My Honest View of Faith vs. Trump

Every once in a while I have a discussion with my thirties-something son about politics. This intelligent and thoughtful man child has observed that there’s a divide among evangelical Christians regarding Donald Trump as commander in chief. Apparently generations below my own do not understand why conservative Christians enthusiastically support Mr. Trump. They looks straight through the person and see all of the purity issue failures in his past. They also observe evangelical support of him as blatant hypocrisy. My son (and many in his age group) are curious (and somewhat appalled) why a true Christian would openly embrace or support such a person?

Early in our discussion I made it known that I’ve never personally liked the individual holding the highest office in our land now. This person behind the office doesn’t embody the type of person that I would ever admire. A 3 time husband and father with multiple marriages and likely affairs he doesn’t embody the kind of man I would befriend or admire. He’s an odd mix of liberal social thought coupled with a seemingly solid current family unit. Perhaps the man closed the book on his playboy lifestyle some time ago and settled into being a committed husband and father? Maybe he lived his early and middle life off the rails and then somehow found his way back to the tracks?

This businessman turned president has traveled in circles with the rich and famous globally. He’s rubbed elbows with elite and powerful people all of his adult life. As a reality TV show host he displayed his brash and bold business style. He made many of us cringe to think we would ever have such a boss who would fire people on a whim.

He is a mover and a shaker. He’s made things happen in the business world that few could ever claim. And he brags about it. Most of us were taught to keep our bragging rights to ourselves. He uses his infamous tweets to springboard his ideas into our media frenzied society. I said early in his presidency that he lights a firecracker with his words and then while the critics and pundits rail on for days he moves on to the next item on his list while the arguments ensue. His bully pulpit really stirs the pot.  He enjoys lighting the firecracker and then watching his detractors run and squeal. He fuels a debate and then while everyone is all stirred up he moves on to make another deal.

Donald the businessman appeals to people with big money because he provides them places to visit and enjoy. With fabulous golf resorts and fancy hotels in exotic locations he pleases the wealthy nicely and is rewarded handsomely for his efforts. The people who are able to visit his properties aren’t concerned with the cost. They are the ones looking for the opulent choice. Such places might be a dream to mainstream America because they (we) might never have the opportunity to be one of his customers.

Mr. Trump has found a friend in rural and urban America. One reason I think he has gotten this grassroots support is that he is not afraid of poking people in the eye for what many of us see as injustice.  He sees the status quo as stale and outdated. In business and international affairs he ferrets out bad deals and shatters them. He calls people out. He shoots from the hip and says what many were already thinking. His way of relating to the common man in America is unique in modern politics. He appears to “get” how many are feeling and masterfully taps into that with a folksy off-script style. He draws and energizes crowds more than we’ve seen in generations. And his audiences are lock-step with him, flaws and all.

He is a capitalist to the core. Capitalism is freedom – in its truest sense. Individualist freedom is what made America great from the beginning. We were given the opportunity to create and live and thrive by a group of people who had been under bondage. They paved the road of independence and we traveled that road. If you think up a product or service which others might need or enjoy, you have the freedom to create a business and if you do it well, you can soar.

When we elect someone to public office it is natural prospective voters to review every aspect of a candidate’s life and background. They are sized up to see if we like who they are as people. We also (rightfully so) evaluate them on the merits of what they might bring to the table in skills and expertise, based on the office they will hold. We do no elect a president as if we are choosing a pastor, priest or rabbi.

In the case of Donald Trump we find his willingness to take on the status quo (in both parties). That appeals to many who are tired of political gamesmanship, that’s been part of our landscape WAY too long. If capitalism is something we embrace then the office of the presidency should lead the charge for business, whether we like it or not.

Trump may not be my candidate of choice based on my social or personal view of him. We elect someone to preside and command. When he was elected in 2016 I rather doubted that he would embrace conservative values and programs. My greatest hope from his election was the hope and possibility that he’d be able to re-balance the Supreme Court. Gladly he did follow that path and his choices kept the court from straying too far left. In my opinion, the balance of the court was the most important aspect of the 2016 election, period.

It’s my belief that evangelical believers have been watching closely to see if this president really supports conservative values by actions, and not just words. So far he’s done that bidding in big ways. Those same watching Christians would never employ his  tactics in own their pursuit of change. I think Trump’s personality seems to be viewed like a Goliath facing and taking down Giants in the political arena (on both sides).

Underdogs seem to find a strong friend in Donald Trump.

So we are left with a choice. As I told my son, I just don’t see anyone on the other side side of our political spectrum promoting hopeful or encouraging plans that would lead  our country that I can positively embrace. So for the time being this right-wing social conservative deplorable will stay in his basket with a flawed guy who oddly enough wants to make America conservative and Christian again.

The “New” Morality

 

It seems that almost every day now we are faced with some new moral dilemma.

Regardless of the issue, the foundations of traditional moral value can be heard creaking and cracking beneath our feet. Many of the truths we’ve always accepted as the basis for our society are being challenged like never before. More changes have taken place in the moral arena in the past decade, than in the two hundred years before. The values that have been the support strings in the fabric of our country are now being condemned and disposed of like smelly trash.

The methods of presenting these “new ideas” on us is done now with the straight and bold  “in your face” and “shove it down your throat” style. The new villains are those if us who cry foul . Whatever new change being railroaded on our society is done so with no remorse or regret. Changes are proposed and changed many times with no regard for finding the majority opinion about the subject. For the 99 percent of us who do cry out (publicly or privately), we are quickly labeled and dismissed as fear mongering hateful right wing extremists.

The NEW morality is in actuality NO morality at all. The definition is amoral – meaning having neither right or wrong values but landing somewhere in the misty haze of nothingness. It is comparable to noxious fumes that have little or no odor. But nonetheless any deadly gas will put you in an early grave.

With each new day we hear the flush handle jangled as our Judeo-Christian way of life swirls round and round the toilet bowl of the America we once knew as it washes down the drain. To say our country is sliding into an abyss is such a great and powerful understatement. Whether we like it, or admit it, our very way of life is being torn from side to side and top to bottom.

Complete censorship is on our doorstep. We face a future where our every word will be subject to the cry of the microscopic vocal minority. We soon will live in a world where we cannot have or express an opinion about any person, place or thing unless that point of view is dripping in acceptance and inclusiveness. As a free people we designed our society to have the ability and liberty to think the way we want yet without trampling on those same rights of everyone else. We can and should have the right to differing views and be able to express those views without fear of reprisal and condemnation. Rather than having majority rule, we are being plunged into a time where each and every special interest group self proclaims that they are in control and will take the reins of power if left unchecked. And the land that we will live in will be wide open, wild and grisly.

History has shown clearly that governments ruled by dictators, tyrants and self promoting fools does not work. A democratic world view is very different in every respect than a socialistic kingship ruling class. The governing ways of the latter repress free thought and seek to force on the masses a viewpoint held by such a small percentages of the populace.

The above mentioned plan has been perpetrated before. It does not work. And the saddest part of this story is that sane and civil people seem to be sitting idly by while our society crumbles before our eyes. The oldest group of our ranks know what is right and what is wrong. They can articulate those values and show the flaws. But that generation of people is already being shut down and silenced. Their views are not valued or respected.

The under 30 crowd really don’t know who to believe. They seem to be swayed by every new populist idea that comes along. They’ve been told lie after lie so many times that believe and embrace them. In reality, they don’t have experience enough or the wisdom to separate truth from fiction. One day they will wake up and realize that the things they expected from life will not even remotely resemble what they had in mind for the new world.

God help us!

The state of America…a sad social commentary

 

This is a social commentary. If you’re not the type that weighs out information completely before passing judgment, then you should move on, as I will be straightforward and honest and truthful here. 

Up front I’m telling you I’m an old school thinker. I’m from a generation and time that still understands and adheres to absolute truth. By absolute I mean there are (were) truths in our society at one time that were either good or bad, right or wrong, black or white. Today those historically accepted truths and moral edicts are not only frowned upon as being outdated and arcane, but anyone who accepts, promotes or even condones such traditional truths are labeled as haters and looked upon as prejudiced fools. For new generation thinkers this is one of their absolute truths (go figure?)

 

In the “new age” we find people who no longer look for truth because they don’t even have a definition of truth. And even if they will discuss with you what truth really is, that can change from day to day.  Mainline thinkers nowadays are only looking for supposed happiness. And that quest for personal happiness requires no morays or absolutes. Personal happiness is now defined as anything someone wants or likes to do and brings personal satisfaction. And that satisfaction comes regardless of how absurd or strange an activity or thought might seem to the general population. Those new ideas and activities that promise happiness have no real limits whatsoever in the new society and new world order. To be held back from, or asked to refrain from, something that might seem odd, strange, immoral or wrong is considered wrong in itself (another new absolute?). 

 

“New” thinking REQUIRES (even by law) that our general population accept activities and lifestyles that are contrary to traditional truth, and even contrary to previously accepted religious belief(s). From my own childhood education about democracy, I had one overriding takeaway – We are free to do whatever we want to do UNLESS it impinges or overrides or infringes on someone else’s personal liberty or rights. As a so called “free people” I find it hard to believe that we’ve allowed ourselves to be backed into this corner accepting things (even by law) that override our own personal liberties and personal religious values. This is not what our founders had in mind when they gave us the framework for freedom. As reminder here, one of the things that the new America was attempting to escape was religious intolerance and even oppression from the church of England. 

So America has evolved into a new “demanded tolerance” by the our new national religion. It’s called “secular humanism”.  Theologically secular humanists are actually atheists. But they will deny that and at the same time tell you that the idea of a controlling all powerful deity is absurdity. Absence of a belief in God is “a”theist –  or no god. We can be told this, but with the reasoning mind that our creator gave us, we cannot be fooled.     

I heard a news story recently about a judge in one of the Carolina states who’d been on the bench for 24+ years. He was being required by a new state law to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples. He refused to do that based on his moral religious values. He’s stepping down from his bench because he refuses to violate his own personal and religious conviction. He was told by a state legislator that all he had to do was simply “accept what the law had now deemed as normal and just do his job”. He scoffed at that admonition. He will undoubtedly be replaced with someone who has no moral conviction.

And now am elected Kentucky County Clerk refuses to issue marriage licences to same sex applicants based on her own Christian convictions . And what did a Federal judge do? He sent her to jail for contempt of court and will not release her until she relents.  

So the next time you hear someone say that America is treading on a slippery slope they are a little slow in their thinking. We’ve actually already slid all the way down into the muck and mire of darkness. But be careful. If you offer a hope of escape you will most likely be labeled, branded, scorned and ridiculed endlessly for being out of touch and lacking compassion and a hater.

I’ve known the words to the song below from my childhood and have it pretty much memorized all the way through.

Here goes….
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.   – Edward Mote 1834
I take comfort, that one day truth WILL prevail as we see the hand of God righteously tear this house down and send us our righteous King Jesus to take His earthly throne.

Trying to Understand the Liberal View

I’m trying to understand!
My upbringing in Dallas, Texas was smack dab in the middle of the so-called bible belt of the United States. The Bible belt was and is a microcosm with a diverse mix of cultural values that have been embraced for a number of generations in the south.
My wonderful parents instilled in me a basic understanding of right and wrong. Also instilled in me was a basic respect for authority at every level. I knew instinctively that I would always be subservient to someone, and many times that would be applied to my relationship with an employer or other authority over me that controlled some part of my life. I would be lying if I didn’t say some of the required submission to authority didn’t stick well in my craw and I mumbled about it every chance I could, at times. But the facts remain that I was and still am subject to the authority of greater powers than myself.

 

I think about a lot of different issues just in the course of any day. During our most recent election cycle I was deep in the mire of keeping abreast of every event or newsworthy tidbit related to the election. I listened to a lot of facts about both sides and sifted through the facts and disseminated fact from fiction the best I could, and as carefully as I could.

Although the candidate on the “right” side of the debate was not my first choice, I resigned myself to the realization that he was the better choice of the candidates we were given to vote for. My guy was not as conservative as I would have liked him to be, but he had faith and family values and virtues that I admire and embrace in my own life. But the rest is now history and we know the outcome didn’t appease the conservative voting block of the nation, of which I count myself a part of.

As I’ve surveyed what’s happened in the past few years I’ve learned some invaluable lessons that I didn’t think I would ever be faced to learn. Like the fact that our society has changed. And in my own opinion these changes have happened in rapid succession in recent history, perhaps over the past 10 years. Having lived through the many changes of the 1960’s and the social revolution that took place then, I compare what’s happened in the past several years to the 60’s in some ways, yet in a deeper more drastic and dramatic way.

Until the past decade I didn’t really think of myself as a true conservative, until I realized what a large difference there is in my own values contrasted to the “new” way of thinking about everything. And, dang it, I find myself really as far right as you might be able to swing. This thinking is really deep seated and very dogmatic.

I’ve tried to think about and embrace, in some way, the thinking of those who have turned the apple cart up on its side to include morality, trustworthiness, and the overall view of fiscal matters at every level. I know that in every generation some of the accepted practices and beliefs are altered, toned down or even flat ignored and changed. Some of this is a generational cycle that bucks the norm, but at some point that pendulum swings back in the other direction, at least to some degree.

But from what I’ve observed (and this is open to debate) I think our society has been and continues to make significant changes to what I call the “liberal way”. What troubles me greatly is the fact that there no longer appears to be middle ground. No serious debate occurs between both sides with any negotiable outcome, left or right. It seems that when the majority view (or voting block) leans to the left, there is a complete and utter ignoring of any alternative view or proposition toward the right. In previous generations this was called “stonewalling”. But stonewalling happened so as to prove a point, so that middle ground could be achieved.

The atmosphere of our current age (liberalism) is that “they” will change things to “their” way of thinking and will not compromise or take any part in the “right’s” positions or view. They will not even consider them, whatsoever. If this is really true, we have a serious problem in our society that is not easily remedied. From the view of the right, it appears that we are on a collision course and even though every red flag, bell, whistle or other warning signal is being used, the course of our destinies will not be changed. It is utterly and ignorance of truth.

That is what I see. I would hope that this is only my view of things, but I’m afraid that we are perilously close to a full collapse in our society on every level. Unless the powers in control do not come to some place of discussion and serious debate and concession we will be forced to take a road that will not be a fun or smooth ride. Considering the great and many strides we’ve made as a people in every form of our society might be greatly diminished or destroyed. What Americans love and expect could be gone.

Think through and decide you own convictions. Give future generations a chance to carry on our precious liberties. Speak the truth to those you know and car about. Stand up and be counted. Vote in every election and vote for people who share your values and convictions. Don’t waiver and give up. Stand strong and be counted.