Not my (kind of) president!

Trump is not the kind of (read character/personality) president I would prefer.  But then neither was Kennedy, Nixon, Bill Clinton or Hillary (if she had been elected).  Personally, I think Ford, Carter, Reagan, the 2 Bush’s and to some extent even Obama conducted themselves with a demeanor that honors the office.  I’m not sure I see that happening with Trump.  He, unfortunately, is another in a category of what appears to be self serving, and, with Trump in particular, generally not presidential (my opinion).  But alas all those mentioned before, and now Trump, were and are our (speaking of the citizens of US) president.

Was he (Trump) locker room boasting or has he actually grab women inappropriately?  I don’t know and I suggest neither do you.  To talk that way is wrong and insulting to women and to actually act out that way is criminal.  I will tell you that I am VERY glad that hidden microphones were not around for some of the hurtful things I have said to Barbie and she feels the same way about some of the things she has said to me.  We have truly done more damage to each other by some of our unrecorded words that anything I or Trump may have boasted about in the “locker room”.  In fact as I have asked around, most admit that we are fortunate microphones were not hidden in various places for some of the worst things we have said.  This in NO WAY excuses what I have said to Barbie or the demeaning way Trump spoke about women.  But it is disingenuous for most of us to have some huge moral outrage at Trump while at the same time thanking our lucky stars under our breath that some of our “locker room” outbursts were never recorded.  It is at this point I want to apologize to all women for any of the untoward things I have spoken in the past which were insulting towards women.  I am glad there were not many, but I am guilty.  I am far sorrier for how I have hurt my wife with my reactive or cutting words which actually did damage.

So I get it, Trump is not my kind of president either, but he IS my president.  And I actually held my nose and voted for him as, given the candidates we were afforded, I was driven to a single issue and that was abortion.  This single issue is defining and dividing our country more than race, gender questions or cake baking.  It is an issue that gained significant traction out of the free love generation of the 60’s and the lack of wanting to take responsibility for what all that unaccountable sex produced.  Just to be clear, this is a maturity and a responsibility issue not some benign choice issue.  A majority of Americans oppose abortion on demand.  Science has learned so much since the early 70’s to include the awareness of immense pain the not yet born baby can feel after just a few weeks of growth.

Consider this, we would all be outraged if somebody cut open a beautiful Labrador dog, pulled half a dozen puppies out and cut them into pieces.  In fact that person would be arrested and prosecuted for animal cruelty and would likely spend time behind bars.  But do the same thing in a PP office and a million people marching for women’s rights will cheer as if that act somehow preserved civility and rights.  Or the fact that the majority of women who identified as pro-choice, once shown an actual video of a C&D or partial birth abortion change their position right then and there.  My son Chad and I were discussing this subject this morning and he said that a nice white sanitary veil has been hung up to obscure the reality of what is actually happening behind the closed doors of abortion clinics and that people have bought into an idea of freedom, choice and rights that is actually anything but.

I had a close and long time friend write something on facebook this past week to the effect of “if my friends who voted for Trump don’t get it, then just listen”.  So this past Saturday, my wife and I watched and listened to CNN and other mainstream media outlets as the “march for women’s rights” events were televised.  Maybe it is just us “stupid rural” folks, but to watch Ashley Judd’s rant or Elisabeth Warren describe the things she wants to fight Trump about was to end up very confused.  I will just put Ashley Judd aside as I don’t even know what to say about her, but I did not hear very much of what Elisabeth Warren was fighting for that Trump would disagree with or that Trump has not already joined in the fight for.  In addition to listening, we also watched.  And what we saw confused us even more.  For a crowd that was (in truth) protesting Trump’s disgusting antics as much or more than they were advocating women’s rights, we were frankly disgusted by many of the vile signs, costumes and gestures.  Remind me – what was this march about???  We saw signs covering the gamut of subjects, most of which had little or nothing to do with women’s rights.

Now top all that off with the fact that if you were a Trump supporter or a pro-life woman, your rights were not to be included or protected in this “noble” cause.  In fact, you were not welcomed and if you did show up you were threatened and actually chased from the parade route.

So after actually listening and watching Barbie and I did in fact learn a few things.  We learned that well over 50% of the women in America were simply “not welcomed” to this party supposedly promoting all women’s rights.  We learned that Ashley Judd is just plain crazy.  We learned that many people are, justifiably, upset about Trump’s foul mouth and perhaps actions and are willing to get out and march about it.  We learned that the “everyone is welcomed to join” does not actually mean everyone.  We learned that if Trump voices support for something it is ignored but if Elisabeth Warren is for the same exact thing everyone cheers.  We learned that Madonna wants to “blow up the White House”.  We agree that it’s wrong for Trump to say disgusting things but don’t understand why countless people wearing vagina costumes out in public is somehow ok.  We learned that an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel Palestinian woman was one of the main organizers of the march which doesn’t sound very inclusive.

Most of these fears being expressed appear to be red herrings to me.  I haven’t heard Trump or anybody he has appointed wanting to invalidate gay marriages, destroy the arts (although in my opinion government has no business spending tax dollars there but that is not an attack on the arts), undo LGBTQ rights or in any way destroy education (although this should only be handled at the state level in my opinion).  And even though Trump would be called a climate denier, to a person, everyone he has appointed who has been asked in the vetting hearings, agrees that climate change is real.  I have not seen any suggestion or indication that any US citizen might be marginalized because of race, gender or religion in fact, Trump has a better record of equal pay in his businesses than Hillary did among her own staff.

Bottom line, listening should be a 2-way experience.  But we have learned that it is not always that way.  We also leaned that to be included, welcomed or not ignored means something very different with those who lean left than those of us who lean further to the right.  It is normally portrayed that the left is the inclusive and non judgmental crowd but this past weekend would suggest the opposite is actually true.

Representative Democracy; what on earth were our fore fathers thinking?

I have been watching with interest and sadness all the protest and vitriol in response to Trump being the president elect.  There is simply no precedent for this level of reaction to the civilized exercising of our civic responsibility in voting for our top leadership.  Calls for the elimination of the Electoral College, threats to move out of the country combined with American flag burning, vandalism and chants of “not my f***ing president” and “stupid rural people” are being seen and heard in the streets and college campuses coast to coast.  And not just a few people in a few places, 10s of thousand in dozens of places across America.  So, what were our fore fathers thinking?

Well first of all I can tell you they were in fact thinking and even though I am solidly one of those rural people who grew up in West Texas cotton country, I did at least learn to read which, when applied to history books, has enabled this “stupid rural” person to learn a few things.

There are subtle yet vital differences between a pure democracy (i.e. popular vote) and a representative democracy (Senate & House of Representatives and Electoral College).  And it was in fact history which caused our founders to choose something other than a pure democracy as our form of government since all previous democracies had ultimately destroyed themselves.  They also had a central founding principal which was that all men are created equal in stark contrast to the ruling elite practices of the countries they had come from.  It was this commitment to equality which caused them to choose a representative democracy.  Keep in mind; it was in fact the ruling elite of the day which penned the documents upon which we launched our union.  But those ruling elite saw the wisdom in structuring our government in such a way that smaller or less populated communities and states (where our food, manufactured goods and raw materials came from) were represented in such a way that the highly populated cities and states couldn’t “run rough shod” over the “rural” people groups.  A very simple example might be 10 groups who collectively use a particular venue.  8 groups have 10 members each and 2 groups have 50 members each.  If run in a purely democratic fashion the 2 larger groups, which would likely have similar “wants” for the venue, could band together and completely ignore the “wants” of the other 8 groups even though the other 8 groups use the venue 4 times as often.  But a wise manager (government) would see the wisdom in giving measured control to the 8 smaller groups so they feel like they have equal ownership.

That is a very brief and incomplete explanation, but it hits most of the high points as to why they did what they did.  They simply wanted to put into practice, and not just words, the principals that would support the revolutionary concept that all men are created equal.

So today you have pockets of those “ruling elites” (college students, millennials and Hollywood types to name a few) out there on the streets and social media attempting to undo the framework put in place to try and insure the longevity of our “union”.  So what if the “stupid rural” people carried the day.  It’s not the end of the world as some are acting like!  Put your big girl panties on, stop your crying and strategize how you’re going to work to change things over the next 4-8 years and perhaps flip the leadership back over the next few election cycles.  Because, let me tell you, the rash of colleges who have canceled test, handed out hot cocoa, offered therapy dogs and passes to skip classes to those students traumatized by the election results only reinforces your privileged mindset and won’t help one bit in the end.  As a country, we will get through this, but we need each other, the smart ones, the “stupid” ones, everyone – warts and all.

Monumental Selfishness

I write my blogs as an outlet, sometime as an outlet for passion, sometimes for a prophetic word and sometimes in disgust and anger.  This is one of those disgust and anger times (with likely prophetic overtones).  I have to be careful as my much more mercy oriented wife exhorted me to be cautious about what I might say, but I am getting closer and closer to “taking numbers and naming names” when it comes to some of the bile I see “Christians” spewing.  This will be short but goes to the core of Jesus, the Gospel, the Love of the Father and asking “just where is YOUR home?”

This blog is simply posing the question “what are the really important things in your ‘Christian’ life”?  And yes, I put Christian in quotes a second time as I suspect there are many out there who are just playing church because it’s the cool thing to do but who have little willingness to actually embrace the heart of the Father. 2 Peter 3:9

Is prayer in school important to you?  What about tax deductions for donations to the church? Are the Ten Commandments carved in stone and place in your town square important to you?  Is the preservation of your earthly home and your earthly country your focus? Are Easter bunnies and Christmas lights on your list of top ten things you must have to enjoy “your” Christianity? Then it’s just that, “your Christianity”, and not the one that I read about in the Bible which places our citizenship in an eternal heaven and not some fading home on this earth to try and fight for and preserve for “just us Christians”.

I am not saying that those things are bad, not at all.  But I am saying that if devotion to things like the ones mentioned above take priority over opportunities to lovingly rub shoulders with those who don’t know Christ then you yourself have not experienced the fullness of the love of Christ in your own life.  And this is why I call it monumental selfishness because you are choosing temporal things over the call to share eternal joy with someone who isn’t “like you”!

christian-hypocrcy

I don’t understand all the shock and OMG outrage!!!

I am seeing more and more post expressing shock and “oh my gosh” outrage over all the things being revealed about corruption in politics, the media, Trump, Hillary, Bill and almost anyone connected to them.

All I have to say is REALLY!!!  Seriously, please quit with all the hyped/fake shock and outrage!

Where has everybody been for the last quarter century?  Nothing that has happened here has any shock value to it for me.  I wrote a book which covers some of these types of trends that I started almost 20 years ago and I blog about this stuff all the time.  Anyone who is shocked is either being disingenuous or has spent the last 25 years at Disney World where every bit of dirt or trash is swept up before you have a chance to see it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am disappointed, disgusted, nauseated and saddened by all the lack of integrity and character.  But shock? No, not shocked, as I am well aware of the depravity of our society that little would shock me at this point.

There are also choruses of people advocating a no vote or a vote for a third party and you are absolutely free to make that decision.  But it might be important history for younger people to be aware of (because it was before your time or while you were still in grade school) that in 1992 we had a viable 3rd party candidate, Ross Perot, who garnered almost 20% of the popular vote in that national election in an effort to make inroads into challenging the corrupt 2 party system – and yes, I agree that it is corrupt.  He made a notable showing, but that 20% of the vote is the very thing that ushered the Clinton’s into power.  They may not be the most corrupt dynasty we have had (although I suspect they might be), but they are the current one.  For 25 years we have been living with the severe consequences which occurred as a result of all those who either by a no vote or a vote for Ross Perot enabling the current levels of corruption we have.

I cannot and will not excuse or defend the corrupt or lewd actions of either candidate or party but neither am I shocked by them.  But there is still something that I will be shocked by until the day I die and that is the fact that as a “civilized” society we still allow the mutilation and murder of babies who have either not yet been born or who are in the process of being born.

Perhaps the only thing I have to hope for in this current election season, (and I say hope because in life there are no guarantees) is that several of the honorable pro-life people on the list of 20 candidates for the Supreme Court which Trump has released as being his choices will have a chance to be appointed.  The Democrats are afraid of this list and even Hillary acknowledged in this last debate that Trump will put people into the Supreme Court who can overturn Roe V Wade.  All you have to do is take note that this issue (Supreme Court Nominees) is of one of the most frequently mentioned platform positions the Democratic party mentions about Trump when arguing against him being elected.

There may be no way to properly express the incredible importance of this power which will be placed into the hands of the next president which will have massive affect on certain aspects of the direction our nation takes over the next generation.

I also understand that some may want to distance themselves from this election and be able to say “I sure didn’t vote for him/her”.  The reality is that we live in a secular and frankly evil and corrupt nation and unless you are going to remove yourself entirely from ever participating in the election process, you will most likely be voting for someone who represents very little of your values in the majority of future elections.  As Christians there is little we can do beyond prayer, but I believe we must do what we can when there is a window of opportunity to help defend the most defenseless in our midst.

And who knows, Trump could drop dead the day after the election and Mike Pence could become president – hey, it could happen.

It’s all about ME, ME and ME!

I have been feeling so uncomfortable in recent weeks.  It’s like I’m forced to be something I’m not.  Like the whole world is against me and I’m trying to swim upstream.  It shouldn’t be this way!  I shouldn’t be forced to be or drive somewhere I don’t feel compliments my identity.  You see, with my English/Scottish roots, I have felt increasingly desperate to be able to express my identity in where I drive.  It seems totally unfair and discriminatory to force me, a direct descendant of left side of the road driving Britts, to drive on the right side of the road.

move over and let me through

I identify with the left side of the road and I will not be satisfied with a special lane set apart for me – that would be too special and would make me feel even more isolated and ostracized from who and how I have come to feel.  You have to understand that only the right amount of special treatment is acceptable and, FYI, this is my racial identity and it’s protected under the civil rights act.  It’s all about my feelings and my comfort level and frankly I don’t care about all the people who feel scared with my new found desire/freedom to drive on the left side of the road.  Rules be damned, common sense be damned, the other 99.9% of you be damned for your narrow and judgmental attitudes toward my extreme LEFT leaning driving identity.  This is all about ME and what I want.  I mean really?  What’s the worst that could happen?

wrong way accident

Hey, don’t blame me for that, I was just trying to express my identity and other people got in the way!

“For such a time as this”?

Let’s be perfectly clear, If Trump is ultimately the GOP nominee I will, as I have stated in earlier blogs, hold my nose and vote against any of the current possibilities the DEMs may put forward by voting for Trump.  But to also make it clear, Trump is in no way my preferred representative for president.  A good friend pointed out the first few verses in 2 Timothy 3 the other day as a reason she (and I) would have trouble voting for Trump.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of moneyboastful, proudabusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholywithout love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceitedlovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Unfortunately, we have way to many candidates on both sides this time around who might have several of the above characteristics underlined about them as well and our choice might very well come down to what may best be described as choosing the lesser of 2 evils.  Not a choice I am looking forward to.

But what I would like to visit in this blog is the plethora of “prophets” and Christian “leaders” who have seemingly “anointed” Trump as some kind of Ester figure or King Nebuchadnezzar or Darius savior.  Just today the leader of one of the largest Christian Universities endorsed Trump as God’s man of the hour.

Can someone, anyone – really anyone, please show me the scripture where Christians are supposed to promote, anoint or prophesy into places of prominence and leadership those who exhibit a large percentage of the negative characteristics listed in 2 Tim. 3.  I can understand waiting until the last minute and, as I stated earlier, voting for the lesser of two evils, but this phenomenon of prophetic and spiritual support for Trump has me as baffled as Balaam’s ass and I must bray loudly in protest.

First I will deal with the Babylonian kings who were benevolent to Daniel and his 3 friends.  I recognize that both Nebuchadnezzar and Darius protected Daniel and company and ultimately paid some homage to the God above all gods.  But let’s be perfectly clear, Daniel, his 3 friends and the host of Israel were still very much slaves and captives in Babylon both before and after those kings “saw the light” and eased their incarceration.  Is this what you are hoping for with Trump, some easing of conditions via a person who has almost no understanding of the most foundational tenants of our Christian faith – repentance and communion?

I would welcome someone who can personally assure me that Trump’s faith has some element beyond giving a cursory nod to a supreme being, pandering to a Christian university or pouring out praises to any of the many humanistic “I’m ok, you’re ok” feel good, positive thinking preachers out there who have chosen to abandon the doctrine of sin in favor of pop culture/right side of history capitulation.  Feel free to post that character reference in the comment section of this blog.

At least not all sanity is lost as it was reported today that several prominent Christian women’s organizations came out against Trump in light of his oft vile and offensive words directed at females and his flip flopping record on abortion.  (Right to Life and Concerned Women for America among them)

But some of these Christian (Men) leaders have even gone so far as to give Trump the “for such a time as this” mantle as if to compare him to Ester.  I have read the book of Ester, I have studied the book of Ester, I love the character, bravery and humility of Ester and Donald Trump you are no Queen Ester – and neither am I for that matter.  Please don’t insult the memory of Ester with that kind of comparison!

It is at this point I will make what will be viewed as my most controversial observation.  Why would it be that men (in much higher numbers) are falling all over themselves to jump in lock step with Trump in contrast to far fewer percentages among women?  I believe it is because of basic “machismo” male dominance to which Trump’s boisterous demeanor and rude treatment of women rings some un-civilized bell among men – yes even among Christian men.   Women are much quicker to cut through this bluster and see it for what it is – a return to more archaic times.

I suppose I could begin to understand if all the fawning and praise was over Dr. Ben Carson who I do see as a brave, humble and Godly leader.  But the title of “God’s man of the hour” or someone “for such a time as this” would be a challenging title for almost all the presidential candidates this season (in no particular order of scale).  I do believe there are a couple of exceptions and I challenge you to do the hard work of research, study and comparing your values to the various candidates (and to God’s values).  With much prayer and God’s intervention, we will hopefully be able to GLADLY cast our votes this coming November.

As a tool, I would suggest you take this comprehensive and un-biased questionnaire in order to see which candidate most closely agrees with your standards and areas of importance.  You will get the best result if you answer all the questions in each category.

isidewith.com

Trump – Stumped?

I am not stumping for any candidate but I feel it necessary to discuss some of the candidates and especially the phenomenal success of Donald J Trump which, in particular, has me very stumped.

The way I see it, there are 2 aspects of the presidency – one is doing the things necessary for the good of the country (being a good president) and the 2nd is looking presidential while doing those things.

I went to the Trump rally at ORU yesterday.  I don’t go to rallies.  I think the last one I went to was an airport stop by the Nixon/Agnew team in Lubbock, TX back in 1968.  So once every 50 years or so is not so bad.  But I went to this one in particular as I have a certain image of Trump (and Palin for that matter) from what I see on the news and I thought I would go to “see for myself”.  My opinions did not change.  But in all fairness to what may be the nominee, I will let you know my opinion (since you were all asking).

I see Trump like the smart privileged kid at school who didn’t have to develop the same social skills as the rest of us due to his popularity garnered from his being rich.  That silver spoon scenario causes him to come across as bombastic, rude and flamboyant.  Those are not characteristics I look for in someone being “presidential”.  At the same time, I see someone who has surrounded himself with smart (you will so love all the winning smart people he has surrounded himself with) advisers and business people who have helped him be the tremendously successful person he has become.  Yes, I am well aware that he has filed bankruptcy for restructuring purposes involving primarily his Atlantic City casinos which account for a small portion of his business ventures.   The only good thing you can say about those Chapter 11 filings is that he saw the ‘hand writing on the wall” about Atlantic City quite some time before others which helped investors retain some of their investments and also enabled Trump to retain a controlling interest.  Some will see only the negative in that and others will be able to see the silver lining.  Personally, I have tried to see both sides.

I was somewhat surprised to learn that Trump has never smoked or drunk alcohol.  He is well respected by those he works with and his employees.  His kids are hard working and well respected in their community.  His grade school education was at a military academy where he excelled.

I will say that I don’t think Trump is a liar.   He proudly claims that in the past he made donations to various candidates in order to garner their favor in business deals.  Who admits that?  He does exaggerate and he needs a bigger vocabulary so he can “win, win, win” more effectively.  I fully believe he would surround himself with the very best people to fill the various cabinet roles as his advisers and he certainly owes no one any favors for those appointments.  I believe he would be a great deal maker in global affairs and wouldn’t be afraid to walk away from the table in order to get a better deal.

Having said all that, I personally hope that Trump is not the GOP nominee.  I will certainly be conflicted at the voting booth.  But if he is the nominee, I will ultimately have to cast a vote against Hillary or Sanders by what might best be described as holding my nose and voting for Trump.

I am actually hoping for a surge by Rubio in the polls.  In my opinion, the perfect candidate does not exist, but would be a blending of Rubio, Carson, Bush and Christie.  You might say “you left out Cruz”?  Yes I did!  And although I, again, don’t think it is very presidential for Trump to call him “nasty”, Cruz is in fact viewed as mean and not very liked by his fellow congressmen.  In fact, in just the last couple of days, Bob Dole has warned that Cruz’s nomination would be catastrophic for the country.

I will end with the following 2 clips – one of Trump and one of Rubio.  I do this as I wouldn’t be surprised to see that become the ticket.  One clip shows how one candidate may flounder when it comes to religious things and the other touches my heart.

Pray hard America!