Have We Lost The Next Generation?

I just read (skimmed really) an article published online by Charisma Magazine called Year in Review: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel. Among other things, the article defines three different types of Christians. I’m listing them below because they’ll factor into my essay by the by:

  1. Couch-potato Christians: These Christians adapt to the culture by staying silent on the tough culture-and-faith discussions. Typically this group will downplay God’s absolute truths by promoting the illusion that neutrality was Jesus’ preferred method of evangelism.
  2. Cafeteria-style Christians: This group picks and chooses which Scripture passages to live by, opting for the ones that best seem to jive with culture. Typically they focus solely on the “nice” parts of the gospel while simultaneously and intentionally minimizing sin, hell, repentance and transformation.
  3. Convictional Christians: In the face of the culture’s harsh admonitions, these evangelicals refuse to be silent. Mimicking Jesus, they compassionately talk about love and grace while also sharing with their neighbors the need to recognize and turn from sin.
culture wars
Image: © Istockphoto/Thomas_EyeDesign – found at Charisma Magazine

While the author is focused on this crisis in Evangelicalism, it’s not unique to Christianity. One of the long-standing issues in Judaism is assimilation of Jews to either secular culture or conversion to Christianity.

Last May, Arutz Sheva published Assimilation, the Jewish people’s worst nightmare outlining this, although a little over two years ago, Tablet Magazine posted an article called Why the Myth of Vanishing American Jewry is so Hard to Dispel.

All of these essays are very long and I’ll admit in not reading the entire content of each one.

In general though, the blame for Christians leaving the church or creating churches that are largely secular in their values, as well as for Jews assimilating and either identifying as cultural (but not religious) Jews or at least joining liberal Reform synagogues, is laid squarely at the feet of popular, secular culture, and by that I mean progressive liberalism.

I recently reviewed a book written by the late Andrew Breitbart titled Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World. It was written during the Obama administration and covered how the news media, entertainment industry, and university system have all been co-opted by socialism and liberalism so that they have almost overwhelming control of the national “message” being transmitted today.

But while Breitbart was addressing how Tea Party conservatives could fight back and send a message of their own, I can see parallels between his points and how religious structures in our country, really in western culture, are being impacted in the same way.

The question is, assuming all this is correct, how can Jews and Christians (and I’m including Messianics in this mix) successfully communicate their/our values to the next generation and make it stick?

chanukah
Chanukah 2016

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I haven’t been particularly successful in that arena.

Of course this comes to mind:

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

That sounds nice in theory, but is it really successful?

You aren’t her parents anymore, her parents are Axl Rose and Madonna, you can’t compete with that kind of constant bombardment.

-Albert Gibson (played by Tom Arnold)
from the film True Lies (1994)

As our culture increasingly diverges from the values taught in Christianity and Judaism, it sends a powerful message to everyone, including younger people who want to be relevant and not perceived as an enemy or bigot by their larger peer group.

And our modern culture has a much larger and louder public relations department than the family our religious instructors.

So is it hopeless?

I hope not. On the other hand, you’d just about have to keep kids locked in a closet and never let them on the internet, watch TV, listen to the radio, go out to watch movies, or go anywhere and associate with anyone except like-minded religious people.

Only the most conservative and reclusive groups do that kind of thing. In fact, I’ve encountered some progressives that think raising Jewish children as Orthodox and controlling their hair styles, clothing, and educational environment is a form of child abuse (although for some strange reason, they don’t have the same problems with Muslims).

Not only does secularism teach values different from the Church and Synagogue, but they teach that Christian and Jewish values (conservative or traditional ones) are bad, wrong, homophobic, islamophobic, racist, sexist, patriarchal, misogynistic, and so on.

judeo-christianNo one wants to be thought of as a bigot, but the message being transmitted is that religious thought and observance is all of those things, and the only way to not be a bigot is to stop being religious (or create a religion that embraces secular progressive values).

I’m sure there are young Christian and Jewish people out there who have adhered to their religious values to one degree or another, but it certainly seems as if we’re trying to repair a ripped artery with chewing gum and scotch tape.

I know there are plenty of pundits who have written about the “culture wars” and what to do about it, but I’m not so sure how successful their solutions are (if they have any).

One problem that I don’t think is being addressed was raised by the Charisma Mag author:

Convictional Christians: In the face of the culture’s harsh admonitions, these evangelicals refuse to be silent. Mimicking Jesus, they compassionately talk about love and grace while also sharing with their neighbors the need to recognize and turn from sin.

The problem is whether their values are truly based in the Bible, or based rather upon conservative Christian interpretation and tradition?

I came across the notion of “teaching correct doctrine” in my previous sojourn in church. I left over two years ago, but my experiences are still vivid in my memory.

christians vs gaysThe problem might not always be religious vs. secular values, but how religious values are defined and understood.

Messianics, by definition, have come to the conclusion that normative Christianity does not have an entirely correct understanding of the Bible, especially when it comes to the Torah, Israel, and the Jewish people.

In fact, at least in my own experience, the Church has been wrong about so many things, that I’ve re-examined at large number of topics, including Christianity’s and Judaism’s stand on Gays in the church as well as in the Synagogue.

I came up with an answer that is a lot more nuanced than “Homosexuality is an abomination,” but still determined that Same-sex sex and marriage is not presupposed anywhere in the Bible.

But I looked, I didn’t just assume.

That might be a big problem younger people are having with religion. Conservative Christians and Jews rely on what they were taught and the explanations they were provided without engaging in an honest investigation into those beliefs.

Instead of just telling some young person “Homosexuality is a sin” or “Eve made Adam sin with the apple,” maybe engaging them and taking them through an investigation as to why these values are adhered to. Further, if a traditional value is discovered to be false (“the Church replaced the Jews in all God’s covenant promises”), adjust or eliminate the value.

While some churches have done this relative to Israel and the Covenants, other Christians have found it necessary to leave the Church and to either join Messianic congregations or, lacking access, finding online venues to nurture their beliefs and values.

But conducting an extensive investigation of scripture to define religious values takes time, effort, and resources, plus the willingness to question your own traditions. Christianity and Judaism might not be willing to do that, since tradition has a tendency to take on a life of its own.

father and sonOne final point, and this has been said before, is that parents and religious teachers must walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Most younger people will learn more about your values by watching you live them out (or your failure to do so) than anything you’ll ever tell them.

That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent. If cultural values lure you in at one level or another, you will probably lose the war for the next generation.

I wonder if we already have?

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45 thoughts on “Have We Lost The Next Generation?”

  1. It seems to me that numerous writers over a long period (millennia) have complained about the next generation’s failures or unwillingness to uphold the traditional cultural values that their parents tried to inculcate. Hence we might consider that every generation is and likely always will be “lost”, because the only way for them to survive and become adults is for them to take the initiative to find themselves — however long that may take. Children who are too sheltered from alien cultural influences frequently discover them anyway and “rebel” in order to examine and explore them.

    It may be hoped that they will ultimately see the value of the cultural expression their parents tried to convey, and adopt it as their own. Perhaps if the children’s education were to include discussion of comparative or competing values and their relative merits and demerits, there would be less impetus during adolescence to “try something new”. Such an approach would also benefit the parents because they would be that much more likely to discover and repair flaws in their own inherited thinking while they were passing it along to the next generation, as well as to demonstrate to their offspring the process of critical thinking and self-correction.

    I recall my own adolescent processing, during which I was blessed to encounter accomplished critical thinkers who did demonstrate exactly such an approach to traditional material, challenging whatever lacked a suitably justifiable foundation and identifying that which did have solid foundation to support it. In some ways, I suppose, their study method was not too dissimilar from that of the yeshiva method — though I was not aware of it at the time. Regrettably, not everyone who has convictions is willing to challenge them in order to demonstrate or improve their quality. It requires intellectual honesty and hard work. Couch potatoes and dilettantes need not apply.

  2. In reading your comment PL, I’m reminded of two things.

    The first is 2 Kings 22:8-13 in which Hilkiah the High Priest found a “lost” book of Torah and King Josiah’s reaction. So indeed, “losing” the next generation has been happening for a long time.

    The second is a story I once read and can no longer find, about a young Jewish woman who turned down the opportunity to learn Torah in Jerusalem because she found Judaism too dry and rule bound. She traveled to India and was learning Hinduism when her teacher found a wallet with money in it and kept it. She objected, saying that they should at least try to find the owner, to which her teacher responded, “It was the owner’s karma to lose the wallet and my karma to find it.”

    Realizing that Judaism is inherently moral and just, she returned to Israel and Judaism.

    Although only Jewish people are automatically born into a covenant relationship with God, each individual still has to find their own way in establishing a personal awareness and response to the Almighty.

  3. I can hardly improve on what PL said; I wasn’t going to say anything. But I have now read the article linked to at the beginning of your writing, James. Just heartbreaking.The loss has been happening for decades (the prime is not just about “kids these” days). My parents are among those who talk about being conservative, but no matter how much they talk I know who they are. They fit very well with Trump Christianity… as apparently does the author of the article:

    What I hope and pray evangelical parents and leaders come to realize is that the church has been too trusting. In our jampacked lifestyles, parents have treated Sunday school as they do softball or ballet class—drop off the kids for an hour then pick them up and hope they learned something.

    ….

    ….

    …. Make no mistake: The trend away from biblical truth is not concentrated in the hipster city limits. It is unfolding in the crevices of America’s plains, hills, mountains and swamplands. All across this nation, “old-fashioned” conservative evangelicalism is being traded in for a bright and shiny, mediocre Christianity.

    ….

    What Happened to the Religious Right?

    The last several decades witnessed tremendous evangelical influence in the United States. Leaders such as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Paige and Dorothy Patterson, James Dobson, and James and Betty Robison made a bold impact on America’s families, churches and government. Now that those few leaders are aging or retiring, or have died, there are very few traditional evangelical leaders left holding the torch and even fewer candidates to whom they can pass it.

    What the author wishes to hold onto is the very erosion itself. It may have looked right for a while, but it’s time (if it wasn’t before) to LOOK. Somewhere, the article says, “Where did we go wrong?” (Maybe I’m mis-remembering; I didn’t find the quote upon a quick skim.) WHERE DID WE GO WRONG? That is the question. It’s answerable.

    But I do want to amplify the first part of what I quoted above. Dropping your kids off here and there, looking like you’re being a responsible adult because you’re earning a living… get over IT.

    The gospel has been reduced to one line about working and eating, and ballooned up into a perverted way of thinking.

    ….Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration will include Paula White and possibly other members of his inner circle… They advocate a brand of Pentecostal Christianity known as Word of Faith.

    ….

    The prosperity gospel — the idea that God dispenses material wealth and health based on what we “decree” — is not just fluff. It’s also not just another branch of Pentecostalism, a tradition that emphasizes the continuation of the gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues. It’s another religion.

    ….a “feel-good” therapy. Self-esteem was the true salvation.

    The headwater … is New Thought, formulated especially by Phineas Quimby, a late 19th-century mesmerist whose mind-cures attracted Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science. The basic idea of his “gnostic medicine” was that we’re sick only because we think bad thoughts. Illness and death are an illusion.

    Harvard’s William James took note of the phenomenon in his 1902 classic, “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” He described it as “an optimistic scheme of life” rooted in Emerson and “spiritism,” suggesting that even “Hinduism has contributed a strain.” “But the most characteristic feature of the mind-cure movement is an inspiration much more direct,” he surmised. “The leaders in this faith have had an intuitive belief in the all-saving power of healthy-minded attitudes as such …”

    The Word of Faith movement was largely the brainchild of E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948), who blended Quimby’s Emersonian transcendentalism with his more evangelical “Victorious Life” beliefs. “I know that I am healed,” he wrote, “because [God] said that I am healed and it makes no difference what the symptoms may be in my body.” Kenyon shaped many of the distinctive Word of Faith teachings, including the central idea of “positive confession.” “What I confess, I possess,” he said — in other words, “name it, claim it.”

    ….

    The positive-thinking movement appealed to urbane movers-and-shakers. Peale and Schuller were counselors to CEOs and U.S. presidents. Word of Faith has been more popular among rural sections of the Bible Belt, where faith healers have had a long and successful history. But in the 1980s, the two streams blended publicly, with Copeland, Hinn and Schuller showing up regularly together on TBN.

    ….

    According to family values spokesman James Dobson, another Trump adviser, White “personally led [Trump] to Christ.”

    … Like her mentor, T. D. Jakes, White adheres closely to the Word of Faith teachings. Besides throwing out doctrines like the Trinity and confusing ourselves with God, the movement teaches that Jesus went to the cross … to get us out of financial debt, not to reconcile us to God but to give us the power to claim our prosperity… to give us our best life now. White says emphatically that Jesus is “not the only begotten Son of God,” just the first. We’re all divine and have the power to speak worlds into existence.

    So if you’re still a wreck, that’s your fault. Negative thinking. You’re the creator, so why not be a successful one? ….

    ….

    Some representatives, like Osteen, offer an easy-listening version that seems as harmless as a fortune cookie. It’s when he tries to interpret the Bible that he gets into trouble, as in his latest book, “The Power of I Am.” “Romans 4 says to ‘call the things that are not as though they were,’” he says, but the biblical passage is actually referring to God.

    But it’s not really about God. In fact, one gets the impression that God isn’t necessary at all in the system. God set up these spiritual laws and if you know the secrets, you’re in charge…

    You “release wealth,” as they often put it, by commanding it to come to you. “Anyone who tells you to deny yourself is from Satan,” White told a television TBN audience in 2007. Oops. It was Jesus who said “anyone who would come after me” must “deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

    Most evangelical pastors I know would shake their heads at all of this. Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore tweeted, “Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe.” Yet increasingly one wonders whether modified versions of the prosperity gospel — religion as personal therapy for our best life now — has become more mainstream than we realize.

    ….

  4. Correction (my spell-checker seems to make more and more incorrect replacements [not to mention deletions] as time goes on):

    Just heartbreaking.[(a space was intended here)]The loss has been happening for decades (the problem not prime is not just about “kids these” days).

  5. I don’t know who formulated the notion of “Trump Christianity”, but I suspect that whoever it was has been imbibing at the rumor mills which have been so active throughout the campaign and in the aftermath of the election. I do not find the religious assertions above credible, and I recommend waiting and observing before analyzing and evaluating the incoming President’s religious views. Regardless, the responsibility still remains to help people to think critically and to evaluate what is actually expressed and not to presume anything. Moreover, the challenge still awaits to acquaint oneself and one’s companions with accurate views of the biblical counsel and how it may be applied to one or another societal problem during the upcoming administration’s tenure.

  6. The above parts that are not italicized or a link are my words. Apologies that the name trump is capitalized and christianity is capitalized. The connection of words Trump Christianity was mine.

    He claims to be Christian, he hangs out with people calling themselves Christian, he has played games with other people and their faith or Christianity, as if he is better.

  7. Of course, to be a “little god,” you have to do your part, often involving a financial commitment. It’s what they call “seed faith.” White even gives her viewers the words to tell themselves: “So I’m going to activate my miracle by my obedience right now. I’m going to get up and go to the phone.” When you do that, she says, and “put a demand on the anointing,” you’re “going to make God get off His ivory throne.” “Don’t you miss this moment! If you miss your moment, you miss your miracle!” When Jesus raised Lazarus, according to the old King James Version, “his face was bound with a napkin.” It’s taken from John 11:44, so for everyone who sends $1144 (get it?), White said, she would send a napkin she blessed.

  8. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/week-god-102216
    “….

    “The GOP nominee has already appeared at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, which axed [emphasis added, find link to article from this article at the site] an anti-Trump piece from the student newspaper this week, and today, the candidate will appear at the other major university founded by a Virginia televangelist: Regent University, created by TV preacher Pat Roberson. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

    “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is returning to Virginia this weekend for a rally at Regent University in Virginia Beach, the strongest signal yet that his campaign has not given up on Virginia.

    “The rally at the Christian university is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, according to Trump’s official schedule.

    “It’s not clear what role, if any, Pat Robertson will play at the event, but the radical televangelist has made no secret of his support for Trump. As Right Wing Watch explained, “Robertson has emerged as one of Trump’s most stalwart defenders on the Religious Right, claiming that the business mogul is facing satanic attacks and dismissing the tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women as simply ‘macho‘ talk.”

    “It may seem odd to think prominent evangelical leaders from a social-conservative movement would be so enthusiastic about a secular, thrice-married adulterer and casino owner who’d never really demonstrated any interest in, or knowledge of, matters of faith. But Robertson has long prioritized partisan politics over theological principles. In fact, in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, the TV preacher threw his support behind Rudy Giuliani – another secular, thrice-married adulterer.

    “….”

  9. http://www.towleroad.com/2016/07/peter-thiel/
    [I really recommend reading this whole article.]
    ….
    We refer not to Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention, though Thiel will also be speaking there – on its final night, right after Jerry Falwell Jr. and an hour or so before Trump. Rather, this is the annual conference of the Property and Freedom Society, taking place in September in Bodrum, Turkey.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center highlighted Thiel’s speaking slot there last month. Crickets from the media, even though the Property and Freedom Society is a frankly terrifying place to find one of the most important men in Silicon Valley. And Thiel’s importance is difficult to overstate. He is, among many other things, the co-founder of PayPal, the original Facebook angel investor, and the founder of a massive, super-secretive surveillance firm called Palantir, which helps the government sift through petabytes of raw data in search of terrorists (or whatever). He is also a member of the very small group of people midwifing humanity’s rebirth as a race of immortal cyborgs….

    …. They yearn for the abolition of the state, and the supreme and eternal reign of whoever’s smart, strong, rich, or talented enough to hoard all the resources when it’s gone.

    ….

    …. The people with whom Thiel shall rub elbows in Turkey believe in radical intellectual freedom, which implies a certain tolerance for kooky and unpleasant ideas. (Though one wonders if it’s difficult to valorize freedom in the same breath with which one calls for a purge.) Perhaps Thiel is merely an idealist; so committed to the un-encumbered intellect that he flies happily on the winds of freedom, even when they blow him onto stages full of Nazis.

    Well, no. Thiel isn’t merely tolerant of kooky and unpleasant ideas. He’s an incubator and promulgator of kooky and unpleasant ideas. In an essay in 2009, Thiel argued that democracy and capitalism are “incompatible,” and have been ever since women got the vote. (It’s a wonder that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and author of the privileged-feminist manifesto Lean In, didn’t deem Thiel incompatible with the company.) Thiel is an outspoken proponent of the notion that democracy is antithetical to true freedom, and he believes that American economic instability will eventually give rise to either a Marxist dystopia or a libertarian paradise.

    ….

    ……

  10. Note also that Billy Graham’s “ministry” scrubbed its website (and conversation in live appearances) of all reference to Mormonism as a cult. It used to be adamant that Mormonism is a cult, but for politics’ sake, their beliefs were no longer their beliefs.

    I have witnessed these things.

  11. “If god didn’t want them fleeced, he wouldn’t have made them sheep.”

    — The Magnificent Seven

    — better not to be sheep for a hundred years

  12. Pardon me, Marleen, but I think you’ve demonstrated what I referred to above as the active rumor mills. This morning I read an article about an effort to overturn the electoral college vote, claiming that 50 of the electors were illegally seated, due to technicalities such as not living within the boundaries of the counties that elected them or holding another office in addition to that of an elector. This supposedly non-partisan group of lawyers wishes congress to replace the electoral decision with an additional separate congressional selection.

    Nonetheless, what I see in all of this is an underlying zeitgeist that reminds me of Rav Yeshua’s parable in Luke 19:14 where a populace declares that “we will not have this man to reign over us”. When Rav Yeshua told this parable, his audience would have been remembering an actual historical event wherein one Herod Archelaus, a Jewish prince, went to Rome to be confirmed in his kingdom. His discontented subjects, fearing what would be the character of his reign, sent an embassy to remonstrate against his being appointed as the ruler. Archelaus went to Rome to obtain from Augustus a confirmation of his title to reign over that part of Judea which had been left him by his father, Herod the Great. The Jews, knowing his character (compare Matthew 2:22), sent an embassy of 50 men to Rome, to prevail on Augustus “not” to confer the title on him, but they could not succeed. He “received” the kingdom, and reigned in Judea in the place of his father. As this fact was “fresh” in the collective Jewish memory, it makes this parable much more striking. Note that subsequent conditions for the resistant populace were not particularly salutary.

    Thus I tend to discount all these claims about Mr.Trump. We will see in his actions (and even in his tweets) what he really believes and intends to do. Of one thing I am certain, and it is for this reason that I voted for the man, he is most certainly an iconoclast, intent on overturning the tables of the status quo and the leftist idols that have ruled popular opinion in the USA, in one degree or another, for as much as half a century. In my view, it remains to be seen what he might recommend to put in their place. But it is precisely his iconoclasm that frightens so many people across a wide spectrum of entrenched positions. They fear the unknown character of the changes he will try to make, and they presume all sorts of fear-filled scenarios. But a President of the USA is not a god, nor even an absolute monarch. Even with the help of a supportive Congress he will be limited in what he can accomplish, though a great deal of change is needed to shift the country back in the direction of what the founding fathers envisioned and described in their writings — just as a great deal of change is needed to shift views of what should occur with the territories of ancient Israel to place them under modern Israeli control.

  13. And it looks like you are “proving” a point that I wasn’t making: How sad to compare Donald Trump to a Jewish man in Judea who was going to reign over land he inherited from his father. Does Donald Trump own the United States? Is any president supposed to?

    And it’s not a rumour that Trump stuck to his guns on liking a Mussolini quote, or said glowing things about NVP in one his books, etc. You have a strange definition for rumour. He chose the man to speak at the RNC and sit right next to him at the tech meeting.

    And so on.How would you know the story you just told had someone not recorded it for history? What if someone said it’s only an irreligious rumour antithetical to what we want to tell ourselves? Don’t confuse me with facts, you silly woman. Deny what you see.

  14. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/18/jerry-falwell-axes-anti-trump-story-from-liberty-university-s-student-newspaper.html

    Joel Schmieg [a student] says he doesn’t know exactly what he wrote that made Jerry Falwell Jr. cut his article out of the Liberty University school newspaper. He just said that the school’s president told his editors his story criticizing Donald Trump couldn’t run.

    “[My editors] read the email to me. He said, basically, the gist was that there were two articles this week about Trump,” Schmieg told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “One was a letter to the editor from a Liberty alum, and they didn’t want two things running about him.”

    [The discussion we are having is about “the next generation.”]

  15. * Despite [Falwell] touting how his school ‘promotes free expression of ideas, unlike other[s]…” *

    Schmieg is the sports editor for the Liberty Champion, where he pens a weekly column. Not unlike national sports radio or talking head TV shows throughout the country this week, he decided to express himself about Trump’s “locker room talk” excuse for the leaked audiotapes where the GOP nominee appears to brag about sexually assaulting women.

    “I have never in my life heard guys casually talk about preying on women in a sexual manner,” Schmieg writes in the piece.

    Schmieg even notes that he does “not condone premarital sexual activity.” Liberty’s honor code dictates, after all, that “sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”

    Still, Schmieg said Falwell, who has endorsed Trump and stumped for him at the Republican National Convention, squashed the piece anyway. He said “everything controversial” gets sent to Falwell first.

    A spokesperson for Liberty University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    It’s not the first time Falwell has cut stories from the school paper, Schmieg said.

    “From my section, never. It’s sports,” said Schmieg, a junior at the evangelical school. “I know it happens. I don’t know how often. I know, at the very least, he might take something from the opinion section and delete a paragraph.”

    Falwell faced backlash from 2,500 of his students this week, who signed a letter criticizing him for continuing his support of Trump despite the tape’s release, according to The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff.

    “We’re all sinners, every one of us,” Falwell said about Trump’s comments, where he said he would “grab [women] by the pussy.” “We’ve all done things we wish we hadn’t.”

    Falwell’s Liberty University is notoriously strict about any sexual behavior, where even “attending a dance” is punishable by demerits and a fine.

    “Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense – taking the name ‘Liberty University’ with him,” the letter reads.

  16. @Marleen — Herod the Great didn’t own the land of Israel. He was appointed by the occupying power of the Roman Empire to rule it, and he likewise appointed his son Archelaus. That didn’t legitimize his appointment, nor did it give him proper ownership of the land that he would rule. Nonetheless, Rome gave him power over it.

    To the contrary, Donald Trump wasn’t appointed by an occupying power. Instead, he was elected by a legal and democratic process whose results are still resented by a number of people who fear what he may do with his legal mandate. On the other hand, those who elected him are hopeful that he will do an inordinate amount of good by shaking things up as it seems he will. Even *they* are not certain, however, of anything more than that the other alternative certainly would have been much worse.

    Trump’s history has not yet begun to be made. Various outrageous-sounding statements that he has made do not necessarily mean anything except that he enjoys tweaking the wires of people who are locked into patterns that need to change. It is too soon to worry about recording the fearful speculations of people who cannot yet know what will be done, or what history will be worth recording for posterity to ponder as we may do about the Archelaus story and about Rav Yeshua’s parable that reflects it.

    And none of these speculations has any bearing on the “lost-ness” of the next generation; nor does an editorial decision at Liberty University that refused to publish an article critical of Trump contribute to it. If anything, it might give to a next-generation student an opportunity to wait and observe and reflect upon actual events rather than to “shoot from the lip” (or the word-processor) yet another knee-jerk speculation that reflects only the “lost-ness” of the present generation.

  17. Apparently we all need to be “tweaked” — and no doubt especially young people — when it comes to a president who would like to date his sexy daughter, says what he and his daughter have in common is sex, and approves of someone like Howard Stern saying his daughter is a “piece of ass.” Sure, we only need to wait and see…

    …and, meanwhile, shut up.

  18. Dec 26, 2016 by Liz Hayes (read on au.org)
    …..
    It hasn’t been a secret what members of the Religious Right sought under their Christmas trees this year, and voters playing the role of Santa Claus delivered: Donald Trump for president.

    Even though his own advisors have indicated you can’t take what Trump says literally, his voiced support for issues dear to the hearts of far-right evangelicals was enough for them to overlook the reality television star’s three marriages, permissive attitude on adultery and boasts about sexually assaulting women.

    Exit polling showed 81 percent of white, evangelical Christian voters cast their ballots for Trump……

    Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told The Washington Post that “people of faith are voting on issues like … [since what he says doesn’t stand up, it’s rather irrelevant] [and] added that the taped conversation featuring Trump’s comments about groping women ranked “pretty low on [evangelical voters’] hierarchy of their concerns.”

    Apparently, those same voters’ concerns have changed since 1998, when Reed, then running the Christian Coalition, referenced then-President Bill Clinton to The New York Times: “We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.”

    It remains to be seen whether Trump will try to fulfill his promises, or if this is a gift Christian conservatives will wish they could exchange……

    [Reed was also ostensibly against gambling back when we were stupid enough to listen to him. Now gambling is top of ticket (and won).

    But it was fake from the beginning; the opposition to gambling, playing on Christians to see gambling as immoral, was really about opposing a competitor! Ralph Reed’s people wanted to win — money!]

  19. So, PL, I have gone back and read your defense of Donald Trump on the basis of his being like Herod. (Still truly strange, though in a different weird way.) But I had somehow not noticed the first time through that you used the word Herod at least twice. (I hadn’t noticed a once.) I had seen Jewish Prince and inherit from father; I was skimming because of the ridiculousness of bringing up something I wasn’t talking about, to hold against me or what I had to say. I believe that’s called a “straw man.” But you want someone like Herod to shake things up in the United States. And while you say a president isn’t like a king, you want people to be quiet about him (as he also wants).

    Meanwhile, that isn’t the topic — except that it apparently is. The subject is the youth who watch us (and, as it appears I did not see correctly about you, youth we can respect as they take on worthwhile values). (And I, who as a youth and even now, have watched those older than I). The answer is defend Trump? The focus for deliberating on how to convey family values and faith is to deliver an argument about iconoclasm (but just the right amount that you like, no going through steps to be sure laws weren’t broken along the way — must keep up appearances)? And that’s YOUR topic.

  20. It’s hard to keep up with your many posts, Marleen — or to select any one specific response. You show yourself prone to jump to unwarranted conclusions when you accuse me of condoning unwanted sexual advances by anyone upon anyone, merely because I don’t jump onto a bandwagon of condemnations. You are quite right, though, that I would advise at this time that the best course is, in fact, to shut up (vis-à-vis the impending POTUS, that is). I agree with the saying: “It is better to close one’s mouth and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”. At present, there is a great deal of old-fashioned gossip being spread around. As one who discourages Lashon ha-R’a, I must refrain from it and try to show others a more appropriate way of dealing with issues and statements and expressed attitudes. As Rav Shaul advised the Phillipians (4:8): “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”. A similar old popular saying worthy of note suggests: “If you can’t say something good about somebody, don’t say anything at all”. Of course, there is also the response by one wag who said: “I’ve just heard something scandalous about so-and-so, and boy is it good!” [:)]. Regrettably, this seems to be an all-too-accurate reflection of the current political climate.

  21. @Marleen — Herod Antipas (Herod the Great) was an Idumean convert who had to be acclaimed by the public in order to be encouraged to take the throne. His son Herod Archelaus was thereby a “Jewish Prince”, also ultimately appointed by Rome, though not at all favored by the public. You seem to have missed my statement that Donald Trump’s situation was contrary to Archelus’, due to his legal election, though nonetheless somewhat comparable to his negative reception that was also reflected in Rav Yeshua’s parable.

    However, my statements about Lashon ha-R’a have nothing to do with the authoritative position of either a potentate or a POTUS. They are not for his benefit but for that of the rest of us.

    As for the notion of law-breaking in the conduct of the recent Presidential campaign, the shoe seems to be on the foot of the losing team. Donald Trump is accused of immorality or incivility, not illegality, else he would be the subject of personal lawsuits that could have inhibited his bid for public office. However, the role of a POTUS as a moral compass for the next generation is a ship that has long since sailed, probably with the departure of Dwight Eisenhower a half-century ago.

    I didn’t reference Archelaus or the parable as a straw man, but merely as an observation, much as folks will quote the writings of ancients such as Aristotle, Socrates, Hesiod, et al. But perhaps someone more recent has something of value to offer. G.K.Chesterton wrote in the early 1900s: “I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.”. I didn’t defend Donald Trump per se — I defended the value of iconoclasm that he demonstrates, and the value of assiduously avoiding gossip. Since his impending administration is a political fact, our present responsibility is to recognize that “time will tell”, and to save our criticism for something like actual malfeasance in office, and to insist that proven misbehavior gets prosecuted and not swept under the rug as it did during the administrations of Clinton and Obama.

    Thus we must ask about the “lost-ness” of the present generation before we can worry about that of the next one. And if we are to consider the topic of James’s original essay above, we should be discussing the relaying between generations of religious and spiritual values, rather than political ones. That values transfer is not the job of politicians or pundits, but rather it is the job of parents, pastors, rabbis, and religious representatives.

    Shabbat Shalom

  22. Sharing true things about a person, things that he is saying and doing himself, and intended for public consumption or influence by the person himself, and the person being someone who has just run for a major public office is not old fashioned gossip. I suppose democracy should be an eeny meey miny mo with no information to work off of except an assumption about parties (or indeed as has happened for many people many times, trusting what “faith” leaders direct)?

    I am sharing information about such a person, and the background of some so-called gospel history. You on the other hand started in at my character based on a false assumption. It has to be an assumption because I never said at all that Trump was not elected before you started accusing me of it by associating the sharing of facts with being against the election outcome as a reality. This is why I say it is YOUR topic, not mine. But I have to deal with the falsehood.

    I say the same thing about people who want to contest matters about Hillary Clinton (someone for whom I didn’t vote, by the way). If someone wants to challenge a specific district or state or whatever, we have a process. We have laws* and processes; not scary or bad. In her case (during the primary season and after), as in the case of Donald Trump, it turns out to be mostly talk (free in our country and okay). But again, I didn’t bring up questioning the outcome — you did.

    * Not so sure about laws during primary seasons for what are essentially clubs putting up their picks.

    The misstep of skimming something you said while accusing me does, I suppose, make me a bit foolish. But there is no difference essentially in that you were using the story to accuse me. You were bringing up questioning the outcome; I hadn’t. So, again, YOU were making the comparison. I didn’t except in response to you. And, as I’m sure you know, the name Herod is not in the referenced Bible story.

  23. Notes:

    I didn’t mean to capitalize prince (it’s automatically capitalizing for some reason — I have to go back and undo what I did not type in even now). My 11:32PM on January 5th would be — I saw Jewish [or Jew and Jews] and prince…”

    I never made “that part of Judea” into “the land of Israel” — they are not the same; one is part of the other.

    I know Herod was an Idumean. We’ve talked about that. And I’ve brought it up myself before.

    The end of one paragraph (even in context) does not follow to the beginning of the next here:

    @PL: Note that subsequent conditions for the resistant populace were not particularly salutary.

    Thus I tend to discount all these claims about Mr.Trump.

    The fact that he might make things bad for people (especially as he has shown himself to be vindictive and hold grudges and not even be able to get over winning, still huffing like a baby) does not make the claims (which are not claims — are things he has said and done and is doing or has done with the intention of being a very public figure from long ago and all along, an iconoclast OF debauchery, not FOR “the” right) about Trump false. We just might be afraid to speak up.

    Further information on Norman Vincent Peale and “gospel” trends and the Grahams scrubbing references to Mormonism (when they backed Romney) are not necessarily things Trump knows (although it can be deduced he knows a lot about Norman Vincent Peale, as well as Paula White). He knows about fleecing and “winning” though, he got that part. (That’s not very unlike the guy who said it was his karma to pick up someone’s loss and not care about it.)

    And that brings me back to the point. It wouldn’t matter so much if the Grahams had said Romney was probably the best choice in their opinion, but didn’t sell out to argue for him (meanwhile also slandering the opponent, no less). These people who have spent decades acting like voting the way they say is good is the Christian thing to do have harmed faith. We can choose (if we are concerned about young people around us) not to fall into the same trap. This time, it’s even worse. But people are even more enthusiastic. It’s pitiful.

  24. Shavua Tov, Marleen — Actually, the only accusation I’ve aimed at you is one of jumping to conclusions, particularly after you first mistakenly accused me of defending Donald Trump. I explained, in response, what I was actually defending. Indirectly, you could also infer that I have accused you of passing along gossip. Most of what has been published, some of which you linked, is not information intended by its object to be passed around for public consumption in the context of the presidential campaign. I did not initiate the discussion of this material. I responded to something I read here, in your first response to James’ essay above, in which you included an extended quotation of an article about the “Religious Right”. Perhaps I should simply have ignored it and your subsequent flurry of posts. But we have conducted good conversations in this forum in the past; and I thought that perhaps the two of us might rise above the tone of these mistaken gossip-filled links. I may have been overly optimistic.

  25. You see, Marleen, that’s another example of inappropriate response. There is no emperor, no overweening would-be potentate, no preening self-aggrandizing narcissist to be deceived by fawning faux tailors claiming to beautify him. The entire set of stories about him have been blown out of all proportion until there is no balanced truthful perspective to be found. You have no personal knowledge of or experience with the man to whom you so snidely refer. You merely parrot the hyperbole that has been spewed forth by others. That is classic tale-bearing; and I cannot understand why you cannot see it.

    No doubt this man’s foibles will be reported and over-reported throughout his tenure; but then we may also look back over what has been reported about more than a half-dozen prior presidents to note that they also were flawed human beings. No POTUS is likely ever to be a perfectly noble specimen of humanity, and the media have had much practice tearing people to shreds lest anyone should ever think that he or she might be so.

    In the most recent campaign, the slanted-ness of the media and the pollsters and the pundits against the Republican nominee became particularly obvious; and the furor they created is still being stirred. Even the party whose nomination he won resisted him; and even after his electoral victory some of them are still afraid of the reforms he will pursue, because *his* campaign promises were precisely that he would change the status quo and upset more than a few of the proverbial apple-carts. With so many powerful people feeling threatened, whether or not their feelings are justifiable, is it not to be expected that they would seek out as much negative publicity as they could dredge up by which to denigrate the object of their fears? That does not make for a true, balanced picture of the situation, nor for any realistic set of expectations.

    I believe that you, along with many others, have been swayed by all the fuss, and that thus you are over-reacting to even those character flaws that might be worthy of criticism. This is why I recommend to you and to these many others to calm yourselves, do not believe everything you have read or heard, and observe closely what political actions and policies are actually to be pursued. What is important now is not the outrageous things that a flawed man may have done or said years ago, and particularly during the stress of a political campaign that required saying all sorts of things to solicit the political support of all sorts of fringe groups, which was required to win on a severely un-level playing field. What is needed now is for everyone to take a few steps back to gain some perspective.

  26. Most of what has been published, some of which you linked, is not information intended by its object to be passed around for public consumption in the context of the presidential campaign.

    The “standard” — if it can be called that in our society as opposed to in some other culture that I don’t adhere to — should be that Trump should craft everything the public reads as he wants it to look? So he goes out and does an interview on a talk show because he craves attention; he makes statements on the show in front of everyone (so sorry, not everyone — so the million people who saw it [and it’s recorded and has been telecast] can’t tell someone who didn’t see it); a person with a job of sharing or collating information on a subject can’t properly have such an undertaking? If Trump says he never said it (when we saw him say it), so be it? (I’m not saying he claimed not to say the things about his attractive daughter [the one he pays most attention to of his two daughters], but he has done such a thing, made such counterfactual claims, with more than one topic, habitually.)

    I responded to something I read here, in your first response to James’ essay above, in which you included an extended quotation of an article about the “Religious Right”.

    The “extended” quotation was paired down, but including a lot of this punctuation device “…” to show there’s more to the article. I wanted to focus on two or three main things from it. The author was right about a sort of negligence or inattentiveness (too much “trusting” is the way the writer put it) — while running here and there entrusting children’s care and indoctrination to others. But, as I pointed out, he then goes on to want to continue with trust (the adult version, for the mommy-daddy voting set). Who can we look to/point out kids to now?

    And what I’ve been trying to say and show is that looking for, pining for, leaders who sell out for politics (or, in some examples, really had other motives like beating a business competitor all along while putting on a faith leader persona) is not the way to help people.

    The third (second in the consecutive line-up) “thing” can be seen to parallel the evaluation of “New Thought” — with one form historically taking hold more with people who were well-off, and another form tending to take hold more elsewhere. Two forms merging.

    Quote from the first thing I quoted:

    …. Make no mistake: The trend away from biblical truth is not concentrated in the hipster city limits. It is unfolding in the crevices of America’s plains, hills, mountains and swamplands. All across this nation, “old-fashioned” conservative evangelicalism is being traded in for a bright and shiny, mediocre Christianity.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I am glad the author acknowledged (a fourth incidental) that The last several decades witnessed tremendous evangelical influence in the United States. I have said this several times to people who think “the right” and “conservatives” are powerless victims for the most part. In actuality (I agree), there has been tremendous influence (but with a backlash against hypocrisy).

    Perhaps my pointing to these matters in the article will only serve the opposite. As I don’t get on the bandwagon, my words are only to be rejected, even if it also means rejecting the author.

    Oh well, I guess he’s a gossip too.

    Admin note: Links removed at request of the commenter.

  27. *James*

    I hope you’ll do me a favor and take out the links block at the top of that one particular last post (4:05 PM). I didn’t intend it to be there, was going to cut it before posting but forgot to.

  28. Correction — And I paraphrase what the author clings to: Who can we look to/point ouR kids to now?

  29. First, there were a couple of links that ended up displaying with more than a simple link (they showed up with what I would call pictures, not my intention). That has happened in the past with a link to a book at amazon [to my surprise], but I’ve not seen it before with any other link to a site. That was a surprise. And I would have chosen a different outlet to share had I known. (Nevertheless, the reddit [I don’t go to reddit, but it came up with a search] conversation, which has a link to the article named, also showed that a lot of people who aren’t brainwashed — and/or brainwashers — know there is no reason to think the guy some people don’t want me to mention is faith filled). However, I didn’t mean to include any links in my 4:05, and requested they be taken out (so, not intended). James tends to get such a message (my 4:10). Besides that, I would say this conversation is strange because it has gone in a direction having to do with something I never said; I was not saying or thinking anything about fighting inauguration.

  30. I’ve only been paying cursory attention to the comments being made and have just now gone through them (skimmed really, since there are so many and some of great length). It seems the comments have been locked into a loop of Trump Christianity vs. other Christianity (non-religious right, non-silent majority Christianity?).

    I think PL made a comment that Trump is feared because he is not part of any established order. The GOP fears what he’ll do as much as the Dems.

    Just about anyone who voted for Obama or who voted for Clinton seems to hate and fear Donald Trump, who hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. All he’s done is shoot off his mouth and form a bunch of appointee staff.

    Granted, Donald Trump is hardly ideal but, from my point of view, the one thing that makes him a better choice than Hillary Clinton is that he won’t let Iran nuke Jerusalem just for giggles.

    Of the various news reports about Trump I’ve read coming out of Israel, they seem to indicate much anticipation and hope based both on Trumps statements of support for Israel, and Israel’s sense of hopelessness and doom at the thought of a Clinton Presidency.

    I don’t know, but I can only imagine that when people in Israel read the news the day after the election and found out that Trump had won, they felt what I felt…not a sense of gladness that Trump won, but a sense of relief that Hillary Clinton, a staunch enemy of Israel, had lost.

    Marleen, you documented why you felt my blog post is connected to this issue, and I’ll accept it, since the resource I used as the catalyst for this missive was a conservative, evangelical Christian news article.

    Trump claims to be a Christian and his personal minister is Paula White, who is reportedly a “Prosperity Theologian,” which isn’t a good sign, but given that Trump is a billionaire, isn’t terrifically surprising, either.

    On the other hand, Barack Obama’s minister was Jeremiah Wright who is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Obama eventually had to distance himself from Wright so he could at least create the illusion that he wasn’t out to destroy Israel (although Obama’s actions in the last days of his Presidency seem to reveal the wolf in the sheep’s clothing), but I doubt Obama’s internal values changed.

    Of all of the recent Presidents claiming to be Christians, I’d say that Bush and “Dubya” probably came closer than the Obamas and the Clintons. That said, in the realm of American politics, political expediency will win out over personal religion.

  31. Thank you, James.

    I want to reiterate that I wasn’t arguing for or against a choice as best, as in this or that person on a ticket. That, again, is politics. Granted, you also said here at the end that politics wins out over personal religion. I was trying, like maybe a salmon swimming upstream, to have a brief reflection on faith and what we want to teach our children (opposing how we might act against what we say we want).

  32. Dear, Shalom,

    you write “the blame for Christians leaving the church or creating churches that are largely secular in their values” and have us to see the Christian churches are bleeding in Europe. No wonder, because lots of people have come to see how those human doctrines are not in accord with what really is written in the Bible and they feel cheated by their denominational church. Though still wanting to be part of the world, for them it is very difficult, and for some it seem impossible to come to worship only One true God, the God of Israel and not having Jesus as their god but accepting him as son of God, also to have to follow the teachings of rabbi Jeshua.

    In the States of America we still see the mega churches and lots of groups who prefer to keep to the human doctrines but know more how to play into the guts of the people offering them enough show and entertainment, instead of focussing on the word of God. Though even there there shall come a shift, and coming closer to the end times people shall have to make the proper choice, either to follow the human doctrines or to follow the Biblical doctrines and to come to worship the Only One true God, the god of Israel, the god of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples.

    We can only hope that those who really love God shall find each other and fraternise under the agapé love of God and of His only begotten beloved son Jesus, whom we as Christians consider the Messiah, to whose return we wait and look forward.

  33. Dear James, may we make it clear that Mr. Donald Trump has shown enough not to belong to Christianity. He might perhaps belong to Christendom, like so many Americans who claim to be Christian but do not follow the teachings of Jesus and have Jesus as their god and many even bowing down in front of statues and paintings of their god and other gods or saints, which is an abomination in the eyes of the Only One true God.

    Concerning those priests, pastors and theologians your American patriots want to follow, to us most of them do not keep to the Biblical teaching and strangely enough when there would be against the Jews and against Israel they do forget that the Jews was, is and always shall be the Chosen People of God and that Jerusalem shall be the capital of not only the Holy Land but also of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
    Those who do not want to know of such thing ignore the promises of God and go in against the Will of God.

  34. Speaking of “giggles” — do you think this incident reflects more on President Obama or more on then-candidate Trump?

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2016/10/19/obamas-halfbrother-and-trumps-debate-guest-is-a-supporter-of-hamas-n2234690?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

    Extreme Vetting: Obama’s Half-Brother and Trump’s Debate Guest is a Supporter of Islamic Terror Group Hamas
    Katie Pavlich |Posted: Oct 19, 2016 12:00 PM
    Malik has been an outspoken opponent of the President and a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. There’s just one big problem: He’s a supporter of the Iranian backed Islamic terror organization Hamas.

    The following was seen with my own eyes and recorded:
    Wed. Oct. 19th 5:13:30 PM Eastern –>
    Jason Miller — Trump’s Senior Communications Advisor — quote:
    People want a change in direction, upwards of seventy-six percent of the people… When the President’s, when the President’s, uh, half-brother, uh, even he, thinks that we need to change in direction, uh, I mean, that tells you what the American public thinks.

    [I’m not sure, but that might be 2:13:30 in Nevada — where the third debate happened.

    I have seen this same man, subsequently, saying similar things on various outlets.]

  35. I’m sharing this from another site (where I posted it).

    Reply
    Marleen says:
    {October 19, 2016 at 5:19 am} [Note: I don’t know what time zone that is. I will put the site times in {}.]
    http://m.jpost.com/Diaspora/Report-Trump-draws-jeers-at-Republican-event-tells-crowd-he-doesnt-want-their-money-436308#article=6023MUMwMDQ5QzJFM0IyOEU2MDg3RDZCOTBEQjVGNTY3NEM=
    By DANIEL J. ROTH,REUTERS
    Fri, 04 Dec 2015, 01:42 AM

    The crowd was further dismayed after Trump questioned Israel’s commitment to peace, and refused to affirm Jerusalem as united capital.

    US Republican presidential candidate … Donald Trump on Thursday questioned Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution, refused to declare his support for a united Jerusalem, joked about Jewish stereotypes ….

    Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) summit in Washington, Trump struggled to win over the the politically savvy crowd….
    Reply
    Marleen says:
    {October 19, 2016 at 5:20 am}
    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/trump-carson-flop-jewish-republicans-216411
    By Ben Schreckinger
    12/03/15 06:16 PM EST
    Updated 12/03/15 10:04 PM EST

    Trump began the day in a hole with this crowd after questioning Israel’s commitment to making peace with Palestine in an interview ahead of the summit. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” Trump told The Associated Press of the prospects for peace in the region. “They may not be.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I wonder if he’s really changed his spots.
    I wonder if he was “saying” crazy things.

  36. I am reminded of one of the women who said “bla, bla, bla, bla, bla” day after day, twisting and turning to pretend to make sense of things Trump would say. Right after the airing of the tape with Trump saying abusive things (as did the man with him that day, a man who was subsequently fired), one of these apologist [which gives apologist a bad name] women suddenly perked up and expressed anger and absolute outrage at someone else (another woman) in the conversation for using a word Trump had used (as the other woman described the situation to oppose it). The apologist said her daughter was watching. But said apologist was still defending him. Seems an obvious illustration.

  37. From Wikipedia:

    Trump first expressed interest in running for office in 1987, when he spent $100,000 to place full-page ads critiquing U.S. defense policy in several newspapers.[210][211]

    ….

    In the 2012 Republican primaries, Trump generally had polled at or below 17 percent among the crowded field of possible candidates.[249] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election, while also saying he would have won.[226]

    In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[250] During the lightly attended early-morning speech, Trump … advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.[251][252] {Repeated to get elected.}

    Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[253] In October 2013, New York Republicans circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014, against Andrew Cuomo; Trump said … running for governor was not of great interest to him.[254] A February 2014 Quinnipiac poll had shown Trump losing to the popular Cuomo by 37 points in a hypothetical election.[255]

    ….

    By 1987, he identified as a Republican.[259]

    In 1999, Trump switched to the Reform Party for three years and ran a presidential exploratory campaign for its nomination. After his run, Trump left the party in 2001 due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani within the party.[214]
    {In 2015/16, acted like he didn’t know anything about Duke.}

    From 2001 to 2008 he was a Democrat, but in 2008 he endorsed Republican John McCain for President. In 2009, he officially changed his party registration to Republican.[260] In December 2011, Trump became an independent for five months before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.[261][262]

    Trump has made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates, with the top ten recipients of his political contributions being six Democrats and four Republicans.[263] After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats.[264] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President.[265] When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.[266][267]

  38. Also before year 2000, Trump spoke officially to Cubans concerned with political stances against Castro. He said the things they wanted to hear. However, this occurred after he had broken the Cuban Embargo (nevertheless saying such money strengthened a murderer). [The statute of limitations is up, as time is past as well to do anything about Nixon trying to tamper with foreign policy before being Pres.]

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