Not Exactly the Return of Seabiscuit

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The only reason why either of the presidential candidates is still in the game is that they each had the very good fortune to draw a terrible candidate as an opponent. And the way the system works, when one of them wins (as it seems one of them must), the world of politicos will not draw the conclusion that one terrible candidate squeaked by the other one—which is what actually happens when two awful candidates race. They will not say that a decrepit horse edged out a spavined horse for the Derby, and that it was the worst Derby ever.seabiscuit

No, the winner, whoever it is, will be hailed as the return of Seabiscuit. That person will have a mandate. He or she won, and has a mandate for rule. And whichever candidate it is, we have to be geared up, ready for opposition.

Now looking around at our resources, I would much rather that Trump win, and Hillary not. This is not because I want Trump to be our leader, but is rather because I would rather fight Trump than Hillary. This election is configured in an unusual way. Usually the presidential election is considered the finals. This year the election is the semi-finals. Whoever wins this round goes up next against the American people.

It is likely that Trump would not need to be opposed across the board. He would do some things that would not be worthy of opposition—quite the reverse, if he keeps his promises concerning the Supreme Court vacancies. But there would also be a number of things that would require opposition from day one. No honeymoon period on those issues. The problem is that if the Republicans hold Congress, and if Trump wins, there will be a large number of folks arguing that we need to let Trump do what he wants, at least for a little while. If Hillary wins, and if the Republicans hold Congress, we can count on gridlock, paralysis, and acrimony, which is a little ray of sunshine peeping through the dark clouds.

Virtually every action Hillary would take would require resolute opposition. Every Executive Order she might sign would need to be denounced by all of us, including the ands and thes.

And now to the central point, which is the point of voter psychology. I just said that I would rather have Trump than Hillary, and it follows that if Hillary goes down, I will breathe a sigh of relief. I think we might be able to survive a Trump presidency, but I don’t think that is true of Hillary.

This being the case, I do understand those Christian brothers who see what Trump actually is, and who say, like Rod Martin does, “I was for the other guy,” but who—because of the Hillary threat—are willing to consider putting a paper bag over their heads and go in and vote for him. I am not going to do that, but I understand those who do.

What is not defensible is the cheerleading for Trump as a man that is going on. What that does is surrender forever the right to make the “character matters” argument—that that is an argument we are really going to need, regardless of who is elected, and we are going to need it in just a matter of weeks.

And this is why, a couple of posts ago, I said that Trump a boorish pig. This drew at least one chiding admonition from a reader, saying that we ought not to talk that way about a leader of our people. Well, yes and no. Paul backed off from calling the high priest a whitewashed wall, citing the Scripture that says that we are not revile our leaders as he did so (Acts 23:3-5; Ex. 22:28). Is there anything else to be said?

Yes, there is. Comparing leaders and rulers to filthy beasts is not at all uncommon in Scripture. Starting with the topic of my post, which was Trump’s boasting in the suave nature of his old reliable crotch grab move, the Bible says that men like that are men who understand certain things naturally, “as brute beasts,” and using that understanding, they corrupt themselves (Jude 10). That is not the behavior of an alpha male. That is an alpha male dog.

Interestingly, certain false teachers made their mark by reviling dignities that were way above them . . . and the apostle Peter compares them to beasts, destined to die in their own corruption.

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Pet. 2:10–12).

Just a few verses later, those who are entangled by this false teaching are compared to dogs returning to vomit, and sows returning to the mire (2 Pet. 2:22).

Jesus called Herod “a fox” (Luke 13:32). In our parlance a fox is clever and wily, or if a vixen, sexy or malicious. But for the Jews, the fox was an unclean animal, and Herod was not being complimented. Remember that this was the guy who had stolen his wife Herodias from his half-brother, executed John the Baptist as a downstream consequence, and this Herodias was also the daughter of another half-brother named Aristobulus. She was Herod’s niece, and sister-in-law, and wife. Not done in the best circles.

Rulers who persecute the church are routinely compared to ravenous beasts (Dan. 7:3ff). John picks up the same theme in his Revelation (Rev. 13:1). And when Saul of Tarsus, with papers from the government, went out to persecute the saints, he is described in terms of his beast-like behavior, ravaging the church the way a wild animal would (Acts 8:3).

In short, character does matter. I do understand those who would prefer this kind of vile to that kind of vile in the White House. But if the price of attaining that goal is to pretend that vile isn’t vile, then the price is too high.

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ME
ME
5 years ago

“Now looking around at our resources, I would much rather that Trump win, and Hillary not. This is not because I want Trump to be our leader, but is rather because I would rather fight Trump than Hillary.” The problem being, people are already being conditioned to blind loyalty. Like so many of our leaders, Trump could start eating live puppies on TV, and people would be willing to spin and overlook it. So I do not anticipate any kind of fight. Not at all. If he is elected we will grant him carte blanche. I believe you contradict yourself… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

ME, I believe eating live puppies on TV would be the one thing he could NOT get away with. Live babies, maybe. But never puppies. Or lions. Or gorillas.
Kitties or anything endangered would start WWIII.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Live panda cubs. The Chinese would fix him for good. Those cute little things are valuable.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Well shoot Cap, you’re very wise. You’ve nailed it there.

Kind of depressing, but if trumps locker room banter had been about grabbing puppies by their privates, he really would have had to resign.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

True enough. Hey, if we had video of Hillary bashing little baby kitties in the head, this would all be over. I’m sure she be toast.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

I doubt you’ll find that. She is a sociopath, but she seems like a cat person.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

That is a very interesting point to ponder. Hitler was a sociopath and he liked dogs. But did he like dogs in our modern sense, where we make them part of the family, or did he like them at a distance? Although I am very definitely a crazy cat lady without, I hope, many sociopathic tendencies, I can much more easily picture a psychopath as liking a cat rather than a dog.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Control freaks would like dogs. Cats would drive them to suicide.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Yes, that’s true. I had forgotten about all that silent disapproval cats give their “owners,” The expressions that would be verbalized as:
– I suppose you realize how foolish you look?
-You should have known at a glance you couldn’t trust him. We all knew.
-Lucky for you I don’t mind slumming.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I haven’t detected any sociopathic tendencies in you, jilly, but… since you like cats, one does have to wonder.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“Crazy cat lady” is perhaps, the finest non-speaking character on the Simpsons!????????????

steghorn21
steghorn21
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

My poodle agrees 100%.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

You’re trolling me to get me in trouble with Jilly, aren’t you? Nice try, Mr. President, but unless you have a Zapruder film of me hatin’ on a cat, it aint happening. :)

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

No,no. Definitely a cat person. The sort that has telepathic communication with her cats.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

LOL. I’m not so wise–just a big dumb guy in a plaid flannel shirt and a dead animal hat.
What you say is true, but isn’t it one of the great ironies of our society that grabbing puppies by the places of lesser honor at any time is shocking and awful, but Beyoncé doing the same thing to herself is called “The Best Half-time Entertainment at the Super Bowl (R) Ever.”

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Well. today I am actually in flannel, too, wishing I had a dead animal for my head. :-)

I saw miley Cyrus trumping herself just the other day. It’s a sad commentary on our culture.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

We keep praying “thy kingdom come” without a clear picture of what that actually means. He said this wasn’t gonna be easy but all the Elmer’s glue, macaroni, and glitter in Sunday School kinda confused the issue.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Trump’s new product: Harambe Steaks!

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Totally agree! I have been shocked at the people who have switched away from fundamental conservative principles because of Trump. On Planned Parenthood (they do wonderful things), on trade (the GOP drafted Nafta remember), and even on 9/11 and bush (Bush is to blame not Clinton).

No. No one will fight Trump if he gets elected. He is a bully who does his own thing. The best thing for this country is for him to lose big and for us to fight again in 4 years.

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
5 years ago

“Character matters” is all well and good, but your view of “character” is rather reductive. There have been numerous stories of Trump being generous with his time and money–at least according to the accounts from his former employees and notable stories such as the time he helped a Georgia widow whose farm was about to be foreclosed. He was the only Republican nominee to show enough concern for the families of victims of illegal alien murder, bringing light to their stories and lost loved ones. He raised funds for disabled veterans instead of participating in the final debate before the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

At least according to public records, which Trump has given no evidence to deny, Donald Trump is one of the most ungenerous people with his money I’ve ever heard of. There’s no evidence that he’s donated any money to charity in the last seven years until the veteran thing happened…and even then, he didn’t donate the money until 5 months later when a NYT article called him out on it. He has a “Trump Foundation” but he hasn’t put any of his own money into it since 2008, and frequently uses the foundation to curry political favors (donated to A.G.’s… Read more »

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
5 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

Haha. Someone believed trump’s bit!

Trump gives nothing to charity. He didn’t care about immigration until he ran for president (he actually condemned Romney for being too hard on immigrants). He has been a life long liberal bedding random women, giving to liberal politicians, and using eminent domain to steal from people less powerful than himself.

Waa waa. It is always both sad and funny when a fellow Christian is naive enough to fall for crappy PR like this….

Zachary Hurt
5 years ago

Hi Doug, I fully agree that pretending Trump isn’t just as bad on the inside as he appears for all the world to be on the outside is foolish and wrong. What I never have been able to agree with is wanting Trump to win, but refusing to vote for him. As you pointed out, a battle is coming either way. But we might as well vote to occupy a more advantageous battle ground (e.g. one not as exposed to constant SCOTUS attacks from the rear). I guess it comes down to be able to divorce voting for an outcome… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

I have to wonder who your audience is for this piece. Liking or approving of Trump isn’t necessary to enjoy the results he’s produced.

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Can we talk about Clinton and Podesta and their ilk creating entryist “Catholic” groups that would work to rebel against clergy and the RCC hierarchy?

We’re not talking about exterior attacks on the Church (I’m protestant, so I mean the Church catholic generally, and not the Catholic Church specifically) via laws or court cases or all the normal stuff — this is attacking the Church by infiltration.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

Can you tell me more about this? Is this to do with Nuns on the Bus and similar groups?

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/6293

To temper my comment, the two groups that Podesta mentions may very well be open and honest about their political leanings and goals. The intriguing part is that Podesta mentions them as being groups specifically meant for this so-called “Catholic Spring”, along with the fact that it’s Podesta who’s talking about it.

The email is dated Feb 11, 2012, so it’s not while he’s been on Clinton’s campaign, and I couldn’t really find much on what exactly was his employ.

Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor
5 years ago

This criticism could only makes sense if Trump were one of our leaders. Trump is not one of our leaders. He’s a vile beast who deserves to be repudiated. If all reproach is to be suspended because someone might be elected to some office at some point in some future scenario, then all reproach is off the table.

If you currently work for Trump, I could see someone arguing that it might not be a good thing to speak reproachfully of him. But then, if you work for Trump, you might deserve to be rebuked sharply.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago

On the other hand, if you work for Clinton, you should be charged with treason.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

I am not certain that the opposition deserved any rebuke, when bill Clinton was our president.

HRC is an unconvicted gangster, and a gangster all the same.

James Boyer
James Boyer
5 years ago

“I think we might be able to survive a Trump presidency, but I don’t think that is true of Hillary”
If possible, could you expand on this point? Does this mean we grab our
heavens harvest, ammo, and youngins and take to the bunker? Will either Trump
or Clinton be worse than Obama? We are heading toward the cliff, but I am
uncertain if Clinton is elected we have set the date we go over.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  James Boyer

Bunkers are for people ready to lose.

Where would you go if you were ready to win?

Posey
Posey
5 years ago
Reply to  James Boyer

Headed toward the cliff? We are off the cliff!

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

Forgot where I saw it, maybe here: What does it profit a man to gain the whole Supreme Court…

Very true. So don’t sell your soul. And whatever you do, don’t vote Democrat.

Billtownphysics
Billtownphysics
5 years ago

I’m confused. You now seem to be supporting Trump without supporting him. “We couldn’t survive a Hillary presidency”?? You sound more premill than post-mill here. We survived 8 years of Obama, I’m sure the republic could survive a term of Hillary. The problem is that the GOP is gutting itself with the Samurai sword of Trump. We could end up losing both houses AND getting Hillary. That would be a disaster but that is what seems to be happening. And all of us NeverTrumpers will get the blame, even though we predicted this would happen.

Matt
Matt
5 years ago

The power of lesser evil reasoning is truly great to behold.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Ummm, I would rather be mocked than murdered! ????

(Mocking with malice is a lesser evil than murder with malice.)

Most who mock me end up more enlightened!

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

How about subverted and co-opted into a public moral apologetic for a man who is proud of his immorality? No, not everyone willing to vote for Trump is making that apology. But a lot of people, professing Christians included, are. And that’s just as disastrous for the church as locking up pastors.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Who’s doing this?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I’m sorry, I can’t show you my Facebook feed. But surely you’ve heard people dismiss the evil of what Trump thinks is bragworthy behavior (whether real or not) with “that’s just locker room talk” or “rich and powerful men do stuff like this all the time.” It really wasn’t that long ago — I’m thinking maybe 18-24 months — that most of the people I’m hearing trying to mitigate this stuff, would have disqualified a public person who not only talked about this stuff, but acted like it was part of what makes him great. Even Weiner was forced to… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Mainly what I’ve heard is that stopping the invaders and not going to war with Russia are more important than anything else. Do you disagree?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I might agree if I there actually was a candidate that I trusted to do the right thing about that, or anything else. In that mythical scenario, I might have to do some hard thinking.

But that you’ve heard different things doesn’t mean that what I have heard isn’t being said, nor does it make it any less reprehensible in my mind.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

What I don’t understand and will never understand is why people believe one word out of his mouth. Everything about him screams liar to me.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean
jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

Well, that’s depressing!

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Serious question. The political elite, rich and famous have always acted in a reprehensible manner. It confuses me that Mr. Trump is the first to draw this fire from Christians. Why not McCain? Why not Romney?

Edited because I’m not trying to be snotty, but it sounded like I was.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

McCain and Romney are known for thinking being aggressively lewd is something you impress people with? When did this come out? The MSM must have been falling down on the job because all I can remember from 2012 is something about a dog on a car, being too rich, and using awkward language to talk about recruiting women onto your team. Surely evidence of boasting about being the man who can shame any woman he wants to and they’ll like it, should have been more widely publicized. I’m not saying either of those two men was above reproach. I’m saying… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Thanks, that helps. I think the problem is one of apparent hypocrisy. McCain was having an affair with wife #2 while married to wife #1. Where were the Christian leaders shouting that this reflected on his moral character and he was therefore unfit to be president? Romney is not even a Christian, although he plays one on TV. Where were the protests against having a non-Christian hold the highest seat in the land? Do you see the problem? NeverTrumpers have poor credibility because they seem to have suddenly grown a moral compass for this election. This self-serving ‘just add holy… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

There was criticism of McCain’s adultery when he ran against Obama. But did people object to Reagan’s adultery before he married Nancy?

I think that the rules about adultery have certainly changed so that we don’t automatically disqualify a candidate for a past adultery. My objection to Trump does not depend on whether there was a single adulterous affair in his past.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I forgot about Reagan!

But why don’t we disqualify them, Jilly? Is it too much to ask that a man running for president have been faithful to his wife his whole life?

Ugh. I hate what we’ve become.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Yes, I think it is probably too much to ask now. It oughtn’t to be, but it probably is. But I am willing to draw distinctions. Did the adultery happen long ago, or was it last month? Was it a lapse in an otherwise reasonably virtuous life, or is it part of a consistent pattern of conduct? Does the candidate view it with shame, or does he see it as no big deal? Does the candidate have a history of breaking other public promises? Was it worsened by factors that made it even more of a betrayal (McCain’s first wife… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Refresh my memory, I had never heard that it was clear that Reagan was involved in adultery before he married Nancy.

But like you, “my objection to Trump does not depend on whether there was a single adulterous affair in his past.”

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

After scouring the Internet, I have not found more than allegations and speculation. It certainly was not with Nancy. It seems pretty clear that he was became involved with Jane Wyman while she was still married but Reagan was not married at the time. So, I apologize and retract, because I would not hang a dog on the kind of evidence I read.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Lady Dunsworth, “According to the book, called Love Triangle: Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis, the only divorcee ever to become President was far from immune to the temptations of Hollywood.” I had heard, via a conservative columnist that Reagan was randy before he setteled down. While not ideal, his narrative is quite common. For instance, so far as I know, my Christian parents were faithful to eachother for their whole lives, as I am to my wife. If I found out different, about either of my parents, I would still think the same of them, due to the… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Missed this. Spot on.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Whether only Christians should be elected to office in this country is, IMO, a different question from whether bad character traits should be justified or dismissed.

As I mentioned in another comment, “in spite of” is a different position from “it doesn’t matter anyway” or “that’s not a problem, that’s just how people are.” It is to the latter I more strongly object and I believe that’s the kind of thing Wilson is talking about as well.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Thank you. “Whether only Christians should be elected to office in this country is, IMO, a different question from whether bad character traits should be justified or dismissed. I think this points to where we are now. When choosing a non-Christian candidate we have two choices. We can measure them against a Christian standard, in which case they will all fail miserably. Or we can throw away the Christian standard, in which case each person uses their feelings mixed with some quasi-objective scale to determine worthiness. I think most of us have done the latter, which is why we’re arguing… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Is it helpful to distinguish between specific theological beliefs and adherence to Judeo-Christian values overall? I think there are values to which almost everyone pays lip service which can serve as a pretty good standard: overall honesty, truthfulness, fidelity to promises, loyalty, intelligence, self-control, moderation, and so on. What John Edwards did to his wife was offensive to Jews and unbelievers as well as to Christians. When someone’s specific religious beliefs are an issue, I ask myself if they will prevent the person from acting in the national interest overall. Will they prevent the person from upholding the law? Will… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Right, I think it wasn’t that long ago that “non-Christian standards” included not being overtly dishonest, not being regularly abusive toward people you interact with, not treating the women in your life like dirt, etc. Whether everyone prior to now measured up to that isn’t exactly the point.The point is whether it’s valid to hold someone you’re going to try to put in the office of the President to the standard you’d hold your doctor to before you let him near you, or your plumber before you let him in your house. And even more so, when someone fails to… Read more »

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I’d argue that McCain and Romney were at least as problematic as Trump, but for different reasons. However, since you brought it up, McCain has always been known for his foul temper.

“He is the same gentleman who — defending his McCain-Kennedy-Bush ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ — screamed ‘f*#@% you’ at Texas Republican John Cornyn, one of the bill’s leading opponents. He’s also told Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter that he was a colorful anatomical term and referred to Sen. Charles Grassley a ‘#$%^#*^ jerk.’
http://humanevents.com/2008/02/01/john-mccain-the-anticonservative/

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I think his temper was one of the points raised by critics at the time of the nomination. Did he have a presidential temperament, or might he lose it with world leaders?

Was his bad temper due to his time as a POW or was he known to have that before, I wonder.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Conceded. I had forgotten about that. The question then becomes how many people were defending that. I don’t know the answer to it.

Again, my real concern here is not how many people are voting for those guys despite that stuff. It’s how many people feel obligated to justify how that stuff “isn’t so bad.”

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Just for the record, I am saying both candidates are really bad, and one is more criminal , and the other, less criminal or not criminal.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Have you met my pastor?

????????

Also, Donald apologized for himself. No one else has to. People who apologize for wrongs, are not proud of the wrongs, are they?

Saul used to be proud of killing Christians. Paul did recover from that! ????
Hope the Donald and HRC repent and recover from their sins as well!

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Nothing in my wider knowledge of the The Donald’s behavior inclines me to take that apology seriously. I am NOT a cynical person and I believe in hoping for the best and being willing to be scammed for the sake of charity. I’ve taken all kinds of heat for it. But his being genuinely apologetic and regretful for this would be too far out of character to be plausible. Whatever Trump is, whatever those who are still willing to back him might say about him, humility and a serious abjuring of crassness are simply not credible. His pride and his… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

So, you haven’t met my pastor! ???? But anyway, pride is a problem for both candidates. By that measure, one candidate apologizes when busted, the other candidate doubles down on denial and excuses, and her co-conspirators get odd immunity deals and plead the 5th when questioned. I guess my point is, I’d rather think the best of an apology, than to think the best of a perjury. That is a choice we face with these two. Not every sin is a crime, yet every crime is a sin. At the end of the day I think every Justice minded voter… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Aside from any apology for the cameras, did Trump ask God for forgiveness?

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I don’t know. I did not see either. Then after that, I am not the Spirit of God, but I do like what the Spirit of God is doing with both candidates! Luke 12 “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. For us, we… Read more »

mkt
mkt
5 years ago

The problem is the NeverTrumpers should have also been NeverDole/Bush/McCain/Romney as well. They never took a stand as the GOP put forth one milquetoast neocon after another.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

You forgot 41.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Don’t discount them all. Some have been doing our small part to get a message to the GOP for a long time, by not voting for any of those recent candidates. Clearly the GOP didn’t get the message.

Although, I don’t care for the #NeverTrump tag, since I think genuine repentance before God is possible. It would take time to be established as credible repentance, but I wouldn’t say it is categorically impossible.

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Although, I don’t care for the #NeverTrump tag, since I think genuine repentance before God is possible. It would take time to be established as credible repentance, but I wouldn’t say it is categorically impossible.

I was hesitent to use it at first for the same reason. But I reasoned that even if he had a penitent conversion today, while I would immediately welcome him as a brother, by the time it would take to establish credibility (for him it would be rather lengthy), he would simply be too old.

So, #NeverTrump

Carson Spratt
5 years ago

Postmillennialism is in no way tied to America’s survival. We can believe that God is fully in control of everything and yet also believe that a Hillary Presidency would be a greater judgement than the judgement of having Trump be President.

Billtownphysics
Billtownphysics
5 years ago

I feel like evangelical America has become like Israel in the early days of Samuel. “Give us a dictator to rule over us like the other nations.” And God is saying, OK, you asked for it, here is Trump. We want our own American Putin to be a strong man and attack our enemies for us, we have rejected our God and Savior and turned to a human king.

JL
JL
5 years ago

I agree 100%.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

You don’t see any significant differences between Israel in Samuel’s day and America in the current year?

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I think that within the context that Billtownphysics presented, Trump is what the people have been longing for – a strong man who will be our voice and right the wrongs that we have been too weak to address. The difference between Samuel and now is that I think the people are gaining a momentum, much like a tsunami, and with their drive to tear down the government and the media, electing Trump will not satisfy them, but will just goad them onto destroying everything in their path. Of such are dictatorships made. Nationalism can be wonderful, but it can… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Yes, and that’s what I specifically reject — the idea that strength and leadership are fundamentally wicked. Who taught you that dictatorships are necessarily destructive? (Hint: Those who approve of and encouraged our current kingless mess.)

As for nationalism, it originated as a left-wing idea in the 19th century. It’s just a mark of how far we’ve gone that it’s on the right end of the Overton window now. I’m opposed to nationalism in the same general sense that Metternich was — but being opposed to ethno-national democracy is far different from being opposed to distinct nations even existing.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I’m not saying that dictatorship is fundamentally bad, except that we’re supposed to be a republic. So yeah, America becoming a dictatorship would be bad. I’m also not saying that I think Trump is as evil as the NeverTrumpers claim. I actually think he’s both smart and pretty decent by secular standards. He lives by a whole different set of rules than we do because of power and money. It’s always been that way, and I see no reason to be shocked about it. Having said that though, I am disturbed by the weirdly overreaching devotion given to him, and… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

JL wrote: Christian nationalism is best by far, and I pray we return to being a Christian nation. Attempts to wrap the Christian faith in a national flag is part of the idolatry that got us where we are. The beauty of the Christian faith is that we are given a new primary identity (and table fellowship) that transcends nationality. This is something globalists envy, and desire, but can’t counterfeit. Unfortunately, we still see many Christians who are Christians second. They don’t see Christ in other ethnicities besides their own. At least not in any practical sense beyond a warm… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

That’s a valid point, katecho. I have struggled with whether one can be a Christian and an American at the same time for specifically the reason you mentioned. At some point one would have to choose to be a Christian or an American. That’s why this election has been so difficult to navigate. Having said that though, I do believe it’s possible for a nation to belong to Christ and be distinct from the nations around it without falling into the superiority trap. Traditions and language are two things that separate nations, but they do no harm to our faith… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

JL wrote: At some point one would have to choose to be a Christian or an American. No, my point isn’t that we can’t be American, or patriotic, as part of our identity. My point is that our primary identity, above our ethnicity or nationality, must be Christ. When Jesus said that we must hate our father and mother to be His disciple, He was not encouraging us to break the commandment to honor our parents, but He was using hyperbole to shock us into seeing the primacy of our new and greater identity in Him. All other identities may… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I agree with everything you said. At what point does being Christian and being American stop being possible? How far does the government have to go before we no longer call ourselves Americans? Abortion? Gay marriage? In the first century, were the new Christians of Jewish extraction still Israel by it’s common definition? What about Bonhoeffer? Was he involved in a plot against the German government because he was a Christian or because he was a German? These are difficult questions I think of almost daily. I find solace in remembering that I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom, but… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

America is a place, like Europe is a place. You can be an American or a European no matter what you believe or where your allegiance lies. (Conversely, if you aren’t from America, you cannot be an American, regardless of what you believe.)

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

It’s not that simple, ashv. God judges nations. This is a question of allegiance as katecho implied, I think.

Even at the secular level, what you say isn’t true. Governments can revoke citizenship.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Governments, countries, and nations are distinct concepts. Countries are places. Nations are people groups, usually extended families. America is a place with a single government (USA) ruling several nations (Yankees, Southerners, Texans, Midwesterners, Westerners, Blacks, etc etc).

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I don’t know that Blacks are a single nation.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

Me neither, and obviously there are different levels of identification people have. One doesn’t have to nail everything down precisely for the concept to be meaningful.

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

You’ve at least got East Coast and West Coast.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

The question of civic disobedience is not an easy one. There are some corner principles though. In regard to our direct action, we are always to obey God rather than men, in the face of any command to sin (through commission or omission). Jesus also taught that it was permissible to pay a tax to caesar, even if caesar was going to use it for sinful things. The principle is that God will not, in the final judgment, connect our subordinate obedience to caesar’s disobedience. Another principle is that general oppression and subjugation is not the same as a direct… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Thank you so much, katecho. That helps more than I can say. We have just started attending a reformed Presbyterian church, and I have been so grateful for the authority structure that I see within the church. There is a real rest in that, and I am excited by the prospects of what that means, especially with what you have just revealed to me. Not that I’m saying that I don’t have to bear personal responsibility for my actions, but knowing that these decisions can and should be established by and through church authority is a relief and makes so… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

I think C.S. Lewis talks about this somewhere. I love my native Canada because it is home, it is where people get that I am flippant without it meaning that I am heartless, it is where I don’t have to hug strangers, and it is where the cheese on my Kraft Dinner is brilliant orange. I also like stuff like the fact we’re good to refugees these days and our prime minister is smoking hot, as well as being a distant relative through marriage. These are all trivial reasons which come down to one thing–it’s where I grew up and… Read more »

Antecho
Antecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The day before yesterday, I was watching a video about a younger and better version of L.A., and thus thought about you; although, you might’ve moved to that area so much later that you couldn’t’ve seen Hill Street like this — which afterwards this thoroughfare seems to have had few, if any, better days. In Youtube’s search bar, typing in the six words “still corners the trip post panic” will bring the 6 minute and 16 second video to the top of the search list. All I ask is that when you play the video that you wear headphones or… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv wrote: As for nationalism, it originated as a left-wing idea in the 19th century. … but being opposed to ethno-national democracy is far different from being opposed to distinct nations even existing. Ashv is opposed to ethno-nationalism? In previous posts ashv flatly rejected “conservatism” as being too soft and compromised. Instead he put forward the label, “right-wing”, to emphasize his differences with conservatism. However, a characteristic of right wing populism is ethno-nationalism (think skin head). Given his past arguments on these very points, it’s a bit odd to see ashv distance himself from the right-wing/ethno-nationalist/populist/self-interest agenda. If he isn’t… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Populism is inherently leftist. Again, it’s impressive how our current rulers have found a way to move to the left of even that.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv has a tendency to declare lots of things leftist (completely disregarding that Hitler was a populist, and so is Trump).

ashv continues to signal that anyone he disagrees with is a “leftist”. Coming from his direction, the word apparently has devolved into a universal insult, and completely empty as a result.

Notice that ashv did not distance himself from ethno-nationalism when given the opportunity.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Since you seem incapable of reading comprehension, I will repeat: “I’m opposed to nationalism in the same general sense that Metternich was”.

You have a lot of rhetorical flourish but precious little substance.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

As Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, of course Metternich would generally oppose nationalist separatist movements by vassal states attempting to break from feudalism. But this has precious little to do with ashv’s comments concerning ethnic white intellectual supremacy.

The U.S. is not a vassal state trying to break away from an empire. Trump is just trying to build a wall and Make America Great Again. That’s a very different kind of nationalism. Ashv doesn’t seem to reject that sort of ethno-nationalism at all. It comports with right-wing populism.

ME
ME
5 years ago

Yes! Amen. That is what I feel too.

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Aw come on, y’all. Yesterday I said Trump was King Saul and didn’t get no love for it.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  jigawatt

I’m a witness. Jiga did.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  jigawatt

And Hillary is Ahab.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

Nah. It’s true that we rejected God a long time ago but the Trump thing is about rejecting sanctimonious liberalism.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

So the first thousand years of Christendom was based on an ungodly understanding of government? Tell me more about this fascinating theory.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago

We don’t want to acknowledge God any longer. We just want someone to Make America Great Again, without any of that repentance stuff.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago

So, you think Ahab is going to be better for us?

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago

I see it as a choice between two Caesars–one who has sworn to be hostile to Christian thought and action and one who is a question mark. Ken Ham made a good point. Paraphrasing, we should pick the one who will interfere with the Gospel the least.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

An interesting paraphrase and surely food for thought as the church has grown the most when it was persecuted to the greatest degree…

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

My point is the opposite: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” This tranquility doesn’t have our personal happiness as its prime directive, but “is good and acceptable to God who desires all men to be saved.”

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

Of course, Ginny. That is indeed optimal, but let us not grow discouraged when it is otherwise for Jesus is always LORD and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church no matter the situation.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Really? Is that why North Africa and the Middle East … and Central Asia, all the way into China (*), are so chock-full of Christians?

(*) There were a lot of Christians in China at one time, many centuries ago (I mean, *before* Columbus). Sure, they were mainly Arian heretics, but they did claim to be Christians.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

You’re correct, Ilion, revival is taking place all over the world. Just not in the West. I’ve read that within 10 years, the “average” Christian will be a Kenyan woman. (That was a deliberate troll on 40A)

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Clearly, you missed the point. You repeated that trite, and frequently self-congratulatory — and false — saying that “ the church has grown the most when it was persecuted to the greatest degree“. I named some areas of the world that were overwhelmingly Christian 1400 years ago, or noticeably Christian 1000 years ago, and in which there are few, if any, Christians today.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

1st century Jerusalem is not 7th-20th century Jerusalem.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

Pardon my “triteness” but, from what I can see, the gates of hell are indeed not prevailing against His Church and Jesus is still indeed LORD.
(Please see below.)

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

You insist upon missing the point, don’t you?

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

Ok, I’ll bite. And what is your point, Ilion?

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Instead of opening you mouth, why not open your eyes: I’ve told you the point *twice* — the trite saying that “the church has grown the most when it was persecuted to the greatest degree” is not true, as even a cursory examination of history will show (and examples of which I’ve given you).

Danl
Danl
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

http://oprev.org/2011/07/persecution-does-it-help-or-hurt-church-growth/ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2016/08/where-christianity-is-growing-the-fastest/ http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/themedarticles-php/1048/11-2008 And, to be fair: http://www.wazala.org/2012-12-does-persecution-truly-bring-church-growth/ So Ilion, there are many, many instances where rapid church growth takes place under persecution. It’s happening right now in China. There are even forecasts that in 20 years there will be more underground Christians in China than there are above ground in the U.S. Yes, there has also been church decline under persecution, and yes, you listed some. But in some of what you listed were churches that had been established for centuries and persecution took place of an entrenched and lazy church, much as we have now in the U.S.… Read more »

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  Danl

Are you stupid, or just pretending to be stupid.
I didn’t say that the church *can’t* grow when under persecution.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

I pray you will be blessed, Ilion.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Ilion

From what I’ve read of “Christian history”, even from the church’s own material, to call almost anywhere “overwhelmingly Christian” 1000 or 1400 years ago is a bit of a farce. I mean, perhaps Ireland, maybe a few other pockets here and there. Overall, though, that wasn’t an especially bright period for the Church. Which overwhelmingly Christian nation do you believe was exhibiting the fruits of Christian obedience in that period 1000-1400 years ago, but where there are few if any Christians today, where persecution was the issue? As Barnabas suggested below, what someone checks on their forms isn’t exactly the… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Doesn’t this make you think of God’s judgment against Israel, to take the good news to other nations?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

I don’t understand where there is any question left. I really, truly do not.

Matt
Matt
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Trump will be hostile to Christian thought and action?

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

No, but any form of conservative Christianity belongs in Hillary’s Deplorable Basket:
http://www.toddstarnes.com/column/meet-hillarys-basket-of-deplorable-anti-christian-bigots

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Well, he certainly is in his personal life, what rational basis is there for thinking he’d be completely opposite in his administration? Isn’t he supposed to be the what you see is what you get candidate? Now I’m told that he’s actually a fake?

Matt
Matt
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

My impression of Trump, which could be wrong, is that he doesn’t care about Christianity or religion in general beyond the Islam-terrorism connection. So while I wouldn’t expect him to do anything in particular to aid conservative Christian political causes, neither would I expect him to actively work against religious freedom laws or anything like that. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s unlikely that he would expend much effort in defense of these things either. So I would rate Hillary as bad on Christianity, and Trump as neutral plus or minus depending on which way the pressures are going.… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

The problem with a president who is ambivalent to Christians is that he’s ambivalent to Christians. I honestly don’t know where Christians fall in Trump’s spectrum of importance. Are we more important than trade deals? Are we more important than health care?

Is a company’s right not to serve based on religious beliefs above or below the Chamber of Commerce? On his website he says that he is against forcing companies to serve people because of religious beliefs, but if it is the Chamber of Commerce against the church which way will he go?

That’s the problem.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Right. Hillary and Obama are both certified Alinskyites. We’re talking about a guy who dedicated his book to Lucifer. They’re okay with mainline, progressive churches but that’s as far at it goes. At worst, Trump is ambivalent. At best, he’s mildly pro-Christian because (a) he sees it as Islam’s enemy (b) his biggest critics hate conservative Christians (the enemy of my enemy is my friend) (c) it’s a traditional American relic and part of making American great again.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Is it possible to speak about Trump without comparing him to Hillary? Yes, Hillary would be far worse for Christians. It’s clear she hates us.

I was only pointing out that being ambivalent to Christians isn’t necessarily a neutral standpoint. He is, after all, a negotiator and will work out deals that in theory benefit all parties. I would prefer a president who holds Christian ethics as his highest standard and who holds Christians in esteem.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

This sums up my position pretty well.

In addition, announcing that you have no need to seek forgiveness is hostility to the most fundamental tenets of Christianity at the most fundamental level.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

A president should be ambivalent to christians with regard to religion. Pluralism demands secularism for obvious reasons.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

No. Not only was this country founded on Christian values, some 80% of us are believers of some sort. To demand ambivalence towards the vast majority so as to cater to a tiny group is the height of arrogance.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

I think it was founded on Enlightenment values such as equality before the law. I don’t think it is catering to a tiny group to treat believers and unbelievers equally.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Only a fool would argue with a Canadian Catholic and an avowed atheist who seems to believe I’m part of some white Christian identity group.

Christian values founded this country and Christians remain the majority in this country. There is equality under the law due to the work and values of Christians.

Now, you are both invited to take a long walk off a short pier. The truth is the truth.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

You certainly get hostile over a simple expression of disagreement.

I agree that the majority of people in this country identify as Christian. I do not think the founding fathers set this up as an explicitly Christian nation. There is not one word of Christian doctrine in the Constitution, and yes, I have read it.

The truth is that the government is not entitled, under our law, to give preferential status to Christians. And do you have some issue with Catholics?

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The US Constitution does not establish a secular government — that’s what post-revolutionary France is — it establishes a non-sectarian government. The US Constitution is a Protestant truce between the various sects.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Equality before the law is a christian value.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

This country was founded by deists yes. But a group who saw the wisdom in protecting believers from the state and vice versa. While the size of your white christian in-group is irrelevant to the conversation re the Establishment clause, I am afraid that your number are in decline. Especially among the young (under thirty demographic) Overall 23% of americans define as unaffiliated with religion- up from 10% in 1990. Among the under thirty set? Only 29% identify as white and christian.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

That depends on what you mean by Pluralism.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

In this case I am referring to the plethora of competing religious claims, each without evidence.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Then secularism demands a lack of pluralism.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

No. And I am defining ambivalent here as neutrality. But you can think about it some more. You might refer to the first amendment.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

If religoius pluralism demamds secularism, you nessesarily posit that all religions be subserviant to secularism, which means that people can’t actually seriously be religious. Therefore religious pluralism is self defeating in your paradigm.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

As secularism has no horse in the race of which competing god is the right god, it is the umbrella under which religious beliefs can peacefully coexist. In my paradigm, religious pluralism is to be tolerated. Nothing more, nothing less.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“As secularism has no horse in the race of which competing god is the right god, it is the umbrella under which religious beliefs can peacefully coexist.”

By relegating religion to the horse track.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Randman! You found another area we disagree on. Well done!

Interestingly, Buddhists also value the sanctity of life and right thinking and actions. As for the rest, if all is Maya, why do you care whether we are a Christian nation or not?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

You may personally disagree with separation of church and state, but yet it exists and is part of our Constitution. Thankfully. As to the other, I will say yet again, I am not a buddhist. However, the dharma suggests one not strive to change one’s feelings and thoughts… or not feel them, but to change one’s relationship to them: not clinging to them, shunning them or deluding oneself. Do not mistake buddhist recognition of impermanence and the insubstantial nature of all things as a manifesto to withdraw- on the contrary. I would add w regard to the dharma that there… Read more »

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“You may personally disagree with separation of church and state, but yet it exists and is part of our Constitution. Thankfully.”

Except it’s not. The phrase is never used in the Constitution. It simply says the gov’t can’t make laws to establish a state-sponsored religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion. And the gov’t certainly has done the latter in recent years.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

It forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits gov. actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion, effectively separating church and state.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion”

Nope. With so few atheists/agnostics back then, that wasn’t even a consideration. Why not admit you’re wrong–you attributed something to the Constitution that’s not there? I know from a past interaction that you don’t like to admitting such things…but you were flat-out wrong again.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

The Cornell University legal dictionary seems to agree with me. What so chafed over this? This is good news for you. And for me. Win-win.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I’m not chafed, but if it really says the phrase “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution, then the downward spiral of Ivy League schools is even worse than I thought.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Look, before I get off to this typically boring apologetic-semantic merry-go-round, let me say this: I get the conservative christian desire to read history backwards. That because the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution, so the argument goes, the document provides for merger of the two. That is untextual, illogical and against history as we know it. Government can’t require its officials to support a church, it may not support a church itself, and it may not interfere with the worship or belief of any church. So is there a serious argument that church… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Hi Mkt, what do you make of John Adams’ Defense of the Constitutions: In his, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” [1787-1788], John Adams wrote: “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. ”

I’ve seen some come close to denying this.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

I have too, and I don’t understand it.

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

It simply says the [federal] gov’t can’t make laws to establish a state-sponsored religion …
Actually, it says a tiny bit more than that. It *also* says that the federal government cannot make laws to *disestablish* as established religion in any of the States, nor may it either require or prevent any State from either establishing or disestablishing a religion.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Yet you are ignoring the foundation of detachment and non-attachment, which is that everything is illusion. This is the reason not to be attached. The dharma does not involve fighting against but recognizing without attachment. So you cannot use it as a reason for arguing against anything.

If you argue, especially with false words, as you did in your explanation of the founding fathers’ intentions, you are not walking the dharma, but have grasped ahold of illusion and proclaimed a truth.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

i am not using it as an argument for or against anything. I am not a buddhist. I think I made that pretty clear no? So, you can take down your straw man. Or keep whacking at it if you get off on that.

And to be clear buddhism does not teach that everything is an illusion. More accurate would be that it teaches the nature of things is impermanence and that clinging to something as I/mine whether physical or conceptual is the cause of suffering (or more accurately dissatisfaction.)

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I see that you are not a Buddhist. If you were, you would understand that Buddhism is not monolithic. There are many differences across the spectrum, and some have carried over the idea of Maya from Hinduism.

If everything is impermanent, then why bother? Everything will be different in another 50 years anyway. Is truth impermanent as well?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

I never claimed that buddhism is monolithic, nor would I. What is your real bone here JL? That religion is for the most part a telephone game of ideas borrowed… from other religions? I agree. Christianity is no exception. The idea of eating the body and drinking the blood of a totem animal to manifest it’s power? Totem And Taboo anyone? The Golden Bough? Do some research- we can also have fun with all the virgin births and being raised from the dead as alleged features of divinity next. Everything will be different in a nanosecond… faster even. Who needs… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“What is your real bone here JL?” I don’t have any particular agenda. I do find you rather fascinating though, and I can’t figure out how someone who is obviously intelligent can not see the obvious hole in your line of reasoning. You have implied that you do not believe in absolute truth, and yet you claim to know things like everything is impermanent. It’s a logical fallacy, and I’m curious why you don’t see it. For example, “Everything will be different in a nanosecond… faster even. Who needs 50 years? This insight can either show the futility of trying… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

I will assume that this conversation is important to you because to admit the changing nature of all things conflicts with your assertion that an eternal unchanging god is behind all of it. But I don’t shoulder the burden of claiming a deity with no evidence. Barring your god, is there some unchanging object in our expanding (changing) universe that I don’t know about?

And re metaphysics, you missed the important qualifier: specious.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Actually that’s not it at all. I know what I think and why. I’m interested in what you think and how you respond to the questions that I asked.

No worries though. They are difficult questions, and as my husband says this type of setting is more condusive for verbal ping pong and not for in depth conversations. Take care.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

Well I don’t know what you think and why, but I do detect an objection behind your questions that you are not giving up. So that was my point. I believe it likely you require it (permanence) to postulate and believe in an idea of a god and a heaven. This of course is my assumption since you won’t actually say it. I could be wrong, but it is behind every conversation here. So re impermanence and the changing nature of all things, I will ask you again: is there something you can think of that would prove the idea… Read more »

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Sorry, Randman. I didn’t mean to hide anything. Of course I believe in permanence. Scripture says YHVH is outside of time and has always and will always be. “So re impermanence and the changing nature of all things, I will ask you again: is there something you can think of that would prove the idea wrong? It is a buddhist idea, not mine. But it is one I find interesting.” Yes, I do find proof that impermanence as either a concept or a fact is incorrect because Scripture says that YHVH exists out of time and has always been and… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

We may indeed be done. As respectfully scripture does not constitute evidence. I imagine that you (rightfully) routinely dismiss other kinds of scripture as evidence. Imagine me holding up verses from the quaran or a hadith as evidence to you. Or quoting from OT level IV materials in scientology. They are equally evidential by your standards. I am not a philosopher and do not know the arguments, so I wouldn’t try to account for absolute truth any more than I would try to account for the big bang. But it makes sense to say that a true statement is one… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“Putting a god in the gap is not a solution. It just complicates the problem.”

Well you’re half right.

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Thank you for that kind reply, Randman. That was beautifully and honestly written. I think your view of impermanence, to some extent, mirrors my own with regards to Scripture. Although I have tried many viewpoints, it wasn’t until I started studying Scripture that everything started to make sense. I can’t ask you to take that worldview nor can I take yours. Having said that, there is truth to impermanence. Everything physical fades away. Scripture speaks abundantly about that, so on that we can agree. Therefore, the real difference between us is whether we recognize that there is an intelligent, conscious… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“This insight can either show the futility of trying to find lasting happiness in what is impermanent, or it can encourage one to examine deeply why we cling.”

So do you think lasting happiness is a futile and or meaningless pursuite?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“However, the dharma suggests one not strive to change one’s feelings and thoughts… or not feel them, but to change one’s relationship to them”

There is no spoon. Don’t try to change your feelings, try to realise that you have no feelings, It is not your feelings that change but you around them.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JL

I disagree with RandMan that pluralism demands secularism. I do think it demands official neutrality on the part of the government. A Catholic president should not use his office to favor Catholics. Atheist and agnostic taxpayers and combat veterans should not be made to feel disapproved of by their government. Jews should not feel that they are not full citizens in the eyes of the government. When we talk about a Christian nation, are we referring to the New England colonists or to the founding fathers? I think that is an important distinction. I think there is also an important… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

There was a quote by Ian Hislop on ‘have I got news for you’, he was asked ‘Aren’t you a christian?’ And responded ‘I’m a member of the curch of england that’s not at all the same thing.’

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I guess we need a king then.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Is it his sexual sins that you speak of? Or what specifically do you see as hostility to Christian thought and action?

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago

Hillary = SCOTUS Elena/Sonia II, III and IV

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

Yes. Agreed. My comment was about Trump though.

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago

Trump is a question mark regarding SCOTUS

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

Yes, I suppose. It may be that he is yet one more establishment plant; but he’s sure putting up a good performance if that’s the case.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

And only someone who is evidently conservative at a philosophical level could possibly be expected to nominate the kind of judges we’d need to make any real progress on restoring the constitution. Constitutional conservatism is so far out of fashion that a wheeler-dealer who wants above all to protect the ability of private enterprise to eminent domain little old ladies and figures that getting his appointees confirmed is part of the art the deal, isn’t a question mark, he’s an “Are you kidding me?” If that’s the make or break reason for voting, you’re taking a gamble with a negative… Read more »

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

You may be right that Trump is no question mark on this, but out of hope, I’m going with Ginny on this one. One more Sotomayor on the court completely detaches the federal government from the Constitution; is what Progressives have been salivating after for 120 years; is what Hillary will give them; and marks the beginning of the end for the United States of America.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago

What is one more Sotomayor going to give us that we don’t already have?

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

As I stated above; a Supreme Court that is completely detached from the Constitution.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago

Why would that happen when it hasn’t happened already? Of course there are those who would maintain it has in fact happened already, long since happened. What do you see in the SCOTUS right now that would substantially change with one more of Justice like the ones already there?

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

So you’re voting for Hillary?

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Hillary was who I had in mind. SCOTUS especially.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

……..So, if we aknowledge that vile IS vile than the price is not too high. (?)
Ok, got it. Both candidates are vile, vote for the one with less criminal behavior. (HRC has the most criminal behavior.) ????

Ilion
Ilion
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Or, to put it another way — vote against the one that you already know will be working to destroy the nation and the Republic … and who you already know will be working especially to destroy Christ’s people within the nation.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Conserbatives_conserve_little
5 years ago

As of yet, neither is out leader, so that biblical prohibition is not relevant

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

“Vote for the boorish pig, it’s important.”

(* this post is for entertainment purposes only. Voting may have side effects. Consult your pastor.)

John
John
5 years ago

“But if the price of attaining that goal is to pretend that vile isn’t vile, then the price is too high.”

… but that isn’t the price. There are plenty of people who’ve been preeminently clear that they strongly dislike Trump, but will vote for him to keep out Hillary.

It’s also not really enough to say that a republican congress might stop Clinton because they won’t be able to stop Supreme Court appointments for 4 years, and once the supreme court is filled with liberals they won’t even need congress anymore.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  John

There are plenty of people doing that, but there are also plenty of people doing what Doug said. That needs to be said and called out for what it is.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I agree, but that isn’t what he said, or at least intimated. To say that the price is too high is to say that you aren’t willing to do said action because of the consequences mentioned. The price he’s talking about is “to pretend that vile isn’t vile,” but that isn’t the price. No one has to pay that price when voting for Trump.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Others may rationalize a vote for Trump differently, but some really are downplaying his vileness. That is the price they are willing to pay by attempting to downplay it.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Maybe I’m just being a stickler on language, but I still disagree. To say that something has a price is to say that you can’t do that thing without paying the price. It’s a necessary cost.
Them deciding that supporting Trump is worth ignoring this vile behavior is just a choice they’re making, and a dishonest one at that, but it isn’t “paying the price.”

Mac
Mac
5 years ago

I can say I am, at the same time, desiring my neighbor’s wife and that I am not. This makes me human. This makes me a sinner. DJT is a sinner and should rightly be called to repentance. “The cure for sin is not changing behavior, but being forgiven. Change in behavior, I turn away from the other man’s spouse and look somewhere else, is a result of being forgiven. But no one wants to be forgiven for what they don’t believe is sin. I want to be forgiven for my orientation to other women other than my wife, of… Read more »

Mac
Mac
5 years ago

Character does matter: *YOUR* character, *MY* character. Vote your conscience; your character is the only real thing in harm’s way this and each election cycle.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago

I asked katecho about “category error” a while ago. Dear pastor, you are helping, but I fear not in the way you would have liked.

Codevilla the Prescient sees far more clearly than you.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

JL
JL
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Really good article. Thank you. I disagree with the timing of the revolution. I wonder if the author will think differently at the end of this month.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago

Here’s a roundup of some evangelical reactions: Mr. Trump’s comments released yesterday—though 10 years ago (he was 60)—are not just sophomoric or locker room banter. They are truly the kind of misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless—not the guy who gets politely ignored, but the guy who gets a punch in the head from worthy men who hear him talk that way about women. I have a wife of 33 years, a daughter, and 2 daughters in law. I am not able to offer my time any further without an obvious “change of heart and… Read more »

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

Does anyone remember Bill Clinton’s God Squad? Three liberal Evangelical pastors claimed to have plumbed the depths of his soul and pronounced him clean. Compare and contrast.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Gordon McDonald of Grace Chaple was one.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

We had left GC just a year or two before. Tony Campolo was another.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Trust me, GC has not improved, even if it has gotten bigger.

Bike bubba
5 years ago

Agreed. Trump is hated by most of the Senate and House, who would pounce on any opportunity to throw him out of office. Hilliary can count on at least 34 useful idiots in the Senate no matter what she does, just like her husband. If I have to vote for a sleazeball, I’ll choose the sleazeball who can be disciplined.

David Mullin
David Mullin
5 years ago

I kept thinking this week that I wished all the outrage over the Trump tape was real; that our elites, our media, our people truly saw the evil of adultery, destroying and demeaning God’s image in women, and sex outside of God’s plan. Unfortunately it is either not real or so soaked in hypocrisy that it’s worse than yawning in the face of the tape. Our nation is addicted to porno, to unlimited sexual license, to adultery, to turniing young women into sluts as early in life as possible, and destroying anyone who gets in the way, including all the… Read more »

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  David Mullin

I wish there were real outrage over the Wikileaks on Hillary. People are MUCH more concerned about what Trump said years before he ran for office than many things Hillary has done as a “public servant.”
I’m not talking about this blog so much as MSM coverage and the overall online reaction.

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
5 years ago

Our guy is Mussolini, but their guy is Hitler.

David Trounce
5 years ago

“Now looking around at our resources, I would much rather that Trump win, and Hillary not. This is not because I want Trump to be our leader, but is rather because I would rather fight Trump than Hillary.” This I agree with, but I don’t think it follows that, “What is not defensible is the cheerleading for Trump as a man that is going on. What that does is surrender forever the right to make the “character matters” argument… ” Can’t we say that, “I am willing to vote for Trump as the lesser of two evils and then fight… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  David Trounce

Yes, but that’s not really cheerleading for him as a man, I think is the distinction he’s making.

David Trounce
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Agweeed

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago

At least Trump didn’t say he was going to grab them by their baptism.

Matt
Matt
5 years ago

Well it looks like you might as well start planning your Hillary resistance. Trump weathered a lot of bad press by just not caring that much, but it looks like he’s done for now. The media keeps talking about sexual assault and downplaying the language, but I think the language is most of it. “…grab them by the…” is what you might call a terrible soundbite, regardless of context.

The good news? Hillary might be a one-termer. She doesn’t have Obama’s popularity to fall back on when the bad news comes in.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

How much you want to bet? Nobody’s going to care about this in a week.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Assuming she doesn’t keel over in the next 4 years…

LittleRedMachine
LittleRedMachine
5 years ago

I’m not sure how fleecing the poor by buying up companies and short selling their stocks to shut them down figures into your ‘character’ litmus test but go ahead and keep up your Romneyism.