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I must rethink my position on Trump and faith

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I was not at all sure how to write this, and I’m still not a hundred percent comfortable with it, but I believe it needs to be written. I need to rethink my position on President Trump and faith.

By “faith,” I do not mean faith in Donald Trump. As the president himself said in May to an audience at Liberty University and tweeted on Friday, “we do not worship government, we worship God.”

By “faith,” I also do not mean Donald Trump’s personal faith in God. That’s between him and his Maker. Far be it from me, or anyone, to stand in the middle between a man or woman and God.

Then, what do I mean? I mean what effect has President Trump, for all his faith talk, having on our country, and is that something people of faith in God (I’m mostly talking about Christians here, but it also applies to any faith group) should applaud?

First, my misgivings.

Trump is not, by his public actions and persona, a pious or God-fearing man. He has publicly stated that he doesn’t need to repent, for in his eyes, apparently he believes he hasn’t sinned. The Bible calls such a person a liar, or a fool. That doesn’t mean that privately, Trump hasn’t sought God’s mercy–again, this is not intended to be a faith inventory for our president. His public statements and actions stand for themselves before humanity and God.

Therefore, I have many general and specific misgivings about Trump’s value to people of faith. I’ve written warnings several times about not giving scorpions a ride across the river. But now the scorpion has ridden on the backs of evangelical Christian voters, and we can only pray and hope that we don’t get the stinger.

I have my own personal doubts about whether, and when, that will happen. I have many reasons to believe it will, at some point when Christians disagree with Trump.

Or worse, to avoid the stinger, many God-fearing Christians may malign their own faith and betray their own consciences.

My main misgiving is that Donald Trump may weaken American Christianity more than it already is weakened. And much of American Christianity is already lukewarm, uninspired, dead to sin, entranced by idolatry, and weak as a newborn kitten.

But that doesn’t mean God can’t use Trump.

Actions > Words

On Monday, the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (sans Secretary) released its strategic plan document for the years 2018-2022, including this language:

HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.

Scientifically, biologically, and medically, that phrase is indisputable. Politically, it’s the third rail, charged by lightning bolts and covered with burning lava. To say that “health care begins at conception” puts the conceived human being’s health care at the same plane as the adult woman who carries the conceived human being.

And we know, politically, that goes against the “women’s health” movement, which survives only on the premise that the conceived human being is entitled to nothing until its maternal host decides to grant it life, at which point they call it a baby. This benighted atrocity allows mothers to assuage their consciences when they kill the baby (but in reality, most experience a horrifying mental trauma).

Trump has also ended the Obamacare birth control mandate, and has successfully nominated and sworn Justice Neil Gorsuch on to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. That wasn’t a “win” but it certainly was no loss either, to the cause of unborn life.

The Trump Administration’s (and the president’s) words from the bully pulpit give Christians reason to have hope that the slow and quickening erosion of religious rights in the U.S. would stem a bit.

But Trump has trashed the First Amendment when it suits him. Any erosion of the First Amendment puts religious freedom in danger. So when Trump threatens NBC or the New York Times, he is indirectly threatening your church pastor, who relies on the same Amendment, separated by a few mere words, for an unrestricted right to speak.

Should we celebrate? Not yet.

God is good

One point that came up in discussion of this topic is the Biblical and unchangeable nature of God as Good. If God uses Donald Trump, it is for good. It can be no other way. God is not responsible for evil, and is not a tempter of man to sin (James 1:13).

That raises the question: What is “Good?”

Good to us is our comfort, our freedom, our financial success, our health, our children, our nation. Matthew 6:31-33 tells Christians not to seek those things, but “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” Therefore, it’s “Good” when God withholds some of the things we of little faith crave in order to give us greater righteousness and His kingdom.

If God used Trump to humble Christians who have misplaced their faith, that, to God, would be “Good.” To those who are humbled, or humiliated, or persecuted, it would not seem good.

Therefore, God could have used Barack Obama for this purpose, or even Hillary Clinton. But God sovereignly allowed Trump to gain the presidency, and with it, Trump has the authority over this nation as the leader of the federal government.

Authority of leaders is from God

Another discussion point is that God appoints leaders and establishes governing authorities (Romans 13:1). Therefore, we must be subject to those authorities as citizens of the U.S. (or legal residents, or illegal residents who are not citizens, just the same).

Rebelling against “what God has instituted” brings judgment on those who rebel. This doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to disagree. It doesn’t even mean we cannot engage in constructive protest, or even civil disobedience. It does mean that–Christians, at least–cannot be anarchists.

So much for Antifa.

Let’s look at Trump’s economic achievements. There are really none we can directly attribute to him, but overall, those with the cash are sanguine about the economy. Therefore the stock market is bullish–very bullish. Investment is happily waiting for a place to profit, and corporations are gearing up to get a tax break.

If you’re rich, things are very good.

And that means if you are skilled in a job area where investment is going to hit, you’re also doing very well–or about to. If you’re not, you have the opportunity to move or retrain. If you’re counting on entitlements to make you happy, things may not be so good.

Either way, Christians should pray for President Trump, because he is in authority by God’s sovereign will (as Obama was), and we should not rebel against God.

Observations about opposition

The most interesting question for me is an observation about those opposing President Trump. On the whole, the greatest opposition to Trump and his administration comes from those who don’t simply lack faith in God, but from those who actively oppose God.

Those people who hate God and Christianity also hate Donald Trump, even if Trump did things that they would normally agree with. Trump says he has no problem with gay marriage (“law of the land”), but the LGBT community hates the fact that Vice President Pence is not a supporter of gay marriage. Even though the VP is essentially powerless to do–well, anything except break ties in the Senate, they still hate Trump.

They hate Trump because Trump is close to evangelical Christians. They say “white evangelicals” but that’s not true. A number of black evangelicals have also endorsed and become close to Trump–although one such minister, A.R. Bernard, resigned over Trump’s indefensible Charlottesville comments.

It really doesn’t matter, because Trump’s actions, such as they help any faithful Christians, help all faithful Christians, of any race. That being said, Trump’s words and actions, such as they hurt the cause of race relations, hurt all Christians, because racism is a sin, and God hates sin.

One thing we can observe is that Trump never attacked A.R. Bernard for his resignation. He made wry comments about those business leaders in his economic councils who resigned, but kept quiet about Bernard. And most evangelicals stuck with him. Faith and politics make terrible housemates, and many evangelical advisors wisely stayed out of the political fray.

Those who didn’t, compromised themselves and harmed the cause of Christ.

The Bible says to let the wheat and the tares grow up together. Not everyone who calls themselves “Christian” is in fact a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. And not everyone who appears to be aloof from faith is an unbeliever.

We must not divide everything into good and evil, day and night. There are surely satanic people and the demon-possessed who hate Trump because God may use Trump for good, and they oppose it. But there are others who, according to their conscience, cannot support Trump as an exemplar of Christian values, who are very serious disciples of the Christian faith. Both exist and do so without a paradox.

Conclusion

I had to go through this exercise because it was necessary to determine if I have misplaced my faith. Donald Trump may be a very powerful tool in God’s hands–as any POTUS could be. But if Christians or any with faith in God, misplace our faith in Trump, he can be damaging to that faith in the extreme.

For those evangelical leaders who pander themselves to Trump as he panders to them, you will meet your shame and humiliation. For those who rebel against God’s authority, you will meet your judgment.

But for those who rightly divide the truth–Biblical truth–we may find greater clarity with President Trump in office. We may find greater access to the Trump Administration, and great moral victories through its policies.

On the whole, I am much more pleased with Trump’s presidency that I expected to be at this point. Again, I’m not talking about Trump as a person–we could discuss his obvious flaws for tens of thousands of words. But as a person of faith in God, I am encouraged, for now.

My overriding prayer, as I recommend to everyone, is that Trump grow closer to God, and grow in wisdom, love, righteousness, humility, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these, there is no law.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Culture and Religion

In a violent world, it’s time to do the right thing “for the children”

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In the never-ending assault on liberty, Progressive Democrats and Republicans often resort to using children as a type of political cover for their otherwise unpopular agenda. We are witnessing this right now as they work to dismantle the Second Amendment following the Florida high school shooting.

But let’s face it; who can say “no” to an agenda when it’s “for the children?”

Clearly, this ploy has paid huge dividends for big-government Progressives. One need look no further than the recent budget negotiations where the obsolete Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was renewed for 6 years. Or the recent suggestion to use Social Security to finance big-government’s newest entitlement—Ivanka Trump’s Paid Family Leave.

Quite honestly “for the children” has been so successful that I’ve decided to adopt it myself. While Progressives use it to destroy freedom, I will use it to defend the Constitution.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, Progressives are using the Florida tragedy to void the Second Amendment to keep children safe. But I will defend gun rights because it’s the only way we can keep them safe. Unarmed Americans in gun-free zones will only lead to more tragedies like Florida, not fewer.

Additionally, I will defend the First Amendment “for the children.” What future awaits the next generation if liberty is destroyed due to being raised on political correctness and spending their time in safe-spaces?

In fact, I will defend the entire Constitution “for the children.” What future will the next generation have if tyranny replaces freedom?

I will also fight for the Convention of States‘ goal for a balanced budget amendment “for the children.” What kind of future will they have if they are forced to pay for our fiscal irresponsibility? And I will fight to end abortion “for the (unborn) children,” because they are deprived of even having a future when they are deprived their right to life.

While there will certainly be more issues to fight for, it’s time to get ready America. The Strident Conservative is going to be more strident than ever because, after all, it’s “for the children.”

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are featured on RedState.com, NOQReport.com, and TheResurgent.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Let’s Just Say It: The Socialist-Left Doesn’t Really Care About Protecting Children.

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The Socialist Left cares more about gun confiscation than any common sense ideas that will really protect kids.

Once again, we are witness to the nation’s Socialist-Left blithely assuming the unearned mantle of moral superiority because they supposedly care for ‘the children’. Allegedly ‘objective’ journalists are falling all over themselves to promote a nascent campaign to destroy our common sense civil rights to the exclusion of steps that will really ‘Do Something’.

It is not without a hint of irony that the nation’s Socialist-Left does not care about children before they are born.  But soon after they become a precious commodity that must be protected at all costs – including everyone’s fundamental human rights. Those who are merely a cluster of cells or some other humanity denying pejorative in the womb, suddenly become children to be exploited for political gain upon their full emergence into the world.

Gun Control Doesn’t Work – If it did, Chicago would be the safest city in the nation.

Before the nation’s Socialist-Left is celebrated by the world with the laurels protector of children par excellence, shouldn’t we check their alleged solutions as to whether they work? For if gun control doesn’t work, then they are merely setting up next the mass murder tragedy, and for another round of attacks on our civil rights.

Examine their much ballyhooed utterances over the past few days: The national socialist left is promising a little temporary safety exchange for a mere pittance of our essential liberty. Of course, if they are pressed on the point, they will respond with some sort of meaningless boilerplate about cutting down the carnage. Even so, such vague promises are hardly worth the loss of liberty it would entail.

So what are we getting for the low-low cost of our freedom? How do their ‘solutions’ fair in the real world? Do they actually protect people? Or do they make the situation worse – far worse?

Well, we already know that very much like it’s tyrannical half-sister socialism, Gun control doesn’t work. Just ask the good people of Chicago or Caracas whether or not depriving the innocent of their means of self-defence will protect them. Parenthetically speaking, if gun control actually worked in some mythical Utopia, we would be hearing it about 24/7. This fantasy world doesn’t exist, but there are other steps that can be taken to save at least one life – and isn’t that the standard by which such things are measured?

Commonsense steps that will really protect children and their Civil Rights.

There have been plenty of suggested initiatives that will help reduce these terrorist attacks, from containing the contagion by reducing the killer’s media profile to providing better security. Not to mention restoring basic discipline and a moral underpinning to our children, or simply letting people defend themselves getting rid of the insanity of so-called “Gun Free” zones.

But instead of discussing steps that will actually work, the Socialist-Left ridicules them.  Or they insanely advocate we go further in removing God from the public square or decree them to be a redirection from their real obsession.

The Takeaway

To be perfectly blunt about it: The most disgusting aspect of this whole cycle is that it won’t do a thing to protect children and we will be back here doing the very same thing in a few weeks or months. That is what is sickening about this whole affair, and just crediting the Socialist-Left with just a modicum of basic intelligence will show that they know this as well.

To the nation’s Socialist-Left, getting to their ultimate goal gun confiscation is far more important than the lives of children they supposedly want to protect. They care more about depriving people of the means to resist [how’s that for a word?] to their Marxist tyranny than everyone’s safety, and they are willing to climb over the bodies of children to get there. If the nation’s Socialist-Left really cared about protecting children they would advocate what works instead of what brings them power.

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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