Monday, January 07, 2019

A Tale of 2 Selfies---The 116th Congress and The People

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America is learning what our new 116th Congress looks like---and we're learning very quickly it isn't like any that preceded it.

Both the face and voice of America's "public servants" have changed.

From newly elected Muslims screaming profanities and threats at the president, to the far-Left progressives and socialists calling for 70% tax rates to save us from the so-called "climate crises" ---we enter 2019.

Be informed.

A new PEW Research report gives us a picture---a snapshot, of what Congress looks like.

A new AP poll gives us a picture of the citizens the 116th Congress is supposed to represent.

The public servants and the citizens are not on the same page.

The religious profile of the 116th Congress.

The new PEW Research report reveals that the total share of Christians in the new Congress is down.

While Christians still make up a majority of Congressional members, at 88%, that is a 3% decline from the 115th Congress which in turn had a lower percentage of Christian than the 114th Congress.

Christian Post notes that "Various Protestant denominations make up 54.9% with Baptists at 13.5%, while at 163 members, Roman Catholics represent about a third of Congress at 30.5%.

In the 115th Congress, 91% of members identified as Christian, in the 116th, 88% said they were Christian.

The Pew report linked above gives an in-depth profile of what kinds of religious affiliations the members have.

PEW notes that by far the largest difference between the US public and Congress is in the share who are unaffiliated with a religious group. In the general public, 23% say they are atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular." In Congress, just one person---Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ., says she is religiously unaffiliated.

Apparently, most politicians are religious, or they believe it's a political advantage to appear to be religious.

And speaking of religion. The 116th Congress boasts two Muslim women---first time ever. They are Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Democrat IIhan Omar. And they're the ones making the headlines.

Tlaib was sworn in last Thursday wearing a traditional Palestinian dress. It was initially reported that she would be sworn in with her hand on Thomas Jefferson's Quran, but she changed her mind.

She told the local Detroit news she would be sworn in on a family Quran instead---which she did.

She told the press it was important to her to use her family Quran, because "a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history."

Tlaib said, "Muslims were here at the beginning...Some of our Founding Fathers knew more about Islam than some of our members of Congress now."

What PEW and the press fail to report is that while it is true the Muslims were "there at the beginning," they "were there" because they were pirates robbing our ships along the Barbary Coast. Our Founders, including Jefferson, studied the Quran trying to figure out how to deal with them. There is also record that some of our more evangelical Founders expressed interest in converting them to Christianity.

To suggest, as we often heard from Barack Obama and are now beginning to hear again, that Islam contributed substantially to the founding and exceptionalism of America is simply not true.

What is true is that we are deeply divided politically, because we are deeply divided morally.

The political profile of the 116th Congress.

While public servants who identify as "Christian" is 88%, this does not necessarily translate to the belief in biblical principles and values of our Founding Fathers.

Nancy Pelosi, who has regained the position of Speaker of The House, claims to be a devout Christian while spiritualizing her advocacy for abortion, same-sex marriage, globalism and extreme environmental activism.

The political differences between this Congress and the people they were elected to "serve" is significant.

Actions speak louder than words.

A recent poll by Associated Press finds that "nearly half of Americans identify immigration as a top issue for the government to work on this year, yet the first legislation passed by the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives was to force Donald Trump to make his tax reports public and to rescind the Mexico City Policy. The policy was first instituted by President Reagan to stop US taxpayers from funding abortion in foreign countries, then rescinded by Clinton and Obama. President Trump has reinstated the policy.

In light of what's important to the public---the Democrats are focusing on issues that are not even on the list of important issues of the American public.

In fact, President Trump noted yesterday that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have advocated for precisely what he is trying to do in securing our borders.

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country” (Sen. Barrack Obama of Illinois. 2005).
“I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders” (Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 2015).

If the issue really isn't the issues, what is it?

Yale Professor David Gelernter wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago in which he argued that the real reason for the division is because the Left hates Donald Trump.

In brief, he said:
"This is an instructive hatred, because what the Left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America...this is a hatred they are proud of---they boast about."

He said, "I believe the average Trump hater truly does hate the average American---male, female, black or white. Often he hates America too, because Trump is a typical American--except exaggerated. And rich."

Gelernter says,
"Trump's bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable are all things that average Americans relate to"---things for which the Left has no concept."

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.