For the Bible Tells Me So: Different ways to approach the Bible, why they matter and how they divide us.

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The Bible is the worlds most important book. It has endured, been validated, argued over, denied, rejected, embraced and changed peoples lives unlike any other text, sacred or profane that ever was. Atheists deplore what it says, humanists find a snapshot of mankind’s past efforts at approaching wisdom, the faithful love it even as they seek to deconstruct it looking for mysteries, codes, secrets, hidden truths, or validations of doctrine.

No other book has done so much, to so many; yet it remains misunderstood and mocked. Perhaps the reason is how we approach it as a book, a cultural artifact, a sacred text, a historical text and a romance.

How do we approach the Bible? How should we? Can the Bible tell the truth and not be itself always factual? Can myth and reality be one and the same? Do inerrancy and reliability mean the same thing and does it even matter?

I wont pretend to have the answers here, Theologians and philosophers fare greater than I have made efforts and always they have fallen short. The best of them, quickly abandon the effort, or make it clear how difficult the effort has been and how subjective their conclusions might be and yet one thing stands. If the Bible matters it must speak to what is real and meaningful and so we must approach it openly, honestly and with the respect due such an important work, be it the work of man or God.

There are two ways of approaching the Bible the secular and the faithful and within each category there are different avenues that should compliment and overlap. Many apparent contradictions appear only because we fail to understand how different narratives do this, and once we identify a contradiction, even only an apparent one, the tragic process of deconstruction begins until all that is left is a collection of unread words we known through the interpretations of those with whom we decide are reliable, and we decide this based on the level to which their conclusions agree with our preconceived ideas about how the Bible should interact with our culture.

What is the Bible? Such a simple question, yet no two people would give you the same answer. Partly this is because though it is the most widespread book in history, it is also the most misunderstood, argued over and for many of its biggest fans, the least read.

To properly understand all the Bible has to tell us we must first consider what sort of book it is. To call it a collection of stories is too simple and fails to do justice. Nor should we forget that in looking at the typology of various texts we mustn’t loose sight of the overall scope and narrative journey of the book as a whole.

The Bible is a book comprised of a set of stories that were central to the people of Israel as an affiliated group of tribal nomads, as a nascent national collective, as a unified then fractured kingdom, later a people in exile, then a people who could finally understand the scope of their own story and how they fit within the stories of the Bible. Later still the Bible became the foundation of a new set of stories that in part fulfilled what was unfulfilled in the earlier text, now called the Old testament and in part created a new covenant that was fulfilled on the cross to form the foundation of a group that would come to be called Christians. Muslims use a term for the three peoples who very existence stems from this most peculiar collection of stories; the People of the Book. And that is a term I wholeheartedly approve of.

The people of the book are a diverse people, not always born into a national identity but  fashioned into new identities quite apart from the particulars of their birth. or to use a biblical term, grafted onto the vine.  This matters because the people of the book are not merely an audience or transmitters of stories, but  an integral part of the book itself. We, the human race both believers and non-belivers are as much as part of the narrative as is the Book of Proverbs or Genesis or Matthew’s Gospel or the Letters to the Church at Corinth.

So now lets begin to explore the Bibles Typology.

  1. The Bible as it relates to people
  2. The Bible as a book
  3. The Bible as a cultural artifact
  4. The Bible as a sacred text
  5. The Bible as a historical text
  6. The Bible as mythology
  7. The Bible as romance.

After we begin to understand the various typologies within the bible we can turn our attention to how might we as the faithful approach it.

How do the faithful approach the Bible?

The truth of scripture: Does the Bible tell the truth.

The narrative of scripture: How does the Bible tell its truths.

The meaning of scripture: What did the truth of the Bible mean to the original audience, to later audiences.

The importance of scripture: In what ways does the Bible matter?

The value of scripture: What is the integral value of the Bible as opposed to other ancient or modern texts.

The cost of scripture: Truth comes with a cost, what cost does the Bible ask us to pay?

The priority of scripture: Where does the Bible (as a book) ask us to put it in relation to other things or concepts?

What is the Bibles authority: From who, to whom and for what purpose does the Bible deliver its message?

But of course, the Bible does speak only to the faithful. This is no mystery religion, or basic set of instructions for membership. It is the story of mankind, of how we fell away from grace and how we now live in a broken world in need of mediation, repair and ultimately transformation. In this the Bible speaks to everyone who lives in the world and by the worlds ethos.

How do secularists approach the Bible?

Is the Bible fair: Does the Bible treat different groups differently and if so why?

Is the Bible relevant: If the Bible was once relevant is it still so?

Is the Bible changeable: In what ways is the Bible as we have it today different from the oldest known translations, texts or traditions?

What was the originals authors actually saying: The Bible may have once spoken some philosophical truth, and to know it requires finding hidden meaning or seeking what has become authentic Christianity.

Is the Bible needed: The Bible might be a great book, but we live in a world of science and objective morality where such a book is simply no longer required. Its value lies only in its presence as a cultural artifact but no one actually needs it any longer.

How the Bible is similar to other myths: The Bible is interesting but only in as much as it reflects one groups primitive attempts to make sense of the universe. It is no more than a collection of myths and fairy tales.

Why we fail to grow…


People want the attention that goes with voicing their problems, and this includes groups as culturally, socially and politically diverse as Black Lives Matter, Christians living in “post-Christian” America, Conservatives who feel Liberalism is destroying the nation and Liberals who believe Conservatives want to hold the nation back from this or that imagined social Utopia. Gays scream for equality, abortion rights activists vie for attention against pro-life protestors.  People are demanding that we accept gender is fluid even as they argue that a persons sexual orientation is fixed at birth. Pastors and Christian authors and popular atheist pundits try to over shout one another by building massive arks or free though billboards.

Life has become a contest to see who can get the most attention by being the loudest and we are all suffering because of it. You see, the way to really succeed is not to voice your problems, real or imagined, but to understand them yourself and then to share that understanding with others. Until we all learn this lesson nothing we say, no matter how loud or true will ever make a positive impact in the world and guess what; black and white children, men and women, gay and straight, faithful and faithless will continue to tear one another apart in a vain attempt to force the other to yield.

 

How do we fight, when we must fight


 

Facing Conflict under the shadow of the cross

By Candkewycke

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“Justice is in the interest of the strongest” – Thracymachus in Plato’s Republic

“The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war” – Erasmus

“ The purpose of all war is peace” – Augustine of Hippo

“ The LORD is a man of war, the LORD is his name – Exodus 15:3

“Praise be to the LORD my rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle – Psalm 144: 1

 

These quotes above represent only a small fraction of the diverse opinions on the nature of War and its relation to living a godly life. They come from Christian thinkers, pagan philosophers and the Bible itself. If there is no easy answer to the question is war ever justified then how are we to make sense of a violent world and if our role is to be passive participant, active agent or righteous crusader?

I believe the only war that can be truly called a just war is a war that is holy and fought for the righteousness of the Lord, that is called to be waged by the Lord and that is guided by the Lord and his anointed leaders. But how can we be sure our war is a just war Are we deceiving ourselves into believing GOD supports us because we want to be in the right, not because we are in the right? The Bible tells us that biblical war is waged as a means to carry Gods people forward or as a means to level Gods Judgement against his people as a result of their great and sinful falling away. God seems to use war and call for war even as he condemns it. Is this a contradiction?

Christ, as he so often did, realigned the nature of a thing, in this case war by reminding people that an eye for an eye leads to evil and that we must turn the other cheek saying “you have heard it said love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven”. Yet we can’t deny that if war is forbidden the Christian then it would certainly have been mentioned as so many other things clearly were. So once again, even with the words of the LORD we are left to contemplate what we are to do. This struggle has led great church minds to formulate philosophies, sometimes logical and sometimes contorted to define rules which we might use to navigate dangerous times.

The need for peace and a love of your enemy and the very real world facts of evil seeking to do evil led St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas to formulate what came to be called the just war theory in an effort to fill in the gaps. During St. Augustine’s time the might of Rome was collapsing and the threat of invasion was omnipresent. Could a Christian fail to protect his family, and his faith through pacifism? These were not idle, abstract questions but very pressing matters of life and death. Out of this began to emerge the just war theory, the basic tenant of which are as follows…

 

  1. There must be a just cause for the war.
  2. War must be waged only in response to certain, grave and lasting damage inflicted by an aggressor
  3. The motive for war must be advancement of good or avoidance of evil.
  4. The ultimate objective of war must be to bring peace.
  5. Revenge, revolt, a desire to harm, dominate, or exploit and similar things are not justification for war.
  6. Every possible means of peacefully settling the conflict must be exhausted first.
  7. There must be serious prospects of success; bloodshed without hope of victory cannot be justified.
  8. The war must be declared by a legitimate authority. Private individuals or groups should seek redress of their rights through their governments, not by acts of war.
  9. The war must not cause greater evil than the evil to be eliminated.
  10. Non-combatants (civilians) must not be intentionally harmed.
  11. Prisoners and conquered peoples must be treated justly.

 

In response to Just war theory some Christians affirm complete pacifism, among them Mennonites and the Society of Friends (Quakers). The difficulty in keeping this position comes when we are forced to confront evil in a scale larger than the personal and when the pacifist maintains his peace safely behind the shield of the soldier. It is easy to turn the other cheek and live pure pacifism when you are the only one on the line, but what about when your children are threatened? Even Christ seems to have allowed his apostles to carry swords and nowhere did he implicitly refute the need to fight against evil. Indeed his very presence on earth was a direct confrontation with evil and his return is described as a victorious leader mounted on a white horse in very clear military imagery. For this reason the gentle lamb could say “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” We should also consider why God chose the time of the Roman Empire to break into our physical world in the person of Jesus Christ? We see the disciple traveling Roman roads, taking advantage of the stability that Rome provided and even Paul relying on the protection of his roman citizenship, none of which could have been possible without Rome’s military might. And can we so easily condemn all war as pure evil when David, a great warrior who was a man after Gods own heart and through whom the messiah would be born. We cannot say that war is evil nor can we say that war is good when we understand that God often uses evil men and evil things to further his purpose.

If you are confused you are not alone. In the Gospel of Mark we see that Christ, understanding human nature recognizes that war will continue and in the Gospel of Luke and in Acts we are led to accept the necessity of militaries. (Luke 3:14 and Acts 10:1-6) so if you are still convinced that your position, just war or pacifism is the only right position then you are blind. Reading this in light of Christ’s complete teachings it is difficult to see anything amounting to total admonition against any and all war, but it is certainly a radical realignment on how Godly men should view and wage war and it certainly should force each of us to reexamine the reasons we are fighting.

The reality is that this is one of those areas each of us is left to navigate. Trust that we not asked to do this alone but to open up ourselves and allow Jesus Christ to become the captains of our hearts. It may well be that this is an area that is deliberately left grey because Gods plan for mankind is still unfolding. So take care not to be quick to judge the soldier or the pacifist too harshly.

Why am I writing this now? A radio call in show features a caller who was no doubt a decent man, a moral man even yet one who seemed to be rushing to war as a means of vengeance and anger. A delusion perhaps, but one that is recognizable and even understandable. The consensus was that we should fight fire with fire and beat them at their own game. These are just some of the phrases used to describe opinions as to how we should conduct the war on terror. In light of our current leaderships refusal to rightly define the threat and their efforts to downplay the danger and the ever growing risk of domestic attack it is little wonder that so many people are willing to fight terrorists at their own level but this is a terrible mistake. Liberals by contrast seem to offer a more Christian view but they too make a fundamental error of logic in viewing human nature as good and at risk through violence. The Liberal argument suggest that to fight fire with fire risks harming something within ourselves. But the harm we face is not from within as if to say that human nature is good, because it is not. In fact human nature dictates that we seek vengeance and if left to human nature surely war and violence would be embraced by everyone. Rather the harm we risk doing harms something far more precious that exists without us in the form of Gods saving grace.

 

How, when and under what circumstances is America at war justified?

       How often do we hear about America being the greatest nation on earth? Just as ancient Israel, that conceit presupposes that America is on the moral high ground, not counting for the fact that Israel was chosen by God while America simply chose itself. To be sure we are on far higher ground than the terrorists but are we really operating from a moral base? Remember that when Israel waged war righteously she was protected but when her unrighteous behavior went unchecked she saw only defeat and ruin. How are we then greater than Gods chosen nation when it is so easy to look around and see our sins manifest and manifold in horrible abundance?

Human nature demands that we go “old-testament”, a common reference to holy conflict, but are we as a nation, as communities, as local churches or as individuals living lives of righteousness worthy of calling on Gods might? This was the hallmark of the old-testament way of War. To put it simply, we cannot invoke Abraham or Joshua or Gideon or David or Josiah and their success on the battlefield without also understanding that they lived righteous lives, doing gods will for God’s purposes. Under these godly men Israel saw victory and we should emulate them. But we should not ignore the lessons of the wicked Ahab who persecuted the Prophet Elijah and who “sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord”. Or Jeroboam whose wickedness resulted in judgement on the whole people. Are we to forget that “God will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and which he caused all Israel to commit”? Or what of Rehoboam whose sinful ways and pagan worship led to Israel’s plunder by Egypt

Are we better than the wicked rulers of Israel and the people who followed them? Are we greater than the Israelites who made the golden calf? Are we better than Ahaz who sacrificed his son to Moloch as we have sacrificed 55 million of our precious children at the altar of convenience and self- autonomy through abortion?

The Bible gives us many examples to learn from but too often Christians skim over the uncomfortable parts, assuming that America is a Christian nation and is somehow exempt from calls to righteousness. But we are to live for something finer than human nature and make no mistake, it was human nature these wicked rulers followed. It is this human nature liberals speak of as a reason for not sinking to the level of the terrorist, in effect protecting the very thing that leads us to ruin. But if we live to protect human nature then we have already fallen as low as the terrorist because we have forsaken Gods purpose for us.

When the Puritan father John Winthrop gave his famous City upon a Hill speech he was calling for his people to build a new city in the mirror of what Israel was at its most Godly and righteous. He may have been mistaken on many of his goals and his means but his heart I believe was in the right place. It was to be a beacon not of freedom and liberty for the sake of man, but of Godly virtue and that has been the mold of America save for the last 75 years as we have seen God has been stricken from the public sphere and faith isolated more and more to the narrow confines of a nebulous, shadow area removed from public view. There is still hope, we still have countless churches and people of faith but unless we realign ourselves immediately these too will fall away.

There are no easy answers and perhaps this is a good thing because it forces us to be prayerful, to engage in a deeper communion with the Lord and seek his guidance in these turbulent times just our ancestors once did, when prayer came out from the pulpit, from schools, from the halls of congress and in local communities from elected officials to humble farmers and workers. Are we today morally superior to our forebears? It is time we take Jeremiah to heart and stand at the crossroads and ask for the old paths. We may not find easy answers, but we will find the comforting presence of the Lord to walk with us as we navigate difficult decisions.

When science takes a faltering step towards recognizing God


Albert Einstein once said that the Universe could have been chaotic, random and ugly. And yet we have this gorgeous synthesis at the origin of the Universe itself, giving birth to the galaxies, the planets, DNA, life.

He was describing a creator, though he did not go so far as to define this creator in any real sense, nor did he attempt to link his creator of the cosmos to the creator of his own Jewish roots as found in the Bible.

Thomas Huxley, famous 19th century Biologist believed that science and religion shared a common human mission to understand our place and role in the universe. Absent a creator there is no created being, only chance mingling’s of atomic matter that formed together to make a thing that would come to be called mankind. In this worldview, one governed by pure chance there can be no meaning or perhaps I would say that there is only the meaning that we define for ourselves, which is to say that we are defining ourselves through a lens of pure ego. As if a robot claims personhood because it has a sensors capable of recognizing its own form in a mirror. Neither represent meaning.

Now, noted physicists and co-founder of String Theory and respected futurist Dr. Michiko Kaku has taken a step back to reconciling the once shared objectives of both science and religion by not only using religious vocabulary to describe what he sees scientifically but also by evolving his views over the last few years to the point that he now readily admits that the cosmos was created because it bears the stamps of a created system. This is not to say that Dr. Kaku has suddenly bowed at the alter or stands in the shadow of the cross. Indeed Dr. Kaku could not rightly be called a Christian, or  a member of any religion nor would he define himself as such.

The real power in his public professions are seen in how humanists and atheists respond by scouring over every word he has ever spoken, attempting to piece together separate and conflicting quotes to formulate a coherent atheist statement. The reason for this is evident. People of faith can have their faith questioned and tested. Faith when it is true emerges stronger from the struggle but self-centered philosophies including humanism and atheism are incapable of surviving direct challenges from those of faith. The reason is simple, self must always elevate the self.

Everyday we see subtle hints of Gods presence emerging all around us. From biblical sites that show once suspected biblical narratives were accurate , including places, Kings and civic titles to science struggling to maintain its god-absent agenda in light of those stamps of created order, not to mention the emerging presence of Christians in places hostile to the faith and at a time when not to believe has never been easier or the worldly cost of unbelief so slight.

None of this proves the idea of Deity and it certainly doesn’t prove the God of Jews and Christians or indeed Muslims as part of a larger tradition, but no longer can the humanist and atheist so easily claim proofs of science as a close ally.

 

Why Russel Moore and the SBC gets it wrong on religious freedom and Muslims building Mosques in the Unitd States


I come from the Baptist tradition with a long history of religious tolerance and acceptance of pluralism in the world religious sphere. The right to worship as one sees fit is and always has been an integral part of Baptist thought and this has always extended to non-Christian religions as well. While any true Baptist should seek to evangelize it should never be done through compulsion or mandate or edict because doing so runs counter to Soul Freedom. Further I believe that any such conversion or evangelism through force creates poorly catechized Christians, weak and unstable in their faith and this, as we see played out all to often introduces instability in churches and leads to believers who fall away when confronted with challenging questions or life circumstances.

Though Islam is far removed from Christianity these rights to soul freedom should be granted them as a matter of course, this includes their right to worship and build mosques in communities where they live. However as is true of all important matters truth is nuanced and rights and freedoms MUST be weighed against certain realities if they are to be protected for future generations. This is not a way of ceding to security over freedom but rather a way of acknowledging that true freedom comes with certain obligations.

As we consider the building of Mosques in America today we need to consider the following…

a. is there a historical role of Islam in the United States?

b. Does Islam offer something of value to the United States or its citizenry?

c. What is the goal of Islam in America today?

Before we get ahead of ourselves lets get one thing clear. Most Mosques are no more a threat to the United States than any other group of like minded people. However mosques in todays world need to be given special scrutiny.
What is a mosque? Literally, it is a place of submission to the word of Allah, or the Quran.  Unlike Judeo-Christian religious thought Islam demands only submission and grants the believer certain rights to deceive non-believers in a process called the Taqiyya. Around the world we see terror groups using mosques to radicalize Muslims and create “home-grown” terror operatives that act independently of core groups, such as ISIS and Al-Queda but under the general orders of Jihad and too often these operatives mesh in with society because they utilize the Taqiyya to deceive their neighbors, families, co-workers and government agencies. By contrast our Christian faith looks to peter and his denial of Christ as a point of great shame from which Peter sought desperate forgiveness. We are called to pick up our cross not conceal it and to be lights to the world, not candles flickering hidden beneath a basket.

Until such time as the greater Muslim faith begins to police it’s own or the threat of terror becomes a manageable threat every mosque should be held in suspicion and given greater scrutiny. So yes Russell Moore, it is right and proper to extend religious freedom to its maximum limits, but it is foolishness and very much un-biblical to allow evil to rise because we do not wish to confront it or define it in real terms. At one time the radical mosques that gave sanctuary to the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shootings, the Orlando shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing,  the Fort Hood Massacre, the shooting in Chattanooga and so many others here and around the globe were once looked upon with suspicion because there is something inherently troubling about Islam, a feeling of unease that goes back centuries and is not a matter of paranoia, but of very real events.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings I remembered an old action movie, Delta Force where Chuck Norris fought Lebanese hijackers to save hostages. This was of course only a movie but it was inspired by the real Iranian hostage crisis and bore striking similarities to the hijacking of Flight 847 only a few month earlier.

Then I thought of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre perpetrated by the Palestenian Group Black September, a philosophical forerunner to Hammas.

And can we forget what the Taliban did to Afghanistan or what happened on 9-11? All these have one thing in common, Islam. And contrary to some liberal arguments this is not a corrupted version of Islam, but a divergent and literal interpretation of Islam that carries widespread acceptance of if not always the methods, then at least the ultimate goals. And for America it goes back even further if we were to be honest, to the Barbary Pirates who were sanctioned by the Islamic state to prey upon Christian merchant shipping. This is the same Islamic state groups like ISIS today want to rebuild.

The threat is not knew, the methods are not new. The only new thing is how we are responding, by surrendering our values in  the name of a false promise of toleration. I suspect that Russell Moore and the SBC are more motivated by diminishing church numbers and frequent accusations from secular corners than by any real philosophical agreement on religious freedom.

The sad truth is there are many ways of surrendering and one way is to lose the strength of your convictions, and an understanding of what they really mean and embrace moral relativism. I doubt that Christ would have sought to tear down a mosque had they been present then and he certainly would have spoke of love and forgiveness and of not casting stones but I doubt he would have been so quick to welcome a group into his community whose sole motivation was to destroy that community. In fact Chirst warned his disciples about being vigilant.

As Americans it is incumbent upon us to protect our freedoms, provide a safe space for the fullest exercise of freedom and establish those freedoms  for future generations.

As Christians we must confront evil in the name of Jesus Christ and under the guidance of the Holy Bible

Ephesians 5 11:12 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” By continually praising toleration no matter what we are taking part in dark deeds and failing to expose them for what they are. Can the good man praise sin and still be counted as good?

And finally, thought this will be uncomfortable to many in America, freedom and democracy themselves can become idols which we worship.  When we place patriotism, and ideals of freedom and democracy on a higher platform than upholding the word of God and doing what is right, under obedience to Gods words then we are worshiping nationalism and national ideals just as surely as the Israelites worshiped the golden calf.

As 1st John, 2:15 tells us, “stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Fathers love is not in him.

In closing, ask yourselves do you so love American democracy and our idea of what amounts to freedom that you would value it above the holy things?

 

 

Gods Unyielding Holiness


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Gods awesome holiness is not something we think of very often anymore. Sure we speak of salvation, of Christ’s love, or sin occasionally, but God’s awesome, unyielding holiness is like a lost vocabulary to modern Christians. As if the very thought of it frightens us and perhaps it does, after all we want a friendly God, a buddy God who wants us to be happy and that’s that. We desire a God who sent his son so that we could have daily affirmations and be told that we are good, so long as we act good to one another. But is this really what God is about?

Everything we know about God is filtered through HIS holiness and when we approach HIM and HIS son we must do so knowing that we approach absolute and perfect holiness. Not a holy place, a place of awe and mystery but the very fount of holiness from which all things pure ebb and flow.

The Holiness of God is penetrating, painful and dreadful to behold. In  the Bible those who encountered God did not find a best friend or a self-help advisor or a plucky tv evangelist. No, friends, they encountered something that left them broken and reeling, in pain and shock, thunder struck by the whisper as much as the storm.

The old saying it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God speaks to that holiness and we would do well to remember it, and incorporate that sense into our prayer life.

Remember well and heed the holiness of the Living God. There is power there, and we ignore it at our peril.

The tragedy of declining cultural milestones


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***THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS***

Noted ____ defined three stages of cultural milestones with birth, death and burial and marriage

Anthropologists looking at disparate cultures around the world and throughout history would certainly agree. In research that ranges from children’s literature, anthropology, theology and philosophy and historical political I have isolated 4 additional cultural milestones with death remembrance, gender milestones and national memorial events.

Over the last five decades in America and in Europe each has been under increased assault reduced in importance and ridiculed and in many cases at risk of extinction.

What they are and how they are under threat

Birth 

abortion / decline in family size / decline in marriage / normalization of homosexuality

Death & Burial

decline in family cohesion / medical usurpation of death ways / decline in cultural traditions / decline in church attendance / beliefs in limited physical resources including land

Marriage

self interest / alternative lifestyles / diminished importance of family

Death Remembrance

transient ways of life / media driven short attention spans /  self- interest / diminished role of family / emphasis on now / decline in religion

Gender Milestones

gender dysphoria at a cultural level negates the value of boy and girl hood / gender confusion including homosexuality and transgenderism / birth control to manage and prevent menstruation / cultural rejection of masculinity as a virtue / cultural redefining of traditional feminine roles

National Memorials

civic responsibility / de-valuing of past generations / emphasis on modernity as superior / self-interest / breakdown of family