Religion

Donald Trump and His Dire Warning Against “Happy Holiday” Socialism

I’m watching Donald “Corinthians Two” Trump live from the conservative Value Voters summit, reading from the teleprompter and reciting Bible verses while talking about how great God and Jesus are, embracing and praising the Judeo-Christian values and insisting that those values are under attack.

Thankfully, he addressed maybe the most important issue that is currently plaguing our nation:

“We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again!”

Because what kind of nation would we be if we didn’t insist that those who don’t celebrate Christmas, say ‘Merry Christmas’?

We all know that greetings such as “Happy Holidays” inevitably will lead to a godless, soulless, communist state. Bernie Sanders would become our dictator and our houses will either being engulfed in 100 alarm fires, or else inundated with Orwellian watchful eyes installed in every small-appliance we own.

But what is actually alarming are the Christians who actually believe that Trump has genuine and sincere values as it relates to the teachings of Jesus. For they correlate conservative ideology so tightly with their own Christian religion that they are unable to differentiate between the two, and thus cannot help but perceive Donald Trump as an actual Christian who lives his life to give hope and spread God’s love to others.

This is the stark reality some people choose to live in. They can stand there without dissonance and not only listen to Donald Trump talk about compassion, character, morality, and humility, but give heart-felt applause to his every insincere stanza.

For the majority of us who are outside of this cult-like fixation, an obvious narcissistic sociopath is on a rampage – and he’s irreparably ruining things.

Ironically, there is a verse in the bible that is describing exactly what’s going on, yet it’s these words of Jesus from the book of Matthew that Trump-supporting Christians are seemingly indifferent about:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

About that “fruit”…

Of all the problem’s the ACA had, it was doing a good job of making health insurance affordable for the poor who could otherwise not afford it. But no longer.

In the news today, we have learned that Trump has ended those subsidies via executive order. These subsidies were essentially the only reason why the plans under the ACA were made affordable for the poor.

So the millions of American’s who were able to get health insurance because of those ACA subsidies, will go back to being uninsured.

(Side note: Specific provisions in the ACA were made into law by Congress. Trump says let’s get rid of this provision, and just like that, the provision is erased- a president just removed law written by Congress.  Not to worry though- I’m sure all of the right-wing pundits, congressmen, and self-proclaimed conservative believers in the Constitution who ranted daily on President Obama’s over-reaching use of executive power will be lambasting Trump in the same way. I do however expect that commentary to be a little delayed.. there are more pertinent issues to discuss such as Hillary’s e-mails and Benghazi. It might even be a Monica Lewinsky day

Also, side note #2: At least Reagan had the intelligence, political savviness, discipline, and leadership ability to subtlety infect government programs using attrition via Constitutional means outside of the spotlight, stripping the funding for these programs and rendering them ineffective, then using those starved government programs as poster children for why government doesn’t work [Conservative Party Politics 101]. Reagan’s destruction was cleverly done and disguised. Trump has none of these characteristics and has to achieve policy with blatant actions and loud noise with little ambiguity of his intentions).

The libertarian worldview prevails once again, supported by Trump and the Republican Congress. Of those who can no longer afford health insurance with the subsidy gone, many will inevitably develop a serious health problem. But the libertarian philosophy goes as follows:

“You cannot afford to pay for that $70K emergency appendectomy that needed to be performed to save your life? You should have worked harder and saved for it. You don’t have an extra million dollars in your savings account to pay for these cancer treatments? Shame on you for being lazy and not earning more. If you have money or at least know of an entity willing to give or lend you money, you are worthy of treatment. If not, suffer with your ailment. We as libertarians know that government (all of us collectively) is evil and it cannot get involved.

Does this run completely contradictory to the many verses in the New Testament in which Jesus heals the sick unconditionally, and speaks about “the least among us”? Of course it does.

Here’s another New Testament verse as stated by Jesus:

“We who are many form one body, and each member belongs to one another” Romans 12:5

THIS is the very definition of government. No matter how a right-wing, government-hating orator tries to spin it, this is government in it’s most organic state. It isn’t naturally dysfunctional or inept, yet as I’ve written before, conservative Supreme Court justices with libertarian principals are the main reasons for our government’s current disgraceful state, bearing little semblance to a government by and for the people.

The idea that we each chip in a fraction of a penny to help a fellow American to alleviate their suffering is unconscionable to a libertarian, solely because government is the implementation mechanism.

And when an opinion is voiced that we do what every other industrialized nation does and demand health care to be a right, these disingenuous narrators tells you that if we listen to these ideas, “Happy Holidays” style Socialism is inevitable. How dare we as a society each chip in a tiny amount to heal a fellow American who is suffering, in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.

There is no “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” when you’re sick, and Trump’s actions are the antithesis of everything that Christian ideology claims to embrace and believe in. ▪

 

Fox “News” Is Hurting Christianity

Do the anchors on right-wing news and opinion networks ever look at themselves as a possible reason why church attendance is declining?

I wonder this as I continue to witness disingenuous slants on issues pertaining to a particular ideology as well as just flat out misinformation. This was especially evident with the response to Osama’s “high horse” comment about how Christianity was used to justify atrocious acts.

Take a couple quotes from popular Fox “News” anchors responding to the president’s comments with their own views on Christianity and Islam:

“Reports say radical Muslim jihadists killed thousands of people in the past few months alone. And yet when you take Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever, their combined killings in the name of religion – well that number would be zero.” – Eric Bolling

That number is certainly not zero, and that is a completely absurd statement seen by anyone that possesses just a small dose of historical knowledge. When you deny very obvious facts, you portray yourself as one looking to “cover up” the malicious that has been committed in the name of Christianity. This is not dissimilar to the Catholic Church’s effort to cover up the despicable actions of some of its clergy. You do nothing good for Christianity when you adamantly conceal some of the horrible injustices that some have used it for.

“By the way, who ended slavery and Jim Crow?…. Christians. The Reverend Martin Luther King. Christianity is the reason we don‘t have slavery.” – Tucker Carlson

Here we go again. I’d be curious to know which religion Tucker believes was used to justify slavery in the first place. And which religion was used to sustain the practice for so long?

And we needed Christianity to tell us to be disgusted by these heinous acts (even though again, Christianity was used by some to justify slavery)?

So without the aid of Christianity, we were not able to see the injustice in the rides on the back of the buses, the restaurants refusing to serve, or the special “colored” water fountains and bathrooms?

The rise against injustices such as these were imminent – Christianity was not the catalyst. Rather, Christians and non-Christians alike stood up and demanded that this immoral cruelty that was one justified by some in the name of Christianity would no longer be allowed to exist.

It wasn’t because the Bible told us so. It was the perseverance of human decency coming through after an era where Christianity (as practiced by slaveholders and racists) had actually worked in defiance of it.

People of ALL cultures, customs, religions and beliefs came together and flamed the moral outrage necessary to end slavery and Jim Crow. The exclusivity of Martin Luther King’s words were not borne from Christianity alone. In fact, he was a great admirer of the “peaceful resistance” methods of a Mahatma Gandhi who practiced Hinduism.

And of course Tucker glosses over the fact that King had his life threatened continuously by those who claimed their movement to be Christian, such as the KKK.

What I believe is those small hate-groups who terrorize in the name of Christianity are not Christians. But Fox-”News” cannot support that argument on their network, even if they wanted to. Instead they flat out deny that any harmful actions have been committed in the name of Christianity.

Why? Because they need to maintain the narrative that they helped give birth to on 9-11-01 – that a small terrorist or hate group who claim to represent a religion DOES represent the ideology of a religion.

So did the KKK represent Christian values, just because they claimed to? Of course not. But Bolling states that no one has killed in the name of “Christianity”. So that means either Bolling a) Doesn’t think the KKK ever killed anyone, or b) He doesn’t regard the KKK as a Christian group even though they claimed to be.

The problem with “option a” is that it’s factually incorrect, so lets look at “option b“. Why is Bolling so quick to believe ISIS when they claim they act in the name of Islam, but quick to dismiss the KKK when they say act in the name of Christianity?

ISIS is a group of ruthless barbaric lowlifes who claim that they represent Islam. A hack news organization would actually validate this claim – essentially giving ISIS credibility by saying “Look at these thugs who say they are acting in the name of Islam. Yes, we know there are over A BILLION Muslims in the world, but there’s a few thousand ISIS members who claim they represent Islam! Let’s believe them!

And fresh from the Fox-“News” womb, the false “Muslim = terrorist” rhetoric is born. Actually, it’s official birthday is 9/11/01.

All the other major networks refused to show the footage of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage. But not Fox “News”. They had the uncensored 20-minute propaganda piece that ISIS spent a lot of time and money to create, readily available on Fox’s site. Nothing like giving a terrorist organization a national spotlight. ISIS creates a video that they hope reaches a mass audience in order to invoke fear and establish credibility and relevance. And Fox “News” is the only taker who essentially did exactly what ISIS wanted.

Heinous acts have been committed by Christians who claim that they are doing God’s work. From all out holy wars such as those in The Crusades, to slave justification and domestic terrorism of the KKK, Manifest Destiny (God wants us to expand westward and have this land for ourselves, so we’ll do so and slaughter any Indian in our path and take their land) to smaller individual incidents such as Michael Griffin’s killing of OBG-YN David Gunn.

With those incidents being noted, they in no way represent the actual message of Christ. He preached peace, forgiveness and compassion. Love your neighbor as yourself. These acts committed by these heinous criminals have nothing to do with Christianity. Just by saying you’re acting in the name of Christianity does not make it so. Jesus even warned us to be aware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

That is how you speak to people without insulting their intelligence. That is how you get young adults to watch your network. That is how you formulate a discussion on religion that actually starts out with a solid and truthful foundation.

Yet, to deny Christian involvement in some of the shameful moments in world history is absurd and disingenuous. It paints with a broad brush of simplicity and create divisions, especially when the rhetoric includes condescending finger pointing at another entire religion.

In other words, to admit that atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity, doesn’t make you less of a Christian.

And what about a younger potential viewer? He’s unaffiliated, yet open minded about finding a religion. He hears comments such as Bolling’s and Carlson’s, which completely contradict basic facts recorded in history, which he can instantly spot. Fox-News now gives him the impression that Christians are either mal-informed or turn a blind eye to history, and are so ideologically engulfed to the point where they are unwilling to acknowledge past travesties committed in the name of Christianity.

I believe the majority of practicing Christians know that what Eric Bolling and Tucker Carlson are saying is completely inaccurate. Maybe there are a small portion of Christians who do think that credence should never be given to the idea that Christianity has been used to justify evil. That a hellish afterlife awaits them if even turn one ear to listen to such a truth.

But most correctly believe that just because some group claims to be Christian, doesn’t make it so. They acknowledge that harm has been inflicted under the guise of Christianity, but those acts committed were certainly not promoted by Jesus and does not delegitimize the religion as being truthful.

But Fox has absolutely no problem delegitimizing the nearly 2000 year old religion of Islam, because the 68 year or older white male viewing audience will be comforted to know that the God that they’ve known is the correct choice. And for the Fox-“News” hosts – that’s the comfort they need for themselves as well.