Friday, September 22, 2017

Jesus Christ in the Eye of the Storm

To many readers of the Daily Mail, this was probably a simple line from a breaking story, not necessarily the most important detail:

Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.

The "small southeast coastal town of Yabucoa" happens to be where my mother’s family came from. I’d spent two days struggling to maintain communication with my plentiful relatives on the island, most of whom I haven’t seen since 2007. By a horrible twist of fate, all of them live in neighborhoods along the highway that runs from Yabucoa to San Juan. That follows precisely the path of Hurricane Maria, the worst storm in a century.

The Daily Mail story was linked to Drudge Report, along with this jarring screen alert:

The house my mother and her siblings built is likely gone. It stood as a kind of ancestral home a few miles from a cove smelling of fish. Since my mother died in 1990, this is the last structure she inhabited that still exists. It was made of wood. My uncle and aunt had driven to Yabucoa in the frantic hours before they sought shelter in San Juan. They did their best to secure the family home, a frail structure on stilts, with three bedrooms filled with bunkbeds, a family room with chests full of board games, an old refrigerator, and a 180-degree veranda.

I remember the veranda well from as early as the age of four. The mosquitoes liked my sweat and covered me in bites while leaving my cousins alone. I didn’t mind. In fact I’ve written loads of unpublished fiction based on things that crossed my childhood mind as I rocked in hammocks on that veranda, looking down at the streams and plantain trees sloping down from the hilltop. I can pray for something to remain of that world but the reports indicate that in all likelihood the hill, the veranda, the house, the neighbors’ houses, and indeed Yabucoa, are gone.

Matthew Drudge’s takeaway is that that little town nobody ever heard of, which meant the world to me, was blown back to the dark ages. CNN is worried most about reporting the percentage of people on the island without electricity. Strangely enough, my aunt, the day before, told me they were playing music and having a party in her safe concrete house in San Juan as they waited for the storm to come. They knew the electricity would go out and it didn’t worry them. They’ve been living with blackouts since the days when they first got electric lights.

I cannot partake in snowflake culture. For I am a grouchy conservative, half-believing Ben Shapiro’s trademark line that “facts don’t care about your feelings.” Still, I found Drudge’s headline irritating. Then it got more irritating as I went on Twitter and saw Entertainment Weekly reporting on a controversy about Melissa Joan Hart’s Instagram comments about Puerto Rico, which some angry souls found demeaning to people in Puerto Rico:


For a strange moment, I allowed myself some delusions of importance. I wondered why people who claim to care about people affected by a hurricane are not interested in hearing from the people affected by a hurricane, but instead want to tweet about the former star of Clarissa Explains It All!

There are Twitter storms and real hurricanes. You can be in the eye of either, and find a similar dynamic. This wasn’t my first eye-opening Drudge moment. In the fall of 2015, for a day a headline about my terrible Title IX case was on Drudge. Two years ago I was living out the reality of a conservative professor hounded out of my job by liberals. Few people even know my case existed, and now, two years later, I no longer have that tenured job in California.

So often the biggest controversies are based on what’s happening to people who have to live in the center of the storm but aren’t the center of the story. Who is the center of the story? Usually someone gaining profits or prestige from whatever buzz the story generates.

Hence I published Jephthah’s Daughters in 2015, a compilation of testimonials from children raised by gay parents, coming forth with honest discussion of how hard it was for them. We submitted joint amicus briefs that nobody on the Supreme Court mentioned. Jephthah’s Daughters was overshadowed by the voluminous commentaries by experts in law, gay rights, anthropology, news, or general punditry. The gay parenting debate was not about people with gay parents or what they thought—it was about people who could get famous talking about gay parenting, and who had no gay parents or gay children. Or perhaps more precisely, it was about people who were already famous weighing in on gay parenting for paying audiences.

In other words, when we’re in the eye of a storm, the storm is our problem but we aren’t the story. The story becomes about someone for whom the storm poses no problem whatsoever. There is no limit to how big storms can get or how many people can add to the swirling gales and take the focus increasingly away from the actual people in the eye.

This is probably a timeless human dilemma but I doubt it. I think it’s a specific dynamic of the social media age. A decade of counting likes, retweets, reposts, comments, and notifications have left us with a wish and a counter-wish. We want to be the story, the center of attention. But we want the story to be something extremely compelling and human. Since at any given time nothing huge is happening to us, we go out and find someone else’s storm to write about. The aggregate result is that anyone who’s in the center of a storm can’t be heard over the billions of people who see their house getting blown away by a natural disaster as a chance to gain more likes and shares on Facebook.

The metaphorical storms of debate cannot compare to the actual tragedy of knowing the house your mother built is gone. Yet Hurricane Maria forced me to find peace with this strange dynamic of our present era. The Lord is sovereign and uses the majestic forces around us—both beauties like the eclipse and traumas like mobbing or hurricanes—to assert His unique claim upon us. After being in the eyes of enough hurricanes, I hold no doubts about what Jesus has planned for me and for everyone in the world. We are afflicted and given grace, we lose and find restoration, to know Him. Whoever has more likes on Twitter doesn’t matter. Nothing demonstrates the Biblical notion of esteeming God’s power rather than man’s false comforts like the depressing reality of a Twitter feed.


Robert Oscar Lopez can be followed in Twitter at @baptist4freedom.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Young black man dies in the home of a gay Hillary mega-donor

The events reported in the Advocate set me off. I won't waste time typing a 2,000-word post about it--just listen to this five-minute video to understand what is so messed about this.

And know--THIS is why I fight so hard against the LGBT curriculum in schools, especially in predominantly Latino and black schools.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Liberals Are Out to Gentrify Churches

The great social sin of the left is gentrification, something that liberals are particularly heinous about. Growing up in Buffalo, I remember being quite conscious that the suburb in which I lived, Williamsville, was populated by the grandchildren or children of immigrants who at some point fled urban conditions. Still carrying inside them the Italian, Polish, German, Irish, Russian, Jewish, and Greek strivings that had brought them to America, they wanted spacious lawns, fancy cars, and shimmering pools. The generation of spoiled children of such strivers (myself included!) found Williamsville's whitewashed pretenses embarrassing and swiftly ran off to colleges where they were taught to despise their own parents' upward mobility.

Finished with college, almost none of them would move to Williamsville, even if they could afford one of the many duplexes in the town on entry-level salaries. No, no, they had to prove to WASPy America (the people who didn't strive, but just sort of existed) that they weren't tainted by the shameful compromises and failed assimilations of their grandparents.

So where did they move?

They moved to downtown Buffalo! Returning from New York City to my hometown in 1998, I found the neighborhoods like Allentown, Elmwood, and West Side overflowing with white liberals, many of whom I'd known in high school. I remembered them with upturned bangs, dungarees tapered with safety pins, and overpriced sweaters from the Limited, circa 1986, when they wouldn't be caught dead on some street like Fargo or Ferry or Franklin. But now, toting their bachelor's degrees from places like SUNY Geneseo and Niagara University, they were reborn as über gay-friendly, metrosexual artsy parvenus, the hipsters immortalized in fin-de-siècle studies like Urban Families. They'd spent their teenage years distinguishing themselves from uncultivated peers by showing they had more money, less ethnic habits, and stauncher Republican values than those they condescended to. Now, still the snobs but in different apparel, they were spending their young adulthood distinguishing themselves from uncultivated peers by showing that they knew people at bodegas, could score pot on the West Side, and could eat with chopsticks.

This is how gentrification works. It's a horrible white liberal game. First, there's a stage where a young white liberal is born, usually in some painfully monochrome suburb where people argue about lawn care, get riled up about school board elections, and still go to church. The white liberal will later reject all the outward appearances of such a dull life, but the white liberal will never reject the craving to be better than neighbors: more of something--more hip, more educated, more successful, more popular, more stylish.

At some point the white liberal's parents send the little parvenu off to college, where the white liberal meets people who grew up in Manhattan. Suburb shame sets in. The white liberal feels the poisonous class guilt for four years, dreading the moment when Mom and Dad will come for graduation and talk about their used car dealership or civil service job in front of classmates.

With diploma in hand, the white liberal wants to move to some area where he will be around other white liberals and will get cable access, decent internet service, safe transit, and affordable rents. But he must have other stuff too, which is less tangible: moral credit for living somewhere rugged, some interaction with expressive ethnic people, and close proximity to homosexuals who go "antiquing."

The neighborhood that will best fit these requirements is often a place like the West Side of Buffalo, where I was born way back in 1971. There are historic homes where white liberal men can learn how to fix pipes and revive their fading sense of masculinity. On their block they will interact with Puerto Ricans, Vietnamese people, homosexuals, and a few black folks. They will feel oddly at home because it reminds them of their ethnic grandparents who immigrated a gazillion years ago to just such a run-down neighborhood. They will feel, however, safely removed from the stifling conformity they associate with their bourgeois parents and their Weight Watchers, cable satellites on the roof, and tacky gazebos.

There is a problem with this model of gentrification. It's great for landlords, zoning regulators, and white liberals. But it drives up the rent and turns otherwise normal neighborhoods into neurotic extensions of the university multicultural centre (spelled "re" not "er"). Suddenly white liberals want to become your friend but they can't help lecturing you about how oppressed you should feel and how you should join this or that urban movement for world peace, gay marriage, or Planned Parenthood. As the rents get higher, old greasy-spoons close down, and fake ethnic diners with overpriced menus abound, you make the decision my immigrant wife and I made in 2002--we decided to move out of the West Side of Buffalo and back to Williamsville, where I could get a break from the gentrification.

In the same way that white liberals have gentrified cities, they gentrified schools, the military, and businesses. Basically, anything that can be spurned and then suddenly deemed relevant in the mind of the ever-anxious and constantly evolving white liberal. Look at how the Intelligence Community and its 17 Big Brother organs have gone from being the greatest evil of the Bush Era to the perpetually cited authorities on Russian election fraud in the Trump Era. The CIA got gentrified.

So now, as I discuss in this video below, the last great frontier to be gentrified is church. HILLARY CLINTON WANTS TO BECOME A METHODIST MINISTER. Oh my heavens! They're treating Christianity like an urban renewal project to score political points. We must stop this. If they ruin the churches there will be nowhere for us to go.

Monday, July 24, 2017

My appeal to Latin America: Choose kids' rights over adult politics!

The case for building a border wall with Canada too!

It is commonplace to offer proof of racism among Donald Trump's supporters by pointing out that his most popular campaign promise involved building a wall between Mexico and the United States.

I have resisted this racist designation for quite some time, not merely because I am Latino and support immigration enforcement, but also, because the attribution of "racism" makes little sense in this context.

As I pointed out in an open letter to Donald Trump, the people who promote open borders have repeatedly tied DACA status (deferred action for childhood arrivals) to the immigrants' remaining enrolled in colleges...which miraculously benefits colleges & universities while not resolving the DACA people's status so they can actually work legally. See here:

http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/2016/12/trump-say-no-to-janet-napolitano-and.html

This looks and smells like exploitation and racism, insofar as the people pushing DACA and "Dream Act" policy are using a large nonwhite population to make money for their struggling campuses, based on the irrational premise that the best thing for anybody brown-skinned is to cut ties to their functional home countries in the Third World in favor of lifelong citizenship in the majority-white United States.

A year ago I pointed out the following:

True malevolence adores secrecy and dissembling. More often than not, racial injustice thrives under disguises of condescension, exploitation, and mental manipulation.  Higher educationHollywood, and big-city bureaucracies are the biggest foes of Black Lives Matter despite the fact that they are universally led by Democrats who claim to love and defend people of color.
"Racism" does not mean saying insensitive things. It means doing harmful things to people of color.  It is not racist to speak frankly about border security.  In 2006, Barack Obama voted for H.R. 6061, which allocated $1.2 billion for 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.  Seven hundred miles is long enough to insult Latin Americans but short enough to entice them to come through the massive gaps left open.  What harms immigrants of color more – clarity about future prospects, or mixed messages that might lead them to spend their family's only money on a human smuggler?
A wall between the United States and Mexico sends exactly the right "message": these are two different countries with different ways of thinking, and their peoples should flourish by building their homelands into great nations rather than by being exported en masse from dysfunctional governments that do not want to change to a dysfunctional government that does not know what it wants.
Ditto on Islamophobia
"Racism" does not mean expressing reservations about the mutual benefits between a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and immigrants who adhere to Islam, a religion practiced by people practicing ethnic cleansing and even genocide against Jews and Christians in those immigrants' home countries.
There is a profound racism embedded in the notion that the best thing for any Latino or Muslim is to settle permanently in the United States.  In being naturalized, they sever their ties to the civilization from which they came and assimilate into the Democrats' toxic liberal brew of consumerism, iPods, abortion, sodomy, fornication, pornography, marijuana, and atheism.  Shame me though it does to say it, this mix is American culture, which I should know – I was born in the United States and have been fighting the left's influence on popular culture for most of my life.
If the prevailing forces on the American left are so incensed by a Christianity that celebrates chastity, complementary gender roles, and strict family values, why on Earth are they promising Muslims that they will be happy settling in the very country the left strives to secularize?
Is free in-state tuition to California State University, Los Angeles, where a near riot exploded simply because Ben Shapiro was invited to deliver a speech, so important that a Moroccan family should forever forsake their rituals and Arab traditions and move to Sherman Oaks, California?  If they try to keep their values alive while living in Los Angeles, the Democrats will turn a deaf ear to the complaints that their daughters are getting abortions and dressing like tramps while their sons are dyeing their hair green and loitering outside gay nightclubs…just like white liberal Americans.
Is it more racist to say, "You come from a beautiful home country that needs your talent and hard work" or "Come to America so you can change and become just like Miley Cyrus and George Clooney"?

The basic point still stands. It isn't racist to believe that Latino or Muslim countries are places where Latinos and Muslims can live and flourish. It is racist to insist that Latinos and Muslims can only be happy by becoming citizens of an English-speaking, mostly white country and by turning into fledgeling little liberals.

But my argument--while very sensible!--has not taken off.

So I was happy to find another occasion to push a different, albeit stronger, rebuttal to the charge that supporters of border enforcement are racist.

What would you say if I told you that I feared another country's cultural decay far more than Mexico's problems--and that other country is a nominally Christian, overwhelmingly white nation that belongs to the British commonwealth.

I am speaking, of course, of Canada!

Consider these photographs coming out of Canada recently:




The white, European-descended leader of Canada, Justin Trudeau, rose to power from undistinguished achievements as a resort-hopping pretty boy, based on the white patriarchy writ large. Less qualified to lead Canada than most Puerto Rican high school dropouts from the Bronx, he had the good luck to be the son of a Canadian prime minister well known from the 1970s. We already have creepy left-wing dynasties in California and New York with the Browns and Cuomos, haunting us from the decades of Pierre Trudeau's reign of decadence. And we have the Bush family's father-son team, which people resoundingly rejected by booting Jeb! from the Republican primaries. We don't want a neighboring country, which still belongs to the Queen of England's Commonwealth, further romanticizing the thought of a modern-day royal family.

But putting aside all these anti-democratic forms of "white privilege" surrounding Justin Trudeau, there is a deeper problem, which I think warrants the building of a wall between the United States and Canada.

Canada is becoming Sodom, and Justin Trudeau is more debauched and depraved on sexuality issues than any leader in the Western Hemisphere. See the photographs of him dragging his (unhappy) toddler sons to a pride parade where they have to salute rainbow flags and see sundry perversions all around them. Why is the prime minister of Canada trucking with men walking around in leather harnesses and jockstraps, never mind bringing his sons there?

And what leader of a democratic nation would in his right mind salute a rainbow flag, which posits the political supremacy of a small minority group's chosen form of sexual gratification? That the gays have planted their flag in official places, granting their movement a political solidity no other progressive group claims, is quite concerning. We do not salute an abortion flag, an amnesty-for-immigrants flag, or a climate change flag. Even worse is the idea of saluting sodomy. Literally, the flag is Sodom's banner. And Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, is saluting it and forcing his sons to do the same!

This is cultural rot that we need to stop from spreading like mold to the United States. We have enough problems with Sodom's ubiquitous rise in the United States, without importing large numbers of these white domestic terrorists working to overthrow Old Glory to replace it with a rainbow flag honoring anal sex, sex toys, and violations of Biblical chastity.

So as you see, I am not a racist. I want walls built wherever there is a danger to the homeland. We should start building that wall from Bangor to Seattle, tout de suite.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Robert Lopez's Testimony before Texas State Senate on SB-3

Dear Lawmakers,

Thank you for giving me the chance to share this testimony. My name’s Robert Lopez, professor of Humanities at Southwestern Baptist, and I support SB-3.

I have been immersed in the gay community since the early 1970s. I grew up with a gay mom and worked in the mental health clinic she ran from my early teens. I was initiated into sodomy at age 13 by older teens and didn’t get out of the gay community until I was 28. I was hounded, harassed, defamed, threatened, and blacklisted by many gay groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, with the result that in 2016 I was forced out of a tenured faculty position and came to Texas with my wife & children, hoping to find refuge from the gay juggernaut. My crime? I told the ugly truth about what I’d seen in the gay community from the 1970s to the 2010s.

Please consider the context of the efforts to support transgender minors who transition. You are being told that an urgent need exists to help a community that suffered injustice and might resort to suicide or self-harm if their demands are not granted. You are being told that the suffering community is completely innocent, targeted because of irrational bigotry.

This continues a pattern of lies.

In the 70s, these groups promised that once their sexuality was not a crime or stigmatized, they would flourish. Several years later an AIDS epidemic broke out. The activists who wrongly predicted no medical problems with rampant homosexuality proceeded to blame Ronald Reagan and homophobia for a disease that they spread through indiscriminate sodomy.

By the early 90s attention shifted to the military. First with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, then with its repeal, gay activists promised that open gayness would pose no problems. But after the repeal in 2010, sexual assaults increased, especially same-sex assaults, as did the suicide rate. Without addressing this harm, the activists moved to push for transgender service and integrated showering and billets, even amid the crisis of sexual assault.

By the late 90s, we saw alarming eating disorders caused by gay men’s unhealthy fixation on beauty standards, suicide, drug addiction, domestic violence, steroid abuse, depression, and anxiety. They claimed this wasn’t the fault of gays but of Christian bigotry. They said all could be solved with civil unions, which soon morphed into gay marriage, which then morphed into gay adoption, which then morphed into compulsory changes to school curriculum, elimination of Father’s Day, gender-neutral birth certificates, a boom in paid surrogacy, and fines and penalties on people who expressed opposition to gay marriage on the job or off. Most visible effects of gay marriage have been punitive-life is not better for gays but harder for those considered anti-gay.

In the late 90s, activists said they just wanted to be left alone and allowed to visit each other in the hospital. Soon they declared war on ex-gays and closeted gays, launching a movement to abolish any counseling to people to resist homosexual impulses, even if impulses resulted from abuse. I just returned from York, England, where at gay groups succeeded in getting the Anglican synod to ban prayers for Christians trying to overcome gay impulses. They now have a transgender liturgy.

We can’t take any claims about transgender students at face value. You have to pass this bill because the gay movement is pushing transgender policies in schools and municipalities and will advance quickly absent resistance. Not passing a statewide law preserving normal bathroom policy is the same as a green light for them to force transgenderism onto millions of Texans who don’t want their daughters’ private spaces invaded by this—not because they are bigots, but because they have common sense.

When they say that nobody will be harmed or inconvenienced by transgender policy, they are lying as they lied about every other pro-gay initiative in the past. We will see no benefits for transgenders, abuses we can’t fully foresee, and punishments against those who voice dissent.
  
Learn from the past. Please, please, pass this bill.

Respectfully,


Robert Oscar Lopez, PhD
President, Mass Resistance Texas
Professor of Humanities
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Friday, July 14, 2017

My remarks at Church of England's general synod in York July 2017