Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trump Reverse Midas Effect Still Going Strong

Update: Franklin Graham was worse than I thought. Here's a transcript including what he said. In his prayer: "And, Father, we pray this election that you will give a man to be the president of this country who will honor life, who will respect our Constitution, who will respect the authority of the office." Except for a Hillary gender change, pretty clear she's not in Graham's thinking as a flawed person who should be given a break in consideration for president.
The ability of normally lucid public figures supporting Trump to make themselves look silly continues.

Gov. Chris Christie's spokesman denies that Christie acts like a "manservant" to Trump. And former U.S. Senator Scott Brown says he wouldn't fetch McDonald's orders for Trump.

Against all the evidence, former Gov. Sarah Palin predicted House Speaker Paul Ryan would be "Cantored" (dumping an incumbant candidate in the primary). In May Ryan led his opponent by something like 78 to 14.

Then there are the evangelicals.

Jerry Falwell Jr. excitedly tweeted out a picture of him and his wife smiling with Trump in front of a Playboy magazine cover. Falwell would undoubtedly discipline his students or faculty if they had a framed picture of a Playboy cover on their wall. But, seems he was too excited to be in a photo with Trump to notice his surroundings.

Falwell's tweet in defense was even more embarrassing.
Honored for same hypocrites who accused Jesus of being a friend of publicans and sinners to be targeting me over a decades old mag cover! TY
Falwell seems to believe that a pornographic magazine and its philosophy of making women mere sex objects is sanitized by time. Decades old means it's okay.

No problem with being a friend of sinners (since we are all sinners), but having your picture taken in front of an egotistical display of the guy you are with which includes glorifying what you are against is not what Jesus did. Passages that speak of Jesus dining with publicans and sinners make clear He was there to help them repent.* Falwell says nothing about helping Trump repent. In fact, Falwell says he's "honored" to introduce Trump to others.

Falwell would have been better served to just admit he didn't notice the cover and say that he wishes the picture had been taken in front of another wall as he is not a fan of Playboy and opposes the Playboy philosophy. But, once in the Trump Tar Pits it's hard to get out gracefully or with even a semblance of good sense.

Then there is Franklin Graham.
Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, addressed Trump's personal flaws that bother some evangelicals — including his multiple marriages, past support for abortion rights and foul language.
Graham pointed out that in lots of stories in the Bible, people messed up. After all, Graham told the crowd of devout Christians, the prophet Moses led his people out of slavery in Egypt but disobeyed God; King David committed adultery and murder; and the apostle Peter, who, as one of Jesus' closest followers, really should have had his back, denied three times that he'd ever known Jesus.
"There is none of us that are perfect," Graham said. "There's no perfect person — there's only one, and that's the Lord Jesus Christ, but he's not running for president of the United States."
Well, yes, nobody is perfect. One could just as well say that about Hillary Clinton or, for a stretch, the Orlando shooter. How does that help? It's either meaningless or Graham is insinuating that Trump has repented as David and Peter clearly did and Moses probably did. (No evidence on Abraham except he was shamefaced before Abimelech and made not very good excuses in view of the serious consequences of his lie had God not intervened. Genesis 20:9-13)

In any case, what Franklin Graham said does nothing to advance his major goal of helping people turn to God. It doesn't show that people can change through repentance or be redeemed by God's grace. It just says that people are flawed. We all knew that and are not an inch ahead in restating it. A truism without a point is a waste of breath. Much better would have been the simple comment: "I preach the Gospel. I leave judging people to God."
*Luke 15:1-7 (and Matthew 9:9-13):
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 5:27-32 (and Mark 2:15-17)
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 19:5-10:
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


MAX Redline said...

Well, I understand that Playboy has evolved to the extent that they are eliminating the nude girls from their pages.

As for the evangelicals, their support for Trump would be puzzling were it not for the fact that Pantsuit is far worse.

There are no good choices in the election cycle, so I suspect that for them it devolves to the old "lesser of two evils".

T. D. said...

That's the argument, Max. Lesser of two evils. Myself, I'm not voting for Herod or Pilate. Both going down paths I don't want to take.

T. D. said...

Oh, if Playboy is changing, then the 26 year old mag would be much worse than the modern one. So much for that argument from either viewpoint.

OregonGuy said...

Mention Uriah in a conversation and enjoy the blank stare.

T. D. said...

Yep, OG, not very well known. Sad that even some well known biblical (or historical) figures now draw a blank stare. An older friend of mine (late 70's) tells of singing a song in school every morning thanking God for the night and morning, saying the Lord's prayer (though kids didn't have to and Catholic kids stopped sooner at the end since their version was different) and the pledge of allegiance. At my time we just did the pledge of allegiance. Now they don't even do that most places. Fortunately professional sporting events teach the kids the national anthem.

MAX Redline said...

Lesser of two evils. Myself, I'm not voting for Herod or Pilate. Both going down paths I don't want to take.

Me neither. I plan to vote Cruz, not that it matters.

T. D. said...

Kind of nice to be able to vote how you really feel and not have to wonder if you made the difference in a bad decision.