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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Pelosi_Impeachment

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C), flanked by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, announces articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Dec 10, 2019.

“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election – that is a matter of prudential judgment.  That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

  • Mark Galli in Christianity Today, 12/19/20

 

As is probably true with most writers, there are times when I find picking a post topic can be difficult.  This week, not so much.  Very obviously, the biggest story over the past few days has been the House of Representatives vote to impeach Donald Trump.  Whatever one’s opinion on the impeachment of the president, it’s a hard story to ignore.

The fact that it’s only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached is enough by itself to warrant commentary.

That the flagship publication of the American Neo-Evangelical movement, Christianity Today, jumped into the fray on the side of removing Trump from office makes an even more compelling case for Protestants to weigh in on this issue.

Seemingly designed to further rub salt in the wound of Trump’s Evangelical supporters, a recent poll by Politico/Morning Consult indicated that 43% of Evangelicals support Donald Trump’s removal from office.

So is it true, as the Christianity Today editorial and the Politico poll would have us believe, that a substantial percentage of Trump’s Evangelical base wants Trump removed from office?

I wouldn’t be so sure.

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“Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”

  • Robert Jeffress

 

“President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at tackling anti-Semitism on college campuses on Wednesday – but one of the speakers at the event said that Jews are going to hell,” thus reported the Huffington Post on Thursday.

Yes, the HuffPo was in a state of high dudgeon that Donald Trump dared to invite to the While House a Christian minister, who actually teaches Christian doctrine.

In this case, the guilty party was none other than noted Southern Baptist minister Robert Jeffress.  At times, I have been critical of Jeffress on this blog. I stand by my criticism.  But today I come not to bury Jeffress but to praise him.

What triggered the outrage at HuffPo and several other news outlets?  I’ll let the HuffPo’s headline speak for itself: “Pastor Who Says Jews Are Going To Hell Speaks At Trump’s Hanukkah Party.”

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Fake News

“You are of your father the devil…When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

  • John 8:44

“I can confidently say,” wrote columnist Paul Craig Roberts in a recent article, “that unless it is an announcement of a traffic accident (terrorist unrelated) or the death of some notable person, everything you read and hear from NPR and the print and TV media is false.  Roberts continued, “The ‘news’ is propaganda designed to control explanations to serve the agendas of the ruling elites.  The ‘news’ is nothing else.  The ‘news’ is extremely hostile to truth and to those who speak it.”

As someone who’s had a life-long interest in the news, politics and economics, I find it hard to argue with Robert’s assessment of the state of the news media.  All of us in the West, it matters not whether you live in the US or any other Western nation, are under constant assault by thought shaping organs of propaganda known collectively as the mainstream media.

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Francis I

Pope Francis

“The national State can’t be considered as an absolute, as an island in regard to the surrounding context.”

  • Pope Francis, May 2, 2019

In spite of the many, clear statements from various popes over the years, the general public still seems to be unaware of the clear and present danger the Vatican poses to the existence of free and independent nation states.

The current occupant of the office of Antichrist, Jorge Bergoglio, dba Francis I, recently expressed his hatred of nation states by attacking “sovereignism” and populism.  According to the Pope, “sovereignism“ is defined as isolationism which he ties to Hitler and those who speak of “Us first. We… we…”

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El Paso

A couple console each other near an El Paso Walmart where a mass shooting occurred Saturday.  Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Mass shootings. What are Christians to make of them? But before we answer this question, perhaps we should sharpen the question a bit, asking instead, What are American Christians to make of them?

The obvious motive for my writing on this subject is the report from El Paso, TX, where another mass shooting has left many dead and injured, not to mention many other traumatized by the sinful violence of the event.

If that weren’t enough, I woke up this morning to hear of another mass shooting, this time in nearby Dayton, OH which reportedly has left 9 dead.

Oddly enough, both these shootings in far apart places – Dayton and El Paso are over 1,500 miles apart – both have a personal connection to me. El Paso is the home of several friends of mine from ThornCrown Ministries, while I personally know a man who currently serves as an officer on the Dayton police force. My friends are all safe, but clearly there are many people in both places who have suffered great loss.

The response from the news media and other Second Amendment foes is predictable: Guns are the problem and must be more strictly regulated. The ultimate goal of these people seems to be the complete disarmament of the American people.

As Christians, what are we to say to this? Certainly, in the wake of such tragedies it is tempting to go along with the anti-gun rhetoric. But we must ask, What does the Bible say about the right of private citizens to bear arms? Does Scripture prohibit private citizens from owning weapons, or does it support their doing so?

Another question related to this is what does the Bible say about criminal justice? Does the Bible call for crime punishment or crime prevention? How we answer these questions will serve to guide us as we evaluate the statements we see in the news concerning the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

The short answer to the first question is, yes, the Bible allows for private citizens to own weapons. To the second question, we answer that the Bible calls, not for crime prevention, but for crime punishment.

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BDS

A screenshot of C-Span at the end of a tally of a US House of Representatives vote to condemn the boycott Israel movement on July 23, 2019.

Congress Shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

– The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Last Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to condemn a movement of private citizens to boycott companies doing business with the state of Israel. Palestinian Omar Barghouti is generally credited with founding The Boycott, Disinvest, Sanctions movement (BDS) in 2005, and since that time the movement has gained supporters in many nations. Claiming inspiration from the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS website states that, “the Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands.”  They are:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall,
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

As the BDS movement’s name suggests, the goal of the organizers is to bring economic and social pressure on Israel to accede to the group’s demands. It is beyond the scope of this post to argue whether or not the goals, methods and motives of those involved in the BDS movement deserve the support of Americans in general or American Christians in particular. Rather, the focus of this post is on the attempts by various Zionist lobbying groups to combat the BDS movement in the United States by shutting down their ability to peacefully protest.

In the opinion of this author, the ongoing attempts by the Israel lobby in America to condemn and to even outlaw private, peaceful protests against the policies of the Israeli government are unconstitutional and represent a grave danger to the American republic. In short, the Anti-BDS movement is a direct threat to one of America’s most cherished liberties, the right to free speech.

Yet despite the grave danger to the American republic, there has been very little criticism of this movement either in the mainstream press or the alternate media. Especially disappointing the apparent lack of scrutiny from Christians, who of all people should be the most vigorous defenders of free speech.

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The Squad_Picture

“The Squad” – Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – and Donald Trump. Getty Images.

“[The government of women] has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing.”

    – John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Timothy

“I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The prime minister’s view is that the language used to refer to these women was completely unacceptable,” said a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May. From New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden we heard, “I completely and utterly disagree with him.” “Wrong and completely unacceptable,” said Justin Trudeau of Canada.

If you haven’t already guessed, all the above quotes were directed at Donald Trump and his well known Twitter storm from last weekend where he invited four first-term, Democratic Congresswomen to, “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Of all the controversial things Donald Trump has said and Tweeted, this one, perhaps, has maxed out the trigger meter the most.

But the rending of garments was not limited to foreign heads of state, as Trump’s tweets created a predictable stir domestically. “I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest levels of government, there is no room for racism,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.” On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution that, “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments.”

Racist, racist, racist. That’s the language the Democrats used when condemning Trump’s tweets. But here’s the thing, nowhere in his tweets did Donald Trump say anything about race. What he did was criticize, at least in general terms, the political stances of four freshman Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Corez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar. The last time I checked, criticizing the ideas of individuals is not racism, so the charge by the Democrats is a strange one.

But this post is not about defending Trump’s tweets or grappling with the reactions of critics foreign and domestic. In the opinion of this author, the President, his supporters and his critics have all overlooked a more fundamental issue, one which I intend to address.

You see, the fundamental problem with the four first-term Democrats is not that they are ethnic minorities. It is not their socialist politics. Nor is it their, at least in some cases, questioning of the almost blind support the US gives to Israel, a state of affairs that very much needs to be questioned.

No. The fundamental problem is that as women they do not belong in elected office.

Yes, you read that right. As women, these four individuals have no business being in elected office.

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