The Intellectual Elitism of Leftist Activists: An Attitude of Tyranny

As I watch the political left drift more into “regressive left” territory, where they try to silence dissent, bully people into their views, use the government to enforce them, and threaten freedom of speech and thought, I am reminded of an episode a few years ago that really showed the hypocritical and contradictory attitude of so many progressives.  A couple of years ago, there was controversy over a man named Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist.  He was an important consultant for Obamacare (this is indisputable, no matter how much backtracking the White House and the likes of Pelosi tried to do), and videos surfaced of him admitting that the White House intentionally misled the Congressional Budget Office and the American voter in order to get the bill passed.  He called the American voter “stupid” and then proclaimed that while the lack of transparency was unfortunate, it was well worth it because he’d rather have the bill than not.

Naturally, conservatives had a field day with this while it sent liberals reeling, with many in the liberal media being slow to discuss the story and criticize him and Obama.  It was doubly entertaining to see many liberal journalists or commentators try to spin it.  To his credit, liberal comedian Jon Stewart, who at the time was still host of The Daily  Show, admitted the whole thing was slimy and ridiculed how the Democrats responded (though he still defended the bill), but satirist Stephen Colbert, then host of The Colbert Report and in the typical guise of his conservative character, did nothing but defend the left. MSNBC predictably downplayed the whole thing.  Bill Maher, unsurprisingly, was completely unapologetic.  This is not even mentioning many columnists who took up the task of trying to defend the integrity of the administration on this issue.

A couple of quotes from Maher and Colbert are very telling when it comes to the mind of progressives these days.  Maher agreed that the voters of America are stupid, and because of that, they cannot be trusted.  He likened Gruber’s and the administration’s strategy as hiding medicine in dog food because the dog is too stupid to realize that the medicine is good for it.  Colbert, in his satirical way, stated, “Yes, contemptuous Democrats looked down on the American people from their ivory towers and thought, ‘What a pathetic horde of dullards, let’s give them health care!’”  I actually find Colbert to be funny, but I was pretty disappointed at how defensive he came off and how non-sensical his satire was that day.  After all, healthcare wasn’t “given,” as if it was something free that dropped from the sky; it became a mandated purchase.  And of course all government programs are funded by taxes (another specious thing he made fun of); the issue is that Obamacare represented what was effectively a new tax even though they wrote the bill to try to hide this fact.  The message of these two (and other progressives) was clear: We know better because you’re stupid, so shut up and accept it.

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Can Calvinists Make a Meaningful Distinction Between the Sufficiency and Efficacy of the Atonement?

A while ago, I wrote about John Owen’s famous trilemma argument in favor of limited atonement and criticized its shortcomings.  I noted that it is reliant on a commercialist view of the atonement, which is faulty, and that it diminishes the importance of faith.  Philosophical arguments like that one are not out of bounds by nature and can guide interpretation, but it is not nearly strong enough to overturn better interpretations of passages such as 1 John 2:2 that speak against limited atonement.

Now, I want to discuss another problem for Calvinists who advocate the double payment argument.  Many of them insist that though there is a sense in which Christ did not die for everyone, there is another sense in which he did.  In other words, while Christ’s blood and sacrifice is sufficient for everyone, it is efficient only for the elect.  I think this, along with the double payment argument, leads to a contradiction.  Even for those few Calvinists who reject Owen’s argument, this distinction is meaningless and confused.

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Supporting Trump Requires More Careful Explanation From Christian Supporters

Because I care about much more important things like college football (even though the Longhorns remain frustrating), I did not bother to see what kind of new stupid thing Trump said that made social media freak out.  I finally got around to it yesterday, and it made me laugh out loud.  Not because I think what Trump said in the video was funny itself or acceptable but because of the absurdity of what he said and of the situation.

While I may be able to laugh at the absurd, many Republicans and conservatives found no amusement in the video and started to actively withdraw support.  Politicians such as John McCain formally withdrew support while Paul Ryan, who was always cautious of Trump, affirmed his position that he would not support or campaign for the Republican nominee.  Theologian Wayne Grudem, whose article I criticized for presenting weak arguments for supporting Trump, also withdrew his support and admitted his error.  Outrage and disgust are the typical responses for Trump’s comments, and in many ways, rightly so.

However, while I am glad many of these people see Trump more clearly now, this response is also a bit frustrating for a few reasons:

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