Well, multiply that anxiety a million-fold and you have an idea how Hillary Clinton and the DNC must feel if the content of just one of her deleted emails would derail her run for the White House. (My guess is there are quite a few.) In the wake of the DNC’s hacked emails proving a concerted effort on their part to sabotage Bernie Sander’s candidacy, Hillary must have a growing pit in her stomach.
What if the Russians have them? Or the Chinese? And what if they start dropping them in the weeks running up to November 8th?
For me, tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
Now don’t get me wrong. The idea that the Russians would pull a “DNC to Bernie” on her is fantastic: an example of poetic justice if there ever was one. But if they are doing it because they would prefer a Trump presidency in the belief that it would make it safer to rattle their sword, that concerns me. And it should concern you.
But there are a lot of unknowns here. Besides annexing Crimea, does Putin really want to upset world markets and gamble with his already struggling economy by risking war? And yes, he can be brutal and ruthless. But he, like Trump, is a nationalist. His preeminent objective is to protect and serve Mother Russia, to see his nation become “great again”, to thrive within the boundaries of its historic (admittedly disputable) borders. Perhaps even more importantly—albeit ironic given Russia’s communist/atheistic past—Putin seems sincere in wanting to restore his nation’s Christian heritage. Mass killing in support of wars of aggression doesn’t quite fit into that narrative.
But it would be criminally naïve to not plan for the possibility.
Would Trump blink and give Putin a free hand? You should then ask if Trump would like being perceived on the world stage as weak; as becoming the lapping Beta dog to Putin’s Alpha.
But I’m guessing not.
Does Trump really want to pull the United States out of NATO? Maybe. He says he might try. But is that reality…or the consummate deal-maker scaring our NATO partners so that when it comes time to sit down and renegotiate the relationship, they take on a greater proportion of the financial and logistical responsibility?
I’m guessing the latter.
And lastly, with all the bravado and big talk on both sides, at the end of the day, who would you really rather have staring across the table at Putin? Hillary or Trump?
For me, whatever their motivation might be, if the Ruskies have the doomsday emails, I say drop them.
And Halloween would be the perfect day to launch the first salvo.
Trick or treat, Ms. Clinton!
(As an aside, I must confess there is another, more selfish reason I hope the Russians—or someone—has the emails. They would make it unnecessary for me of the double-mind and conflicted conscience to feel I need to vote for Trump to keep Hillary out of the White House. Unless I see some evidence before November 8th—a change in his language, tone and temperament to suggest that God has anointed (as many suggest) this too often braying Balaam’s bicycle of a man to lead this country—I will probably vote third party. (Father, make Your will clear!) But I suspect I will have gnawing doubts about it. The Russians blowing Hillary out of the water and giving the election to Trump would make everything so much simpler.)
The obvious problem here is that a large percentage of them—likely a sizeable majority—have consciences formed or at least influenced by the vagaries of fallen human reasonings and desires as well as the worldly and at times even satanic feedback loops that dot our cultural landscape. These people voting their conscience is akin to what Bildad the Shuhite described to Job. Danger lies everywhere.
(Their) confidence is severed, and (their) trust is a spider’s web. (They) lean against (their) house, but it does not stand; (they) lay hold of it, but it does not endure. Job 8: 14,15
But a potential problem also exists for sincere Christians whose consciences have been conditioned by the Holy Spirit and God’s word.
Recently, while the primaries were winding down, I spoke with a good friend. Gregg Cunningham is a leading advocate for life and also one of the most politically astute men I know, having served in the military (as an officer in the Air Force), in a state legislature and in the arena of public policy for many years. Our conversation, as these things tend to do in this surreal political season, turned to the upcoming presidential election.
“Are you going to vote for Trump?” I asked, knowing that he rather be water-boarded to death than cast a vote for Hillary. Gregg opened with a qualification I’ve grown use to—listing the many flaws that make the Donald such a problematic candidate—before getting to the “but…”
“But if Trumps ends up being the Republican candidate, of course I will. What else can you do? We’ve got to stop Hillary.” He then reeled off several of the dangerous “bugs” that will come with running the Clinton 3.0 program: SCOTUS appointments; the deconstruction of the 2nd Amendment; pimping for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry; expanding government while increasing debt; strengthening both her party and the ongoing swing from republicanism toward unchecked democratism by granting first work permits and then voting rights to millions of illegal aliens; the weakening of the military; runaway multiculturalism that weakens both national security and identity; the continued push towards statism, socialism, and globalism; stumping for the LGBTQ agenda; etc..
He was so convinced and convincing that I was almost embarrassed to tell him that while I got all of that, my conscience was nevertheless troubled at the prospect of voting for a man like Trump. I strengthened my case a bit by naming some Christian friends he knew and respected that were equally troubled; some having even gone #nevertrump.
After he calmed down, Gregg threw out an idea I had never considered: that is that I and the others like me should pray about whether there is an element of self-righteousness percolating somewhere in our thought processes. Perhaps, he went on to say, some part was more interested in taking a stand against what we saw as compromise and hypocrisy—and thus feeling good about ourselves and being “not like other men” (Luke 18:11)—than we were in our country and the millions of lives that would be negatively impacted by the Clinton agenda.
I pushed back, asking how he knew that Trump couldn’t create more harm and havoc than Hillary and then proceeded to offer scenarios were he might. Back and forth we went, ending, as most conversations I have on the subject these days, with more questions than answers.
But the idea Gregg sowed has stayed in the back of my mind. And from time to time I have asked the Lord to show me if some degree of pietistic or Pharisaical thinking could be leavening the loaf of my discernment.
Today, another friend brought this thoughtful and thought-provoking article to my attention. I commend it to yours.
But as I was reading, the seed sown by Gregg began to stir and certain phrases from the article came into sharper focus:
“For my part, my conscience is more important to me than the outcome of this presidential election….”
“It is simply this: Vote as if your ballot determines nothing whatsoever—except the shape of your own character. Vote as if the public consequences of your action weigh nothing next to the private consequences. The country will go whither it will go, when all the votes are counted. What should matter the most to you is whither you will go, on and after this November’s election day.”
My conscience, the shape of my character, whether I will go…there’s a very slippery slope here.
And I must be honest: I’m very uncomfortable putting the “shape of my character” in the same ballpark as the millions of innocent babies who will be tortured to death by a Clinton Court.
Elections have consequences. Individual votes determine the outcomes of those elections. It’s magical thinking to pretend that “the public consequences of your action weigh nothing” when those public consequences result in preventable child sacrifice.
Look, I don’t want to judge the author’s heart or intentions. Pragmatism is not an absolute. Opting for the lesser of two evils can be a righteous decision in some instances. With others, not so much. Compromise, to lift the line from Chariots of Fire, “can be the language of the devil.” Or it can be ordained of God. (2 Kings 5: 15-19)
But we would all do well to humble ourselves, pray and ask God to search our hearts and remove any tare, any leaven of self-righteousness. This is vital in every area of life. But as we approach this great valley of decision, a lot more than just the well-being of our own souls depends on it.
I saw “Hillary’s America” last night. I almost didn’t because the Rotten Tomatoes rating was so horrible: a 5% splat. Normally, I add in twenty or so percentage points when a movie or a documentary’s ideological perspective rubs the liberal media’s fur the wrong way. But 5%? Truly, it had to be a real stinker.
But a friend who had seen the movie gave me a ticket and insisted I go. And so I did…expecting very little.
I was very pleasantly surprised. Sure, the movie was a little goofy in sections. It also seemed to be a bit too much about the co-writer/director—and now the lead actor—Dinesh D’Souza. He clearly isn’t a trained actor and, through no fault of his own, also has a Mr. Bean kind of nerdiness that doesn’t serve the film all that well. It was at times overblown and ham-handedly conspiratorial. And some of its premises—most notably that Bill’s sexual addiction was accepted by Hillary and turned into a tool for controlling him—are the kind of judging of another person’s heart that is just wrong, particularly when exercised by a professing Christian.
Nevertheless, the movie explored a lot of important, often obscured historical facts every American should know—particularly those victims of the public school, liberal college, and progressive media establishment. I found the sections on Saul Alinsky (I wasn’t aware of the crazy stuff that appeared in the 1967 Playboy interview) and the Clinton Foundation particularly interesting and damning. And we are also introduced to one of great unsung heroes of American history: Ida B. Wells. Her inspiring story (attention Black Lives Matter folk) alone was worth the price of admission.
All in all, an enjoyable as well as educational experience. Easily three stars out of five.
My wife checked on the way home. The audience rating on RT was 84%. (And among them was a good number of 0% splats posted by people who clearly had an ideological axe to grind. So the true audience rating is really higher.) That leaves at least a 79% differential between what the critics and the public think of the movie—the second highest in Rotten Tomatoes eighteen-year history.
If you don’t think there’s a full-court press on the part of the fourth estate to cover Hillary’s criminal past, I’ve got a country to sell you.
Oh, wait. It’s already been bought.
Under its spreading branches George Whitefield once preached to 3,000 people as the fires of the Great Awakening began to sweep across the colonies and gave rise to the experiment in Christian liberty that is America.
Most of its branches are now dead and the tree has been diagnosed as being in a “spiral of decline.”
I wrote this article very much aware of the specter of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub a week ago–aware also that my thoughts can be seen and will certainly be interpreted by some as insensitive and just another contribution to the “homophobia” that helps foment acts of aggression towards members of the LGBTQ community.
So, again, let me be clear: I and every Christian I know who believes in and defends the Bible’s clear standards regarding sexuality, marriage and gender genuinely grieve for every God-imaging life lost in Orlando last Sunday. We abominate what the killer did and denounce all acts of condemnation, bullying and hate–physical and verbal alike –directed at anyone, including same-sex attracted people and those afflicted with gender dysphoria.
Had I or any of the Christian men and women I know that have concealed carry permits been walking by the Pulse that fateful night and had a chance to intervene–even at the risk of our own lives–we wouldn’t have hesitated, except perhaps for fear.
But this same commitment also compels us to persist in telling the truth. To “heal the hurt of the people slightly, to say ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no true peace” (Jer. 6:14); to help placate people in their sin–to pat them on their backs and assist them on their journey into a lifestyle that the Bible is very clear will result in its participants having no inheritance if the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9,10) is not love.
At the end of the day, it’s a lot more like hate.
I echo Dr. Michael Brown’s helpful article on the shootings in Orlando and commend it to your attention.
(Important: Please read my comment on this article in light of the terrorist attack in Orlando.)
On Friday, June 24, President Obama designated a new national monument at the site of the Stonewall uprising in New York City “to honor the broad movement for LGBT equality”. This was just the latest in a series of speeches and actions on the part of his administration to define down–if not obliterate–any notions of sexual deviance. Worse, to now even memorialize and celebrate it.
Friday’s pronouncement came laden with historical revisionism and stolen valor.
I would encourage the reader to take a few minutes to watch the “your-tax-dollars-in-action” White House video commemorating the uprising. The video was released and promoted through the internet on the 24th and was broadcast on the billboards in Times Square on the eve of the NYC Pride Parade
And now watch, as they say, the “rest of the story“– the true story.
June 24th is not the first time Obama has melded the normalization and celebration of homosexual couplings into the noble movements for women’s suffrage and civil rights for blacks and other ethnic minorities. I’ve lost track of the number of times he’s trotted out the alliterative triad, “From Seneca Falls, to Selma to Stonewall.” Nor is it the first time he has cherry-picked, embellished and even rewritten history in order to push his progressive agenda.
Another example bears examining.
When Obama spoke at the site of a true historic landmark–the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama–on the 50th anniversary of the pivotal civil rights march, he rightly observed the suffering the praying, non-violent demonstrators endured at the hands of the police.
“We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching towards justice. They did as Scripture instructed: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” ”
But towards the end of the speech, Obama had the audacity to smuggle the so-called right for one man to have sex with another into the same ring of honor, integrity and sacrifice.
“We’re the firefighters who rushed into those buildings on 9/11, the volunteers who signed up to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. We’re the gay Americans whose blood ran in the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge.”
This blather, this twisted nugget of unhistorical agitprop, is stunning. And so is the complete pass the comment received from the mainstream press.
When did anyone marching for the right to engage in homosex or use an opposite-sex bathroom get set upon by anyone, much less the police? I’ve covered a number of gay rights parades and protests and all I’ve ever seen are police protecting the demonstrators, sometimes looking the other way while marchers dress and cavort in a manner that would get anyone doing the same things in a different context arrested.
When was any blood shed during these marches, unless it was spilled by the S&M contingency that is invariably present at these parades in major cities? And when exactly did the blood run in the streets of San Francisco and New York like it did during the Selma march?
And how much praying, preaching and seeking to obey the words of Scripture attends these celebrations of hedonism and a “do what thou wilt” sexuality?
And what do you think, the firefighters of 9/11? Soldiers who have risked their lives in Afghanistan? How do you feel about having your sacrifices compared to a phalanx of proverts marching through city streets, throwing condoms and packets of lube out to cheering throngs?
And my black brothers and sisters, how do you feel about having your immutable, genetically determined and morally neutral “race”[ii]—who you are, in other words–conflated with the mutable[iii], genetically non-determinative as well as immoral[iv]actions of others: in other words, what they do[v]?
We’re well on our way to the day when God may set up His own monument in America. It will likely be a grave stone planted in the heart of our nation’s capital. And on it I can imagine His own triad: “Ichabod, Psalm 2:1-6, and Romans 1:18ff.
Not as slick and alliterative as Obama’s. But infinitely more true.
Wake up America.
[ii] Bugs me to use the term because there really is only one race–the human one. But you get what I mean
[iii] There isn’t time to develop this here. Suffice it to say, now that they have won the day and the pressure is off to promote the lie that people are born 100% gay, can’t change and can’t have a loving, meaningful and sexually satisfying heterosexual relationship, even staunch LGBTQ activists are more and more acknowledging that sexual attraction is “fluid”–subject to change.
[iv] This would be according to the vast majority of people and religions throughout human history.
[v] Some will disagree with my nomenclature. But through the lens of a Biblical worldview, a person sexually attracted to members of their own gender is not guilty/has not sinned–is in this sense not a homosexual–until they commit a homosexual act.
While not yet conclusive, evidence appears to be mounting that Omar Mateen, the Islamist terrorist responsible for the horrible tragedy in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 injured, may have been motivated, at least in part, by homophobic tendencies.
While true homophobia is far rarer than commonly reported, studies suggest that some individuals who dislike and even hate homosexuality as a sexual inclination and at times homosexuals as people can be motivated by a genuine fear (phobia) of same-sex attraction, often due to their own suppressed homosexual tendencies.
Presently there are at least seven indications that Mateen may fall into this category:
- A member of his 2006 police academy class claims that Mateen asked him out romantically. “We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate said. He has asked that his name not be used.
- The Los Angeles Times has reported that the shooter attended the Pulse nightclub possibly as many as a dozen times before the rampage. Reconnaissance for a planned act of terror? Perhaps. But Mateen’s reported instability coupled with the manner in which he executed the murders suggests that his act of terror was not that well-thought out and pre-planned. It is more likely that he went to the Pulse—and reportedly other gay clubs as well—for libidinous reasons.
- Kevin West, a regular at Pulse, said Mateen messaged him on and off for a year before the shooting using the gay chat and dating app Jack’d. (Like Grindr and other similar “gay-dating” apps, Jack’d uses social media and GPS satellite tracking to help individuals who often don’t know each other to quickly and conveniently “hook-up.” This can mean everything from a coffee and conversation to having sex. The pictures and descriptions users put in their profile would suggest the latter is the primary purpose.)
- Mateen was also described as socially awkward, a common characteristic of people who are conflicted about their sexual identity.
- His former wife has testified that he beat her. While she attributes his violent behavior to an undiagnosed bi-polar disorder, it is not uncommon for a man with same-sex tendencies and who perceives himself as stuck in an unsatisfying heterosexual relationship to then take the resultant frustration out on his opposite-sex partner via emotional, verbal and even physical abuse.
- Daniel Gilroy, a former co-worker at the security firm where the shooter was employed, called Mateen “unhinged and unstable,” a man who frequently made anti-gay and racist comments. Gilroy repeatedly complained to management about him, but they did nothing “because he was Muslim.” Gilroy quit after Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages—20 to 30 a day. All of this fits the profile of a man who is deeply conflicted and possibly self-loathing because of his own unwanted homosexual impulses.
- Seddique Mateen, the shooter’s Islamic-fundamentalist father, recounted an incident that took place in Miami where Omar saw two men kissing in public and later in a bathroom and became “very angry.” Seddique attributed the reaction to a natural revulsion at an act that is viewed as morally wrong through the lens of their Islamic beliefs. But the intensity of his son’s response would be in keeping with a man who is over-compensating before a judgmental father as well as one troubled by self-doubt or loathing concerning his own sexual identity.
There appears to be little doubt that Omar Mateen was motivated to kill, at least in part, by his radical Islamic beliefs. These beliefs encouraged him to wage a Jihadist campaign against the enemy, with a special blessing if he was to do so during the “holy” month of Ramadan. The enemy in the Islamist lexicon is the “infidel,” with America—the Great Satan—and Israel as its beating heart. The Pulse nightclub was hit because it was a soft target in America—an unprotected place where laughter and fun could be dramatically, radically transformed into tears and unspeakable sadness by a lone madman. Because Mateen was a reputed racist and his strike zone was catering to the Latin community that night, it is possible that his 102 casualties were also victims of ethnic bigotry. And because homosexual behavior is a capital offense under Sharia law (take note, progressives), there can be little doubt they were further targeted for being gay; that they were victims of homo-hatred.
But it now looks likely there may have been one more motivation behind this great tragedy—one that could have been primary. A big part of the shooter’s hatred may have been directed at a deep-seated fear and loathing within himself.
Omar Mateen could very well have been a homophobe.
 The vast majority of people who openly—or due to the politically-correct tenor of our times, privately—view homosexual behavior as sub-optimal or morally wrong are not homophobic. They have no fear—irrational or otherwise—of homosexuality. They may object to it for philosophical or empirical reasons. More commonly, among Christians it is seen as a brokenness in God’s design and plan for mankind (Gen. 1:27; 5:2), as one manifestation of the Fall: the effects of the sin every person must struggle with and find a way to overcome by God’s grace. Same-sex attracted or gender dysphoric individuals are not to be feared—and certainly not hated. In Christ, they are to be respected and loved as fellow image-bearers of God and invited to join the great company of broken people and fellow-sinners in their quest to be conformed more and more into that image. Like the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) they are to be invited to experience His love, forgiveness and healing power—to be set free from the condemnation of sin and find the grace to “go and sin no more.”
“The message matters, my brother.” Prince Rogers Nelson (Notorious; Issue #4, p.88)
The eulogies are pouring in as one of the greatest musical innovators of our time has taken his final bow. Bands around the world are playing tributes, artists and program hosts are granting interviews or opening shows lauding his talent and influence with praises befitting a messiah, and Saturday Night Live redesigned the entire show yesterday (4/23/16) to be a commemoration of his life and performances. A senator from the Purple Rain’s star’s home state—Minnesota—has even introduced a bill to make the hue the official color of the state.
Ironically, perhaps his only equal when it comes to moving the needle on the proverbial phonograph of pop culture—David Bowie—also shocked the world with his untimely death just over three months ago.
First, credit where credit is due: Prince’s talent was immense. Because of the spirit and the themes of his music and persona, I was never a fan. Quite the opposite—I produced a number of documentaries dusting pop music for the fingerprints of evil spiritual influences and always found Prince to be a fertile source of evidence. Nevertheless, as a writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, performer, innovator, cross-musical-style virtuoso, impresario and champion for the artist and the art in an often corrupt industry, Prince may have no living peer.
From an eternal perspective, however, his life and talent are also are also a cautionary tale as to where genius can lead when untethered from the “ancient paths” (Jer. 6:15-16) and left to pursue a combination of eroticism, a “follow-your-heart” brand of spirituality and a fascination with speculative, apocalyptic, “Biblical” (so-called) prophecy.
Raised a Seventh Day Adventist, Prince Rogers Nelson was—to use Flannery O’Connor’s useful phrase—ever the “Christ-haunted” artist. Imagery from the Bible, particularly the books of Genesis and Revelation, were frequent themes in his music. The problem is that he merged them with his other primary—at least for the first and most influential half of his career—channel of spiritual/mystical enlightenment: a form of sex magic that would have made the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, proud. I won’t take the time or defile the reader by quoting lyrics or linking to videos documenting his many debaucheries. They are legion. And legendary.
Another destructive aspect of the sexualized world he fashioned with his lyrics, concerts and persona was the manner in which it rabidly set out to destroy the “male and female He made them” (Gen. 1:27) binary that God wove into the fabric of human ontology in relation to our capacity and call to image our Creator.
Quoting, for example, a Washington Post article describing Prince’s impact on fashion:
“With his frilly shirts and velvet suits, his brocades and silks, Prince played with gender stereotypes and moved us to reconsider our relationship to our own sexuality. He used fashion as an aphrodisiac. It was foreplay and after-glow — and the divinely sweaty middle.”
In his song Controversy he asked, “Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?” On 1984’s I Would Die 4 U, he sang back, “I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am something that you’ll never understand.”
Again, the Post:
Using the classical, Greek definition of the word—that is “entrancement, insanity; any displacement or removal from the proper place”—a state of “ecstasy” is precisely what he helped Western culture attain. Less than a generation after Prince—and David Bowie—began to fly their androgynous, ambi-sexual freak-flags high, a majority of their audience has seen their worldview concerning gender and human sexuality turned on its head.
Another area of concern were his not infrequent professions of love and respect—even devotion—to the person and ministry of Christ. “What’s wrong with that?” some will say. “Isn’t that a good thing?” Well, not when they are juxtaposed against the celebration of the very sins that Jesus came and died to atone for and from which to set us free.
Take, for example, what may be his most straight-up Christian song, The Cross. Lyrically and musically? A lot of CCM artists should do as well. The problem lies in its context. On the album in which it appears, Sign o’ the Times, The Cross is nestled in with fifteen other songs, many of which celebrate fornication.
When Prince toured to support the album, The Cross (at times rephrased as The Christ) stood out as the spiritual high-water mark of the concert. Introduced with references to “the greatest man who ever lived” and backed with a gospel choir, he performed the song reverently and gave every impression of really believing in what he was singing about. And I’m not doubting that on some level he did. But then in the next breath, he would segue to a another song from the album like “U Got the Look,” featuring some scantily clad female singer (often Sheena Easton) that Prince would proceed to seduce on stage, thrusting his hips while singing “If love is good, let’s get to rammin’.”
This type of cognitive dissonance was something Prince raised to a sick art form. And only God knows the extent to which his audience was seduced into what may well be the single greatest spiritual problem among “Jesus-loving” theists today: that mental assent to His Godhood, atoning death and resurrection is all that is necessary to be a Christian and go to heaven…that obedience to His teachings—particularly in regard to sex and gender—is optional.
Prince certainly seemed to indicate it was.
In fairness, it’s reported that around 2000—right after partying like it was 1999—he became much more serious about his faith and began to tone things down, even renouncing some of his earlier lyrics and antics. (Sadly, this was brought about, in part, by his becoming a member of the quasi-Christian, anti-Trinitarian Jehovah’s Witness cult.) And since then he has periodically used his platform as a mega-star to share cautionary advice about the misuse of language, sex, intoxicants—among other things—as well as the need to embrace virtue, love and God.
For this we should be thankful.
But even then, the dissonance continued to flow. In 2007, he appeared before a live audience of 140 million people during the Super Bowl and put on what many consider the greatest halftime show ever. But he still couldn’t resist using a prop he employed to much effect two decades before. Back during the 1980’s Purple Rain tour he performed with a guitar that would ejaculate, squirting water out of its end during the climax of “Let’s Go Crazy.” Same guitar, but he did away with the ejaculatory feature for his Super Bowl performance of the song. But still the large, flowing beige sheet was brought out so that the shadow portion of the routine lived on.
And the message remained clear.
Since Prince’s death last Thursday, I have read and listened to a lot of tributes to his life and “ministry.” (All art is spiritual; a lifting of the curtain to see what, if anything, lies behind mere appearances. And the artist’s job is to minister what he or she sees to their audience. Prince understood this better than most.) The overwhelming chorus? Prince encouraged me to be true to myself. To follow my heart…push boundaries…to be proud and let my freak flag fly. To, as President Obama gushed in tribute, be a “strong spirit (that) transcends rules.”
To which the Prince of Peace Prince claimed to love and follow would declare:
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24,25
As His Purpleness has gone to appear before the One who both declared and then lived and died for the nearly opposite worldview Prince’s followers have gleaned from his life and music, I pray that by God’s grace he didn’t, as his chorus plead, “die without knowing the cross.” And that neither do his acolytes.
The following was written by Scott Lively – author, attorney, activist and former independent candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election.
To start with I’m not endorsing anybody. I believe America has been under judgment since SCOTUS ruled in Everson v Board of Education (1947) that Jefferson’s “Separation of Church and State” metaphor had become the constitutional law of the land, effectively de-throning the God of Heaven and claiming the power in itself to put God (and everything worshipped as God ) under its own feet. We’ve seen steady moral and social degeneration of the nation ever since, except for a brief semi-revival under Reagan.
Our presidential candidates and most of the congressional ones have been chosen for us by the elites, and each crop of them has been a steadily less palatable assortment of “lesser of two evils.” None of them except Reagan took back a single foot of ground on the cultural battlefield while in office on this long march to serfdom.
Under Obama, Cameron, Merkle, Pope Francis and other co-conspirators, the globalists have clearly begun making their final move to a one-world government, using George Soros’ “open borders” strategy and flooding the US and EU with third-world immigrants to destabilize and weaken national resistance, while simultaneously setting up a system of global taxation and control under the guise of a bogus “climate change” crisis. (Comment by Eric: I will mildly object to this last point insofar as I personally do believe in anthropogenic climate change. Whether it has reached a degree that can truly be called a “crisis” is debatable, but we would be wise to play it safe and take proper steps to address it. However, I completely agree that the problem is being hijacked by the elitist/globalist/Baalist cabal as a wedge issue with which to advance their agenda.)
The moral fabric of the targeted nations has also been severely compromised by the oppression of our natural family social foundation through the facilitation of LGBT supremacy.
The Obergefell “gay marriage” case was the coup-de-grace in the United States, rendering the generation-old “value voting” strategy of the conservative movement totally moot — showing that a handful of globalist federal judges could nullify our every accomplishment, no matter how dearly bought in time and treasure nor how widely supported in the public.
The nation was flooded with perversion within, while already being flooded with third-world invaders from without.
What occurred then, both in the US and EU was the rise of the “silent majority,” that mass of humanity whom we have always claimed to be people who share our Biblical values, but in actuality seek their own personal self-interest first, however they may perceive it. Many of them likely share our concern for family values, but that’s obviously not what motivates them — or they would have joined us long ago in the culture war.
And so here in the US (and in the EU — especially re the Brexit vote and Eastern European border closings) we have watched the emergence of populist nationalism on the right grow like yeast in a lump of bread dough until it overflows the top of the pan — while “social justice” Communism has done precisely the same on the left.
Friends, this phenomenon is entirely unique in American political history! The established political norms and systems are shattered — though many still act as if they still apply, not just among the “establishment” but also among “values voters.”
But this is not unique in world political history! This is a less militarized version of Germany 1932 minus the antisemitism and street brawls (though I think the latter is coming after the primaries). It’s the Nationalists vs the Communists and I think we just saw the first glimpse of what its going to look like at the Trump rallies in Illinois and Ohio: Commie agitators trying to bust up the events, meeting Nationalist resistors not afraid to punch back.
These so-far simply normal and patriotic American Nationalists are NOT Nazis by any stretch of the imagination, despite the historical parallels to Germany, but look at how close the parallels are:
Who were the original agitators in Germany? People forget that it was actually the Bolshevik-backed Communist bully-boys that ruled the streets in pre-Nazi Germany — giving rise to the National Socialist counter-force that eventually defeated them. Unlike here in the US today, both forces were evil, but the Communists were marginally worse, at least at first.
(If you want to get a greater sense of just how close the historical parallels are, complete with the turbulent social undercurrent of “gay”-driven sexual anarchy, read Chapters 1 and 4 of my book The Pink Swastika. But I digress…
The American left is used to bullying conservatives with impunity because the formerly Christian-dominated right eschewed violence and in-kind retaliation as un-Christ-like, and, of course, the leftist media always gives cover to their fellow-travelers on culture war issues. I have experienced this many, many times as a pro-family speaker harassed and sometimes shut down by leftist, primarily “gay” Brown Shirts.
But the Trump army (again, NOT Nazis by any stretch of the imagination despite the historical parallels) is not dominated by value-voter Christians, though many are a part of it. It is dominated by secular conservatives — the silent majority who have been chafing for decades under the yoke of what some have termed “weaponized political correctness.” They’ve been gritting their teeth and bearing it so as not to risk their jobs or face character assassination, stewing and fuming in the privacy of their homes and thoughts.
But now a mob has formed and it has a super-powerful billionaire leader who never apologizes to the left or lets the media steer him. There is now safety in numbers — vast and increasing numbers — and a chance to push back against the bullies (who, as always, cast themselves as victims and scream “Fascist!” while throwing their Molotov Cocktails and rocks).
Meanwhile on the left, the Communists who have been working for decades to establish their Socialist Utopia on the ashes of Judeo-Christian civilization (with tremendous help from Obama), finally see it within reach under Bernie Sanders (or his ideological successor). They have enormous power and in their mass-delusion share a maniacal sense of entitlement: they believe “the end justifies the means,” especially violent means since that has always been central to their ideology from the dawn of Marxism.
We’ve seen glimpses of this in the black-masked Anarchists, “Earth First”ers, the Black (Lives Matter) Panthers, and the “Act-UP” bullies. These types are in charge of the leftist mob now. They will not accept Corporatist-shill Hillary even if she wins the primary. More importantly, they will not tolerate Trump under any scenario. They will have their way! (so they think) through street violence.
That’s the scenario we face, in my analysis. We’re headed for a mini-Civil War in this election, raising the specter of Obama potentially using it as a pretext to suspend elections and stay in power under martial law. I know that’s an extreme result and I’m not predicting it will occur, just saying that it might.
In my view it’s better for the nation in the short term for the Nationalists to win. For one thing I think the economy would soar, despite sabotage by the left, but as I’ve said many times, secular conservatism when fully implemented is just as toxic to Biblical values as secular liberalism.
Many Christians will get swept up in the populist mob, and be very willing to overlook its flaws and excesses while some aspects of Godly values rise for a time with the broader conservative tide. If nothing else, an effective push-back against Cultural Marxism would create a cultural vacuum that Christians could quickly exploit.
But in time, the rift would grow between Christian and secular conservatives and Bible-believing Christians would begin to seem more and more “liberal” in comparison to the increasingly harsh and punitive secularists.
Remember, the pendulum always swings to the opposite extreme, and we Christians won’t (or shouldn’t) be willing to stay on the bandwagon as it swings ever further to the right.
But that particular challenge is probably a fair piece down the road. A concern, but not a present crisis.
The challenge today is to respond appropriately to the attraction and excitement of the populist uprising. My only advice to my fellow value voters is to keep your clarity of purpose firmly rooted in the Biblical worldview, and participate in this extraordinary political season only to the extent that you can reconcile your personal actions with your faith.
Don’t succumb to mob psychology.
And remember that regardless of how this election ends, only God can “Make America Great Again!” As far as I can see, there’s no mention by any of the candidates of reversing Everson v Board of Education and restoring Him as the exclusive God of this nation and there can be no genuine, lasting recovery of America without Him.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the scripture says. But the corollary is true as well: cursed is the nation that prefers so-called “religious pluralism” over the First Commandment (“You shall have no other god before Me”)..
In the long-term big-picture perspective it makes little difference what human being presides over its inevitable demise, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in. (Comment by Eric: I also respectfully take exception to Scott’s final comment. His eschatology, like many evangelicals today, presumes that things will get worse before the LORD returns. In this I admire his tenacity–which is truly amazing–and his willingness to man the Alamo so-to-speak and go down with his boots on and gospel guns blazing. Personally, I have a more optimistic eschatology and see Jesus slowly but surely making all His enemies–save death (which will also be pushed back until men routinely live to be 120-years-old and more)–His footstool before He returns, receives His kingdom and then offers it up to His Father. (1 Cor. 15:24,25) (There is biblical warrant for both perspectives. God knows which is right and in the meantime Christians should disagree agreeably about these and other non-Apostle’s Creed matters and then purpose to cooperate and “occupy until He returns.” (Luke 19:13)) Therefore, I see Christians eventually prevailing and fulfilling our Christian founders’ vision to see this land become a light to all the other nations of the world. (Note that I referred to it as the “land” and not America or the United States. It may be called something different when that day comes.) That doesn’t mean there won’t be a profound “demise.” There well could be some very dark days ahead for our land and much of the world. Perhaps decades worth..or even more. But in the end, God will prove that “greater is the One” in His children’s lives and hearts than the evil one that is in the world. (1 John 4:4). Jesus will be Lord over this land again. And it truly will be great!)
Having nursed a nation into sheeptitude through the twin nipples of TV and public education, the globalist/elitist/statist/Baalist wolf stands poised to come out of the shadows and straight up welcome us into their brave new world.
Maybe, just maybe, it will take a reality TV star and arch propagandist in his own right to get enough people shouting, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” to beat the wolf at its own game.
We can only pray. (And, of course, pay attention, educate ourselves, speak truth to power, rally, agitate and vote.)
As for the debate last night, methinks Cruz won the night. But Trump — who had his best debate and for the first time in my mind came off as vaguely presidential — began the process of locking up the nomination.
Can he beat Hillary and the militarized pop news and media complex? (I loved his response when asked whether he could defeat the Clinton, globalist juggernaut: “I haven’t even started on her, yet.”) We can only hope. But I’m afraid the opposition either has or will have a skeleton or two or three they will yank out of his closet and disqualify him in enough people’s minds.
One thing’s for certain: this will be the wildest and wooliest presidential election in our lifetimes. Maybe ever.