Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bernie is the logical successor to Obama, not Hillary

Bernie is the logical political successor to Obama, not Hillary

In previous posts I have explained how Progressive politics (if "successful") morphs over time into totalitarianism. The historical and logical movement of Progressivism is toward Socialism. Socialism eventually consumes itself. Therefore, in order to maintain control of government, the leaders at the "end" of the socialism experiment must become dictators. The term Democratic Socialism is an inevitable oxymoron. I use the word "inevitable" because Socialist political candidates are, at first, elected. That "first election" is  the last or final election also.

The Obama administration has progressively moved the government of the United States into aspects of Socialism. Through his executive orders Obama has demonstrated his post-Socialism tendencies.

Unlike Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has experienced the rewards of (crony) capitalism and has never yet shown or been able to implement socialism in the United States. Clandestine in her actions, a sleuth perhaps, I do not think Hillary shares Bernie's expressed socialistic beliefs.

Therefore, it is Bernie and his proposed policies that naturally flow from, or extend the policies of, the Obama administration.


Monday, February 8, 2016

An Abandoned White Middle Class, an analysis

The question that this writer/editor is answering is "What is driving the populist movement in the 2016 election?" It is a relatively short article, but analytically astute.

"One can make an argument that over the long haul economic globalization will be good for all Americans. Perhaps, but in the meantime the gap grows. The top end of society is thoroughly committed. This leads to the following problem for politicians: The Democratic establishment must lie about its economic commitments, while promising to take care of the middle class, and Republicans can be frank about their free-market commitments, while having very little to offer middle class voters." R.R. Reno, FIRST THINGS magazine.

First Things article by R.R. Reno, click here

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Madeleine, O Madeleine

Madeleine, O Madeleine

Lecture them Maddie, O lecture them well,
Those young women who don’t fall in line.
With party rhetoric meant to overwhelm
Them, as if rotten grapes fallen from the vine.

 There is a place for all in her party,
Just one place actually, for like schools of thought.
Diversity in this case is not hearty
With branches differently brought.

Religion and politics dare mix
When politicians wax wrecklessly with theology.
The many mansions in my Father’s house is the fix;
Scolding and oppressing young sisters tests Maddie’s own soteriology.

If “there’s a special place in hell
For women who don’t help each other,”
There’s a complementary comparison as well.
Like the party, hell has no diversity and will smother?

Madeleine, O Madeleine,
We know what you’re thinking.
Your young women have not fallen in line
 And friend Hillary’s future is sinking.

Madeleine, O Madeleine, hell hath no fury
Like a scorned candidate’s pride.
Perhaps a young women’s jury
Is saying farewell as William mourns his desperate bride.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lord and Lady Carey of Clifton in Birmingham, Alabama

February 6, 2016

Two weeks ago I was contacted by The Living Church (TLC) magazine. A former Archbishop of Canterbury would be visiting Birmingham and had been scheduled to preach at the opening convocation of the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. TLC asked me to cover the archbishop's visit and submit an article to be published. I accepted.

Since this assignment was a "last minute" activity I contacted the dean's office at Beeson. I asked for permission to interview the archbishop during his visit. Dr. Timothy George is the founding dean of Beeson and had made the decision to not encumber the archbishop's visit with interviews. I understood his rationale. If I were to interview, separately, the archbishop so would other reporters present.

I drove to the divinity school early on Tuesday morning, January 26, to make sure that I would have a good seat in the chapel. As I entered the chapel building Dean George entered. He asked if he could help me. I told him who I was and he remembered the call I made to his administrative assistant the previous Friday. I said, "Yes, you could help me." Dr. George a gracious gentlemen, said "Sure."

He then introduced me to his office staff and asked them to give me the "best seat in the house." And so they did. I took my notepad, digital recorder, and camera and placed them on the left side of the front left pew. Since the opening convocation service was more than two hours later, I stepped out of the chapel for a few minutes to talk with two seminarians that I knew.

After about fifteen minutes I returned to the chapel. Still mostly empty, four people stood in the chapel next to high pulpit - three women and one man. I could hear them talking but they were facing the chancel. Two of the women were Dr. George's administrative assistants, the third woman was Lady Carey and the gentleman was the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. One of the administrative assistants, whom I just met minutes earlier in Dr. George's office, saw me and walked Lord and Lady Carey to me and made introductions.

Both Lord and Lady (Ellen) Carey are wonderful conversationalists and I had an easy go of it talking with them. I told the archbishop who I was in terms of canonical status ( I am a deacon in the Anglican Diocese of the South of the Anglican Church in North America - I went even further and told him that I am one of several deacons whose bishop-ordinary is ACNA's Primate, ++Foley Beach) and in my role as a reporter for TLC. I decided to then take a bold step.

Hodges Chapel - Beeson Divinity School
Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
Lady Ellen Carey, Deacon Woody Norman, Lord George Carey

"Archbishop," I said. "When these events at Beeson have concluded, would you be willing to talk with me in an interview?" He had no problem with my request. But then I said, "You probably know that TLC wants me to ask you one question in particular, don't you?" He smiled gently and responded, "Yes, I do."

TLC magazine and many others wanted to learn his perspective about the recent decision made by a gathering of the Primates (senior archbishops) of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Lord Carey told me that he would address that question after that afternoon's luncheon. And so he did.

The luncheon was held "uphill" from the Hodges Chapel. Luncheon guests probably planned to walk to the luncheon. But just prior to the convocation's end rain began falling heavily. A seminarian and I rode to the luncheon in my car but had to walk through the rain. Parking at Samford University is difficult if you have no special parking identification. I didn't. Approximately 80 guests attended the luncheon honoring Lord and Lady Carey. Salmon was served with sides and a dessert. It was an excellent meal.

After the luncheon with invited guests, which included the Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama (TEC) and three bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Lord Carey spoke. He said that he has been asked to comment on the Primates' decision and will do so now.

Lord Carey told his audience that Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury - the convener of the Primates' gathering - placed a telephone call to him about the upcoming gathering. "We had a personal conversation [in] which he set up [to me] what he was proposing to do - [and] what he was hoping to gain from our conversation. So, I was honored with that confidentiality and I am not going to say anything that's going to upset the process." That was that.

His only other comment was an observation that the Anglican Communion is presently acting like a federation similar to the worldwide Lutheran Federation. It will not be a communion in reality until its several provinces begin meeting and talking with each other again.

Lord and Lady Carey spent the remainder of the week as guests of the dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent. The archbishop delivered several lectures during the week and presided over the services the following Sunday morning.

This Beeson event marked the third time that I had met and talked with Archbishop George Carey. My first meeting with him was in 1997 at The Club overlooking South Side Birmingham. He was honored with a dinner by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. My wife Patricia and I were able to get a picture of us with the archbishop.

Some years later, probably around 2005, the archbishop was a guest preacher the annual noontime Lenten Services at the Cathedral Church of the Advent. Again, my wife and I met him and Mrs. Carey for the second time. I showed him the picture from years earlier. He signed the picture. I digitized it.
THE CLUB - Birmingham, Alabama
Patricia Norman, Archbishop George Carey, Deacon Woody Norman

I just wanted to document this particular moment at Beeson in 2016 and a few other memories.

WENjr 2016

J.I. Packer: Taking God Seriously short video

J.I. Packer became Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Regent College in 1979. In 1989, he was installed as the first Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology. In 1996, he became Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology.
J.I. Packer has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America, and is a frequent contributor to theological periodicals.
This video asks a simple question: Do you know what you believe?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Politics in the United States of America 2016

Politics in the United States of America
After a while one gets sick, very sick of political campaigning. Unfortunately, there is no way around this seemingly endless phenomenon of political rancor – dirty tricks, calling opponents liars, bamboozling the electorate. I gotta tell ya, I’m sick of it.

Yet we, the electorate, must be vigilant about what is going on around us and to us. We have to endure this latest cycle of presidential electoral politics. For the past seven years we have seen, actually felt, what a negative presidency can do not only to the United States as a whole, but to persons, individuals who have either lost their jobs or have been reduced to seeking part-time employment.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for any one of us to know what a presidential candidate actually believes until he or she is elected. The current American president was a virtual unknown to the voting public in 2007, but because he promised much and spoke a traditional line, most Americans voted him into office. It did not take long after gaining office that we saw how destructive a sitting president can be to his own nation and to its citizens.

Electing a president is inherently risky. It matters whom we elect. Unfortunately, we must await the unfolding of his or her presidential policies – regardless of what was promised during the campaign season – before we really know. We then will be either pleasantly surprised or sorely disappointed. Eight, even four years, of negative policies can ruin peoples’ lives for years to come. Significant economic impacts on a person’s ability to earn an income over four to eight years make it even more difficult in future years to recover those losses assuming a new president promotes better economic policies.

What could be worse? What is worse is a certain kind of structural change and governmental change? The tendency of Progressive government is socialism. The natural “progression” of socialism is totalitarianism. When a candidate-become-president states that he will “fundamentally transform” America, he is stating his belief that something is/was wrong with America and it needs to be radically changed. That president has almost succeeded. The current “overt” socialist presidential candidate has garnered a huge following among the young. The risk here, if successfully played out, is even higher. What could possibly happen?

Political Failure in Europe
Over the years the nations collectively known as Europe have ceded their religious and cultural heritage to secularism. Secularism thrives in a socialistic, progressive environment. Living the good life means that the government pays for your necessities, and perhaps pays for your luxuries. Enjoying life in such a government-controlled environment also meant, historically, having fewer children. Having fewer children meant a future workforce smaller in numbers than their living seniors. With the willing jettisoning of its heritage and its willingness to produce fewer offspring, Europe has made itself open to “fundamental transformation” through immigration, not overt or combative revolution. 

Europe is now overrun and will never recover.Their historical contributions to the arts, sciences, and religion will be erased from history by the immigrated conquering religion-government, and will never be heard  of in another 25 to 50 years. European socialism has not succeeded and is in the process of being replaced by a totally different form of life, government, and religion (replacing secularism). The same could happen to the United States of America.

One should now see where I am going with this. Show me a nation where socialism has been successful. Such a nation does not exist. Eventually some kind of revolution, not necessarily a "gentle transformation," will occur. Socialism lulls. Europeans, by way of example, were not animated by its secularism, therefore, Europe is now being overrun from the outside.

Vigilance of the American Electorate
Pay attention to these current 2016 presidential candidates. Although the process is itself sickening, the history, speeches, and actions of the candidates need to be examined by each one of us. Do not take word-for-word account of what media outlets tell us. Of course, we have to read those media accounts, but we must use our own senses and logic to figure out as best we can who our next president should be. Reduce our national risk by understanding who these people are. And do not be lulled by grandiose promises.

A wrong presidential choice in November, 2016 can ruin our lives for the next four years making for 12 years of continuous employment, economic, and governmental degradation. Examine, think, act, vote.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

African American Studies catalogue from McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers

Download the catalogue

My biography of James Solomon Russell in on page 24.

BLACK HISTORY month in Virginia and Alabama

In 2012 McFarland and Company, Inc. published my biography of James Solomon Russell. A former slave, Russell founded Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. As an Episcopal priest in the newly-formed Diocese of Southern Virginia in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Russell planted 31 churches.

In 2014 Archdeacon Books published my book Alabama Timelines: African American Entrepreneurs. This book is helpful for finding historical black entrepreneurs in the State of Alabama before, during, and after the Civil War.

Both books can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million online bookstores.