Sunday, November 17, 2019

Scoring virtue points

An exchange I had with Michael Bird on Facebook regarding his article:

Steve Hays
Michael's article is unintentionally comical. He fails to take into account his own cultural conditioning. He acts like the viewpoint of an Australian evangelical is the clear lens while the viewpoint of American evangelicals is the tinted lens. But why privilege an Australian evangelical perspective on American evangelicalism? What makes that more objective than American evangelical perspectives on Australian evangelicalism? Moreover, the same culture wars are duplicated in Australia. Bird himself is an outspoken politically active culture warrior. He thinks Jesus is on his side. So the whole analysis is an exercise in Michael talking to his own reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Michael Bird 
Steve, whoa. (1) I have no pretentions to viewing myself as some kind of political Switzerland, I do have my own political convictions, but I do not presume that they are the same as Jesus. I aspire to have a Jesus-kingdom to have a view! (2) My point is not "Pfft, American dumb asses." Rather it is more like Robert Froster, "Try to see yourself as others see you." (3) I would say that Australia does not have the same culture wars as America, e.g. everyone here believes in gun control and universal healthcare. As for me being a "culture warrior." I wouldn't say that, though I have written actively on social issues relating to the need for gambling reform and religious liberty in the face of bad government policy. Blessings. Mike Bird

Steve Hays 
i) Some social issues are political issues because social ethics spills over into law and public policy. That in turn is represented in the American 2-party system. So we can either vote for viable political candidates or we can sit out the election. But boycotting the electoral process has consequences, too.

ii) "Try to see yourself as others see you". 

I'm waiting for you to take your own advice. Your application of that adage is always one-sided: how Americans should see themselves through the eyes of an Australian chauvinist who constantly scores virtue points with his own peer group by badmouthin American society, domestic policy, and foreign policy. 

Since you brought it up, I'm struck by how many non-American elites are obsessed with the so-called American "gun culture". You are aware, are you not, that most of the gun violence in America is concentrated in a few large urban centers. 

Recently you noted that Detroit resembles a war zone. You are aware, are you not, that Detroit has been dominated by the Democrat establishment for decades.

Australian gun control. Do you think that's a constructive alternative to the American "gun culture"? From what I've read, Australian private citizens have been stripped of the ability to practice self-defense. Not only have they been disarmed with respect to handguns, but knives and even pepper spray. But they are allowed to carry whistles! 

Or what about London, with its epidemic of knifings and acid attacks. According to Peter Hitchens, the police don't patrol the streets to crack down on crime. Instead, they hide out in their stations, patrolling social media for perceived "hate speech". They don't protect the public, and they don't allow the public to protect themselves. But anything is better than the American "gun culture," right? 

What about Venezuelan security forces mowing down unarmed protesters. 

What about Hong Kong security forces (stooges of mainland Red China) attacking unarmed Protesters?

What about immigrant Muslim rape gangs assaulting unarmed women in Germany while the police either look the other way or cover for the rape gangs?

But anything is better than the American "gun culture," right?


  1. In nearly everything I have read from Bird, he feels the need to throw a jab at Americans, our culture, etc. Or, while he considers himself 'reformed' (with npp sympathies) he does the exact same thing to those who wear that same label.
    Case and point:
    "Tell me my uber-reformed friend, exactly why was Jesus cursed on the cross?” They ordinarily answer in terms of personal individual soteriology, so that I/we can be saved, so that I/we can have eternal life, and so that I/we can go to heaven. Then I ask him, “That’s fine, but what does Paul say is the reason why Jesus was cursed on the cross?” The answer is Gal 3:14: “ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Paul’s answer is a redemptive-historical-pneumatological-corporate-multi-ethnic-ecclesiology.

    Boom! At this point, the young man looks at me if he has just received a revelation from St. Nicholas of Wright himself and his whole soteriological edifice has just crumbled before his eyes."

    1. Also if you read that article, he apparently knows so much more about race relations in the PCA, if you catch my drift.

  2. “everyone here believes in gun control and universal healthcare”

    To my knowledge, there’s a significant and growing minority of Australians skeptical of and even opposed to both. For example, see Nick Adams.

    In addition, there are serious problems with Australia’s health care system. Problems not unlike what the NHS faces today with junior physicians protesting and exiting the NHS in droves. Also, most Australian doctors are effectively government employees until they become attendings or consultants and even still many end up staff physicians at public hospitals.