No, it is not OK to punch Nazis

While people sharing “punch a Nazi” memes on social media may think it is “cute” or funny, it is actually not appropriate to use violence against someone for his political opinions. That is a universal rule and applies to everyone, no matter how perverted, depraved or downright evil their opinions may be. So, no, it is not OK to punch Nazis and it never was OK to punch Nazis. You are not allowed to punch Communists either, and both the Soviet Union and Red China murdered more people than Nazi Germany.

I cannot believe I have to explain this. The reason violence it is not OK is because we have a social contract that helps preserve order. Once you say it is OK to punch a Nazi, then what about a member of the Ku Klux Klan? What about someone who is simply a racist? What about someone who supports – or opposes – legalized abortion? What about someone who supports – or opposes – government recognizing homosexual marriage? Moving away from hot button issues, what about people who support restrictive zoning laws? Should I be allowed to punch someone who restricts what I can do with my own property?

You say, “Well, Scott, that is absurd. We’re not talking about land-use policy, tax policy, or even a hotly contested social issue.” But it is actually not absurd. Once you establish the principle that you can use violence against someone because of his political opinions, the question ceases to be about whether violence is appropriate. The question then becomes where you draw the line for what political opinions can subject someone to violence. Can you see how that viewpoint can be incredibly dangerous?

Once you establish that you can punch someone for his political opinions, then it is a short step to open gang warfare in the streets between rival political factions. That is the kind of thing we see in fledgling democracies in third world nations, or when tyrannical regimes are collapsing and the order imposed from the top no longer restrains factions. Furthermore, if you think that “punching” will be confined to adults, you need to study history. Children will be targets of political violence too, along with women and the elderly.

The solution to an evil ideology like Nazism is not punching someone in the face. That does not convince anyone, it makes you look like an unhinged lunatic, and it creates sympathy for wicked people who deserve none. The answer is to expose just how wicked and evil Nazi ideology is, and to work to convert Nazis to a better worldview. Those who engage in violence are not courageous. They are lazy and they do not have the intelligence to defeat wicked ideas. They are also almost always cowards.

Was bombing the Nazi death camps possible?

This article on raises an interesting point:

  • “Historians til this day question why US and British bombers which flew over the death camp never dropped their payloads on the gas chambers and crematoria when they were in full use, murdering and incinerating innocents.”

Would that have even been possible? We did not have precision bombing then. They could have killed the very prisoners they were trying to save.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Looking back at the 2017 Rally for Life

Just under 240 people showed up at the Monroe County courthouse on Sunday for the Rally for Life, witnessing against abortion and serving as a voice for the unborn.

I attended a couple rallies when I was in college, and I have been helping organize this event for the last fifteen years. (This year was the same as most years, and others did far more work than I did.) This past Sunday was by far the warmest weather we have had for the rally. I was actually slightly uncomfortable in my spring jacket, which was a nice change from the bitter cold that makes your hands cramp up and hurt upon exposure to the air. That was the weather we had in 2016.

We did attract some opposition, and given the anger at President Trump among the Left I was concerned that Leftists might attempt to disrupt the event or even that they might become violent. Fortunately, the ten or fifteen Leftists who showed up were mostly civil. They stood and held their signs, and they shouted a few things, but they did not try to disrupt or cause harm. (They were also vastly outnumbered.) I fully respect the right to counter-protest and I am thankful for the civility of the opposition.

The fact that they care enough to come and counter-protest instead of being completely numb to our presence is actually an encouragement. When someone becomes enraged at Christians opposing evil, you know they at least have some sort of conscience and they might be able to be converted. If they are completely apathetic, there is much less hope. I much prefer angry opposition to apathy. (Violence and terrorism, of course, is never acceptable.)

It was wonderful to see IU Students for Life there.

I was mostly pleased with media coverage. The Herald-Times and the Indiana Daily Student were there, as was IU Student Television and WFIU. Unfortunately, the news media did report inaccurate numbers, either about 100 (which was less than half of what we had) or “dozens” of demonstrators. This is understandable to some extent as Rally for Life attendees have always been a late-arriving bunch. That said, it is not that difficult to make sure you have accurate numbers, or to stay long enough to double check your estimate.

As long as babies are being murdered in our city and in our nation, we will still be there standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

A flaw in the Facebook comments plugin

While I think it was an unnecessary change, I generally approve of the switch to Facebook comments for Herald-Times Online. However, there is a bug in the design of Facebook comments that undermines the design and operation of comments, and I am not sure this was fully considered for either the guidelines themselves or the mechanism of enforcing those guidelines.

The bug is that people can post as Facebook pages. While users are (technically!) required to use their real names on Facebook, it is a simple matter to create a Facebook “fan page” and comment using that. So since one joker (who has been known to repeatedly violate HTO comment guidelines and has had many comments deleted) did exactly that I asked H-T editor the following question: Isn’t the entire purpose of Facebook comments that people must use their real names, per the editorial announcing the new format?

He responded:

  • “Yes it is and we will delete them when they are brought to our attention, and ban the accounts.”

I reported the instances where the troll is hiding his identity behind Facebook fan pages, but the problem is that those reports go to both HTO moderators and Facebook itself. There needs to be an option on the Facebook comments plugin to report comments that violate a website’s comment policy to that website (in this case, Herald-Times Online) and not report them to Facebook.

The reason this is needed is that comments that violate HTO comment guidelines are not necessarily a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. If I report a comment that violates HTO policy but not Facebook policy, I am wasting Facebook’s time when the comment goes to both Facebook and HTO moderators. This is an incredibly inefficient system when the reports go to both HTO moderators and Facebook, since the two entities have different standards and Facebook is fielding reports they should technically never see.

Here is another reason this is important: There is a lot of raw sewage on Facebook, including horrific violence, brawls, and pornographic material. Some of this material is evidence of criminal activity. There is no reason that comment abuse reports need to go to Facebook and waste the time of people working there, when they should only be going to HTO staff charged with enforcing a different (and more strict) set of standards.

"Alternative facts"

Donald Trump’s team handled “alternative facts” very poorly, but they actually do have a legitimate point. In any political discussion, the two sides present facts, statistics and arguments to make their case.

For example: The Indiana Daily Student reported there were one hundred people at the 2017 Rally for Life. The “alternative facts” presented by Christian Citizens for Life had the number at 240 people. Both were right, actually, though both were right at different times. When the IDS estimated the number, there actually were about 100 people there.

The people who attend the Rally for Life tend to be a late-arriving bunch because they go to church, have lunch, and then get to the rally. When you have children, it can take a long time to go from church to a meal to an event. Ultimately, CCFL’s number was right and the IDS’s number was wrong. The IDS should have counted again as more people arrived.

Trump’s team does need to do a better job with messaging in the future.

Thoughts on the 44th anniversary of Roe Vs Wade

It was 44 years ago today that the Supreme Court threw out laws against abortion in all 50 states, trampling state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment. But much worse than that, the court opened the floodgates to 58,000,000 babies being brutally slaughtered in the name of “reproductive choice” and “personal autonomy.” This is the great moral stain on our nation, far worse than slavery, Jim Crow, the genocide of the American Indians or any other wicked thing our nation has done.

What must a holy and righteous God think when he looks upon this slaughter? We can discern what He thinks from His holy Word:

  • And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. — 2 Kings 17:17-18
  • Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain My children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? — Ezekiel 16:20-21
  • And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. — Jeremiah 32:35

I have been accused of using “inflammatory rhetoric” when speaking of abortion. But when over a million babies are being murdered by dismemberment every single year, is there any language that can be used to describe it that is too inflammatory? No, there is not. The reason people object to “inflammatory” terms like slaughter and murder is because it exposes their shame and the reality of what they support. I refuse to use language that covers for and gives euphemisms for murder.

I have been told that my “inflammatory rhetoric” will not convince anyone why abortion is wrong, but the reality is that I do not need to convince anyone. We all know what is going on here, no matter how fervently we deny the truth in front of our eyes. Most of us have seen the pictures of bloody aborted babies. Instead, I am calling on this nation and this city to repent of the bloodshed we have allowed and supported. While I certainly support efforts to inform people about abortion, the need we have is not education. We need repentance.

We have heard much in the last year about how we need to “make America great again,” but America will never be great so long as we are exterminating millions of unborn babies with the full protection and blessing of our state, federal and local governments. No nation that embraces such wickedness and denies basic human rights to the most defenseless among us is or ever will be great.

There are things to be encouraged about. We have seen a lot of pro-life legislation, and it is very encouraging to see young people motivated to oppose abortion. But what we really need is God’s mercy on us. We need to pray that God sends His Spirit to us to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11) and being us back to the Cross. Without a spiritual reformation, we cannot and will never win this war and protect God’s little ones. We will instead be in line for God’s judgment.

Won’t you pray for repentance on this bloody, horrible day?