Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.Abraham Joshua Heschel
We are so grateful to Jerry Falwell, Jr. His heartfelt loyalty to Donald Trump has helped us understand so much. Because he keeps revealing things which open our eyes.
And then there was such a unique thing he said on the first day of this year…
I can’t imagine him [Trump] doing anything that’s not good for the country.Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’, By Joe Helm, Washington Post, January 1, 2019
He can’t imagine?
Well, I can, and I bet you can too.
But here we’ll share with you how we came to see that Jerry’s confusion about Trump’s “doings” just might be something that is anything but good for your country.
Because it looks like Jerry is failing to see something that just might rip your country in two.
Our insights began with a note from my fellow agent, and archnemisis Shih Tzu…
My Dear Loser Friend,
You are worse than an idiot, Chow. You are a traitor. And you bring your passive crap before the Commission all the time and it’s so boring. Even losers like this Australian Kevin Rudd guy understands China better than you…
We should never forget that the Chinese Communist Party is a revolutionary party which makes no bones about the fact that it obtained power through the barrel of a gun, and will sustain power through the barrel of a gun if necessary. We should not have any dewy-eyed sentimentality about any of this. It’s a simple fact that this is what the Chinese system is like.UNDERSTANDING CHINA’S RISE UNDER XI JINPING, By THE HONOURABLE KEVIN RUDD, 26TH PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, PRESIDENT OF THE ASIA SOCIETY POLICY INSTITUTE, ADDRESS TO CADETS, UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, MARCH 5, 2018
Now we’re talkin’—guns are powerful instruments of action, and I love action!
But what you want, what you are advocating — waiting for America to die of its own — is so embarrassing to our Party, for we are men of action. Our country was built on the back of Mao’s actions!
And like Mao said, “Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.”
So, it’s time you give it up. Because it’s clear that Donald Trump is not going to play a unique role in bringing America down. He is delivering on his promises and doing his country right. In all your massive and worthless research, please tell me you didn’t miss what Jerry Jr. said…
Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?
That’s the shortest answer we’ve had so far.
Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically “conservative,” but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’, By Joe Helm, Washington Post, January 1, 2019
So Jerry got his dream president. And the Donald is not going to change.
It’s clear we have to finally make our move. And you would be wise to end your crazy assignment and scutter back to Beijing.
You should stop ingoring what Chairman Mao told us:
The enemy will not perish of himself. Neither the Chinese reactionaries nor the aggressive forces of U.S. imperialism in China will step down from the stage of history of their own accord.Mao Tse Tung, “Carry the Revolution Through to the End” December 30, 1948
Any Chinese comrade of mine would never ignore our great Chairman Mao. Should I start the extradition process for you, Chow?
Bring you back to Beijing?
Like the Donald, Shih Tzu is not going to change.
But, Shih Tzu changed our way of seeing. He opened our eyes to the power of verbal action.
Paula began to connect the dots. When she saw what Jerry said about “doing”, she realized that he was talking about taking actions, right? But her sharp brain jumped right to McKee, and she remembered what McKee had to say about action…
Talk is the foremost vehicle for human action.
When a character says something, he is, in fact, doing something.Robert McKee, Dialogue
See that? In story, TALK IS ACTION! And it is the foremost vehicle for human action, the great McKee says. You can argue all you want, but look at this…
Stage Five launches your protagonist’s quest. To reach his object of desire, the core character takes an action based on his best sense of expectation. Spontaneously or consciously, he uses words and deeds as tactics to evoke the positive reactions he hopes to get from his world. The unique identity of the protagonist determines the unique actions he will take.Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace
Deeds are actions, sure. No one will argue that point. But McKee says it’s what and deeds? Words. It’s words and deeds that make up a character’s actions. That’s story, folks.
Second, whether mental or vocal, whether thought inside the mind or said out into the world, all speech is an outward execution of an inner action. All talk responds to a need, engages a purpose, and performs an action. No matter how seemingly vague and airy a speech may be, no character ever talks to anyone, even to himself, for no reason, to do nothing.Robert McKee, Dialogue
Talk is doing.
[T]he two primary principles of effective dialogue:
First, each exchange of dialogue creates an action/reaction that progresses the scene.
Second, although these actions find expression in the outer behavior of talk, the wellspring of character action flows invisibly from the subtext.Robert McKee, Dialogue
How do actions find expression in story? Through the outer behavior of talk, according to McKee.
Thank you once again, Robert McKee. You helped us to see how Jerry had missed something big. While he wants you to focus on Trump’s “doings”, Trump does his doings by talking on, and on, and on.
Donald Trump acts… verbally. And quite verbosely at that! All the tweets, all the camera time, he is a very active character.
And it is Donald Trump’s verbal action which is tearing your country apart.
The truth is the president’s mouth is a threat to this country.Chris Cuomo: Trump’s Mouth “Is A Threat To This Country”, Posted By Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics, August 23, 2019
So, while Jerry can’t imagine him doing anything bad for your country, your president’s verbal barrage is indeed a wrecking ball!
But we continue to be grateful to Jerry, because his comments keep leading us to see things…
Meanwhile, one of today’s leaders of the decayed husk of the religious right, Jerry Falwell Jr. has tweeted: “Complaining about the temperament of the @POTUS or saying his behavior is not presidential is no longer relevant. @realDonaldTrump has single-handedly changed the definition of what behavior is ‘presidential’ from phony, failed & rehearsed to authentic, successful & down to earth.”
Falwell is wrong. No one can change the definition of what behavior is presidential because that definition fundamentally depends on what our form of government requires, not on what one individual prefers.
As Hamilton put it a few years after Federalist 68, when serving in the Washington administration:
The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. . . . When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”Kristol: Of Storms and Whirlwinds, By WILLIAM KRISTOL, Weekly Standard, January 12, 2018
This is what Donald is doing—he’s taking verbal action constantly. And this is not good for your country.
And by the way, Jerry showed us again how he is blind to the power of certain actions…
A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’, By Joe Helm, Washington Post, January 1, 2019
Real volume? Does this sound fishy to you? Because Paula showed us this passage…
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”Mark 12:41-44
It looks like Jesus upends the whole system of measurement that Jerry calls “common sense”.
So, maybe Jerry has failed to recognize something very big. But, what if his students at Liberty University would give a nod to the following…
Speech is not one of man’s several unique attributes – speech is the attribute of all attributes! Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.Tom Wolfe, The Kingdom of Speech
As Christians, this should ring the bell of those students, for you Christians are all about “man above animal”. And Wolfe’s “superpower” language fits right in at Liberty, since they are discipled to be “champions for Christ”.
But it really is something, something big, this language thing…
First, man is capable of speaking. Although some might consider this to be a trivial feature in man’s likeness to God, the Scriptures teach otherwise. God, in His dealings with mankind, has revealed Himself as a speaking God. The phrase “and God said” occurs ten times in Genesis 1 alone. God Almighty spoke to create the “heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6-9), and He spoke to communicate to man (Genesis 1:28). Then, very soon after God created Adam, He expected him to name the creatures brought before him (Genesis 2:19). Adam named the animals of the Earth; he spoke of the helper that God had created for him as “woman”; and later, when attempting to justify his sinful actions, he “creatively” offered excuses and placed blame on others (Genesis 3:9-13)—all of which indicates that man was created with the ability to speak.
The fundamental failing of naturalistic theories is that they are inadequate to explain the origins of anything as complex and information-rich as human language, which itself is a gift from God and part of man’s having been created “in His image.”In the “Image and Likeness of God” [Part II], by Eric Lyons, M.Min. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D., Apologetics Press, 2002
Where did language come from? How do we explain it? It’s one of the Achilles heels of those of us who embrace the secular version of the story we are in.
And man is likewise alone in being in the image of God. What does this mean? And can it be true?
Human beings, alone among the creatures, speak, plan, create, contemplate, and judge.Leon Kass, Science, Religion, and the Human Future, Commentary, 2007
So, if Christianity is the story we are in, there is nothing in all creation like people.
There are many ways in which people gain understanding of the world by interpreting signs and symbols, and even if there is an evolutionary explanation of how we came to acquire that kind of understanding, the understanding itself unfolds another vision of the world than that contained in the theory of evolution. Language is the most striking example of this. We don’t know how it arose; the very idea of intermediate ‘proto-languages’ which are steps on the way from animal cries to articulate sentences has been seriously doubted (for example by Chomsky). But we do know that language enables us to understand the world as no dumb animal could possibly understand it. Again there is a hump and a boundless field beyond it. Once over that hump, infinitely many representations are available; language users have access to the distinctions between truth and falsehood, between past, present and future, between possible, actual and necessary, and so on. It is fair to say that they live in another world from non-linguistic creatures. Since emotions and motives are founded on thoughts, their emotional life and their motives to act will be of an entirely different kind from those of the other animals.Roger Scruton, The Face of God: the Gifford Lectures
Wow. Your Christian story blows me away sometimes. And this is one of those times. Your God certainly made people as the crown of his creation. There is no comparison with the other creatures he made, and the distinction revolves around language.
No wonder your God put you in charge at the beginning of the human story.
Like many writers I know, I’ve had a passion for words for almost as long as I can remember. I’ve admired those who use words well, who have shaped my imagination and given voice to things I wanted to express but didn’t feel like I adequately could. That is why they have to be protected against assault and degradation.
At an early age I recognized their power to convey deep emotions and longings, knowledge and understanding, hopes and fears. “Words can be polluted even more dramatically and drastically than rivers and land and sea,” one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Muggeridge, once wrote. “Their misuse is our undoing.”
Eventually, we all come to understand that words are the means by which we teach and inspire, defend truth, and seek justice. (Those of us of the Christian faith don’t consider it an accident that the first sentence in the Gospel of John is, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”) So words have extraordinary power—in our daily lives most of all, but in politics as well.Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019
Words have extraordinary power, Peter Wehner says. Does this give you pause about Trump?
But Jerry’s support of Trump is unflagging. So, we assume the Bible professors at Liberty University would be wondering if Jerry has considered these…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:1-5
It is important to know not only in general that the Bible is true but also that in the Bible God’s words are identical to his actions. When he says, “Let there be light,” there is light (Genesis 1:3). When God renames someone, it automatically remakes him (Genesis 17:5). The Bible does not say that God speaks and then proceeds to act, that he names and then proceeds to shape – but that God’s speaking and acting are the same thing. His word is his action, his divine power.Timothy Keller, Preaching
So how do we hear God’s active Word today if we are not prophets or apostles who actually sat at Jesus’ feet? God’s words in the mouths of the prophets (Jeremiah 1: 9-10), written down, are still God’s words to us when we read them today (Jeremiah 36:1-32). Ward says that it is crucial for the preacher to recognize this. “God’s ongoing dynamic action through the Spirit” is “supremely related to the language and meanings of Scripture.”10 In other words, as we unfold the meaning of the language of Scripture, God becomes powerfully active in our lives. The Bible is not merely information, not even just completely true information. It is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12)–God’s power in verbal form. It is only as we understand the meaning of the words that God names us and shapes us and recreates us.
Well, there seems no getting around it. Keller says words are action for your God, your God is the great storyteller, and McKee says story’s actions are foremost words.
Still, in case you’re yet to be convinced, here are some of the passages from your Bible which Paula showed us…
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,Proverbs 18:21
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given to you,
and what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!Psalm 120:2-4
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.Proverbs 15:4
With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.Proverbs 25:15
A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.Proverbs 26:28
Of course, Jerry isn’t the only one of your Christian leaders who appears to have missed the power of the Donald’s verbal actions…
President Donald Trump met with a group of predominantly black pastors at the White House Monday as he continued to criticize one of the more prominent African American members of Congress and the city he represents.
Monday’s meeting included: Maryland Bishop Harry Jackson, a social conservative who pastors Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland;
Jackson explained that he had been a registered Democrat for most of his life but is now an outspoken conservative.
“I can’t help but think these [Democrat lawmakers] often exercise a politics of grievance to cry out and make complaints. Honestly, [they] don’t pass laws. [Cummings’] district probably isn’t that well cared for but that is part of the old-guard failures of the black political engagement machine,” Jackson contended.
“What I felt like you had in that room today was African Americans, some who had master’s degrees in mathematics, business degrees or law degrees who have old-fashioned, cornbread-and-beans Bible message but they have a laptop. They are verbally supporting the president more along the vein of saying, ‘We are looking at the results, we are not looking at rhetoric. We are looking at the results, we are not looking at this repetitious blaming, naming scenario.’”Trump holds meeting with black pastors amid Rep. Cummings, Al Sharpton tirade, By Samuel Smith, Christian Post, July 30, 2019
And by the way, Paula showed us this, from one of Donald’s most famous Hollywood supporters…
Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight posted a pair of videos to Twitter Friday night, in which he delivered a monologue in praise of President Trump, declaring him the “greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”
“People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love,” Voight began. “This job is not easy, for he’s battling the left and their absurd words of destruction.”
Much of the language is reminiscent of a similar rhetorical style used by the president. Voight interjected that the country was safer and had “more jobs” because of President Trump’s actions. Replicating a similar sense of hyperbole frequently employed by the White House, Voight claimed that “every move” of Trump’s has been played correctly.JON VOIGHT DELIVERS REVERENT ADDRESS ABOUT DONALD TRUMP: “GREATEST PRESIDENT SINCE ABRAHAM LINCOLN”, BY ASHER STOCKLER, Newsweek, May 25, 2019
Every move? Even the verbal actions?
And look at this, from a well known American conservative…
Apocalyptic as it may sound, if you love freedom, election 2020 is becoming the last chance to stem the tide. I hate to place my hopes in the Great Vulgarian—or in any single man or woman for that matter—but at this point, there is no alternative, not even remotely. In any case, judging a politician by his or her personality is a boring and subjective enterprise. With Western civilization in the balance, voting against a candidate because you think a tweet is crude is nothing short of idiotic.Election 2020: Will America Be the New China? BY ROGER L. SIMON, PJ Media, SEPTEMBER 1, 2019
Well, not everyone agrees with Jerry, Jon, and Roger…
We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.
This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?
Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump, From The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral, July 30, 2019
Donald Trumps words are dangerous, those Reverends say. So we want to know — Will you Christians in America take seriously the reality that your God designed verbal actions to be very powerful?
Or will you just keep pushing it away because you don’t want to think about the implications for unfolding drama in America?
Because Donald’s verbal actions really may be ripping your country apart.