Thursday, October 31, 2019

Potusphobia: Fear, Hate, and the President

This is part III in my series. To read previous posts, click on these titles:  

A few recent headlines:

 Trump Shares Pastor’s Warning of ‘Civil War-Like Fracture’ If Impeached

 A Failed Schiff/CIA Led Coup Against Trump Will Bring Hillary Into the Presidential Race 

Thousands of Occultists Plan Halloween ‘Spell’ Ritual to‘Stop Trump’
    (Interesting that "the vote" took place on Halloween.)

 'Trump' bound, abused appears in Dhvani's Times Square ad buy: 'We're not afraid'


I won’t get into the weirdness of these articles. The headlines are enough but click on the titles above if you want to read more. I'm not sure if potusphobia is an actual word, but it’s time to add it to the next edition of Webster’s dictionary. Americans are afraid of the president. It’s not that citizens are cowering in corners, fearing annihilation by a dictatorial leader. It’s not an attitude of respect, which is a shame because we should respect the president. This indignation is born out of a fear of loss. But what are we losing?


Some say we’re losing the ground we gained under the former administration. We’re going backward. We were close to securing what we perceived as equality for all, close to gaining control over the bad element in our society, close to unfailing protection, close to proper adjustments in how our money is spent, close to giving up the false notion that we live in the greatest nation ever existing. We were close to achieving a new way of life, a new American dream. And close to discarding the old dream.


And then, by some fluke, Donald Trump got elected. And every accomplishment of the twenty-first century was lost. Issues that had been purportedly filed away with all the reasons America was truly never great were brought back into practice. Bigots were back. (They never left.) Closed borders were back. (The laws regarding our borders have not changed. The expansion of Obama’s executive action, DACA, has been held up by the legal challenge of twenty-six states, not by the actions of one man.) Abortion was threatened. (The laws concerning abortion have become overall more lenient.) The LGBT community was put on notice. (Some may fear the undoing of Obama-era progress here, but others in the community recognize the grueling presidential task of balancing the rights of every group, including those who uphold the religious liberties upon which this nation was founded.)


Americans are not losing their rights, at least not by the pen or power of Donald Trump. Nevertheless, fear of a supposed new equality for all being snatched away has sent many people into panic mode. A student interviewed outside a recent event at her university balked that her school would allow Donald Trump Jr. to speak on campus since he was the son of a racist, homophobic, xenophobic president. And she was not alone. Protesters shouted through the entire presentation. Not in a “let’s debate the issues” manner, but in an “I hate you and everything you stand for” response. As I recommended a few months back on this blog, college students and young Americans need to read The Right Side of History by Ben Shapiro. While Shapiro is no fan of Donald Trump, he is a voice of reason in a time of widespread unreasonableness.


While a portion of the American public may fear, or resist, or want to rid themselves of the current president by any means possible, there is another expansive group of supporters who believe the man is doing okay. He might be brash, unpresidential. Maybe he shouldn’t tweet so much. But he’s the president, and some people respect him. Some people wouldn’t mind another term. Those same people, however, might fear the next president if the election goes the other way. One fragment of the nation might find relief in 2020. Another might become the loud, defiant voice of resistance.


If the whole impeachment thing strategically places a Democratic icon in the running, and if that person loses, civil unrest could reach the point of no restraint. If Trump loses, the other camp might suffer in silence. Or not. Time will tell.


No matter the outcome of the 2020 election, don’t label me as potusphobic. Whether things go my way or not, I will likely tarry a little longer in prayer for our president and our country because peace now seems short-lived. But potusphobia will not be in my dictionary. That’s okay, I don’t live by the dictionary.


I will acknowledge:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Romans 13:1


I will pray:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. I Timothy 2:1-2


I will try, but I might need to be reminded:

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  Titus 3:1-2

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Abortion: A Once Private Decision that Became a Celebrated National Demand

This is Part II in my blog series. Click on these titles to read previous posts:

In my last post, I wrote about racial division being used to engineer a civil war. I noted that racism today encompasses not only race, but social and political views. Perhaps the topic generating the loudest pseudo-racist response is abortion. To stand against it drops the opposer into the bigotry camp. A pro-life supporter disparages women’s rights and wants to interfere with their health care. The law is on the side of the abortionist. The women demanding their rights long ago achieved those goals. And yet, the protests continue as the law creeps forward, stretching the proverbial inch into a mile.

In response to the late-term leniency approved by some states, other states have pushed back, outlawing abortion past a certain point. And pro-lifers have celebrated that in some places ending the life of the unborn can only happen up to a point. A decade ago, I can’t imagine the pro-life team applauding any law upholding the right to any abortion. But something more brutal was introduced, and the thought of killing a full-term baby overshadowed the reality that some 2,500 early-term abortions are performed in the U.S.A. every day. 

On the pro-choice side, as well, the outlook has changed. Abortion was once a private matter, an unspoken event. Now, for some, it’s an accomplishment to be touted like a badge on a girl scout’s sash. Women march in protest, fearing the reversal of what is now neatly woven into the fabric of our law. Christians and others who stand for the rights of the unborn may attempt to bring change, but at this point in history, it’s not likely that the law will give.

So, is there any solution? Crippling the abortion industry can only come with a change in culture. This is where the battle must be fought. There are some ways the church can help curb the number of abortions. First, come alongside young women who may be turned away from abortion as an option. This, of course, is being done effectively by many organizations, but perhaps greater effort is needed from the Christian community as a whole in seeding pro-life groups with prayer, finances, and enthusiasm. Second, some people’s behavior is not going to change, but education, along with correct and consistent use of birth control, will go a long way in cutting profits for the abortion industry. So, maybe we shouldn’t have a problem with that type of education.

Third, an honest assessment of how the message is presented may be needed. Not all, but most pro-life ads on social media and on billboards portray happy, well-tended, predominately white babies. I’m not calling abortion a racial issue, but as with the underlying causes of racism, the political agenda may be more about population control than we realize. A pro-choice politician recently made the racially charged statement that the unborn headed for a life of poverty and crime can die now or die later. With that mindset working against us, the church’s appeal to choose life shouldn’t contain even a hint of racial or economic bias.

As with any outcry of civil unrest, public opinion plays a major role in pumping up the opposing sides. What a good American should think about reproductive rights has been settled by the media and Hollywood.1 Anyone not buying into their program is an enemy of the state. Some religious organizations have side-stepped over to the other team. A recent article2 reported the unified stance of a group of Kentucky church leaders in support of abortion.

Opposers leaving the fight might lessen the severity of the war, but a large number of Christians and others who call a baby a baby still exists. So too exists a battlefield of women (and men), politicians, news anchors, celebrities, and abortion industry moguls who consider a baby a disposable non-person. The battlefront has quieted a bit with the introduction of a few state laws meant to soften the shock of the late-term abortion. And it’s been a while since the last women’s march brought tens of thousands of protesters employing lewd props and hateful speech in demand of the rights they’ve already secured. But there is no resolution, nor can there be, so long as our national perception of personhood remains vehemently unfocused.

1 Planned Parenthood Admits It Controls Hollywood, Gets TV Shows and Movies to Promote Abortion 

2 Baptist,Presbyterian Pastors Claim Christians Can Support Killing Babies in Abortions

For a great organization helping women and babies around the world, 

In two weeks:
Part III: Potusphobia: Fear, Hate, and the President

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Racism: The Church, the Media, and the New Definition of Racist

Last time at Unchained, I introduced a blog series entitled, “Another Civil War in America?” Here is part one. It may be the longest of these posts, and the subject may bleed into subsequent posts. That’s because racism, in its post-modern description, filters into every other subject I’ll address in this series.


I grew up in the South. Well, in Central Florida, which is where I still abide. In my growing-up years, our little corner of the U.S.A. became a melting pot of culture and ethnicity. People from other states and from other countries settled here. This is definitely not the Deep South, but at one time it abounded with Southern ideology. That brought with it a line of thinking rooted in segregation. 

Blending cultures was probably as difficult here as it was anywhere in the South. I never quite latched onto the idea that it was my privilege as a white person to think less of a person of color, or to avoid such a person, or to consider that person a lesser creation of the God I was taught created us all. Fortunately, I didn’t get it.

I was well into adulthood when I saw the change I had longed for since childhood. The church, at least in my experience, became multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. And we, at least in my congregation, like it that way. We are united in Christ. This was an outcome of societal change, which as it turns out, isn’t all bad. Of course, it was more so the direction of God and good leaders in the church who brought about the blessing. This is where I find a little bit of Heaven on Earth. The melding of race and culture within the church exudes grace. I don’t mean to preach to the choir here, so to speak, but if your experience in church doesn’t lead you to this conclusion, consider encouraging a change. Racism is not Christian. It never was. It was social pressure that marred decades of our history with wrong thinking, and some of it came out of the church, from ordinary people who got a hooked on an bad idea.

But who started it? A pattern of bigotry has always existed. In our country, perhaps that pattern was woven into our fabric, but blame can’t be assigned to any one group. Historically, the role of Christians in ending slavery has been allowed to devolve into the notion that it was the church goers who fought to maintain their way of life in the South. Of course, some people, fearing change, held on. But anyone understanding the Word of God had to adjust their mindset in support of freedom for all. 

In the generations that followed, public valuation, fear, and more than a little political rhetoric clouded the judgment of some. But poor judgment gave way to better ideas, proper laws, and cultural change.

I know, I’m a white woman living a dream within the safe walls of my church, where we all get along. Your world might be very different, and certainly the walls of the church no longer offer safe haven. I’m aware of the dangers we all face in any public arena. Americans have been set against each other. A war mentality is already taking root. But how did it happen? And why? 

To a degree, slanted reporting and political contention must be blamed. Joe Biden blasted the president for his racist views, accusing him of encouraging white supremacy and therefore being at least partially responsible for the mass shooting in El Paso. During his speech, Biden insinuated that poor kids can be just as smart as white kids. What? Does he believe white kids are not poor, and poor kids are not white? Doesn’t that make him a racist? Of course, the situation was tense, and the presidential candidate might have misspoken. Maybe he just inadvertently said something stupid. But the blunder won’t be forgotten. Not by me, and probably not by the people affected by the tragedy.

 While denying citizenship to foreigners is not acceptable, or Biblical for that matter, keeping the process under control is paramount. Immigration has been an issue for a while, as previous presidents have noted and met with potential solutions. Solutions not unlike the ones supported by our current president. Donald Trump didn’t start this. And he won’t end it, hard as he may try. For now, maintaining the sovereignty and security of this nation is President Trump’s duty. That doesn’t make him a white supremacist, as some have proclaimed. Such unfounded accusations sprout racism anew where it’s long been rooted out.

Studies don’t give a clear answer as to how many white supremacists live in America, but they’re probably not as numerous as some would have us believe. The level of intelligence, and the needed finance, wouldn’t likely come from within their ranks to win a war, or even start one. It’s the media stirring that cauldron. If a few organized racists find themselves at war, the brains and money will have come from the outside. But who are these undercover anti-racist/racist benefactors?

Theories abound as to why anyone would want to start a race war: The government wants a good excuse to instill martial law. An elite group—the one that really runs the world— is bent on population control. Some of our elected officials want a good reason to…I don’t know what they want…but socialism, in their view, might be just what America needs.

What is racism, or, what did it used to be? Here’s the definition: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Today, the boundaries of racism have extended to include not only race, but life choices, sexual and gender identity, patriotism, political affiliation, environmentalism, immigration, and religious ideals. Everybody’s got a self-righteous reason to start a riot. But this kind of social upheaval is nothing new, and it can only get worse.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2Timothy 3:1

Now, somebody will call me a bigot for quoting the Bible. Somebody will assume I’m maligning a particular group, categorizing acceptable people who’ve done nothing wrong. Go ahead and make your judgment about that. It’s not my desire to do so. As for having nothing to do with such people, first of all, keep in mind that “the last days” began with Jesus, and that the letter writer, Paul, was addressing Timothy, a young preacher of the gospel stationed in a pagan culture not so different from our world today. Did Paul mean keep your distance, or did he mean you live holy? Living holy is the greater challenge, but that’s my choice. I won’t demonstrate hate, but I will follow Christ. And so, I’ll have nothing to do with what some people do.

That’s not racist. In fact, it has nothing to do with race. It’s not refusal to dwell in community with anyone who’s different. It’s not swinging to the Left or to the Right. It’s just me trying to live holy. I realize that if a race war is waged, I may be categorized as a probable war starter—white, Southern, Christian. But don’t buy it. True believers can do nothing but stand against the evil lies of racism.

Next time: Abortion: A Once Private Decision that Became a Celebrated National Demand