The Silk Stockings and Their Businesses

If you’ll look beneath the surface, you’ll find that the entirety of Donald Trump’s policies and positions deal with the ownership and management of business and industry. Even social issues that appear to be otherwise actually cloak a pro-business narrative. His dream Supreme Court is nine individuals who ALWAYS advocate on behalf of the business community. Climate change is about the fossil fuel industry. Racism is about businesses being forced to comply and how to avoid some of the responsibilities of wealth. The border is about business people supporting them with jobs legally. Business would love more of these people in the country, because they’re cheap labor. However, they would need to be here legally.

The grand narrative of this group is that the people who own and operate businesses drive the freedom to create wealth, which is the top rung on society’s ladder. Not only do these people create jobs, they also fund the community chest, which is all they deem necessary to “help” the poor and afflicted among us. Reagan called this “trickle down economics,” a reference to how essential it is to prop these people up by making it ever so much easier for others to prosper. In this sense…

  • Anything that manipulates the hiring and firing of employees from the outside — like government rules and regulations — is considered a blockage to profit. This includes the racist idea that non-whites make lousy employees. Affirmative action is decidedly anti-business.
  • Anything that was brought into being by representatives of those employees — a.k.a. organized labor — is an affront to the freedom to profit. This includes the 40-hour work week, minimum wages, and employee benefits.
  • Any and all regulations that interfere with the businessman’s right to profit are evil at core and therefore suitable for discarding. This includes, but is not limited to, global warming, clean air and water, the dumping of waste, working conditions, and many more.

What’s different about Trump in these matters is that he makes no attempt to hide his belief that he is the undisputed ruler of the business community. By aligning his policies with business, foreign policy becomes the central driver of America “ruling” the international business world. Spy activity envelopes foreign business on anything that might challenge America’s business “right” to rule everybody. A war with Iran is a business war, an attempt to better boost the Middle East on behalf of American business interests. Trump uses the language of war for everything from the United Nations to NATO. “America First” means American business interests first.

Remember that Trump simply gave these people $2 trillion in tax cuts and certain Republican Senators now want to give them more. Where did Trump get that money? He borrowed it, and WE are now the dumb debtors.

Small business owners are highly susceptible to these kinds of “support,” which is understandable. But what about the everyday people. Why do they support management? The reasons are many, including management’s support for the proLife community and, by association, evangelical Christianity, but even that is insufficient to get these people on board. There’s a strong sense of “they have to be right, because look at them” and “if I support them, they’ll support me.”

Nope. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

In the South, the textile industry was the first to abandon the U.S. for cheaper foreign labor. The rural people who worked for generations as a part of the industry (because they were close to the cotton the industry needed) heard over and over again about how THEY were responsible, because they assumed they could “run” the businesses as employees, including the high cost of paying American employees. These people feel now that perhaps “they” shouldn’t have chased the industry away by demanding fair wages. Guilt is a powerful motivator, especially when your family is starving.

The GOP has long been the party of the haves, and I helped change that through The 700 Club. By painting the impression that the prosperity gospel was the key to wealth — not time and chance — we moved a great many people to the Republican Party, where evangelicals and party operatives mixed and found common ground to pursue, especially as regards abortion, religious liberty, and promiscuity. These Christians were more than happy to let the Grand Old Party have whatever they wanted on behalf of business in trade for their support for causes that evangelical charlatans could exploit to build their ministries, their churches, and especially, their pocketbooks.

I honestly don’t see this ending unless their opponents are able to paint a more accurate picture of how evangelicals are pawns in their mission, players who sacrifice their own well-being in the name of belonging to “God changing the culture” through their alliance with the GOP. It’s a powerful driver of policies designed to benefit ONLY the wealthy and their wannabes. At the core of evangelicalism is the self-centered desire to save one’s ass from an eternity in hell, and few escape its ability to manipulate politically.

After all, once you’ve identified those selfish at core, it’s easy to lead them to selfish interests across-the-board, and that, my friends, is the very center of Republican Party dreams. Teach them that culture is about them, and that God wants them to prosper, because they’re “His kids,” and you will have them for life.

The creators of jobs don’t really care about the jobs; they care about power, and they’re always lusting for more.

Cue the shouts of anti-semitism

President Donald J. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands following remarks at the Israeli Museum, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

I shudder and cringe when I hear the President use the United States and Israel in the same thought. Donald Trump covets the freedom that Bibi Netanyahu has to force, dominate, intimidate, and manipulate his neighbors who are purported to be “enemies,” existential even. It’s a leadership position featuring a hand out to the world for support but a stiff-necked and forceful refusal to look inside its own heart. But, heart isn’t a big feature of Zionism; it’s more the proclamation of “never again,” and the military power to back it up.

The white evangelical Christians who support President Trump feel a powerful kinship with Israel that borders on obsession. They are taught that unilateral support for Israel is close to the heart of God. How did we ever get to this point? They also believe there are Godly punishments for failure to support Zionist Israel. There’s also the not-so-small matter of belief in the bodily return to earth of Jesus Christ, and that it will occur in Jerusalem, the newly-minted home of the U.S. Embassy and one day the official capital of Israel.

Zionist eyes are clearly fixed on Jerusalem, and all the territory around the city, for their real target is the alAsqa Mosque, an Arab site for worship and one of the holiest places in the religions of Abraham. Right wing Jews want to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, which would mean destruction of the Mosque. This will happen. And, it will mean World War III, which will likely be nuclear. Think I’m hyping this? Please. Open your eyes.

The prize of colonialism is the resources, people, and especially the business and industry of the land being colonized. In this way, business moguls run the government, and this is especially true when the GOP is in charge. False arguments about abortion in this country disguise the reality that Supreme Court Justices aren’t nominated for their views on abortion but rather their friendliness to the business community. Why do you think Trump gave his fabulously wealthy business friends a $2 trillion welfare package described as a “tax cut” for everybody. These silk stockings run everything, and our government exists to have their backs in the global competitive business environment.

This is all fine until we drift from truth to devious manipulation. To whom was granted such a license? It begins with the use of force.

This is not going to go over well, but Rep. Ilhan Omar is right about Israel. Trump’s language at his recent North Carolina reelection rally was blatantly racist as he accused Omar of supporting terrorism, a strategy often employed by the Israelis. However, even the Anti-Defamation League — recognizing the danger to its narrative by this — condemned the language. Here’s a portion of the ADL’s Johathan Greenblatt’s statement:

While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks. Politicizing the widespread, bipartisan support for Israel and throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism is damaging to the security of Israel and the Jewish community. He should lead by example, stop politicizing these issues and stop smearing members of Congress.

The Trump administration has a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism. Israeli hasbara agents offer their “guidance” on anti-Semitism throughout the world, including and especially social media companies, because social media allows people to directly communicate with those outside the sphere of its influence. For Israel to be Israel, it must control even minute aspects of its narrative, and that includes youTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media companies. No other country claims or is granted this right.

Here are just a few of the things Israel does in the name of guarding that narrative:

  • Israel and the United States are the aggressors in the Middle East, not the Palestinians, Arabs, or Persians.
  • Israel builds so-called settlements on land it doesn’t own in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli citizens are permitted to kill Palestinians at will and regardless of their activity in disputed regions.
  • Israel claims the threat against it is and always will be “existential.” This justifies any type of behavior deemed “defensive.”
  • Israel’s treatment of others is irrelevant to white American evangelicals, because a little bit of evil is considered necessary in order to usher in the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.
  • Israel’s leadership — primarily Bibi Netanyahu — is held in reverential esteem by white evangelicals.
  • Israel fights against “incitement,” which begins with deciding what is or isn’t inciting.
  • Israel murders innocent people in “extrajudicial executions”. Shoot first, ask questions later.
  • Israeli murderers are honored for their courage and faithfulness.
  • Israel holds Arab parents and extended family responsible for acts of their children.
  • Israel bulldozes the homes of those families whose children perform acts the Israelis determine to be terror.
  • Israel “stink washes” entire neighborhoods to keep people in fear.
  • Israel uses middle of the night bullhorns, tear gas, flash grenades, and live ammunition to intimidate and break up public gatherings of Palestinians.
  • Israel imprisons frightened children who are permanently traumatized by such treatment.
  • Israel destroys olive trees that Palestinians have tended for generations in a clear violation of Talmudic laws.
  • Israel owns and operates the utilities that serve Palestinians and uses them to intimidate and oppress, robbing them of fresh water and electricity, especially in times of need.
  • Israel gets $10 million in aid every day (including weekends) from the U.S.
  • Israel has seized most or all of the Biblical sites in order to profit from tourism.
  • Israel launches attacks on foreign soil in the name of existential threats.
  • Israel is drifting farther to the Fascist right with each election.
  • Israel operates a propaganda machine (hasbara) that is constantly selling its narrative that its “defensive” status provides a home for threatened exiles from throughout the world going back to the Holocaust.
  • Israel celebrates the Holocaust as grounds to justify its violence towards its neighbors, who, of course, had nothing to do with the Holocaust.
  • Israel lies with impunity, because its narrative is more important than truth.
  • Israel uses Jewish ties with big media including the New York Times to manipulate and control the public narrative about its evil practices.
  • Israel doesn’t permit its allies to criticize its “defensive” practices.
  • Israel’s biggest false witness is that it is an innocent representative of democracy in the Middle East.
  • Israel rejects international law without debate.
  • Israel is home to many wonderful people, but its political system governs everything.
  • Israel reserves the right to define anti-semitism in a way that serves Zionism’s political structure.
  • Israel will be the author of its own inevitable destruction.

In their blind loyalty to Israel, white Evangelical Christians will be held accountable for these sins against humanity, and that’s not an ignorant warning. Until Christianity begins to more closely resemble Jesus, they are in serious trouble with their God. ‘Nuff said.

If the above is anti-Semitic, then you have my permission to call me an anti-Semite, which is really quite ridiculous. I’m merely a guy who sees through all this BS that enables the American business community to dominate the world, in a large part thanks to the behavior of Israel in the Middle East.

While the Democrats today seem content to press a social agenda, our business community continues to bully the rest of the world into submission, just like the colonial thinkers long ago who “discovered” the new world on behalf of their quest for new resources for creating and growing businesses.

It’s a whole lot more insidious than most people realize.

Shock & Awe with Kavanaugh

EDITOR’S NOTE: We apologize for the headline. We couldn’t stop ourselves.

Now that Justice Kavanaugh is seated, let’s review and prognosticate.

We have learned without a shred of doubt that the U.S. Supreme Court is a political institution. This is astonishing to me, for one of the pronounced qualifications for Christian conservative Judges is that they be “strict constitutionalists” when it comes to interpreting law. That means the Supreme Court ought never make decisions based on anything other than the Constitution, and yet, here we have our “majority conservative” justices, which means that we ought to be able to predict with certainty how they will vote. In my experience, this is a very slippery slope, but we shall see.

Yes, conservatives have achieved their vaunted “conservative court,” although we’ve not really asked ourselves what that means to the judges. The old saying is waiting, “Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.” One has to wonder, too, how the savvy press will respond. Are they moving forward with expectations about how the court will behave, or are they willing to take a wait-and-see approach? It’s all about the narrative with these reporters, and my guess is that there’s a quiet competition underway to see who can first spot evidence of this “conservative court.”

Let me emphasize here that the Christian Right in this country has been fighting the Roe v Wade straw man for so long that few remember what it was like before that law was enacted. Abortion is among the top, most-consistent fundraising keys for big ministries, because the “evil” of abortion has always made it easy for a certain group to open up their wallets. Electing this “conservative court” has been part and parcel of the fight against abortion. It is so foundational to the fundraising success of said ministries that one is left to wonder how they will deal with this. That’s what I would be watching, if I was active with the press today.

Predicting what comes next is actually pretty easy, if you’re familiar with the inner-workings of these ministries. There are two likely paths of action for these zealous believers, the first using the same screed that the “pro-lifers” used.

    PREMISE:
  • Abortion is sin
  • God hates sin (but He LOVES the sinner)
  • The cause of this scourge has been the sexual sin that is rampant in our culture
  • God expects us to wage war against sin
  • We’re willing, but we need your help to fight on your behalf

One might even say that a whole social movement has grown up alongside this premise, and now that the scent of victory is in the air due to the Kavanaugh confirmation, the energy behind it is likely to wane. Nothing kills social movements like the believed approach of the finish line. The movement will disappear unless those behind it can find a way to institutionalize the anger and its subsequent attachment to revenue giving.

Meanwhile, the church needs another straw man with which to stir things up and motivate giving, so it’s pretty easy to predict what comes next, and that will be an all-out effort on capping sexual deviance and “the liberal sex practices” foisted upon us and our children (and especially, our grandchildren) by the pornographers, the escorts, the adult entertainers, Hollywood, the media, and those damned evil liberals. After all, wasn’t it this that led to the unwanted babies that abortion has slaughtered?

The irony of this particular President leading the charge is even more pronounced, but it won’t make a difference.

The second logical effort on the part of these evangelicals is Israel.

    PREMISE
  • God loves Israel
  • God’s plan for the salvation of man includes the end times described and exegeted by the church
  • This plan includes the return of Jesus Christ TO JERUSALEM.
  • It’s the duty of believers to unilaterally support all efforts of Zionists, including driving Palestinians out of their homeland and the designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
  • The Bible warns those who would oppose Israel in any way, so Israel can do no wrong.
  • 1948 was a true miracle demonstrative of God’s restorative grace
  • We need to do what we can to support Israel, and that includes you through supporting us, because we’re a part of the plan.

And so, these Christians will go hard after support for Netanyahu and his cronies who force illegal methods into maintaining their narrative that Jews are a persecuted people and that God miraculously gave “the promised land” back to the Jews in 1948. At this point, it doesn’t matter whether this is true or not; it is the perceived truth made known to the world through the political propaganda of the hard right. Atrocities, like forcing apartheid on Palestinians, are dismissed as collateral damage in God’s plan to put Israel back into the Middle East. Look at what’s happened in just two years under Mr. Trump’s leadership:

  1. We’ve moved our embassy to Jerusalem, to land given to the Palestinians during the original regional conflict. The Israeli’s don’t care.
  2. Settlements have expanded at a rate far above previous administrations. During the Obama Presidency, the State Department regularly criticized expansion but no more.
  3. The U.S. has cut off all aid to Palestinian groups who used it to care for the sick, injured, and starving Palestinians. By doing this, President Trump has declared to the world that his form of peace negotiations is through the subjugation of the Palestinian people. This is going to get worse, the farther downstream we drift on the path to setting up Israel as dictatorial rulers of the entire region.

Mark my words, the Middle East is going to boil as a result. In Biblical prophecy, these right-wing fanatics believe, Iran, Turkey and Russia will come against Israel, which will jump-start Armageddon. The Christians see nothing wrong in doing whatever they can to urge this forward. After all, maybe WE are supposed to be the agents that God uses to usher in the 1,000-year reign of Christ. Could be, right?

So get ready for a really HOT summer in 2019, for people who believe they’re doing God’s will are an immovable force, and the world is a much more dangerous place today than it was just a week ago. Personally, I’m shocked and awed.

May God have mercy on us.

Beware of God’s judgment, O Church

Who am I to speak about God’s judgment? In my pride, do I think I’m better than others? Is that it? Do I actually believe that God has spoken to me? Who the heck am I? “How dare you speak to us that way? Shall we list your sins and transgressions? What qualifies you?”

I got into a brief exchange the other day with a guy on Facebook over Christians and Trump. I made the statement that God is judging the church, which set him off with the attitude mentioned above. So let’s deconstruct this just a bit.

Christians, especially those of the white evangelical sort, embrace of form of speaking that’s lovingly referred to as “the language of Zion.” Trust me, if you know any of these folks, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like a secret handshake, and if you use it, a form of immediate trust is given. If you don’t use it, however, you’re immediately considered an outsider and a target for condescension. I can speak the language when necessary, but my default is to keep it to myself. However, the statement that God is judging the church is written in the language of Zion. What this man suggested, therefore, was that I must be haughtily assuming the role of prophet in making a statement about God’s judgment. Oh boy.

Firstly, as prophets go, I can’t possibly claim that status. For one, I’m a nothing and a nobody, but it’s also my belief that only others can bestow such a title on those sensitive to the presence of God. The prophets of old didn’t walk around glowing or surrounded by a heavenly host crying “Holy.” They didn’t drag behind them great throngs of worshippers as an entourage. They were often dirt poor but always had sustenance, because the power of their words was substantial and what they predicted came to pass. Naturally, then, people would give them things, food and possessions. In the language of Zion, “God took care of them.” So, if I’m somehow assuming the role of prophet in my pronouncement of judgment on the church, then we’ll just have wait and see what happens downstream, right? I claim nothing except the ability to read what I view as obvious signs among us.

Secondly, modern prophets aren’t always a part of any religion. Don’t have to be. I consider Bob Dylan to be a contemporary prophet, and I know he had a conversion experience once, but he represents — although not well — the trappings of the world. Modern prophets are found in the arts community, for only they have the sensitivity to hear “the voice of God.” That, by the way, is another use of the language of Zion, for connecting to the creator spirit doesn’t require the forms of holiness that those who speak it demand of “their” prophets.

It doesn’t take a genius or a special connection with life to see what’s going on today, and it always — ALWAYS — begins with the wellbeing of the poor and the afflicted. It’s simply impossible to miss or dismiss the constant references to this through both the old and new testaments. God’s true character is revealed in His equal love for all. Israel’s Abrahamic economy was built entirely around the idea that no one needs to be poor. And yet, in our culture, the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening every year. The middle class is gone, and all that’s left are those who have and those who don’t.

Do I need to go through The Book and point out what’s written about dealing with strangers, foreigners, or visitors? And yet, these commands are set aside each time someone complains about immigrants. Are these instructions written for those who don’t believe? No, so how can I possibly be criticized for saying that God is judging the church? And, the cultural “sins” against which they pray and involve themselves politically are of little interest to God compared to His command to love Him and our neighbors.

None of this is the responsibility of those outside the church, for only those who “know” the commandments can be guilty of violating them. So, if God is judging behavior in the culture, that judgment is for the church, because these “transgressions” are only considered so by the church. Therefore, judgment, the good book says, “begins at the house of God.” And for Christians especially, the kinds of “sins” they complain about aren’t any of their business anyway. What part of “neighbor as yourself” is found in the hatred expressed over the last several years towards those “neighbors” in the soiling of our precious country? Until we — perhaps for the first time as a people — start doing what God/Life wants, I will never cease in my view that “God is judging the church.” Here’s an example:

My old boss Pat Robertson went ballistic on the air the other day over the idea of cross dressers reading stories to children at a local library as a part of the “Drag Queen Story Hour” program. Pay attention to not only what he says but to the absolute disgust with which he says it. When this kind of stuff is expressed to a large audience, it moves the thinking of that audience to matters that are political, petty, and therefore trivial to Life itself. It makes people mad and inspires them to DO SOMETHING, which is exactly the core mission of the one shouting the complaint.

“This next story should shock the daylights out of you and you ought to do something about it,” Robertson vented. “It’s an outrage. Little teeny children as young as two years-old being exposed (to) cross-dressers, homosexuals who dress up as women and are called so-called drag queens … They’re men acting like women—and they used to, out in San Fransciso, used to call them ‘he-shes’—and they’re reading books to children.”

“You’d better get outraged about this,” he added.

“If you read the Bible, there were a couple of cities where they actually, the men tried to have sex with angels who were then as male figures and God destroyed those cities,” Robertson said following the segment. “The crime was called, subsequent to that, it was called sodomy. This whole thing is just an outrage. It’s an affront in the eyes of God and I think that’s what we’re trying to do is stick our fingers in God’s eyes and say, ‘Okay Lord, you thought you were making people men and women … but we’re going to fix it so that we’re going to confuse the sexes, we’re going to confuse everything that you’re doing and then, if we have offspring as a result of our sexual activity out of marriage, we’re going to kill the offspring and we’ll stick our fingers in your eye to show you who’s boss.’”

“The United States of America is on very slippery ground,” he warned. “How is (God) going to bless America if we put our finger in his eyes repeatedly? And that’s what we’re doing. It’s not just some library that is going to be in trouble, it’s the whole population when God brings judgment.”

Folks, God IS bringing judgment. Right now. Today. On the church, the very people Pat Robertson represents atop the pedestal of his own righteousness. God is not going to “bring judgment” against the United State, because, honestly, what does He have to do with it anyway? America isn’t God’s church. Never has been; never will be. God doesn’t judge outsiders; He judges those who profess allegiance to Him. Think of it this way. If the church was actually doing its job, do you really think we would have all these social issues that dominate our lives and the lives of our friends and neighbors? As long as we embrace a gospel of self that emphasizes what’s good for us, our families, our friends, and our neighborhoods, we will always find fault with those who seem a threat to our comfort. This is the sad state of the Christianity practiced by “the church” under judgment. Is that you? Think carefully and prayerfully, for there’s more at stake for you than you might imagine.

Moreover — and this is what’s truly galling — the Bible does NOT say that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah over homosexuality. Ezekiel wrote that God destroyed Sodom for its self-comfort and lack of concern for the poor and needy, exactly as we have become today. Ezekiel 16:49–50:

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (NIV)

As I wrote in my book about my time with Pat Robertson, he’s a politician who happens to be a minister, not the other way around. As such, politics flows through every fiber of his being, and we see that reflected above. Pat’s audience is filled with grandparents. So is his donor base. Anything that appears to threaten the wellbeing of children is therefore a serious hot button to pursue. And what better straw man at which to point than homosexuals. It’s no coincidence that one of the things people can do with the outrage he describes is to give to CBN or maybe Republicans. In this sense, everything that comes out of his mouth is designed to tweak the consciences of those who support the work of CBN. In 1984, we raised $248 million in contributions by following this formula, and as long as the name Robertson is what makes the CBN ministry tick, viewers will be manipulated in this way.

I genuinely feel sorry for those who are caught up in this unawares, because they will not be held blameless in the midst of God’s judgment. Support Donald Trump, therefore, at your own peril, for we are playing the harlot with the oppressors, and God is nowhere near any of it.

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Trump’s “Fake News” Insult is a Steaming Pile of Bullshit

President Trump and New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger butted heads over the weekend on the matter of “fake news” and public references by the President calling journalists “the enemy of the people.” Sulzberger made his points via a statement after Trump broke the off-the-record agreement he had made with Sulzberger following a July 20 private meeting on the issue. Using his Twitter account, Trump spoke of the meeting while again attacking the press. This prompted a reply from Sulzberger:

“I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people,’ ” Sulzberger said. “I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”

This apparently angered Trump who went on to assail journalists and — as NPR put it — “dismissing them as unpatriotic and irresponsible.”

Needless to say, this has become a very ugly, nasty, and highly dangerous dispute, if for no other reason than it shifts press focus away from the bigger issues impacting everyone one in America under the anti-leadership of this slick and manipulative salesman that we put in office. But, perhaps that’s his purpose in this whole charade anyway.

So, let’s try this again. There is not now, nor has there ever been a liberal political bias as part of the mainstream news media. I’ve had people actually laugh in my face when making this claim, but my evidence is conclusive. It’s just that some people shut down when they hear it, because they are so absolutely convinced of the opposite. And this belief is nothing new. Remember that Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew said the exact things we’re hearing today coming from the right, yet people examining media history today would hardly view Walter Cronkite as a flaming liberal. The problem Agnew had was that he had no media outlet to back him up, except perhaps William F. Buckley’s National Review.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propagandist.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s make a distinction between the words “news” and “politics.” While it’s true that the discussion of political matters may be a necessary part of the news, it does not follow that the news business IS a political instrument. This is the fallacy that has clouded our judgment in the arguments over what is and is not “fake news.” When our President uses the term to tag the mainstream press, he is bearing a false witness and demeaning an institution that needs, instead, our protection. This is the nut of it.

I’m one of the people who helped originate the concept of non-liberal-biased TV news by calling it conservative and including conservative political arguments. But this strategy is based on the assumption that the mainstream is, in fact, political, and that is simply not true. Hence, the best we could rightly claim is that we were feeding viewers the kinds of propaganda that we claimed that liberals were doing with the mainstream press. Do you see the inherent conflict in the argument? From the manual on manipulation, The Thinker’s Guide To Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation, this tactic is Dirty Trick number one: Accuse Your Opponent of Doing What He is Accusing You of (or worse).

And yet, those convinced of this fallacy LAUGH at me. I spoke to a group of such people in Colorado last year, and when I started talking about this, they ended the meeting through their astonishment, mockery, and disdain, choosing instead to bring their Christianity into the discussion. I suppose I deserved this by presuming the right to challenge their beliefs directly, but the current political situation in our country demands honesty and open-mindedness in our thoughts and speech, regardless of what anybody thinks.

One must be a fringe conspiracy theorist to actually believe that “the Democrats” are somehow behind the actions of the press. This is absurd on its face, and to argue it is a waste of everybody’s time. It gets traction, however, because it’s said so often, and it fits so well with the grand narrative of the political right. The suggestion likewise that the press might instead be behind the Democrats’ thinking is even more absurd, and yet this is the position into which we are forced by those who have a beef with the progressive culture.

The press does not speak on behalf of the culture; it speaks to the culture. It speaks about what is NEW. That’s why it’s called “the news!” If the culture is moving in a progressive manner, of course we’ll hear about it from the press (and we do), but that doesn’t mean there’s anything of a political (read: manipulative) nature behind it. The press isn’t dictating to the culture how it believes the culture should behave. Of course, the press does provide the editorial page as a separate entity and includes letters to the editor, but this isn’t what Trump is talking about.

The culture doesn’t decide anything based on the news that the press provides. If anything, in providing its observations, the press gives the culture information upon which it can make its own political decisions. If one doesn’t like the current culture, they have every right to resist and object, but it accomplishes exactly nothing to shout “liberal conspiracy” at the messengers. Except, that is, to demonize the press as a political opponent. It is not.

Dog bites man, it’s not news. Man bites dog, it is news. To accuse the messenger of bias in this account is like saying, “Why is the press reporting on these idiots who bite dogs?” or “Oh, Lord, let us please go back to the time when men didn’t bite dogs.” In this sense, so-called “conservative” news isn’t really news; it’s “olds.” I say so-called, because news that is birthed of a political purpose (that’s what we have when we say that this news or that news is “conservative”) is actually propaganda, the kind of which is calculating and deliberate.

And there is nothing righteous about a society that’s built around a backbone of propaganda.

It’s time for the press to notice Israel

I’ve been asked a hundred times how Christians — specifically white evangelicals — can support a corrupt, racist, lying President who doesn’t appear to be even close to qualified for the office, a man who is cozying up to our enemies while destroying the characteristics that made America great in the first place. It’s a tough and complex question, but the behaviors described above just aren’t important when it comes to the Christians’ political agenda. They want Roe v Wade overturned, religious liberty (that borders on license) in all areas of life, and support for Israel expanded. In Trump the President, they’re getting exactly what they want.

While the country and the American press focus on the President’s misdeeds, fake news claims, morality, and especially his relationship with Russia, Israel’s far right wing radical Zionists — headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — have taken a giant step forward in seizing title to the entirety of the Holy Land. This includes rapid settlement development not only in the West Bank but also East Jerusalem, the home of Trump’s new American embassy. Moreover, the President’s tweet threatening the nuclear annihilation of Iran is directed more at boosting Israel than protecting any of America’s interests in the region. All of this sits amazingly well with Trump’s base support — the white evangelical Christians — who care nothing about the legality or morality of Israel’s behavior, only that it’s all a prelude to what they believe is the imminent return of Jesus Christ and what they believe is his thousand year reign of peace.

Tourism is absolutely booming in Israel with Trump supporters wanting to see the sacred Biblical sites but also activity in the West Bank and especially Jerusalem, where in their view Armageddon will begin. Israel’s economy is also booming, especially in the technology sector where Tel Aviv ranks fourth globally. It’s great to be an Israeli zealot in the era of Donald Trump. It’s also great time to be a fundamentalist end-times Christian, because (with a little help from them) an alliance between Gog and Magog (Russia), Gomer and Togarmah (Turkey), and Persia (Iran) is forming. These people believe this alliance will come against Israel, and that will usher in the return of Jesus. I’m serious. Support of Donald Trump is support of this foolishness, but it’s not without consequence.

Life for Palestinian Arabs in the area just keeps getting worse and worse, and this, too, escapes the view of the American press, because they’ve got seemingly bigger issues to watch at home. Israel commits horrible atrocities regularly and with impunity, because that’s the nature of U.S. support under the Trump administration. At least the State Department under Barack Obama would loudly object each time settlement extremists reached further into territory that doesn’t belong to them. These acts are illegal under international law, but that is irrelevant absent enforcement, and Netanyahu knows this. The settlements in the West Bank are especially troublesome, because the latest are splitting the land still occupied by Arabs into two pieces, which will make it easier to take it all. Building in Jerusalem is squeezing out land that used to belong to Palestinians. The resulting squalor and isolation the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are left to live in is worse than anyone in the West can imagine.

While Israel points to the incompetence of Hamas in Gaza, it is Israel that provides the real government there. Utilities are provided by Israel, which means cutting electricity and water is easy. In the West Bank, water goes to the settlements, not the Arabs who legally live there. Israel rations water and electricity supplies to Gaza, including electricity than powers sewage treatment. The whole idea is to make life so miserable for Arabs that they will flee or bow to so-called “negotiations” wherein they will be subjugated as a permanent minority.

The U.S. gives $10 million each and every day to support Israel’s “democracy,” while President Trump is cutting aid to Palestinians that goes to fund, among other things, medical clinics in Gaza. As Mondoweiss reports, these clinics are beginning to close:

Since January, US financing for humanitarian programmes serving the Palestinians has been suspended, with Washington saying it is being reviewed. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to force the Palestinians back to the negotiating table with Israel.

When Arab groups of especially young people object to not only the occupation but also to the living conditions they are required to endure, Israeli Defense Force snipers shoot to kill, celebrating when a protester falls with a bullet to the chest or head from long range. Israeli claims of being forced to defend itself become the automatic operating narrative, which provides appropriate justification for any atrocity while the world sits by and watches. This narrative positions all threats as existential, because the country is surrounded by nations who mostly object to their presence in the region. This would be believable, if it were true, but Israel has the military capability to absolutely overwhelm any enemy that might come against it, which makes Israel’s power the only existential threat in the entire Middle East. To the rest of the world, however, Israel presents itself as a helpless and isolated potential victim of rampant anti-semitism it faces each and every day. Bearing the banner of the Holocaust and a standard that says “Never Again,” Israel gets a pass no matter what crime it commits against humanity. This demands our truthful examination.

Even something as seemingly innocent as the construction of a museum in Jerusalem carries the stench of manipulation and expansion purpose. Simon Wiesenthal’s Museum of Tolerance is being built in East Jerusalem to open next year. It is incredibly controversial, however, as described in the Architecture publication Inexhibit:

The … problem is the presence of a highly regarded Muslim historic cemetery (known as Mamilla Cemetery) within the building site; therefore the construction of a relatively large building in a sacred burial site – with all which it implies, including excavations and removal of tombs, has been considered offensive and an “act of colonialism” by many Palestinians and by the Muslim religious authorities, who consider the museum actually just a part of a larger strategy aimed to physically and culturally remove Palestine from Jerusalem.

When Christians look at Israel — even through their own tours — they see the land of milk and honey promised by God to the Jews, a lush oasis of plenty on the desert seacoast where American-style avarice demands protection from envious neighbors. They see this as God in action in modern times, a narrative that impacts each of them individually through its links to Bible prophecy and the absolute surety with which they view their version of the faith.

I often wander down the path of the God of my understanding to ponder what He must be thinking as all of this unfolds. This whole business pits regional politics against Life, and, as Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic World says, “Life always finds a way.”

My admonition to the white evangelicals — many of whom are my brothers and sisters in the Lord — is this: Make sure that your own house is in order before you throw stones at others, especially in the Middle East, for all is definitely not as it seems.