Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Theomonist and a Socialist Walk into a Bar

And Pay More 
Single Malt

Tomorrow (September 18 or 18 September as you prefer) Scotland will vote on whether, after 300 years of belonging, to stop belonging to the United Kingdom. If the Scots choose is disaffiliate one of the possible dire consequences is an increase in the price of Single Malt Scotch.

Two asides: (1) If the Scots choose to leave the U.K. they better be glad Abraham Lincoln is not the Prime Minister. (I stole this from somewhere.) (2) This will reinforce for Bourbon drinkers the observation of Walker Percy: 
By contrast, Scotch: for me (not, I presume, for a Scot), drinking Scotch is like looking at a picture of Noel Coward. The whiskey assaults the nasopharynx with all the excitement of paregoric. Scotch drinkers (not all, of course) I think of as upward-mobile Americans, Houston and New Orleans businessmen who graduate from Bourbon about the same time they shed seersuckers for Lilly slacks. Of course, by now these same folk may have gone back to Bourbon and seersucker for the same reason, because too many Houston oilmen drink Scotch.
In anticipation of the vote Dr. Richard Knodel posted on Facebook a link to an article by Scary Gary North. Dr. North said he trusted bookies, who rate the chances of a "no" (pro-UK) vote as about 80%, more than pollsters who call it a toss-up. Dr. North said the pro-independence ("yes") vote could have certainly won:
If the “yes” movement had done just one thing, it would be sure to win. It should have campaigned on a promise to take the entire Scottish oil tax revenue system and convert it into a corporation. Then each Scottish citizen would be given one share of stock.

This would have privatized the Scottish government’s oil revenues into private income.
Any owner of a share would be allowed to sell it at a market price.

Scotland’s geezers are in favor of staying in the UK by two to one. Why? They are on the government’s welfare dole: retirement pensions. They don’t want to risk a cut-off of the funds supplied by the taxpayers in England. The “yes” crowd needs younger voters to turn out. The promise of a share of oil tax revenues would get them to the polls. It would also have cut into the geezer vote. Oil revenues that you own are a lot better security than promises from British politicians. 
To make this offer, the “yes” crowd would have to cut the lifeline of the Scottish welfare state. They did not have the gumption to do this. So, they are way behind in the betting odds.

Dr. Knodel followed up with several comments on his thread:
Socialism (consensual thievery) seduces the soul. It's a powerful energy. In one way or another, almost everyone in Scotland is "on the dole." Gary's right: Are they REALLY going to vote to end the system? Especially non-Christians? Socialism cultivates a certain mindset that greatly contrasts with "Scotland the Brave!" I'll be utterly amazed if Scotland votes for independence. But Neither do I think it will be a catastrophe if it does. Everyone's self interest would argue for continuing close relations. The colonies wanted freedom, then immediately cemented their trade with England! 
The problem in Britain is that all the political parties in the U.K. embrace humanism:
Humanistic politics rules all the parties in the UK. Almost everyone spurns the Bibles's wisdom. There's hardly a dime's worth of difference between the Scottish National Party (the SNP - that most-wants independence) and the Labour Party -- and even the "Conservative" Party!) This means that very little will change, regardless of the election's outcome. To me, God's PROVIDENCE in this is the most interesting. WHAT WILL GOD DO??
The people of the U.K. have chosen security over hope:
It's just that people have voted for safety and benefits, over hope, ingenuity & productivity -- for over 100 years. Ingenuity & productivity survives DESPITE the economic climate, not because of it. Really the grace of God! It's hard to start-up new things there, and survive.
The Scots became prosperous under Mrs. Thatcher, but they despise her:
Maggie Thatcher increased Scottish wealth exponentially (by introducing home ownership to the masses) and she's despised by most Scots! Very ironic. But so many were layed-off of their subsidized mining jobs in southern Scotland -- that they blame her (and not the business climate that fostered it in the first place). Scotland went from only 25% privat home ownership to 75% ownership. Really amazing.

In my usual politic way I inquired of Dr. Knodel what he makes of Mr. David Robertson, minister of the Free Church of Scotland and a Socialist. Dick, once again employing the antithesis with the skill of a butcher, replied:
First-class bit of evidence! Indeed. I interpret it as a philosophical contradiction, tending to DQ one profession or the other. One cannot love Christ AND the doctrine of consensual thievery. They are antithetical. I fear the Free Church is fraught with such frailties. Isn't alliteration lovely???
This sent me back to read again David Robertson's "Open Letter" to Prime Minister David Cameron. (When I read this originally, I prayed the Pharisee's Prayer: "God I think thee that I am not a Scot.") After rebuking the Prime Minister for supporting same gender marriage, he explains what that has to do with the vote on independence:
Why does this matter in the debate on independence? Because it is an example of your rejection of Christian values. Britain was founded on Christian principles, it was a union of Christian nations and all our laws, education, and culture were grounded on those principles. British values are based on Christian values. It seems as though you think that it is possible to take away the roots and continue to have the fruits.
 The United Kingdom has abandoned Christian values:
Some of those who want independence are also secular humanists who want Christianity pushed to the margins, but the fact that you seem to offer no alternative is a major reason why people like me see little reason in voting for the Union. To me the death of Christian Britain poses the question, is political Britain worth saving? If you had offered a real defence of the Christian values of Britain then it may have been very different.
An illustration of the Prime Minister's pragmatism in politics, that has manifested itself in the abandoment of Christian values in the realm of marriage, is the bombing of Libya:
You were very enthusiastic about bombing Libya. It seemed at the time like a no-brainer and the other main political parties supported you in that. Bomb Libya, get rid of Gaddafi. That just felt like the right thing to do. But now what has happened? Hundreds of thousands are fleeing and the Islamists are taking over that large country, with its small population and vast oil resources, which they will then use to 'Islamise' the rest of North Africa. The point is that a policy that felt right at the time and fitted with the zeitgeist has in fact turned out to be disastrous. It is the same with your rejection of Britain's Christianity while at the same time trying to retain 'British' Christian values. You, and previous governments, have sown the wind and we will all reap the whirlwind.

One of the clearest examples of the United Kingdom's moving away from Christian values is what Mr. Robertson sees as growing economic inequality, or, if I may put it this way, a lack of enough socialism:
As we move away from Christian values I note that we are becoming a less equal and more unjust society in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Yesterday I read about wealthy students in London who are paying up to £2,000 per week for a flat. Over £100,000 per year. And I contrast that with the vast majority of people and ask, how is that possible? How can your government guarantee banks who pay billions in bonuses, while penalising those who are a lot poorer? How can you encourage and support tax avoidance schemes for big corporations while clamping down on those who abuse the benefit system? I don't understand why you don't deal with both. Many of those voting Yes in Scotland are not voting so for nationalistic reasons, but simply because they want a fairer and more just society, and to be frank they don't see it coming from a government where the City is at the heart.
The break-up of the U.K., if it occurs may be the judgment of God on the U.K.'s abandonment of Christian principles.
Perhaps the breakup of the United Kingdom is now inevitable. Who knows but that may be a judgement from God that will wake us up our of our stuporific drift into intolerant secularism, economic inequality, political extremism or militant Islam.
And if Scotland goes independent, what will be a key to her future? Why, Calvinism, of course!
In fact, a revival of traditional Scottish Calvinism will be essential to the success of an independent Scotland (although I suspect you won't hear too many politicians saying that!).
What we have here are clashing worldviews. Clashing Christian worldviews. Clashing Calvinistic worldviews. Clashing worldviews of two experimentalist Calvinists!

If this won't make a 2-Ker of you, it at least ought to make a drinking world-and-life-view man of you. If you are a Scot, you may be hard-pressed making your choice between your palate and your wallet - that is, unless you can use other people's money to buy your stuff. For the rest, you might follow Dr. Percy by choosing Bourbon.

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