National Conservatism?

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

In Against National Conservatism First Things has Peter Leithart writing about the Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism Statement of Principles.

He lists a number of laudable aspects of these Principles, including their opposition to universalist ideologies and corrosive globalization, and then zeroes in on two major — and fatal —flaws or weaknesses of the Statement:

  • its lack of recognition of the Church’s own, biblically-rooted universalism or globalism, and
  • its failure to recognize the Bible as the Word of God rather than merely a wellspring of national values, a source of shared culture or a ground of national tradition.

These are well-founded and valuable criticisms, and I am in full agreement with them.

Let me add a couple of observations of my own, light-weight though they may be compared to Peter Leithart’s.

Firstly, as a European, and more specifically Austrian, of the first post-WW II generation I am deeply suspicious of any ideology or philosophy that is prefixed with National. I was born ten years after the end of the war, and I grew up with post-war reconstruction well underway; but the tragic results of National Socialism were still evident in many areas of life. And recently we have seen the rise of leaders like Donald Trump, Lech and Jaroslav Kaczynski, Victor Orban, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, all of whom view themselves, as do their followers, as National Conservatives and true patriots, a label which they deny their political opponents. It would not have been fair to mention him in the same sentence as the others, but Vladimir Putin is of the same ilk, only more so. Hitler’s nazis sang, “Deutschland über alles”, Trump proclaimed “America First” and “Make America Great Again”, and Putin phantasizes about an ever-expanding Russkiy Mir, the Russian World, and is prepared to use military force to realize that dream. It sounds just all too familiar to me. And while the signatories of the statement would definitely disown Putin, especially after his illegal invasion of and war against Ukraine, Victor Orban’s Hungary is hailed by some conservatives in the US as a bulwark of Christendom surrounded by rampant secularism.

Secondly, it is all very well for “National Conservatives” in the United States championing the nation state and opposing the transferring of authority to international bodies, when their “nation” is almost the size of the entire continent of Europe or more than twice the size of the European Union[1]. No doubt the European Union, as a trans-national, international body has its flaws, and one can debate whether member states have ceded to much power to the EU institutions, and it is unfortunately also true that the EU has left the Christian values of it’s founders behind (but that is no more than a reflection of developments in the member states), but this is not too different from the discussions in the US about the respective powers of the individual states and the federal government. More importantly, the European Union, or something very much like it, is the only way the nations of Europe can have any hope of competing, economically and politically, with the United States.

Thirdly, when it comes to, «In nations with a Christian majority, Christianity should be at the root of public life and “honored by the state.”», I am very sure that train has already left the station, and it’s not coming back, in any of the Western nations. And when I think of the influence of Trump’s national conservatism on American Evangelicalism, or that of Putin’s national conservatism on the Orthodox Church and others in Russia, both of which are massively more corrosive than anything coming from the international organizations, then it seems to me that our primary concern at the moment should be not with globalization but with toxic, almost idolatrous, Christian nationalism.

  1. Size in square kilometer: US–9.8 million, EU–4.2 million, European continent–10.2 million[]
I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

The New, “Progressive” Public Morality

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

Toby Young, British journalist and founder of the Free Speech Union, in conversation with Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute, has some insightful comments about the new “progressive” public morality (i.e. normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism, unrestricted abortion rights, etc.).

I am posting this not just because I agree with him (except for his use of “woke” to describe the new morality[1]), but to underline the main point in my recent post about Disney:

Most of the people who have subscribed to this new pulic morality sincerely believe themselves to be good, moral people; even some Christians have become persuaded of the new morality and have convinced themselves that just as we have abolished slavery so we need to abolish traditional sexual mores in order to be truly loving.

A “Christian” culture war rhetoric demonizing them and casting aspersions on their motives is effectively our version of “cancel culture” and will neither turn our society around, nor protect our children, nor increase the likelihood of winning people to Christ—which, after all, should be the church’s main goal.

Instead we should do as Christ did: compassionately, lovingly calling people to repentance, praying that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes to the deception of this new morality.

When we have an opportunity to oppose the new morality in the political realm (from school boards on up) we will be much more persuasive if we do so in a rational, measured tone and without resorting to personal invective. As Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”

Here is Toby Young:

We have to try to understand why it has become harder and harder to disagree about essential values in the public square without falling out with each other, and why cancel culture has metastasized to become such an all-encompassing blight. I think it has something to do with the ebbing away of the Christian tide.

In the nineteenth century, and even in the first part of the twentieth century, we were a  Christian society, and the sacred values we were expected to observe were Christian values, and if someone comitted adultery, or got divorced, or was born out of wedlock, there was serious social stigma attached to that. We had a kind of public morality which people were expected to observe, and if they didn’t, they were sort of outcast, or they were in some kind of Bohemian sub-culture. There was some tolerance for people who didn’t believe, more tolerance, particularly towards the end of the nineteenth century, in the higher education sector, towards people who challenged the prevailing orthodoxies, more tolerance than there is now.

So as the Christian tide ebbed away, so this morality faded, and particularly in the 1960s and 1970s all the taboos which had constrained people’s behavior, the moral taboos, fell away and there was a brief period where we enjoyed this intellectual, sexual freedom, and everyone thought that was what the future was going to be.

But then, intererestingly, people seemingly found it quite difficult to cope with that degree of freedom, and they’ve embraced another, even more dogmatic morality, which in the past ten, fifteen years has become the public morality.

So, after a brief interlude, one public morality has been replaced by another. And if you don’t sign up to the articles of faith of that political morality, you are now outcast, probably more outcast than you were if you didn’t sign up to the articles of the Christian faith in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

And I think that’s really what has happend: we have embraced this new, secular public morality which is actually, interestingly, much more puritanical, and censorious, and authoritarian, than the seemingly much more gentle Christian morality which at least allowed for forgiveness, a path back, redemption, but which this new public morality seemingly doesn’t allow for. And I think that’s why we live in an increasingly intoletant society, why, if you don’t sign up to the shibbolets of the “woke church”, you end up kind of cast out; and, curiously, a lot of people who find themselves at odds with the articles of faith of that new public morality are orthodox Christians.

  1. I believe using “woke” to describe the new morality’s sexual agenda is a mis-appropriation of a term that belongs to people of color in their fight against racism,  and mis-using it this way equates support of traditional Christian beliefs, and opposition to “progressive” beliefs, about sex, marriage, and the sanctity of life with racism, which is nonsense.[]
I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

The Woke Disney Company?

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

In the conservative Christian online medium Mercatornet, Sydney journalist Sebastian James laments that “The Woke Disney Company is turning its back on family values.” He writes,

In a company-wide zoom meeting back in March, the president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, Karey Burke, said the company “doesn’t have enough LGBTQIA leads in their content and don’t have enough narratives in which gay characters just get to be characters”. She vowed to change this “non-inclusive trend”.
Why can’t Disney stick to producing great content, family films which champion what is good, true, beautiful, and universal?

That question does Disney and its management an injustice. They believe that by making their products more “inclusive” they ARE in fact championing what is good, true, beautiful, and universal.

I also think that the so-called “inclusivity” of companies like Disney is an illusion; you rarely see conservative Christians with traditional views of sex and marriage portrayed as wholesome, but the same thing applies: they genuinely believe that such views are NOT wholesome but bigoted and harmful.

We may disagree with them and oppose them, and I do, but demonizing them by denying their sincerity or otherwise impugning their motives is neither fair or just, nor will it halt society’s trend of normalizing “alternative sexualities and identities.”

Let us by all means call sin “sin” but not lose sight of the fact that these folks’ greatest problem is not their view of sex and marriage but the fact that they are not following Christ, and that their unbiblical views are merely the outworking of that. Ultimately our task as Christians is winning people to Christ (including Disney president Karey Burke), not making secular society conform to Christian values (or lamenting the fact that the world’s values are, well, “worldly”).

Unfortunately it is also true that throughout much of church history Christians have treated “perverts” abominably, as if their sin were worse than heterosexual adultery, fornication and concubinage (which were frequently tolerated, even among church leaders), and even today we see scandals of churches most vociferously opposed to the normalization of homosexuality and same-sex marriage being revealed as having swept under the carpet the heterosexual abuse of children, adolescents, and other vulnerable people by clergy, in an (usually unsuccessful) effort to shield their institutions from liability and preserve their reputation. We as individuals, congregations, and even denominations may not have been guilty or complicit in these injustices, and may not even have been aware of them, or we may think that those who perpetrated them were not true Christians, but we must not ignore the damage these things have done to the testimony of the universal church and how they have contributed to the situation we see today:  “wokeness” may be an over-reaction but it is always is a reaction to injustice.

In Scripture we see Jesus rebuking with strong language (i.e. “you are of your father the devil”) those religious leaders who failed to obey not just the words but the spirit of God’s commandments, but calling ordinary sinners to repentance while treating them with love and compassion (i.e. “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”). As Jesus-followers it behooves us to do the same.

Banner picture: Lightyear / Disney/Pixar

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

It is possible to be a Values Conservative

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

Because of the effective take-over of the Republican Party by the Trumpians, and similar developments in several other countries, I find it necessary to state clearly:

It is possible to be a values conservative without becoming a right wing crazy.

It is possible to be a values conservative without supporting attempts to overturn election results, violent attacks on the institutions of government, or the fomenting of civil unrest.

It is possible to be a values conservative and a Christian without being a “Christian nationalist” of the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Trumpians in the US, or Victor Orbán and Vladimir Putin in Europe.

It is possible to be a values conservative who does not turn a blind eye to the suffering of refugees from war zones or famine-stricken countries.

It is possible to be a values conservative who does not oppose government aid to the disadvantaged in our own countries.

It is possible to be a values conservative who rejects abortion as a birth control method but who recognizes that there are legitimate exceptions to a total ban and wants these enshrined in the relevant laws.

It is possible to be a values conservative who does not oppose, but indeed supports, comprehensive universal healthcare with needs-based public financing.

It is possible to be a values conservative who supports reasonable gun control – at the very least a ban on private ownership of military grade weapons beginning with assault rifles.

It is possible to be a values conservative who believes churches and religious believers should be able to follow their understanding of human nature, sexuality, and marriage while at the same time respecting democratic decisions concerning broader definitions of civil marriage.

There are probably other aspects I can think of right now; but my main point is that it is possible to be a values conservative without being a right-wing nutter.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

Quo Vadis, America?

Posted on Categories Uncategorized, UncategorizedTags , , ,

In a recent Facebook discussion on the subject of “Christian nationalism” a commenter said, 

“I sometimes feel we have an attitude that because we do it better than most, we don’t need to make changes. When you believe you are the best, why make changes??”

This was my response, slightly expanded here, which gave me no pleasure to write:

As an Austrian who grew up in a home built with Marshall Plan funds and and who was fully aware that without US involvement in WWII my country would likely be living under either Hitler’s or Stalin’s terror regime, and who therfore used to be an uncritical fan of the US in my youth; as one who was socialized and formed as an Evangelical Christian by American missionaries, spent almost five years living in the US working for a Christan ministry, and still has many dear friends in and from the US, but who now is thoroughly disillusioned with both American society/politics and the American church, I would say the attitude you describe is wrong on two counts:

  1. Of course you need to make changes. Even the best can always do and be better.
  2. But you don’t actually do it better than most. Let’s see:
    • You are almost the worst at controlling violent crime, largely due to a ludicrous misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment to your constitution;
    • You may have some of the best (and best-equipped) doctors and medical facilities but you are pretty worse than most industrialized nations at providing equal and equitable healthcare access and funding to all;
    • You are a leader in technological research who sends people into space and spends tons of money on your military, but your power grid and road network and telephone network are in deplorable condition;
    • Your education system leaves most of its graduates shackled by debt for many years;
    • Your society is hopelessly polarized and your politics controlled by the extremes of the left and the right:
      • The Democrats are dominated by a destructive “progressive” agenda which seeks to deconstruct human nature as essentially male and female and plays with identity politics which divides rather than unites the country;
      • The GOP is under the thumb of a serial adulterer and liar who has brought the country to the brink of political collapse and possibly civil war and whose followers know only law and order but not mercy and compassion;
    • Vast swathes of the American church, instead of being a prophetic witness speaking truth to power, have got into bed with either the political left or the political right, championing their respective agendas and favouring the separation of church and state only when it suits them while trying to push their own agenda on the state when that suits them.

I could go on, but this is enough to show why in a very real sense you do it worse than most in so many areas that the meaning of American exceptionalism has become inverted, and why there is definitely room (and a desparate need) for change.

It pains me especially that many churches and leaders in my own Evangelical tradition have, in an extreme and especially bizarre form of supersessionism, appropriated the Jewish people’s status as God’s uniquely chosen people not just for the church (bad enough in view of Romans 9–11) but for the United States, claiming the promises made to Israel but disregarding most of the responsibilities such as caring for the poor and welcoming strangers. At the same time they uncritically support the State of Israel as an actor in and venue of their favourite end time scenario but have little use and sympathy for Jews as a people.

So the question posed in the title of this post is a very real one: unless the American nation and the American church drastically change direction, and do so soon, I fear for their future.


The cover image appeared here. The editor of e-International Relations could not find any licensing information so I decided to use it. If anyone claims copyright I will of course remove it.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

Shocked By The Reactions To The Roe Reversal

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

I must confess to being a bit shocked by the reactions to SCOTUS reversing Roe v Wade.

On the one hand there are my conservative Christian friends, both Evangelical and Catholic, who celebrate the court’s decision, in a triumphal tone, seemingly without any awareness of how this will increase and confirm the polarization of the USA; many without recognition that abortion is first a spiritual issue, and only then a legal issue. It is very easy to see abortion primarily as the result of self-indulgent recreational sex and to ignore the desparate situation of thousands, if not millions of women who are in borderline abusive relationships where the man can’t be bothered to take responsibility for either contraception or the baby that may result without it — women who simply cannot afford another baby or cannot cope with another pregnancy. The latter is also why adoption is not a good alternative for many pregnant women: as soon as the baby is born there is instinctive bonding that makes it difficult to give the baby up and for many women results in feelings of guilt; relentless propaganda by the pro-choice side during the past half-century has convinced many women that a baby in the early stages of pregnancy is merely a blob of tissue one doesn’t need to feel guilty about.

I am not an expert in this area, but it seems to me that instead of triumphal celebrations and the feeling that we have arrived at the goal, the challenge for pro-life Christians and their churches is to find good solutions for these desparate situations. This may include making sure that the laws passed by their states do not save the lives of babies at the expense of the lives of mothers but have robust medical exceptions; ramping up existing programs which provide material assistance to pregnant women, and legal initiatives to hold fathers accountable for their offspring, with compulsory paternity tests if necessary.

On the other hand I am astonished at the hysterical reaction of the pro-choice side to this reversal of Roe v. Wade; this includes most of the media, not just in the US but in Europe etc as well. SCOTUS argues pretty convincingly that the US constitution not only contains no explicit right to abortion but that contemporary jurisprudence didn’t assume an implicit right to abortion, certainly not after “quickening”, i.e. when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

In view of that fact Roe v. Wade invented a right to abortion; all the current court did was to return this issue to the legislatures, which is where laws are supposed to be made in a democracy.

The hysterical reaction also demonstrates total oblivion to the fact that a human fetus is a human being, and therefore is entitled to the protection of the law; making that dependent on viability independent of the mother would take us down a very sinister path because human beings at all stages of life can become so dependent on another that they are no longer independently viable, and I hope no-one other than Peter Singer suggests “aborting” them.

And finally, the hysterical reaction demonstrates a marked lack of confidence in the democratic processes and institutions — or else a very UNdemocratic unwillingness to accept the will of the majority.

The challenge for the pro-choice side, instead of this hysteria, is to engage in the political and legislative processes to achieve their goals; to persuade enough of their fellow citizens of their point of view to pass legislation they can live with (should not be too difficult since they always claim that the majority of Americans want abortion to be legal); and finally, to redouble any efforts designed to give pregnant women such good alternatives that abortions become unnecessary.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

Child Sacrifice: not just in Uvalde, etc.

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , , ,

Venturing once again into territory where, according to some, even of my friends, I have no business to be, American politics:

It is very easy to be consumed by the horror and tragedy of the Uvalde school shooting (and the many before that), to call it, like Maureen Doed in the NYT, child sacrifice to the god of gun ownership, and to rage at the politicians, mostly of one party, who block all attempts at more effective gun control.

But this atrocious deed and the worship of gun ownership which enabled it should not make us forget the almost 64,000,000 children sacrificed to the gods of sex without consequences, bodily autonomy, and convenience, and the fact that it is mostly politicians of the other party who clamor against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Now, I do not want to point the finger at the US alone; most Western nations have pretty liberal abortion laws as well, mostly permitting the killing of the unborn for any reason during the first trimester. And typically, as for example in my country of Austria, there is no political party which wants to touch this with a ten-foot pole; and if there is any chance that someone will make an issue of abortion, no party in Austria will put such a person forward as a candidate. At least American society still grapples with this issue while our societies are mostly just shrugging their shoulders.

So the gods of sex without consequences, bodily autonomy, and convenience hold sway pretty much everywhere, and as much as we are horrified by Uvalde and the many similar incidents, to criticize the US without recognizing our own guilt would be very hypocritical.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

Austria, Russia’s Tunnel Into the Heart of Europe?

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

In an article in the “New Statesman” entitled “Austria is Russia’s tunnel into the heart of Europe Liam Hoare writes, “The country’s attachment to neutrality has led it to cultivate obsequious relations with Russian energy and espionage,” and elaborates further on the cozy relationship between Austria and first the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation.

Some folks asked me whether I considered this a fair assessment; here is my response.

Austria’s Neutrality Law of 1955 (which has the status of a constitutional amendment) specifically defines neutrality in military terms and only forbids (a) membership in military alliances and (b) the establishment of foreign military bases on Austrian territory.

Facsimile of the “Federal Constitutional Law of 26th October 1955 concerning Austria’s Neutrality”

But throughout the history of the “Second Republic”[1] Austria has stressed that she isn’t (and isn’t required to be) politically neutral but rather is clearly part of the “West“—when it suited her purposes, i.e. in talks with Western governments. And when it suited her purposes, she has stressed her neutrality, interpreting it much more broadly, when talking to the Soviet Union/Russia and East Bloc countries.

At the same time, Austrian governments of both persuasions (ÖVP and SPÖ)[2] represented to the Austrian people that of course we are not morally neutral, voicing criticism of such Russian actions as the invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the threat of an invasion of Poland in 1988; and that our neutrality uniquely enabled us to act as broker and mediator between the blocs. However, at the same time as condemning Russian aggression Austria continued to maintain profitable business relationships with the Soviet Union and her client states, and then with the Russian Federation; and like all other Western countries, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union Austria welcomed Russian oligarchs and their money, even though it was obvious to every thinking person that so soon after the collapse of the Soviet economy such wealth could have been amassed only by the corrupt appropriation of the public wealth of the Soviet successor states.

In a situation where there was never any risk of hostile action by Western nations or NATO but very much a risk of hostile action by the Warsaw Pact, the official position conveyed to the citizenry was that each of the two blocs guaranteed our security vis-a-vis the other bloc, and that our military, small and ineffective as it well might be, only served to symbolically show of our willingness to defend our neutrality while leaving the heavy lifting to the signatory nations of the “State Treaty”.

In the Austrian population today the idea is widespread that criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Austrian government figures violates our neutrality and is thus ill-advised; in the face of news that as a result of Russian aggression Finland and Sweden are prepared to abandon their neutral status and join NATO, the percentage of Austrians who believe that Austrian neutrality, perceived much more comprehensively than the text of the law, is essential to Austria’s existence and well-being, has risen to 91%. This seems to cut across the entire spectrum of political views and ideologies.

Austria’s opportunist attitude to her neutrality is cut from the same cloth as her official insistance that she was one of the first victims of Nazi Germany rather than an integral part of the Third Reich or a nation of largely willing collaborators and perpetrators of Nazi atrocities. I grew up with my father quipping, “In Austria, Hitler was a failed house painter; it took the Germans to turn him into Der Führer”, thus blaming the Germans for Hitler and Nazism while ignoring the fact that not only had Hitler’s ideology grown and thrived in the political and intellectual climate of the “First Republic”, but that a sizeable proportion of Austrians had welcomed the 1938 Anschluß.

It wasn’t until 1991 that then-Chancellor Franz Vranitzky acknowledged and apologized for Austrians’ role in the Nazi reign of terror both at home and abroad, thus abandoning the claim to have been Hitler’s first victim—and he was not universally praised for that admission and apology.

So in my view the New Statesman article describes reality as it is now and has been ever since 1955.

  1. Austria became a republic in 1918 after the First World War and the demise of the Habsburg monarchy. That republic, which ended with Austria’s annexation by Germany in 1938 (the “Anschluß”), is typically referred to as the “First Republic“. At the end of the Second World War Austria regained her independence and became a republic once again; this is typically referred to as the “Second Republic” and continues to this day.[]
  2. During the Second Republic Austria has been governed by two parties, the Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) which identifies itself as  “Christian social” and used to be characterized by alignment with the Roman Catholic Church and conservative values, and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (formerly Sozialistische Partei Österreichs) (SPÖ). These two parties either governed alone, or in coalition with each other, or one of them in a coalition with one of the smaller parties.[]
I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

The Sudden Moral Outrage at Russian Oligarchs

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , , ,

The news recently has been full of reports of the “suffering” of Russian oligarchs in Western countries due to the sanctions imposed on them in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unjustifyable attack on Ukraine. Most of these reports assume a stance of moral outrage and ridicule at the complaints of these folks who suddenly are not able to live in the “state to which they had become accustomed”.

An example is this piece in the UK’s Daily Mirror quoting an anonymous “personal assistant to Russian oligarchs” who expresses his outrage at his clients’ whining and lack of concern for the people dying in Ukraine.

It’s hard to know what to make of this “personal assistant’s” moral outrage which causes him to hang up on his clients when they come with various demands—how much of his unwillingness to do their bidding is in fact due to their inability to pay him, with their accounts frozen due to sanctions?

After all, it was never a secret to any thinking person that the only way these Russians could suddenly acquire great wealth after the collapse of the Soviet Union was by corruptly grabbing the most lucrative pieces of the formerly state-owned Soviet economy, while the likes of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin, etc. either looked the other way or actively assisted them. In other words, all of these oligarchs appropriated for themselves the most desirable pieces of Russia’s national wealth—they are simply thieves on a grand scale.

That did not seem to bother this “personal assistant” as long as his no doubt considerable salary was being paid; nor did it bother the many in the West, including individual politicians, political parties, and even governments, who made lots of good money doing business with these crooks, following the ancient motto, “pecunia non olet”.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.

Ukraine Invasion: Idle Speculation

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags , , ,

In the days since the beginning of Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine I have come across some comments from fellow Christians which leave me scratching my head. I want to address two ideas from these comments.

The End Times Scenario

This is the idea that the war in Russia is part of the scenario for the End Times predicted in the Bible, and that therefore it is (a) fruitless and (b) contrary to God’s will for us to pray for an end to that war. It’s been prophesied, it’s happening, and there is no point praying.

Folks, that is cynical, unbiblical, un-Christian nonsense!

Scripture tells us that God does not desire the death of the sinner; it tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that we should be peace makers. And while we should always be prepared and ready for Christ’s return we are to avoid idle speculations about its timing.

Therefore it is never wrong to pray for an end to war, suffering, poverty, etc; rather, it is the sacred responsibility of all who claim to be Jesus followers.

What God does in response to our prayers, how He hears and answers them, is another question; but there is no doubt that we may and should pray—and help in practical ways as we are able.

The God’s Punishment Scenario

Some Christians have advanced the idea that Putin’s invasion is God’s punishment for the Ukraine’s liberal abortion legislation and the many unborn children who die there every day – and who are we to pray against God’s punishment?

I think that is selfrighteous nonsense, a private interpretation which cannot be justified either biblically or by other facts.

For one thing, many more abortions are taking place in Russia than in Ukraine; for another, both countries have inherited their abortion legislation from the Soviet Union where laws were not arrived at democratically, by any stretch of the imagination.

Our “western” countries, on the other hand, are democratically moving to ever more “liberal” laws, not only regarding abortion but also assisted suicide and euthanasia.

So, if there is a country that has deserved such drastic punishment from God, it is hardly Ukraine; and proclaiming some catastrophic event a punishment from God is not only arrogant but also contravenes the biblical injunction not to judge.

And Putin as the defender of Christian values is a truly perverse notion.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.