Was Donald Trump Chosen to Help Bring America’s Christians to an All Is Lost Moment?


As we thought more about your turning to the Donald in the midst of your fear and anger – instead of trusting in your God – another epiphany began to blossom.

It came to us one day when our team was taking a movie break in our studies. The movie was your famous An Officer and a Gentleman, and Richard Greer, such an astonishing actor laid it out of us…

He is at the bottom. And in great stories, at the bottom the protagonist has a moment, an all is lost moment.

And it made us wonder:


Did God the Great Storyteller choose Donald Trump to help bring America’s Christians to an all is lost moment in the story of America?


Another crazy question, right?

But, look again at these insights from Shawn Coyne…


The all is lost moment is when we discover a lie that we’ve told ourselves and we recognize it for what it is, it’s a lie.

This is Not Normal, by Shawn Coyne

When we discover that there is no easy solution to our predicament and all of our bargaining has left us broken and battered in worse circumstances than if we had faced the problem head on at the beginning, we finally come to the understanding that there is no way we can turn back. 

Our lives will never be the same. We’ve lost. We bottom out in DEPRESSION. 

This depression is dramatized in what screenwriters call the ALL IS LOST MOMENT scene. We despair. There is no way in hell that we’re going to come out of this event anywhere near how we were before it happened. It’s finally clear to us that life will never be the same. 

Shawn Coyne, The Story Grid

The depression moment is the all is lost moment and it’s usually at the end of the middle built. It’s the moment when the protagonist realizes, “Oh my gosh, everything I have tried to achieve has failed. There’s no way I can continue on in the way that I’ve continued my entire life. There’s only one thing I can do. I have to change. I have to figure out an innovation. I have to figure out a way to move forward in my life that will change my life and I have to accept that life for me will never be the same,” and then, you have to move forward and what’s the next stage after depression?

Writing and Depression, by Shawn Coyne

The “All Is Lost” moment — We were talking about that. The All Is Lost moment is really the crucial element of your middle build. We need that All Is Lost moment for your protagonist because that is the moment when they change their world view. It’s not even — Like in a James Bond story. James Bond doesn’t have an internal change, but the All Is Lost moment is literally All Is Lost in a James Bond movie.

It’s when the Saw is about to cut him in half, and he somehow gets away from it. His world view change is all about his finding some brilliant thing in his brain to get him out of the predicament. It’s not an internal moral or ethical shift. It’s like, “Oh! If I hop off this way and put the rope this way, it’ll cut the rope.” Even James Bond has an All Is Lost moment.

Ratcheting Up The Tension, by Shawn Coyne

And it really caught our attention when Paula showed us this…


During an all-is-lost moment, the protagonist realizes they must change their definition of success or risk betraying their principles.

SECRETS OF THE STATUS GENRE, by Rachelle Ramirez, Story Grid

There you go.

So, what if your God chose Donald Trump as a surprise to help bring you to an all is lost moment in the story of America?

And what if what you will experience in America’s unfolding drama is a classic case of the gap?…


It is not a gap between what a character wants and what a character expects to happen. It’s the gap between what a character does at a specific moment in life in an effort to achieve what they want. And they take an action expecting that this action will cause a helpful enabling positive reaction in their world. But a gap opens up when the world reacts more powerfully than they expected, reacts differently than they expected and the world certainly does not cooperate with them. The world in fact is antagonistic and thwarts or blocks their desire for what they want. So it’s a gap between action and result, between what a character expects to happen when they take an action and what really does when they do. That is the gap that we’re talking about.

Robert McKee’s Storylogue Q&A: Opening Up The Gap Between Expectation and Result

“The story lies in the gap between expectation and reality.”

Robert McKee ‏@McKeeStory, May 18 2016


So, look at what this Geivett guy thinks could play out in your unfolding drama…


Socially conservative Christians have long complained that their cultural influence has been compromised. But today, on the eve of Super Tuesday 2016, they have it within their power to stop Donald Trump in his tracks overnight. This is because without them he wouldn’t be where he is in the polls. And as long as they are with him, as long as they zealously trumpet his persona and uncertain promises, they are responsible for his meteoric rise, and they will be responsible for whatever version of America he considers “great,” if he wins the general election. Christians have never been better positioned to make a difference—for better or for worse.

Less than a hundred years ago, Christians in Germany faced a parallel situation. Angered by their military, economic, and cultural marginalization, many forged an alliance with a Nationalist regime that resulted in Nazi fascism. For them at the time, German Nationalism was Christian Nationalism at its best. Nationalism has often been a stepping stone to diverse forms of fascism.

Don’t think it can’t happen here. Don’t think Christians would never fall for that sort of thing. And don’t think that a Christian Nationalist Movement isn’t already gaining momentum. Someday we may even witness the sad emergence of a Christian Nationalist Party.

Donald Trump and the Nationalist Christian Movement, By Doug Geivett, February 29, 2016

So, we’re going to explore how things could go really bad for you.

And that possibility has my team and I thinking a lot about crisis, because we really want to know what you really want, here in the story.

Look at this quote Paula Wong showed us…


A crisis doesn’t ‘make a person’; a crisis reveals what a person is made of.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Prophets

It feels like the conflict between China and America is moving towards a crisis. And it feels like your conflict in America is moving towards a crisis.

And I’m very worried my conflict with Shih Tzu is going to suddenly come to a crisis moment.

So we’re very grateful to Robert McKee and Shawn Coyne for helping us gain a deeper understanding of the nature of a crisis in a story…


Stage Seven brings the story to its crisis, the highest level of tension and suspense.

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

In an extended work, Stages Seven and Eight repeat with a difference and escalate the telling, progressing to its eventual climax. Again and again, the world’s reactions overturn the protagonist’s expectations. The new actions he takes and the surprising effects they cause swing his struggles dynamically back and forth between positive and negative charges that build with progressive power. Reversal by reversal, violation by violation, pressure mounts to the breaking point until he makes a crisis decision to take a final climactic action that irreversibly achieves or fails to achieve his object of desire. 

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

The protagonist pursues her object of desire action by action, turning point by turning point, until a moment arrives near the end of the telling when the most sharply focused conflicting forces in her life now block her path. This is the obligatory scene the audience has been waiting for. At this crisis point, she has exhausted all possible tactics, save one. This powerful moment calls for a major decision. Faced with an array of possible actions, she must choose one last tactic in a final effort to put life back in balance.

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

Crisis is the third of the five-part form. It means decision. Characters make spontaneous decisions each time they open their mouths to say “this” not “that.” In each scene they make a decision to take one action rather than another. But Crisis with a capital C is the ultimate decision. The Chinese ideogram for Crisis is two terms: Danger/Opportunity — “danger” in that the wrong decision at this moment will lose forever what we want; “opportunity” in that the right choice will achieve our desire.

The protagonist’s quest has carried him through the Progressive Complications until he’s exhausted all actions to achieve his desire, save one. He now finds himself at the end of the line. His next action is his last. No tomorrow. No second chance. This moment of dangerous opportunity is the point of greatest tension in the story as both protagonist and audience sense that the question “How will this turn out?” will be answered out of the next action.

Robert McKee, Story

The Crisis is the story’s Obligatory Scene. From the Inciting Incident on, the audience has been anticipating with growing vividness the scene in which the protagonist will be face to face with the most focused, powerful forces of antagonism in his existence. This is the dragon, so to speak, that guards the Object of Desire: be it the literal dragon of JAWS or the metaphorical dragon of meaninglessness in TENDER MERCIES. The audience leans into the Crisis filled with expectation mingled with uncertainty. 

Robert McKee, Story

Now the beginning of the ENDING PAYOFF of a Story is how we Choose to answer our crisis dilemma. CHOICE is the climactic moment when we actively do something that will finally metabolize the Inciting Incident event and Change our lives forever.

Shawn Coyne, The Story Grid

The crisis is the time when your protagonist must make a decision. And the choice that he makes will determine whether or not he’ll get closer to or further away from his object of desires (both external and internal).

Commandment Number Three, by Shawn Coyne

The way the protagonist answers this question will show the reader/viewer what kind of person he is. The characters actions, not his words, define him.

Compelling Crisis questions and the way they are answered are the way to reveal character.

Commandment Number Three, by Shawn Coyne

So, we’d sure like to know what you Christians in America think about this possibility. Or do you even want to think about it?

Because, well, there is a strange story we came across in your Bible which made us wonder if Donald Trump was sent to help bring you Christians to your all is lost moment in the story of America.

It’s the story of a unique King of Israel who came to his own all is lost moment.

His name was Josiah.

And Paula showed us something which is relevant to your love crisis…


From Saul (1 Sam. 15:10) to Herod (Matt. 2:16), the Bible is filled with accounts of stupid, incompetent, and evil rulers—with few exceptions. One of the exceptions is Josiah (2 Kings 22:2, 3:24-25) who tolerated no “disgusting idols” (23:13 GNB). This mordant translation teaches us that when we substitute anyone or anything for God we create “disgusting idols,” which may well be political.

Beware of False (Political) Prophets, By DEACON JAMES H. TONER, Crisis Magazine, APRIL 24, 2018

“Josiah” (“The Lord Supports”) was one of Judah’s best kings. He was one of the reformers who followed David’s good example (v. 2) all his life. A young unnamed prophet from Judah had predicted his birth, by name, long before he was born (1 Kings 13:1-2; cf. Isa. 44:2845:1Mic. 5:2).

Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Notes on 2 Kings

And here is part of his story, in which he comes to his all is lost moment …


Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. And let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house(that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons), and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”

And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.

2 Kings 22:1-10


So, the people of Judah we’re experiencing their own ‘famine’ of the word of God. And that made us think about your current love crisis, with its self-induced famine.

And then Paula showed us this passage…


“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

Amos 8:11


That is not something we expected the Active Protagonist would do. So, we wondered, is that one of those times when he gave people over to what they really wanted?

And could that be what is happening with you Christians in America?

And then Josiah came to his all is lost moment…


When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

2 Kings 22:11-13


Here is an explanation of an all is lost moment


Then when we reach a point in a story, this is what we often refer to as the “all is lost” moment. There’s a moment in pretty much every single story – every single story – where the lead character realizes all is lost. They’re not going to get the woman back. They’re not going to get the loved one to come back to them. Things are not going to be the way they always thought they were going to be.

Change Requires Loss, by Shawn Coyne

There it is…


Things are not going to be the way they always thought they were going to be.


Even though we don’t think most of you Christians are going to take your situation seriously enough, we discovered that many of you look like you are already moving toward your “all is lost” moment in the story of America…


Many serious Christians—Catholic and Protestant alike—have found themselves wondering lately whether American political society is salvageable.

Christianity and American Founding Principles: A Response to Patrick Deneen and Robert Reilly, by S. Adam Seagrave, Public Discourse, October 3rd, 2017

So, let me show you now a fascinating insight from one of your Christian philosophers which shines a bright light on why so many Christians in America are beginning to experience an all is lost moment.

And as you’ll see, this philosopher, David Bentley Hart, understands the power of story…


I have operated throughout from the presupposition that, in the modern West, the situation of Christianity in culture at large is at least somewhat analogous to the condition of paganism in the days of Julian, though Christianity may not necessarily be quite as moribund. I do not, at any rate, anticipate a recovery under current circumstances, and I cannot at the moment envisage how those circumstances might change. Even in America, I assume, despite its special hospitality to transcendental ecstasies and enduring pieties, the intellectual and moral habits of materialism will ultimately prevail to an even greater degree than they have in Europe. And neither a person nor a people can will belief simply out of dread of the consequences of its absence. In one sense, Christianity permeates everything we are, but in another it is disappearing, and we are changing as a result; and something new is in the centuries-long process of being born. I suppose some sort of invocation of Yeats’s “The Second Coming” would be appropriate here, but the uncanny and disturbing power of its lines has long since been irreparably weakened by overuse. It might be better, therefore, simply to note that what it is for us to be human – what, that is, our aesthetic and moral imaginations are capable of – is determined by the encompassing narrative of reality we inhabit. First, for any people, comes its story, and then whatever is possible for that people becomes conceivable within that story. For centuries the Christian story shaped and suffused our civilization; now, however, slowly but relentlessly, another story is replacing it, and any attempt to reverse that process is probably futile. We are not pagans; we are not moved by their desires or disquieted by their uncertainties. We live after the age of Christendom, and cultures do not easily turn back to beliefs of which they have tired or with which they have become disenchanted.

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions

He is on to something.

And he’s not the only one. Look at this…


Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. …. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic. In fact, the 2016 election is sealing the United States’ transition from that republic to some kind of empire. …. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone.

After the Republic, By Angelo M. Codevilla, Claremont Review of Books, September 27, 2016

And look at these Paula showed us…


If you’ve ever wished that you could have been around at one of history’s decisive moments, your wish had been granted. And if you’ve ever wished to be on the side of the beleaguered underdog, that wish also has been granted. The forces of regression are in the ascendancy, and Christian civilization is in retreat.

A Turning Point in History, By WILLIAM KILPATRICK, Crisis Magazine, MAY 24, 2018

We must, then, take seriously the possibility that perhaps nothing will be done to reverse the direction of our culture, that the degeneracy we see about us will only become worse.

Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah

And it appears there have been others earlier who had also been experiencing an all is lost moment…


Again, I don’t have all the answers or even all the questions. But I know that what we have been doing for thirty years hasn’t worked, that while we have been fighting and winning in politics, our culture has decayed into something approaching barbarism. We need to take another tack, find a different strategy.

Letter to Conservatives, by Paul M. Weyrich, February 16, 1999

What Weyrich wrote sure looks like this description of an all is lost moment


The depression moment is the all is lost moment and it’s usually at the end of the middle built. It’s the moment when the protagonist realizes, “Oh my gosh, everything I have tried to achieve has failed. There’s no way I can continue on in the way that I’ve continued my entire life. There’s only one thing I can do. I have to change. I have to figure out an innovation. I have to figure out a way to move forward in my life that will change my life and I have to accept that life for me will never be the same,” and then, you have to move forward and what’s the next stage after depression?

Writing and Depression, by Shawn Coyne

It also looks like many of your fellow Americans are moving the same direction…


Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday.  This worry about the fate of the union tops longstanding stressors such as money (62 percent) and work (61 percent) and also cuts across political proclivities. However, a significantly larger proportion of Democrats (73 percent) reported feeling stress than independents (59 percent) and Republicans (56 percent).

The “current social divisiveness” in America was reported by 59 percent of those surveyed as a cause of their own malaise. When the APA surveyed Americans a year ago, 52 percent said they were stressed by the presidential campaign. Since then, anxieties have only grown.

A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said “they consider this to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”

Americans Are Officially Freaking Out, By Deena Shanker, Bloomberg, November 1, 2017

And you might want to consider where that could lead you as a country…


Men hold their lives cheap when they cease to believe that their culture will endure – because the persistence of our culture makes it possible for our lives to have meaning beyond the brief span of our physical existence. 

David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die

So, was Josiah right?

He was…


So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her. And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 

2 Kings 22:14-17


And as you’ll see in the following verses in chapter 23, Josiah made an effort to bring about massive change in his kingdom…


2 Kings 23:1-24


But it doesn’t look like they wanted what he wanted…


The next king was Josiah. Josiah tried to turn the people back to the Lord, but his reforms were more external than internal. There was reformation, but not revival. The people just did not want to submit to Yahweh.

Notes on Jeremiah, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

And the next verse shows you what Josiah really wanted…


Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.

2 Kings 23:25


But as the following verses showed, the game was already over, because of the sins which had previously been committed…


Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”

2 Kings 23:26-27


That story sounds a lot like the direction your story may be going in America.

And it did catch our attention that King Josiah wanted the opposite of what we discovered Donald Trump really wants.

So, now we are wondering if the opposite of what Donald wants is what he will ultimately experience.

Keep in mind Donald’s claim to be a genius…


Donald J. Trump

✔@realDonaldTrump

….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..

7:27 AM – Jan 6, 2018

Donald J. Trump

✔@realDonaldTrump

….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!

7:30 AM – Jan 6, 2018


So, has considered this?


Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!

Isaiah 5:21


And maybe this Constable guy can help open your eyes to something related to Donald Trump?


Babylon felt secure in mistreating people because her great learning and wisdom in the magical arts had led her to conclude that she was superior and invulnerable. Knowledge puffs up, and one of the delusions it spawns is that people who know more are as morally and ethically responsible as everyone else, since they are not. A corollary is that if I can get away with something, it’s all right. Such thinking forgets that there is a sovereign and righteous God in heaven to whom we are responsible.

Notes on Isaiah, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

And you may want to consider the following verse from a prophecy aimed at Babylon which Paula found in the book of Isaiah.


You said, ‘I am forever— the eternal queen!’

But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.

Isaiah 47:7


Oh, and that caught our attention because of something else Paula showed us …


The country’s rulers stay in power because they censor, imprison, and repress. Yet a corrupt, arbitrary, and insecure leadership knows it could lose power soon. That’s why Li and fellow officials insist on telling us they will rule forever.

Li needs to learn a little Chinese history. “I am emperor, my descendants will be numerous,” said Qin Shihuang, China’s first imperial ruler. “From the second generation to the ten thousandth, my line will not end.” Qin’s line ended a little more than two years after he died.

China’s Communist Party: We Will Rule Forever, By Gordon G. Chang, World Affairs Journal, June 14, 2011

So, we are wondering now if this famous passage is somehow setup for an ironic ending in the story of the Donald?…


Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18


And remember that on September 28, 2015, a group of Christian leaders met with Donald Trump in his office at Trump Tower in New York City, at a meeting pulled together by the now more famous than ever Christian preacher, teacher, leader, celebrity star, Paula White.

And at that meeting Paula White prayed the following blessing over Donald Trump…


Father, we just secure him right now by the blood of Jesus. We thank you that no weapon formed against him will be able to prosper. And any tongue that rises against him will be condemned according to the word of God.


And Paula Wong showed us a passage which made us wonder if Paula White wasn’t right, but wrong …


Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

Jeremiah 23:16-17


So, when Paula White prayed that prayer over the Donald, was she even considering or reflecting on the possibility that your God could be the one who would intervene in the story of Donald?

Because this “Passion Translation” caught our attention…


Your boast becomes a prophecy of a future failure. The higher you lift up yourself in pride, the harder you’ll fall in disgrace.

Proverbs 16:18



So, Donald Trump has helped us to see that, if Christianity is the story we are in, it’s possible the story of America may already be on an irreversible path to its climax.

So, the question…


What if America has already reached the point of no return in her story?


… fits with the Major Dramatic Question:


How Will This Turn Out?


Sudden, massive change may be heading your way.

Make no mistake, that gnawing concern you have about the future of our nation is not delusional. While it’s trendy in Christian circles to make fun of those who see trouble ahead, the Bible makes it clear:


“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household”

Hebrews 11:7


And we couldn’t ignore what Wallnau wrote…


Noah wasn’t paranoid-he was perceptive. 

Lance Wallnau, God’s Chaos Candidate


So, we want to know if you even want to think about these things.



Your Revealing Trump Bargain


What if your God chose Donald Trump to help reveal your fear failure in the midst of your time of trouble in America?

And because of your fear and anger, you turned to Donald Trump.

Because, as the conversation in America is coming to an end, it looks like the silencing of you Christians by our secular story allies has already begun.

And because you Christians don’t understand the advantage you have in America’s story war, our secular story allies have been able to gain the commanding heights. And, from there, they are beginning to remind us of home…


An atmosphere of gloom and despair pervades some cultural-conservative circles, and, at first glance, it’s easy to understand why. There’s no question that hysterical public assaults on Christians or others who dissent from leftist sexual orthodoxy are increasing in volume and frequency. It seems as if every day there’s a new story of an attempt to silence, intimidate, or publicly shame social conservatives.

Cultural Conservatives Have Barely Begun to Fight, by David French, National Review, April 23, 2015

One need not be an opponent of gay marriage to view the backlash against Indiana as an attempt not so much to defend gay rights as it is to coerce and to silence those religious believers who are dissenters from the recent change in public opinion on the issue.

Liberals Have Discarded Religious Liberty, Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary Magazine, March 30, 2015

What has been most striking all along is not the division, the passion, at times the vitriol. What has been most remarkable is the insistence by same-sex marriage proponents that all dissent be silenced—whether through threats of economic destruction, legal bludgeoning, and now, increasingly by appeal to the raw power of the State. The firing of Brendan Eich was a bellwether for what has now become a commonplace: the fanatical insistence that all opposition be squelched, and more—that even belief in an alternative view of marriage be eradicated. In the days since the decision, one newspaper editor has declared that his paper will no longer publish any op-eds that diverge from the “settled” law of the land (as Brandon McGinley shrewdly notes, no such ban has been instituted over opposition to Citizens United), while another analyst has suggested that the dissenting Justices have engaged in “treason.”

Patrick Deneen, AFTER OBERGEFELL: A FIRST THINGS SYMPOSIUM, by Various, First Things, June 27, 2015

In today’s increasingly secular society, the threat to religious freedom comes not at the point of a sword, but from imposed values at odds with the truth that there is a Creator who has given us certain inalienable rights that government is supposed to secure, not supplant. People of faith in America may not be seeing squads of soldiers pounding on their doors in the dead of night, demanding that they renounce their faith or be dragged off. But they are being confronted by lawmakers, bureaucrats, regulators, human rights commissions, and even college deans demanding that they submit to so-called “neutral laws of general applicability” that venerate such concepts as toleration, non-discrimination, and “choice.”

“And it’s okay,” say these modern arbiters of twenty-first century enlightenment, “if you don’t want to comply.” But the catch is that you won’t be able to earn a living in your chosen profession, or you may have to pay a fine, or your club or association or church will simply have to meet somewhere else away from the rest of “polite society.”

Yes, today’s barbarians seek not to end the free exercise of religion with a single knock-out blow, but rather to strangle it until it either cries “Uncle” or suffocates.

A War on Religion?, by Bruce Hausknecht, Public Discourse, October 23, 2012

Unfortunately… it is “common these days for people to try to silence dissent from campus orthodoxies by questioning speakers’ motives, calling them names, disrupting their presentations, demanding that they be excluded from campus or disinvited,” and often “refus[ing] to listen.” As anyone knows who follows the situation at our universities, the refusal to listen is prevalent, and the responses following the election of Mr. Trump show that the “willingness to listen and respectfully engage” is in short supply.

It’s easy to parody the various excesses accompanying trigger warnings, safe spaces, no platform policies, identity politics, the “new segregation” in campus housing, speech codes, lack of intellectual diversity, and denial of academic freedom, but these intellectual pathologies are not at all humorous. Clearly, faculty and students caught in their distortions are harmed, but the damage doesn’t end there. As the university goes, so goes our polity, for the norms and expectations of our common life are being shaped in the classrooms and quads of our universities and colleges.

Rebuilding Cultural and Intellectual Life: An Invitation to Witherspoon’s Summer Seminars, by R.J. Snell, Public Discourse, January 3rd, 2017

Today, when it comes to protecting dissent, something is awry. “Not Welcome Here” has become the overriding sentiment communicated to traditionalist Christians because of their beliefs about marriage, sexuality, and gender. The regime of secular progressivism, with its mantra that “Error Has No Rights,” doesn’t just create concerns for conservative Christians. No, the very possibility of civil society’s embrace of dissent is also being called into question, which means that the American tradition itself is being betrayed.

The stories of dissent being quashed are becoming too numerous to list. College campuses have de-recognized Christian groups because of the behavioral standards required of group leaders. Florists, bakers, and photographers have been told that they must violate their consciences in order to engage in commerce. Adoption and foster care agencies have been shuttered for refusing to place children in family arrangements that violate their convictions. Most recently and most egregiously, the state of California has taken action to deny applicants to Christian schools the ability to gain access to government-backed education loans. The effect of these chilling actions is to render the accused guilty in the court of public opinion. These Christians are violating the sacred totems of secular progressivism.

Religious Liberty and the Fracturing of Civil Society, by Andrew T. Walker, Public Discourse, July 21st, 2016

And if our story allies continue to succeed in using their power to intimidate you into silence, Christians will become an American version of the ‘whisperers’


In a society where it was thought that people were arrested for loose tongues, families survived by keeping to themselves. They learned to live double lives, concealing from the eyes and ears of dangerous neighbours, and sometimes even from their own children, information and opinions, religious beliefs, family values and traditions, and modes of private existence that clashed with Soviet public norms. They learned to whisper.

The Russian language has two words for a ‘whisperer’ – one for somebody who whispers out of fear of being overheard (shepchushchii), another for the person who informs or whispers behind people’s backs to the authorities (sheptun). The distinction has its origins in the idiom of the Stalin years, when the whole of Soviet society was made up of whisperers of one sort or another.

……

The real power and lasting legacy of the Stalinist system were neither in the structures of the state, nor in the cult of the leader, but, as the Russian historian Mikhail Gefter once remarked, ‘in the Stalinism that entered into all of us’.

Orlando Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia

So, is that day returning in its own form for America?


When the Soviet Union collapsed, many surmised that we had entered a post-ideological age, but today ideology is making a comeback. On campuses, in the press, and in some organizations, the division of people into good or irredeemable is commonplace. Could it be that wasms are again becoming isms?

Stalin’s ism, by Gary Saul Morson, New Criterion, November 2017

And perhaps it’s no coincidence the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in his dissenting opinion in the same sex marriage case, warned about the whispering…


Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences.


It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. …. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

Justice Samuel Alito, Dissenting Opinion, Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

And look at this…


In today’s increasingly secular society, the threat to religious freedom comes not at the point of a sword, but from imposed values at odds with the truth that there is a Creator who has given us certain inalienable rights that government is supposed to secure, not supplant. People of faith in America may not be seeing squads of soldiers pounding on their doors in the dead of night, demanding that they renounce their faith or be dragged off. But they are being confronted by lawmakers, bureaucrats, regulators, human rights commissions, and even college deans demanding that they submit to so-called “neutral laws of general applicability” that venerate such concepts as toleration, non-discrimination, and “choice.”

“And it’s okay,” say these modern arbiters of twenty-first century enlightenment, “if you don’t want to comply.” But the catch is that you won’t be able to earn a living in your chosen profession, or you may have to pay a fine, or your club or association or church will simply have to meet somewhere else away from the rest of “polite society.”

Yes, today’s barbarians seek not to end the free exercise of religion with a single knock-out blow, but rather to strangle it until it either cries “Uncle” or suffocates.

A War on Religion?, by Bruce Hausknecht, Public Discourse, October 23, 2012

But we know all this is hard for you to even consider. So maybe you should pay attention to this Colson guy…


The new atheists are exactly like the communist dictators who feared religion more than anything else because it was a competing truth claim. And they would not tolerate anybody who worshiped any other god than Caesar (which takes us right back to New Testament times). The Star of David and the cross of Christ have been a scandal throughout history to every totalitarian leader who encountered them.

In my view, the new breed of atheists is totalitarian. They want total control for their worldview, which says there is no truth. What happens if they can enforce this?

Charles Colson, My Final Word

After all, we know what life has been like for Christians in China…


Without warning, Guo and his neighbors in China’s Christian heartland province of Henan had found themselves on the front lines of an ambitious new effort by the officially atheist ruling Communist Party to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in the country.

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul, By YANAN WANG, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, August 07, 2018

China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people’s lives.

Group: Officials destroying crosses, burning bibles in China, By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, AP News, September 10, 2018

Can’t imagine you’d be game with the same.

But it does look like things have changed in America’s story and that is the direction the drama is unfolding…


The Catholic Church is now the canary in the coal mine. If the religious freedom of the largest Christian denomination in the US is impaired, we Jews will be next.

…. We do not need to forget past injuries by Christians in order to understand that we are now in the same foxhole with our Christian friends on the fundamental issue of religious freedom. It is not only shameful but self-damaging for Jews to turn their backs on the Church as it battles the worst assault on religious freedom in American history. …. Militant secularism is now the greatest danger to freedom of religious observance.

Once again, the Catholic Church Defends the Religious Freedom of Jews –Why Don’t Jews Defend Catholic Religious Freedom?, by David P. Goldman, Pajamas Media, July 17, 2013

The great question now unfolding in our times is: Will we permit government power to be used to strip traditional religious believers of our freedom to live as we choose?

What I Really Think About Christie’s Signing Counseling Bill, by Maggie Gallagher, National Review, August 21, 2013

And you can see it in the religious liberty warnings which came from the same sex marriage ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the summer of 2015…


Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect.

….

Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.

Justice Clarence Thomas, Dissenting Opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

The revolutionary mindset that the Court has perhaps half-witlessly embraced means to eliminate all felt “stigma,” any trace of social “humiliation,” just so that everyone’s “identity” is equally valued.

Doing all that requires a lot more than just a fair shakedown at the courthouse. It requires getting all of our minds right. And so we should expect today’s decision to inaugurate the greatest crisis of religious liberty in American history. I am certain that it will.

Gerard V. Bradley, The Supreme Court Has Legalized Same-Sex Marriage: Now What?, An NRO Symposium, National Review, June 27, 2015

Let’s be clear: Today’s decision will pave the way for an all-out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with it, rights that are protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Supreme Court: Best Politicians in Washington, By GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, Politico, June 26, 2015

The push for gay marriage always included a significant portion of people who simply wanted fairness, as they saw it. But this fairness is not enough for the secular left, which has become more honest about their ultimate goal: the eradication of religion’s place at the center of American public life. They will in the coming months and years seek to use the full power of the IRS to achieve this goal. Those who believe in civil liberty must stand against them, or risk an America where there are no churches and no charities but those the state deems fit to exist – exactly the America the Founders sought to prevent.

The Left Wants To End the Separation of Church and State, by Ben Domenech, The Federalist, July 7, 2015

Slowly and surely, Americans are now witnessing a slow erosion of religious liberty happening in the public square. From backlash at expressing a belief about marriage that results in dismissal, to the real fear that institutions that desire to maintain accreditation may not be able to do so, the concerns registered in the pastare being catapulted into the present.

The Supreme Court and religious liberty: Reason for concern, BY ANDREW T. WALKER, ERLC, June 26, 2015

It is now clear that for this Court, extremism in the pursuit of the Sexual Revolution’s goals is no vice. True, the majority opinion nodded and smiled in the direction of the First Amendment, in an attempt to calm the fears of those worried about religious liberty. But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.

Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country, by Rod Dreher, Time Magazine, June 26, 2015

But the bigger point—the most important point—is contained in the words “at least for a while” and “immediate.” Rauch is not some radical trying to uproot convention and collapse categories by marrying a horse or creating a baby from his sister’s eggs. He makes the most limited case that exists for gay marriage, and he makes it via compelling, good-faith arguments according to equality. He is as serious and high-minded as any advocate of same-sex marriage in America. And by his own admission, serious, high-minded advocates of same-sex marriage will tolerate religious liberty only so long.

One suspects this isn’t exactly the same-sex marriage future that Americans bargained for.

You Will Be Assimilated, by Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard, June 22, 2015

So, just as Justice Clarence Thomas warned in his dissent, there is more  trouble on the horizon…


It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.

The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability.


So, it looks to our team like you Christians in America really are faced with a challenge from our story allies…


Put in other words, the HHS lawsuits, if successful, would only provide a band-aid solution tothe greater problem of radical secularism that we face in this country.

Blessed Pope John Paul II discussed this problem almost two decades ago when he visited Baltimore and stated, “The challenge facing you, dear friends, is to increase people’s awareness of the importance for society of religious freedom; to defend that freedom against those who would take religion out of the public domain and establish secularism as America’s official faith.

“And it is vitally necessary, for the very survival of the American experience, to transmit to the next generation the precious legacy of religious freedom and the convictions which sustain it.”

Let Freedom Ring!, By Archbishop William E. Lori, National Catholic Register, May 24, 2012 

Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.

A new moral and legal order is ascendant in America, and this new order is only possible, in the arena of American law and jurisprudence, if the original intent and the very words of the Constitution of the United States are twisted beyond recognition.

These are days that will require courage, conviction, and clarity of vision. We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image. Religious liberty is being redefined as mere freedom of worship, but it will not long survive if it is reduced to a private sphere with no public voice. The very freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake, and thus so is the liberty of every American. Human rights and human dignity are temporary abstractions if they are severed from their reality as gifts of the Creator. The eclipse of Christian truth will lead inevitably to a tragic loss of human dignity. If we lose religious liberty, all other liberties will be lost, one by one. I am a Christian, and I believe that salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ and in no other gospel, but I will fight for the religious liberty of all.

There is a gathering storm, and its threat is urgent and real, but there are arguments to be made, principles to be defended, rights to be respected, truths to be cherished, and permanent things to be preserved. We face the danger of a new Dark Age marked by the loss of liberty and the denial of human dignity. Thus, there is a battle to be joined and much work to be done. Together, may we be found faithful to these tasks. As Churchill would remind us, in every gathering storm there is a summons to action.

The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age, by Albert Mohler, AblertMohler.com, May 18, 2015

It certainly is an essential issue for you…


Though orthodox Christians have to embrace localism because they can no longer expect to influence Washington politics as they once could, there is one cause that should receive all the attention they have left for national politics: religious liberty. 

Religious liberty is critically important to the Benedict Option. Without a robust and successful defense of First Amendment protections, Christians will not be able to build the communal institutions that are vital to maintaining our identity and values. What’s more, Christians who don’t act decisively within the embattled zone of freedom we have now are wasting precious time that may run out faster than we think.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

Dreher is certainly right.

So, you needed to be strong yourselves…


The cost of this decision to society has yet to be determined. The cost to the church could be most significant in terms of religious freedom. If religious freedom is to have any future, we will need to be as organized and determined in its defense as those who have successfully consigned traditional marriage to the garbage bin of history. If our leaders waver, accommodate, or remain silent at this point, the task will be incalculably harder. As always, we who have been speaking out stand to be undone not so much by the noise of our enemies as by the silence of our friends.

Carl R. Trueman is Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary.
AFTER OBERGEFELL: A FIRST THINGS SYMPOSIUM, by Various, First Things, June 27, 2015

But, you have done a wonderful job staying silent as you continue to hang out in that minimalist corner and ignore the undefended space of our secular story allies in your story war.

And yet, you did feel betrayed…


This brings us back to Donald Trump. His campaign slogan—“Make America Great Again”—is obviously lacking in specific content. Yet it clearly carries a certain moral weight, appealing to a patriotic love for the country that cannot be reduced to an interest in economic growth.

The success of this slogan tells us something about the aspirations of the campaign’s supporters. The disappointment that has led large numbers of Republican voters to embrace Donald Trump is no mere personal disappointment. It is based on the sense that Republican elites have not just failed to secure their constituents’ interests but that they have failed, even betrayed, the country itself by failing to defend the principles—such as the rule of law and the right of self-government—that have made the country worthy of our admiration.

Donald Trump, George Will, and the Crisis of Conservatism, by CARSON HOLLOWAY, Crisis Magazine, OCTOBER 15, 2015

Has Trump fostered these feelings?


Successful political leaders usually offer a narrative about their country and the world that encourages voters to see them in command. The story about America told by Trump has deep historical roots, though it is fundamentally different from one that Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, the Clintons, and Obama have been telling. …. His two campaign slogans, “America First” and “Make America Great Again,” each encapsulate that story while attacking those who he implies have betrayed the country and dragged it down.

Who Are We Americans Now?, By Paul Starr, The American Prospect, December 19, 2016

…and here again, one of Trump’s biggest evangelical cheerleaders, Jerry Falwell, fans that flame…


In this as in so much else, Trump’s candidacy will prove clarifying. The Republican Party has relied on “values voters” for decades without, in their view, faithfully representing their interests. As Falwell put it in his introduction of Trump: “For decades, conservatives and evangelicals have chosen the political candidates who have told us what we wanted to hear on social, religious, and political issues, only to be betrayed by these same candidates after they were elected.” In Trump, these voters see someone who shares their true priorities.

The Religious Right’s Donald Trump Dilemma, by Molly Ball, The Atlantic, January 18, 2016

But, there’s something else to consider. It’s only fair to acknowledge there is fear there too for you, right?


Trump, despite all his vulgarity and boorishness, has, along with fellow anti-establishment candidates such as Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, given these voters a voice that has not recently been heard. The Beltway GOP believes its voters are having a temper tantrum. But it would be more accurate to say that they are responding with understandable anger to a party that has failed over several election cycles to address their legitimate fears and concerns.

What Trump Sees, by JEREMY CARL, National Review, January 25, 2016

And, sometimes fear can turn to anger…


Are we surprised that our society simmers with an undercurrent of rage, violence and fury? For fifty years now we have witnessed increased promiscuity, break down of marriage, disintegration of faith, abortion, disruption of community life and the decay of the extended family. Children are born into broken homes, conceived in rape and drunken-ness and drug addiction. When they are born they are shoved into day care and ignored by parents, and now we have repeated the pattern into the second and third generation.

Do not misunderstand me. This is a complex matter. I am not saying every child who is adopted will be a criminal or that every broken home must be a place of hopeless dysfunction and despair. Nor am I saying that the racial, sexual and economic tensions can simply be blamed on promiscuity and broken homes. The social problems are real, and should be addressed and furthermore, I see the same symptoms of rage and fear in families that are not of a racial minority, are well of financially and seem to be functional on the level of social niceties.

I am speaking of the deeper sickness of the human heart–the lack of love which causes fear, which in turn causes anger and rage. I am speaking of the heart’s great wound–the longing not just for human love, but for the unconditional love of the Great Father. The message of the Christian gospel is that the wound can be healed. The broken heart can be restored. The sin can be forgiven. The darkness can be banished by the light.

But for this great wound to be healed there must be a constant turning to God and a constant sacrifice offered for the healing of the nations. Only as that sacrifice is offered and lived and the Divine Love is seen to be alive in the world can our broken hearts and our broken world be healed.

The Trump Blimp and the Roots of Rage, BY FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER, Patheos, JULY 14, 2018

There is the sequence: lack of love, which causes fear, which can turn to anger and rage.

So, your fear led to anger and you struck a bargain with Donald Trump, throwing your Evangelical support behind him as your candidate for President of the United States…


For many others, Mr. Trump speaks the truth and mirrors what they are feeling: fevered anger at President Obama, distress about the economy and fear that terrorists could pose as Syrian refugees to infiltrate the American heartland. Rather than recoiling from his harsh language about immigrants and insults of people he dislikes, these voters said Mr. Trump was merely being honest.

“Spirituality is a big issue, but we need somebody who’s strong,” said Charles E. Henderson, 61, a disabled veteran from Lexington, Ky., who grew up attending a Nazarene church. He called Mr. Trump outspoken and decisive, adding, “Lots of times the preachers and everything, they have a tendency to be just a little bit weak.”

Evangelicals See Donald Trump as Man of Conviction, if Not Faith, By MAGGIE HABERMAN and THOMAS KAPLAN, New York Times, January 18, 2016

Why would people set aside all of those beliefs, all of those things that animated them, and choose Trump?

….

I think that much of the evangelical movement has been seized by fear, and it’s become a movement of resentments and grievances, and fear in politics often transmutes into anger and aggression. There was a sense among many white evangelicals of lost power, of lost privilege, fear that the country that they knew was being lost, and they felt like Donald Trump was the vehicle to express that anger. They saw him as a wrecking ball against the political establishment and the media.

— Peter Wehner

What’s Left of the Right?, Democracy Journal, Summer 2018

Donald Trump was carried into the White House by an angry tribe. They felt themselves being sidelined by history and feared their country as they knew it was slipping away. They wanted change, at nearly any cost, and they looked beyond more experienced candidates to set their hopes upon the sharp-tongued, hard-hitting, angry-as-they-were billionaire from New York. He won them by promising to give their country back to them and to win a future for their children. They believed him, largely because he spoke of faith like a crusader, like one who understood religion as a perpetual call to arms. 

Stephen Mansfield, Choosing Donald Trump

By the time of the 2016 presidential election, religious conservatives were angry and desperate for change. They didn’t want a candidate who merely understood. They wanted a candidate who was as fierce and as angry as they were. They wanted someone bold and hard hitting, even offensive. They felt their nation slipping away. They felt the ways of their fathers being lost. 

Then came Donald Trump. He channeled their anger. He cut into their enemies. He promised to make their lives better and restore what had been lost. 


Stephen Mansfield, Choosing Donald Trump




Your Bargain With Donald

We understand your anger – like we never did before.

And we get it, that because of your situation, you wanted to bargain…


After we burn off our anger, we search for the easiest way out of our situation. We work to BARGAIN our way out of the problem. Perhaps we push the problem to someone else, who is sure to fail solving it. …. Of course, the bargaining proves fruitless. The monkey on our back (coping with the shock necessitating a change in ourselves) gets even heavier

Shawn Coyne, The Story Grid

And when you felt it was time to begin bargaining your way forward, it looks like you came to believe Donald Trump was just the person to turn to…


Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. He is the archetypal businessman – a deal maker without peer.

Donald J. Trump Biography, The Trump Organization

And look what your famous friend, Dr. Ben Carson, wrote about him…


Donald Trump, until now considered by many to be a fringe candidate with poor prospects at winning the national election, has now solidified his role as a leading contender for President of the United States. Though Trump lacks some of the traditional trappings of political leadership, he is, in tone, style, and substance, uniquely suited to the prevailing mood of the American electorate.  

His appeal resonates among a large segment of Americans who feel disaffected and excluded by the current political system.

….

Trump’s qualifications start with his outsider status, but also importantly include his success as an entrepreneur, an employer of thousands of people, and a family man who has raised several successful children. In Trump, everyday Americans see an example of how hard work, playing by the rules, and setting high personal standards can benefit them.

They see Trump’s success, not as an anomaly, but as a blueprint for their own path to freedom and prosperity. Trump’s outsized impact on the business world, and on the culture of entrepreneurship in this country, is unprecedented among political candidates.

Trump uniquely suited to this American moment, By Dr. Ben Carson, The Hill, July 24, 2016

And here’s that Jerry Falwell, Jr. guy again… the head of the largest Christian university…


Mr. Falwell’s son, Jerry Falwell Jr., now the president of Liberty University, where Mr. Trump called a book in the Bible “Two Corinthians” instead of the more accepted “Second Corinthians” in a speech, has endorsed the billionaire. He cited Mr. Trump’s business record and the strength he projects.

“All the social issues — traditional family values, abortion — are moot if ISIS blows up some of our cities or if the borders are not fortified,” he said, referring to the Islamic State. “Rank-and-file evangelicals are smarter than many of the leaders. They are trying to save the country and maybe vote on social issues next time.”

Donald Trump, Despite Impieties, Wins Hearts of Evangelical Voters, By TRIP GABRIEL, New York Times, February 27, 2016

So, Jerry put his hope in Donald. And we are so grateful to Jerry, because he has revealed so much of what you Christians want, here in the story.

You see, it really caught our attention when Donald claimed he would be the fixer…


The world is under serious, serious threat in so many different ways. And I’ve never seen it so much and so openly as since I took the position of president.

The world is in trouble, but we’re going to straighten it out. OK? That’s what I do. I fix things. We’re going to straighten it out.

Read President Trump’s Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, By Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time Magazine, February 2, 2017

If there was ever a presidential candidate to eschew theoretical coherence, it was Donald Trump. He was not running on Trumpism; he was running on being Donald Trump. “I alone can fix it” was the central pillar of his candidacy.

What Makes America Great?, By Daniel Krauthammer, Weekly Standard, April 28, 2017

So, since he is making such claims, it initially made sense to our team that you would turn to Donald Trump. We get it that you were afraid and were looking for a way to more powerfully counter your opponents…


Because Republicans largely agree with Democrats that they need not take seriously the founders’ Constitution, today’s American regime is now what Max Weber had called the Tsarist regime on the eve of the Revolution: “fake constitutionalism.” Because such fakery is self-discrediting and removes anyone’s obligation to restrain his passions, it is a harbinger of revolution and of imperial power.

The ruling class having chosen raw power over law and persuasion, the American people reasonably concluded that raw power is the only way to counter it, and looked for candidates who would do that.

After the Republic, By Angelo M. Codevilla, Claremont Review of Books, September 27, 2016

You were looking for a person like this…


Blair: There are two things that seem extremely pivotal to me in what’s happened. One is the The Apprentice, that 10 years of America looking at him as the boss, that that is so, now, imprinted on people’s ideas — that they can’t get around that notion that he is the boss. If you say the word “boss,” you think Trump.

Trumpology: A Master Class, By Susan B. Glasser and Michael Kruse, Politico, May/June 2016

Of course, Pence is far from the only conservative Christian to be accused of having sold his soul. Trump’s early evangelical supporters were a motley crew of televangelists and prosperity preachers, and they have been rewarded with outsize influence in the White House. Pastor Ralph Drollinger, for example, caught Trump’s attention in December 2015, when he said in a radio interview, “America’s in such desperate straits—especially economically — that if we don’t have almost a benevolent dictator to turn things around, I just don’t think it’s gonna happen through our governance system.” Now Drollinger runs a weekly Bible study in the West Wing.

God’s Plan for Mike Pence, By McKay Coppins, The Atlantic, JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE

And Trump has revealed that he admires strongman political leaders…


But when it comes to leaders, Trump seems to prefer Deke House to student council types. He has hailed Vladimir Putin as a “strong ruler” and “very smart.” In Riyadh, Trump declared King Salman a “wise man.” He calls China’s Xi Jinping “a great guy” and welcomed Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Oval Office: “It is a great honor to have you with us.”

When Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has imprisoned and killed thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood, came to visit, Trump said, “He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.”

In a phone call, Trump also praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has had narcotics dealers gunned down in the streets, for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

Trump has even found merit in Kim Jong-un, the 33-year-old dictator of North Korea, describing him as a “a pretty smart cookie.”

BREAKUP OF THE WEST?, By Pat Buchanan, World Net Daily, May 29, 2017

You were afraid, and Donald Trump was a strongman promising to protect you…


In 2016, American evangelicals were looking for a strongman to protect them from the progressive forces wreaking havoc on their Christian nation. Donald Trump was the strongman.

Most evangelicals did not believe more traditional candidates of the Christian right such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Ben Carson could protect them as well as the bombastic big-talking New York real-estate tycoon. As Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas and early Trump supporter put it, “I couldn’t care less about a leader’s temperament or his tone of his vocabulary. Frankly, I want the meanest, toughest son of a gun I can find. And I think that’s the feeling of a lot of evangelicals. They don’t want Casper Milquetoast as the leader of the free world.”

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.

Evangelical Fear Elected Trump, By John Fea, The Atlantic, June 24, 2018

Trump consistently depicts evangelicals as they depict themselves: a mistreated minority, in need of a defender who plays by worldly rules. Christianity is “under siege,” Trump told a Liberty University audience. “Relish the opportunity to be an outsider,” he added at a later date: “Embrace the label.” Protecting Christianity, Trump essentially argues, is a job for a bully.

It is true that insofar as Christian hospitals or colleges have their religious liberty threatened by hostile litigation or government agencies, they have every right to defend their institutional identities—to advocate for a principled pluralism. But this is different from evangelicals regarding themselves, hysterically and with self-pity, as an oppressed minority that requires a strongman to rescue it. This is how Trump has invited evangelicals to view themselves. He has treated evangelicalism as an interest group in need of protection and preferences.

The Last Temptation, By Michael Gerson, The Atlantic, April 2018

Among those Americans who supported a candidate in the presidential primaries, Trump supporters are substantially more supportive of a “strong leader” (32 percent) than are supporters of any other candidate from either major party (all of whom favored that option at levels of 20 percent or less). Voters for Trump in the general election are nearly twice as likely as Clinton voters to endorse this authoritarian option (29 to 16 percent). And those voters who switched from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 leaned the most authoritarian of all—45 percent of them support a “strong leader.”

Are People Losing Faith in Democracy?, By LARRY DIAMOND, National Interest, March 16, 2018

As we saw in 2016, the feeling that power is slipping out of their hands makes citizens more, not less, likely to entrust their fate to a strongman leader who promises to smash the system.

America Is Not a Democracy, By YASCHA MOUNK, The Atlantic, MARCH 2018

Indeed, a survey last month by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that white evangelical support for Trump is at an all-time high, with three in four holding a favourable view of the president. This level of support was well above support in the general population, where Trump’s favourability is at 42%.

Frank Luntz, a Republican consultant and pollster, said: “They acknowledge there are issues with him but it’s his willingness to fight against their enemies that makes them so supportive.”

….

Luntz added: “It comes from a fear of where the culture’s headed and an inability to stop it.”

Pastors at embassy opening highlight evangelicals’ deal with The Donald, By David Smith, The Guardian, May 15, 2018

Evangelical Christians in America today stand in a similar place.

They see chaos erupting around them. They see open borders and lawlessness. They see Republican leadership doing next-to-nothing to stop it.

They are afraid. And they think Donald Trump, in spite of his faults, may be the one to save them.

Frustrated Evangelicals Demand a King in Donald Trump, by Bill Blankschaen, Patheos, March 2, 2016 

Thus evangelical voters joined other South Carolina Republicans in choosing Trump, by an 11 percent margin over his closest competitor, to “make America great again.” According to a recent Bloomberg Poll, they believe Trump is the candidate most likely to “keep their family safe” and “would be most feared by America’s enemies.”

Before Donald Trump, the sad history of when Christians anointed another political bully, by Joseph Loconte, Washington Post, February 22, 2016

And Trump knew you were afraid. So, he made an effort to connect to your fear…


To frame his vision of a smaller presence abroad, Trump often portrays America’s urgent task as one of survival. As he put it during the campaign, “At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves’? So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that, but, at the same time, our country is disintegrating.”

Making China Great Again, By Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, January 8, 2018 Issue


Look at the state of the world right now. It’s a terrible mess, and that’s putting it mildly. There has never been a more dangerous time. The politicians and special interests in Washington, DC, are directly responsible for the mess we are in. 

Donald Trump, From the Amazon.com page description for Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again

And he continues down that path…


President Trump traveled to McAllen, Tex. to meet with border patrol agents and survey the border in the Rio Grande Valley. Trump warned there would be “a lot of death” without a barrier or a wall.

“Look, this is common sense. They need a barrier. They need a wall. If you don’t have it, it’s going to be nothing but hard work and grueling problems, and, by the way, and death. And death. A lot of death,” Trump said Thursday.

Trump at Border: Without The Wall There Will Be “Death, A Lot Of Death”, Posted By Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics, January 10, 2019

So, we wondered if this was somehow in play…


What happens when a cult leader’s dictates clash with the convictions of his followers?

Trump is happily making these pronouncements and expecting everyone to go along with him, and he’s not getting much flack. Most of his followers have bought into his fear-mongering, which creates an us vs. them mentality that is typical of a cult.

Is that emphasis on real or perceived enemies one way cult leaders keep control over their adherents?

Absolutely. It breeds fear and paranoia in his followers, which leads them to think, “I’d better stick with him to be safe.” His constant criticism and ridiculing and attacking “the other” also makes people feel superior. This sets up extreme polarization, which is always how cults have survived.

A CULT EXPERT FINDS FAMILIAR PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR IN TRUMP’S GOP, By TOM JACOBS, Pacific Standard, June 21, 2018

And look at this…


Trump scanned the room and said, I thlnk we had such period of Christian consensus in our culture and we kind of spoiled. Is that the right word?” 

Then, he turned the tables on us and said something shocking. 

“Every other ideological group in the country has a voice. If you don’t mind me saying so, YOU GUYS HAVE GOTTEN SOFT.” 

Ouch! That’s the line I won’t forget. 

Lance Wallnau, God’s Chaos Candidate

But, we also understand the power of fear, because it so connects with the power of the major dramatic question…


How will this turn out?


So, if Christianity is the story we are in, it raises a question for you. Does this passage catch your attention?


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

    and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6


You see, Paula Wong found this — from Donald Trump himself — speaking to a group of Christian leaders…


The government has gotten so involved in your religion. Especially your religion, that it makes it very difficult. We’ll talk about that. Mike and I have been discussing it, and I think we have some very important things to say. The next president — it’s going to be vital. Not only with Supreme Court justices, which we’ll also talk about at length. But also in things like freeing up your religion, freeing up your thoughts, freeing up your. … You talk about religious liberty and religious freedom. You really don’t have religious freedom, if you really think about it, because when President Johnson had his tenure, he passed something that makes people very, very nervous to even talk to preserve their tax-exempt status. It’s taken a lot of power away from Christianity and other religions. I’ve seen it. This is something that I’ve brought up. I was telling Mike, I’ve been meeting with Paula White, who’s been so involved, Pastor Paula — she’s over here. And Darrell Scott and Pastor Burgess. We were at a meeting of 50 ministers, pastors, Christians, two rabbis. I said, “Why is it that the whole thing with Christianity, it’s not going in the right direction? It’s getting weaker, weaker, weaker from a societal standpoint?” And over the course of various meetings, I realized that there are petrified ministers and churches. They speak before 25,000 people, the most incredible speakers you could ever see, better than any politician by far. And yet when it comes to talking about it openly or who they support or why they support somebody because he’s a person — a man or a woman — who is into their values, they’re petrified to do it.

And I couldn’t get the answer. And then one day, at one of our meetings, somebody said, “They’re petrified of losing their tax-exempt status.” And I said, “What is that all about?” And they went into it. It was what happened during the Johnson administration. And I will tell you folks that some of you will agree, some of you will disagree, and some of you, it’s been ingrained and that’s the worst thing because you don’t even think about it. You can’t see the forest for the trees, some of you are so close to it. But I can tell you, I watched this during the last year, and I watched fear in the hearts of brave, incredible people. And we are going to get rid of that, because you should have the right to speak. [Applause]

Transcript: Donald Trump’s closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders, by Jon Ward, Yahoo! News, June 22, 2016

We immediately wondered if that was where Shih Tzu got that term, “petrified,” which he had used in a threatening note we received from him.

But then Paula redirected our attention to something else.

“Comrade Chow,” she said, “what if what Donald Trump said about the Christians in America matters far more than Shih Tzu realizes?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I did a quick search,” Paula said, “but I didn’t find any of the Christian leaders at that meeting with Trump take offense from what he said about them being petrified.”

“But why would they?” I asked. “Trump is right about the Christians in America, isn’t he?”

“It looks like he is,” said Paula. “And yet, doesn’t that tell us something about them? Look at this passage I found in their book of Psalms.”

And then she showed us these passages from your Bible…


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3


And then she showed me these…


For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Isaiah 8:11-13


When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4


In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:11


He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

Psalm 112:7


Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Isaiah 12:2


For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.

2 Timothy 1:6-12


And then she showed us a wild passage in your book of Hebrews, which shined a spotlight on Donald Trump and your love crisis…


Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;

    I will not fear;

what can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:4-6


And that opened our eyes even more.

We began to realize that something really is going on with America’s Christians.

Shouldn’t your Christian leaders have spoken up and said, “No, we’re not afraid. We’re not petrified. We can trust in our God.”


Christian Scripture makes it clear that the strongman who delivers is not Donald Trump, but the God who promises to be a refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble (PS. 46:1-2).

John Fea, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump


But they didn’t…


Call me crazy, but when you have an all powerful, omnipotent, creator of the entire universe on your side, you should not have to rely on a slightly orange adulterer for protection from your enemies. But American evangelicals have traded the risen Lord for Balaam’s donkey.

A Moral People No More, By Erick Erickson, The Resurgent, April 20, 2018

And our team is wondering if the turning of your Christians leaders to Trump was another revealing of how their migration into the minimalist corner fogged their ability to see the great drama you are in – if Christianity is the story we are in, of course…


The Bible teaches that Christians are to fear God – and only God. All other forms of fear reflect a lack of faith, a failure to place one’s trust completely in a providential God who has promised to work all things out for good for those who love him (Rom. 8:28). God’s sovereign control over our lives and the world he created constitutes what theologian Scott Bader-Saye has called “a coherent story, a drama in which God and humankind, together, drive the story toward its proper conclusion.”1 The “proper conclusion” to the Christian story – the direction in which history is ultimately moving – is the return of Jesus Christ amid the new heaven and the new earth. But in a world filled with distractions, it is easy to let this glorious hope become smothered by fear. 

John Fea, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump

So, they turned to Trump…


By the end of May 2016, Donald Trump had enough delegates to clinch the Republican Party’s nomination for president. Nearly half of GOP evangelicals supported him in that spring’s primaries.

John Fea, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump

… and crossed over the “Rubicon” with him…


Looking back, the improbable election of 2016 proved a Rubicon moment. Once Trump crossed over the Rubicon, carried by his base of “crazies,” “irredeemables,” and “deplorables,” the die had been cast, and those who were fearful where America had been headed had no choice but to follow him through the river.

Either Trump will restore economic growth, national security, the melting pot, legality, and individual liberty or he will fail and we will go the way of Europe.

For now, there is no one else in the opposition standing in the way of radical progressivism. At best, some not actively promoting progressivism are only begging it to slow down a bit; at worst, the “I told you so” others wish for now progressivism to prevail to demonstrate what happens when the hoi polloi do not listen to their supposed betters.

Crossing the Trump Rubicon, By Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness, November 6, 2017

And Trump would agree that he is the only one for you…


Donald J. Trump rarely goes to church, said he’s never sought forgiveness for his sins, and in his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, never mentioned God.

Religion was almost invisible during the presidential campaign, and yet it is the missing piece in understanding Mr. Trump’s victory. The Christian right worked largely under the national media’s radar this year, but it helped deliver the presidency to a thrice-married mogul who bragged about groping women and has been accused by multiple women of actually doing it.

They were willing to forgive Mr. Trump’s personal transgressions because he stoked their fears that a Hillary Clinton administration would take away their religious liberties, use their tax dollars to fund late-term abortions at home and abroad, and expand the rights of gay and transgender people, political analysts said. Mr. Trump warned at rallies and at conservative Christian gatherings that he alone was their last hope to protect them against a changing culture, using the refrain, “This is your last chance.”

Religious Right Believes Donald Trump Will Deliver on His Promises, By LAURIE GOODSTEIN, New York Times, November 11, 2016

Down the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, one of Donald Trump’s most consistent talking points was a claim that America’s changing demographics and culture had brought the country to a precipice. He repeatedly cast himself as the last chance for Republicans and conservative white Christians to step back from the cliff, to preserve their power and way of life. In an interview on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in early September, Trump put the choice starkly for the channel’s conservative Christian viewers: “If we don’t win this election, you’ll never see another Republican and you’ll have a whole different church structure.” Asked to elaborate, Trump continued, “I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the border, you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote, and once that all happens you can forget it.”

Michele Bachmann, a member of Trump’s evangelical executive advisory board, echoed these same sentiments in a speech at the Values Voters Summit, an annual meeting attended largely by conservative white Christians. That same week, she declared in an interview with CBN: “If you look at the numbers of people who vote and who lives [sic] in the country and who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to bring in to the country, this is the last election when we even have a chance to vote for somebody who will stand up for godly moral principles. This is it.” Post-election polling from the Public Religion Research Institute, which I lead, and The Atlantic showed that this appeal found its mark among conservative voters. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of Trump voters, compared to only 22 percent of Clinton voters, agreed that “the 2016 election represented the last chance to stop America’s decline.”

Trump Can’t Reverse the Decline of White Christian America, ROBERT P. JONES, The Atlantic, July 4, 2017

And there were famous Christians who believed his last chance claim…


Phyllis Schlafly, an icon of the conservative movement who has been active for half a century, is warning the nation: Donald Trump is the last hope for America.

….

WND asked Schlafly if she believes Donald Trump is the last hope for America.

“He does look like he’s the last hope,” Schlafly said.

Top conservative: Trump is ‘last hope for America’, World Net Daily, December 20, 2015

METAXAS: Not only can we vote for Trump, we must vote for Trump, because with all of his foibles, peccadilloes, and metaphorical warts, he is nonetheless the last best hope of keeping America from sliding into oblivion, the tank, the abyss, the dustbin of history, if you will. If you want to know how bad things are in America, and how far we have gone, read the previous sentence aloud over and over.

Eric Metaxas on Virtue and…Donald Trump, By Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, June 17, 2016

So if Donald Trump could get away with claiming that he was the last best chance for your country – the United States of America — that was very revealing…


If we have placed our security in any source other than our relationship with Christ, then we are living a lie — and we are not secure at all.

Dr. David Jeremiah, The Jeremiah Study Bible

And notice how Donald’s claim connects with what Donald wants…


Trump lacks empathy and clearly enjoys embarrassing and hurting other people gratuitously. Such antisocial misconduct makes him feel (and, in his mind, actually renders him) all-powerful and God-like (“omnipotent”).

Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin, By Arlen Williams, The American Thinker, March 6, 2016

Along with the tremendous value of Trump’s name, however, goes his insistence that everyone recognize it. His thin skin and amazing touchiness show in his ready reactions to slights, let alone criticism. His egoism makes his psychology an easy read — his bluster opposed and counteracted by his sensitivity. Unlike the truly manly male, who hardly notices and cares little for how he is received by others, Trump demands universal love as the reward for his just denunciations and wise observations. …. His vulgar manliness wants to mask his obvious yearning for indiscriminate love, and of course doesn’t succeed. The fawning demagogue in him prevails over the impression he wants to convey of brash independence.

The Vulgar Manliness of Donald Trump, By HARVEY MANSFIELD, Commentary Magazine, August 14, 2017

But doesn’t that raise a problem for you in relation to this?


Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!

Psalm 40:4


Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
    and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
    and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
    or consult the Lord!

Isaiah 31:1


And look at how this describes the minimalist corner issue in the larger context of that quote we just showed you…


The attitude of Jerusalem was like an invisible, numbing fog. People in the once-devout City of David were “settled in complacency” and had convinced themselves that the Lord would not intervene regardless of how they acted (1:12). Little did they know that only a generation later, they would suffer disaster for failing to change their ways.

The dictionary defines complacency as “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger or defect; a smug satisfaction with an existing condition.” If we have placed our security in any source other than our relationship with Christ, then we are living a lie — and we are not secure at all.

Dr. David Jeremiah, The Jeremiah Study Bible

So, was Trump really your last hope and last chance?

If so, you were very different than the Israeli leader Menachem Begin…


The first incident occurred in July 1977, when Zbigniew Brzezinski presented Begin with a draft statement regarding the just-concluded U.S.-Israel meeting. Begin told Brzezinski that the draft was acceptable — “except for two sentences.” Brzezinski asked what they were:

“Please delete ‘The United States affirms Israel’s inherent right to exist.’”

“Why so?”

“Because the United States’ affirmation of Israel’s right to exist is not a favor, nor is it a negotiable concession. I shall not negotiate my existence with anybody, and I need nobody’s affirmation of it.”

Brzezinski’s expression was one of surprise. “But to the best of my knowledge every Israeli prime minister has asked for such a pledge.”

“I sincerely appreciate the president’s sentiment,” said Begin, “but our Hebrew Bible made that pledge and established our right over our land millennia ago. Never, throughout the centuries, did we ever abandon or forfeit that right. Therefore, it would be incompatible with my responsibilities as prime minister of Israel were I not to ask you to erase this sentence.” And then, without pause, “Please delete, too, the language regarding the commitment to Israel’s survival.”

“And in what sense do you find that objectionable?”

“In the sense that we, the Jewish people alone, are responsible for our country’s survival, no one else.”

What Would Begin Do?, by Rick Richman, Commentary, March 8, 2011

But even that made us wonder about this verse we found…


Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalm 127:1


What a surprise. But it helped to open our eyes to something else.

It has our attention that you embraced Donald Trump even though he sometimes makes promises which, if Christianity is the story we are in, only your God can deliver on.

For instance, look at the following…


Trump somehow, in the course of the 2016 campaign, effectively convinced a decent chunk of voters — especially in the Midwest hollowed out by manufacturing losses — that he and he alone understood the challenges they faced in life. Time after time, at rally after rally, attendees would tell the media that Trump got them — that he effectively channeled their frustrations, their anger and their hopes.

The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled, by Chris Cillizza, CNN, January 7, 2019

Amid attacks from Clinton and Warren that he rooted for the 2008 economic collapse because he was able to profit personally from the real estate market’s collapse, Trump made no effort to conceal his belief in the gospel of wealth.

“We’re going to make America wealthy again,” Trump said toward the end of his speech. “You have to be wealthy in order to be great, I’m sorry to say.”

….

“Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing,” Trump told the crowd. “I will give you everything. I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years.

“I’m the only one.”

Unapologetic, Trump promises to make America rich, By ELI STOKOLS, Politico, May 26, 2016

I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

Inauguration Speech of President Donald Trump

But remember these passages from your Bible?


Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:13-17


Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Proverbs 27:1


When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember that God gives us good times and hard times. And no one knows what will happen in the future.

Ecclesiastes 7:14


Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?

Ecclesiastes 8:7


If Christianity is the story we are in, then how do those fit with Donald’s “I alone” claims?…


If there was ever a presidential candidate to eschew theoretical coherence, it was Donald Trump. He was not running on Trumpism; he was running on being Donald Trump. “I alone can fix it” was the central pillar of his candidacy. To intellectualize his triumph may well be a far greater mistake than to have never seen it coming in the first place.

What Makes America Great?, By Daniel Krauthammer, Weekly Standard, April 28, 2017

Wouldn’t his claims instead fit with this?


According to Aristotle–whose teacher, Plato, was a student of Socrates–the great- souled or magnanimous man answers to no one but himself. He seeks virtue and is awarded the highest honor for his greatness. But according to Augustine, writing some 750 years after Aristotle, the idea of a great-souled man acting independently of God was the height of arrogance. A humble prince, Augustine insisted, must bow before God and other citizens who are not as worthy as he is of honor. Like Aristotle’s magnanimous man, the humble prince seeks virtue, but his virtue, unlike that of the magnanimous man, is marked by compassion, mercy, and prayer–not pride in his own accomplishments or honors accorded by others. Augustine’s ideal prince is a servant.

David J. Bobb, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue

So, you might want to think more broadly about how your story may unfold….


Americans were angry at the results of two decades of policies that have brought them failing wars and stagnating wages. And no other candidate (save perhaps Bernie Sanders) properly acknowledged just how profoundly America’s leaders and its elites had failed the rest of the country and failed to pay a price for it. But there are two fundamental problems with President Trump’s nationalist program. The first is that it simply will not achieve its promised results. The bulk of the agenda is a false promise, a shortcut of quick wins against easy scapegoats that won’t address our true economic challenges and will undermine our long-term security. The second is that it abandons America’s most cherished ideals in favor of an ideology of winning for its own sake. Such an ideology will necessarily collapse when the promised “greatness” and attendant riches do not materialize. But along the way it can do lasting damage to what has truly made America a great and exceptional nation in the world.

What Makes America Great?, By Daniel Krauthammer, Weekly Standard, April 28, 2017

This long section of the book deals with Israel’s major decision in Isaiah’s day. Would she trust in Yahweh or in other nations? The decision was a matter of faith; who is more worthy of trust, God or strong people? God promised that trust in the nations would result in destruction (ch. 34), but trust in Him would bring abundance (ch. 35). Israel’s decision would also determine whether she had a message for the nations or not, and whether she would fulfill her mission to the nations or not. This decision is, of course, one that the people of God of all ages continually face.

Notes on Isaiah, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable

And we wondered if the “substitute” idea related to idolatry was relevant…


We tend to think of idols as something ‘over there’, the gods of wood and stone. We forget that in scripture, idolatry is any part of the human creation, even the very gifts of God, on which we rely in such a way that they become a substitute for God.

Interview with Dr. Os Guinness, By Peter Hastie, Interact Magazine 1992, Volume 3 Number 1

And then we saw these…


Instead, if Nietzsche is right, the danger we face may be idolatry. Deprived of a God worth worshiping, we will find substitutes, even to the point of ­prostrating ourselves before birds or animals or reptiles that our modern minds have transformed from graven images into shrill moral imperatives and brittle political causes.

The last century’s graveyards testify to the reality of this danger. Turned away from something truly greater than ourselves, we do not come to rest in a modest loyalty to humanity. Instead, as Nietzsche’s and Augustine’s insights into the human condition warn us, we fall into a devotion to subhuman primal powers that reward our service with debasement.

Nietzsche’s Deeper Truth, by R.R. Reno, First Things, January 2008

Christ, I thought, would surely have me oppose what appeared an unjust war. But the Movement, whatever its ideals, did a good deal of hating. And Christ, gradually, was pushed to the rear: Movement goals, not God, became first, in fact — not only for me but for other Christians involved, including priests. I now think that making God secondary (which in the end is to make Him nothing) is, quite simply, the mortal danger in social action, especially in view of the marked intimations of virtue — even arrogant virtue — that often perilously accompany it.

Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

How did Christianity ultimately fail in Europe? The short answer is thatthe neo-paganism of national idolatry hatched like a cuckoo’s egg in the nest of Christendom. 

David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die

So, this appears to be relevant to your desire to make America great again…


Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12


And Paula Wong showed us this…


The entire ethical-legal principle on which the Hebrew Bible is based is that we own nothing. Everything the land, its produce, power, sovereignty, children and life itself belongs to God. We are mere trustees, guardians, on his behalf. We possess but we do not own. That is the basis of the infrastructure of social justice that made the Bible unique in its time and still transformative today. 

Jonathan Sacks, Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

And consider this…


The arrogance of our age supposes that prosperity is perpetual and success inevitable. America’s history of hard-won humility tells us otherwise.

David J. Bobb, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue

And now we’re wondering… is it possible all this shines a very powerful light on what Donald Trump was chosen to reveal about America’s Christians?

And what if this insight is relevant?…


The great enemy of the Church is the most skilled deceiver of all. He would be delighted if Christians trusted in a earthly political leader to rescue them from the coming crisis, because that will blind us to the need for spiritual solutions that are local, small, quiet and more shaped by the suffering of Christ’s cross than any government’s voting system. Psalm 146:3 warns, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”

Peter Sanlon

Christian Life In Exile, By ROD DREHER, American Conservative, March 5, 2018

And that made us wonder about something, it in light of the following observation by your insightful the Christian philosopher, Paul Moser…


Idols are counterfeit objects of hope. We rely on them to give us the comfort, satisfaction, and security we crave and need.

Idols, Hope, and Meaning, by Paul K. Moser, Idolater’s Anonymous

But can such a form of idolatry take place in relation to a political candidate?

Maybe so. Consider the following two passages from the book of Psalms…


It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.

Psalm 118:8-9


Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

Psalm 146:3


But does this “trust” have a political dimension?


The American Catholic priest, Richard John Neuhaus, who became well known for his work on the role of religion in the ‘public square’, argued that it does…

Psalm 146 warns, “Put not your trust in princes.” Even when they are your princes and you think you put them on their little thrones. Especially when they are your princes, because that is when the temptation arises to invest your soul and your highest allegiance in their rule.

Against Christian Politics, by Richard John Neuhaus, First Things (May 1996)

So, should you have put your hope in The Donald?


Freedom can be a burden as well as a blessing. It exposes us to insecurity, subjects us to restrictive norms, and forces us to take responsibility for our actions. When the burden of freedom becomes intolerable, we are tempted to replace it with submission to an authority who promises to put things right.

The Perpetual Battle for Freedom, By William Galston, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2016

But what if putting your trust and hope in the Donald revealed that you were going down a path which your very first president warned you against?


President George Washington

I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.

George Washington to John Armstrong, March 11, 1792


Wow. There is the minimalist corner. George Washington saw it. What a fog you are in.

So, we would really like to know —


Do you want to continue your bargain with Trump?

Donald Trump May Have Been Chosen to Help Reveal the Love Challenge Facing America’s Christians as the Drama in America Unfolds

We’re grateful to Donald Trump for helping to open our eyes. He is helping us to see that, if Christianity is the story we are in, then your God really may be putting you to a test by choosing the Donald.

You see, you have a real challenge facing you.


Neither being nice nor being brutal is being virtuous. And moral virtue is, after all, the foundation of the common life shared by all political beings inhabiting a particular part of the world. Both niceness and brutality are forms of domination and control. Both work against the consent of the governed who rule and are ruled in turn. We should, in fact, expect all Americans to be ladies and gentlemen, and to treat each other with equal dignity, free from condescension and contempt.

THE COLD CIVIL WAR, By Angelo M. Codevilla, Claremont Review of Books, April 25, 2017

And as your drama unfolds in America, the polarization which is already marching you into the Danger Zone of the House Divided will intensify even more…


America barely survived the Civil War of 1861–65, the Great Depression of 1929–39, and the rioting and protests of the 1960s. But today’s growing divides are additionally supercharged by instant Internet and social-media communications, 24/7 cable news, partisan media, and the denigration of America’s past traditions.

All Americans need to take a deep breath, step back, and rein in their anger — and find more ways to connect rather than divide themselves.

They should assume their opponents are not all sinners, and that their supporters are not all saints.

Things are bad now. But our own history suggests that if we are not careful, they can get even worse.

Can a Divided America Survive?, By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, June 15, 2017

So, as the drama in America intensifies as you continue your Death March into the Danger Zone of the House Divided, it would help us if you would let us know whether you Christians will engage your enemies by behaving like Donald Trump…


Trump has been an exceptional force for polarization, seeking out cultural flashpoints and making criticism of the other side part of the daily routine.

Americans have grown to hate presidents of the other party, By Neil Rothschild, Axios, August 9, 2018

Because Paula also showed us all this…


Seventy years old when he took office, Trump has long projected a menacing mobster/executive style. It was in the air all around him when we sat for eight hours of interviews in 2014 as I wrote my book, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success.”

It starts with the look — the suits, the hair, the bodyguards — and extends to his penchant for tough-guy talk. Opponents get nasty nicknames like Crooked Hillary or Lyin’ Ted or Crying Chuck and critics become assailants whom he promises to “hit back 10 times harder.”

Though Trump considers this stance righteous, it is the attitude of a thug who intends to intimidate. Especially when the man doing the threatening is the most powerful person in the world.

In his life before the White House, Trump operated with the impulsive unpredictability of a Tony Soprano and prized, above all else, secrecy and loyalty.

Trump’s mob mentality: Comey’s description of Trump is actually quite apt, BY MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 15, 2018

Worst of all, Trump’s brawling, blustery, mean-spirited public persona serves to associate conservatives with all the negative stereotypes that liberals have for decades attached to their opponents on the right. According to conventional caricature, conservatives are selfish, greedy, materialistic, bullying, misogynistic, angry, and intolerant. They are, we’re told, privileged and pampered elitists who revel in the advantages of inherited wealth while displaying only cruel contempt for the less fortunate and the less powerful. The Left tried to smear Ronald Reagan in such terms but failed miserably because he displayed none of the stereotypical traits. In contrast, Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans.

— Michael Medved

Conservatives against Trump, by NR SYMPOSIUM, National Review, January 21, 2016

Trump’s signature style is the lack of apology (or shame, depending on how you look at it). His strategy is to always be on the offensive, always attacking, never apologizing, never admitting error or explaining himself.

The Beginning of the End for Donald Trump?, by Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, September 25, 2015

The fact is there is an enormous amount to worry about regarding Trump’s presidency, and a book by two such thoughtful political scientists might have helped to highlight some of those worries—about the crucial importance of character in leadership, the threat to the presidency from personal financial corruption, the danger of sowing division in an already fractured society, the risks to norms of administration and respect for institutions, the lack of basic competence and capacity, the implications of gross ineptitude, the cost of erratic leadership, the consequences of abject ignorance, and much more.

How Democracies Panic, By YUVAL LEVIN, Weekly Standard, January 19, 2018

And Paula also helped us to see something we are very familiar with…


Above all else, Trump is a bully. Like all schoolyard tyrants, he tries to project great strength to mask internal weakness. But remember the one universal truth about bullies: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Above all else, Trump is a bully, By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, January 21, 2019

Even before he was elected everyone knew Donald Trump was a bully, what they didn’t know was how his bullying would affect them, nor what it would reveal about who he fears.

Trump’s often mendacious torrents of stilted rhetoric have already crushed common ground at home and polarized America.

Trump tramples and divides world, just like he does at home, by Nic Robertson, CNN, May 12, 2019

And then there is Sessions. No Cabinet member — past or present — has been bullied by Trump more than the nation’s top law enforcement professional. Trump has repeatedly said publicly that he wishes he would have picked someone other than Sessions to be his attorney general — due in large part to the fact that Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions did so because he was a prominent surrogate for Trump during that campaign. The President has never forgiven him.

Trump has referred to the former Alabama senator in tweets as “beleaguered,” very weak” and “disgraceful.” He has teased Sessions by referring to him as “Mr. Magoo.” And on and on.

The utter collapse of Donald Trump’s ‘best people’ boast, by Chris Cillizza, CNN, August 13, 2018

And the moral indictment against Mr. Trump is obvious and overwhelming. Corruption has been evident in Mr. Trump’s private and public life, in how he has treated his wives, in his business dealings and scams, in his pathological lying and cruelty, in his bullying and shamelessness, in his conspiracy-mongering and appeals to the darkest impulses of Americans. (Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, refers to the president’s race-based comments as a “base stimulator.”) Mr. Trump’s corruptions are ingrained, the result of a lifetime of habits. It was delusional to think he would change for the better once he became president.

The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump, By Peter Wehner, New York Times, August 25, 2018

Donald Trump has done a lot of unprecedented things since he started running for president in June 2015. He’s attacked prisoners of war. He’s bullied just about everyone in the world of politics. He’s downplayed the white supremacist violence that led to a woman’s death in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s said thousands, literally, of things that are not true.

The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled, by Chris Cillizza, CNN, January 7, 2019

In success and in failure, in his historic outsider campaign and in his bankruptcies and business collapses, Trump’s tactics have barely varied. He bullies, he praises, he uses the media to attack and insult. He talks to many and trusts few. He lives in the moment and ignores the past. He acts now and constructs rationales later.

The art of loyalty, the pain of betrayal: Mueller shows how Trump has always operated, By Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Published Greenwich Times, April 18, 2019

And see what Samantha says he acts like?


He acts like a mob boss, demanding loyalty while heaping love upon those who praise him and contempt upon those who criticize. The only things missing are the knowing winks and nods while he chomps away loudly on a wad of gum rolling around his mouth.

Donald Trump Presents The Political Opportunity Of A Generation, By Samantha Strayer, The Federalist, September 22, 2015

And here’s more of it …


Trump is the first president to lash out at advisers who cooperated with a federal investigation and to adopt the language of the mob to bash people like Michael Cohen, his longtime attorney and fixer who spoke extensively to Mueller’s investigators.

The art of loyalty, the pain of betrayal: Mueller shows how Trump has always operated, By Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Published Greenwich Times, April 18, 2019

Seventy years old when he took office, Trump has long projected a menacing mobster/executive style. It was in the air all around him when we sat for eight hours of interviews in 2014 as I wrote my book, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success.”

It starts with the look — the suits, the hair, the bodyguards — and extends to his penchant for tough-guy talk. Opponents get nasty nicknames like Crooked Hillary or Lyin’ Ted or Crying Chuck and critics become assailants whom he promises to “hit back 10 times harder.”

Though Trump considers this stance righteous, it is the attitude of a thug who intends to intimidate. Especially when the man doing the threatening is the most powerful person in the world.

In his life before the White House, Trump operated with the impulsive unpredictability of a Tony Soprano and prized, above all else, secrecy and loyalty.

Trump’s mob mentality: Comey’s description of Trump is actually quite apt, BY MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 15, 2018

About as crazy-scary as the spittle-spraying Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, ain’t he? I won’t deny that all this hissing and seething makes Trump sound bonkers. Nor will I deny that I’ve never daydreamed about invoking the 25th Amendment that would put Trump in a straitjacket and handing his presidency over to Mike Pence. But if you finger-walk your way through the pages of the first 15 months of Trump presidency, you realize that most of his lunacy is for show. Like a blowfish, he inflates himself and makes aggressive movements in hopes of intimidating his adversaries. But then when nobody is looking, he passes his gas, shrinks to normal size and devotes his political capital not to crazy things but to conventional policy changes.

Is There Method in Donald Trump’s Madness?, By JACK SHAFER, Politico. May 02, 2018

You should know we understand the Donald because we are very familiar with bullying…


The Chinese government alternates between vague threats and appeals to consider family. “The phrasing they use — either to force you back or to get you to give information when you’re back — is, ‘It would be best for your father if you did this,’ or ‘Don’t you want the best thing for your father?’” the person says. Often, the Chinese government operatives will also try to appeal to the person’s patriotism. “They’ll say, ‘You’re Chinese, don’t you want to help the motherland?’ And when they want to intimidate or bully you, they say, ‘You’re too American, you don’t understand how things work in China.’”

If that doesn’t work, however, the government will switch to tougher tactics. “With most people, threats and imprisonment were enough,” the person says, “but with the really hard men, they tortured, or threatened to torture, the wives and relatives.”

THE DISAPPEARED, BY ZACH DORFMAN, FOREIGN POLICY, MARCH 29, 2018

And our China Dream drives us forward…


It should be clear by now that the Chinese party-state-the political entity I have called the Bully of Asia – is playing for the highest stakes. It seeks to realize the perennial “China Dream” of the Grand Unification of All Under Heaven. It would be a mistake to think that the present conflict between China and the United States is about trade relations, cyber-espionage, or the South China Sea. These are merely the edges on the surface of a deep underlying clash of values, institutions, and civilizations. The conflict is ultimately about whether America and its allies, or China alone, will dominate the world of the future. 
….
At the moment, as the Chinese party-state continues to tighten ‘its stranglehold on power, the country’s democratic prospects seem vanishingly small. Freedom has always been a relatively rare commodity in human history, but particularly so in China. In the Middle Kingdom “He who has the most force” has always won.

Steven W. Mosher, Bully of Asia

So, you can understand why we understand what your Shapiro guy is talking about, since we share the same version of the story we are in with our secular story allies…


See, that’s the dirty little secret: buried beneath all of the left’s supposed hatred for bullying is a passionate love for bullying-the use of power to force those who disagree to shut up, back down, or face crushing consequences up to and including loss of reputation, career destruction, and even death. 

The left’s anti-bullying stance is an enormous lie. It is a purposeful lie. It is a lie designed to disguise the fact that leftists are the greatest group of bullies in American history. 

Ben Shapiro, Bullies

And we understand why Shapiro says this about freedom…


America was a nation built on the notion that nobody should be bullied by the government. That’s what freedom means.

Ben Shapiro, Bullies

So, look what Paula showed us about a form of his bullying directly related to your America sense of freedom…


Since he shot to the top of the presidential polls, Donald Trump’s serial bankruptcies and bullying nature have made big headlines. But no one seems to have brought up a bullying business practice he’s particularly fond of: eminent domain.

Donald Trump’s eminent domain love nearly cost a widow her house, by David Boaz, The Guardian, August 19, 2015

Of all his many transgressions against American conservatism, Donald Trump’s unchecked enthusiasm for the use of eminent domain is far and away the most egregious. As John Locke and his accomplices in liberty understood so well, the right to be secure in one’s property is at the very heart of what it means to be free — the sine qua non of ordered liberty. “Even public necessity,” William Blackstone contended in 1765, must be subordinated “to the sacred and inviolable rights of private property,” for a self-ruling country “will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.”

At this contention, Donald Trump bites his well-manicured thumb and indignantly shouts, “Pah!” For the last three decades or so, Trump has been on a veritable crusade against those who would exhibit the temerity to reject the designs of the masters of the universe in the interest of keeping their own land. When, in October of this year, he told Fox News’s Bret Baier that contemporary eminent-domain standards are a “wonderful” thing, he raised a few eyebrows — even among his most vehement backers. But this was no late-night slip-up or temporary pander; it was an indication of who Trump is at his core.

….

As keen-eyed observers have noticed, Candidate Trump does not tend to use terms such as “liberty” or “freedom” or “choice,” preferring instead to talk of power and greatness and getting things done. Should we be surprised that he sees the government as a massive demolition ball?

….

It is difficult to overstate just how dramatically Trump’s approach toward private property breaks with the views that the Founders held — views that conservatives typically claim to endorse.

Property Rights Trumped, by CHARLES C. W. COOKE, National Review, November 2, 2015

Not only is Trump notoriously a sleaze, but he has tried to use the government’s power of eminent domain to take private land for his own private use. He brags about manipulating politicians, and shows a penchant for employing the power of the state to serve his own interests.

Is Trump the Evil King Ahab or the Redeemable Pagan Nebuchadnezzar?, BY TYLER O’NEIL, PJ Media, JUNE 10, 2016

The Republican frontrunner thinks eminent domain is ‘wonderful,’ and it’s no wonder—he’s tried to take plenty of people’s private property over the years.

“I think eminent domain is wonderful,” Donald Trump told Fox News’s Bret Baier, without hesitation, during a Tuesday evening interview.

Of course he does. He’s spent decades attempting to use the power of government to take people’s private property for his casinos, amusement parks, and parking lots. While the leading GOP candidate prides himself on being the ultimate capitalist, he’s actually something closer to a crony capitalist.

Donald Trump’s Long Love Affair With Taking Your Land, by Andrew Kirell, The Daily Beast, October 8, 2015

In a free market, there’s a pretty simple process for dealing with the situation that arises when one person covets another’s belongings: The coveter makes an offer to purchase them. If the offer is rebuffed, the coveter can make a new proposal, but he cannot simply take what he wants. It’s an effective way of recognizing the impracticality of the Tenth Commandment while enforcing the Eighth.

Donald Trump’s covetous nature is not in dispute, but what many may forget is that he’s no great respecter of the admonition not to steal, either: The man has a track record of using the government as a hired thug to take other people’s property.

This is called, of course, “eminent domain.” The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment allows the government to take private property for “public use,” so long as “just compensation” is paid. In the infamous 2005 Kelo decision, the Supreme Court held that “public use” could include, well, private use, so long as the new property owner paid more in taxes than the previous one. In other words, it allowed developers and the government to gang up on homeowners. The developer gets more land, the government gets more tax money. The only losers are the original owner and his property rights.

A decade and a half ago, it was fresh on everyone’s mind that Donald Trump is one of the leading users of this form of state-sanctioned thievery. It was all over the news. In perhaps the most-remembered example, John Stossel got the toupéed one to sputter about how, if he wasn’t allowed to steal an elderly widow’s house to expand an Atlantic City casino, the government would get less tax money, and seniors like her would get less “this and that.” Today, however, it takes a push from the Club for Growth to remind us of Trump’s lack of respect for property rights.

Donald Trump and Eminent Domain, By Robert VerBruggen, National Review, April 19, 2011

So, it has caught our attention that the Donald and his bullying is having an influence on his followers…


Of all the disorienting and disturbing cultural effects of Trump’s ascension to the presidency, few are as disorienting and disturbing as the redefinition of ideal masculinity in the hearts of many of his biggest fans. The sheepdog has been replaced by the wolf.

Cheap shots have replaced bravery. A certain kind of animal cunning has replaced honor. Libertine aggression has replaced fidelity. It’s as if the movie was remade from the bully’s perspective, and the bully became the hero. The man who evaded his generation’s war, who compared the dangers of his sex life to serving in Vietnam, is honored beyond the warrior.

The Unmanning of Conservatism, By DAVID FRENCH, The Atlantic, January 13, 2019

But, of course, all this makes sense for Donald, given that what he wants is clearly not what your God has commanded you to want – in both the first and second greatest commandments.

So that raises once again the question…


What do Christians who support Donald Trump really want?


Because if you choose to be like the Donald, then we believe we can persuade the Central Military Commission that we can continue to win against you without fighting as you continue to march yourselves into the Danger Zone of the House Divided.

This Hanson fellow is on to something…


Will America keep dividing and soon resort to open violence, as happened in 1861? Or will Americans reunite and bind up our wounds, as we did following the upheavals of the 1930s Great Depression or after the protests of the 1960s?

The answer lies within each of us.

Every day we will either treat each other as fellow Americans, with far more uniting than dividing us, or we will continue on the present path that eventually ends in something like a hate-filled Iraq, Rwanda, or the Balkans.

Are We on the Verge of Civil War?, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, September 21, 2018

So, are you Christians who support the Donald sure you don’t want to change and speak out against all this? Because look at the direction it may lead your country…


The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War has been in the making for almost two decades. Its origins lie in the author’s long-held interest in the history of violent behavior and our national government. Her previous book, Affairs of Honor (2001), covered the subject during the early history of the republic. Here, she picks up the story in the 1830s. The results are revelatory.

….

Here is where The Field of Blood gains its greatest significance. It puts honor culture and Southern bullying at the heart of the course to the Civil War. It doesn’t diminish the causal importance of slavery and abolitionism in bringing on the conflict. It doesn’t remove territorial expansion, the spread of slavery, the market economy, or differences between Northern and Southern culture from the mix. Instead, in Freeman’s words, the story is not so much about the rules of the game but about “the game gone awry.”

House Hostility, Senate Smackdowns, By JAMES M. BANNER JR., Weekly Standard, September 9, 2018

Let us know if you want this…


A love of country rooted in national memory would let us draw some good out of the ways in which we are now divided over patriotism. It is good for all of us to be reminded of the ideals America was born to embody, of the fact that it could stand to embody them more fully, of the fact that all these ideals can be embodied at the same time, and of the simple reality that America is not itself an ideal but a real nation, full of real people who deserve leaders who put them first.

And it would be good to remember, as well, that our country has made it through moments of much deeper division than this one — in the lifetimes of many Americans, let alone in the span of our national memory. We have often done so with the help of leaders able to summon us toward progress rooted in remembrance. We could sure use such leaders now.

‘Patriotism’ Has Always Divided Us. National Memory Can Unite Us. By Yuval Levin, Washington Post, June 30, 2017

And you may want to give some serious thought to all this – because it is so relevant to the possibility that you Christians are ultimately more responsible for America’s divided house than your secular opponents are.


What a challenge you are facing. Will you come to love your enemies in a time of intensifying conflict?

Our team really wants to know, because this is one of the key revealers of what you really want, here in the story.

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, we began to see that it might be helpful for you to think about the most basic foundational identity of your enemies, here in the story.

Paula put together a brief compilation of material connecting the Christian answer to the simple story question, “Who are we, here in the story?”, with various aspects of the issue of loving your neighbors and the civility you will need…


The Christian, on the other hand, positively affirms and is even called to love the secularist because he bears the dignity of having been created in the image of God and has the potential, through Christ, of sharing in the life of God.

One Little Word, by Richard John Neuhaus, First Things, January 2005

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

[T]rue social integration in American communities can occur only when people recognize each other as image bearers of God. The image of God transcends race and class. Therefore, if one sees his neighbor first as an image bearer of God, he is more likely to treat that person with dignity and respect.

Anthony Bradley, Black and Tired

A Christian must be prudent and wise about how he or she addresses the volatile issues that arise out of the debate over gay rights. First, he must never forget that homosexuals — even if he believes that homosexual behavior is immoral and harmful to those who practice it (as many Christians, including me, believe) – are persons made in the image of God. Thus Christians must not allow their support of the sanctity of marriage to obstruct their love toward those for whom Christ died, including homosexual neighbors and friends.

Francis J. Beckwith, Politics For Christians

Our reflection on the misadventures of liberty led us to ask again the question of Psalm 8, “What is man?” The opening pages of Genesis provide the answer: He is created “in the image and likeness of God.” Human dignity is a derived dignity; it is the gift of God. This is not simply our answer to the question, “What is man?” It is God’s answer. Such dignity must never be subjected to our comparative measurements, for it has its source in the sovereign decision of the divine liberty. Human dignity must never be understood as resting on the differences that human sinfulness has introduced into history.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, First Things (October 1997)

We have moral responsibilities to other people in our community because they are people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or lot in life. According to the Christian and Jewish view of humanity, all people have inherent dignity because they are made in the image of God. And thus we should show respect to and concern for those of both genders and all races and nationalities.

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air, By Francis Beckwith, Gregory Koukl

Every religion we know places some distinctive value on human creatures. For Christians, this value is bestowed by divine creation and love; that is, all human beings are created in the image of God and are worthy of Jesus Christ giving his life so they may have a more abundant life. This means that all members of the human family possess a certain dignity and deserve a particular treatment which acknowledges their creature-status before God.

All forms of human behavior, social practices, and institutional arrangements which deny this dignity and violate this treatment must be rejected and resisted.

Cornel West, Prophetic Fragments

For Jews and Christians, it is God’s love that exalts the individual, who is created in God’s image and thus is a fitting lover for the Maker of Heaven.

David Goldman, How Civilizations Die 

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from theFirst Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”.

……

And we have also seen, synthetically, that biblical faith does not set up a parallel universe, or one opposed to that primordial human phenomenon which is love, but rather accepts the whole man; it intervenes in his search for love in order to purify it and to reveal new dimensions of it. This newness of biblical faith is shown chiefly in two elements which deserve to be highlighted: the image of God and the image of man.

……

Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love. Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practise it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world—this is the invitation I would like to extend with the present Encyclical.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER DEUS CARITAS EST, OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI, December 25, 2005

As Benedict writes: “God is the guarantor of man’s true development, inasmuch as, having created him in his image, he also establishes the transcendent dignity of men and women and feeds their innate yearning to `be more.’ Man is not a lost atom in a random universe: he is God’s creature, whom God chose to endow with an immortal soul and whom he has always loved”.

Why You Can’t Just ‘Love Your Neighbor’ By Francis J. Beckwith, Christianity Today, July 10, 2009

In the course of history, it was often maintained that the creation of institutions was sufficient to guarantee the fulfilment of humanity’s right to development. Unfortunately, too much confidence was placed in those institutions, as if they were able to deliver the desired objective automatically. In reality, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone. Moreover, such development requires a transcendent vision of the person, it needs God: without him, development is either denied, or entrusted exclusively to man, who falls into the trap of thinking he can bring about his own salvation, and ends up promoting a dehumanized form of development. Only through an encounter with God are we able to see in the other something more than just another creature, to recognize the divine image in the other, thus truly coming to discover him or her and to mature in a love that “becomes concern and care for the other.”

“Caritas in veritate” – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI

Likewise, the biblical love commands do not exempt any group of people, not even philosophers. Their purpose is to call all people to reflect the character of God, their creator. Jesus identifies this purpose in the Sermon on the Mount, after calling his followers to love even their enemies (see Matt. 5:44-45, 48; cf. Luke 6:35-36). Given that all people are created by God to be obedient creatures, all people are called to image God’s character of self-giving love. As a result, no one is exempt from loving God and neighbors. A person is not permitted to exclude himself or herself from the purpose of human existence, even for the sake of philosophy. Before an all-loving God, truth-seeking does not trump the requirement to love others, because it does not override the requirement to mirror God’s character. An assumption of the autonomy of philosophers relative to the love commands conflicts with God’s universal purpose for humans: to have all humans become loving as God is loving. Accordingly, the love commands of Jesus concern all the people of God, and not just the people of God outside philosophy or other special vocations.

JESUS AND PHILOSOPHY: ON THE QUESTIONS WE ASK, By Paul K. Moser

While far from perfect, Western civilization has brought more economic prosperity, more scientific and technological advancement, more political freedom, and more concern for human rights and equality than any other civilization in history. And all of this was based on a biblical worldview which believed that human beings are made in the image of God and thus have both the potential to understand the physical universe and an inherent dignity and worth that cannot be taken away.

Dr. Glenn Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home

Man, because he is God’s image bearer, has dignity and worth and stands above all the rest of creation. Thus, man in his complexity (as one who thinks, works, and relates to other humans) is to reflect the glory and person of his Creator. It is the whole of man that is referred to by the image and likeness, not two separate things.

The Bible & Science: Two Epistemic Necessities, James Stambaugh, JCA 1:1 (Summer 1997)

[T]he value of yourself comes from within you and not from the opinion of anyone else. Most important, knowing that you are created in the very image of God makes you priceless in his eyes!

Grace Ketterman, Teaching Your Child About Sex: An Essential Guide For Parents

According to biblical theism, the fundamental being exemplifies virtue properties and other intrinsically valuable attributes. He created the world and imposed upon human persons an objective moral law grounded in his own good nature, along with the intrinsic goodness and properly functioning natures of the things he created. He created human persons with the powers necessary to engage in moral actions as part of an overall life of flourishing, and he gave all human persons his own image which serves as the ontological ground for high, equal human value and rights simply as such.

J.P. Moreland, The Recalcitrant Imago Dei

It will probably amaze us to realize that when the Creator of the universe wanted to create something “in his image,” something more like himself than all the rest of creation, he made us. This realization will give us a profound sense of dignity and significance as we reflect on the excellence of all the rest of God’s creation: the starry universe, the abundant earth, the world of plants and animals, and the angelic kingdoms are remarkable, even magnificent. But we are more like our Creator than any of these things. We are the culmination of God’s infinitely wise and skillful work of creation. Even though sin has greatly marred that likeness, we nonetheless now reflect much of it and shall even more as we grow in likeness to Christ.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin — who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is something wonderful.

Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason


If we do not have God for a Father, we will not see our fellow man as our brother. If we are not made in the image and likeness of God, we will not treat every life as created equal and endowed with unalienable rights—indeed, we will view our neighbors as random, meaningless cosmic dust that gets in our way.

Natural Law, Social Justice, and the Crisis of Liberty in the West, by Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse, March 10th, 2017


Donald the Liar

We are trying to put ourselves in the shoes of Christians in America, to understand why so many of you support of Donald Trump. But, while we are happy that you back him for China’s purposes going forward, we are also baffled.

Especially when we run across verses like this from your Bible…


When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent

Proverbs 10:19 


If Donald Trump has an area where his words are many, it’s in his mastery of the Art of the Lie. If this doesn’t trouble you, we wonder again where your heart is when it comes to your God, because we want to know what you want.

We look at Trump and laugh at your old American saying from playgrounds across your country, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Given your current President, you might want to rethink that…


The banality and weaponization of Trump’s words are bad enough, but the greatest cause for concern is his nonstop, dawn-to-midnight assault on facts, truth, reality. That places Trump in a sinister category all his own.  

Many politicians are guilty of not telling the full truth of events. A significant number shade the truth from time to time. A few fall into the category of consistent, outright liars. But only very few—and only the most dangerous—are committed to destroying the very idea of truth itself. That is what we have in Donald Trump, along with many of his aides and courtiers. We saw it at the dawn of the Trump presidency, when he insisted—and sent out his press secretary to insist—that the crowd size at his inauguration was larger than that of Barack Obama’s, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. And that behavior has continued virtually every day since.

According to The Washington Post, Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims as president, roughly 12 a day. The Trump presidency is notable for the number and velocity of his falsehoods and misleading statements. They have been made in speeches and tweets, on matters significant and trivial, about others and about himself—and he virtually never apologizes or issues corrections. He says what he wants, when he wants, regardless of the reality of things.

Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019

“The man lies all the time, writes Thomas Wells, an attorney Trump once hired. In Bob Woodward’s book Fear, Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the president as “a f******” liar,” telling Trump he would end up in an “orange jump suit” if he testified to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And the former White House aide Anthony Scaramucci, when asked whether he considers Trump a liar, admitted, “Okay, well we both know that he’s telling lies. So if you want me to say he’s a liar, I’m happy to say he’s a liar.” (In a later interview Scaramucci put it this way: “He’s an intentional liar. It’s very different from just being a liar-liar.”)

Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019

Peter Wehner says many things well, and there he is again, showing how deeply he understands the power of verbal actions—likening Trump’s words to weapons.

Trump’s problem with lying is like a flashflood, and people are starting to keep track. Does this give you pause? Isn’t your God into this kind of keeping track, putting numbers to tears you shed and hairs on your head? Doesn’t this kind of information about this President you’re so fiercely backing concern you?


On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump. In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.”

It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose. By Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, August 3, 2018

It turns out that’s when the president decided to turn on the spigots of false and misleading claims. As of day 558, he’s made 4,229 Trumpian claims — an increase of 978 in just two months.

That’s an overall average of nearly 7.6 claims a day.

When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. But the average number of claims per day keeps climbing the longer Trump stays in office. In fact, in June and July, the president averaged 16 claims a day.

Put another way: In his first year as president, Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims. Now, just six months later, he has almost doubled that total.

President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days, By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post, August 1, 2018

The volume is overwhelming, like a flashflood.


“The President learned during the campaign that he could do this and be rewarded for it,” David Priess, a former CIA officer and CNN political commentator, told CNN’s Erica Hill this week. “He did not take a hit for anything that was discovered about not telling the truth to the American people or holding back things like tax returns, like medical records.”

“The lesson he clearly learned was, ‘I don’t have to do it and there will not be a price to pay that matters enough to me.’ “

Trump is so far unique because of the volume of fabrications he has gotten away with, unlike predecessors who told untruths less frequently yet paid a bigger price.

Trump divines his own truth without consequences, by Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 7, 2018

…a pathological flashflood…


To justify his belligerent actions, Trump lies relentlessly and remorselessly. In fact, according to a Washington Post analysis, Trump has made over 3,000 false or misleading claims since taking office. And, the Post notes, his lying seems to have escalated in recent weeks. Moreover, Trump’s confidants describe him as increasingly likely to ignore any moderating advice offered by those around him. There are no “grownups in the room” who can stop him as he surrounds himself with corrupt and bellicose cronies prepared to do his bidding – all of which is entirely predictable from his psychology.

Trump’s wild exaggerations in recent weeks reveal the increasing severity of his symptoms. Consider, for example, his repeated claims that the vague outcome of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un constitutes an end to the nuclear threat posed by Kim’s regime, or his blatant lie that Democrats, rather than his own policies, caused the forced separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border with Mexico. The Post recently counted 29 false or misleading statements in a mere one-hour rally. Whether intentional or delusional, this level of persistent lying is pathological.

Trump’s Psychopathology Is Getting Worse, JEFFREY D. SACHS, BANDY X. LEE, Project Syndicate, July 3, 2018

Here’s your Senator Cruz in agreement …


CRUZ: I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.

He accuses everybody on that debate stage of lying. And it’s simply a mindless yell. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist. A narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen.

Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, ‘Dude, what’s your problem?’ Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald.

Cruz Explodes: “Pathological Liar” Trump “A Narcissist At A Level I Don’t Think This Country Has Ever Seen”, By Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics, May 3, 2016


So, if Donald Trump was chosen to help bring the story of the United States to its end, what if his amazing “propensity for lying” is playing a key role in the unfolding drama?


Trump compounds his contemptuousness through a propensity for lying that seems pathological – including lies about those very insults.

Trump: The Worst Human Being, by Quin Hillyer, Weekly Standard, December 7, 2015

Trump is always talking about fake news, but, look at this…


Fresh off his nuclear summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump has touted the meeting as a success. He tweeted Wednesday that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea” as a result of his work, and he has been critical of the press for its general disparagement of the summit.

“So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN,” he wrote. “They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have “begged” for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!”

Trump: Fake News is ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’, By David Rutz, Washington Free Beacon, June 13, 2018

Then we saw this, from your Shapiro guy, which made us wonder how you Christians, who claim to put your trust in your God, could not but wonder why Trump is making false claims about reality…


Ben Shapiro ‏Verified account @benshapiro Aug 2

Ben Shapiro Retweeted Donald J. Trump

Absolute stupid garbage. Kim’s vision involves murdering his relatives with WMD in public places and creating massive gulags for dissenters while keeping millions in misery.

Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump

….Chariman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true. He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!


So, if Trump himself, through his lies, is producing fake news, is he in some manner paralleling the “biggest enemy”?

Let’s hear from Peter Wehner’s words again…


Donald Trump is engaged not just in an assault on truth; he’s engaged in an effort to annihilate truth. We’ve never seen anything like it in American politics. It’s relentless; it’s done morning, noon, and night. And it’s not just lies. It’s the nature of the lies. It’s an assault on provable truths, demonstrable truths.

— Peter Wehner

What’s Left of the Right?, Democracy Journal, Summer 2018

Isn’t there another character in your Christian story, your villain, who would like to annihilate the truth? Just sayin’.

But maybe you ought to be thinking along the lines of this Beckwith guy about the effects on unraveling the moral fabric of your society.


The death of truth in our society has created a moral decay in which “every debate ends with the barroom question ‘says who?’”

Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air

And, if Christianity is the story we are in, you Christians may be facing a giant gap with your “chosen one”.

So, are you sure you want to keep looking the other way and ignoring his lying? Are you really going to keep giving him a ‘mulligan’ for this?

Especially when he is in a class all by himself…


The more a leader deceives the public, the more he erodes trust, weakens institutions, and creates damaging precedents.

….

But as the sheer number of lies indicates, the US has never seen a president like Donald Trump.

White House of Lies, By Joseph S Nye, Asia Times, AUGUST 12, 2018

But trust isn’t the only thing eroding. Lying corrodes democracy…


The tribal premium on loyalty has obliterated the quaint idea — actually, the idea that provides the foundation for democracy — that voters deserve to know the facts and to hold politicians accountable. But Blunt, like so many other Republicans, can no longer think in such straightforward terms like: Is lying wrongDoes lying corrode our democracy?

Put aside the law for a moment. Trump’s lying is just plain wrong. By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, May 7, 2018

And then there’s the erosion of civil discourse…


What is happening in America is often described as the erosion of civil discourse, but the effects of the country’s polarization go far beyond the demise of polite conversation. Neither in Red America nor the States of Resistance is it possible to calmly discuss public policy. Disagreement over facts appears to be greater than ever.

….

Stanford University’s Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science and communication, says political party preference has become a litmus test for values and character in modern America. “Democrats and Republicans view their opponents as hypocritical, selfish and close-minded, and are unwilling to socialize with them, or even partner with them in different types of activities,” he says.

Declining trust in government and a lack of honest debate results in a polarized population susceptible to fake news that lives in states growing less moderate by the month.

US anger and divisiveness blamed on ‘Truth Decay’, By DAVID DEVOSS, Asia Times, JULY 4, 2018

And look at this, from your Novak guy. It is yet another indicator that the great danger facing America is internal…


During the past 100 years, the question for those who loved liberty was whether, relying on the virtues of our peoples, we could survive the most powerful assaults from without. During the next 100 years, the question for those who love liberty will be whether we can survive the most insidious and duplicitous attacks from within, from those who undermine the virtues of our people, doing in advance the work of the Father of Lies. “There is no such thing as truth,” they teach even the little ones. “Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Get in touch with yourself. Do what feels comfortable.”

Awakening From Nihilism, By MICHAEL NOVAK, National Review, April 25, 2019

And since, as we noted previously, Americans increasingly know their history less than before…


As our political discourse is increasingly dominated by sources who care nothing for truth or credibility, we come closer and closer to the situation that Walter Lippmann warned about a century ago, in his seminal “Liberty and the News.” “Men who have lost their grip upon the relevant facts of their environment are the inevitable victims of agitation and propaganda. The quack, the charlatan, the jingo . . . can flourish only where the audience is deprived of independent access to information,” he wrote. A nation whose citizens have no knowledge of history is asking to be led by quacks, charlatans, and jingos.

The Decline of Historical Thinking, By Eric Alterman, New Yorker, February 4, 2019

So, will your democracy thrive under Donald’s lies? Perhaps his lying is better suited to a totalitarian regime…


Orwell was right. The totalitarian regime rests on lies because they are lies. The subject of the totalitarian regime must accept them not as truth—must not, in fact, believe them—but accept them both as lies and as the only available reality. She must believe nothing. Just as Orwell predicted, over time the totalitarian regime destroys the very concept, the very possibility of truth. Hannah Arendt identified this as one of the effects of totalitarian propaganda: it makes everything conceivable because “nothing is true.”

How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today, By Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, June 10, 2018

And do you take our enemy, Solzhenitsyn, seriously?


But let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose falsehood as his PRINCIPLE. At its birth violence acts openly and even with pride. But no sooner does it become strong, firmly established, than it senses the rarefaction of the air around it and it cannot continue to exist without descending into a fog of lies, clothing them in sweet talk. It does not always, not necessarily, openly throttle the throat, more often it demands from its subjects only an oath of allegiance to falsehood, only complicity in falsehood.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture in Literature 1970

And he wasn’t the only dissident who saw that…


Destroy the foundation of factual truth, and lies will be normalized. This is what the Czech dissident (and later president) Václav Havel described in the late 1970s when he wrote about his fellow citizens making their own inner peace with a regime built on hypocrisy and falsehoods. They were “living within the lie.” In such a situation life becomes farcical, demoralizing, a theater of the absurd. It is soul-destroying.

Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019

And Paula showed us this…


Once the appeal to objective standards of truth and justice are removed, we are left with only the arbitrary exercise of power.

Jim Leffel, “The New Challenge in Christian Apologetics,” Presentation to Faculty, Cornell University, April 1999.

So, as the drama unfolds, you might want to meditate on the reality that many of your fellow Americans will embrace both lying and contempt as tools for living because they will believe it worked for the Donald…


The dirty little secret is that many on the left seem to believe that Trump was onto something. They believe that being nice and playing by the rules of civility and decency (where truth matters) are obsolete concepts. They believe that persuasion and bringing people together are just slogans.

Celebs Threatening Trump Doesn’t Help, By Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, January 23, 2017

Revelations that Trump dictated a doctor’s report on his health before voters went to the polls and his ever-shifting story on a hush payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels might have been a debilitating blow to any normal politician.

In Trump’s case, they were simply more of the same flurry of daily controversies that characterize his presidency. While his critics reacted with outrage, his supporters saw media fact checks as just more “fake news.”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose criticisms Trump has previously rejected, compared the President’s method to the “moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts” described by George Orwell in his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.

“Up is down, black is white, war is peace,” Clapper recently said on CNN. “What disturbs me is this is becoming normal in this country. The people just accept the fact that the place to look for truth is not the White House.”

Trump divines his own truth without consequences, by Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 7, 2018

These lies have multiple consequences. First and most obviously, they demonstrate that the president’s word simply can’t be trusted. Yes, I know that there are readers who will immediately respond that “we already knew that” or that his dishonesty is already “priced in.” But don’t forget — as recently as last year, 76 percent of Republicans still believed that Trump told the truth “all or most of the time.” I personally know many people who believe that Trump’s ability to “tell it like it is” is one of his chief appeals.

Second, the extent of the lying across the Trump team shows that Trump’s lies can’t be contained to Trump. Even honest people who believe and repeat Trump’s words or the words of key members of his team can find themselves deceiving the public. Those who resist Trump’s efforts to deceive can find themselves overruled and publicly shamed. It was to Donald Jr.’s credit that his instinct — after news of the Trump Tower meeting started to leak — was to be transparent. It is Trump’s shame that he forced his own son to put out a misleading statement instead.

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience, By DAVID FRENCH, National Review, April 18, 2019

And the more they do so, the more our Party will party, because your fragile house will just keep dividing…


If the language surrounding the investigation remains florid and purple, if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon, the Trumpians will respond in kind by stirring the pot through their media and their argumentation.

The result might well be violence. Not rhetorical violence. Actual violence. Actual political violence. Actual conflicts between anti-Trumpers and Trumpers. At demonstrations. In the streets. Of our cities. Political violence of a sort we haven’t seen in 50 years, and maybe haven’t really seen in this country in the modern era. Those who believe Trump is a unique menace whose threat to our democratic way of life will be met with those who believe the elites are using illicit means to oust the legitimately elected president of the United States.

This is not a fantasy. This is one possible future. And every rational person who cares about the future of the country should be mindful of it, and should work to forestall it.

Beware Triggering the Coup Theory, By John Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine, February 15, 2017

Is violence right around the corner? Are your sure you want to keep backing a President who is leading your country deeper and deeper into your dangerous divide? 


Political polarization has many sources, but the prime cause of it now is the president himself. Polarization defines Trump’s survival strategy, and it means that demagoguery — toward immigrants, toward crime, toward special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe, toward dissenting NFL players, toward anyone who takes him on — is what his presidency is all about.

What thus needs exposing is not simply Trump’s indifference to the truth but also the fact that he depends upon the kinds of lies that will tear our country to pieces.

Call out his lies. He depends on them. By E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post, May 30, 2018

Did you know you were choosing a President who inspires moral decay?


But the most immediate thing to be on guard for in the new era is the way Trump inspires both supporters and opponents to abandon their moral, ethical, and professional standards and give in to their unchecked instincts to acquire power and humiliate or denigrate their perceived enemies, usually their fellow countrymen. Trump’s political success can be partly explained by the way in which America’s culture war has a logic of escalation. Trump’s presidency may see a quickening of tempo.

We are already tempted to hate and fear each other and think the worst of each other, especially as we contemplate our country through backlit screens that draw us to them by stimulating our most basic fight-or-flight instincts. The virtues of sobriety and liberality will be denigrated as liabilities by both sides in the Trump era. Expect them to become rarer and more valuable, especially when their value seems less obvious.

Keep your heads on a swivel.

What I fear about the age of Trump, By Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, January 18, 2017

So, what if you have made a foolish wager by ignoring the impact of Donald’s lying?


Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are right now the chief emblem of corruption and cynicism in American political life, of an ethic of might makes right. Dehumanizing others is fashionable and truth is relative. (“Truth isn’t truth,” in the infamous words of Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.) They are stripping politics of its high purpose and nobility.

That’s not all politics is; self-interest is always a factor. But if politics is only about power unbounded by morality — if it’s simply about rulers governing by the law of the jungle, about a prince acting like a beast, in the words of Machiavelli — then the whole enterprise will collapse.

The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump, By Peter Wehner, New York Times, August 25, 2018

You see, one day Paula Wong showed me this, from your Colson guy, the former “hatchet man” for your President Nixon. And as you may know, Colson underwent a massive change in his story…


The only thing that makes life meaningful is if it is tied to truths – otherwise we are adrift in the cosmos; we are lost. We will drift around looking for some place to moor the boat. We’ll be caught up in the fads of the moment, and living with false presuppositions. So the most urgent, the most desperate need is to find truth.

So we have to be rooted in truth. That truth is then going to lead us to certain propositions that will give us a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

That is so disturbing for our team, because if Christianity is the story we are in, then it means we are pushing away our deep desire for a meaningful life.

But, what if you are also pushing something away?

And, what if by looking the other way and ignoring the serious implications of Donald’s lying, you have revealed something to your God?

Because, if Christianity is the story we are in, he is watching you.

You see, it caught our attention that Jerry Falwell, Jr.to whom we will always be so grateful — considered a liar like Donald Trump his “dream president.”

But look at this passage which Paula Wong discovered…


What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.

Proverbs 19:22


And also…


Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!

Psalm 40:4


So, when Jerry began to embrace the Donald long before the 2016 binary choice bind, was he unaware of Donald’s propensity for lying? …


What sort of man is the president of these United States? We know he is a habitual liar, one who tells obvious lies for no apparent reason, from claiming to own hotels that he does not own to boasting about having a romantic relationship with Carla Bruni, which never happened. (“Trump is obviously a lunatic,” Bruni explained.) He invented a series of imaginary friends to lie to the New York press about both his business and sexual careers. He has conducted both his private and public lives with consistent dishonesty and dishonor. He is not a man who can be taken at his word.

Trump’s Credibility Problem, by Kevin Williamson, National Review, June 12, 2017

A decade ago, my lawyers questioned Trump under oath during a deposition in a libel case he filed against me for a biography I wrote, “TrumpNation.” (Trump lost the case in 2011.) Trump had to acknowledge 30 times during that deposition that he had lied over the years about a wide range of issues: his ownership stake in a large Manhattan real estate development; the cost of a membership to one of his golf clubs; the size of the Trump Organization; his wealth; the rate for his speaking appearances; how many condos he had sold; the debt he owed, and whether he borrowed money from his family to stave off personal bankruptcy.

Trump also lied during the deposition about his business relationships with organized crime figures.

My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath, By Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg, June 12, 2017

Did Jerry not know then who he was embracing? And was he unaware of what your Bible says?

Look at some of the passages we found…


Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Proverbs 12:22


Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 12:19


Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

Proverbs 17:7


The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Proverbs 21:6


lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26:28


Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,

Psalm 12:2-3


Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psalm 34:13


My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

Psalm 57:4


A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.

Proverbs 17:20


Oh that my head were waters,
    and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night
    for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh that I had in the desert
    a travelers’ lodging place,
that I might leave my people
    and go away from them!
For they are all adulterers,
    a company of treacherous men.
They bend their tongue like a bow;
    falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
    and they do not know me, declares the Lord.

Let everyone beware of his neighbor,
    and put no trust in any brother,
for every brother is a deceiver,
    and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Everyone deceives his neighbor,
    and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
    they weary themselves committing iniquity.
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
    they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Behold, I will refine them and test them,
    for what else can I do, because of my people?
Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
    it speaks deceitfully;
with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor,
    but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord,
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?

Jeremiah 9:1-9


And did Jerry miss what your famous King David had said about, well, look at this…


Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.

….

No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Psalm 101:5, 7


I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.

Psalm 26:4


But maybe he was aware of what King David had written. After all, didn’t Jerry try to use the worst part of King David’s story to justify his support of Donald Trump?


Falwell believes Trump gives America the best chance to be great again.

….

“God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said. “You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We’re not voting for pastor-in-chief.”

FALWELL SPEAKS, By Sarah Rodriguez, Liberty Champion, March 8, 2016

But was Jerry not aware of what your God communicated to David after his adultery and murder?


Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”

2 Samuel 12:9-12


So, is it possible trouble is coming Donald’s way? Because what if what King David said in the following verse is going to play out before Jerry’s very eyes?


You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psalm 5:6


And this passage especially caught the attention of our team. If Christianity is the story we are in, doesn’t this passage then mean our President Xi Jinping can play the Donald?…


An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

Proverbs 17:4


And think about the Donald’s love for our puppet in North Korea.

So, did all this reveal something about Jerry? Has he migrated into the minimalist corner?

For instance, as we have already explored, Donald Trump is a very proud man. And throughout your Bible we found your God opposing proud people. Over and over again.  

And twice in the New Testament, in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5, it plainly says for all to read, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

And look what Paula showed us from one of your famous pastors…


Many of you are filled with great excitement and passion to see reform. Your desire is to see the Church flourish. You want God to use you to bring change. But for some of you, He won’t. You will fail miserably for one reason: you’re not humble. He promises to oppose your efforts (James 4:6). Rather than being used by God to bring life to the Church, the Enemy will use you to destroy. 

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. ” James 4:6 

Francis Chan, Letters to the Church

So our team is wondering — why did God’s opposition to the pride of Donald Trump not matter to Jerry, the head of the largest Christian university? Was what Jerry wanted powerful enough to blind him to this?…


The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:5


And if Christians in America refuse to consider these possibilities it makes us wonder what it is you want.


What do you want?


Was embracing Donald Trump an expression of trust in your God? Was turning a deaf ear to what you knew he was like saying anything about what it is you want?

We must show you these two verses we found that might catch your attention. What if they are a hint of things to come your way in America’s unfolding drama?…


Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18


Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Matthew 23:12


Wow. Trump is pretty focused on self exaltation, don’t you think? And your Jesus is pretty on the nose about what will happen to people like that. But, there’s no getting around it– status is very important to the Donald, which reminded us of the status genre in story.

Could this help us understand something about the direction the desire for status can take you? It looks pretty bleak for the young Americans who are following Trump’s lead especially.


For whatever reason, the shift away from this sort of life has also brought with it a shift in values, and Twenge thinks that this, too, can account for the increase in anxiety and depression. “There’s clear evidence that the focus on money, fame, and image has gone up,” she said, referring to various surveys that have been conducted over the decades in which young people are asked about their goals and values, “and there’s also clear evidence that people who focus on money, fame, and image are more likely to be depressed and anxious.”

For 80 Years, Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, and No One Is Quite Sure Why, By Jesse Singal, New York Magazine, March 13, 2016

So, what if Jerry Jr. got what he really wanted?


“I think evangelicals have found their dream president,” Falwell said.

Jerry Fallwell Jr.: Evangelicals Have Found ‘Dream President’ in Donald Trump, BY BRANDON SHOWALTER, Christian Post, April 30, 2017

But has Jerry considered how this insight from your Colson guy fits with the Donald?…


My contention is we live in a postmodern culture which has lost any sense of biblical literacy – which believes that truth is negotiable, a mere personal preference. It’s a culture that has no concept of its own sin.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

Doesn’t that insight point to the possibility that the Donald may have been chosen as a revealer?

And what if he was chosen to play a unique role in your American drama as a storyteller? For it’s clear, Trump is a storyteller…


Like any entertainer, like any producer, Trump knows his story needs heroes and villains. It’s us versus them, darkness versus light. Newt Gingrich said it well on “CBS This Morning” in June: “Trump is a storyteller, he’s an entertainer. His whole career has been like this.”

When the hosts brought up Trump’s fabrications, Gingrich said, “He should tell the truth, but he also likes to tell stories. And sometimes his stories stretch things.”

Obviously Gingrich was being generous. Trump doesn’t just “stretch things,” he lies day in and day out. The dishonesty is one of the defining features of his presidency.

But many of the lies are in service of the grand story he’s telling. Look past the lies for a moment, and you can see why his crowds love it. He says he’s putting America first, fixing the economy, and fighting the dark forces trying to stop him. His story is about wall-building and swamp-draining and deep-state-defeating. In other words, he is the hero, battling against Democrats, Never Trumpers and Robert Mueller.

President Trump is winning the story-telling game, with help from his friends in the media, by Brian Stelter, CNN, August 5, 2018

And is it possible Jerry has not considered how the Donald’s lying may move your nation toward a nightmare – in multiple ways?

Serious things…like lying to capture political power…


We live in a time when intentional, systematic, destabilizing lying—totalitarian lying for the sake of lying, lying as a way to assert or capture political power — has become the dominant factor in public life in Russia, the United States, Great Britain, and many other countries in the world. When we engage with the lies — and engaging with these lies is unavoidable and even necessary — we forfeit the imagination. But the imagination is where democracy lives. We imagine the present and the past, and then we imagine the future.

How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today, By Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, June 10, 2018

And could his lies play a role in ending your healthy democratic debate?


Trump is not simply a serial liar; he is attempting to murder the very idea of truth, which is even worse. “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda,” according to the Russian dissident and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. “It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

This is an urgent matter, and it makes this a dangerous moment because without truth and a common factual basis for our national life, a free society cannot operate. And right now, for a significant number of Americans—including many people on the right who long defended the concept of objective truth and repeatedly rang the alarm bell about the rise of relativism—truth is viewed as relative rather than objective, malleable rather than solid; as instrumental, as a means to an end, as a weapon in our intense political war. A depressingly large number of Trump supporters—again, many of whom have for years agreed with the conservative political philosopher Allan Bloom that relativism was impoverishing our souls—now seem to relish this “post-truth” political moment.

Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019

And speaking of murdering truth, there’s the whole question of war, too…


[T]he best way to cover up one’s own lies is pre-emptively to accuse the other fellow of lying. That’s why, by the way (as I may have mentioned once or twice before), democratically-elected bodies throughout the world have banned the charge of lying against one’s political opponents (or, in Senator Ted Cruz’s case, one’s allies) as “unparliamentary language.” What debate is possible between parties who deny each other’s good faith? But we have long since abandoned this necessary rule along with anything like genuine debate. When debate ends, war — even if it is only a tragical-comical burlesque of a war with words, for the most part, as the only weapons — is what remains.

Constituting Truth, by James Bowman, From The New Criterion, September 30, 2018

And speaking of war, his disregard for truth could widen quickly to a disregard for democratic norms and rule of law.


I don’t believe that President Trump was lying when, the day after he swore the oath of office, he told a roomful of CIA employees that the crowd at his inauguration “looked like a million, a million and a half people” and “went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” I don’t believe he was lying when he recounted that the rain “stopped immediately” when he began delivering his inaugural address and that “it poured right after I left.” And I don’t believe he was lying when, on Monday, he repeated in front of lawmakers his post-election falsehood that 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote.

Trump was doing something far worse.

Lying, as defined by philosopher Harry Frankfurt, is an act undertaken intentionally to obscure the truth. Liars look at the truth and go in the other direction; but in doing so, they recognize implicitly that there is such a thing as the truth and such a thing as its opposite.

Trump, however, often operates without any connection to the truth. For him, truth is not an enemy so much as an irrelevance. As a real estate developer and cultural figure, his routine spouting of falsehoods could be comparatively harmless, even entertaining. As president, however, his disregard for the truth could easily become disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law.

Can a president who disregards the truth uphold his oath of office?, By Quinta Jurecic, Washington Post, January 27, 2017

Which possibly could bring a disordered liberty…


Nations are ultimately judged not by their military might or economic wealth but by their fidelity to “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” In the view of the Founders, just government is self-government. Liberty is not license but is “ordered liberty”—liberty in response to moral truth. The great threat to the American experiment today is not from enemies abroad but from disordered liberty. That disorder is increasingly expressed in a denial of the very concept of moral truth. The cynical question of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”, is today frequently taken to be a mark of sophistication, also in our political discourse and even in the jurisprudence of our courts.

We Hold These Truths: A Statement of Christian Conscience and Citizenship, by Richard John Neuhaus and Charles W. Colson, First Things, October 1997

Is Trump capable of honoring his presidential oath, or is he out of his depth?


By sitting in the Oval Office, Trump is coming up against an intricate system of responsibility and consequences. To put it bluntly, the world behaves as if the president’s words mean things. This is perhaps most acute in the area of law, which — despite the reputation of lawyers for fast talking and forked tongues — is a highly systematized structure of meaning used to evaluate the merit and relevance of facts and arguments, and which imposes consequences based on a certain ascertainment of truth.

In the Lawfare essay, I speculated that Trump’s flouting of the truth would render him characterologically incapable of honoring his presidential oath, which requires the president to “faithfully execute” his office and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” — both duties that demand a basic level of respect for the concepts of law and of meaning. Now, of course, Trump has sworn that oath. Yet we can’t know whether he will be any more faithful to his pledge than he was to the reality of the weather on Inauguration Day.

Both truth and law provide constraints on human action, binding us to the facts of the world and to certain agreed-upon norms of behavior. In that way, they limit our freedom, yet they also create the shared space within which we interact with one another.

Can a president who disregards the truth uphold his oath of office?, By Quinta Jurecic, Washington Post, January 27, 2017

If Christianity is the story we are in, then Satan is playing a role in the unfolding drama of America, right? 

And we were rather startled by this passage we found, in which Jesus takes verbal actions condemning both the “doing” and the “talking” actions of the villain…


They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

John 8:39-47


Wow. Jesus was sure a man of strong verbal actions.

And Jesus says when your ultimate antagonist, Satan, speak lies, he is speaking out of his own character. Doesn’t this give you serious pause about supporting a man who unleashes a powerful flashflood verbal actions by constantly spewing lies?

If this doesn’t give you pause, have you read your T. Desmond Alexander guy yet? We highly recommend you do, for he shows great insight into your Christian meta-story…


Satan’s greatest deception is to persuade us that we do not need to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. As with Adam and Eve, he continues to deceive human beings regarding God’s authority.  Not surprisingly, he is particularly keen to have people ignore or reject the biblical meta-story. By doing so Satan bolsters his own position as ruler of the world.

T. Desmond Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem

These are perilous times in your fragile country, times which require great moral leadership – if Christianity is the story we are in. But Trump doesn’t seem to comprehend this vital role…


Showing his dismissal of the idea of the moral leadership underlying “American exceptionalism,” Trump said in 2015, “I don’t like the term.” Exceptionality, for him, is measured by the same things as greatness: wealth and power. Germany, he argued, was actually more exceptional because it was getting the better of us in trade deals. “I’d like to make us exceptional,” he went on to say, by “[taking] back everything we’ve given the world.” While we reclaimed our riches from other nations, though, he thought we should avoid the word “exceptional” so as not to “rub it in.”

The point, however, is not some special label we give ourselves or anything to do with our GDP or trade balance; it is whether we believe our country has any moral mission to live up to. Without it, everything becomes relative, and every country’s greatness becomes defined solely by its power, rather than the ends to which it puts that power.

What Makes America Great?, By Daniel Krauthammer, Weekly Standard, April 28, 2017

How can a president such as Donald Trump live up to any kind of moral mission?

Are you still glad you embraced him?

And now we are wondering if you are going to experience another Trump Gap.

Here is a reminder of the concept of the gap…


It is not a gap between what a character wants and what a character expects to happen. It’s the gap between what a character does at a specific moment in life in an effort to achieve what they want. And they take an action expecting that this action will cause a helpful enabling positive reaction in their world. But a gap opens up when the world reacts more powerfully than they expected, reacts differently than they expected and the world certainly does not cooperate with them. The world in fact is antagonistic and thwarts or blocks their desire for what they want. So it’s a gap between action and result, between what a character expects to happen when they take an action and what really does when they do. That is the gap that we’re talking about.

Robert McKee’s Storylogue Q&A: Opening Up The Gap Between Expectation and Result

“The story lies in the gap between expectation and reality.”

Robert McKee ‏@McKeeStory, May 18 2016


So, if you put your trust in the Donald instead of your God, as the drama in America unfolds, you really may experience a Trump Gap.

Is that what you want?

Was Donald Trump Chosen to Reveal Your Binary Core Value Problem?


So, what if your turning to Donald Trump in your time of trouble revealed your love crisis?

What if it shined a spotlight on your failure to recognize the binary core value of loyal love/betrayal?

Because, if Christianity is the story we are in, then the loyal love all flows from your God, and because of his very nature, it’s impossible for him to land on the betrayal end of the binary value.

But, it certainly isn’t impossible for us. In fact, it’s more than possible. We all know from our shared human experience, it’s quite likely we will find ourselves on the betrayal end of that equation often.

Now, I’m no Christian, and don’t believe we’re in the Christian story. But I would think that the way a person would think, if it’s the Christian story we are in, is that when one finds oneself on the negative end of that binary, it’s all driven by what one wants in any given circumstance, right? Can you see why we are asking this question over and over again on this web site…what do you Christians want?

And, at any point that one might cross over to the negative end of that binary, it’s a relational betrayal with your God, right? Just like in the garden.

So, are you tracking with me here? It makes sense that loyal love/betrayal is also the binary core value in all our own personal stories.

But – did you Christians make a mistake by thinking the binary core value in the story we are in is not loyal love/betrayal, but — right/wrong or good/evil?

Because Paula showed us some examples of this.

Here is an expression of the good/evil core value in an article which a well known conservative supporter of Donald Trump wrote about why evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump…


I have spent my life making the case for good character: that God wants us to be good more than anything else; that our children’s character is way more important than their grades; and that the most important question a society can ask is how to make good people (since we are not born good).

Evangelicals realize that the moral good of defeating the left is of surpassing importance.

WHY EVANGELICALS VOTE FOR TRUMP. A CONSERVATIVE DEFENSE, By DENNIS PRAGER, Newsweek, February 8, 2018

Surpassing importance? Does that fit with what your God wants you to want?

Let’s revisit the very popular The Bible Project video that tries to tell the story in the Bible in just over five minutes. By the way, this is a very difficult task to do, condensing your Bible into a five minute story. So, they have our respect.

But, let’s look more closely at the text in that video. And look at how they express what they appear to believe is the binary core value…


As the humans go about this task they’ve been given, they’re faced with choices about what is good and evil. Will they trust God’s wisdom, or will they seize autonomy and define good and evil for themselves?

….

The tension between the just and generous creator God and the rebellious nations who have given into evil develops the plot conflict that drives the storyline of the entire Bible.

….

Enter Jesus of Nazareth who is sometimes called Immanuel, meaning God with us. …. Humanity and Israel’s embrace of evil had created a world of violence and death, but Jesus was a man of compassionate power. He proclaimed that he was bringing God’s kingdom back over the earth and he would confront the tragic effects of evil.

….

His followers continue to look to the day when he will return to finish what he started: conquering evil completely while fully establishing his kingdom on earth with us forever.

….

On that day, he will return to fully confront and deal with evil in all of its manifestations, removing it completely from his good world.

The Story of the Bible, HOW TO READ THE BIBLE: EPISODE 2, The Bible Project

Did you pick up on all the good/evil language?

And here’s the discussion questions that go with that video. Look carefully for the clues that they possibly, not understanding story enough, boil down the Christian story at it’s core to good/evil binary core values…


Discussion Questions

1 From the Tower of Babel story through the rest of the Old Testament, what specific consequences manifested themselves from choices that individuals and whole groups of people made in defining good and evil on their own terms rather than on God’s?

2 Why is it so tempting to eat the “forbidden fruit” and define good and evil on our own terms?

5 How does God/Jesus’ definition of good, as serving others and practicing self-sacrificial love, ultimately triumph over the evil we often choose for ourselves? Where else can we see evidence of this triumph at work in the world?

6 In the end, when all wrongs are made right, all evil is eradicated, heaven and earth unite, and humanity rules together with God, will it be because humanity finally chooses God’s definition, or because God overwhelms us with so much goodness that we have little choice in the matter? What are some other possible scenarios?

The Story of the Bible, HOW TO READ THE BIBLE: EPISODE 2, The Bible Project

But would that view of the Christians story fit with how your Chan Man sees the story?


If we believe that, as Jesus said, the two greatest commands are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself,” then this passage has a lot to teach us. Basically, Christ is connecting the command to “love God” with the command to “love your neighbor.” By loving “the least of these,” we are loving God Himself.

Francis Chan, Crazy Love

And that good/bad way of seeing seems to run counter to what the Moser Man sees…


According to Paul, Jesus Christ as Lord and as Giver of God’s Spirit came from God to identify with us humans in our weakness and despair, in order to offer us life with God (1 Thess. 5:9—10), while he represented God in righteous and merciful agape (Rom. 5:6—8). As God’s befriending mediator for humans, Jesus aims to represent, and to offer a personal bridge between, God and humans. Specifically, he seeks to reconcile humans to God with the gift of companionship anchored in merciful agape as the power of God’s Spirit. This Good News, according to Paul, is inherently theological and Christological and hence cannot be reduced to a story of morality or ethics.

Paul Moser, The Severity of God

The Gethsemane model of divine—human interaction is no mere moralism just about what is morally good or bad. On the contrary, it requires human responsiveness and volitional conformity to God, who intervenes first and aims, in corrective reciprocity, to sustain divine—human cooperation toward the redemption of humans.

Paul Moser, The Severity of God

Maybe you should consider a change. Because we came to wonder– is it possible that your binary core value problem is contributing to the division in American society?…


In tribal warfare, there are no degrees of tribal loyalty. It is Manichaean, and it is binary. And so a movement that began with the exposure of horrific sexual abuse of power swiftly expands to cover much less serious offenses. Start with the crimes and horrors of Harvey Weinstein … and end with firing Ian Buruma for publishing a controversial essay. For a single lapse of judgment, if that’s what you believe it was, Buruma has now been punished in the same manner as Les Moonves, a grotesque serial abuser. (Full disclosure: I have known and deeply respected Ian for decades.)

America, Land of Brutal Binaries, By Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Intelligencer, September 21, 2018

Motive attribution asymmetry doesn’t lead to anger, because it doesn’t make you want to repair the relationship. Believing your foe is motivated by hate leads to something far worse: contempt. While anger seeks to bring someone back into the fold, contempt seeks to exile. It attempts to mock, shame, and permanently exclude from relationships by belittling, humiliating, and ignoring. So while anger says, “I care about this,” contempt says, “You disgust me. You are beneath caring about.” 

Arthur Brooks, Love Your Enemies

It looks like your good/bad approach is actually accelerating the division in your house…


But I will say we have a kind of tribal America, two tribes. A politics of “I am right. You are evil. So I should do anything to stop you, anything is permissible, and everything you say is a lie. There’s no objective facts anymore. And I can even find sources on the internet saying, the news or even on cable in certain hours, telling me I am right no matter what.”

….

MURPHY: See, the problem is, our politics is so tribal. Even a lot of Trump voters aren’t enthusiastic about Trump, but they hate his enemies.

Mike Murphy, Conversations With Bill Kristol, June 20, 2017

Politics is no longer about ideas, but rather about polemics and personality contests. People say horrible things to one another over the most mediocre of difference on social media, whether on principle or “for the lulz.” One can argue whether Trump himself is the cause of this plague or mere symptom. But there is no doubt he is the face of it.

The idea of warfare as an extension of politics may be as old as Clausewitz, but the converse—where politics is an extension of warfare—is a dangerous one indeed.

The Age of Trumpshevism, by SHAUN KENNEY, The Bulwark, MARCH 29, 2019

MURPHY: Yeah, and we have this politics now where, as we’ve said I think last time we spoke, “I’m right, you’re evil.” So all tactics are okay against you and everything you say is a lie. Trump does that and they’re learning from him. And so the institutions are the ones that get wiped out.

….

MURPHY: Well, we’ve normally held the thing together not by like some law of how you operate in politics but by accepted norms of good, elite, behavior. And those are being torn apart by Trump because he’s going to generate impersonators. And in the “I’m right, you’re evil” equation you can give yourself a pass to do almost anything, because you’re fighting evil.

Mike Murphy, Conversations With Bill Kristol, November 20, 2018

Wow. …”give yourself a pass to do almost anything”…sobering, don’t you think? And are you aware that many of our secular story allies are playing the same game in your unfolding drama?


One of history’s most dangerous games begins with dividing the world into the good guys and the bad guys and ends with using any means necessary to take the villains out. New Atheists play this game with brio, demonizing Muslims, denouncing Christians and Jews as dupes, and baptizing their fellow “brights” into their own communion of the smarter-than-thou saints. Like fundamentalists and cowboys, they live in a Manichaean world in which the forces of light are engaged in a great apocalyptic battle against the forces of darkness.

Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One

So, it looks like, since your divided house is your great danger, that by embracing the good/bad binary core value, you are actually accelerating America’s Death March into the Danger Zone of the House Divided.

Have you ever read this, from the Chinese dissident who was a Nobel Prize winner? …


Hatred can rot away at a person’s intelligence and conscience. Enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation, incite cruel mortal struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a nation’s progress toward freedom and democracy.

I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement, Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Lecture in Absentia, December 10, 2010

And now we are wondering if your God chose the Donald to reveal all this in a very unique way — as a good/bad character in your story.

So, if you want to keep your nation from coming apart, you may want to at least consider changing and embracing a different way of seeing…


Even if humans prefer a law or a system of rules as their ultimate guide, God could send a perfect personal agent for a better redemptive effect, in virtue of a direct reflection of God’s personal moral character (see 2 Cor. 3:18). This divine option is, in fact, a central part of the New Testament message of redemption. If the divine redemption of humans includes interpersonal divine—human companionship, then God’s sending a personal agent would support this goal. A person can enter into genuine companionship with another person but not with concepts, rules, laws, principles, analyses, explanations, or arguments. We shall see how the intended companionship in question brings severity in its wake.

Paul Moser, The Severity of God

And what if your Chan Man is on to something in relation to change?…


Change is not only good; it is critical. If you do the same things today that you did five years ago, you need to closely examine your heart. 

To repent means to change. You discover areas of your life that are 
not under God’s control, and you repent, you change.

….

The word repent means “to turn.” It has the idea of changing directions and heading the opposite way. It involves action.

Francis Chan, Crazy Love

What if, then, you began to see how those binary values can fit together in the story?


God is in love with the human race and the story of the Bible is the story of this great love. In ways that puzzle theologians, simple Christians and even angels, God’s purpose embraces the race as human, with all of its attendant weakness and sin. The ultimate expression of this is the crown jewel of Christian orthodoxy: God himself has become eternally human in order to bring the fallen human race back to the creation, back to itself, and back to him! And a subtext to this great meta-narrative is that God has chosen human beings to be his assistants in this work—as ministers of the Word.

Classical Pastoral Practice for Today: Let’s Be Human!, by Thomas N. Smith, Reformation and Revival, (Summer 2003)

Scripture is a record of the same story told again and again, in different ways but always with the same theme, for more than three thousand years. God loves man. Man betrays God. Then God calls man back to his friendship. Sometimes that call involves some very painful suffering, and for good reason. God respects our freedom. But he will not interfere with our choices or their consequences, no matter how unpleasant. As a result, the struggle in the human heart between good and evil – a struggle that seems burned into our chromosomes – projects itself onto the world, to ennoble or deform it. The beauty and the barbarism we inflict on one another leave their mark on creation.
But still God loves us, and his love endures forever.

Charles J. Chaput, Strangers in a Strange Land

So, all this has our attention.

Because, if you missed seeing what the binary core value in the story is, then what if the best way forward for you Christians is to pay more serious attention to the story you were given?


Donald Trump and the Mysterious 2 Timothy Profile

Your good/bad approach really has our attention. We are now wondering if your God chose Donald to shine a spotlight on it.

You see, Donald the Proud wanted your loyalty – and some of your Christian leaders willing to give it to him…


“I think evangelicals have found their dream president,” Falwell said.

Jerry Fallwell Jr.: Evangelicals Have Found ‘Dream President’ in Donald Trump, BY BRANDON SHOWALTER, Christian Post, April 30, 2017

Of course, you weren’t the only ones who saw him as a dream come true…


For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!, by Henry Alford, Vanity Fair, November 11, 2015

When we watched you Christians embrace Donald Trump it was such an enigma to us, given the Christian story we were finding in your Bible.

But, we found it to be fascinating when we discovered that while you Christian supporters embraced him, you also ignored a very direct – and mysterious –warning about the Donald found in your scriptures.

And it’s a very clear warning – which ended up putting your binary core value choice of good/bad on stage.

Do you know it? Have you not heard? Are you ignoring an important warning?

Once we came to understand that what Donald Trump wants is so very far away from what Jerry Jr. helped us see that your God wants you to want, Paula Wong showed us something which sure made a lot of sense — and strikingly caught our attention because of what it reveals about what you Christians want… 


In the Apostle Paul’s second epistle to Timothy, he includes a graphic description of the kind of behavior that will be on display in the last days. Penned nearly two millennia ago, it bears striking resemblance to the life and times of one Donald Trump. Those of us who call ourselves Evangelicals will do well to review the passage and heed its warning.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

Trumped by Pride: The Compromise of Evangelical Values, by George Otis, Jr, February 23, 2016

The George Otis fellow was right.

Donald Trump fits the profile.

Our team found Donald Trump fits with every single one of those characteristics listed in the 2 Timothy 3:2-5 passage.

It’s a fascinating match.

So, look at these observations…


If elected, Trump would be the first president to:

Be married three times to different women, leaving each for the next woman.

Be proud of his sexually liberalities, openly stating in his book “Think Big: Make it Happen in Business and Life” that he has had sex with with some of the “top women in the world.”

Build and own casinos, including the first American casino ever to have a strip club that allows lap dancing and an all-male revue club for women.

Regularly use the f-word in public speeches along with other obscenities so vulgar network television would be required to bleep out these words to avoid violating Federal Communications Commission rules.

State publicly that he has never asked for God’s (or anyone else’s), forgiveness and that he doesn’t forgive.

Have said about his daughter on that “if Ivanka were not my daughter, I would be dating her.”

Give America a first lady who has posed in the nude.

Use bankruptcy laws four times for failed business dealings.

Openly advocate for revenge, “as viciously and as violently as you can.”

Publicly call various women “dogs,” “fat and ugly,” “piece of a–,” “pigs,” “bitch,” (“TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald,” 2005) and said you “have to treat em like sh–.”

3 questions evangelicals should ask about Donald Trump, By John Stemberger, CNN, January 6, 2016

Trump’s background and beliefs could hardly be more incompatible with traditional Christian models of life and leadership. Trump’s past political stances (he once supported the right to partial-birth abortion), his character (he has bragged about sexually assaulting women), and even his language (he introduced the words pussy and shithole into presidential discourse) would more naturally lead religious conservatives toward exorcism than alliance. This is a man who has cruelly publicized his infidelities, made disturbing sexual comments about his elder daughter, and boasted about the size of his penis on the debate stage. His lawyer reportedly arranged a $130,000 payment to a porn star to dissuade her from disclosing an alleged affair. Yet religious conservatives who once blanched at PG-13 public standards now yawn at such NC-17 maneuvers. We are a long way from The Book of Virtues.

The Last Temptation, By Michael Gerson, The Atlantic, April 2018

Trump supporters, do you have such admiration for Donald Trump that you would like to be the kind of person he is? How about this: Would you like your children to emulate him? If you reflect unqualified zeal for Trump in your home, aren’t you representing him as a role model to your children? How do you feel about that? Do you want to teach your children that getting ahead is the main thing to shoot for, and that this end justifies any means? (Can you convince me that’s not the way Trump operates? Again, have you read his book?)

And has it occurred to you that maybe you’ve accepted the relativism of the age, and bought the same line: “The end justifies the means.” Have you decided that a vote for Trump, whatever reservations you have about his character and reliability, is the means that is justified by your desire to “Make America Great Again”? Is this the right way to do that? In other words, do YOU believe the end justifies the means?

Super Tuesday and the “Cult of Trump” by Doug Geivett, February 29, 2016

It isn’t that he cares about a cause, but as a demagogue he loves to be loved, and as a vulgar man he has an affinity for whatever is vulgar.

Why Donald Trump Is No Gentleman, by Harvey Mansfield, Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2016

Even that dishonesty pales in comparison to his outright lies. He said he didn’t try to lobby Jeb Bush’s team for gambling in Florida, but the record in undeniable that he did. He claimed he never criticized Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, but the criticism is found on his own website. He prevaricated about thousands of Muslims allegedly celebrating 9/11 in one New Jersey town; he lied about the turnout and ethnicity of the crowd at a South Carolina event; he claimed to be self-funding his campaign, which must be news to his 75,000 donors; he said this year that he “was never thinking about running for office” even though he publicly considered running for governor of New York twice and for president four times before this year, once actually even filing papers to do so; he said of Vladimir Putin that he “got to know him very well” even though the two have never met … and on and on and on.

Trump: The Worst Human Being, by Quin Hillyer, Weekly Standard, December 7, 2015

The real chaos, as Brody and his viewers see it, is happening in the culture outside the walls of the White House. Brody might be right that most white evangelicals will remain loyal to Trump no matter what; he has certainly been right before. What he can’t bring himself to see, it seems to me, is the reality of where white evangelicals’ support of Trump has led them. In pursuit of an imagined 1950s gentility, they have allied themselves with a man who brags about grabbing women’s genitalsmocks the disabledridicules war heroes, and effectively endorses white supremacy.

Bless His Heart, By Ruth Graham, Slate, January 4, 2018

And in our research we also came across the interesting phenomenon of how Trump’s sins were sometimes presented in a list form…


In a Slow-Motion Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Media Figures Embrace Trump One by One, By Jonah Goldberg, National Review, March 12, 2016

3 questions evangelicals should ask about Donald Trump, By John Stemberger, CNN, January 6, 2016

The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet, by David A. Graham, The Atlantic, April 19, 2016


And we were amazed that the Christians in America seemed to push away the possibility that the Donald had a connection to a group of people whom in the past, well, look at this…


Glasser: The other thing we didn’t talk as much about was the mob connection or lack thereof.

O’Brien: We’ve got the original casino regulatory interviews with Donald, in which they were asking him about his original partners in Atlantic City, when he assembled the parcel for what became his first casino, that Trump Plaza, at the foot of the Atlantic City Expressway, which was the best site you could have in Atlantic City, because you’ve got everybody driving into town.

And he assembled a real estate site with a guy named Danny Sullivan—Wayne has done a lot of reporting on it; he was essentially a labor racketeer in the construction trade—and Ken Shapiro, who was a bag man for the Scarfo crime family in Philadelphia. Atlantic City was petrified of becoming Vegas. They wanted to make sure people coming in were clean. They asked him about these relationships, and he said he thought they were good guys, he didn’t see anything untoward about any of them, and so on.

And then, when I was reporting my book, we were on his plane, somewhere over the Midwest, and we began talking about these guys, and I said, “Did you ever think that Ken Shapiro or Dan Sullivan had mob ties?” And Trump said to the effect that—and I should go to the book for the exact quote; I don’t have it with me—but he said, “Oh, sure. I was definitely worried. There were rumors that Dan Sullivan killed Jimmy Hoffa. And, uh, yeah, maybe because I was wary of these guys, that’s what saved me,” which was completely at odds with his reported testimony in the early 1980s.

And this isn’t the only incidence of him intersecting with people with complicated backgrounds as business partners. Wayne knew a lot about Roy Cohn’s relationship with the Genovese crime family.

Barrett: It wasn’t just Genovese. The heads of all five crime families, according to federal files, used to meet in Roy Cohn’s office, because they could all claim lawyer-client privilege, and the feds couldn’t eavesdrop on any of the conversations. So Roy was pivotal with all five crime families in New York. Absolutely, totally the fact that I reported in my book is that the head of the Genovese crime family at the time, Fat Tony Salerno—who only got 100 years in prison, subsequent to this; he died there—met with Donald in Roy Cohn’s offices, and Donald winds up using a concrete company that Fat Tony controlled, at Trump Plaza.

Trumpology: A Master Class, By Susan B. Glasser and Michael Kruse, Politico, May/June 2016

So all the above made us then realize that the following confession from the Donald really did show his orientation… 


Mr. Trump revealed a little more about his inner spirituality during a Q&A session with pollster Frank Luntz at the recent Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. Luntz asked Trump whether he had ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions. Mr. Trump seemed unprepared for the question and responded, somewhat haltingly, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so.” Then he added, “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

GOD AND DONALD TRUMP, by Timothy George, First Things, July 27, 2015

I know, that was way back in 2015 and maybe he was just a baby Christian then, right?

Really?

With all that’s riding on this man, not just in your country, but in the whole world…there’s so much I’d like to say, but just let us remind you…


Scripture declares “God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs says that “everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.”

Trump is not just proud. He is proud of being proud. But don’t take my word for it. Just listen to most any speech he gives. Trump has said, “part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

All of us are sinners in need of grace. But what are we to do with a professing Christian who is openly proud and brags about his sin and who wants other Christians to trust and support him to be our next president?

I do not believe every Christian has a moral duty to only vote for Christians. In the Bible, God used even evil leaders for his purposes. But when a choice is given, should evangelical Christians choose to elect a man I believe would be the most immoral and ungodly person ever to be president of the United States?

3 questions evangelicals should ask about Donald Trump, By John Stemberger, CNN, January 6, 2016

So, look at that passage again…  


But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5


You were told to avoid such people.

And Donald Trump is one of those people.

But in the midst of your time of great trouble, you didn’t.

Was that choice an expression of your love crisis?

And our team is curious. Did this passage from your Bible also fit with your situation in some way at all? …


Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them;

Ephesians 5:1-7


And we appreciate your Drollinger guy for this, which so fits with the Donald…


Prideful people will often display attitudes and actions of scorn (open dislike and disrespect); derision (the use of ridicule); and mockery (a counterfeit appearance) to manifest con­tempt. Scoffers are quick to pass judgment on others. The Psalmist warns us not to go near them: Do not sit in the seat of the scoffer, he says, lest you learn his ways.

Dealing with Pride: in Life and in D.C., BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2018

And when were thinking one day about Donald’s claim to you that he was a great Christian and would be the one to rescue you, Paula showed us this…


I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Romans 16:17-18


And then Paula also showed us this one, which brought Donald to mind…


Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:5-11 


So, if Christianity is the story we are in, is it possible God the Great Storyteller put the Donald into the story to shine a light on your love crisis?


In the light of Trumpism, many hard truths about American Christianity — its divisions, its failures, its follies, its heresies — stand ruthlessly exposed.

And the truth, we’re told, will set you free.

Donald Trump’s Christian Soldiers, by Ross Douthat, New York Times, March 10, 2016

But Jerry Falwell, Jr., whom our team is so deeply grateful to, doesn’t believe such a distinction – that you should avoid certain people — can be made…


Falwell was one of the first prominent evangelical leaders to support Trump’s candidacy during the 2016 Republican primary. He’s urged evangelicals to look beyond Trump’s history of multiple marriages and vulgar language – including a 2005 recording where he brags about touching women’s genitals without consent. In an interview with NPR in May, Falwell said no leader is without flaws.

“Because the ones that you think are so perfect and sinless, it’s just you don’t know about it,” Falwell said. “They’re all just as bad. We all are, and that’s the bottom line.“

Christian Writer Banned From Liberty University Campus After Criticizing Trump Ally, By Sarah McCammon, National Public Radio, October 31, 2017

Of course, Jerry himself had an admirable view of the Donald…


Falwell said his “admiration” for Trump continues to grow, and he’s especially excited whenever he gets to visit the Donald’s offices in New York. With each sycophantic sentence he sounded less like the head of an academic institution and more like a boy bragging about his dad to his friends on the playground.

Falwell rattled off a list of Trump’s charitable endeavors, calling him generous and friendly and personable. He beamed that Trump “cannot be bought” because he’s not a “puppet on a string,” unlike “other candidates.” The unrepentant butt kissing went completely off the rails when Falwell hailed Trump’s “servant leadership” and insisted that Trump “lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught.” Falwell didn’t stipulate whether trying to steal property from elderly widows so he can build casinos fits under the “loving and helping others” umbrella.

He dismissed Christian criticisms of the candidate by saying the qualities needed to run the country aren’t the same as the qualities needed to run a church. Finally, in a moment that appeared to be a desperate cry for help, Falwell began comparing Trump to Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, and his own father. After about 15 excruciating minutes, he wrapped up his introduction/adoration ritual by declaring that Trump “loves this country and desires more than anything to make American great again.”

It wasn’t an endorsement. It was practically a marriage proposal.

Dear Christians, If You Vote For A Godless Man, You Are Asking For Tyranny, by Matt Walsh, The Blaze, January 19, 2016

So, Jerry thinks a distinction can be made in the positive direction, just not the negative. 

But that part of the sentence — “desires more than anything to make American great again” – reminded us again that Donald doesn’t want what your God wants him to want…


Finally, Trump appears to be a narcissist. This might work for reality television or real estate deals, but it is not a desirable trait for the President of the United States. The most important moral principle, according to Jesus in the gospels, is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. The Christian understanding of love is that it involves sacrifice, self-denial, and preferring the good of others over one’s own. It does not appear that Donald Trump understands this.

A Christian Case Against Donald Trump, Michael W. Austin, Huffington Post, December 18, 2015

And then, this passage from your New Testament book of Galatians really caught Paula’s attention in relation to seeing what your God wants you to want and how Donald fits with the profile of the kind of person you have ignored the warning against –- and, the house divided consequences your country is experiencing…


But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,  drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:13-26


And in light of Donald’s claim to be a great Christian, Paula got us wondering if there is something in play with this passage…


If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

James 1:26


So, now we are wondering about something. By putting your hope in the Donald, have you put yourselves at risk?


Whatever a man trusts in place of God will one day turn to devour him.

John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1—39


And is the Guinness Guy right about what you should have considered doing instead of turning to Trump?…


It is a mark of healthy societies that, in times of change and crisis, they throw up leaders worthy of the hour. At this point, the United States urgently requires such a leader to lead and the nation to follow.

Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide

Something very strange and surprising may be going on in your unfolding drama in America.

And in the midst of all this, my team member Paula Wong helped us begin to see the astonishing importance of looking at your greatest commandment through the lens of story from the inside out.

Paula began by explaining that after we came to understand the self-glorification Donald Trump deeply desires as he pursues his quest – which most of you Christians would describe with the term “pride” — she came across this evaluation of pride, from the celebrated Christian author C.S. Lewis…


The Great Sin

The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the centre of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now, we have come to the centre.  According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

She then began to nose around your Bible and found that it does appear Lewis is reflecting what is written in the book you claim to embrace.

And if pride is the Great Sin which leads to every other vice, then you should see the title of this article which Paula showed us…


Donald Trump’s Douchebaggiest Interview Ever: ‘Any Girl You Have, I Can Take From You’, by Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast, August 2, 2015


… because that title fits with the description of a proud man which comes from — you guessed it — C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity


But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“See that?” said Paula. “Okay then, now look at what I found in the douchebag article in the Daily Beast.” And she read us this excerpt…


And yet, the wildest and craziest interview Trump gave on the Stern Show came two years earlier, back in 2001.

Stern’s guest that morning was the New York Daily News’ volatile gossip columnist (and E! host) A.J. Benza, who was on to promote his recent tell-all tome, Fame, Ain’t It a Bitch. In the book, Benza claimed that his girlfriend, model Kara Young, had left him for Trump, and that the situation wasn’t exactly aboveboard.

“And look what Trump said to A.J. Benza in the interchange,” she continued…

“A.J., any girl you have, I can take from you—if I want. Any girl you have, I can take from you. …. So any girl you have, I can take. That I guarantee. And that was proven before.”

Donald Trump’s Douchebaggiest Interview Ever: ‘Any Girl You Have, I Can Take From You’, by Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast, August 2, 2015

Paula looked at me and smiled. “Reminds you, doesn’t it, of Shih Tzu’s moves against you back in our days in Hollywood!”

I smiled back.

And wished that she wasn’t on my team.

I wanted to pursue a deep love relationship with her, but couldn’t, because of the rules which prohibit such professional… well, you know what I’m talking about. She’d have to leave my team. And I hadn’t worked any of this out with her yet, because I wasn’t sure what she wanted.

And then one day she sent me this…


“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

That so fits with our version of the story!

And, as you can imagine… well, sorry, back to the Donald.

“So,” said Paula, “Trump fits the profile from C.S. Lewis. And that means that if pride is the Great Sin, Donald Trump is a great sinner.”

You can imagine our surprise when Paula next showed us this… 


Speaking to a crowd of 2,300 at West High School in Sioux City, Trump pleaded with the crowd for help.

“Will you get these numbers up?” Trump asked the crowd. “I promise you I will do such a good job. First of all, I am a great Christian –- and I am –- I am. Remember that. And I do well with the evangelicals. But the evangelicals left me down a little bit this last month. I don’t know what I did. But I am a great Christian.

Donald Trump’s Message: ‘Let Me Win Iowa’, by John Santucci, ABCNews, Oct 27, 2015

“I’m a Presbyterian, I’m a great Christian.”

Trump on His Lost Lead in Iowa: Polls ‘Are Wrong’, By Rebecca Berg, RealClearPolitics, October 24, 2015

It’s a strange claim, isn’t it, coming from the Donald?

Why didn’t he expect you Christians to just laugh, like our team did?

After all, your Bible says…


It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.

Proverbs 25:27


And Paula pointed out how those claims to be a great Christian sure seemed to fit with a way Trump described himself in his most famous book…


“I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.”

Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal

So we’re curious. Were you aware he was playing this game?

Because of the ‘greatest commandment’, wouldn’t a “great Christian” like Donald Trump be focused on loving God with all his heart, soul, and mind, instead of focusing on loving himself?

So, if the Greatest Commandment is to love the King of Kings with such intensity, it’s very easy to see then how Donald Trump’s Quest for self-glorification clashes with the focus which the King of Kings has commanded human beings to pursue.

By pursuing an Internal Quest of Self-Glorification, Donald Trump is effectively saying to the King of Kings…


“Sorry, but I’m not interested in pursuing what you are commanding me to pursue. I have a different focus in life. I don’t want what you want me to want.”


Our team was not surprised then, when we came across that quote we showed you earlier from an interview Donald Trump did with the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in the spring of 2016…


“I’ve come this far in life. I’ve had great success. I’ve done it my way.”

Trump Does It His Way, by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, April 2, 2016

He certainly has chosen to do it his way. And don’t think he will abandon that quest now that he’s in office. Watch this video and weep, remembering what Peter Kreeft says while your new president dances away your country, doing it his way


The national anthem of Hell is “I Did It My Way”.

Peter Kreeft


So, by the way, if that has become your national anthem, is it possible that as the drama in America unfolds, this song will become your new national anthem?



Anyway, all that helped our team see this…


Christians have long recognized that different sins have different consequences. And yet, the underlying heart issue of all sin is the same: It is us saying to God, “No, I’m going to do it my way.” Every sin, from a little white lie to a ruthless murder, is rooted in a worship of self over God.

Apologetics at the Cross, by Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen

And that seems to fit with this…


The acceptance of pride in our culture is so prevalent that some will argue with what I’ve said. Allow me to illustrate its prevalence.

Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way” and Whitney Houston popularized “the greatest love of all…is learning to love yourself.” Both made millions from the sale of such albums. “Taking pride in one’s work” is a common­ly held axiom, and who hasn’t witnessed the myriad of “proud parent” bumper stickers or monotonous, arrogant “I did this” political speeches? Even some Christian ministries believe that engendering pride (often under the guise of infusing “self esteem”) in a child is a good thing. But, no matter what you be­lieve about the need for “self esteem” or “the adult quest for meaning,” all hold in com­mon a subtle or not-so-subtle focus on one’s self. Oh, and did I mention the “selfie” craze — look at me, here I am! These are the seed­beds of an increasingly self-absorbed culture where in conversational skills (among many other things) the subject always revolves back to me.

Dealing with Pride: in Life and in D.C., BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2018

Oh, and she also showed us this…


I had perceived—via God’s grace, not my own wit, surely—that since God is love, we must therefore love God and love whatever God loves. I now knew that if we turn to the divine conductor and follow his wise and loving baton-which is his will, his Word — then the music of our life will be a symphony.

The Three Most Profound Ideas I Have Ever Had, By Peter Kreeft, PeterKreeft.com

And that seems to fit with something else your famous preacher, David Jeremiah, helped us see about the Donald…


It is my pride that makes me independent of God. It’s appealing to me to feel that I am the master of my fate, that I run my own life, call my own shots, go it alone. But that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can’t go it alone. I have to get help from other people, and I can’t ultimately rely on myself. I’m dependent on God for my next breath. It is dishonest of me to pretend that I’m anything but a man-small, weak, and limited. So, living independent of God is self-delusion. It is not just a matter of pride being an unfortunate little trait and humility being an attractive little virtue; it’s my inner psychological integrity that’s at stake. When I am conceited, I am lying to myself about what I am. I am pretending to be God, and not man. My pride is the idolatrous worship of myself. And that is the national religion of Hell.

Howard Butt, “The Art of Being a Big Shot” (speech, Layman’s Institute, Dallas, 1963) quoted in David Jeremiah, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

The unruly tongue engages in lying, cursing, and swearing, slander and filthy language. From man’s point of view the hasty word, shading of the truth, the subtle innuendo, and the questionable joke are shrugged off as insignificant. Yet from God’s perspective they are a violation of the command to love the Lord God and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. A breach of this command renders man’s religion of no avail.

Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: James and I-III John, quoted in David Jeremiah, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

Do you see this?

If Christianity is the story we are in, the Greatest Commandment sends you the opposite direction than the Donald was going.

So, all this made us wonder if there could be something more in play which you Christians are not seriously considering…


The Devil is a nihilist. He is the same devil of the Hebrew Bible who tormented Job, but with this difference: whereas Satan tortured ancient man by taking away what he required, he tortures modern man by offering him whatever he wants.

France’s national suicide, by David P. Goldman, PJMedia, November 16, 2015

And if that’s possible, then you can imagine why the following also caught our attention…


Bishop Darrell Scott of Ohio said,“I wouldn’t change a thing. Be you and keep being consistent. That’s what people like about you. You’re not playing politics.”

Trump looked around the boardroom table and laughed. “So you’re saying,‘Don’t change’?Well, that’s interesting!” Darrell replied, “Right! People would see you change and know it isn’t you.”

Why I Believe Trump Is the Prophesied President, By LANCE WALLNAU, Charisma News, October 5, 2016

But maybe that Bishop might want to help Donald change his way of seeing.

And so… we want to know… whether you Christians want… what your God wants you to want?

Because, well, we see things like this, which make us wonder…


Importantly, gratitude is central to understanding God. We practice gratitude with our brothers and sisters on this earth so we are better able to do so with God. Gratitude is the only thing we can give him, and the only thing he wants, the only thing he cannot simply command if our free will is truly free.

Hugh Hewitt, The Happiest Life

That doesn’t sounds like what your King told you he wants. So, let us know…


What do you really want?


Because we are so taken by the reality that in your time of trouble, you turned to Donald Trump — someone you were warned to avoid.

So, you really were not embracing your binary core value of good/evil. Instead, your pushing away that warning from your God showed how the binary core value of loyal love/betrayal was on stage.

And Paula showed us again that passage from your Bible which shined a spotlight on your turning to strongman Trump out of your fear…


Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;

    I will not fear;

what can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:4-6


Fascinating.


Donald Also Wants Your Loyalty

As you know, the binary core value of loyal love/betrayal runs through the story of Donald Trump…


If I write that Donald J. Trump is a lowlife who has cheated on his wives and betrayed his own family and the families of others through his remarkable personal commitment to adultery, Trump has no recourse, because this is true.

Trump vs. the First Amendment, By Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, February 28, 2016

Boasting about his sexual exploits with married women in his book “The Art of the Comeback,” Trump bragged, “If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller ….”

Trump appeared on the Howard Stern show multiple times discussing his female conquests in a way that might even make Bill Clinton blush. Maybe.

Donald Trump Helps Women Break Marital Vows; Why Trust Him to Keep Campaign Promises? By Susan Stamper Brown, Christian Post, February 6, 2016

So, you can see why this caught our attention…


At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

President Donald Trump, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2017

A week exactly after his inauguration, seated for dinner at a small, oval table in the Green Room of the White House, Donald Trump said to the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation what might end up being the six most consequential words of his presidency.

“I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”

All leaders want loyalty. All politicians. All presidents. But in the 241-year history of the United States of America, there’s never been a commander in chief who has thought about loyalty and attempted to use it and enforce it quite like Trump. “I value loyalty above everything else—more than brains, more than drive and more than energy,” Trump once said.

‘I Need Loyalty’, By MICHAEL KRUSE, Politico, March/April 2018

Trump has one standard, and one standard only: How loyal are you to Trump?

Imperial Me, By Mona Charen, National Review, August 24, 2018

He has called himself a “great loyalty freak.” He has said he values loyalty “above everything else—more than brains, more than drive.” And one of his greatest strengths, at least of a certain sort, always has been his ability to engender unwavering, slavish, even sycophantic allegiance. But it’s also been so brutally, consistently one-sided, and the Cohen flip brings to the fore the fragility of Trump’s transactional brand of loyalty and potentially its ultimate incompatibility with the presidency.

‘He’s Unraveling’: Why Cohen’s Betrayal Terrifies Trump, By MICHAEL KRUSE, Politico, August 22, 2018

To Trump, love means loyalty. No, not loyalty. Obligation. No, not obligation. Submission. Complete submission. No criticism, no matter what.

No matter all the women who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct. No matter all the brutal bigotry falling from his lips. No matter the natural disasters getting worse under his watch of climate denial. No matter the crimes against humanity along the southern border that we will all one day have to atone for. No matter his desire to spend billions on a border wall when America’s infrastructure is collapsing. No matter all the high crimes and misdemeanors described in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

And he loves America? He is demanding submission. He has been demanding this submission since his 2016 campaign.

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voter, okay?” Trump said at a campaign rally, as he formed and fired a gun with his fingers. “It’s, like, incredible.”

Trump Is in an Abusive Relationship With America, By Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic, August 1, 2019

According to people who know him well, Trump’s definition of loyalty is blunt. “Support Donald Trump in anything he says and does,” Roger Stone, the president’s longest-running political adviser, told me. “No matter what,” former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res said. “Or else,” added Louise Sunshine, a friend of Trump for nearly 50 years. “I think he defines it as allegiance,” biographer Tim O’Brien told me. “And it’s not allegiance to the flag or allegiance to the country—it’s allegiance to Trump.”

‘I Need Loyalty’, By MICHAEL KRUSE, Politico, March/April 2018

And we understand that. The Chinese Communist Party wants loyalty too…


China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people’s lives.

Group: Officials destroying crosses, burning bibles in China, By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, AP News, September 10, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping started 2018 as he ended 2017, demonstrating to all 80+ million Chinese Communist Party members that he is demanding absolute loyalty.

Xi Jinping demands loyalty at major political meetings, By Bill Bishop, Axios, January 12, 2018

Totalitarian takeovers demand a degree of submission that leaves little room for sentimental humanistic ties answering to such private imperatives as love, friendship, or personal loyalty. And it was precisely these ties between family members and friends—the most fundamental building blocks of any healthy society—that were most gravely ruptured by Mao’s Revolution.

To Forget or Remember? China’s Struggle With Its Past, By Orville Schell, The Washington Quarterly, Fall 2016

So, we really want to know if you Christians in America who embrace the Donald have a deeper love and loyalty for him than you do for your God.

What do you really want, here in the story?

What If Your God Still Judges Nations?


We love ‘what if’ questions.

So, as we continued to explore the major dramatic question, it seemed reasonable to ask this question:


Does your God still judge nations?


It’s a controversial question, as you’ll see. People who share your belief differ greatly on this question.

And as we went forward on this crazy assignment, we had our own controversy within our team to deal with. The villain in my story, Shih Tzu, continued to harass me. But here is a note he sent which eventually opened our eyes to something…



Memo to Chow Non Phat

Comrade Chow,


You are such a desperate, pathetic figure!

And you are a traitor. Because I get to see what you are doing. I saw the note you sent to your Uncle where you quoted that Joseph Nye guy…


But we need a new narrative if we’re to understand power in the 21st century. It’s not just prevailing at war, though war still persists. It’s not whose army wins; it’s also whose story wins. And we have to think much more in terms of narratives and whose narrative is going to be effective.

Joseph Nye, Global power shifts, TED Talk Transcript, October 2010

You loser!

You are only tuning into TED because you are rejecting Chairman Mao, the Great Helmsman who will lead us to victory from beyond the grave…


The enemy will not perish of himself. Neither will the Chinese reactionaries nor the aggressive forces of U.S. imperialism in China step down from the stage of history of their own accord.

Mao Tse Tung, “Carry the Revolution Through to the End” December 30, 1948


… and instead, you are embracing Abraham Lincoln …


All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln, The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions: Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, January 27, 1838

But you also play another game. You speculate that, if Christianity is the story we are in, then God the Great Storyteller may be bringing the story of America to its end.

You idiot. The Party does not believe Christianity is the story we are in. But even if it is, you won’t believe what I found. There is a famous Trumpster Christian in America who doesn’t believe that God is judging America.

His name is Ralph Drollinger. And he is the guy who leads the Trump Cabinet Bible Study:


A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House.

Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history.

They’ve been called the most evangelical Cabinet in history – men and women who don’t mince words when it comes to where they stand on God and the Bible.

Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN News, “These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

They’re all handpicked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Bible Studies at the White House: Who’s Inside This Spiritual Awakening?, By Jennifer Wishon, CBN News, July 31, 2017

Drollinger lives in California, and flies into Washington for his classes, which usually take place from Monday to Wednesday. Capitol Ministries is a non-profit organisation, funded by donations. He and Danielle are paid salaries, but say they do not take the full amount.

So how does it feel, on a Wednesday morning, to teach the Bible to some of the world’s most-powerful people?

“One of the emotions is, who am I to be here?” he says. “You know, kind of like Moses. ‘Lord, I can’t even speak…’

“I’m just a jock with some bad knees, and here I am. Only you [God] could have done this – why me? So that goes through my mind a lot, and I think that’s healthy.

“But then there’s the other standpoint – where I sense that I’ve got 21 years of expositing the word of God, specifically to apply to the life of a public servant.

“So in that sense, I feel like I’m the most qualified guy in the world.”

Inside the White House Bible Study group, By Owen Amos, BBC News, Washington DC, 8 April 2018

See that, Chow? He’s not a nobody. And he embraced Trump before the Christians were faced with the binary choice of Trump vs. Hillary. It looks like he is all in for him:


Drollinger describes himself as “Republican, conservative – I don’t think there’s any mystery about that”.

He rails against “environmentalist wackos” (but wants good stewardship of the environment), thinks the welfare state begins with the family, followed by the church (though doesn’t rule out state intervention), and has supported Donald Trump since he was a long-shot in the primaries.

“Of all the Bible studies I’ve written on policy, Trump’s enacting everything I’ve written.”

Drollinger doesn’t necessarily think Trump is “working off of my blueprint”.

“But he’s coming from the same place I am, in terms of Biblical understating of the issues.”

Inside the White House Bible Study group, By Owen Amos, BBC News, Washington DC, 8 April 2018

And look what he wrote about that judgment question:


There are no passages stating that nations are being judged by God during the period of time in which we live. God has judged nations in the past (the Old Covenant) and will do so again in the future (during the future Tribulation Period spoken of in the book of Revelation).

….

Again, God judged nations under the Old Covenant and will do so again at His Second Coming, but there is no NT indication that He judges nations presently during the Church Age.

Is God Judging America Today?, BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, FEBRUARY 27, 2018

So, we can relax, Chow. Their God has never judged the Party! Or Chairman Mao! And he didn’t play a role in bringing the Soviet Union to its end. Not at all.

And since Drollinger says God isn’t going to judge America – therefore we must be the ones who take America off the stage! We must act!

But you are so weak — so low energy.

It’s such a sad case you are making. Your chances of persuading the Central Military Commission are zero. Zero, you idiot.

It’s time for us to make our move. It’s time to get in the Satellite Groove…


A war in space would have staggering implications. If conflict were to erupt, say, over China’s territorial claims to the South China Sea or Russia’s aggression in Eastern Europe, America’s military satellites wouldn’t be the only space assets at risk. Fighting would also likely cripple the civilian satellites that control so much of modern life, from cellphone networks to ATMs and personal GPS units. And although such a conflict might start in space, experts say it could easily turn into full-scale war on Earth. “If war does extend into space someday—and I hope it never does—the first response is not going to be in space,” warns General John Hyten, head of the U.S. Air Force Space Command.

….

Today, Beijing and Moscow can no longer be ignored. With their ability to deny, disrupt and degrade America’s hard-to-defend satellites, warns Lieutenant General David Buck, commander of the 14th Air Force, “there isn’t a single aspect of our space architecture that isn’t at risk.”

WHY THE NEXT PEARL HARBOR COULD HAPPEN IN SPACE, BY JONATHAN BRODER, Newsweek, May 4, 2016

As China draws ever closer to launching into space a prototype laser intended to destroy enemy satellites, defense planners in the United States are worried. They do not have, and are not planning to build, a weapon that would give them parity. Nor could the US defend itself against such a space-based laser weapon.

Once upon a time, it was America’s choice to simply assert its domination of space; the choice today is whether or not to contest China’s impending seizure of it.

….

If America’s network of satellites was crippled, the US military would be put out of business.

While the military know their satellites are vulnerable, few realize just how fragile they are – particularly those in geostationary orbit that typically feature antennas made of gossamer-thin wires. Even a trivial amount of energy would put them out of action.

Mothballed Star Wars laser could test China space supremacy, By Angelo Codevilla, Asia Times, April 11, 2017

Those satellites are America’s undefended space.

Literally, you dummy.

So the time to act has come.

And because you refuse to see it, you – and your worthless team — will be cratered, Chowster.

  • Shih Tzu, Chairman Mao’s Most Loyal Disciple



That threat was shocking for our team members. I could sense that some of them began to wonder about saying goodbye.

But we couldn’t give up. Too much is at stake.

Yet, Shih Tzu is right about the satellites. Are you aware of what we are doing?


Just a few weeks ago, on Pearl Harbor Day, China launched its Long March 3B rocket carrying a Chang’e-4 mission to Pink Floyd’s favorite destination — the dark side of the moon. That is a big deal. China’s universal ambition as a rising power is not just to expand its power on Earth, but to also extend its dominance above the highest ground, over the horizon and far into space.

China has successfully developed and tested anti-satellite missiles, knocking out one of its own weather satellites and creating a trail of space debris dangerous to other orbiting vessels. There was great international outcry, but the Chinese’s message was clear — that the PRC maintains the technical prowess, materiel capacity and the national will to take down satellites and systems on which the globalized economy depends.

Space has long been militarized with surveillance, communications and navigational satellites orbiting the earth, but concerns that the orbital sanctuary will be weaponized have resurfaced with China’s recent activities.

The West has long militarized space. China plans to weaponize it. Not good. BY MARKOS KOUNALAKIS, The Miami Herald, DECEMBER 27, 2018

You do underestimate us.

But, that note did rattle my team. And Paula said something which caught my attention…

“What if Shih Tzu has moved our remaining team members to their all is lost moment?”

But I didn’t want to think about that possibility. Instead, I went into my office and laid on the couch and took a nap. Something I have to do all the time, to deal with my insomnia.

I slept and slept for almost three hours. And then Paula woke me with a knock on the door.

“I looked into Drollinger,” she said. “Even though Drollinger says he doesn’t believe God still judges nations, let me show you something he wrote.”

And Paula showed us that Drollinger actually does believe that your God still judges nations…


IN LIGHT OF THESE AMERICAN PARALLELS, TO THINK THAT GOD WILL NOT JUDGE AMERICA IS TO BE IGNORANT OF THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS, OR ELSE BELIEVE THAT IT IS A TOTAL FABRICATION

The Book of Lamentations must inform your thinking as a political leader who names the name of Christ! For the aforementioned four reasons the Book of Lamentations applies to America and should be understood as a huge warning, motivation and catalyst for those who are His chosen in our nation.

The Book of Lamentations As It Applies to America, BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2014

Beware! It follows that if God is not afraid to judge His own people in the Old Testament, that He is not afraid of judging His people in the New Testament – and the nation(s) wherein they reside. Deuteronomy 32:21-22 states regarding God’s sinning saints….

They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, For a fire is kindled in My anger, And burns to the lowest part of Sheol….

The Book of Lamentations As It Applies to America, BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2014

And then Paula showed us this, from your Constable guy…


God still rules over all nations, not just His chosen people. He still opposes nations that violate human rights, and He will judge them. The old order may pass away with the turning of the pages of the calendar, but the divine order does not change. God remains the same. God’s methods change, His requirements for His people change, His dispensations (household rules) change, but His underlying attitudes toward people do not change. Cruelty is as hateful to God today as it ever has been.

Notes on Amos, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

“We need to send him a thank you note,” said Paula.

But, we are also grateful to your Ralph Drollinger guy. He helped open our eyes to something which helped us to see that Shih Tzu was wrong. We do not have to make such a risky move against America. We can continue to win without fighting against you.

You see, when you look through the lens of story, it helps you to see that your God does judge nations.

And that is disturbing for us. But first, let’s explain how we came to see it.

As you’ll see, McKee’s description of the reasonable sovereignty of the core character fits so well with our personal stories…


Before a story begins, its physical setting, social setting, core value, and core character rest in a state of balance. The protagonist has her daily ups and downs. Who doesn’t? Nonetheless, she holds reasonable sovereignty over her existence. Until something happens.

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

But in the story in your Bible, your God is very unique. Look how the story begins with an introduction to the sovereignty of the protagonist …


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1


And…


Since God made everything out of nothing, it all belongs to him. He has proper authority to rule over all because none of it would exist without him. That includes you and me, by the way. We don’t own ourselves – God does. Let that sink in too. When we claim absolute ownership over anything without the understanding that God holds the ultimate title, it’s very much like stealing. 

Greg Koukl, The Story of Reality

[M]odern atheistic theories of the origin of the universe certainly are not compatible with the statement in Genesis 1:1. The central point of Genesis 1:1 is that God created all things. In fact, the biblical creation account can be viewed as a sort of early polemic against atheism. Genesis 1:1 makes it clear that the world is not eternal; the universe did not create itself. The world had a beginning and it had a Creator.

John Sailhamer, Genesis Unbound

And consider how the following passages express the protagonist’s “reasonable sovereignty” …


The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 24:1-2


The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.

Psalm 89:11


Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.

Deuteronomy 10:14


Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

1 Chronicles 29:10-12


“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.

Jeremiah 51:15


Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

Psalm 82:8


He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.

Job 12:23


Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. “Selah” God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.

Psalm 47:1-9


This means that, if Christianity is the story we are in, your God is the ruler over all nations – even China!


And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.”

2 Chronicles 20:5-6


For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:28


And you can see why this passage made our team nervous…


Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;

Daniel 2:20-21 


And like Constable says, the status of your God has not changed…


God still rules over all nations, not just His chosen people. He still opposes nations that violate human rights, and He will judge them. The old order may pass away with the turning of the pages of the calendar, but the divine order does not change. God remains the same. God’s methods change, His requirements for His people change, His dispensations (household rules) change, but His underlying attitudes toward people do not change. Cruelty is as hateful to God today as it ever has been.

Notes on Amos, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable

And here is more Paula showed us…


Remarkably God is guiding history, now as then, although we are largely unaware of it – often even doubt it. There are many erroneous views on these matters: God only works when I am attentive; the distant God set the universe going and then went away to play golf. Or worse, that history is only about me – politicians and other public officials, for example, who take office to add to their CV and not for the good of the country.

For millennia, God has been leading the whole of history generally, and the history of the People of God specifically, to a conclusion that he has designed from the beginning: namely union with Him. The contrary, incorrect, and impersonal view of history is that history is just random occurrences that lead to our current situation.

Divine Providence Still Guides Us, By Bevil Bramwell, The Catholic Thing, March 11, 2018

Every believer can take comfort in the fact that, while sometimes it seems that God does not interfere in human affairs, the world is never out of his control. His sovereignty extends to every aspect of human experience.

Thomas Edward McComiskey, “Amos.”

[A]lthough God is a God of peace, he is also one who “will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). He is the God who is continually working (John 5:17). And even though heaven is a place of peace, it is a place also of continual praise to God and service for him.

Thus, God’s peace can be defined as follows: God’s peace means that in God’s being and in his actions he is separate from all confusion and disorder, yet he is continually active in innumerable well-ordered, fully controlled, simultaneous actions.

This definition indicates that God’s peace does not have to do with inactivity, but with ordered and controlled activity. To engage in infinite activity of this sort, of course, requires God’s infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

Paula Wong came across a series of passages which make clear that one aspect of God being sovereign over all nations… is that he judges the nations.

Here are just a few of those passages…


The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

1 Samuel 2:10


Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:33


God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

Psalm 7:11


Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you!

Psalm 9:19


Draw near, O nations, to hear,
and give attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
the world, and all that comes from it.
For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,
and furious against all their host;
he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter.
Their slain shall be cast out,
and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
the mountains shall flow with their blood.
All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.

Isaiah 34:1-4


Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.

Psalm 67:4


The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!

Psalm 50:6


This is all crazy stuff, isn’t it?

It is.

But, when we began to look at how the Society/Political Genre fits with the unfolding drama in America, we saw this…


Absolute sovereignty demands perfect wisdom and limitless power. We can see God’s perfect wisdom in His insight into the course of history and in His ability to impart that wisdom (insight) to His prophet. We can see God’s limitless power in His setting up and taking down Gentile kingdoms, and in His delegating great worldly power to His prophet. In contrast, national sovereigns (presidents, kings, etc.) have neither perfect wisdom nor limitless power.

Notes on Daniel, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, since your God has “limitless power in His setting up and taking down Gentile kingdoms”, we began to consider the possibility you are in far greater danger than you realize… 


When our great nation was founded during the period from 1775 to 1787, the following statement by Benjamin Franklin was still widely accepted: ‘The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of the truth that God governs in the affairs of men.’ Unless a marked change takes place in the United States of America, it’s doomed just as sure as was ancient Babylon.

Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee

And there are others who believe your God judges nations. Check out this lineup…


There are many ways that God may seize the attention of a people. He may send prophets, plagues, or perils that cannot be ignored. He may send storms or disasters that force men and women to open their eyes. He may send revival, or he may send judgment and some terrible type of destruction.

Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30Isaiah 5:18-25);

Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials, Southern Baptist Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah – 1998

Seen from Berlin, the news from Charlottesville is alarming. Seen as a Christian, the images are heartbreaking. The ideology of racial superiority is an evil anti-gospel that leads to eternal death.

The lessons of history are warning enough. The lessons of heresy are even more pressing. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we dare not miss the lessons of history and heresy. God will judge us. This we know.

Letter from Berlin: The Lessons of History and the Heresy of Racial Superiority, By Albert Mohler, August 13, 2017

Old Testament prophets would agree: God is an active judge who put nineteenth-century democratic, liberal nationalism through its paces to find out what it was made of, morally. When it displayed the sins of greed, envy, pride and hatred-thus leading to imperialism, a global contest for markets, an arms race and rival alliances-it was judged in the cataclysm of World War I. This mishpat, the sifting out of the long nineteenth century, was God’s active work, just as in Old Testament times.

Steven J. Keillor, God’s Judgments

IF You READ this book with the sole intention of finding more grist for your political convictions, then you have missed my heart. Yes, I am deeply distressed over the direction our nation is taking, but I am even more concerned about how the church – the people of God—will react to what is taking place. To become angry, vindictive, and filled with self-pity is hardly what God expects of us. We must respond on many different levels, but surely one of the most important is that we as individuals and the church at large must bear a credible witness to the saving grace of God in Christ. God is humbling us. The political solutions that we thought would rescue our nation from its moral and spiritual free fall have had scant effect. We are learning that the problem is deeper than we thought, thus the solution itself must be deeper also. In sum, we must realize that only God can save us from those trends that have already evoked His judgment.

Erwin Lutzer, When a Nation Forgets God

It’s so strange to us that your presidents all speak of God. But, it’s not just “God bless America”…check out Lyndon Johnson boldly speaking of God’s judgement in his inaugural address…


If we fail now, we shall have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith, that freedom asks more than it gives, and that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored.

Inaugural Address of Lyndon Baines Johnson, January 20, 1965

So maybe you’ll want to pay attention to these biblical scholars…  


God’s purpose will be accomplished in spite of the arrogance and defiance of man’s own purposes. He brings down the proud, but exalts the faithful.

The significance of this little story is great. It explains to God’s people how the nations were scattered abroad. Yet the import goes much deeper. The fact that it was Babylon, the beginning of kingdoms under Nimrod from Cush, adds a rather ominous warning: Great nations cannot defy God and long survive.

Allen P. Ross, The Dispersion of the Nations in Genesis 11:1-9

There are from time to time peoples and kingdoms which merit divine judgment. These Yahweh threatens to uproot, to break down, and to destroy.

J.A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah

And Paula then showed us these observations from your famous evangelist Billy Graham and his children…


From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God warns that any nation that departs from Him is going to suffer judgment. America has been given more spiritual and moral light than any nation in the history of the world. We have millions of Bibles at our disposal; there are hundreds of thousands of churches. Yet in spite of all this, we continue to be the most crime-ridden, the most divorce-prone, and the most immoral nation on earth. Pornography fills our newsstands, and we spew this filth all over the world.

How long will God withhold His hand of judgment? I tell you it will not be long. Unless we as a nation repent and turn to God, we are going to suffer a judgment such as no nation has ever endured. The Prophet Ezekiel said: “Every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord God” (21:7).

This day God is speaking to our nation in a thousand ways urging us to repent of our sins and to turn to Him before it is too late. But as the Prophet Jeremiah said, “They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to return.” (Jeremiah 5:3). So there is nothing left but judgment.

America Under Judgment? By Billy Graham, Decision Magazine, November 11, 2012

America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah ever were, and as deserving of the judgment of God

Turning the Tide of History, by Rev. Billy Graham, Decision Magazine, September 30, 2014 

I wonder if the handwriting is now on the wall for America. Has God decided that our idolatry, immorality and godlessness has become such a stench in His nostrils that we as a people will experience a harsh form of divine judgment? Have our iniquities grown so foul and vast that we will reap the bitter harvest of our wickedness and rebellion against Almighty God?

….

We are a people and nation in imminent danger. We mock God, ridicule His Word and His ways, and flaunt gross immorality.

From Franklin Graham: Is the Handwriting on the Wall for America? By Franklin Graham, BillyGraham.org, May 1, 2016

If God would judge His own beloved nation of Judah, why would we think America could escape?

It’s Time To Get Serious, by Anne Graham Lotz, AnneGrahamLotz.com, April 13, 2016

And look at this passage Paula Wong found in the book of Jeremiah…


This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

Jeremiah 18:1-10


Wow.

If Christianity is the story we are in, your God is in the business of both building up and planting nations and tearing them down…


He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Job 12:23-25


There are from time to time peoples and kingdoms which merit divine judgment. These Yahweh threatens to uproot, to break down, and to destroy.

J.A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah


And the same thing goes for the leaders of nations…


Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings;

Daniel 2:20-21


And do you take these passages seriously?


Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Psalm 115:3


Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

Psalm 135:6


So, in light of those passages, look at this …


Robert McKee: The term “ground rules” is inappropriate when talking about any aspect of writing, Inciting Incident included. As I’ve said many times: Art forms have no rules; all art is guided by principles. Rules are rigid. They say, “You must do it this way!” Principles are flexible. They say, “This form underlies the nature of the art and is conventional in practice. However, it may be bent, broken, hidden or turned upside down to serve unconventional uses that may enhance the telling.” Rules are objective applications that require no feeling for the story’s characters or events; their use is justified by their traditional function and their comfortable familiarity to the audience/readers. Principles require a deeply subjective understanding of a technique’s effect forward and backward along the timeline of a story’s events. A principle guides the writer’s use of his materials – motivations, characterizations, coincidences, settings, flash-backs/flash-forwards, set-ups/pay-offs and the like – in terms of their effect on both characters and audience/readers. A rule is microscopic; a principle is macroscopic.

An Interview with Robert McKee, by Debra Eckerling, StoryLink, August 18, 2009

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, and your God is the Great Storyteller, we recognize that he is not bound by “ground rules.”

We need to think macroscopically about the story of America. Your God may be up to something we don’t fully understand.

And what also caught our attention was a form of your God’s judgment, which this Ralph Drollinger guy believes is in play right now…


Consequential wrath is best under-stood through the parallel idea we commonly refer to as sowing and reaping. Galatians 6:7 states, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. To illustrate in one of many ways: If a person or a nation sows debt, it will reap in due time the results of financial crisis. Whenever an individual or corporate group of individuals violate the inviolate precepts of God’s Word, he, she, they or the institution will suffer the respective consequences. Most assuredly America is facing this form of God’s judgment.

Is God Judging America Today?, BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, FEBRUARY 27, 2018

So, Paula began to connect dots for us, in order to see the consequences which may be in play for you. First, she noted this…


God has never been more cast out from the Western mind than he is today.

Charles J. Chaput, Strangers in a Strange Land

The Americans really are trying to push God out of the picture. But if Christianity is true, the lesson of Babel should give them pause. As they push God away, not only will they forget who they are at a foundational level, but their ability to unite as a society will become increasingly difficult.

George Weigel, The Cube and the Cathedral

Without God, no basis exists for morality, meaning, the dignity of human beings, knowledge, or truth. Humans cannot reject God and pretend as if everything remains the same without him. In Wojtyla’s words, “[t]he tragedy of atheistic humanism … is that it strips man of his transcendental character, destroying his ultimate significance as a person.” Similarly, Wojtyla adds, citing the Second Vatican Council, “when God is forgotten the creature itself is unintelligible.” Schaeffer agrees, stating “[m]an, made in the image of God, has a purpose—to be in relationship to the God who is there .… Man forgets his purpose, and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.” Without God, therefore, humans self-destruct in nihilism.

Living Truth for a Post-Christian World: The Message of Francis Schaeffer and Karol Wojtyla, by Eduardo J. Echevarria, Acton Institute

And then she began to show us these insights about ‘forgetting God’ and the consequences which come from it…


More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Since then I have spent well nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” …. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: “Men have forgotten God.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Templeton Address, 1983

The Great Books of the Western World, published in the 1950s, gave the longest space to the theme of “God,” addressed by the most notable Western thinkers of the day. When Mortimer Adler, the editor, was asked why that theme occupied such length when many other notable themes were given less space, he answered without hesitation, “Because more consequences for life and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from any other basic question.” 

Ravia Zacharias, Jesus Among Secular Gods

What has happened to America is that we have forgotten God. When faith no longer informs our actions and gives direction to the hopes and dreams of the nation, things fall apart. This is the lesson we must learn. This is also the principal crisis that we must remedy. 

Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die

Here again, your most famous of presidents weighs in…


By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day Washington, D.C., March 30, 1863

Yet another president weighs in…


Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Dallas Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, Dallas, Texas, August 23, 1984

Paula even found this from your very first president…


I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.

George Washington to John Armstrong, March 11, 1792

And look at these…


Without God, no basis exists for morality, meaning, the dignity of human beings, knowledge, or truth. Humans cannot reject God and pretend as if everything remains the same without him. In Wojtyla’s words, “[t]he tragedy of atheistic humanism … is that it strips man of his transcendental character, destroying his ultimate significance as a person.” Similarly, Wojtyla adds, citing the Second Vatican Council, “when God is forgotten the creature itself is unintelligible.” Schaeffer agrees, stating “[m]an, made in the image of God, has a purpose—to be in relationship to the God who is there .… Man forgets his purpose, and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.” Without God, therefore, humans self-destruct in nihilism.

Living Truth for a Post-Christian World: The Message of Francis Schaeffer and Karol Wojtyla, by Eduardo J. Echevarria, Acton Institute

We need voices and lives like Jeremiah’s today, calling people to recognize the fact that all ruin and loss and national decay are due to forgetting God, who lifts up or breaks down according to how we relate to Him. Though Jeremiah lived some 2,600 years ago, his voice continues to challenge us today. Christians appear to be ministering in a context very similar to Jeremiah’s.

Notes on Jeremiah, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

All are to take note that God’s kindness and severity are not arbitrary or based on some principle hidden from our view; nor indeed are they irrevocable. This warning needs to be heeded. Israel and Judah lost their way by compromising with the idolatries and immoral practices of their age, with their leaders and teachers often caught up in the apostasy. The people lost their confidence in the authority of the word of God and were lulled into a false sense of security. They refused to listen to the prophets that God had sent to warn them of the consequences of their behaviour. The exile was the result, and the temple at the heart of their testimony was destroyed. 

Sadly, it is all too easy to find parallels within the professing Gentile Christian church. Prominent church leaders deny the fundamentals of the gospel -particularly anything supernatural, like the incarnation and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. An air of unreality has led droves of people to vote with their feet and abandon places of worship for the shopping mall and the sports field. Slowly but surely God has been squeezed out of the public square. 

John Lennox, Determined to Believe?

One of the lessons of history is that immorality is not the cause of national decline but a symptom of lost faith. When people lose faith in themselves, their country, and their God, they slide naturally into the bad habits that bring on corruption and decline. Loss of their love for God leads to loss of self-respect, and from there it is only a short step to loss of respect for human life and all the types of degradation and abuse we have witnessed in recent years.

Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die

Nietzsche has his own famous term to describe the same effect: the death of God. He was not the first to use the term. Hegel among others had used the term seventy-five years before him, but Nietzsche was the most radical in pressing home the consequences in every areaThe death of God was far more than a crisis for theology and theologians. It was an all-encompassing catastrophe that touched the whole of culture and all the values and disciplines that had depended on God-including such important things as truth, reason, knowledge, morality, right, wrong, good, evil, art, philosophy and the humanities. Every one of them must change and be drastically revalued. God was dead, the sun had been destroyed, the cosmic order had been unhinged, the center had collapsed, and everything that had once depended on them was now hollowed out, empty, vacuous and sheer vanity. Nothing would ever be the same again. In losing God the Western world had lost its soul and its center. It had become “weightless” -groundless, centerless, meaningless, insignificant and immaterial, with an “unbearable lightness of being.”

Os Guinness, Impossible People

There it is. It looks like, if Christianity is the story we are in, that pushing your God away puts in play consequences which you may want to pay attention to as your drama in America continues to unfold…


The book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations show how God looks at a culture which knew Him and deliberately turned away.

Francis A. Schaeffer, Death in the City

And that’s the same noted Christian who wrote this…


There is only one perspective we can have of the post-Christian world of our generation: an understanding that our culture and our country deserves to be under the wrath of God. It will not do to say the United States is God’s country in some special way. It will not do to cover up the difference between the consensus today and the Christian consensus that prevailed sixty years ago.

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

And you may want to consider this warning, from decades ago…


Although there is a strong current of evangelical Christianity in America, as a nation it looks as if America has forgotten God. There never has been a country in all history which has lasted long or prospered greatly after definitely turning against God. God has even caused their downfall by more ungodly nations. This will happen to America. It is not true that it can’t happen to America. It will happen if she keeps going in the same direction as now. May God keep us on our knees in behalf of our blessed country…. America is enjoying the best standard of living of any country in the world, but if she keeps up the pace of ungodliness that is so evident today she will fall.

Letter dated April 24, 1946, by Irvin E. Grubbs, BSac 103:411 (Jul 46)


The Challenge to the Sovereignty of the Chinese Communist Party

We hope you’ll be able to understand why all this disturbs us — in multiple ways.

And one of those has to do with our sovereignty. The sovereignty of the Chinese Communist Party.

You see, we haven’t even been able to land a person on the moon yet, but if Christianity is the story we are in, the Active Protagonist in the story isn’t just the King of the world.

He rules over the entire universe.

But that means America too.

And since your country is pushing your God away, well, maybe you better think about it too.

So… let me take a quick rest stop here to connect some of the dots swirling around in my head concerning your King.

For some reason, all this got me to thinking about a wonderful saying from Confucius…


There cannot be two suns in the sky, nor two emperors on the earth.

Confucius

I love it. It so captures our China Dream!

But, unfortunately, that observation got me to thinking about something interesting in the brilliant Three Warfares report prepared by the now famous Professor Stefan Halper for the US Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment.

It has to do with our view of sovereignty…


China’s Unique View of Sovereignty

China’s concept of sovereignty is carefully considered in separate contexts because it lies at the root of Chinese nationalism, and, indeed, informs much of the tension on China’s periphery. China’s notion of sovereignty arises from the political ethic of “monism” advanced by the Confucians and Legalists 475-221 BC, which denies that legitimate international order can rest on co-equal sovereigns. China conceives of sovereignty as indivisible: ‘if one had an equal, one was not sovereign’.

Three Warfares

And look at this…


In that past, there were no fixed national boundaries. There was even no concept of “China.” There was, as Yi-Zheng Lian wrote in the New York Times, “a sovereignty system with the emperor’s compound in the middle.” Around that were concentric rings. “The further from the center, the less the center’s control and one’s obligations to it,” Lian noted. The Chinese, in fact, were perhaps the first to develop the idea of a borderless world.

In short, Chinese emperors claimed they had the Mandate of Heaven over tianxia, or “All Under Heaven,” as they believed they were, in the words of Fei-Ling Wang of Georgia Tech, “predestined and compelled to order and rule the entire world that is known and reachable, in reality or in pretension.” As acclaimed journalist Howard French writes in Everything Under the Heavens, “One can argue that there has never been a more universal conception of rule.”

Unfortunately, the current Chinese leader harbors ambitions of imposing the tianxia model on others. As Charles Horner of the Hudson Institute told me, “The Communist Party of China remains committed to ordering the People’s Republic of China as a one-party dictatorship, and that is perforce its starting point for thinking about ordering the world.” In other words, a dictatorial state naturally thinks about the world in dictatorial terms. Tianxia is by its nature a top-down, dictatorial system.

Xi Jinping Thinks China Is World’s Only Sovereign State, by Gordon G. Chang, Gatestone Institute, January 4, 2019

Some theoreticians in Beijing even argue the modern idea of the sovereign nation state is an illegitimate western invention that contradicts the traditional Chinese notion of “all under heaven”, with the Chinese emperor at the centre and power radiating out from the Forbidden City to every corner of the earth.

Race-based ideas of national rejuvenation and manifest destiny have deep and uncomfortable echoes in 20th-century history and earlier European colonial expansion. That is why Communist party translators have opted for the misleading official translation of “nation” rather than “race”.

The dark side of China’s national renewal, By Jamil Anderlini, Financial Times, June 21, 2017

And we are on a quest to conquer…


A Chinese space rover explored the lunar terrain on Friday in the world’s first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon.

Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp the previous night and onto the soft, snow-like surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon’s far side. A photo posted online by China’s space agency showed tracks left by the rover as it headed away from the spacecraft.

“It’s a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation,” Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, told state broadcaster CCTV, in a twist of U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous comment when he became the first human to walk on the moon in 1969. “This giant leap is a decisive move for our exploration of space and the conquering of the universe.”

China begins first surface exploration of moon’s far side, By KEN MORITSUGU, AP News, January 4, 2019

So, which version of the story we are in does our view of sovereignty ultimately fit best with?

Strange question, I know.

But when you step back from it, you’ll see it doesn’t fit best with our boring nonplot version of the story we are in.

You see, if our story begins and ends in nothingness, then why is it that here in the story we treat the concept of sovereignty with such meaning and significance?

If we all come from nothingness and our story ends there too, we are all equal — all equally meaningless!

So, sovereignty is just a passing fad with no ultimate meaning.

Just like we are… in each of our own personal stories!

It’s shocking, I know, but our view of sovereignty fits best with the Christian version of the story.

Unfortunately, in the Christian version of the story we are in, God is the Active Protagonist, not us.

And what’s worse, the Active Protagonist is a Sovereign King.

And what’s more, the Active Protagonist in the Bible makes some serious claims to sovereignty — claims which fit with our view!

For instance, look at this one…


Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

….

All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

….

Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

Isaiah 40:15, 17, 21-24


And here is another one which has our attention…


“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.  I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.  Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”

Isaiah 43:10-13


It sounds a lot like our version of sovereignty — indivisible, with the East and South China Seas only for us.

And you can see from the last sentence in the passage from Isaiah – “When I act, who can reverse it?” — why Shih Tzu is so anxious about the possibility Christianity is true.

He wants to be the star actor in the unfolding drama, and your God could be a force of antagonism to him.

Look again at what this passage says about your God …


He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.

Job 12:23


Our team better be careful then, because if there is any sense among our bosses that we are taking the Christian version of the story seriously enough to consider believing it, well, you can imagine where things could end up for us if someone like Shih Tzu blows a whistle!

I see dead people.

And maybe you will too, because look at the next ‘what if’ question we are wondering about…



The Strange Letter From Nebuchadnezzar

When we were exploring all this, we discovered a strange letter in the book of the prophet Daniel, which was written by Nebuchadnezzar, the famous Babylonian emperor.

And in the letter he tells a bizarre tale in which he is actually changed by your God into an animal-like being – the very kind of being the Party and our story allies in America believe we ultimately are.

The transformation appears to have come as a form of corrective punishment for both his pride and… the resulting failure to acknowledge that God “is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

He is then later freed from that prison by your God.

And at the very end of the letter, look what the most powerful human ruler on the planet wrote …


At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Daniel 4:34-37


If Christianity is the story we are in, this is very disturbing for our team.

It means the Party and President Xi Jinping do not have the control they believe they do…


If there’s one message that is emphasized in the Book of Daniel it’s that ‘the Most High rules in the kingdom of men’ (Dan. 4:32, NKJV).

Warren W. Wiersbe, “Daniel.” The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament: The Prophets

But maybe you should think of this too. It is entirely possible the United States may not survive…


“Perhaps the greatest evidence of Yahweh’s lordship in Daniel’s own experience lay . . . in his unswerving conviction that his God was the one who appointed and deposed the monarchs of human kingdoms. Because these kings and their subjects thought they were called to their office and given its privileges and responsibilities by their own gods, Daniel’s assertion that the God of Israel was in fact the originator and grantor of human authority was a tacit denial of any perceived role for the gods of the nations.”

Eugene H. Merrill, “Daniel as a Contribution to Kingdom Theology.” In Essays in Honor of J. Dwight Pentecost. Edited by Stanley D. Toussaint and Charles H. Dyer.


Your Conflict Over Abortion Opened Our Eyes to How History May Be Rhyming in the Story of America

One of the most striking changes in the story of America is how abortion exploded into your society. And that change flows from our version of the story we are in, not yours.

To help you see this, let’s begin with a series of quotes Paula Wong showed us, which, if Christianity is the story we are in, highlight how the conflict over abortion is the same simple story question which has faced America from the beginning


Who are we, here in the story?


These quotes are from the Beckwith guy, one of your more prominent philosophers…


The pro-life cause, in a sense, then, is not really about abortion, but rather, about who and what we are. It is a movement that makes the argument that the project that began in the Enlightenment — having its metaphysical roots in the biblical notion of the imago dei (image of God) — that provided the intellectual scaffolding for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, can be, and ought to be, extended to include the true wideness of our human community, that is, to include the unborn.

Reassessing Pro-Life Strategy, by Francis J. Beckwith, The American Conservative, May 5, 2003

Thus, the abortion controversy hinges on a question of philosophical anthropology, whether one believes that the unborn child is or is not one of us. If it is not, then it is entitled to no greater protections than we afford an appendix or a kidney. But if he or she is one of us, then it possesses an intrinsic dignity that all human beings have by nature, that just governments ought to recognize.

The Question Behind Our Political Divisions, by Francis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing, November 11, 2011

However, there is a sense in which every argument on abortion — whether pro-abortion, pro-life or somewhere in-between — tries to answer a question that is fundamentally religious: who and what are we and can we know it?

The Case Against Abortion: An Interview with Dr. Francis Beckwith, author of Defending Life, Carl E. Olson, Ignatius Insight, January 21, 2008

In the same way, pro-lifers oppose abortion because they have reasons to believe that the unborn are full-fledged members of the human community, no different in nature than you or me. And for that reason, the unborn has a right to life that ought to be enshrined in our laws. Thus, in order to defeat the pro-lifer’s point of view, the abortion advocate must show that the unborn is not a full-fledged member of the human community. At the end of the day, the abortion debate is not about likes or dislikes. It is about who and what we are, and whether the unborn is one of us.

What’s the Debate About?, by Francis J. Beckwith, 2009 Sanctity of Human Life Guide

Gregory P. Koukl … often tells the fictional story of a father who, while his back is turned, hears his teenage daughter ask the question, “Daddy, can I kill it?” Koukl then asks his audience, “How should the father respond to his daughter’s query?” The audience, in every venue at which Greg has told this story, answers, “He should ask her, ‘What is it?‘” 

….

The pro-life movement, from its very beginning, has seen this moral truth as the one strand in the tapestry of republican government that, if removed, will inevitably lead to an unraveling of the understanding of ourselves and our rights that gave rise to the cluster of beliefs on which the rule of law, constitutional democracy, and human equality depend. The pro-life cause, in a sense, then, is not really about abortion, but rather, about who and what we are. It is a movement that makes the argument that the project that began in the Enlightenment — having its metaphysical roots in the biblical notion of the imago dei (image of God) — that provided the intellectual scaffolding for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, can be, and ought to be, extended to include the true wideness of our human community, that is, to include the unborn.

Reassessing Pro-Life Strategy, by Francis J. Beckwith, The American Conservative, May 5, 2003

And look what we found from a now deceased American by the name of Robert Casey, who was once the Governor of the state of Pennsylvania, and one of the last major pro-life Democrat politicians in America…


In the case of the unborn child we’re dealing not just with our livelihoods, but with lives… not just how comfortably we will live, but how comfortably we will live with our consciences. Think about it, why do all parties to this debate routinely call abortion a “social issue”? Because deep down we know that the fate of one life touches us all. In a way, all the talk about values misses the point. Because we are talking about a thing of infinite value. Human life cannot be measured. It is the measure itself. The value of everything else is weighed against it. The abortion debate is not about how we shall live, but who shall live. And more than that, it’s about who we are.

Address by Governor Robert P. Casey, Delivered at the University of Notre Dame in 1995

See that? It’s all about the simple story question…


Who are we, here in the story?


And that led us naturally to consider the other simple story question…


Which story are we in?


Consider what Paula showed us…


An attack on vulnerable humanity is an attack on the image of God. And that image is not abstract. The image of God has a name and a blood type. The image of God is Christ Jesus himself (Col. 1:15). Every human image-bearer is patterned after the Alpha and Omega image of the invisible God.

The Gospel vs 100 Years of Planned Parenthood, By Russell Moore, RussellMoore.com, October 17, 2016

[T]he debate over when human life begins has never been about the biological facts. It has been about the value we ascribe to human beings at the dawn of their lives. When we debate questions of abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, we are not really disagreeing about whether human embryos are human beings. The scientific evidence is simply too overwhelming for there to be any real debate on this point. What is at issue in these debates is the question of whether we ought to respect and defend human beings in the earliest stages of their lives. In other words, the question is not about scientific facts; it is about the nature of human dignity and the equality of human beings.

When Life Begins: Will politics trump science? By Robert P. George, National Review, November 2, 2008

And you may be interested in a book Paula showed us from an American named Brian Fisher, titled Deliver Us From Abortion.

One of our team members went through and then piled together the references to what you Christians believe to be our true foundational identity…


I continue to struggle with a haunting question: Why do we, as followers of the Creator God, often refuse to protect His image-bearers? …. Is every child an image-bearer of God? …. If God is sovereign, every human life, whether directly created by God or created through the process He invented, is an image-bearer of the Creator and is part of His divine plan. …. Because unlike every other created thing in the universe, we are made in the image of God. …. Though humans are certainly not divine, we are made in the image of God. ….We are the only created thing on earth that has this honor—the Imago Dei. Secondly, because we are created in God’s image as relational beings, we have the capability to have a personal, real relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. …. The same principle that claims no distinction between born and unborn children as image-bearers of God is maintained in the New Testament as well. …. God created us in His image, He designed us to rule over the rest of creation, He blessed us and called us to be fruitful, and He provided sustenance for our livelihood. …. He is the Imago Dei (image of God) and the first of all creation. (All humans are made in the image of God. Jesus is the Image of God).  …. Man does not have the right to kill innocent life. God forbids it because He created us in His very own image. …. Every human being, regardless of condition or circumstances of conception, is created in His image. …. As I’ve argued, abortion is primarily a spiritual issue. It is the willful, unjust killing of a human life—a life created by God and made in His image. …. This is a role the church must take because the killing of millions of God’s image-bearers requires the church’s direct and aggressive involvement. …. Start a group that discusses humans as image-bearers of God. …. If you vote for a pro-abortion candidate, you cast your vote for abortion. You are, by virtue of our representative government, putting someone in office who supports the killing of God’s image-bearers.

Brian Fisher, Deliver Us From Abortion


If Christianity is the story we are in, Fisher gets it. Because if human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, then the unborn, as the Founders believed, have an unalienable right to life.

But, again, our version of the story we are in sees things a different way. Notice how our way of seeing shows up in the famous Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy…


At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

These considerations begin our analysis of the woman’s interest in terminating her pregnancy but cannot end it, for this reason: though the abortion decision may originate within the zone of conscience and belief, it is more than a philosophic exercise. Abortion is a unique act. It is an act fraught with consequences for others: for the woman who must live with the implications of her decision; for the persons who perform and assist in the procedure; for the spouse, family, and society which must confront the knowledge that these procedures exist, procedures some deem nothing short of an act of violence against innocent human life; and, depending on one’s beliefs, for the life or potential life that is aborted. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992

Of course, the slaveholders would have liked that view of things. It certainly justifies slavery.

But with abortion, the purpose is not to enslave them, but kill them…


Each human life begins in conception. The human soul does not cause itself to exist. The origin of each human life is ultimately in the Godhead. Each is an image of God intended for eternal life. This includes each aborted child no matter at what stage its demise was decreed by another not allowing him to continue to exist in this world.

The Aborted, by James V. Schall, The Catholic Thing, June 26, 2012

That’s our version in play – our version of the story we are in. And those differences are powerfully irreconcilable…


Abortion is primarily a spiritual battle, a clash of worldviews that stems from our beliefs about God, mankind, our purpose, and eternity. The reason “pro-choicers oppose even modest limits [on abortion procedures],” write Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, is “because they understand that abortion represents a worldview conflict:  God and the sanctity of life versus the individual’s moral autonomy. They can give no quarter.”

Brian Fisher, Deliver Us From Abortion

Abortion is such a massive change in America’s story. And Paula showed us the following, which helped us to see how this massive change fits with the forgetting of your God…


For the face that confronts us is not just the tiny, innocent face of the human baby, whom we have procreated, but the enormous, innocent face of Almighty God, who has created us and the baby. It is his image that abortion kills. Abortion is homicide, and homicide is deicide because man is God’s image, God’s child. Abortion’s victim is one of God’s kids, and if you kill any good father’s kids, you are far more his enemy than if you kill him. Do you think God is any less loyal to his kids than we are?

Peter Kreeft, Three Approaches to Abortion

Each human life begins in conception. The human soul does not cause itself to exist. The origin of each human life is ultimately in the Godhead. Each is an image of God intended for eternal life. This includes each aborted child no matter at what stage its demise was decreed by another not allowing him to continue to exist in this world.

The Aborted, by James V. Schall, The Catholic Thing, June 26, 2012

In simplicity, and with the full force of biblical theology from its origins, it can be stated that to abort a human being is to abort a chosen presence of God.

Two Important Biblical Texts on Human Abortion, by John C. Rankin, Theological Education Institute

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, then abortion is one of the most significant ways human beings say to God, “forget you!”

And one way to also help you see the massive change in the story of America is to consider the magnitude of the killing from abortion…


The United States marks 45 years of legalized abortion in all fifty states at any time for any reason throughout pregnancy on January 22nd, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Since that time, there have been an estimated 60,069,971 abortions that have destroyed the lives of unborn children.

60,069,971 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, By Steven Ertelt, Life News, January 18, 2018

There are more babies aborted in America every year than the number of U.S. soldiers who’ve lost their lives in every U.S. conflict from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.

Discrimination: The Most Hated People Group in America (2 of 3), by Bryan Fisher, Online for Life, July 15, 2015

An estimated 57 million preborn human beings have been killed in America in just the last 42 years. That’s roughly 1.3 million a year,108,000 per month3,600 per day, or 2.5 human beings per minute.

Discrimination: The Most Hated People Group in America (1 of 3), by Brian Fisher, Online for Life, July 8, 2015

And what if the numbers are actually even higher? Look at this website Paula showed us…


Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters


More than 1.5 Billion worldwide since 1980?


We are by now used to the statistics in given countries and the world of the millions of babies aborted in recent decades: 61 million in the United States since 1973; 1.5 billion in the world since 1980. Many are appalled; others claim this procedure as a “right.” In addition, we now see in many states, like Virginia and New York, the removal of any restriction on abortion, sometimes including killing the unwanted child if it survives abortion.

Time to Rethink the Abortion Question, By REV. JAMES V. SCHALL, S.J., Crisis Magazine, FEBRUARY 19, 2019

And look at this, also from that site…


Note that the abortions in the counters on this site are almost all “surgical abortions”.   We have made no attempt to tally the totals for “chemically-induced abortions” here.  The Pharmacists for Life organization estimates that there have been approximately 250 million babies aborted chemically since 1973 in the USA: http://www.pfli.org/


So, in light of those stats, look how your Pope Francis shines a spotlight on the issue…


Pope Francis denounced abortion Saturday as the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

Francis spoke off-the-cuff to a meeting of an Italian family association, ditching his prepared remarks to speak from the heart about families and the trials they undergo. He lamented how some couples choose not to have any children, while others resort to prenatal testing to see if their baby has any malformations or genetic problems.

“The first proposal in such a case is, ‘Do we get rid of it?’” Francis said. “The murder of children. To have an easy life, they get rid of an innocent.”

Francis recalled that as a child he was horrified to hear stories from his teacher about children “thrown from the mountain” if they were born with malformations.

“Today we do the same thing,” he said.

“Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” Francis said.

Pope Francis on abortion: It’s what the Nazis did, only with ‘white gloves’, By ASSOCIATED PRESS, L.A. Times, June 17, 2018

And Paula Wong showed us this, which so fits with your migration into the minimalist corner…


Finally, there is Roe’s immorality—the abortion holocaust it unleashed—and the problem of our response to it. Roe is a radical decision and a legally indefensible one. But what really makes Roe unbearably wrong is its consequences. The result of Roe and Doe has been the legally authorized killing of nearly sixty million Americans since 1973.  Roe v. Wade authorized unrestricted private violence against human life on an almost unimaginable scale, and did so, falsely, in the name of the Constitution.


It is hard to escape this conclusion, but not impossible—and many certainly try. I will not here belabor the question of whether the intentional killing of innocent, dependent, vulnerable human children is a grave moral wrong. My concluding point concerns the lengths to which we will go to deny the reality of this holocaust, because it is almost unbearable to contemplate and still go on living life as if nothing is terribly wrong. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great. And so we have become, in effect, a nation of holocaust deniers.


Here is the problem, undressed: If human embryonic life is morally worthy of protection, we have permitted sixty million murders under our watch. Faced with this prospect, many of us—maybe even most—flee from the facts. We deny that the living human embryo is “truly” or “fully” human life, adopt a view that whether the embryo or fetus is human “depends,” or can be judged in degrees, on a sliding scale over the course of pregnancy; or we proclaim uncertainty about the facts of human biology; or we proclaim moral agnosticism about the propriety of “imposing our views on others”; or we throw up our hands and give up because moral opposition to an entrenched, pervasive social practice is not worth the effort, discomfort, and social costs. The one position not on the table—the one possibility too hard to look at—is that abortion is a grave moral wrong on a par with the greatest human moral atrocities of all time and that we passively, almost willingly, accept it as such.


All of this should tell us a few more sobering things. It should tell us that, much as we would like to believe that human beings have become more morally conscious, more sensitive to injustice and intolerant of clear evil, it remains the case that we often either fail to recognize it in our midst, or refuse to respond to it decisively, out of self-interest or cowardice. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think that we surely would have stood bravely against slavery, even if embedded in a nineteenth-century society that tolerated and accepted it as a legal right, we might have acquiesced or been tepid in our condemnation. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think we would never have put up with what transpired in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the 1940s, the evidence of our lives in twenty-first century America is that we might have put up with quite a lot.

The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe, by Michael Stokes Paulsen, Public Discourse, January 23rd, 2012

And our secular story allies in America, like the rich and famous Bill Gates, have a different view of the numbers because of who they believe we are, here in the story…


Gates was asked how he’s able to remain “so upbeat” about the state of the world in “this time of political division, violence and natural disasters.”

“How long people live, the reduction of disease… this period since World War II has been unbelievable – the reduction in violence, the improvement in literacy, the improvement of health is phenomenal,” he said.

“By almost any metric,” Gates argued, “the world is a far better place today – less violent deaths, less disease, more education – than ever in its history. It doesn’t mean we can feel complacent about that remaining burden.”

Gates noted that 12 million children under 5 years old died in 1990 and that figure is now less than 5 million per year.

The world, he said, is “100 times less violent than it was 1,000 years ago – that is, the percentage of deaths that are violent is down dramatically.”

Bill Gates Praises GOP-Led Congress, Says World ‘Far Better Place’ Than Ever Before, BY NICHOLAS BALLASY, PJ Media, JULY 1, 2018


But Paula Wong pointed out that if you look at America’s story with the possibility in mind that Christianity may be the story we are in, you see something rather startling in relation to the binary core value in the story of America… 


America’s story contains an unbroken thread…

…of assigning of inferior value 

…to a group of human beings…

… and then abusing them.


That may surprise you, but take a look at this…


America’s Timeline of Assigning Inferior Value

Part One

Slavery

From: Before the Founding of America

To: The End of the Civil War


Part Two

Segregation and Suppression of Civil Rights

From: The End of the Civil War

To: The 1960’s


And note how the following reveals that this second part has not completely gone out of America’s story…


The keynote of America’s domestic politics for the last 60 or 70 years— from sometime between the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v Board of Education school desegregation decision and the 1964 Civil Rights Act— has been the nation’s effort to undo the heinous wrongs that slavery and Jim Crow perpetrated on black Americans ever since the first slave was brought here in the 1640s.

America’s Worst President?, By Myron Magnet, City Journal, July 10, 2016

And here’s the third…


Part Three

Abortion

From: The 1970’s

To: The Present Day


So, if Christianity is the story we are in, the evil of assigning inferior value to persons made in the image and likeness of God results in a rather startling conclusion…


 The Underlying Identity Evil Is the Same…

for Racism, Abortion – and Genocide


At the foundational level, genocide, abortion and racism have something in common.

Genocide, abortion, and racism are all predicated upon one individual or group of human beings assigning inferior value to another individual or group of human beings.

As evidence of how genocide fits into this pattern, consider the following material which our team came across. First notice what the American columnist Mona Charen wrote in relation to the Cambodian genocide after the end of the Vietnam War…


As The Black Book of Communism records, “Democratic Kampuchea . . . was a place with no values or stable points of reference. It really was a nightmare world on the other side of the mirror. . . . The first article of faith was a radical dismissal of the idea that human life had any value. ‘Losing you is not a loss, and keeping you is no specific gain’ went one terrifying official slogan that recurs time and again in statements by witnesses.”

Mysterious Khmer, By Mona Charen, National Review, February 19, 2009

The Khmer Rouge simply assigned inferior value to their victims and then destroyed their lives.

Notice how this same question of valuation was raised by Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general who was the head of the U.N. Peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time of the genocide there in 1994 and was prevented from intervening in a way which could have saved many lives…



Several times in this book I have asked the question, “Are we all human, or are some more human than others?” Certainly we in the developed world act in a way that suggests we believe that our lives are worth more than the lives of other citizens of the planet. An American officer felt no shame as he informed me that the lives of 800,000 Rwandans were only worth risking the lives of 10 American troops; the Belgians, after losing 10 soldiers, insisted that the lives of Rwandans were not worth risking another Belgian soldier.

Romeo Dallaire, Shake Hands With the Devil

And here’s another example we found, this time from the American historian Eric Weitz’s history of genocide…


In the 18th century “mere” prejudice gave way to a far more comprehensive way of articulating and legislating human difference, a perspective that would also underpin many of the genocides of the twentieth century. Race thinking, formulated in the complex interactions among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans, established a fixed hierarchy of difference rooted in the body. Race locked Africans into a position of eternal inferiority and also explained the middle ranking of Native Americans and the superior position of Europeans on the racial scale.

Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide

And be patient, because here’s yet another…


Racism involves prejudice against a race or subgroup on the grounds of its imagined inferiority or threat. When racists act to destroy all or some members of a race or subgroup, they commit genocide.

Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur

But just know we’re trying to emphasize the basic core which underlies all this: one group or individual assigning inferior value to another group or individual.

This gets interesting for America… if Christianity is the story we are in.

For instance, your former president, Barack Obama, is known as perhaps the most anti-racist and pro-abortion president in your history.

So, as Obama the Christian promoted abortion, he was just as guilty of the underlying foundational identity evil as those who are racists.

In both cases they are assigning inferior value to another human being. Of course, with abortion the intention is for someone to die from that assignation.

That may be the ultimate playing out of the story triangle tension in America’s unfolding drama.

But, what if – and we know this is unbelievable — you Christians may also be the guilty ones when it comes to this massive change?

We’ll come back and explore that later.


Is Abortion the Elephant in Your Room?


While your house divided may be the Gray Rhino in your room, our team is now wondering if you also have an elephant in the room…


By definition, nobody does anything about the elephant in the room, just standing there.

How to Make Sure Your Startup Can Thrive With Change, By Michele Wucker, INC., May 23, 2016

A gray rhino is the big, scary thing that’s right in front of you with the big horn that’s coming at you—very hard to ignore—but somehow we manage to ignore anyway. It’s related to the elephant in the room, but the elephant in the room stands still and we all take for granted that the elephant in the room is not gonna get attention, nobody’s going to say anything, nobody’s going to do anything.

Into the Wild: This Author Can Help Your Company Avoid the Elephant in the Room, By Parker Richards, Observer, April 2, 2016

We know that in the midst of your struggle with denial, it will be difficult for you to think seriously about the elephant in your room.

But Paula showed us another quote from Kreeft which ought to be haunting you Americans, because it shines a spotlight on your binary core value issue…


For the face that confronts us is not just the tiny, innocent face of the human baby, whom we have procreated, but the enormous, innocent face of Almighty God, who has created us and the baby. It is his image that abortion kills. Abortion is homicide, and homicide is deicide because man is God’s image, God’s child. Abortion’s victim is one of God’s kids, and if you kill any good father’s kids, you are far more his enemy than if you kill him. Do you think God is any less loyal to his kids than we are?

Peter Kreeft, Three Approaches to Abortion

You see, if Christianity is the story we are in, then you Americans are killing God’s children.

And that’s betrayal in the story.


And, you may be interested in this memo I sent my Uncle…


Intelligence Memorandum

Classified: Top Secret
Mao Tse Tongue!

To: General Tso
Deputy Assistant Minister of State Security
People’s Republic of China

From: Chow Non Phat
Deputy Assistant Minister for Diet Control

Re: Was LBJ Telling the Truth?

Dear General Tso,

Remember, Uncle, how I told you once how Shih Tzu interrupted our meeting and asked me this…

“What if, Comrade Chow, the Active Protagonist in the story of the nations intends to turn out the lights on the Party as part of his plan to elevate China above the United States? What if Ghost Fleet is a strange prophecy — a strange hint — of what is to come? If that could be the case, shouldn’t we try to preserve our power by making our run at the Four Year Sprint?”

Same thing happened today! And this time, here’s what he said, standing there surrounded by his ‘team within a team’ of traitors.

“Comrade Chow, are you aware that in the first volume of the famous biography of the American President Lyndon Baines Johnson by Robert Caro — the one titled The Path to Power — you find the following…”

And so Uncle, he pulls out a copy of the book and begins to read the following — and remember, this is from the most notable biographer of Johnson…

In the College Star’s humor column appears the following definition: “Bull: Greek philosophy in which Lyndon Johnson has an M.B. degree.”

“‘Master of Bullshit’ — that’s what M.B. means,” says one of Lyndon Johnson’s classmates, Henry Kyle. “He was known as the biggest liar on campus. In private, when there were no girls around, we called him ‘Bullshit’ Johnson.”

He was given the public nickname “Bull.”

“When you saw him, that’s what you called him,” says Horace Richards. ” ‘Hiya, Bull.’ ‘Howya doin’, Bull?’ Bull Johnson was his name, as far as we were concerned.”

That was what we called him to his face,” Edward Puls, another classmate, says. “That was what he was generally called. Because of this constant braggadocio. Because he was so full of bullshit, manure, that people just didn’t believe him. Because he was a man who just could not tell the truth.”

I have no idea where he is taking this. So when he finishes reading it, I say, “Thank you for that trivial fact about the Americans, Shih Tzu. But what does that possibly have to do with Ghost Fleet and our challenge of maintaining our power?”

And he smiled like he so often does when he feels that he has set me up for something.

“Comrade Chow, I appreciate your concern about the scenario presented in Ghost Fleet. I am glad that you have responded to my previous concerns. So now let’s ask this question. Did Lyndon B. Johnson continue to be ‘a man who just could not tell the truth’?”

How would I know, Uncle? Except that his path to power would have required at least a more consistent correspondence to reality.

“I don’t know, Shih Tzu, but I’m guessing his level of truth telling had to rise in some significant way.”

“Exactly my point!,” he said. “So now let’s look at another small but highly significant historical curiosity. Consider the following demographic nugget in the famous 1964 ‘Great Society’ speech by the American President Lyndon Johnson.”

And he had this quote appear upon the video screen in our meeting room:


Many of you will live to see the day, perhaps 50 years from now, when there will be 400 million Americans – four-fifths of them in urban areas.

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Speech, Remarks at the University of Michigan, May 22, 1964


“Did you catch it, Comrade Chow?,” he said. “It’s now 50 plus years later. And what is the population of the United States? Four hundred million? No! It’s only 320 million! And why is it only 320 million instead of the 400 million Johnson and his demographic experts expected?”

We all knew right away, of course. But nobody said anything. And neither did I. And then Shih Tzu nodded and the following appeared on the video screen…


Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.

Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, By Ronald Reagan, Human Life Review, Spring, 1983


“You remember that quote, right?” said Shih Tzu.

We all recognized it from the research we had done.

“But what about this one?,” he asked. And another Reagan quote came up on the screen with the following picture…


Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

Ronald Reagan, Dallas, Texas, August 23, 1984


“Two strikes are now in play against America, Comrade Chow,” said Shih Tzu. “It’s now in the ‘cannot long endure’ phase. But they haven’t put that together yet! Because if Johnson wasn’t lying in his inaugural address in January of 1965, then consider what else that most favored nation may have coming its way.”

And he quoted Johnson from that speech…


If we fail now, we shall have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith, that freedom asks more than it gives, and that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored.

Inaugural Address of Lyndon Baines Johnson, January 20, 1965


Could it be possible, Uncle, that LBJ was telling the truth? If Christianity is the story we are in, is it possible God the Active Protagonist may intervene in judgment on America?

And what about us, Uncle? America never made it to 400 million, but look at this…


China’s population control policies are the longest-running and most far-reaching violations of human rights the world has ever seen.

Since 1979—first through the “one-child policy” and now through a “two-child policy”—the government of China has sanctioned state-sponsored violence and massive discrimination against women and children—particularly the girl child.


The Chinese government boasts that four hundred million Chinese children were “prevented” because of its efforts.

Let me put that number into perspective. The total number of people killed by various Communist and Fascists regimes in the 20th Century—Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and Pol Pot combine—is estimated to be around 100 million.  (The Black Book of Communism, S. Courtois, 1997)

How many of these 400 million children of China were “prevented” through coerced abortions or sterilization?  How many women were mocked, belittled, humiliated, and even hunted down because they were pregnant with a child the government did not permit?

In China, abortion has been used as a weapon of mass destruction.   Hundreds of millions of lives have been exterminated.

Forced Abortions in China: “The Nurse Showed Me Part of the Baby’s Bloody Foot With Her Tweezers”, CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH, LifeNews, March 8, 2017



That memo is so relevant.

Four hundred million.

What a number.

But you never think of that, do you?

Neither do we.

But we might want to start thinking about the implications for both our nations.

Look what Paula found from Franklin Graham, the son of the famous American evangelist, Billy Graham…


Franklin Graham

✔@Franklin_Graham

@ChelseaClinton, daughter of former President @BillClinton & @HillaryClinton, claims that legalizing abortion added trillions of dollars to the economy. What a lie. Hitler probably also claimed that killing the Jews would be good for their economy. 1/3 https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/08/14/chelsea-clinton-legalizing-abortion-created-trillions-in-economic-growth/ …

6:58 PM – Aug 15, 2018


Legalizing abortion hasn’t added anything to our country, it has only taken away & cost this nation more than 60 million lives—lives precious to God. Think of the contribution they would’ve made. I believe God will judge America for allowing the murder of unborn children. 2/3

7:05 PM – Aug 15, 2018


And then Paula showed us what Thomas Jefferson wrote 1782 which reflected his fear that God would judge America because of slavery – and remember, Jefferson the deist… was a slave owner…


Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!

Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVIII, 1782

Supernatural interference!

And that reminded us of what your Moser man wrote…


A better formulation is this: what, if anything, is behind all of the world’s changes, including the movements in my experiences, such as the experienced ups and downs, comings and goings, and dyings and risings?

The fact of the world’s changes seems undeniable, at least from where I sit (for a time). Is there, however, something behind it all, not just as a cause, but as a meaning-conferring explanation? In par­ticular, is there a unifying power with constant intentions or purposes behind all of the movement or at least much of it? In other words, is there an intentional agent thus involved in the mix as a superhuman guide?

Paul Moser, The Severity of God

And as we talked about Thomas Jefferson’s fear of judgment, Paula showed us this…


As crowds cheered abortion as a positive good in Philadelphia, they emulated those who cheered human bondage as a positive good in the antebellum South. They would do well to heed the august warning of George Mason, a revolutionary-era patriot. Slavery, Mason warned, is a slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People. Every Gentlemen here is born a petty Tyrant. Practiced in Acts of Despotism & Cruelty, we become callous to the Dictates of Humanity, & all the finer feelings of the Soul. Taught to regard a part of our own Species in the most abject & contemptible Degree below us, we lose that Idea of the Dignity of Man, which the Hand of Nature had implanted in us, for great & useful purposes. Habituated from our Infancy to trample upon the Rights of Human Nature, every generous, every liberal Sentiment, if not extinguished, is enfeebled in our Minds. And in such an infernal School are to be educated our future Legislators & Rulers.

In the same way, modern Americans are being educated in an infernal school of thought that licenses raw individual will and desires over the lives of human beings bearing the image of the divine. Reflecting on slavery in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” As we reflect on our country’s embrace of abortion, we too should tremble.

Abortion as a Positive Good: How the Abortion Movement Echoes Radical Slavery Rhetoric, By Miles Smith, Public Discourse, August 3rd, 2016

And look at this…


Governments are instituted among men, the Declaration of Independence explains, not to bring about utopia, but to secure the fundamental rights of individuals — the first of which is the right to life. So the most basic duty and responsibility of government is to protect its people from deadly violence. This duty is most acute when the targets are the innocent and defenseless. Nobody is more innocent and defenseless than a baby, born or as yet unborn.

A country that doesn’t respect the right to life of the unborn, that indeed makes an exception for lives whose humanity is hidden, whose presence may be inconvenient, and whose voice is inaudible, is a morally sclerotic country, where we can expect all sorts of evils to bubble up.

A victory for nihilism in Ireland, by Washington Examiner, May 27, 2018

If Christianity is the story we are in, you may want to begin to get ready for an unfolding drama that will haunt you.

Of course, all of this is ultimately meaningless if our version of the human story is reality.

But…


What if Abraham Lincoln understood something we have all ignored?


You see, Paula Wong helped us see how there may be some parallel between breakup of the nation of Israel, after the rule of Solomon, and your Civil War.

“I know this sounds strange, Comrade Chow,” she said, “but what if what Abraham Lincoln believed, that the Civil War was payback for sins previously committed, fits with a passage we found about the breakup of Israel?”

And she showed it to us …


The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

1 Kings 11:9-13

So perhaps you should also think seriously about the following observations of modern America …


For me, it is enough to consider that, in America alone, more than forty million babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court invented the “right” that allows for this, and that there are many for whom this is viewed not even as a tragic “necessity,” but as a triumph of moral truth. When the Carthaginians were prevailed upon to cease sacrificing their babies, at least the place vacated by Baal reminded them that they should seek the divine above themselves; we offer up our babies to “my” freedom of choice, to “me.” No society’s moral vision has ever, surely, been more degenerate than that.

A Most Partial Historian, by David B. Hart, First Things, December 2003

And this…


We can discuss history and analyze policy options all day. But if you want my answer for what is actually going on in this election, I suspect we are experiencing God’s wrath.

I look at the headlines, our candidates, our political parties, our civic life, and mostly what occurs to me is that God has given us over to ourselves in this election, and he lets us make fools of ourselves with it. And not just this election. All the signs of God’s judgment of a nation, or a civilization, seem to be on us. In the Biblical accounts of Chronicles, you see the pattern. Faithful kings “seek” after God and ensure that a faithful liturgy is celebrated in Solomon’s Temple. Unfaithful kings make alliances with wicked nations, and cement these alliances with idolatrous worship in “the high places” or even the Temple itself. This lack of faithfulness is generalized, and the priests become wicked and oppressive. The life of God’s people becomes marked by violence, dislocation, and oppression. They lose the blessings of the Lord: good harvests, healthy children. They stop winning wars. They are conquered.

The Catholic Church, which I belong to, is rotten with wicked priests and mediocre leadership, ruined by pathetic attempts to make an alliance with the spirit of the age it lives in. It debauched its own liturgy to effect this alliance. Our sister churches of the Middle East are being put on the wrack of martyrdom by Sunni extremists, and the Western Church — fat with German money — is obsessed about how it might come to bless adultery. Last week, I read that the pope is seeking to come to some kind of understanding with a murderous regime in China. How pitiful. And then I look closer to home. Many civilizations have disgraced themselves with the murder of their enemies. But my own is one of few so debauched that we kill our own children and call it good.

This election is God’s judgment on us, By Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, November 7, 2016

And this…


The country was, as Lincoln would call it, “a house divided” on a central question: Were slaves persons, and thus entitled to the rights of men enshrined in America’s founding? Or were they property, to be disposed of accordingly?

America resolved that particular dispute (bloodily, alas), but the debate did not end. It continues today, just about a different class — the unborn.

….

In the Civil War, we fought to vindicate every man’s right to liberty. What is at stake in the current conflict is the only right more fundamental: that of life.

….

Abortion, though, and all of its concomitant crimes, we brought upon ourselves. It is our truly original sin. And if the judgments of the Lord are, indeed, true and righteous altogether, surely we ought to be concerned.

America Is a House Divided on Abortion. Can It Stand? By Ian Tuttle, National Review, July 16, 2015

Is it possible America has changed so much now that it is in the “nation such as this” category?

Look at this three-time repeated observation from your God in the book of Jeremiah, concerning Israel’s sin …


Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?

Jeremiah 5:9, 29; 9:9


And look at the broader passage where it shows up in chapter 5.

It so fits with, well, look at it yourself…


Jeremiah 5

7 “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods.

When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores.

8 They were well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.

9 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?

10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy, but make not a full end; strip away her branches, for they are not the Lord’s.

11 The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD.

12 They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing!   No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.

13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.”

……

21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:

22 Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.

24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’

25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.

26 “Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch men.

27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful

28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor.

29 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?


Notice that God’s judgment in these kinds of matters isn’t limited to Israel — it encompasses “a nation such as this” — so, it’s universal in its scope.

And that is certainly fitting with the reality from those passages we looked at — that if Christianity is the story we are in, your God judges nations.


God still rules over all nations, not just His chosen people. He still opposes nations that violate human rights, and He will judge them. The old order may pass away with the turning of the pages of the calendar, but the divine order does not change. God remains the same. God’s methods change, His requirements for His people change, His dispensations (household rules) change, but His underlying attitudes toward people do not change. Cruelty is as hateful to God today as it ever has been.

Notes on Amos, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

And it looks like your Founders were thinking seriously about these things…


Congress’s views on God and religion are revealed most fully in the texts of the various fast and thanksgiving proclamations issued during the course of the Revolutionary War. Throughout the war, Congress appointed committees to write resolutions for days of “fasting and humiliation” in which Americans were urged to cease their labor, go to church, and pray for the nation. As might be expected, these resolutions often came with an acknowledgment of God’s providence. The proclamation of June 12, 1775, began by affirming that the “great Governor of the World, by his supreme and universal Providence, not only conducts the course of nature with unerring wisdom and rectitude, but frequently influences the minds of men to serve the wise and gracious purposes of his providential government.” The God invoked here is an active God who intervenes in the lives of human beings and nations. Many of these proclamations, as in the case of the one issued on March 29, 1779, affirmed that God had brought the colonies into the war as a punishment for the sins and transgressions of their people: “Whereas, in just punishment of our manifold transgressions it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all events to visit these United States with a destructive calamitous war, through which his divine Providence hath, hitherto, in a wonderful manner, conducted us. . . .” Or, as the proclamation of March 11, 1780, noted, “It having pleased the righteous Governor of the World, for the punishment of our manifold offences, to permit the sword of war still to harass our country. . .”  The Congress affirmed that God brought war because his people had sinned. 

John Fea, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

So, what if you’ve also been “a nation such as this” before?

Look at this famous speech from Frederick Douglass …


What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.

Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is the 4th of July?

That speech by Douglass raises a fascinating question about your future as a nation.

Since the Civil War came less than a decade later, you may want to note what Douglass said in that speech about the state of America in 1852…


There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.


That sounds like “a nation such as this.”

Are you even concerned by these possibilities?

We want to know.


Child Sacrifice and Abortion


Paula Wong also showed us something else which caught our attention. It looks like there may be a connection in your Bible between child sacrifice and abortion.

And then she showed us this, to help us see how history rhymes…


Is there not something truly rotten in the modern world?

Yes indeed. The evidence speaks for itself. With eyes wide open to the degradation we see all around us, we know that things are rotten in the modern world. Who can deny it? And yet something is truly rotten in the modern world because there is something truly rotten in the heart of man; or, to put the matter in Shakespearean and therefore perennial terms, there is something rotten in the state of Denmark because there is something rotten in the state of man. That “something rotten” is what theologians call sin, the father of which is that narcissistic self-deification which theologians call pride. It is pride that rots the heart of man and it is pride that degrades man’s relationship with his neighbours.

This sorry and sordid reality plays itself out in every generation of human history. The Canaanites sacrificed their own children to bloodthirsty gods. Herod slaughtered the innocent. Caesar rendered unto himself the blood of the martyrs. And this slaughter that is ancient is the same as the slaughter that is new. From the Armenian genocide to the Rwandan genocide, we kill each other in the name of race. From the guillotines of the French Revolution to the gulags of the communist revolution, we kill each other in the name of class. And like the Canaanites we sacrifice our own children, slaughtering them to lustful gods in the name of “planned parenthood.” No, nothing changes. 

THE RISEN CHRIST AND FALLEN CIVILIZATION, By Joseph Pearce, Imaginative Conservative, April 21st, 2019

So, if Christianity is the story we’re in, you really might want to take this seriously.

Because your God is not passive.

First, Paula explained that your God had told the Israelites… not to do it.

Here is some of the material she showed us…


When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’  You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

Deuteronomy 12:29-31


The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.

Leviticus 20:1-5


You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 18:21


But, they did it anyway…


They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
 and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.

Psalm 106:36-42


But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
Whom are you mocking?
Against whom do you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
the offspring of deceit,
you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree,
who slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?

Isaiah 57:3-5


And even the famous King Solomon, their ultimate man of success, got involved in it…


Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.

1 Kings 11:1-8


And here’s more…


Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done, but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

Therefore the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force.

2 Chronicles 28:1-5


Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. And the carved image of the idol that he had made he set in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever, and I will no more remove the foot of Israel from the land that I appointed for your fathers, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the statutes, and the rules given through Moses.” Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:1-9


Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city shall come and set this city on fire and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs offerings have been made to Baal and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger.  For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the Lord. This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 32:28-35


And look at this wild story Paula found in your book of Ezekiel…


“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.

“But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his. You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be. You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God. And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.

Ezekiel 16:8-22 


Then Paula showed us some material related to the parallels between child sacrifice and abortion…


Finally, the flourishing of abortion in modern America, like child sacrifice in ancient Carthage, at the height of its civilization is an unmistakable parallel. The words written by P. Mosca at the conclusion of his doctoral dissertation dealing with child sacrifice might well be written of abortion today:

. . . it is impossible to deal with this subject at any length without coming to terms with the human dimension: how could a culture so well developed morally, intellectually and materially tolerate so “abominable” a custom? How could a sophisticated people sanction what seems to be such a barbaric practice for so long a time? How at the most visceral and critical level could human parents bring about the destruction of their own child?”

Mosca P.G., Child Sacrifice in Caananite and Israelite Religion, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1975

One religious truth emerges in comparing ancient child sacrifice to modem abortion, i.e., people become like the gods/God they worship. The Carthaginians worshipped Ba’al Hammon, equivalent to Kronos and Saturn. Not surprisingly they became like him, willing to sacrifice their children to avert potential danger and gain success in their self-serving endeavors. Modern autonomous man worships himself and is willing to abort his own offspring in order to resolve crises and achieve his own goals. In serving the idolatrous self, men become more and more like the self-serving idol they worship, i.e. sinful man. They are willing to disregard any of God’s gracious laws in order to accomplish their own ends. In their self-idolatry men have set themselves on a downward spiral of depravity and destruction from which only God’s gracious mercy can deliver them.

Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice, By Andrew White, M.D., Associates For Biblical Research, January 5, 2012

Parallels of Child Sacrifice and Abortion

At the risk on the one hand of pointing out obvious parallels and on the other hand of suggesting parallels which some may say are forced, we compare the ancient practice of child sacrifice with the modern practice of abortion. However, before going any further it should be noted that the parallels between the two have been recognized for centuries. Tertullian, for example, commenting on the Roman practice of infanticide by comparing it to the Carthaginian practice of child sacrifice, admonishes:

there is no difference as to baby killing whether you do it as a sacred rite or just because you choose to do it.

In the same context Tertullian describes the Christian attitude towards both abortion and infanticide saying:

For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother’s blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man, the fruit is always present in the seed.

Tertullian, Apologeticus IX

The most obvious parallel between the rite of child sacrifice and the practice of abortion is the sober fact that the parents actually kill their own offspring. There are however many other parallels. At Carthage the main reason for sacrificing a child was to avert potential dangers in a crisis or to gain success through fulfilling a vow. Today many times when a woman faces an unwanted pregnancy, abortion seems to be the only way to resolve the crisis she finds herself in. The potential danger to reputation, education, career, etc., become overwhelming. To avert the seemingly terrifying consequences of carrying a pregnancy to term, the woman may turn to abortion as a means of escape. Another woman may experience much less of the anxiety and fear that accompany a crisis. She may simply see the pregnancy as an intrusion into her self-serving lifestyle and an obstacle in the way of the road to her success. Sadly this woman’s offspring must be sacrificed so that she can continue uninterrupted with her plans for the future.

Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice, By Andrew White, M.D., Associates For Biblical Research, January 5, 2012

Perhaps one way to get modern-day Christians to rightly consider abortion is to find a comparison that they can more readi