The Topic No One in the Media wants to Discuss

So what would happen if the Democratic Nominee for President is Pete Buttigieg and in November he ends up facing Donald Trump for the Presidency.  To date, unless I have missed something, I have yet to hear anyone in the mainstream media address the “elephant in the room.”  They have mentioned his age and lack of experience and even his dubious record with the African American community in South Bend, but no one has mentioned the fact that he is “Gay.”  

Are we serious if we think this will not matter in America?  It seems almost irresponsible for the press not to have addressed the issue when you stop to consider that Barack Obama’s race and Hillary Clinton’s gender all were issues that the press delved into during their runs for the presidency.  Is it wrong for it to be discussed and/or addressed as an important issue that voters will consider when they decide whom they will select as president?  Of course it’s not wrong.  If you think that when someone draws that curtain, they will not take that into consideration when they make their selection for President of the United States, you are delusional.

Your age, race, religion and life experience will all be important factors in determining how you make your decision.  Generationally, sexual orientation will probably be less of issue for millennials and new Generation Z voters, who have grown up in a more gender neutral society. But that will not be the case for Gen X, Boomers and older.  The older we are, the more race, religion, education and social standing will come into play to inform our decisions.

There are two factors I would like to discuss in determining the decision that older generations will make.  They are race and religion and how they converge.  As an African American, it has always been the case that our community has been a mixed bag.  What do I mean?  African American’s have for the most part been socially liberal because it has been in our best interests.  It has always been the civil rights African American  that are least upheld and most in jeopardy in our society.  Therefore African Americans have always been on the front lines of standing up for civil liberties and equal protections under the law.  

Yet, at the same time the African American community has had a history of being religiously conservative.  African Americans are noted for their fidelity to whatever religion or faith tradition they are members of.  To this assertion, the noted historian John Henrik Clarke says, “Black people will out-Catholic the Pope.”  In the case of gender issues and sexual behavior, African Americans have been very conservative in their views.  And when it comes to the gay and lesbian community, some might even characterize Blacks as bordering on being homophobic.

This notwithstanding the fact that in the African American arts, there is no small representation of gay and lesbian artists who perform as actors, musicians, singers, ministers-of-music, etc., in our community.  It is quite a contradiction when you consider how intolerant we are publicly while privately allowing known closet homosexuals to regularly participate and lead out in our midst.

So how do we handle the presidential candidacy of Pete Buttigieg and his possible Democratic Presidential nomination?  Does his gay status disqualify him from being president?  And should a Christian refrain from voting for him on that basis?

Let’s look at the arguments for not voting for him.  I have already seen posts on Facebook quoting Biblical texts that call homosexuality an abomination before the Lord.  I will not dispute any texts of scripture and will not engage in such discussion.  I will simply say the Bible calls many things an abomination to the Lord, such as: “Lying lips,” “Adultery,” “Eating certain unclean foods(Fish, Fowl, four footed creatures),” “consulting numerologists” or “horoscopes,” “the devious,” “haughty eyes,” “shedding innocent blood,” “being a false witness who utters lies,” and the list goes on and on ad infinitum.  Suffice it to say all sin is repulsive and detestable to God.  I might add, when you really look at what is most abominable to God, those things that deal with lying, deception, falsehood and deviousness, are mentioned far more often, than any of the sexually deviant behavior that we tend to single out in the scriptures.

Based on this knowledge, why does Pete Buttigieg’s gay status disqualify him from a Christian’s vote, while Donald Trump’s pathological lying, adultery, xenophobia, sexism and racism does not disqualify him.  Are not all these acts abominable to God? Can someone explain the duplicity? Does God categorize sins this way?

Paul explains it like this, he says, “What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”—Romans 3:9-12 NIV

When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus and the priests and rulers asked him to render a verdict against her, his response was, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” 

One final word.  The wise man makes an interesting statement about the things that are detestable to God.  This is what he says: “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”—Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB.  Now here’s the question.  If those are the seven things that are an abomination to the Lord, whom does it sound like the wise man is describing, Pete Buttigieg or Donald Trump…

THEY JUST DON’T GET IT…

For the past three days President Donald  John Trump has taken center stage on the National platform.  First it was his State of the Union Address and then his “Press Conference” in the East Room of the Whitehouse. In both instances Trump held what could be best described as self-promotional pep rallies, rather then Statesmen like addresses to the national.  There was no contrition or even an attempt at some kind of innocent naïveté on his part for his impeach ordeal, but instead the continued bold defiance that he had done nothing wrong along with vicious mean-spirited verbal attacks against those who brought him to account, characterizing them as “horrible people.” 

But what struck me most was the analysis of Trump’s antics by most of the mainstream press, Fox News excluded.  For the most part their analysis sought to portray Trump as a narcissistic, petulant, prevaricator, who is so self absorbed; that he only sees the world as centered around him.  They spoke of how unpresidential and divisive his antics were and how those who opposed him would feel the wrath of his retribution. And while some of those things may be true, I realized that after 3 years of the Trump presidency, they still just don’t get it. 

Okay, sure Donald Trump is a narcissistic pathological liar, but that’s not has been driving his antics over the past several days.  Donald Trump is a CELEBRITY.  He is a PERFORMER.  And if there is one thing Donald Trump knows, he knows the power of celebrity.  Doesn’t anyone remember what he said to Billy Bush in that opened mic when talking about grabbing women’s privates.  “When you’re a star they let you do it.”

One of the interesting things about the power of celebrity is how people will do anything, just to be around them, or say they know them, or want a piece of something that belongs to them.  People seem to lose their sense of reason in the presence of celebrities.  

Have you ever understood why fans scramble to pick up sweaty headbands, wristbands and towels from basketball, or football superstars when they are thrown into the stands after games? Because they were used by a celebrity. You couldn’t pay me to dive for anyone’s sweaty towel no matter whose they are. But that’s the power of celebrity and Donald Trump is a master at understanding its power as a politician.  

He realized it as a candidate when the networks began to follow every one of his campaign stops, when they were attracting thousands of people because of the ratings they were generating. And once Trump realized it he immediately used it to his advantage.  How ironic it is that the news organizations who created the monster are now excoriating him because he won’t play by their rules.

He uses twitter just like a celebrity to communicate directly to his fans and his followers are diehard loyalists.  They don’t just love him, they are in love with him.  That’s why nothing he does will ever change their allegiance to him.  Because when you’re in love with someone, there is nothing they can do, no matter how wrong it is, that will ever break your love and commitment to them.

So what was Donald Trump doing in the East Room of the Whitehouse when he took time to call off the names of every member of the Senate and Congress, make personal comments about them, while affirming them positively and praising them as heroes.  Do you have any idea what it means to someone when a celebrity calls your name, recognizes you, allows you for 15—30 seconds to share the spotlight with him and applaud you for what you’ve done for him.  The looks on each of their faces, as Trump took time to call each of their names, was so powerful that you could not imagine what that did for them.  But Donald Trump knew exactly what he was doing. He was creating memories in each of their minds that would last a lifetime, and it only took him a little over an hour to do it.

And while the press was busy analyzing Trump as a narcissistic sycophant, Donald Trump was creating a room full of zealots who will give their lives in blind support of him to the death, no matter what he does, because people yearn for someone or something meaningful to commit their lives to and follow.  And this is the greatest danger of Donald Trump.  When he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and no one would do anything to him, this is what he was talking about.  He was creating a room full of radicals who would do just that.  And they were not only in the East Room of the White House, they were watching him during the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night and attend his campaign rallies being held across the nation.  While we are psychoanalyzing Donald Trump, he is creating a nation of extremists who will die for him. 

Think for a moment about the last few presidents we have had.  The major difference between the candidates is, one candidate the people may have liked or loved, but the candidate who won was the one his/her supporters were in love with.

Trump—Hillary Clinton

Obama—Romney

Obama—McCain

Bush—Kerry

Bush—Gore

Clinton—Dole 

Clinton—HW Bush, Ross Perot 

Bush—Dukakis 

Reagan—Mondale

Reagan—Carter

As you look down the lists, which one was loved by their supporters and which one was their supporters in-love with them?

One final question, of the Democratic candidates presently running for president, which one could you see yourself falling in love with…Quick somebody better draft Oprah

Donald J. Trump Unrestrained—Uncontrolled—Unaccountable—Who is Responsible?

As I listened to the circumlocutory argument of Alan Dershowitz in his attempt to justify the unconstitutional, self-interest motivated actions of President Trump; I wondered to myself how did we get here?  After over 1,100 days of the Donald J. Trump presidency, who is most responsible for his unrestrained, uncontrolled, unaccountable actions?   

Is it the press, the 4th estate, that abdicated its watch dog position by allowing itself to be rendered powerless and bullied into a fake news oblivion?  Or perhaps the political parties, democrats and republicans who for so long have stood for nothing of significance and sold themselves to the highest special interest bidder, and in the process became an easy mark for a take over by a con artist like Trump?  Or perhaps the average citizens who have become so disinterested and disconnected that no one cares anymore about what happens in Washington; must less the city council or local school board.

Let me suggest another culprit.  May I posit Evangelical Christians and more specifically White Evangelical Ministers. The strongest and most ardent, loyal blind supporters of Donald Trump are White Evangelical Ministers.  Not only do they support him, they have refused to chastise or correct any of his moral failings and inconsistencies.  To the contrary, their rhetoric has instead emboldened him.  And what rhetoric might that be?  It is their constant preaching that Trump has been ordained by God to be President of the United States.  Paula White, President Trump’s “spiritual advisor” has proclaimed her undying loyalty to him publicly and has deemed every attack or criticism against him as an attack of the devil.  She has been joined by a plethora of white evangelical pastors across the nation who make their support of President Trump no secret.  

Some who support him have seen his foreign policy decisions as a fulfillment of prophecy.  One of note is Irving Baxter from “End Time Ministries.”  He has interpreted Trump pulling out of the Paris climate accord and similar global treaties and alliances as thwarting the devils plot to create a “one world system.”  He has said that Trump is being used to dismantle the devils plot to control the world and any opposition of Trump is working in cooperation with the devil.

With this kind of support from Evangelical Ministers, would anyone be surprised if Donald Trump in some twisted way has concluded that no matter what he does, God is on his side?

But Evangelicals are overlooking a glaring flaw.  Donald Trump has a serious problem with the truth.  To date Trump has been recorded to have told over 16,000 false or misleading statements since he began his presidency.  Trump is a pathological liar. Proverbs 12:22 NLT says, “Lying lips are an abomination to The Lord. Another translation says, “The Lord detests lying lips.” How can God use a liar to do his bidding?   Not only is the lying person corrupted, but the activity corrupts others.  Proverbs 25:26 GNB says, “A good person who gives in to someone who is evil reminds you of a polluted spring or a poisoned well.”  And finally John 8:44 NLT tells us that the devil is the “father of lies” and lying is “consistent with his character.”

The blind support of a liar is dangerous to the liar and the one who supports them and thus the dilemma with Donald Trump and White Evangelical Ministers. President Trump may have misconstrued their unbridled support as positive affirmation for any immoral behavior he chooses to engage in, if he believes it advances and solidifies his hold on the presidency.  And while Dershowitz’s serpentine summations may have seemed sinister, the reality is the poisoned pill may have been planted in the mind of President Trump by Evangelical Ministers.

This is why all those called to the ministry must maintain their prophetic office and political independence.  They must always remember to remain true to their calling and speak always and only for God.

When Micaiah the prophet was summoned by Ahab to give counsel concerning a matter of national importance, he was told that the other prophets who preceded him all predicted success for the king.  He was urged to agree with their good report. But Micaiah responded, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” 1 Kings 22:13-14.