Kevin’s Conversations: Time To Stand

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96 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I stand with Kevin…

  2. Kevin H says:

    Thank you, Michael.

  3. Jean says:

    I support the message of this article.

  4. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    There appears to be some sentences missing from my 6th paragraph. This was the one on which I had sent you an updated revision. Maybe you chose not to include them, or maybe they got chopped off by accident. Just wanted to check.

  5. Kevin H says:

    Thank you, Jean.

  6. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    I edited them for the sake of brevity.

  7. Kevin H says:

    Okay, no problem. Maybe every once in a while I get long-winded in my writing. 🙂

  8. John 20:29 says:

    there is nothing to rebut in Kevin’s article, except one thing… well, maybe two 🙂
    the language that our President used (while not verifiable, I’m sure he used those words or something similar) that is causing so much angst is common in Washington and – this is my view, not gospel i don’t think – we cannot expect a government to mirror our Faith, it would be nice, but…
    What we can do is point out at every opportunity that this administration is not made up of devout Christians (as far as we know) and pray for Donald Trump and his administration to bless and not curse us
    Kevin’s article is well thought out and reasoned. I pray that we don’t grab talking points out of context to make our pet point

    p.s. we can hope and pray always

  9. JoelG says:

    For what it’s worth, I support your message, Kevin. Nice to see the Conversation back.

    Outside of agreeing with this article, what are some practical ways the average Joe can “take a stand” in our everyday lives?

  10. Kevin H says:

    Em,

    I don’t expect government to mirror our faith either. At the same time, when the government takes on actions or attitudes that I believe to be harmful to others, that is when I do expect better. The language is not the big issue here, the application of it is.

  11. Kevin H says:

    JoelG,

    Thanks for the support. As for practical applications, at the most basic level I would say that when the circumstances are applicable, that we make it known to those we have conversation with on the topic that we oppose the unrighteousness of the given action/attitude and that we oppose the actions of other Christians who are standing with the unrighteousness as it is a misrepresentation of our faith, and ultimately of God. This, of course, could be filled in with more detail for better understanding.

    Beyond, that, I think it would be up to each individual as how “involved” in further action they think they should get or believe God is leading them to do so.

  12. descended says:

    “The reported words by Trump are unrighteous, and those who defend them are joining in that unrighteousness.”

    Kevin, first, I love you and have really enjoyed your posts.

    Second

    So if there is absolutely no proof save hearsay – no context, the word of spin doctors, overblown media coverage – and I don’t stand with you, I now, because of my ability to reason, must stand with someone you slander as a racist? Did he disparage particular peoples or systems? Systems! If he even said it!

    Crap false dichotomy and, honestly, crap OP.

  13. John 20:29 says:

    #s 10 &11 = good words IMNSHO 🙂

    we all, and i am one of the worst, get sucked into human viewpoint thinking… that is trying to reason out of our natural thought processes to reach a good consensus pleasing to all …
    i didn’t go to the Bible to learn how to sail a boat long years ago or remove my gall bladder or recently how to dose a horse with colic… for those things i looked for smart people, irregardless of their faith, to help me…. but…

    i think that we need the mind of Christ to function as redeemed sinners in this world, i.e., i think that we can function best as Christians in 2018 by taking to heart the words of Ephesians 6 (after verse 13 is the list of “how to’s”)…. steeped in the Word, we should find that right responses just naturally process from God’s viewpoint

    Eph 6:10-13
    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
    Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
    Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

    i seem to be in a preacher granny mode today… i must be sublimating to avoid something that i don’t want to deal with? dunno, it is cold outside 🙂 … but ’nuff said by me

  14. Dan form Georgia says:

    Kevin,

    Well put! I stand with you. I get the thought that Trump could kill people, swear like a sailor, pay off p*rn stars, cheat on his wife, destroy families, disrespect the needy, etc etc, and some christians such as Jeffress, Dobson, Graham, et al would still think he’s “Gawd’s Chosen one!”

    Bill Clinton has NOTHING on this man.

  15. Kevin H says:

    descended,

    Thank you for the kind words to start.

    As for your objections, I believe you have not understood some of the things I have written. Throughout the whole article, I am careful to refer to the words as reported or alleged and do not make the assertion that they were definitively said. With that said, my objections are to the message of the words and most especially to those who support the words, regardless of whether or not they were even said.

    As for the racist objection, even if it were deemed that the words and Trump are not racist, I could not have slandered as I did not make a definitive assertion and did not call Trump a racist. I said the words and attitude “can be seen” as racist. Given that Trump reportedly disparaged people who came from countries primarily with dark skin and reportedly showed favoritism toward people from a country primarily with white skin, it certainly can give a strong appearance of preferring one race over another. And if you claim Trump’s alleged “s—hole” term applied to systems only and not in any way to the people from those systems, then you are missing the plain context and understanding of the reported words.

  16. Kevin H says:

    Thank you, Dan.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin

    I nicely written balanced piece. For my money the best sentence is in the conclusion:

    “There is a sickness that has affected significant segments and leaders and individuals within the church where political ends has gained precedence over Christian ethics and righteousness. It affects those on both the Right and Left.”

    I’m afraid that getting back to a healthy state may require a miracle. Then again, I still believe in miracles…

  18. John 20:29 says:

    I am watching the ceremony honoring Bob Cole as I comment here – it occurs to me that the big change in our nation over the last hundred years is what we esteem … we think we want the best and brightest leadership, but we’re not really clear as to who or where those people are to be found… I speak of the national mindset, not the Church…
    Giving credit to those evangelicals who grate on everyone here, I think that they, too, want the best leadership for our nation, but there is no way an honest person can win the popular vote in this nation today (Dole was soundly defeated by Clinton) – we all need discernment – some in the Church may need spiritual discernment?

  19. Jean says:

    Duane #17,

    One of the traditional philosophical principles of conservatism, which is also biblical, is to make decisions based on principles. I think we are seeing a segment of Christians becoming pragmatists, where the ends justify the means.

  20. Jean says:

    Comment 18, coincidentally, just made my point in comment 19.

  21. Jean says:

    Christianity, in any vocation, is not a “win at any cost” religion.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    #19 Jean

    What is equally worrying are all those who are remaining silent. I think of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. I suspect that they, like many evangelicals, are keeping silent for reasons of pragmatism…

  23. Michael says:

    Then there are those who are not staying silent, but who are attacking those of us who want to fix a horribly broken system.

    I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if it’s worth it anymore…

  24. Duane Arnold says:

    #23 Michael

    I’m reminded of Athanasius who awoke one morning only to discover “the whole world was Arian”.

    “Contra Mundum” sounds good when we look at it “way back then”. Living it in the here and now is a bit uncomfortable…

  25. Michael says:

    I haven’t cross posted this to Facebook and Twitter as I usually do.
    That’s not because it isn’t something I’m proud of…I am proud of it and the message.
    My concern is for Kevin and his family and the reaction that these articles generate.

  26. John 20:29 says:

    I made Jean’ s point? the ends justify the means? Well then I was clearer than Jean as I said that we all need discernment and I included the Church… 😉
    but we have no excuse for lacking discernment … are we, too, proud and lazy like most of humanity? Uh oh

  27. John 20:29 says:

    #25 – sadly this is a very reasoned and thoughtful post, which could generate consensus among honest folk… trouble is today humans prefer to skim, grab half truth or purposely misunderstand in order to make our much more intelligent and righteous views known or to rouse our rabble to action (is rabble a bad word? preferred it to mob). 😕

    I know everyone here hopes and prays for sound reason to prevail – it feels like the nation is bent on emotional destruction from where I sit… yet the Church and the Kingdom will go on…. just.read an encouraging report of Muslim conversions to Christ in Sweden…

  28. descended says:

    “And if you claim Trump’s alleged “s—hole” term applied to systems only and not in any way to the people from those systems, then you are missing the plain context and understanding of the reported words.”

    It’s impossible for me to be misunderstanding the context of the reported words because there was no context is given to the reported words. Therefore it is slander because it is either not contextual or completely fabricated. You don’t know and you will never know. How can I ever put it in context since it is out of context? In fact it is posts like yours and Michael’s and the media’s that are pulling it out of context since you never had a context to place it in. Remember Brian Brodersen.

  29. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    I think some parts of the Catholic Church have spoken out. For example, Catholic Charities.

  30. descended says:

    Number 29 is for Kevin

  31. Michael says:

    descended,

    If Brodersen had a history of discriminatory practices and racially charged statements, you might have a point.
    However, you don’t.
    Please quit equating a pastor with Trump…it simply will not be allowed here anymore.
    Period.

  32. Duane Arnold says:

    #30 Bob

    Indeed, but I have been puzzled by USCCB. They have been pretty vocal in the past. Any ideas why?

  33. Michael says:

    Here is Kevin’s full paragraph on the matter.

    “With all that said, let me expound a bit on the happenings of these professed words from Donald Trump. First of all, they are only reported words, we do not have means of hardened proven evidence of such. The President has denied saying the exact reported words. Now, outside of Trump’s denial, the evidence would strongly suggest that he did say these things or at least something very similar. The White House communications staff, themselves, will not deny that he said them. Some who were directly in the room with President, both Democrat and Republican, have said that he said them. Other Republican senators who were in the room with him initially said they could not “recall” him using such a term before deciding to then change their stories to join Trump in his denial. Yet other fellow Republican lawmakers have said they got direct communications before it even went public that he did, in fact, say these things. And, of course, there is the reality that Trump has more than shown himself to be a habitual liar who has very little to no conscious to lie about whatever he wants to. This would greatly diminish any faith that could be placed in his own personal denial.”

  34. Kevin H says:

    descended,

    We don’t have much given context, but it is not needed to understand what the reported words mean. If someone were to say, “I don’t want any food from those lousy restaurants”, the context and understanding is plain. The simply understood meaning is that because the restaurants are lousy, then the food likely is, too, and so it is unwanted. Same thing with these alleged words from Trump. The countries are said to be lousy, and so their people aren’t wanted here because they are likely to be lousy, too.

  35. descended says:

    Kevin
    “Rather, I am choosing to count myself as against not just what the President allegedly said, but principally against the defense, rationalization, and support of President Trump in this incident by far too many Christians…”

    I understand standing against the president personally for things that are recorded and available for all of us to hear such as the TMZ tape of him talking about women behind stage with Billy Bush or what he said about the Mexican judge.

    But that paragraph and the general tone of your article States that you are not only standing against the principles but also against the man who reportedly said those words. So if you were only standing against principles and those Christians who defend those words and principles you have confused the issue in your article. On the other hand I am really straining to find a large proportion of Evangelical Christians who support the reported words of President Trump – absolutely 100% – without dancing around them or explaining away what he possibly, reportedly may have meant ( from my perspective it seems that you are arguing that he definitely reportedly meant those words – if in fact he said them – which makes no sense). That group does not exist and to keep pretending as if they do, to keep repeating the lie that President Trump said these things as a fact while hiding behind words like “allegedly” and “reportedly” is sinful. It does conflate the issue and create false dichotomies and divisions – not very ecumenical…

  36. descended says:

    Michael
    that is far from equating a pastor’s person with Trump personally. I am equating the two situations where people were slandering pastor broderson and now when they are slandering Pastor Trump. You called for rational, reasonable debate and to look at things carefully when pastor brodersen was undergoing his trials. In this instance with trump it does not seem that you are calling for the same level of discernment.

  37. Jean says:

    Duane and all:

    “Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern. As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors. It is regrettable that this comes on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and could distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status. As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters.”

    http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-009.cfm

  38. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    USCCB has issued several press releases. They’re not advocating marching, for sure, but I believe they are addressing the current situation.

    Here’s one from earlier this week —

    “Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern. As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors. It is regrettable that this comes on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and could distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status. As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters.”

  39. bob1 says:

    Jean, you beat me to the punch! 🙂

  40. Michael says:

    descended,

    We have a history of the President using discriminatory practices and racially inflammatory statements.
    We also have a number of people who were there affirming that he said them.

    This is the last time I’m going to tell you to leave Brodersen out of this.

  41. bob1 says:

    I think Trump well fits the old adage: “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Though there’s already more than a s-load of smoke!

  42. descended says:

    Holy Cow!!!!

    I said Pastor Trump!!!

  43. descended says:

    Oh ow

    Ow
    ow
    ow

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob and Jean

    Thank you both! I just had not seen much in the news over the last several months, and the bishops are usually pretty vocal.

    Good also that they got it right!

  45. descended says:

    See what CCA does to you?

    But I guess it fits in a Civic religion way

  46. Michael says:

    descended,

    I could refute the CCA and ODM objections with Brodersens record and repeated statements that showed them false.

    We have a record and statements from Trump as well…

  47. descended says:

    A number? You mean three or four people who were present?
    Half of whom don’t like him or his policies anyway? Yeah that’s not biased.

    As I said if you want to bash Trump you don’t need to slander or fabricate things. there have been enough thing recorded?

    Misogynistic? You could argue that.

    Racist? Not from that comment.

    Restaurants and food versus countries and people do not equate nearly to the same thing.

  48. descended says:

    Bob

    Ba dum dum bum. Good one.

  49. David H says:

    I’ll stand with Kevin.

    It’s not the words which were used. It is the context and content of those words. I’ve watched long enough as certain celebrities and politicians get excoriated, lose careers, family and friends for allegations just like these. They lose everything based on allegations. They resign based on allegations. Why does Trump get a free pass? Tell me. All I want is an honest answer. Don’t tell me about not knowing the context, the facts. ad infinitum. If you have been one to drag someone through the filth based on allegations, rumor, or innuendo, and are know letting Trump have a free ride, something is wrong.

    Quit hedging. I’ve never supported Donald Trump. I haven’t thought much of him since the bigoted things he said about Native Americans since the early 1990s. He’s a lothario, a fraud, and a charlatan. I’m entitled to loath Donald Trump. He never represented what I stand for or believe.

    I’ve been battling against racism since I was a youthful university student. I’ll continue to do so until I’m dead. There is no place for it in a civil society.

    America has a long history of racism and cultural oppression, but we were making progress. It’s torn my heart to watch a certain segment of the population try to take that away from us.

  50. descended says:

    Off to class, goodnight everyone and God bless.

    Btw, Kevin. If a country is preparing and cooking people and serving them to me and I do not like the taste of them then you might have a point. But just because I don’t like the food at a restaurant doesn’t mean I hate the chef. There are plenty of men who cannot stand their wives’ cooking, but they don’t divorce them for it. Not anymore.

  51. Kevin H says:

    descended,

    I believe I have been pretty clear in what I have written and I also have tried to be quite careful to avoid stating things as absolute that aren’t known to be absolute.

    You can continue to twist things around in order to accuse me of slander and sin, but your rationale is quite shaky.

    The bottom line is that were some very bad words that were reported to be said by our President and the evidence would weigh heavily that he did say them. I stand against those unrighteous words, whether they were actually said or not, and I especially stand against the unrighteousness of those who are defending and supporting the words.

    Standing against brethren on different interpretations of secondary and tertiary theological issues can be wrongful division. Standing against unrighteousness is not wrongful division.

  52. descended says:

    Michael I never said he was not racist. I’m only saying you cannot argue with from that comment. It is out of context if not fabricated. If we are going to go down the road of hearsay as evidence then we as Christians are all screwed.

  53. descended says:

    Just stop using fabrication or hearsay as evidence. It’s gross. I’m leaving now.

  54. Steve says:

    Kevin, to take a somewhat opposing view, I kind of feel your article in some sense conflates our country (United States) with the church. I hope we can all agree United States is not what some people call a “Christian” nation. I would agree with everything you said about Trump if the context was the church; however, the context was our country. Its a valid distinction that seems to get muddied. Our country is more akin to a large corporation than a church. Corporations think exactly like Trump and since Trump comes from this money driven world this is not surprising at all to me.

  55. Jean says:

    Trump wouldn’t last a month in an American public corporation. The S&P 500 corporations have some of the most progressive (in a good way) corporate codes of conduct that one could imagine. And they are taken very seriously. These companies compete for business around the world.

  56. Kevin H says:

    Steve,

    I am not a proponent of the normal narrative of America being a Christian nation or of it needing to be one. I wasn’t meaning to convey that. However, as a Christian, I still desire that my country act righteously and believe we can use whatever influence we may have to try to get it to do so.

    As for the aspect of the Church, my concern is with those in the Church who are defending and supporting these reported unrighteous words and attitude from our President.

  57. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    I missed responding to your earlier comment. You could post on Facebook and Twitter of you wanted to, but I do appreciate your concern.

    I also understand if you want to avoid the food fight on your accounts. 🙂

  58. Br Paul says:

    #39

    “USCCB has issued several press releases. They’re not advocating marching, for sure, but I believe they are addressing the current situation.”

    I suspect the view of a Catholic Bishop is much bigger than any nation. They have a leader that draws their attention also. The “politics” of the Catholic church is just a real as any nation and their challenges are big.

  59. John 20:29 says:

    Corporations do think exactly like Trump, but they are political animals very much like our government – always a finger in the wind to see which way the wind is blowing…. those codes of conduct? purely pragmatic – the intent is totally CYA driven… to put it as politely as I can
    Does that make them morally superior to Trump? Uh uh !I
    Do I know what I’m talking about in this? You bet!

  60. Steve says:

    Jean @ 57, If we only knew what actually happens behind closed doors in these large public corporations, I think we would be surprised. Some of its finally coming to light like with NBC and Matt Lauer but for the most part I think its still covered up.

  61. Jean says:

    And here’s another trend exemplified on this thread by several comments: Whether or not Trump is a liar, immoral or racist, so is everyone else, especially his detractors. Thus, Trump is no worse than any other leader. So his supporters can take comfort in their support.

    I hope that works for you.

  62. Steve says:

    I don’t think Trump is a racist. I give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. Thats a pretty charged accusation.

  63. Jean says:

    “Donald Trump’s criticism of a judge because of his ethnicity are ‘the textbook definition of racist comments,’ Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday during an event on poverty in Washington D.C.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/282463-ryan-trump-comments-textbook-racism

  64. Chris Long says:

    I kept quiet the other day mostly cause I really don’t care to jump in the political stuff one way or the other. And let me be clear: I am no great defender of Donald Trump. I am not one of those people that thinks the man can do no wrong. And I don’t like his use of the s-word and many of the other words he uses.

    But the comment from Trump as you reported was:

    ““Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?”

    Then later you say this:

    “If indeed said, he was assigning the same “s—hole” worth to the people who are trying to escape these terrible conditions and come to our country.”

    Again, I’m no great defender of Trump, but how exactly do you know this is what he was doing for certain? I don’t know that so how do you?

    There are plenty of crummy (my friendly word for “s-hole”) countries and I could easily see myself saying what Trump said like this:

    ““Why are we having all these people from crummy countries come here?”

    I like to think anyway that I’m not racist and have no problem interacting with people of all races, but I could easily see myself making that statement. Not because every person in those countries is a terrible person, but just on a practical level that if I’ve got to choose between letting people into the country that are more likely to be in-line with our values versus those that are not (and many of those “crummy countries” are not), I just on a practical level would favor the non-crummy ones too. And I don’t really understand why that’s so terrible or even controversial… That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to let people in from some of the crummy ones, but I’d want to be a tad careful too. That has NOTHING to do with race (I wouldn’t care if they were white or polka-dotted, that just has to do with how well I feel they’d acclimate to our culture and/or what they would offer this nation). Does that make me a racist? I don’t think so…

    I know the man gets a lot of flak on this site, and I won’t disagree that he practically begs for it sometimes, but in this case, I just don’t understand what the big deal is. Maybe I’m missing something.

    I also am not a fan of major attacks being put forth by anyone based on what some senators on the opposite political side who have a vested interest in painting Trump as a racist SAID the man said in a closed meeting that none of us were privy too. Especially when as far as I know anyway, Trump himself said he was mischaracterized.

    Again, let me be clear since I am aware that the majority on this site are of one mind against Trump, that I’m not a Trump defender. I have no problem disagreeing with him or calling him out on things, and for the record, I did so publicly before he was even elected. And you know what? Maybe the man is a racist and this comment from him was just further evidence of that. But I’m also not going to crucify him over every last thing he says either or rush to judge everything he says through a racial framework just because some of the media and politicians put forth that he’s a racist, or insane, or a traitor or whatever the narrative is.

  65. descended says:

    “Wow, Dad, what was that thing that just happened?”

    “Reason, Bobby, Reason – and by God wasn’t it beautiful?”

    (whispers)
    “*Yeah, Dad. Yeah…*”

  66. Kevin H says:

    Chris,

    I appreciate the feedback. Two things in response: First, as for the racism discussion, I again note that what I asserted is that what Trump allegedly said can be seen as racist, i.e. it can give the appearance of racism. Especially given the way he has played loosely with other past instances on racial issues. It raises suspicions of such all the more. But I do not call the statement definitively racist.

    Secondly, as to the point of being careful who we let into our country, I already stated in my article that we do have to be careful in this matter. There may be some legitimate reasons why we would be more suspicious of people coming from countries with a lot of problems. However, as Christians, our first filter should be a desire to help as many people as feasibly possible, and those coming from these type of countries would need the most help. This would be a righteous attitude. An unrighteous attitude would show no care to their plight. We should desire that our country would be able to also help as many as feasibly and responsibly possible. This would be a righteous approach for our government. This approach is diametrically opposed to the given attitude in the words of, “Why are having all these people from s—hole countries come here.” Those words show no concern whatsoever to helping people in need. Some who are of great need.

  67. Chris Long says:

    Kevin @ 68: I would mostly agree with you on both points. On the second however, while I agree that “our first filter should be a desire to help as many people as feasibly possible, and those coming from these type of countries would need the most help” – there’s also the practical element to the fact that this world has LOTS of countries that combined are hundreds of millions (a few billion?) of people or more that could stand to be helped and have a better life in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean that we are actually able to take in all those people. And there also is just a truth that sometimes just because someone is in a poor state, trying to help them sometimes only leads to them bringing you down too. Just throwing doors open and saying “everyone come on in because we are Christians and want to help you and love on you” isn’t a strategy destined for success, no matter how noble the intent behind it or how much it expresses the love of Jesus. There is just a practical element to the fact that we have a country already with lots of people from all walks of life, and I don’t particularly think it so bad from that practical perspective to say “you know, if we’re gonna let people in, maybe we should get some more from countries closer to our way of life/system”, which is how *I* interpreted what Trump was getting at (rightly or wrongly). Again, just because people are poor and in need of help, doesn’t mean we can help them all, and doesn’t mean they are all interested in really acclimating to us and our way of life either.

    I believe God loves all people and that our heart should indeed be one of care and concern for all. But we have to operate within practical realities too. I have a close family to me that are immigrants from south of the border and they are dear people that I love to talk with and be with and they are glad to be in the U.S., but several times when I’ve talked with them and subject of the government comes up, they talk in terms of “what is the government going to give me?” or “How much is the government paying me?” and there tends to be a real entitlement mentality. You get enough people coming here with that mentality, and that’s a surefire way to take down a country. Again, these are just practical realities, no matter how big our heart is. We have to use wisdom too. And I don’t see that as anti-Christian in any way.

    Many people from those “crummy countries” may be dearly loved by God, but they also have lots of “baggage” from the environment they were in – with all the things they were taught and learned in those environments. People are complex creatures. Just opening borders and throwing money at said people even out of a deep heart of love and compassion for them isn’t necessarily wise. Anybody that’s ever worked with or dealt with some homeless people knows what I’m saying here. You just can’t help everybody no matter how much you want to. I’ve had to learn that lesson on a personal individual level, and the same lesson applies nationally too I think. And while I don’t know what President Trump said or didn’t say, I have no fundamental problem as a believer that loves Jesus and wants to love people as He does in saying that nationally we need to be wise in who we are letting in our doors. And that to me has NOTHING to do with the racial ethnicity of any of the people and I’m not remotely convinced that Trump meant it in that way either – there is not enough data there to make that leap to me (even if I buy with 100% certainty the premise that he even said it and was quoted accurately, which I cannot in good conscience do).

  68. Kevin H says:

    Chris,

    I agree that we can’t just take in anybody or everybody who possibly needs help. I have tried to make that clear in my writings. Our attitude should be to want to help everybody and then work towards trying to help as many as feasibly/reasonably/responsibly possible, knowing that we can’t help all. The stated words attributed to Trump express a polar opposite attitude. That is my issue with them. They show no concern whatsoever to helping people in need. Only in rejecting them and assigning the value to the people of whether we should help them or not based on the conditions of the countries they’re coming from.

  69. Chris Long says:

    But Kevin, that’s being based on one or two sentences from a closed-door meeting of what was reported about him from some senators (who themselves have agendas…). As far as I know, we don’t know the context, we don’t know the rest of the discussion, we know nothing.

    I just saw a report the other night from a longtime Democrat that actually personally likes Trump and has known him for ~40 years talking about how when he needed help in helping fund some of his work with poor people, it was Donald Trump that offered to help any way he could while others turned away.

    So which way am I supposed to view him? As a cold heartless man that could care less about the poor and downtrodden? Or as one that does care but also cares about protecting our borders and way of life? I don’t know, but that’s my point.

    I just don’t think it’s fair to take some brief statements that were leaked out that Trump himself said were mischaracterized and jump all over him, which is what it’s felt like here the last few days. Especially when as I’ve stated above, other than the “s” word, I don’t even on face-value anyway particularly have a problem with the statement for the reason I described above.

    Again, I’m not really defending him, and for all I know the man really is just a rich racist that doesn’t really care about poor and hurting people. I’m just saying that based on this statement he made, there is no way in the world that I can draw that conclusion – there is not enough data there at all for me to go there in my thinking.

  70. Duane Arnold says:

    Chris

    I’m willing to state at the outset that I do not like Mr. Trump. That being said, there is a context for his remarks – statements and actions that go back decades (see Michael’s #51). Perhaps beneath the comments, there is a heart of gold within, but I have my doubts. The reported remarks are very much in line with his previous actions and statements. I don’t believe that Kevin’s reflection is looking at the reported remarks in isolation, but merely as a continuation of a well documented past history.

  71. Steve says:

    Chris Long has some great points that give some balance here.

  72. Steve says:

    Duane, I briefly read Michael’s link @ 51. I’m not going to comment on the entire article but just give one example of what is being portrayed as racist.

    “He is quick to highlight crimes committed by dark-skinned people, sometimes exaggerating or lying about them (such as a claim about growing crime from “radical Islamic terror” in Britain). He is very slow to decry hate crimes committed by whites against dark-skinned people (such as the killing of an Indian man in Kansas last year).”

    There is absolutely nothing racist about saying radical Islamic terrorism which has become a serious threat. And finally to equate radical Islamic terrorism with dark-skinned people is not what Trump did but rather what the author of this article did. This is downright irresponsible and completely FAKE news.

  73. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    While I would not agree with each statement included in the article, enough are there (with many public statements) to provide a context.

  74. Steve says:

    Duane, But there are also lots of things Trump has said and done that speak just the opposite to also provide a completely different context. For instance, at one time Jesse Jackson praised Trump for his service to the underprivileged. Something is not adding up. I’m not going to defend Trump but I do think he’s already getting plenty of criticism that I’m not going to pile on.

  75. Michael says:

    This country has been slowly inoculated against migrants and refugees for years.
    I have watched report after report on mainstream media and online sources for the last ten years telling bald faced lies about border issues.
    I have yet to see much about how American interference in the politics of other nations has helped create these “shitholes”.
    I’ve yet to see reports on the fact that the Mexican migration has been in reverse since 2012.
    I have seen the mockery and scorn of those of us trying to bring some balance to the reports and seen financial support for this site almost disappear for trying to do so.
    Cross posting articles to social media is a guarantee that the rest of the day will be spent drowning in a sea of hate.
    Donald Trump has tapped into this indoctrination and continues and even amplifies all the misinformation people have been absorbing for years.
    My mentor believed the time would come when it was fruitless to try to engage with these issues as nobody would listen and facts would not matter.
    The time is here and it’s time to let the nation and the church that supports these policies finish sowing to the whirlwind.

  76. Kevin H says:

    My thrust here was not to make an all out denunciation of Donald Trump as some seem to see me trying to do so. My concern in writing was to speak to another unrighteous act that was attributed to Donald Trump and the way that too many in the church, most especially the evangelical church, stand up to defend and support the unrighteousness. My main concern is about Christians supporting unrighteousness and wanting to take a stand that I will not do the same and I oppose those who do so.

    I am not saying that everything Donald Trump does is wrong or unrighteous. I have not even said that it is wrong, in and of itself, to be a supporter of Donald Trump. But what I am saying, is that it is wrong to defend or support or excuse the unrighteous things he says and does, or even that he is alleged to have said or done. Disturbingly, this has been happening way too much within the church.

  77. Kevin H says:

    Yeah, Michael, me and Roger go way back. I see in his bio, that Roger is a member of a church called Calvary Baptist. My father grew up in a church named Calvary Baptist and I’ve even been in it several times. The connections are unbelievable. 🙂

  78. Kevin H says:

    Chris,

    As to your #71, I refer you back at least partially to what I just wrote in my #78. Again, I was not looking to do an all out condemnation on Donald Trump. My main concern is with the way Christians defend and support his unrighteous words or acts (or alleged words or acts).

    You are correct we do not know nearly all what was discussed or said in that meeting. We do not have full context. But the reported words are enough to know that the words themselves are wrong. If he really said the words, the only context that would make them look better is if Trump then backtracked and said that he really didn’t mean what his statement looked like and expressed that we should be open to consider the people from these countries for immigration and we shouldn’t judge the people’s worthiness to come here based just on what country they’re coming from. From all accounts of those who were inside the room, both supporters and detractors, nothing of the like happened.

  79. John 20:29 says:

    Trump is not the cause of our woes in this nation… so i would ask, has he become the red herring diverting our attention from the corruption and decay that is slowly destroying this nation? We are close to a national mindset similar to Germany’s when their savior Adolph showed up (Trump is NOT to be compared to Hitler or Stalin as some are doing)… There is just something wrong in our thinking today or perhaps it is beyond the ability of a democratic republic to back out of… dunno

    I enjoyed reading the dialog between Chris and Kevin – worth the time as they examined our state of affairs today – we’d do well to examine our situation like these two exampled IMNSO 🙂

    Los Angeles and Seattle have homeless populations in the tens of thousands and a good number of them have jobs and work hard… the simple truth is that the boat can only hold just so many before it starts to sink and we’re in water up to our gunnels right now…

    You’d think that Mexico would want to help us build a barrier between our two countries as they have a migrant population working its way north from their southern border to get to the USA… Why? I suspect that the drug industry (not pharmaceuticals… well maybe them, too) is the real behind the scenes player in this problem… recreational drug use is disgusting and those drug addicted are a sad reproach to our ability to nurture out population IMHO… just random thinking on the why of all of this… no dogmatism intended

  80. bob1 says:

    What bothers me is that Christians seem to be lagging behind our so-called pagan culture when it comes to doing the right thing. Whether it’s sexual harassment, racial equality, elevating the level of discourse between citizens or other common good issues, Xns, especially evangelicals, certainly aren’t leading the charge. Just the opposite, really.

  81. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have yet to hear a church take a stand and praise Trumps s-hole comment.
    My FB feed is filled with Christian organizations – I saw the gospel coalition just today denouncing the comments.
    Just who in the Christian community is supporting and praising Trumps comments? What can you dig up, 1/4th of one percent of the American population?
    This is nothing more than the continual drumbeat of “the American church is wrong on everything” and it is a lie.

  82. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I meant to say 1/4th of one percent of the American church / Christian population?

  83. Duane Arnold says:

    I don’t wish to speak for Kevin, but he made it somewhat clear – “My concern in writing was to speak to another unrighteous act that was attributed to Donald Trump and the way that too many in the church, most especially the evangelical church, stand up to defend and support the unrighteousness.”

    He has had some defending him in evangelical circles – Jeffress, Metaxas, Burns, Johnnie Moore, and some others. Graham, Falwell, White and many more have remained silent.

    Personally, I’m thankful for those who have spoken out in the Christian community. My overarching concern is with those in the pews who, although they will not voice support, give silent assent to this sort of “plain speaking”.

  84. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    My drumbeat is not and never has been “the American church is wrong on everything”. However, the amount of American Christians who are wrong on these types of issues regarding defending or supporting (or intentionally staying silent when they would gladly blast Obama or Hillary over the same action) when Trump does something wrong is far more than enough that with many in our culture, Evangelical has become synonymous with being an unrighteous Trump supporter. Heck, the Evangelicals having a bad name should make you happy as much as you like to bash them.

    There have been some high profile Christian leaders who have come out in support of Trump over these alleged words of his. I have seen quite a few “regular joe” Christians on my Facebook feed regularly posting in support of Trump on this and the sentiment of his alleged words. One who I had a specific conversation with who sees no problem at all in what Trump supposedly said and agrees with the sentiment of judging whether people should be let in or not into our country be based on the type of country they come from. He thinks it’s all BS political spin from anyone who does have a problem with the words. And of, course, as I previously alluded to, there are all many others who would gladly and proactively be bashing Obama or Hillary over such an incident, but remain conspicuously silent when Trump gets wrapped up in such an incident.

    So maybe the problem isn’t as “big” as I see it to be. But it most certainly is bigger than in the way you try to make it out to be next to nothing at all.

  85. Kevin H says:

    And I see Duane posted some similar thoughts as I was typing my comment.

    Duane, you may not have spoken for me, but pretty much said what I would have said.

  86. Michael says:

    I think everyone has said what can be said and all that’s left is strife. I still stand with Kevin as I close this thread.

  87. Michael says:

    Opening this up so Chris can post his response…then we’re done.

  88. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just want to get a clarifying comment in about my comment above – which was my only comment on the entire 2 days of the thread.

    I didn’t say I was necessarily addressing this thread – but in general on the past few “Trump” threads the idea is that the church is wrong in supporting Trump and his racist comments – comments perhaps going back a year.

    I just want to know what churches? – I know of none. What some may call “high profile” church leaders are minuscule in numbers.

    I will stand by my figures of those who have perhaps come out in support and / or praise of Trump and his racist comments are probably 1/4th of one percent of the Christian population in this country. For anyone to give a platform or legitimacy to that number as being influential is ridiculous.
    In other words, there is no “christian” support for Trump racism.

  89. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Listen to KDOV online for a week early in the morning and get back to me…

  90. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Listen to KDOV online for a week early in the morning and get back to me…”

    Are they a church? Radio personalities are just that provocateurs – but do they represent a church? Also, have they come out in praise of Trumps racism – like fists in the air singing to him?

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A Medford station? I told you to listen to the Lutheran station in Rogue Valley – no politics
    94.3 The Bridge

  92. Michael says:

    The Lutheran station broadcasts about 300 feet out of Rogue River…

    KDOV is very influential, not just here but across the state.

    Very,very, pro Trump.

  93. Chris Long says:

    Thanks Michael! 🙂

    Duane @ 72 & 75:

    That’s a fair point. I agree that this latest comment from the President is indeed being read through a filter of past comments from him to try to interpret what he meant by the comment that was leaked. I still don’t think that’s particularly fair, but I do understand why.

    I did miss Michael’s 51, which I’ve now read. Some of them I don’t particularly have a problem with or necessarily see as outright racist in and of themselves. For instance, the fact that he called for the death penalty to be reinstated after a group of blacks/latino allegedly attacked a woman in Central Park. The implication is that Trump did that because of their ethnicity. And maybe he did. But maybe he just really likes order and believes in the death penalty and doesn’t like gangs of thugs terrorizing people too. I don’t know his motivation on that and neither does the NY Times.

    However, I do agree with you that when you look at all those comments, they do provide a context that do tend to paint a certain picture. If nothing else, he clearly overly-generalizes. But he also does that about LOTS of things, not just when it comes to groups of people. He uses the same type of broad and inflammatory generalizing speech about lots of things and issues, so I’m still not convinced that he really in his heart is truly a racist. But I’m not convinced he’s not either.

    Kevin @ 81:

    On the broad overarching issue of some Christians just blindly supporting Trump and defending everything he says and does, I totally agree with you. It’s really damaging to our witness. During the campaign when that video leaked of him talking about what he would do to a woman (“grab her…”), I was really disheartened to see some Christians put their political views above their Christian ones. That doesn’t mean (to me anyway) they couldn’t vote for him or feel like he was still the better choice, but they did need to at least be honest and say that what Trump said and did was wrong without making excuses for him. And yet there was seemingly lots of either silence or defenses of him coming from the Christian community. So I do totally agree with you about that overarching issue.

    But I still somewhat disagree with you about the specifics of this alleged quote. Just on the surface, without reading it through a lens – I mean just taking it on face-value, it doesn’t come across to me like he’s trying to call people s-hole’s, but just addressing a totally legit immigration question as I outlined above. I think there can be totally legit reasons that have nothing to do with racism why we might NOT want to just open our borders to a flood of people from “crummy countries” and I don’t think it’s wrong to pose an exasperated question like he reportedly did (minus the s-word of course).

    But I agree with you on another key point which is that not only does he say lots of questionable things that could easily be taken badly, but he does a TERRIBLE job of defending or explaining those things. If he wanted, he could clear up many of the racist and sexist charges against him (not just this one) by simply coming out and holding a primetime news conference (or even doing it in the state of the union) and spending some good time leveling with the American people on this subject. If he’s not a racist or sexist, then he should clearly explain to us WHY he talks in the way he does. He hasn’t really even tried to defend himself on any serious level against the racist or sexist charges and meanwhile just keeps making more statements that could potentially be construed negatively (rightly or wrongly).

    So let me be clear that while I’m not comfortable attacking him as a racist, I am comfortable saying that at the very least, he does seemingly beg sometimes for charges to be levied against him and does a terrible job of defending himself.

    These are tricky times with lots of division and the way President Trump operates does not help that, and yet, sometimes we can also get caught in that trap IMHO.

    Anyway my thanks to Michael for opening this up for me (I had already typed up most of the above when I tried to post and discovered I couldn’t – that’ll teach me not to write such long things! LOL) 🙂 🙂

    Blessings @ Peace to all! 🙂