Campus Insane Asylums

On the higher education front, welcome back to the 1960s. Well, sort of.

College Protests

Yes, the latest round of protests from people with great experience in the world (aged 18-22) isn’t quite what it once was. Not that I cared for the 1960s protests, you understand. I was in college at the time myself. But this new protest movement from those who think they know everything is even more self-centered than the previous one.

It’s all aided and abetted by those who are doing the teaching, though:

Vivid Imagery

The professors who now continue the indoctrination of young minds who have been already been indoctrinated in our public school system have created some rather unrealistic expectations. Combine self-centered immaturity with a skewed view of reality and here’s what you end up with:

Can't Believe It

Socialism Will Work

The problem is that this immaturity spills over into society at large, escaping from the campuses to do greater damage. Of course, there are many adults who have the same worldview. One of them lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind this particular protest if he were completely open and honest with us:

Rainbow House

Free speech and open discussion are becoming endangered on campuses. It’s sad to witness those in charge (supposedly) cave to the pressures:

Yet Another

I’m grateful for some of our Christian colleges and universities that have not yet bowed to the new cultural sensitivity. One Christian university president made news recently, calling out a student who tried to force him to go along with the culture.

Everett PiperDr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, related how one student wrote that he was offended by a sermon at the university that told students they needed to be more loving. You see, that sermon made the student feel bad because it seemed to indicate he was not loving enough. Thus the basis of the complaint.

Piper’s response was right on: students are being too coddled, he remarked, and then added, “This is not a day care; this is a university.” Our culture, Piper continued, “has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic.”

Piper also took a shot at fellow academics, noting,

A liberal arts academy is about learning. It’s not supposed to be a place to suppress controversial ideas. My point was to challenge my own industry — to look my academic peers in the eye and say: “We’ve caused this.”

How refreshing to hear a voice of Christian sanity in a college world that all too often looks like an insane asylum.

That’s the voice all Christians are called to be in this culture. How many of us will stand up and be counted as one of those voices?

The Road Back to Spiritual Sanity

Islamic terrorism comes to Canada. On Monday, a jihadist used his car as a weapon and killed a Canadian soldier. Yesterday, a more concerted attack occurred at the Canadian Parliament. Another soldier is dead and others are injured. The Islamic convert, fortunately, lost his life before he could kill others.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called it what it was: Islamic terrorism. Our president and his administration are still “getting the facts” and “studying” what happened. Wouldn’t want to rush to judgment, you know.

It’s the same mentality that called the Ft. Hood massacre “workplace violence” and the same ideological blindness that declared an Islamic state wasn’t really Islamic.

I’ve lost count of the many times in this blog I’ve put forward my view that Barack Obama lives in a different realm. He has created his own fantasy world where everything is just the way he perceives it to be, regardless of the consequences the rest of us have to live with due to his intransigence.

I won’t jump on the bandwagon that deems him a Muslim. There’s no way he’s a practicing Muslim. He just has sympathy for them because he sees them as trampled by the real evil in the world—Western civilization, and the United States, in particular.

If you ever wanted to know what it would be like to have a president who pretty much despises the heritage of the nation he leads, you now have a prime example.

Then there’s the other side of Obama, the side that is so narcissistic that his own enjoyment comes before the duties of the office he holds. Golf and fundraisers—the things he really enjoys doing—have priority over all else. Under this president, our color-coded threat grid looks something like this:

Warning System

I have little hope he will awaken from his dream world. Some of my fellow Christians will say there is always hope that someone will turn from error and embrace the Truth. I agree. Yet I don’t hold that out as a probability, only a remote possibility. God has given each of us free will. When that freedom has been used exclusively for one’s own personal pleasure and has been wedded to a false ideology for fifty-plus years, the road back to spiritual sanity is hard to find.

One must want to find that road, and that desire is what seems to be lacking.

Meanwhile, we continue to live with the consequences. We probably don’t deserve God’s mercy, but we can still pray for it, since mercy, properly defined, is unmerited favor in the first place.

The Narcissistic President

It takes a special kind of narcissism—a particularly virulent strain—to see the awful effects of one’s policies and continue not only to spout falsehoods about how wonderful those policies are, but to keep blaming someone else for the problems one has caused. Barack Obama has practically created his own brand of narcissism, a malady seldom seen in this strength.

Narcissism is really just another name for supreme selfishness, which is the root of all sin. The medical field, though, shies away from explosive terms like “sin”; that clear-eyed perspective is replaced with non-judgmental descriptions. If you turn something into a disease rather than a choice for which one is truly responsible, it eases the blame. You see, it’s not selfishness; it’s a “narcissistic personality disorder.” Yet even when they try to soften the blow, the description from the Mayo Clinic site is still pretty startling:

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they are superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence, they are vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

The site goes on to say that treatment for this “disorder” centers on psychotherapy. God has a different remedy: recognition of sin, repentance, and forgiveness through the ultimate sacrifice of His own Son.

The current Obamacare debacle has brought Obama’s narcissism to the foreground for all to see. First, he refuses to acknowledge the long-term problem it causes for the economy:

Economy

Then there are the tragic consequences for individuals, consequences for which he doesn’t seem able to “feel” their pain. He’s “sorry” they are experiencing problems, but he can’t bring himself to take full responsibility. His so-called apology a couple of weeks ago was no apology at all. He has never, throughout his administration, shown any willingness to accept accountability for his actions. Even as his key piece of legislation is ready to crash, he continues to believe it can fly. As in the ancient Greek fable of Icarus, he heeds no warnings :

Crash

Then, when all evidence mounts that disaster is looming, he comes up with a quick fix, designed only for one purpose—to help his party retain control of Congress in the next election cycle. What is this fix? Bullying insurance companies to restore policies that he was responsible for canceling in the first place. Again, it’s not his fault; blame the insurance companies who were coerced into his plan. All experts in the field say this cannot be done, especially since it’s only a one-year fix, merely a delay of the inevitable:

The Fix

Then yesterday, at a meeting with CEOs, he gave his most bizarre explanation yet for why his landmark legislation is having so many problems: it’s those darn Republicans! How can one make any progress when they oppose his wise policies? Somehow, in his mind, Republicans are the reason why his website was a joke, why young people don’t want to pay double for insurance premiums, and why the entire program is simply unworkable. There’s really only one prize Obamacare ought to win, and it’s appropriate for the season:

Top Turkey

The president, meanwhile, lives in his alternate world, ignoring reality, and refusing to see any culpability on his part. This is not some disorder; this is just the self-centeredness that has been the hallmark of mankind since the Garden. Unfortunately, when the presumed leader of the free world is neck-deep in it, everyone suffers the consequences.

The Narcissistic Personality in a Position of Power

In church last Sunday, my pastor spoke about people who are fundamentally narcissistic, which is just another way of saying people are principally self-centered, i.e., sinful. As he was going down a list of traits for the narcissistic personality, my wife and I immediately related it to our most prominent political figure. Here’s the list of the manifestations of narcissistic personality disorder. See if you can catch the drift to whom this might apply.

According to a medical encyclopedia, narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves. A person with this disorder may:

  • React to criticism with rage
  • Take advantage of other people to achieve his goals
  • Have excessive feelings of self-importance
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, and/or intelligence
  • Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
  • Need constant attention or admiration
  • Disregard the feelings of other and have little ability to feel empathy
  • Have obsessive self-interest
  • Pursue mainly selfish goals

While this list could probably apply to half of our society, it’s particularly dangerous when it is seen so clearly in the office of the president. I’ve watched and listened to Barack Obama very carefully over the past five years, and I’ve witnessed all these traits come to the forefront. He gets testy when anyone challenges him—he has a slow burn that shows contempt for anyone who disagrees with him—received special treatment to get into Columbia and Harvard, had the gall to accept the Nobel Peace Prize when he had done nothing to earn it, is infamously known as someone who doesn’t connect on a personal level with political opposition, or even those who are on his side in the Congress, and is dead set on doing what he thinks ought to be done [Obamacare, HHS mandates, etc.] with no regard for those who will be hurt in the process. He sets himself up as above the law, ignoring the Constitution, and seeking to rule by administrative fiat.

As for his sense of self-importance, his devoted followers have been ascribing godlike attributes to him from the start, and he has never really discouraged those attempts. Newsweek infamously had this “cover” for its online publication recently:

Can anyone really miss the allusion? Or should I say the illusion? Sadly, and blasphemously, there are those who view him as their version of Jesus. He is the messiah, the one who will lead us into our earthly utopia. Or perhaps he’s like Moses, leading us out of slavery into the Promised Land. The reality is somewhat different:

We’re a society that has been weaned on self-esteem teaching. The fruit of that emphasis has been to create monstrous egos, individuals with an inflated sense of their self-worth. None is more prominent than our current president.

Our response should be, first, to clearly point out this dangerous tendency, not only in him but in the society at large. The second response, though, is equally important: we must show by our lives the opposite of this. We must take heed of the Scriptural admonition in the book of James:

Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” . . . Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. . . . Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

Having read widely in history, I am always struck by the temporariness of power. Those who dominate an age soon pass away, and they become footnotes known only by the experts, and largely forgotten by the masses. No matter how high a man may rise, eventually his influence will decline. Ultimately we all stand before God to give an account. It is good to remember the words of Jesus:

So the last shall be first, and the first last.

That’s a sobering statement. It was given to us in love as a warning. We need to take it seriously.

The Case Against Barack Obama: Character

Yesterday I examined Obama’s roots and the worldview he received from others. Just as important in an evaluation of the man is the character he has developed over the years. Each of us is exposed to many influences that help in shaping our character, but it’s always important to recognize that they are influences only—our path is not determined; how we respond to those influences is the key. Therefore, we cannot blame anyone else for whom we have become.

I say that because in Obama’s case it would be easy to blame his father, who didn’t stay with the family. Just as easy to blame would be his mother, who pushed him away from Western values, Christianity in particular. And then there were his grandparents who introduced him to his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. Obama’s formative years were filled with what I would call pernicious influences. I’m sorry he had such an upbringing, but he is still accountable for how he responded to all those influences.

Abandoned by his father, raised by a white mother and grandparents, he can be excused perhaps for feeling out of place and in need of an identity. That’s probably why he created a fantasy image of his natural father. So in one sense he had a deep need for affirmation as a person. Yet, simultaneously, he was really quite the child of privilege. He never lacked for anything materially. He went to a private high school in Hawaii, then on to Columbia and Harvard later. Those are hardly the credentials of someone who is a hardship case. He even became editor of the Harvard Law Review despite no real writing accomplishments of his own. Many have raised the question of just who paid for all this education, but he has not been forthcoming with that information, and his college records have remained sealed.

By his own admission, he was an active drug user in his youth. There’s also no indication he ever had to work hard at any job to help pay for his expenses. All the privileges he received, along with an active imagination about a heroic father, compensated for his loss of identity. He determined to be part of black America even though he lived primarily in a white family and society. This apparently gave his life meaning.

As I noted yesterday, he became a convinced Marxist by the time he went to college, and also latched on to his father’s anti-colonialism, which made him anti-establishment, anti-Western civilization, and even anti-American since it was part of that civilization.

Because everything seemed to be handed to him on the proverbial silver platter, he became self-righteous and arrogant, traits that made it easy for him to slide into the role of political messiah in 2008. He never really discouraged his adoring followers to consider him as simply another flawed human being. After all, as he stated, his election would be the starting point for the lowering of the oceans and the healing of the planet. No lack of self-confidence there. He also proclaimed that we [kind of a royal “we”] were the ones “we” had been waiting for. As if all of history revolved around the coming of the new messiah. The media should have showcased this arrogance, but instead has become his chief enabler, ignoring the fact that the emperor has no clothes and inventing “scandals” for anyone who dares offer a critique of the One.

Since he has been in office, other traits have come to the surface. Even those around him comment that he is aloof. He doesn’t form relationships with anyone outside his own little circle of confidants, all of whom seem to bow to his every whim. He doesn’t even develop solid relationships with congressional Democrats. It’s almost as if they are beneath him and not worth the time. And as for Republicans . . . well, that’s a non-starter. He will talk about compromise, but never do it, and then blame the Republicans for being obstructionists.

Many have commented on his thin skin; he bristles at any hint of disrespect. Often, he is petty, and lets it show publicly. Two examples. First, when he was making overtures to Republicans about budget compromises, he decided to make a speech and invite Paul Ryan to be there. So there was Ryan, sitting in the front row, I believe, and Obama then turned his rhetorical guns on the Ryan plan for getting the nation out of our deficit mess. Ryan, to his credit, took the verbal assault calmly.

But the more famous example was during one of his State of the Union addresses, when he criticized a recent Supreme Court decision as the justices were sitting right in front of him. It was an attempt to humiliate them in the national spotlight. No president has ever used this important address to berate the court while they were honoring him with their presence. The term “mean-spirited” is not too strong for his actions in both of these cases.

I firmly believe Obama is a classic narcissist. He lives to please himself and won’t take any responsibility for anything that goes wrong. The economy? Nearly four years after George Bush has left the office, Obama continues to blame him for the current problems. And his penchant for not paying sufficient attention to his day job—president of the most powerful nation on earth—is becoming painful to watch. He spends an inordinate amount of time playing golf, attending fundraisers, and partying with celebrities. But he seems to get away with it since we are a nation apparently hooked on the celebrity culture. It seems to be hard to get his attention lately:

The most baffling aspect of all this, to me, is that polls show people find him likeable. Reagan was likeable, as even his detractors admitted; Obama is not. He’s the epitome of the anti-Reagan. His arrogance, aloofness, and narcissism are deadly in a leader. And where is he leading us? That will be the subject of the next two posts.