hope and change. America must loosen its grip by giving power and authority back to the states at the cost of ripping out the cords of a broken federal government and it’s deep state.
Next Time: A Return to Strong Federalism: A Historical and Philosophical Argument for the States
1 Richey, Edward K. 23 September 2018. Collision At the Intersection of Ideas: The Crisis of Identity in Higher Education. Thesis. University of Texas San Antonio.
2 Ibid. Presentation.
3 Brewer, M. (2001). The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology. Political Psychology,22(1), 115-125. Retrieved November 6, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791908
4 Sowell, Thomas. 2007. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. NY: Basic Books.
5 Lukianoff, Greg., Haidt, Jonathan. (2018). The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure. New York, NY: Penguin Press.
6 Richey, Edward K. 6 December 2017. An Ivory Rubble: Postmodernism & The Collapse of the Modern University and its Impact on Society. University of Texas San Antonio.
7 Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The End of History and The Last Man. NY: The Free Press
8 Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. NY: Simon & Schuster
9 Murray, Charles. 2013. Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. NY: Crown Publishing
10 French, David. 2020. Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. NY: St. Martin’s Press
Here now is our special November Issue for 2020. These are articles written across the country concerning The Four Horsemen of western apocalypse who are trotting forth in the apparitions of: 1) Social Justice, 2) Identity Politics, 3) Socialism, and 4) Corporatism. Ladies and gentlemen what awaits us is totalitarianism from a behemoth of government, corporate, and institutional structures both private and public whose reach goes from west to the east, north to south that have adopted a leftist ideological framework. No one is truly safe from these rabble-rousers. This is dark money, big business and big banks; it is Wall-Street and government agencies. The Real Deep State.