Christmas on December 25th

Hey, gang, we are going to celebrate the Festival of the Birth of Jesus on December 25th this year. We are going to join with all Western Christians and all the saints who have gone before us for the past 1900 years and more. Now, probably on a facebook page near you, sometime this Advent season you will see someone telling you how the Christians selected the date of December 25th by appropriating the date of a Pagan festival. That is a crock, and an anti-Christian slander, and this article is to explain why.

    Most of you plain don’t care whether Christians appropriated a Pagan date. This is the typical reaction from Christians. We don’t really think that there is anything special about the date, it is just the traditional time for an annual celebration of the Nativity miracle. And, since we believe that mankind is corrupted by sin, and because we are all aware that church leaders have let us down on many occasions, we do not find this tale to be particularly troubling, and it sounds believable. So, Christians are generally not disconcerted by this tale, and we generally accept it without question.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of deference on the part of Christians that allows anti-Christian falsehoods to proliferate. Many Christians, such as G.K. Chesterton, accepted this tale as true. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Christmas (which was written in 1908) mentions this theory with the remark that it is “plausible.” Lots and lots of Christians have simply accepted this anti-Christian falsehood, mostly because it is considered an unimportant detail.

There is much to say regarding this anti-Christian slander, so I will provide some long-winded information and some links for anyone who is interested, or who is cornered by someone who finds this particular assault on the traditional Christmas story to be troubling.

Appropriation theory

Anti-Christians have said that the date of December 25th was deliberately picked to coincide with a Roman Pagan celebration. There are several versions, but here are the two most popular ones: one says that it co-opted a solstice celebration, just getting the date off by a couple of days, and the other says it was to co-opt a festival for Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun god). Both versions are falsehoods that keep going around on the internet.

First, neither the Greeks nor the Romans had a solstice festival before Sol Invictus. Sometimes I have seen anti-Christians on the internet raise the fact that other Pagans definitely did, but that does not hold up. There is no evidence that early Christians were in the business of co-opting dates or practices from the surrounding Greek Pagan culture (they opposed it in many ways), and, even if they were, they certainly would not have gone about picking dates from some far-away Pagan culture.

The second version also fails, on the basis that the Sol Invictus festival was initiated long after the Christians had agreed that December 25th is the most likely date for the Nativity. The Christians arrived at the December 25th date by completely independent reasoning that had nothing to do with any December events.

Mea culpa

The Sol Invictus theory was a speculation by a 12th-century writer, and it was accepted by Christians and non-Christians alike as possible and plausible; in those days it was extremely difficult to access the sort of historical records that would have shed light on this theory. This theory was reported later as fact by a Protestant who was using it as a smear against the Roman Catholic Church. It was spread by anti-Catholic Protestants. It has been picked up and used since the Enlightenment by anti-Christians of all sorts, and it gets spread today on the worldwide web by many who seek to undermine the teachings and traditions of orthodox Christians, both Catholic and Protestant.

Early Christian thinking

The Christians of the second century discussed the likely dates for several events in the life of Jesus, in the absence of precise dating in the Gospels. The matter that got the most discussion was the time of the Crucifixion, which was important for dating the Easter festival that commemorates the Resurrection. They were looking to establish the most appropriate date for this important feast, and were employing a Jewish tradition that held that prophets died on the same date that they were either born or conceived.

The short version of the reasoning is: that before John the Baptist was born, when his father Zechariah received his vision, he was serving in the Temple. From Luke chapter 1:

Now while [Zechariah] was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. …

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21  And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22  And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

The early Christians reasoned that if Zechariah could not be looked in on, then he must have been in the Most Holy Place, behind the veil, and so the event must have occurred during the annual festival of the Day of Atonement, which takes place in September. This was corroborated by a separate line of reasoning that was based on the rotation of the priests, and informed by a comment found in Josephus to backtrack and learn that Zechariah’s division of priests was serving in September.

If Elizabeth conceived John in September, then it would have been March when Mary conceived Jesus:

26 In the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

They set the Feast of the Annunciation as March 25. Nine months later is December 25. This was established long before the first Feast of Sol Invictus. Clement of Alexandria wrote about it near the year 200 AD, as did Hippolytus of Rome. It appears from their writings that the date had been established prior to their day. Sol Invictus was first decreed by Emperor Aurelian in 274 AD.

Summary

Here is an excerpt from an article by William Tighe:

Thus, December 25th as the date of the Christ’s birth appears to owe nothing whatsoever to pagan influences upon the practice of the Church during or after Constantine’s time. It is wholly unlikely to have been the actual date of Christ’s birth, but it arose entirely from the efforts of early Latin Christians to determine the historical date of Christ’s death.

And the pagan feast which the Emperor Aurelian instituted on that date in the year 274 was not only an effort to use the winter solstice to make a political statement, but also almost certainly an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date already of importance to Roman Christians.

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Why I am grateful for the Reformation and Martin Luther

We have just had a big thread about the Catholic Church and it has brought something into focus for me. I do not believe the modern world would have happened without the Reformation. The Catholic Church supported Monarchy, centralized control, and a few men accumulating power.

As conservatives we talk about Scottish and French Enlightenments. Well, one was in a Catholic country and one was not. We know how they turned out. Northern Europe, with its Protestant Work Ethic has long been less corrupt in function that Southern, Catholic, Europe. Capitalism as we understand it was born in Northern Europe, with the Dutch, and later spread to England. Would a Catholic England have taken it up?

Further, it was primarily Protestants who settled America at first. The idea of religious tolerance was born from the friction of different Protestant faiths. Granted, it was also born of that fact there was a Church of England, but the marriage of Church and State is something that Church inherited from the Catholic Church, and America continued the Protestant move away from it. I do not believe that any such thing would have happened in a Catholic dominated America. Indeed, since the Catholic Church supported the Divine Right of Kings, it is hard to imagine that America ditching Kings at all. Maybe, even, not to rebel, since no matter how bad the King, rebelling is in violation of God’s law. Then again, the Catholic French did rebel against their King, so maybe those Americans would have too. One hopes with better results. In England, of course, there was a civil war over that Right. Would that have happened if the nation was still Catholic?

The Reformation also put pressure on the Catholic Church to reform. They don’t engage in people buying their way into Heaven anymore (I know buying out of Purgatory, but since you exit into Heaven, it is still buying your way into Heaven). 1517 Luther posted Thesis. 1567 They were banned. Certainly, in matters of temporal corruption around Monarchy it is much better.

It is clear to me that the world in which we live, the one with America as the Shining City on the Hill would not exist without the Reformation. I do not think that capitalism would have flourished, and with it, all the innovations. We would not have gone to the Moon, or have instant communications around the Earth. Progress would have been slowed, weighted down by an organization more concerned with maintaining its temporal power than with saving souls, as indulgences indicated. Thesis 82:

Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter’s church, a very minor purpose.

I Praise God, and I mean that honestly, that 500 years ago, God inspired Martin Luther to take a stand against the corruption of the Catholic Church, and it allowed the great flourishing of Christianity in the world. Without the Protestant Reformation, there would have been no Adam Smith, no capitalism, No Scottish Enlightenment, no British Empire, and no United States of America.

Thank God, for Martin Luther and his great and grand courage to stand up for what was right against a corrupt regime intent on its own glorification, rather than the glorification of God.

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Michael Rectenwald on Postmodernism, Social Justice, and Academic Conformity

Professor Michael Rectenwald of New York University used to describe himself as a “libertarian communist” and spent many years embedded in the leftist milieu of the academy.  He then underwent an awakening to the madness of political correctness, the social justice agenda, and the absurdity of postmodern intersectional critical studies of dozens of genders and began to speak out on Twitter, eventually publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a book about his experiences and what he learned.

Here is an hour and a half interview of Prof. Rectenwald by Glenn Beck on the latter’s podcast.

This is long, but it provides an in-depth look at the history, intellectual roots, and fundamental errors of the disease which has infected the campuses and is spreading into the larger society.  Say what you want about Glenn Beck, he is a superb interviewer who gets out of the way and lets the guest speak directly to the audience.

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I have seen too much to ever leave the Catholic Church

This morning I was reading over at the other place, as I do from time to time. I read Brian Watt’s post, The Church’s Ongoing Gay Orgy, and the first page of the comments. The first comment was Bryan’s, and he proposed a solution to the gay-clergy crisis:

The laity should abandon the church. Stop giving money. Leave it. Only that will force it to change. It was so 500 years ago.

There are a few ways I can argue why this isn’t a good idea, and they involve using arguments that have already been used over and over, none of which are really my own. And I see that others have attempted this strategy over there.

Rather than rehashing old arguments, I’d like to share something dramatically more personal. I don’t think people here have read my book (and for a couple of you, that’s my fault since I still haven’t sent the copies I promised to send!). I mention the book because it outlines some of my experiences that led me to become Catholic.

The bottom line is that I couldn’t have seen what I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality had I recommitted myself to any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because what I saw about the distortion of those things has its roots and foundation in contraception. Everything that I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality, much of which Protestants can and do affirm, is grounded in the notion that contraception is contrary to God’s plan.

Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase, “contraceptive mentality” in 1981 with his encyclical Familiaris consortio (The fellowship of the family)

You’ve probably all heard of the Catholic phrase, “the contraceptive mentality.” Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase in 1981. I have noticed that the phrase doesn’t seem to make sense to non-Catholics, so I prayed hard for a long time about how to convey the idea in a different way. I finally settled on the following that I believe says essentially the same thing: that fertile opposite sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus. I have used this phrase online many times, and it resonates with people. They believe that they do have such a right. I like this phrase because it captures something dear to people. We all do have rights, and rights are important. The State is obliged to recognize our rights.

Here is how the phrase applies to abortion: if fertile opposite-sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus, then abortion must be legal, because it upholds that right. A right for pregnancy-free coitus positions the unborn as unwelcome invaders. Their humanity is irrelevant because they have violated the right. This is why they can be terminated.

Here is how it applies to same-sex marriage: I’m sure you recall the marriage wars at the other place. Those on offense argued repeatedly that marriage, sex, and children were not linked in a principled way. And in one sense they were correct. What I mean is that contraception is what unlinked sex and children in a apparently-principled fashion. The right to pregnancy-free coitus is so appealing that people don’t realize that it is a new right. It did not always exist.

Because of the new-found right for pregnancy-free coitus given by

Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the ancient Christian teaching on contraception in his 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae (Of human life)

contraception, children are added-back to marriage in an ad hoc, couple-by-couple manner. If sex is a presumptively sterile act, making the ad hoc approach to children the correct approach, then same-sex marriage is logically justified since same-sex couples cannot conceive their own children.

Let me make it clear that when I use the word “right” in this sense, I am not referring to a clearly articulated legal right. I am using the word in a colloquial sense, although certain significant SCOTUS decisions allude to it. For example, see Planned Parenthood v Casey and Obergefell v Hodges.

I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, what God’s full plan is for marriage and human sexuality. I would never have understood this plan so thoroughly had I reaffirmed any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because the Catholic Church is the very last Christian body that understands the problem of contraception.

The gay-clergy and those who affirm them are wrong. They may do tremendous damage to the Church, along with the entire sexual revolution. Much damage has already been done. But for me, leaving the Church is not the answer to the destruction. The question is: who is right about the entirety of the sexual revolution, including contraception? We all think we’re on the “correct” side, but how we got there matters. I know where I stand, where I have driven my stake into the ground, and most importantly, how I got there. I can’t predict the future, but if I ever wanted to leave I don’t know where I’d go. By God’s grace I have seen so much of which I have shared a little here.

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Media v Evangelicals –2018 part 9

Tribalism.

Yes, that stale accusation is making the rounds once again. After a diversion of several weeks, Big Media is now in panic mode since early voting has started. Big Media was distracted by Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and used that as the launch pad for attacks on white women, in an attempt to shame and bully white women who were leaning towards Republican candidates. They showed how desperate they are to wedge voters away from the GOP and President Trump. Now they are returning to more familiar ground, which is continued attacks on white Evangelicals in an attempt to wedge them away from President Trump’s GOP.

Of course the New York Times is leading the charge. They ran an article that purported to provide a political history of Evangelicals: “Religion and Right Wing Politics: How Evangelicals Reshaped Elections.” It is mostly forgettable. It contains several howlers, such as “American evangelicals had long steered clear of politics,” which is silly. It would be better to say that American evangelicals had long been politically divided. This article incorrectly cites the Moral Majority as the beginning of political realignment of Evangelicals. I think that is really clueless. The Moral Majority got its start and gained traction because the Democrat Party started kicking traditionalists and conservatives out and embraced moral confusion. Along the way, the NYT quotes Michael Gerson as part of the “Religious Right.” Ha.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/us/religion-politics-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article

The New York Times also did a feature where they invited young Evangelicals to comment on their personal politics. They said they received 1500 comments. They printed ten or so. It was pretty much what you would expect. The New York Times’s favorite Evangelicals are actually ex-Evangelicals. The young Evangelicals the NYT chose to quote expressed quite a lot of confusion and dissatisfaction with their Christianity.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/us/young-evangelicals-politics-midterms.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

NeverTrumper David French wrote a column at National Review in which he riffed on the NYT comments from young Evangelicals and blamed this youthful religious confusion on Donald Trump. He charged “tribalism.” How tedious.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/the-two-different-temptations-facing-young-evangelicals/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-11-01&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives

My favorite media critics noticed all this, but in this case they are very clever but ultimately less than helpful. They are pro-life Democrats, though, so it is not surprising that they are not up to the challenge of giving this mess the thorough mocking that it all deserves.

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/11/2/thinking-about-donald-trump-young-evangelicals-the-new-york-times-and-screwtape

They did manage to pass along this nice observation:

it’s amazing the degree to which the voices in this unscientific survey that ended up in print — in the world’s most powerful newspaper — sound exactly like you would expect young evangelical Times readers to sound.”

Exactly.

Elsewhere, NPR is rooting for liberal Evangelicals, hoping that they will persuade some traditionalist Evangelicals that Trump is so immoral that they should not vote for him.

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/25/660375278/finding-common-good-among-evangelicals-in-the-political-season

So, as you might expect, a last-minute flurry of attempts to wedge Evangelicals away from President Trump. All of this is oriented towards the midterm elections.

Nothing new; I just thought I ought to put out an update before election day.

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On the Jews

I am currently reading Walter Russell Mead’s book God and Gold, subtitled Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World.  In this book, he discusses the role of religion as one of the forces in the making of the Western Enlightenment societies we have today.  He says this about the Jews in today’s world:

Apart from the significance of Jewish experience to Jews, the survival of the Jews into modern times serves for billions of non-Jews as a kind of historical proof that the God of Abraham is powerful and real.  God told Abraham that he would have descendants who would remember his name–and lo! there they are.  That this unique people, returning almost miraculously against all probability to the land God promised Abraham would support his descendants, is a kind of bone in the throat of the world–a people and a state that can neither be spat out nor swallowed, unable to find rest at “home” or in exile–only further shows billions of Abrahamic believers just how powerful the narrative (or the God) remains after all these millennia.  That world history remains convulsed by the struggles of the Jews to make a home, and that their ethical and military successes and failures reverberate to the ends of the earth, further reinforces the most powerful cultural force that human beings know.

I just love his phrase about the “bone in the throat of the world”, it just works.  And the paragraph above supports what I have come to think of as the role of the Jewish People in the world.

The Jews are the Conscience of Humanity.  You will know when the human race is well and truly doomed.  When the last Jew is gone.

May the Jewish People live, and thrive, Forever.  Amen

[Originally posted at RushBabe49.com]

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An interesting video…. (from Pangea to Today)

An interesting video, granted it’s based on a christian point of view, but still interesting. It seems they, the makers of this clip, have all their ducks in a row.

Noah’s Flood and Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (from Pangea to Today)

Anyone want to take it apart?

Continue reading “An interesting video…. (from Pangea to Today)”

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Spiritual Trends

I was listening today to the August 26 podcast from the late Martyn Lloyd-Jones on “He That Hath Ears” (it’s available on itunes).  He comments that in the 1930s, a spiritualist medium came to one of his services and was converted.  She said that she recognized in his service that there was spiritual power.  But unlike the powers she used or recognized as a medium, it was a clean power.  As our society moves away from Christianity, it will become increasingly irrational (see the transgender lunacy), conformist and intolerant.

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LifeSiteNewsDotCom

LifeSiteNews is a small anti-abortion activist group, pro-life journalism outlet, and news aggregator. It was launched in 1997 as a spinoff of Campaign Life Coalition. Both are based in Toronto. Unless you are a traditionalist Catholic or a pro-life culture warrior, you probably never heard of them.

They have had a lot of excitement lately.   For a year they have been fighting for their life as an organization. They had become very dependent on their Facebook page as their primary way to communicate with their network of donors, most of whom are Catholic families making small-time contributions. Facebook has been waging war against them.

Facebook ghetto

In addition to filtering them out of searches and giving them the “shadow ban” treatment, Facebook has refused to run their ads:

One response that our team received as the reason for Facebook’s disapproval of our ads is equally concerning. The ad pertaining to this response simply showed an image of a pregnant mother holding a photo of her baby’s ultrasound…

I do see that the ad has a fetus and while it involves your ad text and topic, it may be viewed too strong for Facebook to allow to show.

Such viewpoint discrimination is a direct attack on our shared life and family values, and is greatly affecting our efforts to fundraise and spread our news.

Yes, a pregnant woman showing off the ultrasound picture of her baby is “too strong” for Facebook. That is a transparent excuse that says Facebook does not like advocacy for babies. Facebook is enforcing the Culture of Death.

They do this by decreeing that accurately reporting on the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood is “fake news.” Truth is irrelevant; what matters is the narrative.

Facebook recently admitted to combating “fake news” by developing a system that ranks users’ trustworthiness on a scale from 1 to 10. This is determined by users’ opinions rather than objective investigations!

This means that aggressively pro-choice and anti-family Facebook users can rank LifeSiteNews as “untrustworthy” with the simple click of a button – just because they dislike the facts that we publish.

Facebook has therefore made it ridiculously easy for our highly organized, well-financed (George Soros, etc) and hateful opponents to have LifeSiteNews wrongly categorized as “fake news” and our traffic suppressed according to Facebook’s “terms of agreement.” Truth does not matter according to this mob-mentality-serving process.  

Sex scandals

If you are wondering where it was that you recently saw their name, it was because they landed the biggest Catholic scoop of August. In the middle of the Catholic summer of distress over new sex scandals, Archbishop Viganò released a letter that said that Pope Francis and the rest of the Vatican were aware of Cardinal McCarrick’s habit of pressing young seminarians for sex, and also that he had covered for homosexual priests who preyed on teenage boys. Pope Francis had rehabilitated McCarrick in spite of this knowledge.

Archbishop Viganò gave his letter to two conservative Italian journalists that he trusts. He also sent it to LifeSiteNews. Evidently that was the only English-language outlet that he trusts.

Since then, other traditionalist Catholics have gone directly to LifeSiteNews with background and new developments on these scandals.

Search and you will not find

Facebook is not the only internet service that is hostile to pro-life advocates. Several news aggregators have the habit of demoting LifeSiteNews as well as other conservative outlets. So for the past weeks we have seen searches that turned up dozens of articles and editorials that cited LifeSiteNews, but unless you type “lifesitenews” in your search, you will not see their original reporting on the first four pages of results.

Allies

I am not a Catholic. As a Lutheran, the Church of Rome teaches that I am condemned to hell as a Schismatic. Nevertheless I have several Catholic friends, and I find that traditionalist Catholics are my most trustworthy allies in the culture wars. I need strong Catholics to help rescue western civilization from the assaults of Satan.

Please consider giving a little support to LifeSiteNews, either with a few bucks, or by sharing their plight with your Catholic and pro-life friends.

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Media v Evangelicals 2018 part 8

Mass media, the legacy media, you know, those “Lamestream” guys, are keeping me busy tracking their continued attempts to wedge Evangelical voters away from President Trump. One way they do this is to pound on the hypocrisy angle at every opportunity. Of course, Evangelicals continue to provide lots of opportunities.

Hence the #MeTooForChurch series of exposes to detail those Evangelical pastors who have been caught in sin. Particularly notable this summer was the philandering scandal at Willow Creek, which is an Evangelical megachurch with a network of associated churches. Pastor Bill Hybels and his leadership team are out and the church is reeling. Almost every mass media outlet covered it, but all the articles seemed to be derivative of reporting by the Chicago Tribune and Religion News Service. There wasn’t an anti-Trump hook to this story, so it played out in the press the way most church scandals do.

Russkies at the Prayer Breakfast

The New York Times wins the prize for this latest reporting period for an article about the National Prayer Breakfast. The article ran on July 27. The National Prayer Breakfast happened back in February. Why such a late-breaking article? Well, the obvious answer is Russians.

Yes, the NYT ran a hatchet job about the National Prayer Breakfast in which they noted that a couple of Russians were in attendance, including Maria Butina, which, according to them, taints the whole affair and confirms Trump colluded with the Russkies to derail her highness’s path to victory. Now, I would have been content to scoff them and mock them and call them “fake news,” but I saw that one of my favorite media critics, Julia Duin, took them seriously and provided a better response. Here is an excerpt from her post, which includes a quote from the NYT:

The bottom line: I’m just surprised it took the Russians this long to discover what everyone else knew – that the breakfast and its parent organization, the International Foundation, have been organizing “secret” meetings between foreign government leaders and U.S. politicians … for years.

Doesn’t the same sort of thing happen at Vatican embassies around the world? Is this news all that surprising? The key question is documenting the money involved.

What’s more, participants appear to see ultimate value in meetings and relationships seemingly irrespective of the motives of those present.

I would sub in “evangelistic value,” in that the motive behind the breakfast is to pave the way for the spread of the Gospel in foreign countries by inviting their government officials to the breakfast.

Remember, the folks at the breakfast – and the Foundation – are using this as an opportunity to reach the Russians (and others) just as much as the folks from overseas are using it as a way to reach influential Americans.

Well, yes, one of the original reasons for holding a prayer breakfast targeted to Washington politicians was to use it to reach out to leaders of non-Christian nations to persuade them to treat their Christians better, and possibly to persuade both American and foreign politicians of the truth of the Gospel.

Usual Stuff

Of some interest over the summer were media digs at Evangelicals in ways devised to emphasize that journalists think Evangelical Trump voters are all hypocrites. Salon ran an article, but since it is Salon, maybe they don’t qualify as news media. Their article excoriated Evangelicals for being hypocrites on account of Trump’s immorality, and then they paused to celebrate the general rise of sexual immoralities, and then they also celebrated the rise of people who have dropped out of traditional churches. Typical.

The only reason to mention Salon is because they get promoted in the feed at the Google News aggregator. Google promotes their catchy headline, and that is what puts them on my radar.   Their headline stayed in the Google News Spotlight for several days.

Mike Pence, Christianist monster

There was a spate of articles that seemed intended to wedge Mike Pence away from President Trump, or to simply portray Mike Pence as a monstrous theocrat. Since they were all simply rehashing stuff I have written about before, there is no need to give a blow-by-blow. SSDD.

Fundamentalist Racists

There was a more recent example. It was from an Alabama newspaper, but it also got featured prominently near the top of the default Google News page. This one was also intended to chide Evangelicals because they support immoral President Trump. They found a liberal Baptist history professor (he also has an MDiv but I don’t know if he was ever ordained). They quote him extensively saying the usual Leftist stuff:

There are broader issues at play, too, with Trump’s stand on Muslim immigration echoing past religious right alarms against non-Protestant immigrants changing the nation’s faith demographics.

“Trump is, at best, racially insensitive, if not racist,” said Leonard, a former religion professor at Samford University and retired divinity dean at Wake Forest University.

But many evangelicals like his style, Leonard said.

“Fundamentalists vest great power in the authoritarian leader who brooks no disagreement,” Leonard said. “They have an appreciation for Trump as an authoritarian figure.”

Baptists traditionally supported the separation of church and state, but shifted with the rise of the Moral Majority in 1979 and the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. Despite being divorced, Reagan was the choice of evangelicals over Jimmy Carter, a born-again believer and Baptist Sunday school teacher who did not agree with the religious right on many issues.

That is pitiful dreck through and through. “Trump’s stand on Muslim immigration echoing past religious right alarms against non-Protestant immigrants changing the nation’s faith demographics.” This assumes the Leftists’ worst construction of “religious right alarms” about Muslim immigration, insinuating that the concern is with all “non-Protestant immigrants” and alleging that the problem with Muslim immigrants is demographic, which of course is code for racist. I am calling B.S. on Dean Leonard and AL.com and the reporter, Greg Garrison.

I think Dean Leonard has slandered Fundamentalists as well as President Trump.

I recall debates among traditionalist Christians regarding the difficult choice between irreligious divorcee California actor Reagan versus Baptist Georgia farmer Carter. We voted for Reagan. I don’t recall anyone being called “immoral” for making that choice. But I have been called immoral for voting for President Trump, and in fact, I saw that “immoral” smear tossed around again just this week by NeverTrumpers.

And I resent Dean Leonard’s slander that “Baptists traditionally supported the separation of church and state, but shifted with the rise of the Moral Majority….” Did Baptists stop supporting the separation of church and state? He alleges in that article that Baptists want to use the power of the state to re-establish their dominant political position. He is wrong. Baptists are appealing to government to stop coercing Christians into forced speech that celebrates the sins of the protected classes. Baptists and other traditionalist Christians are appealing to government to stop meddling in local bathrooms. The key for Baptists and other Evangelicals is that Team Obama was using the federal government to elevate non-traditional religion over traditionalist religions; we simply wanted the State to cease establishing Leftist religion.

Evangelicals, whether Baptist or not (I am not a Baptist), are politically active because we are defending ourselves against the attacks of the Left, who have been using the power of government, as has been discussed here at Ratburger.org on previous occasions. Leftists may cry “theocrat” but the truth is that they are the ones on offense and we are the ones on defense, and it has been this way ever since the Reagan Administration.

I will close this time with an opinion column that ran at The Atlantic. It was by Peter Beinart, a professor of journalism at CUNY. It was more of the ‘Evangelicals are racists’ stuff that I have been writing about all year. This one seemed to pivot; Beinard did not address himself to Evangelicals and gave no indication that he expected to have any Evangelical readers. He was not trying to wedge Evangelicals away from President Trump. He was giving Leftists permission to consider Evangelicals to be horrible racist, sexist, homophobic, mean persons, as a way to encourage Leftist political activisms. He wrote on the topic of corruption, brushing off all allegations of corruption by Hillary, and focusing on the corruption of Trump. He wrote that Evangelicals were more concerned about people of color corrupting the complexion of America than about Trump’s political corruption.

I think we will see less of the media attempts to wedge Evangelicals away from President Trump.   We have seen a number of pundits and journalists wailing about how, for all their attacks, articles, shows, editorials, histrionics and shouting, the needle has not moved; Evangelicals who support President Trump have remained unmoved.

I will put links in the comments.

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Reflections from the Winter of my Life

Having just turned 74, with several medical conditions consistent with that age, awareness of the vulnerability and mortality I used to work so very hard to fend off and deny, is fully upon me. Although I still work one day a week as an anesthesiologist, much of my time is unstructured. I have completed all the tasks I set forth and have passed all the milestones in life to which I used to look forward. Now, I sense I am just running out the clock, one 90-day prescription renewal at a time.

My children are grown and educated without being indebted. I have actuarially-sufficient savings because, by choice, I always lived below my means. Looking back, I can clearly see how, by directing all my conscious energy toward single-minded pursuit of all the outward and visible tasks (B.A., M.S. M.D., J.D., medical licensure and board certification exams, bar exams, pilot’s license exams, including private, instrument, commercial, multiengine, flight instructor), I left myself no time or energy to examine the broader context of my life. One might say that then, I was a human doing rather than the human being I am today. As this human being, I have (too) much time to ruminate, and my inner pessimist has come to the fore.

These thoughts this Labor Day weekend, were provoked by my reading Herman Wouk’s “This is My God.” You see, at this stage of life, in lieu of external goals I am on an inner quest – for understanding. I earnestly long to understand the meaning of not only my life, but of life in the universe and its destiny. We are either blessed to cursed to live in a time when – if not answers – at least the ability to ask better questions has arisen by virtue of our exponentially-increasing knowledge of the physical universe and of our own biology.

The rate of increase of such knowledge and the technology following in its wake, is unsettling. That is the case to those of us who – in addition to seeing beginnings, meanings and ends of things –  also long to understand the context of our lives in the river of time. In that stream, we flail about, imagining we are free to move according to our will, yet often losing sight of the inexorable flow which takes us wherever it is destined. I suppose it is fair to say that nowadays some are aware of this and imagine we may eventually redirect the entire river. Who knows if humans may one day achieve such God-Like powers.

The main intellectual quest I find myself in this winter of life is an attempt to understand human ontology and, to do that it seems to me, I ought to have an intimate grasp of historical facts and also subjective human experience throughout history – even at times prior to written records. What was it like for early humans to merely subsist? To find water, food, shelter, clothing? To have children?  A third reading of “The Source” by James Michener has given me some insight into this, notwithstanding the fact the book is a work of fiction; it was based in much archeological research for which the author is renowned.

The story, set in a 1960’s fictional archeological ‘tell’ in Galilee, Israel, traces the roots of human existence in that area from the posited beginning to the present. Our ancestors first lived there in a cave adjacent to an artesian well (a source, or Makor in Hebrew) about 50,000 years ago. The particulars set forth in “The Source,” I believe, are generalizable to much of humanity in many times and at many places. It is a stark and plausible adumbration of much innate human behavior whose shadows (at least) are still apparent among us moderns.

I found myself moved to tears a few hours ago while reading the aforementioned “This is My God.”  In a chapter entitled “The Nature of Festivals,” Wouk recounts the deep agricultural roots of the Jews and says:

“But the Torah of Moses, which ordained the festivals,… prophesied that the glories would be temporary, that the people in their prosperity would lose their hold on the law and on their land, and would scatter into exile; and it ordained that the nation should go on observing the festivals wherever they dwelt, to all time. And so we do. Our people has lived for thousands of years in the faith that in God’s good time he will restore the nation to its soil, and that the festivals will take on, in their latter days, their ancient force and beauty.

Meantime – and it has been a long meantime! – these holy days, diminished as they are in substance and in pomp, are bulwarks of Judaism in exile. In Israel, even among the non-religious, they have speedily become national celebrations. To neglect them is to neglect the dikes that hold back the sea of oblivion, and to cheat oneself of pleasant and informing experiences (my emphasis). Words are dry and tenuous compared to vivid acts like clearing the home of leaven (ritually removing all traces of yeast before Passover) and marching with a palm branch. You can listen to a hundred lectures and read forty books on what Judaism is, and learn learn less than you can by carrying out in a single year the duties and the pleasure of festivals.”

The tears resulted from a realization so near that I am surprised I never saw it before. I not only did not identify with the religion and practices of my grandparents, all of whom were Ashkenazis from Eastern Europe who fled pogroms around 1900; I positively rejected all of that in a vain effort to be NOT like my father. Believing I might invent myself de novo, severed from those ancient cultural roots, I tried to fashion myself as his negation. If he was a Jew, I was not. Imprinted by childhood memories of the Depression, he lived out an intense need to have enough money and material things and to believe he had control of most everyone and everything in his vicinity.

He insisted I had to become a doctor and tried to “toughen me up” for life with criticism. He did manage to convince me that the world is generally not a safe place (this, he surely learned, himself, as part of trans-generational Jewish cultural history); this made me hyper-vigilant; I never quite lived up to his expectations of me – I never quite ‘got it right’ in his eyes. The silver lining in all that was that I was also driven to excel, which I did manage to pull off, in the eyes of most everyone else. That long list of degrees and accomplishments, in reality, was my way of manipulating the world at large to get it reassure me that I actually am a worthwhile person, despite what my father thinks. It was also my way of being sure I would always have enough, as I secretly bought into his Depression-based fears of scarcity (all the while denying it vehemently).

The essential insight I had this morning was simply this: here I am, single-mindedly (again!) trying – before I die – to understand the human nature and subjective experience of all those who came before me and lived long enough to procreate yet, all the while, rejecting my own real and uniquely accessible history going back over three millennia!

How and why my ancestors lived is explicitly laid out in the Torah, the Talmud and the extensive oral tradition. Today’s tears are tears of grief and regret over having intentionally denied myself and my children “of pleasant and informing experiences.” That is, I denied me and my children the possibility of having been in-formed, of allowing us to be formed within a known, comprehensible and even a reassuring context. I’m not sure, but I suspect that those who grow up in modernity “in-formed” with such traditions can navigate more surely the river of life in the many dimensions in which we all must navigate.

Much of modern anxiety, an attribute of our times I think,  derives from not only the increasing pace of the current of the river of our lives but also from the absence of landmarks and other navigational aids which culture – including knowledge of history – used to provide. As did I, our culture is about the business of ignoring or revising history. Doing so, in my experience, is a grievous error.

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The Immorality of Trump

Is there a difference between political morals and personal morals?

When the ramping up and campaigning began in 2015, I was dismayed to see Donald Trump in the top half of the candidates who announced.   I perceived him as a bombastic arrogant New Yorker of low morals.   Is that an unfair characterization?

Well, bombastic and arrogant seem undebated; even his fans acknowledge that, and New Yorker seems not to be considered a drawback; he won lots of Southern votes.   What I want to address in this post is related to the way his fans call him an “honorable man” and a “principled man.”   Well, perhaps, but with qualifications.

Sexual Morality

Remember the “Access Hollywood” tape?   Journalists thought it would be an “October Surprise,” but in fear that they would be scooped (they had been holding it back for many months) they rolled it out in mid-September of 2016.   It made no difference to the polling numbers.   This puzzled journalists who knew that Evangelicals’ support was key to Trump’s base.   They had expected the Trump campaign to wilt.   The NeverTrump pundits were even more distressed than Leftist journalists.   They faulted the journalists who broke the story for not waiting until mid-October to drop their October Surprise.

We remarked at the time that it was old news.   Evangelical voters had already absorbed the understanding of Trump’s sexual immorality, and had decided to support his candidacy anyhow.   When the Nevers railed at “rationalizing” and said it was “immoral” to support such an immoral man, we brushed them off.   Our response was “but Hillary.”   The choice was clear.

And there was no question about the immorality of Donald Trump.   He had famously bragged about adulterous affairs with “top women” who were wives of “A-list” men whose names you would recognize.   He clearly had been planning to take up a wife number three at the very time he was planning the wedding with wife number two.   There were rumors of other affairs besides the ones he bragged about.   He said rude things.   He implied in the “Access Hollywood” tape that he was willing to take advantage of his star status to treat women badly.   He was uncouth.   He made reckless accusations in obvious bad faith.

Nevertheless, we chose to support Donald Trump.   He won the Republican nomination on the strength of support among Evangelical voters.   By the time the fall campaign season neared the debates, the revelation of the Access Hollywood tape was only one additional piece of evidence for an aspect of Mr. Trump that was already well known.   And the emotional distress of the Nevers over that issue was revealing of their true position.   Their failure to see that other issues were more important and more relevant was indicative that their moral values did not match our moral values.   Though they are mostly not Christian, they clamored about Trump’s sexual immorality.   They invoked Biblical teachings.

Though we are Christians and promote conservative teachings about sexual morality, we brushed aside their histrionics and continued to support Donald Trump, the unapologetic serial adulterer who famously opined that he felt no need to seek forgiveness.

Does this mean, as the Nevers say, that we have “jettisoned morality”?

No.  It only means that we made a different political calculation than they did.

Political calculus

I don’t care how many times the Nevers stamp their feet and shout that the choice in November of 2016 “was not binary,” that election was a choice between only two outcomes.   But it does beg the question:  why were Evangelicals determined to keep Hillary out of the White House?   Even if that left only one choice, to vote for an immoral man?

With the choice set before us, we chose to support immoral Trump over “moral” Hillary.

So now to explain.   Many of us would question that Hillary Clinton is “more moral” than D.J. Trump.   We are considering the entire range of personal morality, and not just sexual morality.   There are many aspects to the human moral condition.   Perhaps it is appropriate to weigh different vices and virtues differently when making political decisions.

Morals

One of the reasons that western civilization always prized Socrates, Plato and Aristotle was because they were exploring what makes something a virtue and what makes something a vice.   They were looking for a way to make distinctions between good and bad human behaviors, and this became the foundation of western philosophy.

It would have been far better to have grounded western philosophy in Solomon, for the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.   This may not be commonly recognized as it once was in America, but this is common to us Evangelical voters.   We use the Bible as our source for moral learning.   (As the universities embraced modern post-Enlightenment thinking, there was a deliberate shift of philosophy away from the Bible and to a line of thinking that is more directly descended from the Pagan philosophers.   Ethics for business and journalists is a field that draws on the language of philosophy and not on religious language.   When journalists hear terms they think are religious, they think “dog whistle.”)

We Evangelical voters recognize all sorts of aspects to human morality.   Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility were the classical “Seven Virtues” of Christian antiquity.   To those can be added Courage, Justice, Prudence, Faith, and Hope.   They come down to us through the generations.

While we may commonly recognize President Trump as lacking in chastity, prudence, temperance, humility and faith, we also thought he had shown a solid core when it comes to courage, diligence, and justice.   We see this in opposition to his 2016 opponent, Ms. Hillary Clinton.   We think of her as lacking in courage (triangulation and focus-group testing and scapegoating provide the evidence there).   We think of her as lacking a sense of justice (her attacks on Bill’s bimbos is recalled).   She showed a lack of both faith and courage, plus a lack of trustworthiness (which is an aspect of justice), when she disallowed a military response to Benghazi.   Her e-mail scandal, plus the baggage of many scandals from the Obama Administration, counted against her as moral failings.

This sort of evaluation did not necessarily leave us with a sense of balance, but it did leave us with a sense that there were other factors in the political decision that could outweigh Mr. Trump’s moral failings.

Fear

I posted this past weekend about the fears of Evangelical voters.   These have been very badly mischaracterized by Leftists in journalism, religion and politics.   The fear that a Hillary Administration would crush individual liberties was paramount in the consideration of many Evangelical voters.

We did not look to Donald Trump as some sort of spiritual savior.   We did see in Candidate Trump a clear alternative to the Party of Death and Mrs. Clinton.   We were far more concerned with fears that a renewed Democrat Administration could kick the final props out from under western civilization.   That would not endanger our salvation, but it would deprive our grandchildren of liberty.

We made the right choice.

President Trump has exceeded our expectations.   And, every day when I get up in the morning, Hillary is not my president.

Progress

I had been thinking about this when I stumbled across a post at R>.   (I was browsing there in the wake of their banning of our friend Ms. Hypatia.)   The interesting post was by one of their popular Catholic ladies.

She posted to describe how she has turned 180 degrees around in her thinking, just in the past year.   She was an ardent NeverTrumper all through the campaign, and for the first half of 2017.   In the past year she has experienced a complete change of thinking.   She posted to describe her thoughts, and to say that, though reluctantly, she now supports President Trump, and, in fact, strongly supports President Trump.

Her reasoning is that the ascendency of the Left is endangering western civilization to a far greater extent than she had previously realized.   The revelations of how deeply entrenched the Deep State is in the Department of Justice, the FBI and other agencies shocked her into looking more carefully at the threat within, and the hysterical groupthink swarming of Leftist mass media, with their transparent lies, confirmed for her that the pro-Trump conservatives were actually on the right track.

Here are delightful excerpts:

I’ve had to revise practically all my opinions. Maybe the outward civility and personal rectitude of people like George W., Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio actually were a liability. Maybe “principled politicians” like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz really are insufferable and out of touch. Maybe we needed a crude, narcissistic president to make headway in a crude, narcissistic culture. And maybe Trump’s not as bad a person as I’d thought. Maybe he does have some core principles and values down there somewhere, under all the bluster and mess. In any case, he’s getting stuff done, and his media-baiting has served the good purpose of exposing their extreme bias, thank God.

His enemies have proven to be far worse than I’d imagined. I knew Obama was a covert narcissist and a leftist ideologue, a Marxist even. I knew he was governed by an evil worldview that saw America as needing to be taken down some pegs, while peoples marginalized by colonialism were given a leg up. I knew he’d set out to be the great un-Reagan and un-Churchill. He had a Saul Alinskite political MO: ends justify whatever means; isolate a target (like marriage) and destroy it. Pose as high-minded, even-keeled, and above the fray, while really being deeply nasty and harboring contempt for American institutions and the rule of law. And oppose all things Judeo-Christian and conservative, except insofar as they provide a handy cover for a leftist social justice agenda. I knew his appointees were bad guys — either ideologues like him, corrupt opportunists, or both.

But even I couldn’t have believed it was  this bad — that the Justice Department and the FBI would shamelessly deploy the awesome tools of their trade to destroy Trump and elect Clinton, that the mainstream media would openly abandon even the pretense of objectivity to become flagrant propagandists while demanding the deference due to true reporters, that it would become almost impossible to have a conversation with an anti-Trumper (since to defend him is to be instantly shunned as a racist and a fascist), that so many of our institutions would be so decimated so fast.

It’s weird and ironic, but true: our best hope for national salvation lies in rallying round Trump.

I’m back with Rush and Drudge and Ricochet. I’m practically stalking Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hansen. Now it’s David French and Jonah Goldberg I can hardly stand to read. Forget about  Commentary and  The Weekly Standard. How can they not see what’s really going on here?  Who  cares how sleazy and corrupt Trump and his inner circle have been over the years? It’s nothing, just nothing, in comparison with the depth and extent of the corrosion at the heart of things in Washington DC. If we care about our country, we’ll make electing Republicans this November our top priority.

And then the capper came in the comments:

Why is Donald Trump the only person capable of saving the Republic?

Because he happens to be the President right now, and if he’s impeached, the corrupt DoJ and FBI plus their media sycophants will be vindicated and strengthened. Pence will be horribly weakened. The already divided Republicans will be more demoralized and divided, plus alienated from the voters. If he’s strengthened, on the other hand, he will be in a great position to clean house, plus do lots of other good stuff. Weak-kneed Republicans will be more likely to come on board, etc.  I’ll have hope that America can actually be turned back around.

With good moral devout Catholic married white female Nevers like her coming around to a full-throated energetic support for President Trump, I am taking heart and renewing hope that we can forestall the collapse of western civilization for a few more years.

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Fraidy Cat Evangelicals

There is a Liberal strain of Evangelicalism that gets a lot of favorable coverage in Leftist Mass Media.   They are both political liberals and theological liberals.   The thing that makes them popular with Big Media is the way their spokespersons use credentials as “Christians” to bash American Christianity.   In particular, these are the liberal Evangelicals who are Democrats who oppose President Trump, and they oppose Christians who support President Trump.   So we are at the intersection of religion and politics and the culture war.   Lamestream media promote Leftist Christians as a way to drive a wedge between President Trump and his base.

I am writing to address one particular thing that gets said by liberal “Christians.”   I saw it recently on several Leftist blogs, where they were riffing on coverage of the release of a new book.   It did not generate much in the way of media coverage, primarily because Big Media was chasing Mueller investigation squirrels and Charlottesville anniversary racism squirrels.   However, I thought it worth addressing because we have seen it before and we will see it again.

Fear

The topic was “Fear.”   It was said that 81 percent of ‘Evangelical Voters’ had been motivated to vote for Donald Trump by fear.

Well, I agree, but, I strongly disagree with the things that were said.   Some of the things that were said are that the Evangelicals who support President Trump are “mean” “selfish” “racist;” you know, all the usual Leftist blather.   But stick with me and eventually I will get around to a theological point.

The book this time is Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, by John Fea, who is a liberal Evangelical and a history professor.   Last month The Atlantic ran a long feature by Fea.   Near the top, the professor gets to spiritual issues:

Moses told the Israelites to “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” The Hebrew God told Job: “At the destruction and famine you shall laugh, and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.” The Psalmist wrote: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

The Gospel of John teaches Christians that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” St. Luke writes: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Despite all these scriptural passages, it is still possible to write an entire history of American evangelicalism as the story of a people failing miserably at overcoming fear with hope, trust, and faith in their God. But it is also possible to find evangelicals, drawing deeply from Christian theological resources, who sought to forge an alternative history.

Fea then launches into a diatribe, reviewing historical points to trash American Evangelicals of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.   He grinds the ax of how American Evangelicals were fearful anti-intellectual xenophobic racists.   After too many words, he wrapped that up with remarks about racist fear of Obama, and homophobic opposition to SSM.   He pivots to current times with this:

After a recent lecture on Trump and his evangelical supporters, a woman approached me at the lectern and identified herself as an evangelical who voted for Trump. “I am part of the 81 percent,” she said, “but what choice did I have?” I have heard something similar many times from evangelicals who voted for Trump.

He gives a brief review of the Hillary campaign, and then brings out the big trope:

Ironically, some evangelicals have found a savior. They sought after Trump, he answered them, and he delivered them from all their fears.

But other evangelical options are available. Evangelicals are people of hope, not fear. The practice of Christian hope points us to a life beyond this world, but it also requires us to act in such a way that models God’s coming kingdom. The Kingdom of God is characterized by the love of enemies, the welcoming of strangers, the belief in the human dignity of all people, a humble and self-sacrificial posture toward public life, and a trust in the sovereign God of the universe. Fear is a natural human response to social change, but evangelicals betray their deepest spiritual convictions when they choose to dwell in it.

This is a conflation of fears.   Throughout this essay he does what we have seen so often before.   He is mixing up spiritual fear with worldly fear.

Spiritual fear is fear of eternity.   In death there are two directions for your soul to take.   Eternal rest with Jesus, or else eternity in the place that is without God.   Christians can look forward to eternity in the full confidence that the spiritual debt they owe has been paid in full because they have been adopted into the family of God.   There is hope in the blood of Jesus there, and no spiritual fear.

Worldly fear is the fear of bad outcomes in this life.   For most white American Christians this does not mean fear of bad guys in the neighborhood.   That may be a real fear for some, but, politically, that is a law-and-order, justice system issue.   There was a great deal of fearmongering over this issue, but little of the Trump vote in 2016 was manifested as votes for personal safety.

Rather, these votes were for a secure future for children and grandchildren.   The fear was that America would descend into chaos.   First, in rough neighborhoods in blue cities that foolishly degrade and impede their own police forces.   But, later, nationally, as our overextended economy collapses into a new Depression.   These are thoroughly worldly fears.   They are genuine fears, and they are not much related to spiritual matters.

Further to the worldly fears of Evangelical Voters, we feared that the Democrat Party will transform America in an ugly way that will dismantle our free exercise of our traditionalist Christian religion.   We remembered that Hillary said that traditionalist religion “will have to change.”   She was running to become the theologian in chief.

Evangelical Vote for a Sinner

We preferred to vote for a flawed man with the baggage of a past history of sexual sins.   He was pledging to preserve religious liberty.   Our concern was not for our salvation, but for the ability of our grandchildren to live openly as Christians.   They may be saved by the blood of Jesus, but they may find themselves enjoying their spiritual freedom from the confines of a gulag.

It is Democrats who have made Christian business owners in blue states into second-class citizens.   It is Democrats who have threatened Christian colleges and high schools with a loss of accreditation.   It is Democrats who have forced the promotion of sin and forced our children to celebrate sexual sin in public schools.   It is Democrats who have said that traditionalist Christians should not be allowed to hold public office.   It is Democrats who have demonized any personality who has publicly lobbied for limits on abortion.   It is Democrats who promote euthanasia.   It is Democrats who pressed federal meddling into state and local bathrooms.   It is Democrats who deny real data-based science about the climate.   It is Democrats who deny the science of embryology as they promote abortion.   It is Democrats who corrupted the social sciences and humanities with anti-Western and anti-Christian activism.

So, yes, we fear the Party of Death.   They are anti-police, anti-law, anti-justice, anti-religious, anti-Christian and anti-American.   They are the Party that booed God.

We did not elect Donald Trump because we see him as some kind of spiritual savior.   We elected Donald Trump to postpone the day when the Left triumphs and dismantles Western Civilization.   That will be a dark day for everyone, not just for Christians.   Our concerns that led us to vote for Donald Trump were temporal, not eternal.

But they are very real and valid concerns.   Though they are not spiritual fears, the fears are well-founded.   That does not make us “fearful;” it means we have grave concerns that we express as “fears.”   There is a big difference.

Conflating theological concerns with worldly concerns is a deliberate attack on weak-minded Christians, intended to sew confusion and doubt among believers.   They impute to our support for our flawed champion a support of his past sins.   They called us “immoral” for voting for “immoral Trump.”

They are not being honest, which is their habit.   Leftists have always been liars.

Trust Jesus, and trust your instincts.   You knew you could not vote for Hillary.   However much they harangue you with President Trump’s personal faults, just remember that we are not putting our faith in President Trump for spiritual guidance.   The trust we place in President Trump is strictly worldly.   And he has proved to be surprisingly worthy of our trust, far exceeding our expectations.   President Trump should be rewarded with our full support.   He has worked hard to deliver on his campaign promises, rewarding our votes with a political delivery that is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes.

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Colorado v Christians

The process is the punishment.   Just a couple of weeks after the Supreme Court ended a six-year legal ordeal, the Human Rights Commission of the State of Colorado has started a new investigation of Jack Phillips the Christian Baker who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop.

The complainant is a transgender person, who requested a birthday cake to celebrate “the 7th-year anniversary of my transition from male to female.”

Now this is harassment of a businessman for trying to exercise his traditionalist Christianity in his shop.   Even though the legal fees will be donated, this man has spent six years of time in a stressful series of hearings, interviews, interrogations, depositions, and other miscellaneous court proceedings, plus time spent with his own legal team.   He has been facing bankruptcy the entire time as the weight of the State of Colorado makes it difficult for him to tend to his family and his business.

When Leftists scoff that Christians are not under threat in America, Jack Phillips is exhibit A of the rebuttal.    He has just filed for a federal injunction against the Colorado Human Rights Commission.

“Colorado continues its practice of treating Phillips worse than other cake artists because it despises his religious beliefs and how he practices his faith,” the lawsuit claims.

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