This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #375, on the subject of Fixing the Focus.
I have previously written decrying polarization, and have touched on it enough times since that it is a key word in this web log. It concerns me that things are not improving.
Being a moderate, I have discussions with people on both sides of the divide. In the wake of the past few months, some–Christians–have been actively attempting to prove that the Presidency has been stolen by voter fraud on a massive scale, while others–also Christians–have been thanking God that the madman has been removed from the White House. Both reactions seem extremist to me, and somewhat foolish, but I understand them.
Obviously the attack on the Capitol building in Washington was unreasonable. The degree to which President Trump was responsible for this is something that will probably be discussed for a long time, even if it is decided by Congress.
As to that, I think that the impeachment action is a vindictive and undemocratic display of fear. There are only two reasons to impeach a departing President. One is to make it possible for him to face criminal charges for actions taken while in office, which means that the evidence will have to be taken to the courts if the impeachment motion carries. The other is to prevent the man from running for office again–and that’s the undemocratic part of it. It suggests that the party in control of Congress believes it is possible that the outgoing President could be re-elected in a future run, and they want to prevent his millions of supporters from being able to put him back in office–clearly an attack against their rights.
As my friend John Walker recently posted on Facebook,
When either side of a political structure tries to convince you that the the opposite view is the enemy, it’s time to stop believing in sides.
Yet both sides have been espousing this for most of this new century, and our political landscape is riddled with people who believe it.
It has been so for long enough that I am fairly certain nothing I can say will have a significant impact on this.
Yet I will not say nothing.
I will, rather, cite a preacher I heard on my local Christian radio station this week. He very wisely said that Christians are called to bring about spiritual change, not political change. Political and economic and social change might come from spiritual change–it has happened in the past–but our calling is to focus on the spiritual, to point people to Christ. Christians fighting political battles are probably missing what is truly important.
5 thoughts on “#375: Fixing the Focus”
In order for DJT to be impeached, I heard that 60 Senators had to vote for it. So that’s 10 republicans to convince.
– This will be an interesting debate.
Regarding his responsibility in the riots, I had no doubt ; from day one Trump undermined the elections past – stating that if the (imaginary) illegals votes were discounted, he won the popular vote. 4 years after, still without any evidence, he claimed the election was rigged even before it was held, then he tried to rig it himself…
The articles for the reasons to impeach are vague, but the founding fathers envisioned a moment when someone could be popular to the masses, but not to the Congress. It’s written in the Constitution, so it’s democratic – as far as the congressmen represent the voters.
But I would even point that the voters expressed their views, and even with a big turnout. The presidential election could be seen as very similar to a referendum for or against Donald Trump. Thus, a majority of people have spoken, and with a difference of 7 million votes, they wanted him out.
Your view is this new procedure is mainly a way of preventing Trump to represent and being re-elected – and not a way to expose his malfeasances. Then it’s is an illustration of the Paradox of Tolerance by Karl Popper. (you know it; to the other readers, read it in a single comics page here : https://medium.com/enrique-dans/facebook-grapples-with-the-paradox-of-tolerance-811d31fd61e2) – that is : Trump refused to play by the rules of the republic, the nation and the very constitution he swore to defend. He tried to cheat; it didn’t work. Now the democracy is defending itself, through the balance of powers.
Good thoughts, Rappar. But then, we have the problem of just exactly how tolerant or intolerant we allow. The Marquis de Sade advocated what we would call rape, as part of his published moral philosophy. It’s not clear that he ever actually practiced it (that is, his lovers were all consenting, as far as we know), but was it wrong for him to advocate it? He was ultimately jailed; I’m not certain of the charges.
But in holding to free speech, we have to permit at least some level of intolerant speech. Quoting from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death…”, or from Evelyn Beatrice Hall in characterizing the view of Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
I’m certainly not arguing that President Trump is innocent in all this; on the other hand, I don’t think either side is innocent.
When I was a boy, people complained that there was no difference between the two major parties. Eventually I understood: the majority of the country was relatively moderate, and while the cores of both parties had some extreme views, during elections they were fighting to persuade the middle ground that they were the right party to choose. That has faded into the past, partly because there have been some very hot issues dividing people (abortion, homosexuality, racial inequities, crime). I haven’t seen any statistics, but I’d bet the bell curve has significantly flattened if it hasn’t become inverted.
Greetings to France. Your country has long been a bit more liberal than ours. I’m currently watching something French under the English title A Very Secret Service; somewhat nostalgic. Again, thanks for your thoughts.
I remember this TV film with Leonard Nimoy. He was playing a Jew, and some extremist horst of a radio show claimed “Give me the proof the Shoa is not a hoax and I give you a one million $ reward”.
The Jew calls this bluff, sues the radio-host to court and invites witnesses and historians that prove the Holocaust existed. The judge conclude that, henceforth, the Holocaust IS an established historical fact.
Therefore, all Holocaust deniers do not voice an *opinion*; they’re just trying to harm the Jews (and the other victims). This cannot be tolerated.
Everybody is allowed to express his opinion, except when it goes against the truth and the facts. If the denier sincerely believes the lies, he’s just a lunatic. If he knows it’s not true, is dishonest and refuses to consider the facts may prove him wrong, then his aim – voluntary or not – is to harm. This cannot be tolerated.
if it was only one dishonest person, the extremist could be allowed to spit feathers in Hyde Park’s Corner; but when the lies come from someone with authority, and people believe him because he’s the President… and Fox News shouted it and they looked so angry… and other people repeat it – then the critical thinking died from the virus of circular lies, chamber of echoes, and some censorship is in order, before too many fall for it. (Christians should consider Trump and his 28,000 lies as the snake in Genesis – IMHO ;))
Also, now we have Russian salaried trolls, who are paid to spread lies and fuel hatred (talk about a conspiracy…). It’s an outright attack. They must be muted.
Sade didn’t fuel hatred ;) and Voltaire died 15 years before the Reign of Terror beheaded every moderate opinion – if he had been alive, he’d changed his statement (and be beheaded) ;)
As a practical case, I would know how to handle Eric Ashley’s comment, if it was posted my blog. Eric’s comment is illogical, full of fallacies (“everyone knows…” – except the judges, it seems), plain paranoia (the whole govt in cahoot), hypothesis on a parallel universe, false equivalences, not to mention the “disrespect” towards the holders of a different opinion (which does not sound very Christian to me…) ;)
I’d declare “you have the right to believe what you want and express it as rudely as you wish (1st amendment), but I’m using my 1st amendment right not to keep it on my blog” – and delete it.
Everyone knows that their was blatant, widespread, massive fraud. At one point, 30% of Democrats admitted there was fraud.
It is within the realm of possibility that Trump won all fifty states.
As to ‘the enemy’. What do you call people who boo God at their national convention? Who support abortion? Who want to start a domestic war on terror aka white Republicans? Who burned 700 buildings in MN this summer? Who due to coercion or collaboration or bribes or blackmail consented to the the Murder of America?
Enemy works. TWANLOC is better. TWANLOC is Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen.
Currently the Federal Gov’t at all areas has consented to the theft of the election. Hence, the Federal Gov’t is dissolved. Trump was not on trial, the Gov’t was. And they are guilty before all men.
There is no polarization of the Nation. There are Americans and Not Americans.
The previous poster is of course trying to deny reality. Its gaslighting. He knows better, and we know that he does.
As to the idea of Christian pietism, I don’t think that is correct. It is a retreat. Perhaps prudent in that the Enemies of Christ seek to destroy, and fear of them is rational, but God has not given us a spirit of fear.