Thursday, January 19, 2017

Haaretz: "Onward Christian Cabinet...Hurtling Toward Catastrophe"

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Haaretz, a widely read progressive Left Jewish newspaper based in Israel and the US, is warning the world of the coming catastrophe to the American Republic as a result of our newly elected President---and in particular, the Right Wing Christian cabinet he is putting in place.

In her attempt to warn the world, Israeli journalist Allison Kaplan Sommer, is, unknowingly, affirming how the prayers of conservative Christians are being answered.

As one of her ancient ancestors once said: "You meant it for harm, but God meant it for good."

Millions of Jewish people in Israel and around the world readily recognize the importance of the support Israel receives from the US---particularly American evangelical Christians.

Certainly Prime Minister Netanyahu does.

But not all Jewish people embrace that truth. Some of them attempted to unseat Netanyahu with the help of some of Barack Obama's own political campaign team this past year.

Journalist Allison Kaplan Sommers would be one who does not embrace the strong support Israel receives from evangelical Christians.

Writing for Haaretz just before Christmas, she warned the world with this headline: "Onward Christian Cabinet: Trump's White House Picks Are A Christmas Gift for the Religious Right."

The subtitle to the international story read: "Donald Trump may give evangelical Christians a level of power and influence on American life they never had before."

And yesterday, Haaretz added this to the story: "The United States, the most grand of human political experiments is, in early 2017, hurtling toward a catastrophe."

Also yesterday US News and World Report published a similar story. While not as stern in their warning, they were equally as concerned and convinced as Haaretz that the Republicans have taken over the country and the Christians have taken over the Republican Party--- and, they say, the proof lies in who Trump is appointing.

Their headline is telling: "Republicans take over Washington in full control of the country." I'll come back to this in a moment.

Haaretz is also adding subtitles like, "In Trump-Pence era, who will protect Texas' gay cowboys," and "Trump shows how right wingers can love Israel and hate the Jews."

Kaplan-Sommers says, "A convincing argument can be made that he owes it to them"---them, of course, is "us" the evangelicals.

She says, "Trump pulled in 81% of the evangelical vote, a higher percentage than Mitt Romney, John McCain, or even George W. Bush, who was a born-again Christian himself."

"And so, in turn, a White House is shaping up where Trump will put more committed Christians, including familiar faces in evangelical political circles, in key policy making roles than any previous other American president---to even a greater extent then Bush [43] who emphasized 'faith-based' initiatives, or Ronald Reagan, who owed a great deal to the Moral Majority for his 1980 landslide."

Dr. Yael Sternhill, a senior lecturer in history and American studies at Tel Aviv University, says, "Trump and his team are reinforcing the relationship between his White House and the core GOP constituencies to create an administration that will be widely supported by traditional Republicans."

"Traditional" as in Judeo-Christian beliefs and values. He is fully aware of what the Republican Party Platform says, and who is responsible for those "planks." People like the late Phylis Schlafly and others.

This is the point we have been making in this column since the election.

While she intends it to rally the far Left troops, her research and comments also serves as a further affirmation that something unique is happening in our culture. I believe it is an answer to the prayers of millions of conservative and evangelical Christians.

Kaplan-Sommers blames Mike Pence for a great deal of what she believes is about to happen in America.

She writes, "Leading the Christian influence within the nascent Trump administration is its transition chief, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the driving force in consolidating Christian support for Trump through out the campaign."

She reviews the personal testimony of Mike Pence, how he was raised Catholic, but came to accept Jesus Christ at a Christian concert while in college---how he "wears his on his sleeve, and during the Vice Presidential debate told the country and the world 'My Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am, and I try to spend a little time on my knees every day'," and she says he refers to his political career as his "calling" and reminds her readers that in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention he said, "I'm Christian, a conservative, and a Republican---in that order."

Kaplan- Sommers also reminds her readers that "Pence's religious beliefs drive his fight against abortion; He has said 'the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief , that ancient principle...where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you."

She further outlines that abortion isn't the only thing Pence stands against, but as a governor he took a stand against the LBGT, etc., etc.

She says Ben Carson, a Seventh Day Adventist, "has regularly preached about his Christian conversion and billionaire Betsy DeVoss, Trump's choice for education secretary, a devout evangelical Christian once told a Christian audience (reported by Politico) that she "wants to advance God's Kingdom"---and to "impact our culture in ways that are not the traditional funding- the- Christian- organization route, but that really may have greater Kingdom gain in the long run by changing the way we approach things---in this case the system of education in the country."

To the far left secular progressive NEA and those who support them, this is scary. In fact almost paralyzing.

She says while most news coverage of Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice for the EPA, has focused on his climate change denial, Americans should also know that "he is a committed Southern Baptist, serves as a deacon in his church, is a trustee of the board of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, donated money to help privately fund the installation of a granite monument of the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds of Oklahoma---and that he has said he believes the answers to the problems we face in our culture are found in the Bible, the Word of God."

There's more profiling in her article---Ken Blackwell, Rick Perry and others, because the cast of people Trump is choosing for his administration and his advisers are, in great part, committed and capable Christians.

She admits Trump is not a spiritual leader---but warns all these people are. And their impact is going to be significant.

Yesterday, US News and World Report published the same message in a bit different way with this: "Republicans Take Over Washington in Full Control of the Country."

Ken Walsh writes, "The Democrats are in the worst shape since the 1920s."

He talks about the significance of the Supreme Court nominations that will shape the Court and the culture for many years after the Trump administration.

He says for Democrats it's worse than just loosing the White House---"They lost more than 900 seats in state legislatures---Republicans now control an all time high of 69 of 99 legislative chambers, and they hold 33 of 50 state governorships, tying a record they set nearly 100 years ago."

Walsh concludes his article with a quote from Bernie Sanders: "The Democratic Party has got to make it very clear that they are prepared to stand up...And they're not going to win elections and they're not going to be doing the right thing for the American people unless they have the guts to do that."

The greater question is not about the politics of this seismic shift in America, but about how Christians will respond to the opportunity that God has put before us.

Tomorrow, tens of millions will celebrate the peaceful transfer of power in the most powerful nation in the world.

Among those who celebrate, millions will have some understanding of the spiritual dynamic of what is happening in America. And will recognize the opportunity God has laid before us.

Tens of millions will not celebrate. In fact authorities say at least 350,000 people are coming to Washington DC specifically to disrupt the Inauguration of our 45th President.

The spirit of these disrupters will continue beyond the actual Presidential Inauguration.

Paul's words in I Corinthians 16:8-9 speak to us today: "But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."

By all accounts---a great door of opportunity has opened for conservatives and evangelicals to impact our culture with the Truth.

There will be "many adversaries."

Will we stand? Will we, as Betsy DeVoss advocates, "advance God's Kingdom?"

To whom much is given, much is required.

Be Thankful. Be Spirit-filled. Be Proactive. Be Blessed.