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Alden Thompson and the Law as Gospel

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 by Elgin Hushbeck

Alden Thompson’s recent article, The Law As Gospel, has an instructive view of the law. For many evangelicals, the law is, for the most part, ignored.  The law is in the Old Testament, and something the Jews followed or tried to follow before Jesus.  Now, we are under grace. We do not need to follow the law, at least as gentiles.

This is all true. Still, it is not the complete picture and Thompson, seeks to present “a more balanced view.” The law is part of God’s scripture and his plan and not something we should ignore.   Towards the end, Thompson presents two views. In one, “the cross is pointed heavenward and the demands of the law.” In the other, “sees the cross pointed earthward, towards the human heart.”  The first Thompson calls “objective atonement” and sees Romans 8 as “a good source for that view.”  The other he calls “subjective atonement,” which he finds in John 14-17.   Thompson concludes,

Some of you will find Romans 8 more helpful, the cross pointed heavenward to the demands of the law.  Others will be blessed by John 14-17, the cross pointed earthward to the needs of the human heart. By God’s grace, you will find what nurtures your soul best.

There is a lot to be said for Thompson’s views. The message of both the Old and New Testament is both simple and yet rich and complex. You can study them for a lifetime and still feel like you are scratching the surface.   We are also complex, unique individuals.  So it is no wonder that some passages and some messages will resonate more with some than others.

Sadly, some Christians conclude there is some deficiency or error on the part of others when this happens.  If only they were as spiritual as I am, they would share my concern.   Not only is this view wrong, but it also damages the unity of the body.  Thompson’s article is a corrective to this view.   It is also a corrective to the common ignoring of the law among evangelicals. 

Thompson is not arguing that we under the law, but neither should we ignore it. Thompson very effectively uses the examples of seatbelts. If the laws concerning seatbelts went away, would it then follow that we should ignore seatbelts?  We are not under the law, so does it follow that we should ignore it?  This is not a backdoor way of getting people under the law while not being under it. What Thompson seeks is to “paint a more balanced view of law,” and there is a lot to think about in his article.  Some of the laws are to protect; some are to teach; some concerns ceremonial matters.  Some are more applicable today than others.  We can learn from all of them, even the ones we need not follow.

I do have one quibble, a minor disagreement, with something Thompson says.  In talking about the shift from fear as a motivator found in the Old Testament to the love found in the New, Thompson says, “love cannot be commanded.”  Here my disagreement is not so much with Thompson, but a disagreement with a common view of our times.  

As I write in “To Love and Cherish: Ephesians 5 and the Challenge of Christian Marriage,” the common view today is that love is just something that happens. You either have it, or you don’t. It is not something you can control. Yet God repeatedly commands us to love.  We are to love one another, love our neighbor, love the stranger, and husbands are commanded to love their wives. What do such commands mean if love cannot be commanded? If love is something over which we have no control?

Still, this does not detract from Thompsons’ overall message. It is a message worth considering.

Christian Idealism

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 by Elgin Hushbeck

I recently read an article by Eric Scot English, asking, “Do Evangelicals Really Believe in God?”  English agued evangelicals have an Idealistic faith.  “Idealistic faith is more about the ability to construct an idealized ‘truth’ about God rather than an actual truth. It’s a faith that has more to do with us than God.” (emp. in original).   While true of all, progressives, according to English, move past this taking a “leap of faith” to Christian realism. “Realism allows for the demonstration of a faith that is authentically ‘real’ instead of idealized.”

There is a lot of truth in the first part of his argument. English draws upon Kierkegaard’s beliefs, for which there is a lot to be said.  Christianity is more about transformational experience than rational disputes over doctrine. Still, even though I agree with Kierkegaard on this, I do not follow him into his rejection of reason.  

As such, I find English’s second part artificial, if not a little self-serving. I think it can safely be said that no one understands God. As I write in my forthcoming book, Faith and Reason,

 “In one respect, there is only one correct answer to the question, what do you believe about God? Not enough. After all, God is infinite; we are finite. How could we ever hope to have a complete understanding of God? Thus, a common experience when learning about God is realizing how much you do not know. Put another way, how much there is still left to know?”

This is not a question of realism vs. idealism. We all know too little, and we all tend to fill in the gaps in ways that best fit us and our existing beliefs. This tendency is why prayer and Bible study are so important. Done correctly, these challenge us; they change us.

I would agree that far too often, we project our faith on others. As I write, “A quick way to end up in trouble is to see the Bible as mainly discussing what others should be doing.  Sadly, this has been demonstrated far too often in history.”  Still, I do not see this as an issue of realism vs. idealism, or even progressive vs. evangelicalism, but as a universal problem.

The solution? To realize there is God, and there is also the Body of Christ.  I do not assume everything I believe is correct or that everyone who disagrees is wrong.

“We are all fallen and fallible, prone to mistakes and errors. This is where others come in. We all make mistakes, but we do not make the same mistakes. Discussing with others is the best way to discover your mistakes while helping others discover theirs.”

Rather than labeling each other, we should spend more time talking to each other. This is talking to, not talking at. We may not agree; in fact, we probably won’t. Hopefully, we will come to a better understanding of each other, our views, and why we hold them.  We can break down the stereotypes that exist on both sides.  In this way, we can get past our idealized views of why the other side is wrong and come to a better understanding of the real reasons they hold their beliefs.  Maybe even what we can learn from them.

Global Christian Perspectives

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

Global Christian Perspectives is a new weekly show on Google Hangouts discussing world events from a broad Christian perspective. It will be hosted by Chris Eyre from England who is more to the left politically, and myself an America who is more on the right. So while we are both Christians, there is very likely to be large areas of disagreements.

Each week we will be joined by one or two guests so there should be no shortage of differing perspectives as we discuss the issues in the news. In addition we will have an in-depth section to get behind the current event and explore some of the factors that leads us to reach such different conclusions, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

While subject to change, currently we are planning to discuss

News Segment:

Greece: What should we do?

The Pope’s Encyclical: Are Climate Change and Capitalism really the most pressing problems facing Christians today?

In-Depth Segment:

Is there such a thing as a Christian economics?

We are looking to have a good, and lively discussion. So be sure to join us Fridays at 2:00 ET


On The Chosen Generation Show

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

I will be on the Chosen Generation show with Pastor Gregory Young, Thursday March 26, from 10:00 -10:30 to discuss how the Social Justice movement continues to be negative force in society.  The show will be streamed live here. If you miss the show, it will be posted here.

Consider Christianity Week – Unity

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

Just an announcement that tonight, as part of Consider Christianity Week I will be discussing Christian Unity with Joel Watts.  Joel and I do not agree on a lot, but we both seek unity so it should be an interesting discussion.   It starts at 7:00 PM Central Time and you can post questions for us.

The Face of Tyranny

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

Supporters of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples like to portray it as the latest battleground in a long tradition of fighting bigotry and intolerance, a fight where victories are celebrated as triumphs of the rule of law. But while supporters like to keep the focus on what they call “marriage equality” in reality something far darker and more sinister is going on.

As I have written in the past, court rulings that redefine marriage are the antithesis of the rule of law.  These rulings are not upholding the rule of law, they are destroying it for the sake of an idea of equality.  But the ideal itself is false. Often supporters counter with claims that this is the new civil rights movement where allowing same-sex marriage is the equivalent of allowing interracial marriage. This is false.

Previous court rulings on race were grounded both in the Constitution and reality.  They were grounded in the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.  They were based in reality because the distinctions based on skin color are false distinctions, no more valid that distinctions based on hair color or eye color.

The same cannot be said for Same-Sex marriage. There is no grounding in the Constitution for over turning long established marriage laws.  Instead it comes, not from reasoned analysis of the Constitution, but from judges demanding that their personal views become the law of the land, however they may dress it up to sound legitimate.

Nor is it based in reality, for unlike distinctions based on skin color, distinctions based on sex are very real.  While the ideal that men and women are basically the same was a fad back in the 1960s and 1970s, science has completely and thoroughly refuted that notion, as if any refutation was even necessary.  Today the ideal that men and women are basically the same is overtly held only by some elites who insulate themselves from inconvenient things like facts.

Yet while refuted, like the walking dead, the theory that men and women are basically the same remains a strong force for many on the left.  It is also one of the key underpinnings for Same-Sex marriage, as the basic claim is the categories of men and women are arbitrary and can be interchanged. Thus statements such as “the best environment for raising children is a home with a loving mother and a loving father” is seen as irrational.  Mothers contribute nothing special to the raising of a child and the two fathers will work just as well.

As soon as you conclude that it is reasonable to see men and women as different, the rationale for the court cases overturning traditional marriage falls apart. In short they are themselves a lie.

Another major argument used by supporters is some form of ‘What difference does it make?’  How would allowing two men or two women to marry affect your marriage, or affect you? This argument is at best naïve, and more likely disingenuous.   Marriage is by definition a social construct that involves more than the two people getting married. If it was just a commitment between two people, same-sex couples have been able to do that for a long time.  As a core unit of society, to redefine marriage is to redefine society. Its effects will be reflected in everything from TV shows to the text books used in school.

As traditional marriage laws have been overturned and same sex marriage imposed by judges, normally contrary to the expressed will of the people, one thing that has become clear is that this is not a movement for tolerance as many people have unfortunately found out.  So far those on the front line in this battle have been those involved in weddings in one fashion or another, photographers, bakers, florists etc..

Some who did not wish to participate in the celebration of something they disagree with have found themselves  facing a hostile government saying you will celebrate same-sex marriage or else.   In the most recent case a 70 year old grandmother is facing the loss not only of her business, but of her home, because she refused to renounce her religious beliefs, which see marriage as sanctioned by God.

But these are not the only victims. The CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign because it was discovered that several years earlier he had donated $1000 to the California ballot proposition that upheld the traditional view of marriage.  Last month a highly distinguished fire chief for the City of Atlanta was fired because of comments he wrote in a book several years earlier.

This is not tolerance, this is the face of tyranny.  You will think what we want you to think or else.  No disagreement will be tolerated.  As for now the fate of Liberty, the founding principle of the Republic, remains in the balance.


Google Hangout

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

Tonight at 7 CT, in the first 1/2 hour I will be interviewing author David Cartwright about his new book Wounded by Truth, Healed by Love. In the second 1/2 hour I will be discussing the reliability of the Gospel of John, with Henry Neufeld. Be sure to Join us, at The Paradoxical Teachings of Jesus

Newsweek and the Bible : The Text

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

Newsweek’s initial issue of 2015 is a devastating attack, not on the Bible as they might have hoped, but on Newsweek’s own credibility.  Kurt Eichenwald’s cover story The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,  is completely one-sided, at best extremely misleading, in some places just flat out wrong, and in others just plain silly. So much so, that one would expect it to have been written by some hate-filled radical atheist, and not a reporter from a supposedly respectable news organization.  In short, it is so bad that I am sure even some of the more serious critics of Bible  will find it an embarrassment.

Eichenwald opens his allegedly objective article with what can only be described as a hate-filled invective against evangelical Christians, one that is at best a caricature.  He then laughably attempts to follow that with a claim that “Newsweek’s exploration here of the Bible’s history and meaning is not intended to advance a particular theology or debate the existence of God.”  Only someone completely ignorant of the issues involved, or someone who shares Eichenwald’s agenda, would consider his article a balanced piece.

While the article claims to be “based in large part on the works of scores of theologians and scholars, some of which dates back centuries” Eichenwald has carefully selected those scholars who agreed with the points he wanted to make, and seems completely unware that there are scholars who would disagree.  To give an analogy, it would be as if a political reporter claimed to give an objective review of a particular policy by citing “scores of sources” but all the sources were from the extreme wing of one party.

A one-sided presentation of scholarship would be bad enough, however many of his arguments would not even be accepted by the scholars he cites.  His first major argument is that the Bible we have today is “a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.”

Evidence for the Bible

This is so factually in error that as an argument it is just plain silly, and could only appeal to those who have no knowledge of the history of the Bible, much less fields such as Textual Criticism or Bible Translation. While I go into more detail in my book, Evidence for the Bible, the simple fact is that modern translations are not based on early translations, but on the best texts in the original language, and these texts are the work of many scholars and based on a vast array of evidence, primarily the earliest manuscripts  and fragments of manuscripts – the earliest of these going back to within a couple of decades of the originals.

If Eichenwald presents a distorted view of the transmission of the manuscripts, he is correct about how the earliest were written, “scriptio continua—meaning no spaces between words and no punctuation.” But he describes this as if it were somehow significant, yet does not give a single example from the Bible where this is an actual issue.  This is because to do so would only show that this was not really a big problem.  In the vast majority of the places where this occurs the context is clear enough to know which meaning is intended. In the small number of places where it is actually an issue the difference in meaning, while important to understanding that particular passage, has no effect on the overall teaching of the Bible.

Eichenwald instead moves quickly on to the issue of the differences between the manuscripts, but a careful reading of his arguments actually undercuts rather than supports his claim that we cannot know the Bible.   He says that,

“But in the past 100 years or so, tens of thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered, dating back centuries. And what biblical scholars now know is that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones—in fact, even copies from the same time periods differ from each other. ‘There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament,’ says Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, a groundbreaking biblical scholar and professor at the University of North Carolina who has written many books on the New Testament.”

This would at first blush seem pretty strong evidence for Eichenwald.   His claim that there are “tens of thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament” is true, IF one also includes all the early translations that were made, as there are only somewhat more that 5800 early Greek manuscripts of the NT.  As for his claim that “biblical scholars now know … that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones,” that hinges on the meaning of significant.  Significant to what?  They are certainly not significant to the teaching of the Bible as a whole.

About the closest Eichenwald ever comes to supporting this claim is in his description of the ending of Mark. First it is important to note that this is not some new revelation. Not only are these addressed in commentaries, all the major modern translation deal with the textual variations, and give the alternate readings in footnotes, so that readers are aware of them.

Then he claims that, “These verses say that those who believe in Jesus will speak in tongues and have extraordinary powers, such as the ability to cast out demons, heal the sick and handle snakes.”  Ok, I give him the point about snakes, though, it should be remembered that handling snakes has hardly been a mainstream position in the history of Christianity.  In fact, the vast majority of those thought, and think, the longer ending is part of the Gospel,  also have rejected the belief that handling snakes is something Christians should do.

As for speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and healing the sick, the longer ending of Mark is hardly the only places these are mentioned.  And this is the key point, except for possibly handling snakes which few Christians believe in in any event, not a single doctrine depends on a verse where there is a doubt about what was the original wording of the text.

The real problem with Eichenwald’s argument can be seen in his statement concerning Luke 3:16 that, “Today, most modern English Bibles have returned to the correct, yet confusing, ‘John answered.’” How does he know that ‘John answered’ is correct?  It is because the whole field of Textual Criticism which is devoted to sorting through and comparing, not only the texts in the original language, but also the early translations into other languages, and all the quotes by early Christians citing passages, to determine what was the original text.

What Eichenwald sees as a weakness, is in reality a strength. Yes, scholars have found that the early mss do differ in places, but in the process they have shown that the text we have today is very reliable.  In fact, as I argue in more detail in my book, Evidence for the Bible, the text we have today is for all practical purposes the same as was written by the Apostles and Prophets.

There are numerous other errors and problem with Echenwald’s presentation about the text of the Bible.  His discussion of Translation and Canon are no better, but this is already a longer than normal post.  Hopefully from this it will be clear that Echenwald’s Newsweek article says much more about him, and about Newsweek, than it does about the Bible.  The Bible can be trusted; they can’t.

The Ultimate Environmentalists

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 by Elgin Hushbeck

In one sense, critics of the Bible are the ultimate environmentalists, for they recycle everything.  Refute one of their objections, and they just move on to the next, and over time they all get recycled.  The most recent example of this was Raphael Lataster’s article in the Washington Post that asks “Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up. ”

There is really nothing new in Lataster’s arguments and these keep popping up from time to time in one form or another.    Gordon Stein, another critic, wrote in 1980 that while “at one point in time, the question of Jesus’ historicity was a much more popular one for discussion” he considered it “far from resolved.” Michael Martin, another critic writing in the 1990s wrote that “the historicity of Jesus is not only taken for granted by Christians, but is assumed by the vast majority of non-Christians and anti-Christians” and that “the very idea that Jesus is a myth is seldom entertained, let alone, seriously considered.”  Still he thought that “a strong prima facie case” could be made against an historical Jesus. (Michael Martin, The Case Against Christianity, p 36-7)

Thus when Lataster points out that numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called ‘Historical Jesus’” he joins a long line of skeptics trying to make a case that even many fellow skeptics find questionable.  It is no wonder that he begins by trying to restrict the discussion just to those who would at least accept many of his assumptions, even if they do question his conclusions.  Believers in the “Christ of Faith” he says “ought not to get involved.”

Nor is it hard to see why he would wish to exclude them, for he assumes that a “divine Jesus who walked on water” is “implausible” and “easily-dismissed,” which it is if you start with the assumption that there is no God, and miracles cannot happen, as do so many critics. But believers do not accept these assumptions, and thus the foundation for much of his argument falls apart.

The first “problem” Lataster cites is a good example of the importance of such assumptions in his reasoning process.  He writes “the earliest sources only reference to the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.” One only need ask, why is it “clearly” fictional?  In the  19th century such claims were far easier to make, but the weight of scholarship over the last century has tended to both strengthen the reliability of the Gospel accounts, and to push the dates of their composition far earlier than skeptics originally assumed.

As for the evidence Lataster presents, key is his claim that “Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels… only describe his ‘Heavenly Jesus’” and that he avoids Jesus’ “earthly events and teachings.” One of his key supports for this this claim is that in 1 Cor 2:6-10 Paul taught that demons killed the “celestial Jesus.”  Now while fundamentalists are at times guilty of ripping a text kicking and screaming from its context, this is ripping it from the context, beating it to a pulp, and then reshaping it to fit a theory.  The key passage, states, “None of the rulers of this world understood it, because if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

And here all this time I thought of crucifixion as an earthly Roman form of execution, rather than something done by demons to celestial beings.  In fact, without an earthly, and thus historical, body to put on a cross, what does crucifixion even mean?

Later in the same letter, Paul addresses some of those in Corinth who did not believe that a resurrection of the body was all that important.  Thus in 1 Cor 15:3-8 he writes, “For I passed on to you the most important points that I received: The Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures—and is still alive!— and he was seen by Cephas, and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Next he was seen by James, then by all the apostles, and finally he was seen by me, as though I were born abnormally late.”

Death, burial and resurrection all point to a physical and thus historical Christ. Nor is this just some minor secondary teaching, but one Paul says is most important.  Note the appeal made to these skeptics concerning the eyewitnesses and the fact that many were still alive. This an implicit challenge to go and talk to them if you doubted what he was saying.

It is for reasons such as these, plus a lot more that space does not allow for here, that even most skeptics reject these claims when they periodically come up.  For example, in my book Christianity and Secularism, I look at the early non-Christian sources and just from these we get the following picture:

There was a religious teacher named Jesus. We are told that His birth was not a normal birth. During His ministry Jesus did many miracles. He had a large following, and the religious leaders of the time opposed Him. We learn that while in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus was arrested. He was condemned to death by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. His death was by crucifixion. During the crucifixion there was an unexplained darkening of the sky. Finally, His followers claimed that three days later Jesus rose from the dead and still lives. (pg 132)

Again this is the picture of Jesus from the early critics. Ultimately there is the question of how Christianity got started in the first place, growing to one of the largest religions in the world, and vastly changing the course of human history. If the accounts in the Bible are true, this is what we would expect.  It is hard enough to account for this if Jesus was just a misunderstood historical figure whose follower got carried away in their claims about him. It is impossible to account for if there never really was an historical Jesus.

I think it is pretty safe to say that we can file this one away, yet again, at least until it come up next time, perhaps in another 10 or so years.


Responding to David Watson on Christians, Ferguson and the issue of Race

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by Elgin Hushbeck

David Watson recently wrote concerning the controversy over the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin that, “We are seeing again and again a great travesty–the killing of African-American men without consequence. If we as Christians don’t call this out and commit ourselves to doing something about it, then we are not living into our high calling as people who claim the name of Jesus.”  He goes on to write about the lack of indictment, “I believe that most Christians, regardless of their race, know this is wrong.”

Now I do believe that Christians should be concerned about injustice, but we should also be concerned about truth. Nor are our concerns for Justice limited only to certain groups, but should be a concern for Justice for all.  This includes police officers.  So while we are in agreement that something is wrong here, we disagree over what it is.

Watson wrote that “we should not convict people before they receive a fair trial” but it is hard to see this as anything more than an empty platitude, for the rest article takes their guilt as a given. After all, Zimmerman did have a trial, and was acquitted. Yet that did not stop Watson from including him.  Watson says of the officers in the other two cases that they cast, “a pall over the reputations of many good and honorable law enforcement officers.”  What casts a pall are those whose prejudices lead them to rush to judgment before the facts are known and then to ignore the facts when they come out.

A lack of a trial does not preclude due process. The Grand Jury system is part of due process and is there to protect people from needless prosecution.   Being charged with a crime and put on trial is not an inconsequential event in a person’s life.  Given the evidence in these cases the only hope of a conviction would be from persuading a jury to ignore the evidence so as to placate those with a vocal, and at times violent, agenda. This would hardly be an example of Justice.

Watson’s main argument seems to be based on the false premise that unarmed equals innocent.  Consider the case of Officer David Smith who in March responded to a report of a disturbance and was attacked by an unarmed man before he could even get out of his car.  The unarmed man was able to grab Officer Smith’s weapon and then proceeded to shoot him to death.  Nor is police officers being killed in the line of duty rare.  In 2013, 105 officers were killed in the line of duty, 30 were shot to death.

So when Michael Brown similarly attacked a police officer in what reasonably could be construed as an attempt to obtain his weapon he lost any claim to be innocent. When he charged head down toward the officer,  Brown left the officer little choice but to use deadly force.   This was not a Hollywood western where the hero can just wing the bad guy.  Nor is it hard to imagine how this could easily have gone the other way, leaving Officer Wilson dead.  Had that been the case, few outside of the area would know of Ferguson, and Officer Wilson would have quietly been added to the list of officers killed in the line of duty in 2014.

Even if you have some questions about the evidence, given this set of facts, the presumption of innocent until proven guilty, and a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, there would be no way consistent with Justice to get a conviction.  To put the officer on trial would itself be an injustice.

The circumstances of Eric Garner’s death, while tragic and troubling, hardly call for the officers involved to be put on trial. It is troubling as most of us thankfully can ignore the government most of the time. For those on the left the government is the dispenser of all that is good. But as the Romans 13:4 says, “for it is not without reason that they bear the sword.”

We may not like it; we may even wish it was different; but when a police officer says you are under arrest either you go quietly, or the situation will escalate until you are in custody, even the act of resisting being itself a crime. There is no right to resist arrest.   As things escalate, so does the chance for a bad outcome.

In the case of Garner, his resisting arrest and his underlying health problems were major factors in his death.  While Garner was black and the arresting officer white, it is hard to see how race played any significant role given that the arrest was supervised by a police sergeant, who happened to be a black woman.  But that his arrest was conducted under the supervision of a black woman does not fit the political agenda and so is conveniently left out of most reports.

The simple fact is that when citizens are put into confrontation with the government, the government is going to win, at least in the short term.  Last year New York City logged 228,000 misdemeanor arrests.  That tragic outcomes such as Garner are so rare is a testimony to the service and professionalism of Police Officers across the country.

The real problem with focusing on these rare events and trying to cast them to fit a racial agenda is that since it is not grounded in truth it is bound to divide people, which has clearly been the case here. While some will focus on the agenda, and others will focus on what actually happened.  This will make things worse, not better.

In addition, as I have written in the past, it diverts attention away from the very real problems that face many of our communities: the breakdown of family life, failing schools, crime, and lack of economic opportunity.  These are the real problems we should be focusing on.