The Press-Dispatch

October 20, 2021

The Press-Dispatch

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C-6 Wednesday, October 20, 2021 The Press-Dispatch OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: or bring in a hard copy: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg I have received a lot of feedback from my clergy appreciation col- umn, so I will add more. The pri- mary mission of the church is "as you are going throughout the world, teach people about Jesus and bap- tized them, making them disciples for Jesus Christ." This is the Great Commission, and we find it in Mat- thew 28:19 -20. The church in America has lost the Wesleyan vision of what it means to make "disciples for Jesus Christ." Many churches are doing everything except evangelism. Evangelism has become a bad word for many Chris- tians because they associate it with fundamentalist and traditionalists whom progressives dislike. Contrary to revisionists theology, Jesus did not come to make people feel good about themselves or affirm their lifestyle. Paul said Jesus came to save sinners whom I am chief (1Tim 1:15)! Years ago, I began pastoring a church whose leadership it primari- ly composed of progressives. These progressives were in the minority of members, but over several years they had maneuvered themselves into all the top leadership positions. Before I arrived, they met as a team and developed a mission plan for the church. They were quite proud of their plan and met with me as a group, giving it to me for consider- ation. Upon reviewing the plan, I re- marked there is nothing in their plan about evangelism as in preaching the WORD and baptizing people. Their explanation was they did not believe evangelism was necessary. They be- lieved all you had to do was invite people to church, get them involved in the wonderful "works" they were doing, and the visitor would, in time, want to be one of us. I remarked there was nothing in this plan that says we were a church. Nothing sets us apart from the local social or service clubs. Without evan- gelism, we are nothing more than a New victim of cancel culture: Science Cancel culture has reared its ugly head once again, and this time in a new and unprecedented way. A lecture by a physicist was can- celed at one of America's premier institutions of science, MIT, for rea- sons having nothing to do with the subject of the lecture. The lecture was canceled not because of its sci- entific content but because of the po- litically incorrect views on diversity of the scientist scheduled to give the lecture. Dorian Abbot is a professor in the department of the geophysical sci- ences at the University of Chicago. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard. Abbot was scheduled to give the annual John Carlson lecture at MIT's Lorenz Center in the department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sci- ences. The topic was to be "climate and the potential for life on other planets." But this lecture will not take place. In August, Abbot and Ivan Mari- novic, an associate professor of ac- counting at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, pub- lished an opinion piece in Newsweek entitled "The Diversity Problem on Campus." Abbot and Marinovic argued that the politically correct regime now taking control of America's universi- ties, which they identify as "DEI" — diversity, equity and inclusion — is undermining the mission of what uni- versities are supposed to be about. That mission is, per Abbot and Ma- rinovic, "the production and dissem- ination of knowledge." When universities no longer look for the "most talented and best trained minds" in hiring, and politi- cally motivated criteria drive hiring practices, the university's "core busi- ness" — the "search for truth" — is undermined. They propose that "MFE" — mer- it, fairness and equality — be ad- opted as the regime to define hir- ing practices to displace DEI. MFE is about hiring based on individual merit and qualifications alone. Abbot is now paying the price for publicly expressing such heresy. Twitter outrage descended on the administration at MIT, and Abbot was disinvited. So now academic speech is not just about what is said but who is saying it. Abbot and Marinovic were right on target in their Newsweek essay, sug- gesting that the DEI politically cor- rect regime carries forward every- thing about racism that we suppos- edly have been trying to get rid of. Racism is all about obliterating individuality and making predeter- mined judgments about who any in- dividual is based on socially defined characteristics of the group to which they are assigned. How can any Black child in Amer- ica not be injured when they are not taught that they are special and unique human beings but that what is most important is their color. It doesn't matter whether they are being rejected because of their col- or or accepted because of their col- or. Their humanity is being under- mined. Science advances when we rec- ognize that truth is bigger than and beyond any single human mind. Truth is discovered, piece by piece, through humility and hard work, not political arrogance, pretending we al- ready know it. We might recall that modern sci- ence only emerged some five cen- turies ago. It wasn't all that long ago that most believed that the sun moved around the Earth rather than the other way around. Scientists such as Nicolaus Copernicus and Galil- eo Galilei, through honest observa- tions, concluded the prevailing view was wrong. This was politically in- correct then; they were attacked, and their books were banned. One famous graduate of MIT was the great Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman observed, "Reality must take precedence over public rela- tions, for nature cannot be fooled." The increasing deference of reali- Let life resume America remains bound by often extreme pandemic restrictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying 6 feet away from others. In Oregon, everyone must wear a mask outdoors. In parts of the country, 2-year-olds must wear masks. Are such rules necessary? Recently, Denmark lifted all pan- demic restrictions. "Go Denmark! " cheers George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux in my latest video. "We in the United States should do the same." "We reduced COVID, through vaccination, to a fairly mild ailment for the vast majority of people," says Boudreaux. "You don't have to wor- ry if the bartender at your favorite bar is vaccinated or not. You are pro- tected against suffering severe con- sequences. Get vaccinated, and then go about your life normally! " Portugal and Sweden recently re- moved most restrictions, too. The United Kingdom ditched plans to require "vaccine passports." "We don't have to continue to up- end human life in our quest to elim- inate COVID, which can't happen anyway," says Boudreaux. "Why not? " I ask. "We eliminated smallpox." "Smallpox resides only in hu- man beings," explains Boudreaux. COVID-19 can live in animals — bats, deer, dogs, cats. "We have nev- er eliminated a disease that uses both humans and animals as reser- voirs." Still, China acted as if eliminating COVID-19 were possible. They've kept deaths much lower (if you believe their numbers) than other countries by imposing nasty re- pressive measures like quarantines at gunpoint and even locking people in their homes. "It's just awful. It's tyrannical. It's what you expect of a Communist ty- rannical government," says Bou- dreaux. Australia's been almost that tough. They've also imposed curfews and arrested people for not wearing masks. In some places, police proud- ly announced they "smashed win- dows of people in cars and pull them out ... because they weren't telling us where they were going." Don't worry about losing freedom, says Daniel Andrews, premier of the state of Victoria. "They're not rules that are against you. They are rules for you." "So say all dictators and tyrants," retorts Boudreaux. These countries can't lock down forever. When the lockdowns stop, COVID-19 will return. That's why Denmark ended COVID-19 restrictions. "It's not admitting defeat; it's ad- mitting reality," says Boudreaux. "We learn to live with COVID in the same way that we learn to live with many other pathogens. ... The bac- teria that caused the Black Death is still circulating in the human popula- tion. A handful of people every year still die of it." In the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, "Eradication of Covid is a dan- gerous and expensive fantasy." "We live with countless hazards, each of which we could but sensibly choose not to eradicate. Automobile fatalities could be eradicated by out- lawing motor vehicles. Drowning could be eradicated by outlawing swimming and bathing. Electrocu- tion could be eradicated by outlaw- ing electricity. We live with these risks not because we're indifferent to suffering but because we under- stand that the costs of zero-drown- ing or zero-electrocution would be far too great. The same is true of ze- ro-Covid." That's why, now that we have large- ly effective vaccines, he says it's time to end pointless lockdowns and do what Denmark is doing: "Live life normally again! Trav- el, go to parties, weddings, sport- ing events. Live life and be joyous! Hopefully, humanity will come to its senses soon." I hope he's right. John Stossel is author of "Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media." With each passing week, it looks like World War III — between Amer- ica and China — is coming sooner than we think. It's not going to be fought with bullets or aircraft carri- ers, although the Chinese are build- ing up their military in an aggressive and threatening way. This will more likely be an all-out economic war for global supremacy. The yuan versus the dollar. The Nas- daq versus the Shanghai Stock Ex- change. Meanwhile, America is asleep at the switch — at least, the Biden ad- ministration is. This is the worst possible time to be raising tax rates on American companies (Our busi- ness tax rates would be higher than China's under President Joe Biden's plan!), dismantling American ener- gy (at a time when China is running 1,000 dirty coal plants with dozens more in construction), and running up the national debt (with China a major purchaser of the bonds). Love Donald Trump or hate him, he was a president who put America first and recognized the predatory nature of the Chinese regime. He got tough with President Xi Jinping and overturned one-sided trade deals. His strate- gy was to do what for- mer President Ronald Reagan did to win the Cold War: Make Amer- ica tremendously pros- perous by building up our strategic industries in a way that the Soviet Union or China couldn't compete with. The danger is that we now have a president in Biden who thinks that climate change is a bigger threat to the world than the Maoists in Bei- jing. And make no mistake about it; the communists are back in charge in China. Jinping has basically an- nounced himself to be president for life, as democracy and free elec- tions fly out the window. China is al- so sprinting back to command and control fascist government and in- dustry "cooperation." That's a mod- el that will eventually implode, but as we learned from the Soviet men- ace, they can do a lot of damage to peace and prosperity in the meantime. It's no accident that Chi- na's economy and stock market are faltering. In the last year, as the U.S. stock market has risen by about 20 % (thanks to Op- eration Warp Speed), Chi- na's Shanghai stock mar- ket went down 15% . They are sprinting toward so- cialism faster than we are... for now. The Chinese stock market jitters reflect global investors' irritation with the more frequent political in- terventions in business affairs. As Foreign A ffairs magazine recently put it regarding these iron-fisted in- terferences into the business activi- ties of its largest companies: "Xi has placed China on a risky trajectory, one that threatens the (free market) achievements of his predecessors." In short, events of recent months When Joe Biden took over the White House, many Europeans cheered, "The adults are back." Months later, they are asking, "Where did they go? " Growing concerns about Amer- ican leadership have triggered re- newed calls for an autonomous, pan-European military dedicated and able to serve a European agen- da. The prospects for European stra- tegic autonomy are no more realistic. Yet, the persistence of this propos- al strains the transatlantic relation- ship, which has not improved under the Biden presidency despite all ex- pectations. European leaders were angered that Biden rejected their request to extend the deadline for the U.S. troop withdrawal from A fghanistan and then directed an uncoordinated retreat that put their in-country forc- es and citizens at risk. Relationships further deteriorated when, in an ef- fort to recover from the criticism of not engaging allies, the U.S. abrupt- ly announced a new security pact (AUKUS) with the United Kingdom and Australia without either consult- ing or informing Brussels (let alone Paris). Quicker than a returning boomer- ang, European leaders were back to arguing, as they had when Trump was around, that America isn't de- pendable. Shortly after the AUKUS an- nouncement, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign A ffairs Josep Borrell declared, "We must survive on our own, as others do…." Borrell has also stated, "It's clear that the need for more Europe- an defense has never been as much as evident as today after the events in A fghanistan." In her State of the Union Address, European Commission President Ur- sula von der Leyen likewise suggest- ed, "The good news is that over the past years, we have started to devel- op a European defense ecosystem. But what we need is the Europe- an Defense Union." Von der Leyen urged the member states to increase collaboration and embrace Europe- an-wide strategic defense priorities. The boldest claims for "Europe- an strategic autonomy," however, have come from French President Emmanuel Macron. In 2019, he de- clared NATO "brain dead," repeat- edly showing a preference for sup- planting rather than updating the alliance. When the AUKUS agree- ment to sharing nuclear submarine technology with Australia led Can- berra to cancel a multibillion-dollar submarine contract with France, Ma- cron recalled his ambassadors to the United States (for a time) —suggest- ing perhaps he thought Washington was brain dead, too. Clearly, some Europeans are re- flexively back to calling for collective defense capability without the U.S. But are they any closer to achieving this goal? In 2007, the EU established a re- quirement for a European system of battlegroups totaling 1,500 troops. That force, if it exists anywhere beyond paper, has never been de- ployed. Now there is a proposal to create a "first entry force" of 5,000 troops. A force that size still can pro- vide nothing close to real indepen- dent military capability. Will the EU ever step up? There are more than a few obstacles. For starters, Europe's two main security concerns are Russia and the problems of the Middle East spilling over into Europe. Collectively, Euro- Race for the Cure By Star Parker Give Me a Break John Stossel Continued on page 7 Continued on page 7 Eye on the Economy By Stephen Moore The war is on with China Heritage Viewpoint By Stefano Graziosi and James Carafana Points to Ponder By Rev. Curtis Bond Europe's strategic autonomy fallacy Importance of evangelism Continued on page 7 Continued on page 7 Court EVANGELISM

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