Fire & Fury

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46 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    I’ve always hated political books because they are, as you mentioned, usually written to reinforce opinions and make you hate the other guy/gal all the more. They are usually “ra-ra-yay team!” books written only for those who already agree with everything the author has to say.

    So as not make anyone think I am on some moral high-road, I’ll admit this…I do the EXACT SAME THING with twitter feeds and blogs written by Progressive Christians. Never thought of it as a form of porn, but that description fits!

  2. Michael says:

    Dan,

    There is no adrenaline rush like the one rage produces…it’s addicting.
    Sometimes we just have to look away and deal with our own hearts.

  3. Paige says:

    Nah. Don’t waste your time, emotions or brain storage space.

    Whatsoever is right, whatever is just, whatever is found to be excellent. Let your mind dwell on these things….

    .02c

  4. Jtk says:

    Well put. I commend you, Michael.

    I saw the fairly lengthy interview on the Today Show this morning; towards the end, he mentioned his deceptive tactics in getting into the White House. Worse yet, he dodged the question on releasing any substantion.

    I’m sad that so few care about the truth when it is not to their political or market-based analysis.

    It’s harmed me and those I love in different areas, so it hits close to home.

    Anyone ever seen someone rejoice to their face literally when they wouldn’t even consider the lies might be false?

  5. Jean says:

    If I had to bet between the veracity of the mainstream press and the current crop of national politicians, especially in the White House, I would put my money on the press hands down.

    If we ever get to the bottom of the Russian interference in the last Presidential race, it will, as it was with Watergate, be in no small part because of the press.

    That Trump’s closest aids think he’s an idiot should surprise no one. That he’s a liar and abuser of power should surprise no one.

  6. Xenia says:

    On the whole, I am not interested in gossip. During my time here at the PhxP I have been critical of articles that I saw as gossiping about someone else’s pastor. None of my business, I have said.

    But this is different. If the President of the United States is mentally ill- nuts, in other words- we Americans have the responsibility to know just how bad things are in the White House. Narcissism + megalomania + senility is a very dangerous combination and I believe Trump exhibits all three. This was obvious before the book came out. It was obvious before the election. I don’t know how much of the book is verbatim true but just reading his Tweets and listening to speeches tells us all we need to know. Maybe the book will convince a few others, maybe some in Congress. Cuz he’s gotta go. Peacefully, but let him retire to his golf course and never trouble America again.

    And I would surely like those who voted for him to apologize to the rest of us. I surely would.

  7. Scooter Jones says:

    I got a big kick out Hillary’s recent book.

    The only only book cover I can remember that had both the question and the answer. LOL.

    Fire and Fury looks like another unmitigated hit piece. Sort of like the so-called Russian Dossier.

  8. Jean says:

    Well, Scooter, let’s see who comes out and denies what the book says they said.

    Let’s see how much of the Russian dossier turns out to be false.

    So far we have multiple Trump supporters who have either plead guilty or are under indictment.

    So far we have a few Congressional leaders doing anything in their power to end the investigations.

    Americans have to decide if the sovereignty of our nation and rule of law means more to them than their worship of Trump.

  9. John 20:29 says:

    Xenia, I can’t apologize, yet… But I will apologize for voting for Obama, if that helps any… 🙆
    Not that I thought that the last Republican candidate was Presidential material – hero or not…

    We haven’t had good public servants running the show in Washington for decades so it puzzles me to see everyone dumping on this man…. Surely it’s not just in reaction to his pubic persona?
    The last thing I want to get into here, however, is a litany of failures, Trumps or any others…
    Keep praying for those in authority… we can do that

  10. Reuben says:

    “Because I saw something sick in me that I have too often seen in others… that being a willingness, yea, a desire, to believe the very worst about people you have political or theological or philosophical disagreements with.”

    You already do. Admitting this is a step? Or so they say in “recovery” groups? I always saw it, and respected it, even when I still stood squarely in the other camp. Same with Bowden, Hitchens, Drury, and a list a mile long. It is not a thing to correct. It is a thing to understand fully, and work out why.

  11. bob1 says:

    #6
    ^^^^^^^^^

    #7
    (sigh)

    Hillary Clinton is STILL NOT PRESIDENT!!!

    Trump is…and that’s really sad, for our Republic. This transcends party and tribe.

  12. Xenia says:

    I don’t care about Hillary’s book. I don’t like her, I don’t agree with her, I didn’t vote for her and I’m not going to read her book because she is yesterday’s news…. for most of us.

    If anyone has a Twitter account one can see for oneself the catastrophe that is the current American president.

  13. Scooter Jones says:

    Btw, thank you Michael for your honest assessment and perspective.

  14. Steve B. says:

    “Because I saw something sick in me that I have too often seen in others…”

    You are sick Michael!

  15. Rick says:

    Michael, some time ago you stated that you had lost readers over yours, (and apparently, some of your most vocal commenters), political leanings–I always mourn when I consider this. Though I do not comment often, I treasure the content, and especially, the grace with which the content is offered.

    I’m old, (Eisenhower was president when I was born), and I think I never thought I would see a country so divided as what I observed during the 60’s and early to mid-70’s. I was wrong; sadly. I lived through the church’s infatuation with political power as manifested largely in the Moral Majority, and less prominently, in movements such as Sojourners. I did not think we could be more polarized than those extremes–and yet here we are. The level of hatred manifest in words I hear from both sides tempts me to despair; until I consider the Kingdom.

    My two best friends are 180 degrees from each other politically; one marched with the anti-white supremacists counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville and thinks Obama is a great writer. The other was an early Trump supporter–my main objection to Trump was based on his personal character. His multiple bankruptcies bothered me most, knowing that many small businesses probably failed because of his company’s default on debt. That is a matter of public record–I tend not to pay much attention to personal moral flaws–we don’t know any of the candidates well enough to judge that type of virtue.

    My personal value is based on people and relationships over politics. I refuse to let anyone’s politics be a deal-breaker in how I treat them or my level of respect for them. I also think that voting one’s conscience exempts them from the need to apologize for who they voted for. I abhor the virtue signaling that dominates so much of our social media. I think we have a very sick political class–that applies equally to politicians and pundits on the left and right. I do not believe there is a center anymore, or at least a center that can hold.

    I teach in a public high school; this last election season our students were split about 80/20, most for Clinton, the rest for Trump. I overheard many heated discussions between students; they have learned too well from us, to our shame. I did not share my political views with them, but when they wanted to talk, I would simply ask them why they believed what they believed. Students with very differing opinions made very cogent arguments for what they believed–they are worth listening to. I spoke with them after the election and emphasized that there was not a politician worth sacrificing a friendship over; from what I can tell they have moved on and placed those divisions behind.

    My personal political views are mine–I will never apologize for them, nor will I demand others apologize for theirs. I will say that I totally understand and sympathize with the people described in Judges–each one went to there own tents and did what was right in their own eyes.

    The best way I know to confer value to others is to engage them in conversation; hopefully, someday we can converse with those we disagree with politically in a way that values their humanity, and does not demean them. I think Jesus cares a lot more about how we love those to our left and right than who we voted for.

    I spoke with a print reporter once regarding a school issue; when I read the account in the newspaper I determined never to speak with a reporter again on the record. What I told the reporter was completely mis-represented in the article. We may all speak English but we are not speaking a common language. Babel is an appropriate analogy, I think, for our political discourse.

  16. Jim says:

    Xenia, no apologies from me for voting for Trump. Zero.

    I did what I’ve done my entire adult life-voted for the lesser of two evils, which is of course voting for evil.

    Honest question-should I have not voted, or should I have voted for someone who I consider to be completely evil just because she wasn’t Trump?

  17. Jean says:

    Well, the President settled it this morning on Twitter:

    “…to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I didn’t vote for any presidential candidate. It was my protest against a failed and fraudulent system.
    It wasn’t quite voting for either Hitler or Mussolini, but it was the same principle.

  19. Xenia says:

    A few thoughts.

    Maybe people say they had to choose between two evils and I agree: the choices were both evil. (At least Jim will say that Trump was an evil choice.) As a Christian, I reject all evil choices if possible. Choose good and trust in God.

    Choose good and trust God.

    Also… how did it come about that the Republicans rejected all those decent candidates in the primaries (and there were quite a few I would gladly have voted for and did, in my own state’s primary) and chose the worst possible candidate of the entire bunch? This is on on YOU, Republicans. It’s your party and this is who you came up with. Don’t blame Hillary for making it evil vs evil. You Republicans are responsible for your half of the evil.

    Choose good and trust God.

  20. Xenia says:

    MLD, my husband I wrote in the name of on of the original primary candidates that we believed was a decent human being, a genuine Christian, and looked to be a good leader.

    And after that, we resigned from the Republican party.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The fix may have been in for Trump – who knows, but the DNC shot themselves in the foot for rigging it for Hillary over Sanders.

    Upon further thought, perhaps a Hitler vs Mussolini race would have been cleaner. 😉

  22. Xenia says:

    *an original primary candidate, I meant to say.

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” we resigned from the Republican party.”

    I was no party. In CA for the last 10 years I was designated “decline to state.” – it took me out of all the partisan primary votes.
    I did get to vote for non partisan judges and dog catchers in the primaries.:-)

  24. Jim says:

    Xenia,

    I’m only a registered republican because I live in a closed primary state. The elections I really care about are local. So in that sense, I’m a republican. My beliefs are far from republican. The binary system was created by those who desire to rule.

    It’s been evil vs evil my entire life. Please prove me wrong by pointing out the just men and women who have participated in national politics. Politicians are at best sociopaths, and you should know this.

    Who are the “good” I should have chosen?

  25. Xenia says:

    Jim,

    First off, I appreciate your gentle tone in this conversation.

    All over the world, for the past 2000 years, Christians have had to choose between good and evil without dallying between “the lesser of two evils.” Some times rejecting the evil choice resulted in martyrdom. My husband and I chose not to vote for Mr. Lesser Evil.

  26. Jim says:

    Xenia,

    I understand the desire for privacy regarding your choice in politicians. Must have been Rand Paul 🙂

    Just kidding, it was Scott Walker.

  27. Jim says:

    Xenia,

    I’m kidding. It’s none of my business.

  28. Xenia says:

    Jim, I know you were kidding. 🙂

  29. John 20:29 says:

    well…. 🙂

    we can wrangle about the character of the candidates all we want, but if we do we’ll miss what is happening at this seeming turning point in history… this isn’t the nation that i was born into either… it is the nature of fallen man to evolve downward, i guess

    it occurred to me in the early morning hours that it is wrong of any of us to look down our noses at another Christian who may wear the label of Evangelical or Lutheran or Roman Catholic… if their eyes light up at the mention of the name Jesus Christ, respect them…
    we don’t know who is struggling with an old sin nature, a history, much more invasive and destructive than our own or a physical handicap such as bi bipolar disorder etc.
    that doesn’t mean that we cannot examine teachings being presented in the Christian communities today – we should do that with vigilance IMHO

    somebody up the thread mentioned the corruption of the political world and do we vote for the lesser of two evils… of course we do – do you want to be led by the worst of the two?

    those of us who follow Christ may be fiddling while Rome burns and that is serious – America has been the Christian’s “comfort zone” but… the secular world is turning against us with a demonic fury and we’re turning on each other? – come to think of it there is a fence already built and it does run the full length of the border defining the boundary between good and evil

    done with another old lady pontification – grateful for how God has used Michael’s site as a wonderful clearing house for so many who love the Lord and are trying to align our minds with God’s thinking

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered. We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.”

    Robert Kennedy, 1968

  31. Xenia says:

    If the country has sunk into godless hedonism, if the political and all other secular systems are corrupt, if as many here believe “the church” is also corrupt, then the very least we can do is save our own consciences by choosing good and rejecting evil of any kind.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The only consistent good and void of evil are my grandkids, all 7 of them.
    Well, I do have suspicions about my 7 yr old granddaughter. 😉

  33. John 20:29 says:

    Interesting ponder – we are fragile and much more needy than we realize… Jesus was quite able to socialize with tax collectors and prostitutes – some say that His followers should do the same… well, yes we should, but first we should follow Xenia’s #33 making sure that our own souls are able to stand – the days are evil

    (I can’t blame everything I say that doesn’t make sense in this Fire autocorrect, but I don’t catch every goofy correction it makes either – just changed my “making sure” to Henderson ? )

  34. John 20:29 says:

    Grandchildren …. My poor kids had one grandmother who told them, ” poor dears, your parents are brutal” and the other grandmother telling them and us that we were spoiling them rotten and lax in our discipline… I think grandparents should. just enjoy the grandchildren and send them home when they don’t 😉

  35. Bert says:

    Repent!

  36. Ivan Solero says:

    You sound like you get off with spiritual masturbation. There are histories in the bible that God (Our God) used leaders for His purpose! can’t we think of some i.e with Moses and Daniel or maybe just maybe Elijah? Geez get a life!

  37. John 20:29 says:

    Bert, Ivan and granny em seem to be the only ones here this Sat. aft…..
    That doesnt bode well. 😵

  38. The New Victor says:

    @32 Duane: this describes the gang mentality in my ‘hood, sadly.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    #40 New Victor

    I think the unfortunate fact is that “gang mentality” has spread from the ‘hood into mainstream politics, discussions of theology, etc. It’s all about defining “our tribe” over against “another tribe”… It is very sad indeed.

  40. Jean says:

    Let’s say, a Christian moves or just takes a vacation from Chicago to LA. He is a [choose your tradition] Christian. He would like to worship while in LA. He doesn’t necessarily want to have to visit 20 churches to find one he is used to. He would like to continue in his tradition.

    So the Christian uses his tradition’s church-finder app or web tool to find a local church in LA which is part of his tradition. His tradition sets parameters so that every church in that tradition shares sufficient common denominators, so that worshipers can have confidence in the churches they visit that they are part of their tradition.

    Similarly, for the pastor and members of any particular congregation, when the pastor goes on vacation and a substitute pastor comes to preach, administer the Sacraments and lead the liturgy, everyone concerned wants confidence that the substitute pastor is going to know how to officiate a service in their shared tradition, and he is not going to introduce a different teaching to that congregation.

    So definitions have a salutary purpose, and must not be thrown out with the bathwater, even if some folks misuse them. In fact definitions are essential.

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    I was speaking in terms of the Robert Kennedy quote… not LCMS.

  42. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Forgive us all for not earlier wishing you A Merry and very Blessed Christmas today!

  43. Xenia says:

    Thank you Duane! Christmas Eve service was beautiful and St. Basil’s Liturgy starts in a few minutes! (I live near the church so I won’t be late.) Then a day of boisterous eating with friends. Merry Christmas! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    Kontakion VII

    “Desiring to reveal to us the mystery hidden from before time began, Thou didst show the mystery to servants from all creation, O Saviour: to Gabriel from among the angels, to the Virgin from among men, to the star from among the heavens, and from an earth to the cave wherein it was Thy good pleasure to be born. Wherefore, marveling at Thine ineffable wisdom, we cry out: Alleluia!”

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