The Offensive Magistrate

The Offensive Magistrate

In many governments the candidates for the highest station are above the law and if they attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it.

Trump came to us in 2015 and was elected on lies.  He is in the White House not because of competence or any burning ambition to serve his country, but because he cast himself as the people’s crusader to hollow out the swamp and breathe new life into American industry.

He entered politics with fraud and falsehood and his ordinary and vulgar acts of intrigue were designed to depose and destroy those who stood in the way of his greatness, and until we have recompensed him, until we ourselves have been instrumental in promoting his happiness, we feel ourselves still loaded with that debt which his past services have laid upon us.

Sound familiar?  The day after the mid-terms from the rostrum of shame, President Trump read out the names of Republicans who lost and offered “no love or embrace”, Carlos Cubulu, Mike Kaufmann, Barbara Comstock, Peter Roskam, Erik Paulsen, Bob Ugan, John Faso and Mia Love.

For those counting, that’s eight fellow Republicans Trump name called because they didn’t bend in the right place.  His duplicitous reign may very well continue, but the Republican Party no longer fear him, and clear association was drawn to the strength of the blue wave and Trump’s repulsiveness.  

Flake made clear on the floor of the Senate during the week that he would not vote for any more of Trump’s judicial nominees until the Senate votes on a bill to prevent special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired, a pledge that could complicate Republicans’ hope to confirm any of the 32 judicial nominees pending before the full Senate or advance any of the 21 nominees waiting for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s endorsement. 

Polling has long indicated a majority of the population want regular order restored and the aisles crossed in pursuit of common-sense policy, but Trump is not for order, regular or otherwise, because he continues to undermine our electoral integrity.  He offers no evidence of voter fraud because his base requires none, instead he peddles a variation of his 2016 nonsense, this time involving a change of shirt, hat and circling vehicles. “I’ve had friends talk about it when people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles……and vote again.”   

In normal times the highest civil magistrate would be entrusted with the power not only of preserving the public peace by restraining injustice, but of promoting the prosperity of nation states, by establishing good discipline, and by discouraging every sort of vice and impropriety. Such magistrates would prescribe rules which not only prohibit mutual injuries among fellow citizens but command respect for office.

Why was a bipartisan bill to prevent interference of the Mueller enquiry necessary?  Because we have a magistrate who tears at the fabric of life and is decades long in his disdain for any law which does not advantage him.  Trump is not of civil society and has no natural love for it or any desire for the union of mankind to be preserved.

He has never been politically tethered to the sensible because being precisely the opposite is what got him into the presidency. He understands deeds rival words and frequently reminds us of his enormous achievements……….the economic health of the economy, the roaring stock market, the inactive unemployed because of all the jobs he has created, and all of this is true, but this story started in 2010.

The takeaway is clear. Trump is still working off the base built by President Obama. The economy added more jobs in every year of his second term than it did in Trump’s first year. The economy is estimated to have gained 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, but that pales in comparison with the 5.1 percent and 4.9 percent growth in the second and third quarters of 2014 under Obama. 

Trump called the economy a disaster during the campaign, and now brags about the low unemployment rate, the positive jobs reports and growth in GDP. So, if Trump is taking credit for the impact of the tax cut on economic growth, he needs to accept blame for the massive boost in the deficit which will scar generations to come.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something,” wrote Upton Sinclair in 1935, the great American muckraking journalist, “when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”  

Trump is not compromised by salary because he doesn’t take one, but he remains conflicted because of his self-dealing and undermining of tradition and laws. If he had conscience, he would understand that when he viciously attacks the nations fabric, independent judiciary, media and intelligence agencies, all 17 of them, he undermines the existence of civil government which depends upon the obedience paid to the supreme magistrate. 

There was a time in our 241-year-old history when Congress was such a magistrate and where committees of enquiry functioned as they should, in a bipartisan way.  Politics has always been present and testy discourse a feature of house and senate life, but rarely has a White House been more deplorable in its conduct and a President more infantile and lawless.

The story of Trump is the European version of our 1940 past, of closed boarders and deep suspicion of neighbours, which didn’t have a good ending then, and Trump’s incessant attacks on science and government won’t end well now. 

The fires raging in California have been caused by strong winds roaring through dry terrain and human action through tools, toys and mistakes, but in much larger part, the fires are an act of god, climate change to be precise, and it is the response from government departments and the spirit of the community which has brought this under control.   

Trump continues to attack government agencies, the same ones which have made it possible for him to communicate directly to his 60 million twitter followers.  The internet was born not through industry but through scientific agencies, and Trump’s administration and private sector beneficiaries would do well to understand this.

“It is impossible to get an executive of an internet company to understand anything if the value of his (or her) stock options depends on not understanding it.”  There are two things in particular which venture capitalists who run such companies have a vested interest in not understanding.

The first is the state is not the almighty pain in the backside they claim it to be. To listen to some of them you’d think the only thing standing between us and paradise is the nation-state, with its clueless legislators, obsolete laws, red tape and regulatory impulses.

When the European court of justice dared to decide that people had a “right to be forgotten” corporates were aghast at how Europeans were opposed not only to free speech but to innovation itself.

The clear accusation was that anything tech companies do is innovation, whereas all public agencies (of which courts are one) do is impose a brake.  The reality is that without the state and it’s so called sinister agencies these corporations couldn’t exist, never mind thrive. It is precisely the role of the state which provides the courts and the legal system that protects their intellectual property and infrastructure.  

Or, as Senator Elizabeth Warren put it: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.  You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory……….but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”  

The second thing the brains of Silicon Valley have a vested interest in not understanding is all of their wealth stems ultimately from something built by the nation-state, and some of it depends on things built by people who gave it away for free.  For without the internet, which was not built by private enterprise, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo or Microsoft, but the US government, none of these digital corporations would exist. 

When the 45th magistrate cries foul, de regulates everything he can get his hands on while talking a story of growth which started under President Obama, he would do well to understand the connecting plug to his obedient followers will one day be severed because there is a greatness in America that Trump has never understood, and not even his twit machine spreading false rumour and outright lies will change this destiny.

When the Republic stood for self-awareness and understanding, self-preservation was possible because men and women were taught to applaud whatever promoted the welfare of wider society, and to blame whatever was likely to hurt it, and now the blame is squarely directed at President Trump, the offensive magistrate, for all the division and injury he continues to cause.

trump

DON’T SPEAK TO HIS BRAIN

Chocolate is good in moderation and the unprocessed goodness is usually to be found at your feet and Trump is pure sugar and frying oil

Stop Calling Yourself The Persecuted Church

 Open Doors World Watch Map/Open Doors

There is no more prayer in schools.

They want to take God’s name out of the national anthem.

The list of “assaults” on Christianity grows and varies from Western country to country. Every day Christians take to social media and share how life is so hard. We are under siege. Our lives are in danger of ungodly people changing things in our government. We are suffering at the hands of sinners. And the likes…

These kinds of things make their rounds on Facebook and Twitter because we are the “persecuted church“.

Only we couldn’t be more wrong. And we need to stop calling ourselves that.

Open Doors, an organization dedicated to helping the actual persecuted church, wherever they might be in the world. But it isn’t in North America.

The World Watch List was recently updated, sharing the Top 50 nations where being a Christian is the toughest. While you can find the full list here, read over the Top 20 as shared by BibleGateway Blog.

Top 20 Countries Persecuting Christians

  1. North Korea
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Somalia
  4. Libya
  5. Pakistan
  6. Sudan
  7. Eritrea
  8. Yemen
  9. Iran
  10. India
  11. Syria
  12. Nigeria
  13. Iraq
  14. Maldives
  15. Saudi Arabia
  16. Egypt
  17. Uzbekistan
  18. Myanmar (Burma)
  19. Laos
  20. Vietnam

The only “Western” country to make the Top 50 list is Mexico, coming in at 39.

Think about that.

These Christians suffer from Communist or Post-communist oppression, Dictatorial Paranoia, Ethnic Antagonism, Islamic Oppression, and/or Religious Nationalism.

They are regularly attacked, routinely harassed, habitually disturbed and made the public pariah of their respective nations. Their government makes examples of them, create laws with which to demoralize and cripple their lives. Freedoms and rights are removed or none existent.

Christians have no voice, no power, no representation, no ability to advocate for change in these nations. None of which are Western countries.

More than 245 million Christians live with high, very high, or extreme persecution on a regular basis. If not daily. That number is up from 2018. It was 215 million last year.

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA said this,

“Islamic radicalism continues to dominate and influence all spheres of life for Christians, and we are watching China and India very closely. The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unravelling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked, imprisoned or killed. Open Doors will continue to walk alongside these Christians and advocate on their behalf for human rights we take for granted in America.”

That is the persecuted church. Those are the people that are suffering in the name of Jesus.

Having someone disagree with us on Facebook is not persecution. Having a government make changes to their laws to no favour a single religion is not what people in North Korea are suffering. Someone mocking your faith in a cartoon or a meme is not what is happening in Afghanistan.

They are being murdered. They are being imprisoned.

I’m not saying that our lives are easy or that the way we are treated is right, but what Western Christians deal with is not persecution like the rest of the world deals with.

Let’s remember what our brothers and sisters are going through, remember what our forefathers endured as well.

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

– Hebrews 13:3

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

– 2 Corinthians 4:8-12


This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

Wikipedia

Is Wikipedia Biased Against Christian Content?

From its home page, Wikipedia describes its site as “the free encyclopedia [that] anyone can edit’. On a self-described page of what it is and what it is not, Wikipedia claims that it is not censored. For content guidelines, there are only 3:

  1. Content must be neutral in form. It must not take sides, rather, it should explain sides fairly and without editorial bias.
  2. Content must not be original research. It should be attributable to an existing source or reference material.
  3. Content must be verifiable. It must be verifiable from a reliable, published source. The information presented must not be made up.

 

Reading all these causes us to believe that Wikipedia is an unbiased platform. Indeed, you may come across Wiki pages that need updating and correcting. But as a whole, the site seems to be an open resource site that makes room for all kinds of useful and relevant information, especially such that are Christian in nature or theme.

 

Then we come across news of a Christian page being taken down and we start to wonder how often Wikipedia removes Christian pages. More importantly, why? Is there unfairness in the upholding of standards or policies?

Let’s cite one Wikipedia page about Gunter Bechly. The original page written in German is up and online still. However, the English translation looks to have been erased. Gunter Bechly is a reputable paleontologist and entomologist. He was once an atheist and a supporter of Richard Dawkins. But, comtinued studies will open his eyes towards a strong belief in intelligent design. A complete reading on the German Wikipedia page will show you that the entry is purely biographical. There is no bias towards a certain viewpoint. The facts are verifiable and there is no original research presented. So, why isn’t an actual English page available for access?

Let’s cite three more Wikipedia pages. We can find a Wikipedia page that talks about “Lists of Atheists’. We can also find a Wikipedia page that talks about “List of Atheists in Politics and in Law’ But, check out a Wikipedia page that talks about “Christian Wikipedians’ and you’ll only read this disclosure there: “This page is being considered for deletion’.

 

It is true that as anyone can just edit Wikipedia, anyone can just report a page for violation. But when it comes to deciding to finally delete a page, who makes the decision? And, are the same standards applied on both Christian and non-Christian content? We won’t know for sure. We can only maintain our hopes and prayers for equal opportunity and fairness for Christianity, online.

What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?

What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?

So today I got mad. And I cried for an embarrassingly long amount of time over it.

Did someone die? No. Did a friendship end? Nope.

A friend and I were arranging my brand new writing space, a room I had wanted for a long time. We began to place my books on the closet-turned bookshelf, and as we laid down the last book, boom. Just like the walls of Jerico, it came tumbling down. It seriously ruined my whole day. Now, what does any of this have to do with God? Not a whole lot, but it has more to do with his nemesis. I let the devil rob me of my joy for a good chunk of the day over something so trivial and earthly.

I told everything that had happened with the broken furniture, how I reacted, and how I still felt about it to one of my church leaders (because we are more like family than anything) and she flat out told me that needed to stop tripping. Nowhere in the Bible does it say it isn’t okay to be mad or upset, but it does tell us that in the end, earthly things will have no room in the kingdom of heaven. God’s word also instructs us not to be anxious over anything, but to instead, trust that everything will work out to his glory.

God is trying to teach all of us something, and for me right now, those lessons seem to be joy, peace, and patience. True joy is found in God, and crying over the little inconveniences of life isn’t honoring him; it’s feeding the enemy.

My friend told me, “Really Ali? You’re going to be this upset over something so small? Is that gonna matter when you get up to heaven?’ With a little attitude, I responded with, “ I’m gonna ask God why he allowed this bookshelf to break.’ She laughed and said, “Then God will say ’˜depart from me, you’re petty.’

God knows our hearts desires, but the unfortunate thing is that Satan knows some things about us as well; he knows exactly what to do to make us angry.  I love books, and anything to do with writing, so of course, like the turd he is, he’s gonna go after those areas in my life.

I’m not mad about it anymore, and truth be told I should have just let it roll off my shoulders then and there. No matter what it is that’s got you down in life; bills, a toxic home life, a bad day at work, spilling coffee on your laptop, all of those things, big or small, have no power over us, because we are the children of a God who loves us, knows us better than anyone, and knows what we can and can’t handle in our lives.

Don’t let the devil win. He may know how to attack, but so do you. Make him mad with the way you respond, shake it off, know that things can be fixed, and have an awesome day. The devil can’t win if you don’t play the game.

Thanks, hope all is well!

-Alisha-