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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan — a "must see" debate

I am sure that most people have seen this "debate" by now. I post it only because it is truly astonishing — a model of how not to debate.

Here is part 1


Here is part 2


It is hard to know what to say about this. Perhaps it is best just to watch it and be in awe at Alex Jones. He is a very bad advert for the gun lobby.

He makes me grateful (yet again) that we in the UK do not have "the right to bear arms."

Kevin Corcoran offered me this link as the best response to Smith:


48 comments:

failedatheist said...

Wow, that was one of the craziest things I've ever seen.

I loved the response, brilliant.

Rob said...

No doubt Alex Jones is a poor advocate for gun rights. It seems to me that Piers Morgan was counting on that going into the show. I'm torn on this issue. I've never owned a gun, but I am considering buying one as my family and I are moving to the interior of Alaska in a couple months. I don't reckon you have grizzly bears in your backyard in Britain? :)

Robin Parry said...

Rob

indeed not. But that is a quite different issue.

What Alex Jones is terrified of is not bears but bad men (like the US government. After all, they were behind 9/11. ???!!!)

Why he needs over 50 guns to keep bad men at bay I am unclear. I assume he cannot fire more than one or two of them at a time.

Robin

Dr. Evangelicus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Evangelicus said...

It's pretty obvious that Morgan set this up and was being unusually passive himself. When he did have an articulate, intelligent gun advocate on his show a couple of weeks ago, Morgan ended up insulting him and calling him names. This current interview is Morgan's salvage operation, and he's been very cunning about it.
In short, UK please take him back. His nightly US show is crap!
By the way, I basically agree with Morgan on gun control in the US. I just don't like his slyness (and his boring TV show taking up airtime).

Robin Parry said...

Dr Evangelicus

Not sure we want him.

What you say may be right. That does not make this "debate" any less great TV. In this debate Morgan handled himself very well and Jones ... didn't.

So this did work out well for Morgan. And he may have hoped it would go that way. Whatever.

His other episodes may well be dull. (I have no interest in defending Morgan as such.)

Presumably, however, you are only joking when you say you want him removed from the USA because his TV show is boring. My limited exposure to US TV would suggest that such a policy would lead to an awful lot of TV people being removed from the USA.

:-)

Rob said...

Robin,

You're right...grizzly bears are a different issue than the government takeover Alex Jones fears. He's lost touch with reality.

I just went to my first "gun show" two weeks ago outside D.C. I don't think Alex Jones at all represents the people I encountered there. I think most folks want to protect their families and/or go hunting. But Alex Jones is right that the 2nd Amendment is aimed at protecting us from tyrannical government. All that his tyrade made me want to do though is protect myself from him. He's crazy.

Rob said...

Just for fun, I'll join in the discussion on television. I only follow three blogs. One of the three is this one, and another is rabbitroom.com. Just today, they posted a review of movies/TV shows from 2012 and the BBC received much praise. I don't have my life in order enough to find time to watch hardly any TV, but apparently we Americans don't produce quality TV like you do in England.

Robin Parry said...

Rob

C'mon! You guys make Battlestar Galactica!

Robin

Rob said...

Robin,

And you guys get to claim Mr. Bean!

Rob

Oh, and by "tyrade" in my earlier comment, I mean "tirade."

Mark (London) said...

Jesus wasn't invited to a few minute debate with the 'money changers' but if he'd voiced his concern and anger, how might he have sounded?

Alex Jones never approached his rare invitation on the mainstream as a debate. His extensive exposure of evidence, like the man himself and his guests, is 'hidden in plain view' he came to get your attention. To get people/sites like 'Theological Scribbles' to pay attention.

'He's crazy' ? Oh yeah, why?

The night after Alex, on Piers show, they joked (?) “kill him”.

Sane stuff.

Alex 100's of guests and unscreened callers, many many Christians, like Mancow who's live on his show as I type, are where the Spirit is blowing.

Hey Robin and posters, if you approached Alex Jones views or analysed his manner like you have and did this with theological perspectives you wouldn't get far.

Why is Alex Jones 'crazy'?

Mark.

PS

Alex SPECIFICALLY didn't say this:

...but bad men (like the US government. After all, they were behind 9/11. ???!!!)

Robin Parry said...

Mark

If he wanted attention then he got it.

But if he was hoping to persuade people of the rightness of his position he failed. The reason ythat he got so much attention is that his behaviour had the opposite effect — it mad him look crazy.

Jesus is rather unlike Alex Jones.

Robin

Mark (London) said...

Alex is a lot like Jesus, understandably hard to immediately discern from that clip.

Thanks for the prompt reply. I sought to respond on a phone, on a fast train but lost the post when I went to publish. I tend not to post on forums, actually this is the first in a long while.

What's the context of his rage? Are you suggesting the prophets were so unlike Alex?

Jesus is all over Alex, he's full of the Holy Spirit, full of love, compassion, care, love for people...

Have you ever listened to him beyond those ten minutes? Why not hear what he had to say about it over the next two nights on his show?

When I watched the Piers clip I was upset, so were many of his listeners/viewers, loyal ones aching that he blew it. It wasn't his best but he explained and now it makes sense.

Are you prepared to make another truth over tradition move? Or at least CONSIDER the arguments..

Oh well thanks for replying. I'll pray for you. Sharing your universalism, although not your classic theism (open theism and non-trad on gays), I'm still burdened, mourning that there's no one ringing the bells to intercede, cry out in this time of distress.

There's many scriptures I could lay on you, theology to challenge but I don't think you're interested.

O God have mercy, wake us up.

Mark.



Robin Parry said...

Mark

I have no idea what Mark is like outside of that 10 min clip. Maybe he is indeed loving, etc. I can only take your word for that.

Nevertheless, I do find it very hard to think that his rage can be compared to that of Jesus or the prophets. They raged against idolatry, against religious hypocrisy, against injustice. But, of course, one cannot make a simple move from

1. anger can be an appropriate godly response to a situation

to

2. X's anger was an appropriate godly response to situation Y.

Much anger is ungodly.

I see the righteous anger of Jesus and the prophets against injustice as a very different thing from Alex's anger over retaining a right to possess lethal weapons.

I find it hard to imagine Jesus blowing his top about his right to possess guns.

But I suspect that I will not persuade you about that.

Perhaps tradition has blinded my eyes to truth here. But if I was to pick a tradition to be guided by I'd rather go with the Gospels than with a particular interpretation of the second amendment (an interpretations that, if Saul Cornell is to be believed, is an incorrect one).

http://fora.tv/2006/08/02/A_Well-Regulated_Militia

I am in no way suggesting that Piers Morgan is a good bloke. He is generally held in very low regard in the UK. I know little about him so I have little by way of an opinion. (Though I do think that proposing to deport him for saying things that are unpopular seems to reflect a low regard for the first amendment.)

I am also not suggesting that firearms should be illegal—nobody is suggesting that.

But I would agree with those who think that the USA needs to have much stricter gun control than it currently does. I have no specific proposal as to what that should look like. That is for Americans to figure out.

I know my not being American means that I find it harder to "get" the gun mindset. So I am not neutral here—nobody is. But I certainly feel a lot less safe when I am in America than when I am in other countries.

Anyway, I will let the Americans try to figure out a way forward.

My protest about Alex was simply his inability to engage in a discussion on the subject—he simply went into "bull in a china shop" mode.

I'd be all in favour of the discussion if he had engaged in one. It was his approach that discredited his cause. Whether his cause has merit is a different question.

Robin

Robin Parry said...

I mean "I have no idea what Alex" is like ...

Mark (London) said...

Alex rage is against 'idolatry, against (religious) hypocrisy, against injustice'.

My contention is you're barely aware of what this constitutes and why rage is an increasingly appropriate response and calling from God.

Your discernment between Godly anger and Alex's anger over retaining a right to possess lethal weapons is a misunderstanding. This could not fit with God's understanding because it masks the truth that's 'hidden in plain sight'.

God hates violence, and through war, sadly becomes a 'force that gives us meaning' (Chris Hedges/Alex guest). God gives us grace and gifts to be a pacifist in all circumstances or take a stand in self defence proportional to the aggression. Our calling and conscience should guide our particular stand.

Would Jesus (you imagine) become amplified, assertive, loud, talk over someone and mock them to promote the need to allow people to own guns? Let's suppose Jesus knew that the person was hiding their true intention to remove all firearms although he/they were trying to deceive people into believing they only wanted a certain degree of regulation (something you believe, yet those behind the legislation have said otherwise underneath a covering of pretending to compromise). How would Jesus feel if evidence (for a start, statistics) were not debated openly but overwhelmingly presented to suit their ends? How about Jesus understanding of why and how violence is caused and additionally the threat of mass violence, if serfdom through to eugenics, was the ultimate goal? Would Jesus care about the level and amount of violence and how the consequences US disarmament might effect this? (See '4 Minutes by Ben Swann'). Would Jesus be concerned that, Piers in this case, had been rude and belittling to previous guests? (See Larry Pratt's first interview with him as an example) and who had no interest in being fair and open handed with Alex. (He knew that know one was seriously trying to deport him but was aiming to be duplicitous and destructive. Alex was immediately thrown out the studio before his promised third segment where he was to debate, Alan Dershowitz, who incidentally promotes, unlike Alex, the use of torture). Is it guns per se, or minimising violence, that grieves God and motivates his holy anger-filled response?

I could write more and more but I'll leave it there. Here's a challenge:

Find humility and openness to consider the alternative view of the world proposed by those at the broadest spectrum are represented by Alex guests?

You mentioned a possible (?) false flag, 9-11.

A shift on 9-11 should be paradigm turner.

Four minutes with Ben Swan for some figures and five minutes with James:

http://www.corbettreport.com/911-a-conspiracy-theory/

Thanks for taking time to reply and hopefully considering the information presented in these nine minutes.

All the best to you, your family and work. I'll continue to look forward to reading your website, one of three or four directly about theology that I like to follow.

No need to reply for my sake. I will look back at this post for comments once in a while and if you have any reason to want to contact me please indicate.

Take care,

Mark.

PS

I recently found a video by a Christian who likes history. It's not bad at all. I have some quibbles and questions but for the most part it takes the lid off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFfdOkwyuL0

Mark (London) said...



Is it guns per se, or minimising violence, that grieves God and motivates his holy anger-filled response?

Should read:

Is it guns per se, or increasing the violence, that grieves God and motivates his holy anger-filled response?

Robin Parry said...

Mark

I suspect we are not going to persuade each other here.

I see no problem with those who want to achieve goal Z proposing a compromise target P, even if what they'd prefer is Z. From their perspective P may not be as good as Z but at least it is better than H (the current situation).

Pro Life politicians often use such approaches. Ideally they would like abortion to be illegal in most cases (Z) but knowing that they will never achieve such a target they propose a solution P (limiting abortion as far as is possible, say to before 24 weeks or whatever). Now P is not Z but from the pro life perspective it is still better than H. It still saves lives.

So even if you are right that what the anti-gun lobby really want is more extreme than the solutions they propose, does that make them hypocrites? Does it make their proposed policy inherently wrong? They may simply be realists. They know that if they aim for Z they will lose and they'll be stuck with H. So in their view some lives can be saved with P, even if not as many as with Z. Better P than H. So propose P.

You may disagree that P and Z wil save lives but to suggest that such an approach is wrong or hypocritical and warranting divine anger ... well, I do not agree. I fear than the pro life cause would suffer from such a strategy.

There is no pretense if all that is being defended is P. Opponents will try to distract from the proposal and say, "Liars, you really want Z." And perhaps they do BUT they are not proposing Z. Z is not on the cards. Z will not happen.

My point is this. Let's focus on P. Is that proposal a good compromise? Maybe. Maybe not. But that is the discussion and not whether or not anti-gun people would really want more.

Also there is no reason why more gun regulation (which is compatible with the second amendment) could not go hand in hand with strategies to deal with causes of violence. It is not one or the other — a pincer strategy is both sensible and so-able. So one can limit guns as well as do other things if it all helps to reduce gun crime.

(I like Alan D)

Re: the refusal to debate evidence openly. Alas, I fear that both sides may be as guilty as each other here. Both sides can produce stunning stats and conveniently ignore others. You imply that Alex has the evidence on his side and the anti-gun people ignore it. I see a lot of massaging and selecting stats on both sides.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog

All the best

Robin

I hereby bow out.

Robin Parry said...

Mark

I suspect we are not going to persuade each other here.

I see no problem with those who want to achieve goal Z proposing a compromise target P, even if what they'd prefer is Z. From their perspective P may not be as good as Z but at least it is better than H (the current situation).

Pro Life politicians often use such approaches. Ideally they would like abortion to be illegal in most cases (Z) but knowing that they will never achieve such a target they propose a solution P (limiting abortion as far as is possible, say to before 24 weeks or whatever). Now P is not Z but from the pro life perspective it is still better than H. It still saves lives.

So even if you are right that what the anti-gun lobby really want is more extreme than the solutions they propose, does that make them hypocrites? Does it make their proposed policy inherently wrong? They may simply be realists. They know that if they aim for Z they will lose and they'll be stuck with H. So in their view some lives can be saved with P, even if not as many as with Z. Better P than H. So propose P.

You may disagree that P and Z wil save lives but to suggest that such an approach is wrong or hypocritical and warranting divine anger ... well, I do not agree. I fear than the pro life cause would suffer from such a strategy.

There is no pretense if all that is being defended is P. Opponents will try to distract from the proposal and say, "Liars, you really want Z." And perhaps they do BUT they are not proposing Z. Z is not on the cards. Z will not happen.

My point is this. Let's focus on P. Is that proposal a good compromise? Maybe. Maybe not. But that is the discussion and not whether or not anti-gun people would really want more.

Also there is no reason why more gun regulation (which is compatible with the second amendment) could not go hand in hand with strategies to deal with causes of violence. It is not one or the other — a pincer strategy is both sensible and so-able. So one can limit guns as well as do other things if it all helps to reduce gun crime.

(I like Alan D)

Re: the refusal to debate evidence openly. Alas, I fear that both sides may be as guilty as each other here. Both sides can produce stunning stats and conveniently ignore others. You imply that Alex has the evidence on his side and the anti-gun people ignore it. I see a lot of massaging and selecting stats on both sides.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog

All the best

Robin

I hereby bow out.

Mark (London) said...

Robin, until you're prepared to consider what's behind those who drive for disarmament you'll never see the seriousness of the times we are in. I don't think you want to look. Perhaps it challenges heart felt theology that you can't possibly doubt. I wonder what that could be? Certainly, you're convinced that God couldn't be speaking through Alex Jones, and now Mark - all those conspiracy theorists - no chance, you say, “'we' (you survey the intellectual masses) can't ALL be wrong”. Maybe deep down is fear, or could it be hope that it's all one big mess, not an emerging world dictatorship intent on stealing, killing and destroying. Perhaps 'faith in God' informs you '...everything all be all right, I got a feeling...'.

I accept I'm alone on this. I'm left with prayer and a commitment to 'pledge my head to heaven for the gospel'. What can I do? What else can I say?

I'd better answer your arguments. 'I see no problem with those who want to achieve goal Z...'. My point is they're lying and deceiving people that they aren't aiming for this. Does lying matter? It's completely different to those who argue that they will save lives through gaining limited restrictions on abortion. That's a compromise that has an immediate benefit to those who want this and they admit their aims. All that restricting gun ownership would do, at this point in America, is increase violence and murder (so says the stats). Of course WHAT you won't investigate is the transhumanist agenda that denies the 'image of God in humans' and is therefore behind....

Oh I keep forgetting you're not looking.

And finally, I'm not saying Alex on Piers was debating. He was unusually sick (bronchitis), he was in a bad mood (hassled at the airport) but he expressed his passion... He went with it. He didn't do it for effect he simply knows who, and what, he's dealing with. As Billy Corgan aptly commented (the singer texted him immediately afterwards), he 'broke the hypnosis'. O Hallelujah. He eventually doubted himself (i.e. how he'd done) on Thursday night but when he finally got antibiotics, prayed, slept, he awoke to definitely believing God's grace and blessing was there. He would say otherwise. I don't listen all the time to his broadcast these days (three hours a day, six days a week, been at 18 years about 10, I think at this level) but I have the past three days. During Wednesday or Thursday last week he spoke of being committed, he's giving his life Christ, His Kingdom and the the saving of humanity, in this world and the one to come.

I'm sad you can't hear but maybe, just maybe, I might have helped.

If you listen – but you won't – to his broadcasts along with say someone like Max Keiser, you'll have to face the shock of the being wrong about all thought you know about the devil's ways in our world and to the extent they have moved to enslave and kill us.

It's happened at different times in history, empires mirroring today's behaviour. In Jesus day Rome, today Globalists.

I hope you and yours wake up mate. We can still win. I'll read your site and wait to see the revelation. It'll come, if they don't blow us up first. It's nothing new to meet reluctance to face this evil. I do understand. I'm no where near as smart as you but – obviously, I looked – I'm right, you're wrong about 'what's goin on'.

Bow out fella but I'm praying for you, that others will try waking you up and Jesus will enfold his loving presence around you and with your mates stand to fight the good fight.

Mark.

Mark (London) said...

he's giving his life TO Christ...

Mark (London) said...


One other clarification:
(three hours a day, six days a week, been at 18 years about 10, I think at this level)
i.e. Alex broadcasting.
I've been 'awake' about five years.

Robin Parry said...

Mark

OK. I think that I may have somewhat misunderstood the nature of your conviction.

I was just assuming that you felt that the gun debate was about the second amendment and individual rights, etc. But it appears that this is not your primary concern.

Now I think I may be hearing you to say that the reason that gun ownership is so important in these times is that there are anti-Christ powers working through governments seeking to disarm citizens so that they can ... in some way oppress those citizens. So we need guns so that we can resist those powers (in the name of Christ?).

That may not be the way that you would choose to put it but I am trying to join the dots and read behind the cryptic hints you have made.

How would you see the real issue? Can you explain?

If I am on the right lines here then that does worry me. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that you are right. Would not the biblical response for Christians be that outlined by the book of Revelation? I.e., nonviolent resistance to the powers, overcoming them by the blood of the Lamb and the power of our testimony, loving not our lives, even unto death.

There's nothing in the NT or the teachings of the early church about VIOLENT resistance to the demonically inspired governments. Nonviolent resistance was the order of the day, as exemplified by Jesus himself, resisting Roman power through crucifixion!

The suggestion that we need guns to fight the evil political powers seems to me to be pandering to a VERY different gospel than that found in the NT.

But perhaps I have indeed misunderstood your view. I am open to clarification.

Mark (London) said...

We (them Americans) don't 'need guns to resist... those powers in Christ'. That's prayer, preaching (including this/see below) and community action. Local church growth, planting, mission and... more prayer, and some more.

God wants the Americans to have guns. God's view of the what's, why's and how's of The Constitution aside, there's nothing that could possibly lead a wise Christian to surmise otherwise.

Their need is to attempt to take a stand against the descent into slavery, incarceration and genocide. The reason the guns are an issue is they make it more difficult for tyrannical oppression (buy time), and something, evident from world wide analysis, provide states in the US currently 'allowed' - a less violent environment. Taking them is part of a stubborn insistence to take control over all aspects of every individuals life. Training for submission (where as aren't we into 'training for reigning'?). It's one of their Hegelian Dialect options. Spark armed resistance by taking the guns and lock them down and up. Examples of other strategies include war, manipulated (e.g.HAARP) or natural 'natural disasters', or their regular practice of false flags. They admit – please look and listen - to doing all that I'm suggesting. Granted they bury it in a sophisticated matrix of distraction but if you care to click a few computer keys you'll get it. They ain't hiding. That much.

These anti-Christ powers are anti-humanity have manifested on many occasions, over many centuries, in ruling elites that want to establish a New World Order. They all have the same philosophy (Eugenicist) and religion (Luciferian), always manifesting in ritualistic child sex abuse/sacrifice, whilst laughing at the 'useless eaters' who neither share their bloodline (they do a lot of interbreeding) or 'god' like destiny to cull the masses (80%) and start a new humanity. 1984 meets Brave New World. There are about five or six thousand operatives who are led by less than 20 families (a few hundred people). For the most part we know who they are, what they own (most of the wealth from any perspective) and what publicly known groups they use to meet and further their oligarchal ends. They're primarily old European stock, I'll give you one main participator, The Rothschild Family, but note this cabal of Globalist psycho/socio-paths are not rooted in Zionism or Jesuit conspiracies (although these do exist but these work alongside and within), they are, to quote you distinction number one simply Di-a-Bolical 'anti-Christ powers '. They've been working through an Anglo-American alliance that takes now in Israel, Saudis, France moving through into decreasing degrees, more or less, numbers of other countries, particularly European. China's their model. Russia's not quite so 'in'. It's fair to say, outside the central hub 'where Satan has his throne' (them lot), there's factions and jostling for power. They have, as Alex answered Piers 9-11/Govt. question, been working over many decades, as 'rogue elements' within the US Government/secret services. Therefore CIA, MI6 and Mossad with their assets like Al-Qaeda (top brass) is where the live. Incidentally if they get there way in Syria, they will happily help millions fulfil 'overcoming them by the blood of the Lamb and the power of our testimony, loving not our lives, even unto death'. Is that overcoming, or should we be screaming like Alex that they have already managed to see hundreds of martyrs in the last couple of years and UNLESS we pray and protest ...millions.

Mark (London) said...

Oh God.
Robin, what ARE we going to do?
Compose, compose yourself Mark.
Ok, to finish, they like to have our docile compliance, monitor all media based communication, assess the opposition – “Hi Ya scum” - and use the level of exposure and admittance as a valve to keep the frogs on the way to boiling point but not too hot/much info (and dis-info) otherwise may disturb their slumber.
They play with numeracy and symbolism (love symbolism) constructing rituals involving the publicly seen human sacrifice that also serves their different fascist manoeuvres towards a take over.

So dear Robin. You dared to ask.

What would you like? An insider to write a history book (Carol Quigley – 'Tragedy and Hope') or a brother to attempt to identify and shame (Fritz Springmeier - 'Bloodlines of the Illuminati' (cost: a few years in Prison)). Maybe make them available on line. Oh but I forgot we're only 'supposing'.

Let me suppose.

Suppose God is calling you, to use your formidable gifts and talent, to write
an essay on....

mmm...

I'll let God come up with that but let's say, related to the above.

Now you can pretend (because that's what you'd have to do) that the above information is conjecture, 'our' opinion. T'aint. I believe with dear Wesley (from Amos) 'God does nothing in answer to prayer'.

Write dear man a prophetic book. A prayer, a prophecy, one that not only describes 'those powers' and God's response but gives us all room (and God's in my view) to get soaked and stuffed in scripture and teaching to lead us bravely to press on.

Please pray and ask God, are you...

Much love Sir, thanks for asking.

God's peace and blessing be upon you.

Love,

Mark.

Mark (London) said...

God does nothing BUT in answer to prayer.

x

Mark (London) said...

Perhaps I should refrain from addressing our contemporary Stasi as 'scum'. At this point it's most like likely software and a database. If/when read by someone:

Jesus loves you and wants to save you. Change your mind, walk away from the enemy - and God will meet you and thoroughly save you. Cry out 'The Blood of Jesus' and walk into love, forgiveness and eternal life.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ’Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ’Here am I! Send me’ —Isaiah 6:8

Robin Parry said...

No!

Micah said...

It is prudent to be alarmed about the prospect of citizens being disarmed. History is replete with examples of governments disarming their people and falling into tyranny. I'm sure there were plenty of Germans who said, no worries Hitler was elected, we can trust him. The Russians believed Lenin that if they just registered their firearms, they would be left alone. Do not underestimate the power of governments to lapse into horrors! Those who agree with George Washington that govenment is 'a dangerous servant and a fearful master' are not necessarily crazy. I am more concerned about those who mock the idea that the horrors of history could come to their own country. This is the reason for the 2nd Amendment -- to provide a check against that possibility.

Micah said...

Another thing to watch out for: while it sounds reasonable to increase efforts to make sure those with mental issues do not have firearms, you also have to be mindful of those who would gain the power to declare those who disagree with them politically as 'mentally ill', and then use that as an excuse to strip them of their Liberty.

Robin Parry said...

Micah

I am struggling to understand your perspective here. For two reasons.

1. Who is proposing removing guns from citizens? I am not aware of any serious proposals for that. And presumably you do accept that some restrictions are appropriate. For instance, you may think that it may be prudent not to allow just anyone to buy a tank or a nuclear weapon. The only question is where to draw lines.

But you do seem to fear lines. You are wary about not allowing people with (serious?) mental problems to own guns. Really? I am staggered. Of course, it is theoretically possible that some bad person in power might define "people who shop at Wal*mart" (say) as mad and as thus ineligible to buy guns but there are so many safeguards in place to make that difficult that it would be hard to pull off in most cases. But the mere theoretical possibility that this could happen is no reason not to say that mentally insane people ought not to own guns. In that case we'd simply give up making laws at all because it is always possible that a bad person in power might use them against citizens.

2. I find it hard to believe that all the millions of guns in America are owned for the reason of resisting a US government turned bad. I cannot believe that so many people would invest so much money in something that is such a remote possibility. (America is not Stalinist Russia.) After all, while it is indeed theoretically possible that a US government could go bad, there are all sorts of safeguards set in place to stop things getting that far. The whole US system of government is built not to allow too much power in too few hands nor for too long. So it is highly unlikely that American people will ever need their guns if that is the justification for them.

But, as far as I am aware, nobody is suggesting making guns in private hands illegal so I don't think any Americans have anything immediately to worry about.

Micah said...

Hi, Robin --

First off, let me say that I am very grateful for your 'Evanglical Universalist' book. I've read a lot of CS Lewis, which in turn led me to reading George MacDonald's 'Unspoken Sermons', which in turn led me to discover 'Gregory MacDonald' a few months ago. I appreciate your reasoned, biblical analysis of the universalist topic; and it's helped me come to terms with some of those same doubts you mentioned at the start of the book. So, that's all to say I'm hesitant to have my first conversation with you be on a controversial political issue, but guess I couldn't resist. :)

In response to each of your numbered points:

1. Yes, I do think there are limits on what types of weapons are appropriate. The thing with nuclear weapons and other WMDs is that they really aren't usable in defense against tyranny without inflicting mass casualties, which takes away the rights of Life and Liberty of innocents in the process. (Honestly, I believe that governments should not even have nuclear weapons and that they are immoral to use; but that genie is out of the bottle, and unfortunately they seem to be a necessary deterrent at this point.)

When it comes to military-style 'assault' rifles, which the President is indeed pushing to ban (and also NY governor, etc.), that is a different story altogether. Those weapons could indeed be used effectively in a resistance against tyranny, in a targeted fashion, similar to the asymmetric warfare the colonists had to engage in against the redcoats. They do not carry with them the automatic death sentence for innocents that something like a nuke would involve. The effort to ban these types of small arms or to limit their magazine sizes is an assault on the capability of the citizens to--God forbid--have to defend themselves like their forebears did. So, sure, if these guns are banned, that doesn't mean ALL guns will be banned (at least not yet); but it's a major dent against Liberty, given the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

Regarding screening for mental illness, I did not mean to suggest I am against that. I'm just underscoring that the people need to remain eternally vigilant about how the definition of mental illness is used as a tool for political purposes. It is a canary in the coal mine so to speak. Did you know that our Dept of Homeland Security has issued reports profiling people like returning veterans, gun owners, Constitution supporters, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, pro-life Christians, etc. as potential 'terrorists'? There is justifiable concern about these people being labelled and demonized by their political opponents; and I just think we need to be careful about how labels like 'terrorist' or 'mentally ill' are applied.

Another thing that is common with these mass shootings is that the killer usually turns out to have been on some kind of psychiatric medication, so that should probably also be a factor considered in any screening process. Former DHS sec Tom Ridge mentioned this recently. (Cont. below for #2)

Micah said...

2. To be sure, not everyone who buys a gun realizes the primary intent of the right to keep and bear arms; they may be focused on hunting, sport, self-defense against average criminals, etc. Nonetheless, if a harder tyranny befell the country, I am sure some of these folks would suddenly have the defense of Liberty aspect loom larger in their minds.

I think your comments about the safeguards in the American system get to the heart of a lot of our concerns. These safeguards are being eroded more every day it seems, with the President doing more and more by Executive orders and shoving the Legislature (i.e. the representatives of the People) more and more to the sidelines as if they are merely a debating society. Our founders did not want a king or a caesar who could march off to war under his own authority, but rather the President is merely to execute the wars that the People declare through the Congress. Obama did not even consult Congress on Libya, but said that the UN/NATO was the only authorization he needed. Obama claims the authority now to put American citizens on secret lists, to indefinitely detain them without trial and to even assassinate them -- totally violating our Bill of Rights. More and more is being done by unelected bureaucrats engaged in rulemaking and less and less by the People through their Congress. I also understand this to be the case in the UK, as more decisionmaking is shifted from the local people to EU bureaucrats (see Daniel Hannan, Lord Monckton, etc.)

So the old structures that were the safeguards are quickly eroding if not totally collapsing, and this is adding to the overall concern about tyranny.

This is NOT all anti-Obama, by the way. He is merely expanding on the increasingly authoritarian actions of his predecessors from both parties. No one President is a dictator for life. They come and go. But the OFFICE with its powers is becoming increasingly dictatorial, lying around like a loaded weapon for any future would-be tyrant to use.

Sorry for the length of the reply, but I wanted to try to do your questions justice.

I absolutely do not want to ever see a need for anything but peaceful resistance against governments that have stepped outside of their proper role and authority in society. I pray that somehow Liberty will gain the upper ground again and authoritarianism will recede in a calm fashion. I just don't want to ignore history and assume tyranny will never occur here.

Micah said...

A slightly tangential thing came to mind with this discussion. I became really interested in David Mitchell's 'Cloud Atlas' novel and the new film after you posted the trailer on your blog last year. Some people don't get it; but, wow, to me that was a brilliant expression of the struggle of human liberty vs authoritarianism of one form or another, in all six stories. The whole sequence of the Union struggle against Unanimity in the future Korea, with Sonmi-451 being led to her execution, her exposition of death being only a door, and her response to the archivist's claim about nobody believing this...'somebody already does': that literally gave me chills watching all that in the theater. That struggle of liberty vs tyranny is exactly what I am referring to in the context of our own time, in our own countries. I am afraid our societies are on the fast-track to becoming Unanimity. I am going to have to get that DVD when it comes out in February.

Robin Parry said...

Micah

Thanks for clearing some issues up. I think I better understand where you are coming from.

Nevertheless, I am still struggling to "get" the mindset — maybe because I am European and we simply don't get America's love of guns.

Here is my "feel" on the situation: If the justification for the right is the need to guard against bad governments then given how unlikely it is that US citizens will be needing guns to resist their government (even if their powers have expanded at times that has never been a reason for armed resistance) why are so many people SO VERY passionate about defending this right? If the motivation for the passion was really the official justification then, given that a US government is so unlikely to be dangerous in the feared way, you would not expect so much passion. You would imagine that only conspiracy theorists and the ├╝ber paranoid that would get steamed up on the issue, not least because of the obvious harm that guns cause to US citizens ever year (the stats are shocking to Europeans).

Yet, it is not only conspiracy theorists (like Alex Jones) who get passionate. It is lots of sensible, nice people too.

That's what I don't get. I doubt that I ever will. I suspect we would talk past each other until the cows come home.

To be honest, I have no "solutions" for America. The problem is that locking the gate after the horse has bolted may not be effective. There are no simple solutions.

But I think most Europeans would be very keen to make sure that Europe never gets into that position. Most British people are very pleased about our gun laws. I certainly feel a lot safer walking around the streets of London than Chicago or San Francisco.

But that is not a lot of help for the American situation. I have little to say that is of use about that. So I'll shut up.

Robin Parry said...

Micah,

And you, of course, are one of the sensible nice people

Robin

Micah said...

Fair enough, Robin.

On the different mindsets of Europeans vs Americans w/r to bearing arms, I guess there are exceptions, such as the Swiss? I think they probably view the importance of the people having that capability with a similar passion? Would have to confirm, but I believe they have a low crime rate as well?

I think the answer to why so many are passionate is because more and more people are realizing how each one of our liberties in our Bill of Rights is being seriously undermined by various governmental actions, and the 2nd Amendment to this point has been one of the last to really be standing. It represents kind of a line in the sand in the American psyche -- a bellwether of sorts.

The ironic thing, though, is that many of the people who will get very defensive about any possible curtailing of the second amendment are not quite as quick to stand up for other personal liberties or to realize the full extent of the damage being done. Many mainline 'conservatives' justify a lot of the abuses against Liberty because of their fear of Islamic terror. They don't realize that in trading Liberty for security, they will end up with neither, as Benjamin Franklin observed. You can't defend the country by attacking its very foundation -- otherwise the terrorists have won. But that's how we end up with warrantless searches and wiretapping and the Patriot Act and the TSA groping people like cattle (not just in airports anymore) and the NDAA authorizing indefinite detention of citizens without trial, etc. Many of those who turn a blind eye to this do seem to have the protection of their right to bear arms ingrained in them, though, as you've observed.

Mark (London) said...

Micah ,
I had no plans or intention of posting another comment. I feel chastened that I wrote too assertively and was presumptuous. The typos weren't the only errors in the haste and emotion.
I thought (think), the gracious move, is to refrain from commenting. I'm not intending to attempt further correspondence through this posting and if you do respond, and I don't, please accept I'm doing this out of respect to Robin.
I was at ease in reading your comments but the last one surely warrants clarification.
The last paragraph is correct but what's obscured is this. Those who researched and exposed what was coming (over decades), the front-running champions, alerting and protesting attacks on civil liberties, at least in the areas you mention, i.e. 'warrantless searches and wiretapping and the Patriot Act and the TSA groping people like cattle (not just in airports anymore) and the NDAA' - were the ' conspiracy theorists (like Alex Jones)'. Mostly libertarians.
Infowars articles given the platform, primarily through Drudgereport and finally the mainstream has - in some parts/ways - articulated alarm.
Easily proved? Find the earliest - accurate - online articles.
Granted, the conservative or the right, are overall people who want the second amendment yet fail to show sufficient concern to the above attacks but there's a small (?) but growing number who are, often grudgingly, admitting those (not so(?)) 'sensible nice people' who've been ridiculed in the past - were/are right.
I just think, can you really have it both ways? Conspiracy (they say 'questioning confirmed liars') theorists (they say 'documented research/admissions') have, and are, blowing the trumpet. You might disagree (assuming you've genuinely investigated the claims), their reading of history, structures and contemporary concerns but you can't disagree, that these critics of the so-called left and right, have been been courageously (I say) trying to open 'blind eye(s)'.
Read/hear Chris Hedges, a 'Liberal' not one of those pesky 'truthers'. I mentioned him in an earlier post. He 'warns of an authoritarian takeover' and, as I'm sure you're aware, took to suing the government over the NDAA.
He states, 'the assault on civil liberties, started under Bush, has been accelerated by Obama'.
I'd better stop. One correction re an earlier post that relates to your 'safer in the UK' point. Benn Swann's comparisons (a link in an earlier post) between UK and US violent crime, was inaccurate due to differing definitions. Someone has investigated and offered the estimate that violent crime rate (for England and Wales) is 776 per 100,000 and the low-end is 271, compared with the US and 403 incidents per 100,000 people.
Oh help us dear God, what can we do to lower this, Oh God we need you. To prayer.
God bless you Micah.

Mark (London) said...

Oh darn..
I gotta add.
Should read:
'Liberal' AND not one of those pesky 'truthers'.

Depending on what liberal means, in socio-political terms, I shouldn't imply that the 'truther movement' is too all-libertarian. There's a distinct representation from liberals/those looking for more collective/larger govt. solutions.
Hedges is also a liberal Christian.
Again, there's clearly as many non-Christians standing for liberty against a NWO as 'believers'.
Ta-ra and Peace to you.

Micah said...

Hi, Mark --

Just to clarify: when I point the bony finger of indignation at the 'mainline conservatives', I'm pointing it right back at myself. I should have known better, having some idea of the tendency of both R's and D's to drift away from the constitution and a sensible foreign policy; but I fell for the trap when George W. Bush ran in 2000 on a platform of a more 'humble foreign policy', against 'nation-building' and against being the 'policeman of the world'. I got swept up in the fearmongering after 9-11 for a spell and justified in my mind these very things I am bringing up now as dangers, given that it was supposedly for security. It wasn't until the 2008 campaign, when Dr. Paul was treated abominably by the Fox News hosts and the other candidates during a debate and he cut through all that and explained how our interventionism in the Middle East over many years had been stirring up more problems than helping, that I was shaken out of my coma; and the old left-right paradigm has continued to be shattered as I realize the real struggle is Liberty vs authoritarianism, in all areas of life.

So I give so much credit to those voices that have been crying in the wilderness for so long: Tom Woods, Dr. Paul, etc. Their efforts are bearing much fruit as people awaken to how right their predictions, unfortunately, have been with the economic bubbles, etc.

As for 'conspiracy theories', I neither rush to accept them as true nor rush to deny them. I know there is evil in this world and that there is indeed a conspiracy of dark spiritual powers at work against God -- so it's not surprising that evil would conspire at various levels amongst humanity as well, in the battle against Liberty and goodness. Yes, many see Alex Jones and others as wild, crazy men -- and I understand how their presentation style turns some folks off. Let me just say the 'rabbit hole' goes a lot deeper than I used to think it did, and so I try to maintain an open mind while also being careful to really check things out for myself. I guess that's where I'll leave it for now.

Blessings to you, Mark...

For Liberty,

Micah

Mark (London) said...

Micah,
James Tracy (and Paul Joseph Watson) has your 'and so I try to maintain an open mind while also being careful to really check things out for myself' about it.

http://www.infowars.com/video-were-crisis-actors-used-in-sandy-hook-massacre/

Robin, I've had my say.
Thanks for having me,
Mark.

Mark (London) said...

Micah. Alex's show tonight January 24th.
For you dear brave warrior, In Jesus,
Mark.

Mark (London) said...

I've reread my posts, and yours, on 44 tata.

May I re-say this (the prayer for snooping toms):

Talk to God, even if your not sure, is there. Out Loud, walkabout sit lay down jump about. Talk. Want, cry out ...come on God, you there, meet me. Read some Bible. Talk more, read more, shout, whisper.

"If God, you, like Jesus... is are God ...able to meet us..me.

Somehow, I believe, God will meet you.

If you really want: to know God.

Another way of saying it is:

Jesus loves you and wants to save you. Change your mind, walk away from the enemy - and God will meet you and thoroughly save you. Cry out 'The Blood of Jesus' and walk into love, forgiveness and eternal life.

Hence why I decided close ..open this up to finish. While I'm here:

Robin's books, I must read, I reckon they teach well-needed to hear 'truths'. I'm buying 'Worshipping Trinity'. We need good theology.

Robin reviews a book challenging Open Theism (something he's not in agreement with/I am).

'The guilty title is, as you can see, Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity. The part that sticks slightly in my throat is "biblical Christianity."...

Affirming open theism yet from the other perspective, calling on fellow-Calvinists to stop putting the free-will-libertarian-open-theism alternative as though like this advocating trinitarian alternatives.

Biblically God is Trinity, The Triune God. Not argument there, no movements, not The theological debate Jesus wise.

Followed by Gays (me - In. I'm not gay but like *News* Steve Chalke see the evangelical Dam is cracking. An affirming one.

Reluctant but moved from more second death more meet, the word used, 'annihilation'. to have been sitting in your position for a while and this is what I affirm with urgency to evangelise. oh boy second book to buy: The Evangelical Universalist. Second Edition.

Robin's/your need and call is for dialogue on open ground. This is what Chris Hedges and James Tracy, dear Micah are doing. A most MOST important stand. Tribes talking. Blessed are the peace makers. Safe space and let the Holy Spirit guide us in honesty and truth.

'At root, my problem with open theism (and open theists will LOVE this) is not that it is unbiblical (nor unevangelical) but that it is too biblical! By that I mean that it reads the Bible's presentation of God too much apart from the historic doctrine of God developed by orthodox Christianity. (Not fully apart from it because open theists are fully committed to trinitarian theology. If they were not their theology would fall outside Christian orthodoxy.)'

Well said.

You are a Chris Hedges. Another who sits in two tribes is Greg Palast.

This, to say goodbye. You have the last word Robin (your books surround these comments). This is also why I respect you. I like the way your doing it and I'm still talking more 'I'd like to be doing it'.

Reversing the famous DL Moody one, "Madam I like the way I'm doing it..."

If I can pray. Rubbish have been better, now a bit better. The witness of the intercessors in the Pilgrim Church is the weighty theology tested faith proved by prayer warriors. This is our call. The teacher - like you - some, to prayer all. This is why I'm taping out these comments. A call to prayer. Would anyone like to get gripped, we gotta pray, this, that shaped history.

Here's Greg. I'm half convicted not to push it so I post this tentative at taking the space. You do your site, you cared and were prepared to respond.
Good on ya. In the dark. Mark.

Mark (London) said...


Alex Jones verses Downtown Abbey (Part 1).
Greg Palast (Vice Magazine)

Alex Jones is right. Deport Piers Morgan. NOW. Send him back. In chains.

The year's big YouTube hit, Alex Jones shoves an assault rifle (figuratively) up Piers Morgan. Alex was simply trying to explain to Piers why America has a Bill of Rights while England has David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Paul McCartney.

Before I enumerate the charges against Morgan, we need to ask two questions. Why did Alex Jones – the host of one of the only intellectually substantive, fact-heavy forums on American radio – seem to lose it on air? And why is it so important to the media elite to ridicule Alex Jones and dismiss him as a fruitcake and a buffoon – just another scary, Texan gun-nut – while they venerate Pus Moron – the scoundrel, the faker, the wanker – like he's Thomas Jefferson

The yell from Alex's throat was not his own voice alone – it was the choric cry of his millions of listeners in the forgotten heartland of America. It was The Scream of the Screwed.

It's not about guns. The shoot-out between Jones, rough-voiced and real, versus Morgan, faux journalist with the snooty accent, is a metaphoric battle: The movers and shakers on Morgan's guest list versus the moved and shaken across the Great Plains who listen to Jones; the privileged One Percent versus Jones' 99-Percenters; those who got the gold mine versus those who got the shaft.

It's about the comfortable in Manhattan, West Hollywood and Islington who watch Downton Abbey and dream of the days when the servants were grateful just to shine their masters' silver. Jones speaks for the lower decks on the Titanic – those under the waterline, who know that the ship has hit the iceberg while the rich are cramming bottles of champagne into the last life boats.

Of the 31,672 gun deaths in America in 2010, the majority – 61 percent – were suicides. The real killer is despair. Why such desperation? What in the American dream is so nightmarish that death is a better choice?

Jones' fierce journalism talks to those waiting in the dark.

Mark (London) said...

O,
When reading this, please note the typos, including; 'your' should be 'you're' and 'there' instead of 'their'.
There, there.
x

Mark (London) said...

Fi-n-ally.
Re watching AJ on PM.
On my third time of viewing.
I must correct an error.
The decline in gun crime (via FBI) quoted by A
is inaccurate.
He wildly underestimates.
Fifty something percent over some years.
Theological scribbles stubborn facts.
Good day people,
x.

Mark (London) said...

i think it's gun and violent crime. Look it up.
on startpage (?)
peace be with,
In Christ,
mark.

Mark (London) said...

As it happens a revision on China and the people reading/storing this, drugs, guns, cartels, banks, money, criminals, devils.
Hope.
Have a listen,
x.

Feinstein's attackon 2nd Amendment

On the Friday, January 25 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex runs down details on Feinstein's draconian gun legislation rolled out yesterday. He also talks about police arresting smart meter activists on their own private property. On today's worldwide broadcast, Alex talks with author and journalist Jerome Corsi in-studio. Alex and Mr. Corsi will talk about Obama's second term agenda and Dr. Jim Garrow's claim that Obama is using a “litmus test” to determine who in the military will fire on U.S. citizens. Corsi is the author of numerous books including, America for Sale: Fighting the New World Order, Surviving a Global Depression, and Preserving USA Sovereignty and Where's the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.