Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Matt 24 watch, 285: Donald Trump -- at Liberty University on Martin Luther King Day -- says Christianity is under siege around the world

On Martin Luther King Day at Liberty University, US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump reached out to Christians in a major speech:
"We're going to protect Christianity," he said. "If you look at what's going on throughout the world...Christianity is under siege."
Trump pointed to targeting of Christians by terrorist groups in Syria and urged Christians to work together to use their "power" within the United States to enact change.
He added that "I'm a Protestant. I'm very proud of it, Presbyterian to be exact. ...[but] bad things are happening, very bad things are happening."

Now, at one level, we can simply say that Mr Trump feels a need to reach out to especially white American Evangelicals (who have not had a dominant major party candidate who readily aligns with their Faith and moral stance since 2004). But that probably would be just a bit too dismissive.

The fact is, that anti-Christian bigotry and persecution have mounted to unprecedented levels for many years and that his has gone largely unremarked in major media and is too often studiously avoided by major policy-making figures. Far too many major figures have been clearly cold at best and implicitly hostile to the Christian Faith and to Christians . . . including the persecuted.

So, it is important that someone who is able to make headlines says, A is A.

The reaction of some critics is revealing, when Trump mis-spoke in referring to 2 Cor 3:17. As WND puts it:
“We’re going to protect Christianity. And I can say that – I don’t have to be politically correct – we’re going to protect it,” Trump said. “And I asked [Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.], and I asked some of the folks, because I hear this is your major theme right here, but Two Corinthians – Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame. ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ And here there is Liberty College – Liberty University.”

Trump actually quoted the text of the Bible verse accurately, word-for-word. The only thing that some critics objected to is that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is usually cited in America as “Second Corinthians” instead of “Two Corinthians,” even though the numeral 2 is used in print . . . . In the United Kingdom, British subjects often refer to these letters from the apostle Paul as “One Corinthians” and “Two Corinthians.”

(I personally will often say "Two Cor" if I am speaking quickly, but "Second Corinthians," if I am being more formal or giving full form.)

WND Continues:

Headlines read:
  • Buzzfeed: Donald Trump knows the Bible so well he misquotes it at Christian university
  • Jezebel: A good Christian could never vote for Donald Trump, who just pronounced it ‘Two Corinthians’
  • Mashable: Donald Trump flubs Bible verse during speech at Christian university
  • New York Times: Donald Trump quotes Scripture, sort of, at Liberty University speech
  • Politico: Trump bungles Bible reference at Liberty University
  • AOL: Trump flubs Bible verse during rally at Christian school
 I find it interesting that the same or similar media houses were by and large silent when Mr Clinton misquoted "scripture" to say "eye has not seen nor ear heard . . . what we can build" or when Mr Obama spoke of Romans 1 as "an obscure passage" while wrenching the golden rule out of context of the moral law but they pounce on this. (Which may indeed show lack of familiarity with the scriptures but possibly a genuine reaching out to Christians on a major concern. )

Here is my comment at the time -- and, the attitude revealed would turn out to be highly relevant to what Mr Obama has done to marriage and law as President of the USA:
A week ago, in answer to a question from a Pastor in his audience at a town-hall meeting held in Ohio on Sunday March 2nd, Senator Obama has evidently said:
"People who are gay and lesbian should be treated with dignity and respect and the state should not discriminate against them . . . I don’t think it [a same-sex union] should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state…. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."
There are several points of concern in the above, and his campaign website's open letter to the "LGBT community" underscores many of them; for it shows that the above is no off-the cuff, impromptu, ill-considered remark but instead it is a calculated part of his political agenda . . . .

The most obvious problem with Sen Obama's position as stated, is that equality of persons made in the image of God, for excellent reason, does not equate to moral equality of the ideas and behaviours of those persons.

For, as Greg Koukl so aptly points out in his essay on knowledge, truth right and wrong, we should indeed tolerate and respect persons, but we must be discerning in our evaluation of ideas and behaviours, as there are ideas and behaviours that are self- and/or socially destructive. That is, wrong, or even evil.

In short, unchecked error is destructive, and indeed, following Kant's logic on the Categorical Imperative, that is one way that we can discern errors of truth and moral behaviour. Namely, error is destructive so if it propagates across a community it would result in chaos.

Chaos, we are now beginning to see.

 But it is patently a chaotic agenda obviously favoured by many in the media, who have not learned the due lessons about marches of folly:

 That difference in the response of media houses speaks volumes.

While I am at it, let me share a graphic on a modern take on Plato's cave . . . the Overton Window and its BATNA points, in the context of how the spinmeisters work hard to push the boundaries of what is acceptable or to be rejected to suit their agendas and/or paymasters:

For far too many, might and manipulation make 'right' and 'truth,' etc.

No wonder we are headed over the cliff.

 So, while this blog post is by no means anything even approaching an endorsement of Mr Trump and his views/agendas (far from it!), we need to at least recognise that he has put the ugly but studiously neglected fact of major persecution of Christians and attacks against the Faith in the headlines.

For that, we must at least say a sincere, thank you for speaking up. END