An Ugly Week?

For years I have been part of my church’s Intercessory Prayer Team. Most recently we were asked to pray for “our country, and for healing from this week’s ugliness,” referring to the massive protest that turned into a violent assault on Congress, killing at least 4 and injuring more than 50 police officers. The very constitutional process that Trump supporters had hoped would correct the election fraud was disrupted. In the end, the mayhem and desecration of our seat of government silenced their cries for election integrity.

“This week’s ugliness” isn’t really accurate. Take that one ugly incident away and you still have a history of ugliness that goes back decades. Almost ten years ago I posted an article https://retiredday.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/fly-the-flag-at-half-staff/ about flying the flag at half-staff when mourning for our nation. I was upset with the Obama administration.

The America I had been taught to believe in was only a memory — and a politically incorrect one at that, as we were being told that they were going to fundamentally change America. So, I went into mourning. The last update on that post was on January 2013, by which time I had finished mourning, was ready to accept reality as it was, and move forward with my life. I felt at that time that my beloved America was dead.

Little did I realize then that in four years the American dream would be revived when unexpectedly, an outsider by the name of Donald Trump would become President and point us once again in the direction of the constitutional principle of the consent of the governed, rather than on an increasing dependence on the oligarchy of the Nanny State and a turning away from national pride to embrace the ideals of globalism.

There were two sides to this coin: heads, to those who valued individual liberty and resonated with the values of the populist movement; tails to those who saw nationalism in general as evil and American nationalism in particular as a racist, white supremacist anathema.  

For four years, starting even before Trump’s inauguration, those who saw themselves as an elite ruling class in government and media did everything to destroy Trump and his presidency. He (and more importantly, the so-called “deplorables” who supported him) represented a real threat to the personal money-making power of those in big government, multi-national manufacturing, commerce and finance.

Trump called these kinds of people “the swamp” and “the deep state” — both Republicans and Democrats whose concern is not representing the needs of their constituents, but maintaining their own power base and using the economy to their own benefit. 

These people hated Trump because he challenged their right to control us. He exposed them for the criminals they are. But when their lying, criminal behavior was exposed, and apparent to anyone willing to be honest, they made no attempt to hide it, and took every (illegal) measure to protect their position of power and influence. They blatantly stole the election. 

Despite the fact that Trump received more votes than any incumbent President in history, Biden got even more votes. In some areas, there were more votes counted than there were registered voters. Dead people voted. Ballots appeared from nowhere. Chains of custody were nonexistent. Ballots came in late or were pre-dated. Ballots did not have signature verification. Ballots were counted multiple times. Computer systems were not secure, and designed to allow for the manipulation of election results. Worst of all, the Constitution was violated when state and county officials took it upon themselves to make last minute changes in how voting would be done. Only state legislatures have this authority.

Any moral person should not only want to avoid doing the wrong thing, but avoid even appearing to others that he is doing the wrong thing. Especially, if a person holds a public trust, they cannot expect to earn the trust of others if they appear to be doing wrong. That is why trustworthy people make every effort to openly demonstrate to all that they are being honest and above board.

But this has not been the case with those intent on destroying Trump and his presidency. Rather than prove themselves to be genuine and authentic, they have chosen to mischaracterize Trump and his supporters. They lie and deny, accuse and abuse. And led by a crime family, they have wrested power from the people. 

I am 75 years old. The longer you are around, the more you see. Biden will be the 14th President in my lifetime. I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go. If you think this last week was ugly, stay tuned to the next four years. Everyone will soon know what ugly really looks like. 

Yet in the midst of ugliness, there is still the beauty of God’s holiness. Hope in him goes beyond the ugliest things of this life. And that hope is the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. No government has the authority to save you. Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18). In Matthew 11:28 he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And in Revelation 3:20 he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

 

 

Posted in American Culture, Politics, Righteousness in government | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

STOP THE STEAL!

This is nothing new, but Facebook has been bending over backwards to control what people post in their personal Facebook accounts. They are primarily concerned about things that conservatives post. We’ve seen recent congressional hearings on this very subject. Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook take advantage of the protection they are afforded by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which basically allows them to prevent the expression of conservative viewpoints and censor any information they so choose.

So, recently, Facebook has been removing things my wife has posted on her page and inserting their little self-righteous messages that their fact-checkers have determined her postings to be in error. Of course, these self-appointed truth police don’t want any discussion of the matter. They simply declare the posts to be false — according to their infallible ability to make such a determination.

I guess this kind of thing intimidates some people. I’m sure Facebook believes they are molding public opinion, anticipating that most people will just back off and cower in weakness at the great big, powerful, professional “experts”. Not me. The people who created the United States were people just like me — people with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, who mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

The so-called “Independent fact-checkers” hold no position of respect with anyone who thinks for themselves. We aren’t lemmings and we won’t fall into lock-step with political correctness just because someone thinks they are more or better informed than we are.

If these so-called fact-checkers had any credibility or integrity, they would would be open to a free and open debate of the facts. But that is the last thing they want. They don’t want discussion because they don’t believe in the market-place of ideas. They do not believe in freedom of speech. They only believe in the power to control what you think by controlling the information you have access to.

The Bible says you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. But if you don’t choose freedom, you choose obedience to the tyrannical mind-set of those who would be your masters. The right to have the freedom to live as you choose, believe as you choose and speak as you choose is what led to the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the struggle to preserve those same freedoms throughout our history.

We don’t need, nor do we recognized the authority of any self-declared “independent fact-checker” over any statement we choose to make. We take full responsibility for what we believe in and for what we say, and will defend to the end our right to our freedom of speech.

The 2020 election is the most outrageous scandal in the history of the United States. If there are any people who still insist there is insufficient evidence of massive voter fraud in this Presidential election, they simply are refusing to see it, because it is being made known to anyone who has eyes to see, ears to hear and minds to understand. Basic honesty, decency and integrity demands that the 2020 election results be closely scrutinized and that illegal voting practices be prevented from ever tainting our election results again. STOP THE STEAL!

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The 1619 Lie

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.   ~ George Santayana 

The leftist rewrite of history called The 1619 Project has been criticized by many leading historians, but that hasn’t stopped progressive school districts around the country from adopting its thesis as their curriculum, teaching that our nation was founded on the issue of slavery in 1619. The premise is that the slavery of Africans in America began when the first ship of slaves arrived in 1619. 

At the heart of this revisionist history is the racist mistrust of so-called “white, capitalist” historians on the part of people like project director, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who seem to base their entire narrative of reality on the perceived victimhood of blacks.

That very attitude is, to my way of thinking, racist at its core. It assumes there is a “black experience” that dictates to all blacks the right way to interpret socio-political events. Even presidential candidate Biden appropriated this attitude when he told a black man if he didn’t vote for him, “You ain’t black”. 

While it doesn’t take much effort at all to discover prominent black Americans who do not buy into the group-think of the Left, whenever the likes of Walter Williams (who just recently passed) or Thomas Sowell credibly refute theories such as the 1619 project, those on the Left simply label them as “Uncle Toms,” meaning to discredit them, discard what they have to say and ignore them as if they were irrelevant anomalies.

The ignorance on the Left is astounding. The pejorative term, “Uncle Tom” comes from the Christ-like character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Published before the Civil War in 1852, the book made Americans aware of the horrors of slavery and served to galvanize the abolitionist movement. Uncle Tom represented the kind of man everyone can hold in the utmost awe, love and respect, particularly Christians, who are told to deny themselves (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23), even to the point of death: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The entire premise that America was founded on slavery and racism is preposterous. I often cite a favorite book of mine that clearly demonstrates the prevailing principles that led to the founding of the United States were those of freedom of worshipping the God of the Bible and the spreading of the gospel. That book is One Nation Under God, Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of America, by Dr. David C. Gibbs Jr. 

I don’t imagine many young people know who Ben Kinchlow was. Sadly, many young folks not only haven’t been taught their own history, but they aren’t even aware of what happened a generation ago. Ben died last year at the age of 82. He was an evangelist who came to my attention as the co-host of the 700 Club in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Once I heard him speak in person at a large Christian gathering. When he was introduced, the audience burst into applause for him. When it seemed as if they would not stop, he asked the audience to give God all the praise and glory and everyone spent the next few minutes praising Jesus. In that moment he had taken the attention off of himself and placed it rightly on Jesus, in whose name we had gathered.

As a young man Ben Kinchlow was into black nationalism and Malcom X. But that all changed. He served in the Air Force for 13 years, earned an MBA, found Jesus and became an ordained minister. I am giving this brief background information on him because I think it shows that Ben Kinchlow had what is called “street cred”. I respect what he had to say, and if you called him an Uncle Tom, he would probably have taken it as a compliment.

In his 2008 book, Black Yellowdogs, The Most Dangerous Citizen Is Not Armed, But Uninformed, Ben Kinchlow lays out a very interesting historical perspective. Page 1, chapter 1 begins:

The first Africans to arrive at Jamestown, Virginia were not slaves, but indentured servants, having specified periods of servitude. Indentured servants were not slaves. This distinction is critical. In 1619, indentured servants, white or black, received precisely the same treatment. At the conclusion of their period of servitude, each was entitled to freedom, citizenship, and a land grant of fifty acres. On page 3 he adds: 

According to British law, every Christian was equal before the law at that time. Judgement was based not on race, but upon being Christian or non-Christian. Blacks, if they became Christian, and were baptized, were allowed, as were other British citizens, to earn their freedom. These bound servants – black or white; male or female – were considered simply a source of cheap labor, and once the term was served no stigma remained.

This information should be enough to discredit The 1619 Project, but Kinchlow’s book goes even further to set the record straight on “racism” as being the origin of slavery in America. Pages 3 through 7 recount how a court case in 1654 established “the first legal sanction of slavery (not for a crime) in the new world” (p. 5).

The man who won his case and was allowed to hold another human being as his slave for life, was himself a black man, Anthony Johnson, who himself “had been captured in Angola and brought to America as an indentured servant”. In other words, the person who established slavery in America by becoming the first slaveholder was black! And this story of a black slave owner is not an aberration. According to the official US Census of 1830, “3,775 free Negroes owned 12,740 slaves” (p.7). 

So what do we do with this information? Dismiss it? Rewrite the history we don’t like? I am not defending slavery. It was a horrible part of our past. But slavery was ended and problems of racial inequality have been and continue to be corrected. Racism is not systemic in America. But those who assume the role of victimhood and play the blame game are guilty themselves of a form of racism designed to divide Americans and destroy our freedoms which are established and preserved by a Republican form of Government, not Democracy. https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/08/28/new-york-times-1619-project-has-key-error-about-our-founding/ 

Stand united and reject the trouble-makers who want us to fear, hate, resent and mistrust one another. Can we please focus on “the content of one’s character” as preached by MLK, rather than focusing on the melanin content of our skin?  

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A Government That Seeks God

I’m reading a new book called, 100 Bible Verses That Made America, Defining Moments That Shaped Our Enduring Foundation of Faith, by Robert J. Morgan. One thing it points out is how much of our history has been influenced by prayer and divinely guided by the hand of God. But it hasn’t been easy. It’s always been a struggle between righteousness and tyranny.

Chapter 37, illustrates this so well. It’s based on Psalm 127:1 which simply says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

It was June 28, 1787. As the Constitutional Convention struggled to agree on the new design of government, Benjamin Franklin called for those gathered to seek God in prayer for wisdom and suggested they have a chaplain begin each day’s session with prayer for that purpose. His full appeal can be seen at https://wallbuilders.com/franklins-appeal-prayer-constitutional-convention/ Here is an exerpt:

“I will suggest, Mr. President, that propriety of nominating and appointing, before we separate, a chaplain to this Convention, whose duty it shall be uniformly to assemble with us, and introduce the business of each day by and address to the Creator of the universe, and the Governor of all nations, beseeching Him to preside in our council, enlighten our minds with a portion of heavenly wisdom, influence our hearts with a love of truth and justice, and crown our labors with complete and abundant success!”

Although they did not enact Franklin’s request at that time, George Washington led delegates to attend a service at the Reformed Calvinist Church in Philadelphia on July 4, 1787. There they heard a prayer from the Reverend William Rogers. The following is only a portion of that prayer.

For the full text of this prayer, see the article at https://wallbuilders.com/july-4th-prayer/

“As this is a period, O LORD! big, with events, impenetrable by any human scrutiny, we fervently recommend to thy fatherly notice, that august Body assembled in this city, who compose our FEDERAL CONVENTION; will it please THEE, O THOU ETERNAL I AM! to favour them from day to day with thy immediate presence; be thou their wisdom and their strength! Enable them to devise such measures as may prove happily instrumental for healing all divisions, and promoting the good of the great WHOLE; incline the hearts of all the people to receive with pleasure, combined with a determination to carry into execution, whatever these thy servants may wisely recommend; that the United States of America may furnish the world with ONE example of a free and permanent government, which shall be the result of human and mutual deliberation, and which shall not, like all other governments, whether ancient or modern, spring out of mere chance, or be established by force. – May we triumph in the cheering prospect of being completely delivered from anarchy; and continue, under the influence of republican virtue, to partake of all the blessings of cultivated and civilized society! In tender mercy bless this Commonwealth, the President, Vice President, and Supreme Executive Council, our Legislative Body, and the respective Judicial Departments!”

Just over two months later the new Constitution was approved and the United States of America began being governed by what has become the longest lasting constitution in history. 

Back then, just as today, there were faithful Christians in government actively seeking God’s direction and God’s favor for the people’s liberties, while others sought personal gain, political control, and the wielding of political power to their advantage. What saved our country – what gave us the framework that allowed for growing freedom and prosperity for all – was the inculcation of Biblical standards of righteousness into our government. That is why John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Today the greatest threat to the proper functioning of our government is the spiritual condition of the people. Christians must absolutely vote, in order to reflect and sustain Biblical values in society. But beyond that, the most important thing Christians can do for our nation is to share the gospel with our fellow Americans. America needs to hear the gospel and know the Redeemer.

As a nation we need to turn back to God. Many people are in darkness. They need to see the light. And Jesus is the light. Christians, we all need to let that light of Christ within us shine so that the world may see the Savior of the world and come to him. Pray for America by praying for the people — that they would see the light and turn to him.

[UPDATE 10/29/2020] Reading a bit further, I found a great quote from John Jay who was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. This should give us a proper perspective on the so-called separation of Church and State:

No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom…apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion. Should our republic ever forget this fundamental precept of governance, we will then be surely doomed.

Posted in American History, Belief in God, Historical perspective | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Prayer Request

Four years ago, on the Sunday after the presidential election, the prayer team at my church was gathering in the prayer room for our usual prayer time before the service. Someone came in with a prayer request for those in our church who were upset and struck with fear due to the election results. Apparently, several folks in our church were overcome with a forboding sense that President Trump would bring all kinds of horrible consequences to our nation. While I did not believe such fears were real, I took it seriously that they were distraught, and readily joined with the prayer team to pray for their peace. 

Ever since that time, for nearly four years now, there has been an ugly stream of never-ending, unrelenting attacks on the President by his political enemies, the media and the “never Trumpers” in his own party. Together they have united to “resist” and if possible, unseat the constitutionally elected President of the United States. Their hateful attacks have been based on rumors, distortions and out-right lies. Not one accusation of substance has been proven. Just as in his impeachment, his accusers assume Trump’s guilt is self-evident, that he is guilty by the very consensus of their accusations. No President has ever had to endure the sustained intensity of such disrespectful, uncivil, unethical, hateful and even violent “resistance”. Personally, I find it deeply disturbing.

But those brothers and sisters in Christ who were so worried about Trump being elected weren’t full of fear for what might be done to him. They were worried about what terrible things he might do to our country. That’s just a little bit more than ironic, because many of those most worried about a Trump presidency are quick to say he is a horrible person, implying he deserves the worst consequences possible. I’ve seen the not-so-subtle grimaces on Christian faces and heard their under-the-breath comments. To me, it looks like hate. Yet even if their judgment doesn’t come from hatred, it is not a righteous judgment. 

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 spells out what so-called “horrible” persons are: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” And so, it is understandable that we should be concerned about sin and sinners. But notice verse 11 that follows: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

“And such were some of you.” Outside of God’s saving grace through the sacrifice and Lordship of Jesus Christ we all are “horrible” people. None of us deserve salvation (Romans 3:23). None of us earned it (2 Timothy 1:9) None of us can boast that we are better than anyone else (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Jesus alone is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). How dare we point an accusing finger at others (Luke 6:42)? Are we children of the accuser or children of the Redeemer? Where is the Christian love we hear so much about?

I’m asking for prayer. I can’t stand seeing lies and liars being treated as morally equivalent to the truth. I can’t stand seeing a good president being treated with such extreme, virulent hatred. Everything he says and does is examined as if under a microscope. Doubts and mistrust are injected into every situation in order to create the impression of chaos, conflict and confusion where there is none. The media, whose job it is to see that the public gets the facts have completely abandoned journalism for the much more fashionable practice of pushing an agenda. 

I’m not talking about politics. This is not about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about the lack of honesty, integrity and civility in a government that is supposed to reflect the will of the people, rather than the lying pretenses of those who think they are the ruling class. Those in government have joined with those in the media to create a fantasy based on misinformation and disinformation — that is intentionally crafted partial information, distorted information and the withholding of information. Unfortunately, in their civic ignorance, many Americans have fallen for the lies of those in government and media who simply want to wrest powers that do not exist in our constitution. 

Over two years ago I wrote IT’S A LIE! in which I showed how a lie that was pushed by the media and accepted as true by a gullible neighbor of mine was really just a lie after all. It is just one example of how nowadays people’s opinions are often based on lies — particularly opinions and lies about President Trump. Like those church-going friends of mine four years ago who dreaded what a Trump presidency would do to America, I am dreading what will happen if the Trump accusers get their way. Will you pray for me?

Let me tell you about my fear. Remember the Russia collusion story? The hearings? The investigations? Remember how it was hammered for years that Trump was Putin’s puppet? Well, now we know all that was just a lie. But worse than that, it has now come out that the DOJ, the FBI and the CIA withheld relevant documents from Congress — documents that should have been released to them when they were conducting their investigations. Those documents contain evidence that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made the whole thing up and pushed for Trump to be accused of collusion with the Russians in order to distract from the investigation of her 30,000 deleted emails. These documents also indicate that Obama and Biden were made aware of this at the time, while still serving as President and Vice President of the United States.

Many people today are ignorant of how our free and open constitutional government is supposed to operate. What they don’t realize is that this type of abuse of power on the part of major government security departments, up to and including the President and Vice President is not only criminal, it’s the biggest scandal in our history. It makes Watergate look like petty theft. If those responsible for this scandal are not punished, our constitutional form of government will die and we will no longer be a nation of free citizens whose government is answerable to us. The destruction of everything that is good about America frightens me. But that’s exactly what the enemies within want.

There are forces that are trying to divide us, even as they accuse Trump of being divisive. But any objective observer can see that Trump has done nothing to divide the country. On the contrary, in every speech I’ve heard him give, he seeks to unify us as a nation. He appeals to people of all colors, ethnicities, religions and national origins. If you don’t understand why these people love Trump, watch this video:

On the other hand, Marxist hypocrites chant, “Black lives matter” while actually killing blacks, looting black businesses and destroying black properties. Those who say, “All lives matter” and do no harm to anyone are called racists. Antifa, who claims to be against fascism, uses the same bullying, violent and destructive behavior as Hitler’s brown shirts. The media calls violent and destructive riots “peaceful demonstrations”. In cities across America George Soros pays for radical DAs to be elected who support the defunding of police departments and who refuse to prosecute rioters. 

I’m afraid for my country. Will you pray for me? We are not really a divided nation yet, though the government/media complex is trying hard to make us that way. During the rally  in front of Walter Reed hospital I saw folks of all different descriptions unified in support of President Trump. They are all Americans who want to celebrate their diversity through unity. We are not all the same, but together we are all Americans and we can stand as one, together. I am especially talking to Christians because the Good Book says we are to love one another, not accuse or condemn one another. How can a true believer stand with the enemy — the accuser and the father of lies?

Posted in Christian Attitudes, Prayer, Trump, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Strong Tower

On September 6th Sean Feucht rallied Christians for worship outside the state capitol in Sacramento. Temperatures were in the triple digits and the air was filled with smoke from the many wild fires across California. Despite that, there were approximately 12,000 in attendance, according to the Capitol Police. It lasted about three hours, during which God was worshipped and praised, prayers for peace and unity were given, people prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, were baptized, and healings were reported.

Some Christians criticize them for not wearing masks. Some Christians criticize them for being too charismatic, too wild and crazy. If you are a believer who is judging the “Let Us Worship” movement for any reason, I would remind you that Jesus wants us to be united in him. He prayed to the Father in John 17:20-21, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Again in John 13:34-35 Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Now is not the time to point to our differences, be they denominational or otherwise. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” 

There is one church and Jesus Christ is the Head, not human wisdom or church polity. We are called to be of one mind, not nit pick over nonessentials (see Romans 14, especially verses 1, 10-11, 13 and 19).  We (the “Church”) are already divided on so many issues. Now is not the time to stubbornly cling to personal preferences. It is now that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. We need to live out our unity in Christ alone.

I’m 75 years old, and do not prefer much of contemporary Christian worship music, but one song that really touched me and my wife as we watched the service on Facebook contained the phrase, “Jesus, my Strong Tower”. I do not know the title, but the song is soon to be released. It starts by naming Jesus “my Redeemer”, “my Provider”, “my Defender” and “my Strong Tower” and adding, “When I sing your name, everything changes”. 

I hadn’t thought much about Jesus being my Strong Tower before. But apparently the LORD wanted me to think about it because I was reminded again of it while watching an ad on the 700 Club for a book on the names of God. One of the names they mentioned was Strong Tower, quoting Proverbs 18:10 which says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”

So I got out my dog-eared 1985 NIV study Bible and looked up that verse and found these interesting cross references:

Psalm 18:2-3 – “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Here, “fortress” and “stronghold” are clearly the same as “strong tower”, as is equally true in… 

Psalm  91:2 – “I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” This verse gives me pause to reflect that our nation prints the words, “In God we trust” on our currency. Why is this important? Because Jesus is God. Jesus is our Strong Tower. We are safe in him.

Psalm 144:2 repeats this theme: “he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” This was written by David who was a warrior, but the sentiment is appropriate for Christians because we too are soldiers of a sort. As the old hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers says, we are marching as to war. But our war is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12-18). As soldiers of the cross we all must take up the whole armor of God. And still, Jesus is our Strong Tower.

What shies many Christians away from the idea of spiritual warfare is that the idea scares them. They are afraid. They let fear keep them from walking in faith. Yet, throughout Scripture we see the message, “do not fear”. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Proverbs 29:25 – “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” In Jesus we are safe. He is our Strong Tower.

Psalm 27:5 – “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” That rock is Jesus. 

In these days of strife and division, I am encouraged to be reminded that Jesus is my Strong Tower. All who come to him will find peace and safety in him. Pray that our nation would seek him, and that those who know him would run to him. Hebrews 10:38-39 says, “…my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Jesus is our salvation, our Strong Tower. Our strength is in Him.

On Sunday October 25th Sean Feucht will be leading a Let Us Worship service on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Pray for revival, salvations, and that the Holy Spirit would give Americans a heart for God, in the name of Jesus!

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Looking For Sanity In The News?

All my life I’ve tried to stay informed as to what’s happening in the world around me. In school we were taught that knowledge of current events was an important part of being a responsible citizen. We were required to clip out newspaper articles and discuss them in class. In those days, there was no political correctness. Everyone was encouraged to know the facts in order to form their own opinion. Respect for each person’s freedom to believe as he chose was widespread. A commonly repeated saying of both liberals and conservatives was, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I’m 75 years old, so this was a long time ago. Back then a typical news show seemed pretty boring to me. Aside from sports, the weather and occasional light, human-interest stories, TV news reporting was mostly just dry facts about things I knew little about or had no interest in. TV news had evolved from radio reporting, which in turn had evolved from newspaper reporting. Basically it was a source of information that met the needs of mature, responsible adults. 

The single exception to this “nothing but the facts, ma’am” approach was the “editorial” — analogous to the traditional newspaper editorial — in which an editor or spokesperson would present an opinionated view on a particular subject, rather than just sticking to factual information. One benefit of this format was that it taught me that different individuals could look at the same set of facts and make different conclusions, based on their particular perspective. 

This phenomenon is what we call bias. And generally, the public considered normal bias in editorials to be acceptable. It was understood that everyone has a bias, so opinion pieces were seen as the reasonable forum for airing one’s viewpoint.  But for the most part, the public expected the reporting of the news to be unbiased. Journalists were expected to aspire to objectivity in their reporting.

In other words, while all of us who make up the “public” had the right (and responsibility) to make up our own minds and “take sides” on issues of the day, television journalists were expected to project neutrality on all issues, with the exception of the editorial. Keep in mind I am speaking in very general terms.

This expectation changed in 1968. (I was 23 years old and in Vietnam at the time.) As part of their coverage of the Democratic convention, ABC aired live commentary by William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal. In terms of their political viewpoints, they were polar opposites but they were both articulate and each had his own, substantial fan base. And as a result of their verbal sparring ABC’s ratings soared. I mentioned this in my 2017 post, “Sock ‘em In The Face?”

https://retiredday.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/how-do-we-speak-the-truth/

What this did was to create new trends in TV news shows. The networks had discovered that taking sides and arguing politics increased their viewership. The news no longer had to be boring. News shows began including panel discussions of issues in which participants were expected to be opinionated and confrontational. 

Two primary trends emerged: first, the news was now seen no longer as the boring step-child of the television entertainment industry, but as a genuine part of it; second, the bedrock of journalism began to erode. New standards in journalism arose. No longer paramount were the classic questions (who, what, when, where and why). In-your-face arguing supplanted objective reporting, therefore it naturally became important to declare which side you are on. Political correctness was developed to codify which side was “right” and soon “journalists” used the craft to push their political agenda, rather than broadcast information. Objectivity — even the mere appearance of objectivity — was forced to bow out.

This all happened gradually. And over the years, I found myself getting angrier and angrier at the TV when watching the “news”. Eventually I understood that what was angering me was that “they” — the spokespersons on the news shows — weren’t letting me think for myself. The standard “point-counterpoint” argument is always based on two opposite viewpoints: Democrat vs. Republican; Black vs. White; Gay vs. Straight. They use this method to frame every issue as adversarial. Every question is either/or, having no alternatives.

Fewer and fewer people seem to want to think for themselves. What if I don’t identify with either one of those extremes? As a true conservative, the Republicans do not represent my world view or political opinions. But apparently I am expected to shut my brains off and simply take a side — their side. Among thinking people, there are many perspectives, not just two. And in order to have all sides heard, a civil society who claims to believe in diversity and equal rights needs to emphasize the value of thoughtful, respectful debate, searching for common ground and shared values, not heated arguments over extremes.

But that’s what’s happened to the news. It provides little real information and exasperates anyone who doesn’t want to join in the cheering on of one side while demeaning the other. News reporters talk so fast that when they say things that are questionable, no one can question them. They continually interrupt each other and even shout each other down. Their lies and half-truths sink into the unconscious mind, coalescing into politically correct points of view. And the unthinking public ends up hating their opponents so much that they even consider violence an acceptable way of expressing themselves.

That is why it was with a real sense of relief that I discovered an alternative news source: One America News Network. When I first heard about OAN I contacted my cable company and asked them to add it to the fare they offer. They politely acknowledged my request and did nothing. But using the Amazon fire stick on our TV, I was able to subscribe to OAN for $4.99 a month. Check them out at https://www.oann.com 

I’ve only watched OAN a few times, but have made the following observations which make up five reasons I recommend One America News Network:

1)  You can watch an entire news program without making a fist or feeling your blood pressure rise.

2)  The news reporters are not hyper or mocking. They don’t talk fast, as if they were in a heated argument. They speak calmly and rationally, focusing on the facts of their story.

3)  They do not have panels (talking heads) who tell you how you should think about issues.

4)  They format their shows to cover a variety of issues and events, rather than obsessing on a single news issue all day long.    

5)  While they are honest and open about their conservative point of view, they limit their editorializing to a single person presenting his opinion in the old-fashioned manner. There is no arguing, no yelling, no interrupting, no casting of aspersions. The editorial stands on its own merits, which the viewer is free to consider.   

Posted in Discussing differences, News Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

This Present Madness

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:13-17)

We live in senseless times. Demonstrating masses want to make their metaphorical voice heard. Self-appointed spokespersons call for a national “conversation”. Signs proclaim, “White silence is violence”, but who cares what an old man has to say? Free speech is only for the politically correct. “Conversation” to these mobs means either chanting their three-word mantra or causing mayhem. Silence is violence and conversation means burning things down. If burning the American flag is protected speech, why not apply the same principle and burn down other powerful symbols, such as historical churches and black businesses?

“Black lives matter”. Of course they do. Why then is it offensive or even racist to say that all lives matter? Implicit to this mantra is the idea that other voices are saying black lives don’t matter. So, who is saying that? Rabble rousers like Al Sharpton say it is the voice of white supremacist, white privileged American history. They elevate Derek Chauvin — George Floyd’s murderer — to the position of poster boy for systemic racism in America, especially in our police departments. The outrage of the mob is fueled by the picture of white Derek Chauvin’s knee on black George Floyd’s neck. They claim it illustrates “the black experience” of today.

The whole nation watched the video of George Floyd’s murder.  Everyone’s response has been one of disbelief, heart break and outrage. You didn’t need to have the same skin color of the victim to feel the utter senselessness and cruelty of this act. You didn’t need to have a skin color different from the police officer who killed him to know that what he did was baseless and wrong. Only the most hateful bigot would disagree that George Floyd’s life mattered. 

All civil human beings already believe that every human life matters, especially those often maligned Bible-believers who point out that we are all created in the image of God. But the mantra, “Black lives matter” isn’t about that. It’s about what is perceived as “systemic racism”. It is a touchstone, a shibboleth designed to prove your willingness to atone for society’s sins. Thus, if you are white and do not join in their mantra, that is the silence they call violence. That’s an enigma. I’m silent in my own home. They are rioting and looting in the street. 

A lot of people — not just blacks — made a great leap from the wrongful death of one man to conclude that such a thing is typical, routine and characteristic of our nation. At once it went from justifiable grief and mourning Mr. Floyd’s murder to the accusation that white America is systematically racist — not the people, because many whites joined the protests, but the government, especially the police. They made this incredible leap from anger over the murder of George Floyd to blaming the President and blaming ALL police forces. 

Because this leap is so irrational, it’s clear to me that there are forces in the background funding and organizing this unrest specifically to destroy the constitutional fabric of our nation. If any politicians are to blame, why blame the President, who has done more for blacks than any president in memory? Why not blame the Democrat Governor or the Democrat Mayor? And why is it black police chiefs are being vilified? 

What good has this irrational leap produced? Mayhem, rioting, looting, the deaths of at least 15 more people — victims of mob “conversation”. Why is it that one man’s death was enough to start this insanity, but 15 more deaths don’t seem to be enough to stop it? Madness is the only way to describe these “demonstrations”. No black person has been helped by them. But many have lost businesses, property and lives. Don’t their lives matter?

Now our present madness has a new mantra: “Defund the Police”, and mobs are creating police-free zones. Why? Do they really believe the narrative that America is fundamentally racist, built on racism systematically sustained by white cops keeping their knees on the necks of blacks? Apparently so. But it’s a false narrative. It’s not true. No other nation in the world offers greater opportunity and freedom to people of all races and creeds. The reality is there for everyone to see. But those who are jumping on this bandwagon don’t care about facts. Nothing about this movement is objective or rational. Nothing about it is constructive. It’s all about tearing down our nation, our culture and the very freedom they pretend to care about.

What I see happening in America is very much akin to the Bolshevik Revolution. And what distresses me most is that those who are participating in the riotous protests probably agree with my assessment, yet believe that’s a good thing. They have this idea that American freedom is racist but that some form of socialism can bring about the justice they perceive we do not already have. They ignore the fact that the idealism of socialist theory to create utopia has not only never worked, but has always resulted in the mass murder of those who objected to going along with the program.

There are racists in America. But that doesn’t make America systemically racist. And there are bad police officers in America. But that doesn’t mean all our police forces are bad. The narrative that all whites are culpable and share the blame for every abuse of power by the police is based on an emotional perception that leans more on anecdotal evidence than on empirical canvassing. Guilt for perceived “privilege” is projected onto whites and many are now agreeing with the narrative in an attempt to atone for their perceived moral complicity. Not me.

I haven’t led a privileged life and I am not a racist. I’ve had more lowly jobs than I can remember. I’ve done dirty work, back-breaking work and for low pay. Try detasseling corn for 85 cents an hour. I was hassled by the cops in the early 60s because my friends and I looked “suspicious”.  We all had long hair — grown that way for the Shakespearean festival we were performing in that summer. Blacks don’t have a monopoly on these kinds of things.

Yes, black lives do matter. But no more than any other human life. All lives matter. And yet I am accused of being a racist for saying so. Whites are no more (and no less) racist than anyone else. They do not deserve to be targeted and singled out for a sin that can be seen across the board. On the contrary, whites have been characteristically accepting of blacks. Many of our leaders are black. They never would have been elected to office if whites hadn’t voted for them. Unfairly, whites are separated from the rest of humanity by the term, “people of color” as if light beige is no color at all. It’s disgusting to see so many self-righteous demonstrators of all colors being as racist as they please, but it’s OK for them because it’s for their “righteous cause”.

Our nation has come to a crossroad, and which way we go now will determine whether we continue on the path of freedom or end our journey in the chaos of anarchy. Our current social discord is essentially political, not racial. Radical political forces are fomenting violence in order to tear down the institutions that heretofore have always united the American people. These forces are purposefully dividing us against each other so that we cannot stand together. President Trump has consistently worked for all Americans. He stands for the greatness of all Americans, not just some favored groups.

Yet, whether you hate him or trust him — regardless of which side of the political divide you stand on — no politician or political party or anarchism movement is capable of establishing justice in society if that nation has abandoned God. If there is any justice for George Floyd or for anyone who has suffered and lost their life in a cruel and outrageous way, it can only come from God. If we step back and look at all the unjust murders throughout history, around the world, we must admit that no human government or human laws or any human system has ever brought about true justice. Only God can do that.

So ultimately, there will be no end to the chaos of human society until we all — everyone — turns to the Creator and seeks his wisdom. And that is the great hope that America has historically striven to attain: to be one nation under God; to trust God; to acknowledge that he has created us all in his image — equal in standing before him to pursue our lives and happiness in liberty with governments that ensure the consent of the governed. 

The founders of our nation knew that the only way human government could begin to bring about godly justice to society was if that society was itself godly. And that is what we must be today, if we hope to remain civil tomorrow. Won’t you ask yourself this question now? Am I godly? 

The Bible says, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:20 – 24).

If you want to be godly, you need to repent and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is the only way. Again, the Bible says in Acts 4:12 that there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. No person can do this for you. Just believe in God. Honestly confess your sins to him in prayer, ask him to forgive you and receive Jesus by faith, giving your life to him. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” 

In the name of Jesus, I pray for all the protesters, demonstrators and those who have been caught up in their anguish and passion — that they would find out that you, Heavenly Father, you hear their voices and care for them. Speak to their hearts and draw them to your holiness in Christ. Save them for your perfect kingdom in eternity. Do not hold their sins against them. Forgive them and make them new, that you will be glorified. Preserve your children for your purposes. Bring them all to fruition in Christ and bless this land with your presence. Amen. 

Posted in American Culture, Politics, Racism, Socialism | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Freedom

Memorial Day has ended. I’ve been hearing a lot of people complaining about their so-called loss of “freedom” during the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing against the idea of maintaining safe health protocols. So, on this Memorial Day we witnessed a lot of people herding themselves together at beaches and other places of recreation, celebrating their brand of freedom by choosing not to distance themselves from each other or wear face masks while crowding together.

They say they are choosing to be free. Yet their idea of freedom is not the same as mine. If you notice the name of my blog, I am and have always been For Freedom. There is an abundance of information available to anyone who in interested in what our freedom means. There were many events on television and videos posted on line honoring those who gave their lives in the service of defending our freedom. And in that sense, this Memorial Day was serious, sobering and even sacred.

But the pictures of partying crowds were not so honoring. Nor did they teach us anything about true freedom. To those who choose to celebrate their so-called freedom by crowding together in unprotected ways, I would remind them that freedom does not mean you can do whatever you want to, whenever you want to. That’s called license — a selfish, uncaring and two-dimensional substitute for freedom.

In order for all people to enjoy freedom, each of us needs to equally consider the freedom of everyone else. You cannot have individual freedom outside the context of community freedom. You can’t just be free to do what you want. We cannot exercise our freedom without assuming responsibility for, and accepting the consequences of our acts. Therefore you cannot have a truly free society without the practice of personal restraint.

Tyranny is allowed to happen when citizens no longer engage in self-restraint. Either people restrain themselves or the government will do it. In order for people to govern themselves, they not only need to be smart, they need to have maturity, wise judgement and self-control. But these qualities have been on the decline for decades in this country. We continue to be dumbed down, and act more and more like children, well into our so-called adult years.

So this is the thing: you want to go to the beach with your family and friends. That can be done in a way that does not foster the spread of the virus. You can choose to keep a safe distance from others. You can choose to limit the size of your group. You can choose to wear face masks if you are going to be up close and personal with others. That would be the responsible thing to do. That would be exercising self-restraint. That would be prudent.

The folks who chose to join together in their mobs on Memorial Day were being irresponsible and unwise. They could have had their fun without risking the increase in the spread of this disease. I wonder how their irresponsibility will translate to how they vote (or if they vote) in November?

Will those in government who have abused their authority be voted out? Will those in government who have appealed to the good judgment and responsibility of their constituents be re-elected? Will common sense be the will of the people? Or will those who supposedly clamor for freedom vote for “free” money and services, which always come at the cost of freedom?

If these folks really want their freedom, they better vote out the socialist/globalists that have been trying to usurp our Constitutional freedoms ever since that outsider was elected President and started shaking up their good-ol’-boy ruling class network made up of phony politicians, entrenched bureaucrats and propagandists pretending to be journalists.

The results of the upcoming election will show just how much Americans really want to be free.

Posted in Freedom, Government of the people, Memorial Day | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bernie’s Words

In light of the effective and compassionate job the Trump Administration has been doing in uniting all Americans to face the COVID-19 crisis, I find it amazing and totally unacceptable that Trump’s enemies continue to snipe at him, whipping up panic, confusion and distain for our President. I originally wrote this article a few days ago, but held off publishing it, because I felt we need as a nation to put our differences aside and come together as one people. But after seeing how the radical press continues to find fault and carp at Trump — even in the midst of this national emergency — I’ve decided to publish it after all. They hate Trump more than they love this country and their strident voices are working to keep us divided. Their words are as destructive as Bernie’s words. They need to calm down and shut up.

 

When a politician speaks, how do you know he is telling the truth? For decades I’ve been hearing the words of politicians — words of analysis, words of promise, words of hope and words of confrontation. But never like today’s political talk. In the past, the politicians who won election were the ones who said “the right things” — the things that people wanted to hear. I’m now afraid that many people want to hear dangerous and destructive things.

On March 11, 2020 Bernie Sanders reiterated the outrageous and irresponsible accusations he’s been making throughout his campaign. He began by saying, “Donald Trump is the most dangerous president in the modern history of our country.” Never does he actually proffer evidence or specify reasons to justify his outlandish statement. He simply makes the accusation and repeats it ad nauseam until enough voters begin to believe it to make an impact on public perception and public opinion. 

Most often, once politicians are elected, they never actually do what they said they would do when they were only a candidate. As a result, we are comforted with the popular assumption that all politicians are liars. The electorate’s lack of trust in politicians is mitigated by an almost total loss of collective memory. Once elected, politicians do the darnedest things. But when they’re up for re-election, they start saying the right things all over again, and win yet another term in which to screw things up even more than they did before.

It’s a wonder that “We the People” keep re-electing these doofuses. Congress’ approval rating has been hovering below 30% for decades while the disapproval rating hovers around 75%. The only possible explanation for a consistently high rate of re-election is that the voters disapprove of everyone in Congress except their own Senator or Congressman. I’m still trying to figure that one out. Obviously Americans have a complete lack of objectivity when it comes to how they vote.

In their current political struggle against the populist Trump administration the progressive Left has resorted to repeating lies about the president, accusing him of every evil under the sun. Bernie Sanders is one such accuser. He appeals to people who want the government to do stuff for them and make their life easier and grander. He uses words to deceive, as bait to attract the unsuspecting to a social order inevitably destined to become a tyranny. 

Bernie’s words are not used to inform the intellect, but to inflame the emotions. Bernie is a rabble-rouser in the Bolshevik tradition. His lying accusations are not just a product of a personal character flaw of his own, but they arise from a systematic strategy aimed at defeating Trump and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of our free society. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Nazi propagandist, is noted for describing this strategy: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

Bernie called Trump a pathological liar but made no effort to prove it. Name-calling and hyperbole is what you resort to when you have no substantive argument to defend your own position in a disagreement. In real terms Bernie has nothing to offer Americans that can compare to what Trump has already accomplished in three short years. Other than Bernie’s lies and accusations, there’s no there there. 

But he went on, saying the president is “running a corrupt administration and clearly does not understand the Constitution of the United States and thinks he’s a president who is above the law.” So, apparently the recent exercise in impeachment meant nothing. Despite the partisan Democrat accusations, Trump was exonerated. But to those who hate and fear Trump, accusations alone should be sufficient to force him out of office. Regardless of the law and regardless of the facts, it’s still clear to Bernie Sanders that Trump is guilty. It is Bernie and his supporters who do not understand the Constitution. They don’t care about the Constitution. All they “know” is that Trump is a criminal. They know it because they know it, and that’s that.

An example of such false “knowledge” is the oft-repeated claim that Trump mocked a disabled news reporter. Those who claim this “know” it’s true. Nevertheless, it is not. I wrote about this in my article, “It’s A Lie!” https://retiredday.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/its-a-lie/ in which I make clear that what Trump was mocking was the reporter’s hypocritical back-peddling on previous statements he had made. Trump’s attack was on the reporter’s lack of intellectual integrity, not on the man’s disability. 

I’ve noticed that this is a typical pattern in the attacks on Trump by those who hate him. The flames were fanned in the now debunked Russia hoax when Trump was accused of appealing to the Russians to find the 30,000 emails of Hillary’s that were missing. Everyone with a sense of humor knew it was a joke — except for Trump-haters who are always looking for ways to distort and accuse and lie.  

If you keep repeating a lie, you even come to believe it yourself. Bernie finished his list of accusations, calling Trump a “racist”, a “sexist”, a “homophobe”, a “xenophobe” and a “religious bigot”. At this point, common sense would warn us to calm down. But Bernie wouldn’t let that happen. His reddened face, angered eyes, snarled lip and shaking finger were signs that his diatribe was only getting started. And that’s how it goes with Bernie. He’s trying to get your blood boiling. If you’re what Rush Limbaugh calls a young skull full of mush, that’s exactly what’s happening. Still, it isn’t limited to the young. It also is found in older folks who have already bought into the socialist lies that America was built on bigotry, cruelty and racism. 

Take a breath and pause long enough to consider this: is it really possible that President Trump is so evil? In light of his leadership in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis it is unreasonable to think an evil person would be doing such a great job. If he were a racist, why would he have taken so many actions that have benefited minorities? If he were a sexist, why would he have appointed more women to positions in his administration than any previous president? How exactly has he shown himself, either in word or deed, to be a homophobe? To me, the word is meaningless and the charge baseless. 

The charge of “xenophobe” undoubtedly comes from the fact that Trump has restricted access to our nation from known terrorist-supporting (Islamic) countries in order to protect us. Yet, the fact that those executive orders were found to be constitutional when challenged in the courts holds no water with the Trump-haters. They attack the originalist justices on the Supreme Court, and want to impeach them too, because like Trump, they are also evil. 

And finally, there is the charge of “religious bigot”. This name-calling has got Bernie in over his head. Not so long ago people were accusing Trump of being an atheist. But since he’s been President, he has consistently mentioned God and faith in his speeches, often referring to everyone’s right to worship God according to their own convictions. Trump has done more to restore religious freedom in our nation than any other president I am aware of.

So, if you take these accusations at face value, you’re not using your head. If you buy into these repeated accusations, you are only allowing your emotions to be manipulated. Every one of Bernie’s accusations is bogus. They aren’t real. They have no justification other than a negative judgment in response to the style of Trump’s persona. Bernie uses highly-charged emotions to whip up a mob mentality. He is a rabble-rouser, and if you buy into his rhetoric you are part of that rabble.

The Bible says to test everything and hold fast to what is good. Perhaps we should all do that, rather than stoop to character assassination and name-calling. 

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Government of the people, Politics, Slander | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments