Saturday, December 15, 2018

Contrarious Con-servatsim: Part Two


Part Two of our chronicle of contrarious con-servatism features the "Common Sense" of host T. Paine. He sees hateful rhetoric from everyone but his Trumpist sidekick Majormajor. Time to "own the libs" and put them in their place, for only conservatives can be trusted to truly know what progressives think. 

Not only do conservatives know best about our shallow thoughts, they also understand more what our deepest fears are.

This has always amazed me, but I'm just a clueless, looney, hateful lib, obviously. 

Our history lesson from a Constitutional expert will prove enlightening. We will be told the founders considered fair elections "mob rule", or some such horror. We will be told that my facts and understanding of history are "revisionist", because, you know, only conservatives REALLY know history. Just ask 'em.

We will learn conservatives are better informed on current events as well. Take it from me, folks. The Right has ALL the answers.

Turns out Obama was a false messiah, and Trump is really the nation's savior. It's as plain as black and white, apparently.

Trump's wild lie about millions of illegal brown voters will be supported. We will be told of the Left's deepest fear and our sinister war on democracy. Trump's "invaders" are storming our borders to destroy our elections by voting with the liberals bent on...well Mr. Paine tells it best.

~~~~~~~~

T. Paine:
Wow. I walked away and left the door open for continued hateful rhetoric.

The religious fervor of these "non-religious" leftists is amazing. "We believe in nothing but political correctness, the power of the state, identity politics, and the demise of capitalism."

Everything to the right of center in their world is corrupt, evil, and hateful, while the left demands more of their debts and responsibilities to be paid for by the evil rich, which of course are all Republicans. (Soros, Bezos, and Hollywood millionaires are all philanthropists and therefore not subject to the evil rich meme.)

The left decry the ruination of Democracy at the hands of Putin and Trump. Being indoctrinated in liberal schools by incompetent or agenda-driven teachers, they don't realize that America is a republic and the founders were leery of democracy due to many inherent faults, thus they put in filters into the constitution to prevent mob-rule based on the whims of trendy group-think cretins that fail to recognize the ramifications of some of their actions. What the Left fails to denounce is the real foreign influence in our voting process, as millions of illegal aliens try to storm our borders to become "citizens" while holding on to their native cultures and denouncing the evil America that they wish would provide them everything from the womb to the tomb. (Assuming you make it out of the womb alive, with the "pro-choice" crowd's full embrace of the culture of death.)

Yep, it is Trump, conservatives, and the constitution that they fear, while twisting and projecting their hate and bile as being products of their enemies. They are the true perpetrators of this cold civil war. I pray that we can reconcile excesses on both sides, but especially on the hateful and destructive left, before this cold war ever turns hot.

I fear that the America we all knew may be doomed though, as the militant leftists have seized control of much of the media, the educational institutions, and the culture. It is hard to overcome the indoctrination and faith-based propaganda of these people as we have already ceded so much ground to them. Any word spoken contrary to their "beliefs" is labeled as hate. It is ironically an Orwellian world they are creating while fearing that the Right is guilty of such a creation. Prayer may be our only effective remaining weapon. God help us and bless our nation.
December 3, 2018

Dave Dubya:
Is Mr. Paine playing the victim again, saying, “WAAH! Mean leftist commies!”? It’s certainly an effective tool to employ when the facts cannot be credibly disputed.

Majormajor’s saying, “Your buddy Louis (Farrakhan)” is OKIYAR, obviously. Liberals are commie Muslim racists, donchaknow.

We see the usual white nationalist hysteria about the dreaded brown invaders, with children yet. GAS those little invaders!

More “liberal schools by incompetent or agenda-driven teachers” again. Trump has no agenda. Schools bad. FOX/Limbaugh good. Got it.

Time for a much needed lecture from our leading Constitutional Authority:

“...they don't realize that America is a republic...”

Yes we do. This is just another lie about us. They never tire of their lies. They arrogantly believe they know what we think, yet are incapable of understanding us, or debating with facts and reason.

A republic is “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.” And how do they get elected again? That’s right kids. By voters in a democratic election, aka democracy. (a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.)

“the founders were leery of democracy due to many inherent faults, thus they put in filters into the constitution to prevent mob-rule based on...”

The founders NEVER equated democracy with mob rule. This is a far Right con-servative propaganda lie.

In fact the founders held the highest of democratic ideals and stated it openly in the Declaration of Independence. “Consent of the governed” was their ideal.

Then the racists of the South demanded an electoral college, and more representation for the slave owners. Three-fifths was their arbitrary value assigned to slaves. They demanded representation of these people for themselves, didn’t they? Yes. So much for consent of the governed. Many states have had an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters, yet Republicans own the state Houses. Guess what kids. That ain’t a republic. It is a rigged system of certain voters having more power than others. Like an aristocracy or dictatorship by the minority. Not a republic.

This line of reasoning and facts will be dismissed as hate, of course.

Our Constitution expert never responded to my question about the Emoluments Clause. I wonder why? IOKIYAR or Trump, amirite?

And look! More far Right dogma direct from FOX(R) and Limbaugh.

"We believe in nothing but political correctness, the power of the state, identity politics, and the demise of capitalism."

What could they say if they couldn’t lie about us? BTW, Trump personifies the identity politics of white nationalists. He has earned admiration from David Duke. (This will be called hateful.)

”Yep, it is Trump, conservatives, and the constitution that they fear, while twisting and projecting their hate and bile as being products of their enemies. They are the true perpetrators of this cold civil war.”

Anyone having Trump, conservatives, and the Constitution sharing the same subject is devoid of basic understanding of each of them. Emoluments again? Crickets. Denying the Black guy’s Constitutional Supreme Court appointment? IOKIYAR.

How do you tell a cult it was their leaders that first accused the opposition of hating America? You can’t. You can’t tell them anything.

What kind of ill-informed person would say the side with most voter support is “Orwellian”, as his leader lies constantly and demands imprisonment of political opposition?

Ya got me. Sounds like a cult member to me.

Just for perspective on how radicalized the white nationalist Party of Trump has become.

George H. W. Bush voted for Hillary. That is a fact.

He and McCain demonstrated the final acts of Republican decency.

All that is gone.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Contrarious Con-servatism: Part One


As this chronicle is too long for a single blog posting, I will present it in serial installments. Sort of like a “Pickwick Papers” of our post-truth Trump America.

Deep down the dusty dark corridors of the essentially defunct blog called “Saving Common Sense” there occurred a mini-Armageddon of sorts. It resulted in one last animated exchange between yours truly and T. Paine.

Let’s first state for the record Mr. Paine did not vote for Trump, although his assimilation into Trumpism was noted. Just as the Republican Party has been subsumed by Trump and transformed into the Party of Trump, American conservatism has largely been subsumed by Trumpism.

White Nationalist Don the Con is the authoritarian Dear Leader of the American cult of con-servatism. The “Lyin’ King” is their undisputed ruler. His lies, hate, racism and crimes are acceptable tools for seizing power and dominance.

Of course they project all that hate and dishonesty onto their opposition.

Mr. Paine was clearly disturbed by what he deemed as “hate” from those who didn’t agree with his sidekick Majormajor. For perspective, I included a small sample of Majormajor’s adolescent level of discourse preceding the intervention of Mr. Paine.

I would like to thank other special guests Jefferson’s Guardian, TB3, and Jerry Critter, who also made an appearance during this epic final debate for the soul of America.

While I don’t anticipate an overwhelmingly enthusiastic general response to these exchanges, it should stand as a historical record for the participants. For those adventurous, or bored, enough to follow this chronicle, there will be many familiar themes featured in these clashes between facts and ideology. Yes, there will be resentment and anger towards the usual targets of the Right. There will also be false accusations and a deep misunderstanding of progressive thought. All that and more, folks.

Our prelude will feature a racially infused commentary in the fact-free, pre-teen style of our loyal and devoted Trump fan Majormajor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Majormajor:
Still in love with the NOI Dave?


Dave Dubya:
White Nationalists seem obsessed with Nation Of Islam. I wonder why...

If there were a "liberal racist plot" why would they love the NOI? Why would liberals side with Jews gunned down by a Trumpist racist?

Someone is making no sense, apart from deflection by projecting his own bigotry.

Meanwhile the white nationalist Trump is calling the Black candidate for Florida governor a "thief".

I wonder why? Is it part of the white nationalist racist plot?

Majormajor:
Dave, I bet YOU Do WONDER WHY, since your refuse to call the NOI for their racism, you must support their positions. If the shoe fits Dave, wear it.

 Dave Dubya:
As long as we're showing the propaganda of the far Right, here is the Breitbart headline that fed into the Synagogue killer's Trump-inspired hate:

"Anti-Trump ‘Jewish Rally for Refugees’ Organizer Funded by Obama Government to Resettle Refugees"

Innocent Jews were massacred because of these lies and hate.

This is the hate now employed by the alt-Right American Axis of Evil.

It's all part of "Owning the libs" to MM.
 
Majormajor:
How's your buddy Louis doing Dave? Celebrating the death of 11 Jews?

What president said if they bring a knife, we bring a gun?


Dave Dubya:

Two Presidential Reactions to the California Fires:

“Michelle and I are heartbroken for everybody who’s lost so much in California, and grateful for the heroism of the firefighters who’ve been risking their lives around the clock to save others. Please do what you can to help our fellow Americans in need:”

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

One is clearly a vile ignorant asshole. Some dare call him evil.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thankful, For Now.


Let’s be thankful this day for our right to speak truth to power. But we should know this may not last. We either use it or lose it.  

Our First Amendment right to free speech is being reduced to the right of corporations and the wealthy to unlimited speech and influence. We the people need to speak out. Voting is our most important political speech.

Let us be thankful for what representation we have remaining, but we should also know this may not last either. We use it or lose it.  

Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence tells us:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

How’s that been working out? More Americans voted for Democratic senators, yet the Republicans hold the Senate. Only an amendment to the Constitution can remedy this inequality.

Democracy is being suppressed across the states as well.

In the state houses of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina Democrats got more votes than Republicans. Republicans still control them. Voters in Michigan have had enough, and passed a ballot proposal to end partisan gerrymandering. The sooner the rest of the country follows this example the better.

The time has come to draw the line and speak the clear truth that few dare to utter.

Trump the self-proclaimed nationalist is a racist. He is a tyrant who has sought to pervert our civil law enforcement into imprisoning political opponents. Half the country knows this. What most of us need to learn is who the enemy of the people really is, and it is not our free press, despite the corporatized lap-dog it has become.

Trump is doing what the founders rebelled against.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The Declaration also states:

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

In our time, the history of the present Party of Trump is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations.

The corporatist/nationalist Right are the enemies of democracy, enemies of truth, and enemies of our right to life and liberty, for health care is essential to life. Clean air and water are the essentials of life. 

They are betraying the founders' ideal of consent of the governed. It is obvious these extremists do not love our country. They love only power and wealth, and democracy is in their way.

Trump has bent the knee to Putin and given a green light to more assassinations of journalists. This was all blatantly in defiance of our security agencies. His is the face of treachery, betrayal, and evil.

Trump and the Party of Trump are the worst threat to democracy this country ever faced. And that makes them all evil. This is the bottom line, folks. Just as there are no good Nazis, and no good white supremacists, there are no good Republicans. Not anymore. 

The good among them have left the party. Their denial of Obama's Constitutional duty to appoint a Supreme Court Justice has proven this. The confirmation of Kavanaugh has proven this. Their loyalty to Trump has proven this. Their exclusive fealty and service to the economic elites have proven this. Their war on voter rights has proven this. What more evidence do we need? 

“Let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

This truth must be repeated as urgently and as frequently as their lies are repeated.

Those who support Trump and his party are wittingly or unwittingly supporting evil. Period.

In order to act on the truth, we must first speak the truth. And the Right is at war with the truth. We need to be aware that our ability to act on truth is threatened each and every day by the Party of Trump.

Let’s exercise our rights and take up our founders’ cause to form a more perfect union, and establish their dream of consent of the governed.

Let’s be thankful we have the wits and ability to identify the enemy of the people, the tyranny that is upon us. Patriots must now take a stand, and continue to stand, against the white nationalists and corporatists in power.

We must never forget we hold these truths to be self-evident. And we must always remind the enemies of democracy we know who they are.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

When Fascism Comes To America


This Sunday, to bookend the week of midterm elections, I’d like to offer a second Sunday sermon. I want to share some considerations that expound on last Sunday’s message.

Running up to this past Tuesday’s election, the Party of Trump and FOX(R) did their best to portray Democrats and dissenting Americans as an angry mob.

It is pure projection, of course.

Nazi Tiki parades, Klansmen, and the thuggish Proud Boys show us the real angry mobs are Trumpist bigots.

White Nationalists have been even further radicalized and emboldened by the hateful rhetoric of Trump. Since 9-11, American right-wing terrorism and its body count has been keeping pace with violent Jihadists.

And it’s only getting worse. Anti-Semitic and other hate crimes are increasing in the Trump era.

Want to see another angry mob?

Trump rallies are not celebrations of tax cuts and deregulation. It's all about their resentment, anger and rage in an extended version of Orwell’s “Two minute hate”. Lately journalists and black women seem to be getting a special serving of ire.

So why are they so angry, even while holding most of the power of our government?

They are frightened. They believe in all their fear-mongering, scapegoating, conspiracies, and lies.

White Nationalism is in a frenzied panic. They still see themselves as the real oppressed “victims”, you know. They want to wield political power as a means to social and cultural dominance. As I said, it isn’t about tax cuts and deregulation. If it were, they would be happy now. No, they want to divide, conquer and rule. They will eventually fail in that goal, but their damage to truth, democracy, and decency will take decades to reverse.

And there is always the possibility that war can erupt at any time with nationalists in power, so there’s that.

The fact that corporate power is allied with, and abetted by, white nationalism will make it all the harder to uproot.

I'm not convinced the planet and civilization can emerge intact from the dire consequences of this plague of white nationalism. Global warming tells us time may not be on our side.

But I am convinced that not resisting will only allow them to double down on their destruction of our democratic republic and to get away with their rampage. So resist we must. This is our unending struggle for truth, democracy and decency.

We need to understand how creeping extremism insinuates itself into our society and subsumes large segments of our population.

The Trump Cult is loaded with fundamentalist Evangelicals, and it is proving religion is usually woven into the fabric of extremism and fascism.

These guys understood how it works:

On October 10, 1936 Heinrich Himmler created the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion, or Special Office (II S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo.

The inspiration?

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolph Hitler "My New World Order" - Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

(Just to note, “Nation and National” appear FIVE times in those three sentences. “Socialism”? Zero. Socialism only appears after “National”. So yes, Nazis are nationalists after all. Remember “First they came for the socialists”?)

We recall the Wehrmacht's belt buckles were stamped with "Gott Mitt Uns".

The reactionary intolerance and bigotry of violent Jihadism and White Nationalism are cut from the same cloth. They even share targeting of Jews. And they all hate liberals, dissent, and a free press. Fusing politics and religion is always destructive to life, truth, and democracy.

Godwin's Law has been revised by Godwin himself: "First, let me get this Donald Trump issue out of the way: If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician."

The Trump cult is proving to be the spawn of nationalism and fundamentalism. A match made in hell, I dare say. 

The very real and very deadly threat of the American Axis of Evil brings us to consider the theme often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, although no one can source the exact quote.

“When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

Whoever first said it was paying attention to the simmering undercurrent of far Right America.

Also attributed to Sinclair Lewis, without source:

“The worst Fascists were they who disowned the word “Fascism” and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

Now we’re getting to the inner essence of the radical Right.

The following are more great statements on the merging of religion, corporatism, and nationalism into the roots of American neo-fascism.

“Every robber or oppressor in history has wrapped himself in a cloak of patriotism or religion, or both. I am not a patriot as defined in the lexicon of the house of Morgan. I’d not murder my fellow men of my own accord, and why should I do it at the behest of the master class?” - Eugene Debs

“No wonder Jackson said that ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels’. He had the Wall Street gentry in mind or their prototypes, at least; for in every age it has been the tyrant, who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both.” - Eugene Debs

“The Ku Klux Klan comes wrapped in the American flag, as it were, advocating the American principles openly, with a Bible in its hand, and the very next day they are passing their neighbors with a mask over their faces.” Lonnie Jackson, mayor of Central City, Kentucky and president of District No. 23 of the United Mine Workers of America, 1923

“When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, Americanism.” - Professor Halford E. Luccock of the Divinity School of Yale University, September 1938.

“The truth is that Henry Wallace and former President Roosevelt have advocated supplementing our political Bill of Rights with an economic charter of rights, so that Fascism will not slip up on us wrapped in the flag and traveling in the name of free enterprise.” - Irving Johns letter published in the “Cleveland Plain Dealer 1945

And lest we forget America’s Last Prophet:

“When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts … Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it. Believe me, my friend.” – George Carlin

Now the American Axis of Evil comes into clear focus. That should just about cover it, but I would add this:

When Fascism comes to America, Americans will not recognize it.
When Fascism comes to America, Americans will want to be great again.
When Fascism comes to America, Americans will welcome it.

- Dave Dubya

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Patriotism v Nationalism


The post election press conference went as expected. The authoritarian leader declared victory after losing the House of Representatives.

Of course the press was attacked again. There were more whining accusations about “hostile media”, “fake news” and “enemy of the people”.

And this included a personal attack on Jim Acosta. "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN."

So much for toning down the rhetoric.

But the White Nationalist had more rage to vent.

“Such a racist question!” Trump interrupted Yamiche Alcindor, the black female correspondent for PBS. He accused her several times that the question was "racist" and "insulting". She wasn’t allowed to finish her question without being interrupted. All she wanted was clarification on what he meant by calling himself a nationalist. In framing her question, she mentioned people saw it as emboldening white nationalists.

And there it is.

No wonder he didn’t want to answer her question. No wonder he projected “racist” at a black woman. White nationalists like Trump see themselves as “nationalists”, not white nationalists. They think we can’t see the sheet if they don’t hold it up, but we remember it was his birther flag that first rallied his base. 

Here’s the thing. Patriots love their country. They serve their country, the Constitution and above all the people. Most of us are patriots to one degree or another. Most of us are not nationalists.

Nationalists are different. They say the love the country, but hate half the people. They claim to want law and order, but when justice investigates their crimes, they attack justice. They hate democracy. They hate equality.

They want purity and power and superiority over not only other nations, but over domestic opposition as well. They don’t want to govern by fact, reason or compromise. They want to rule. They are very white and very conservative, and often very racist. And they are backed by the gilded elites and duped authoritarian evangelicals.

This is the Nationalist Party of Trump.

Anyone dividing the people, threatening political opponents, obstructing justice, and calling the press the enemy of the people, while bragging about being a nationalist IS evil.

He's doing what every evil tyrant in history has done.

Too many Americans have been asking for it. The sheep are drinking the koolade and following the authoritarians into the darkness of the coming abyss. And they will drag us with them, if we let them.  We American Patriots need to clearly see the threat to our country, to vote and to defend democracy and to stop the Nationalist Party of Trump. 

This election showed just how weak the Patriotic resistance is. The House is all we have for constitutional checks and balances. They are up against the corrupted radical Right White House and Senate. And their efforts will be blunted by a Supreme Court now owned by the forces of the Corporate/puritanical Right.

The Constitutional crisis that has been brewing for two years is about to come to a boil. Carl Bernstein is right. The “Cold Civil War” is here.

The United States might survive. But it will not be the same. A democratic republic cannot survive unless the Party of Trump and its owners are defeated and prevented from ever gaining power again. This express train to fascism is only being slowed temporarily.

For that we can be proud and grateful. But this is no time to rest in false comfort.

Meanwhile their war on justice, equality, decency, democracy, the free press, and the truth continues.

And for that I call them evil. We Patriots must always stand against the evil of anti-democratic corporatist nationalism.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Trump And Evil


Is Trump evil?

This is a question that needs open discussion in our gravely ill democratic republic.

I dared to make this statement: Those who side with Trump are wittingly, or unwittingly, siding with evil.

A conservative friend could’t see my point, and declared, “Anyone that supports Trump is siding with evil? Yeah, that is the way to tone down the bombastic rhetoric.”

I dare call out evil when I see it. If that is bombastic, so be it. (As if Trump ISN'T the real bombastic one?)

I’ll be as bombastic as I please as long as Trump bends the knee to Putin and his lies before the world, and sides with him, over our professional law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

I’ll be as bombastic as I please as long as Trump shreds truth and decency, and aids and abets corruption in our government, and fuels widespread hate in our national discourse.

Maybe I'm not being bombastic at all. Unlike Trump, I am just being honest.

Here is an accepted definition of Evil: profoundly immoral and malevolent... harmful; injurious

Trump IS evil. By almost any definition. He admitted to sex crimes. He is greedy. He is dishonest. He is narcissistic. He is a racist and rose to power on racist birtherism. He lies, he cheats, he hates, he instills and aggravates fear, anger, and resentments. And he employs all of that in service to his self-aggrandizement and power.

Isn't that evil enough? 

There's more. Much more.

One would think his deliberate and cruel policy of child abuse and trauma for people seeking asylum would make that clear. One would think his tax cuts for the rich and gutting health care and aid to the poor would make that clear. But no. All of a sudden the debt isn't a worry, until they want to cut out more public safety nets. Hypocrisy is evil too. It reeks of lies.

Trump is evil. If one supports him, one supports evil. Deal with it, deny it, deflect from it all day. But evil is evil, no matter what excuses his Party, white nationalists, or the rest of his cult want to make.



And there is this: “It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now!”  Trump tweeted along with the vile ad blaming Democrats for a cop killer, that is so racist networks are refusing to air it.

Message received:

“Go Trump Go! Your Midterm Ad is a masterpiece personifying the insanity of our immigration Policy. Bravo Trump!” - David Duke

Evil supporting evil. White Nationalism on display for all to see.

Voter suppression, gerrymandering, a far Right propaganda network, corrupt billionaires, and lies from the Party of Trump work ceaselessly to assure that pendulum never swings back to the center, let alone to the left.

They will succeed as long as ignorant, clueless, fearful, angry Americans see no evil in Trump and his Party, as they coddle the rich and screw the poor, as they pollute our air and water, and dismantle democracy and destroy the truth. 

Many reformed Republicans and decent conservatives agree with me. 

The bottom line today is this: A vote against the Party of Trump is a vote against evil. 


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Sermon


While few may be disappointed, there will be no preaching from "Rev. Dave" today.

Instead I present a final Sunday sermon, before the voters of the United States decide between truth and lies, between decency and hate, and between democracy and white nationalism.

Today two special guest pastors shall have the pulpit.

~~~~~~

Christianity and Totalitarianism

From the chapter entitled "Christianity and Totalitarianism" from Disputed Questions (1960) by Thomas Merton

A mass movement readily exploits the discontent and frustration of large segments of the population which for some reason or other cannot face the responsibility of being persons and standing on their own feet. But give these persons a movement to join, a cause to defend, and they will go to any extreme, stop at no crime, intoxicated as they are by the slogans that give them a pseudo-religious sense of transcending their own limitations. The member of a mass movement, afraid of his own isolation, and his own weakness as an individual, cannot face the task of discovering within himself the spiritual power and integrity which can be called forth only by love. Instead of this, he seeks a movement that will protect his weakness with a wall of anonymity and justify his acts by the sanction of collective glory and power. All the better if this is done out of hatred, for hatred is always easier and less subtle than love. It does not have to respect reality as love does. It does not have to take account of individual cases. Its solutions are simple and easy. It makes its decisions by a simple glance at a face, a colored skin, a uniform. It identifies an enemy by an accent, an unfamiliar turn of speech, an appeal to concepts that are difficult to understand. He is something unfamiliar. This is not "ours." This must be brought into line - or destroyed. 

Here is the great temptation of the modern age, this universal infection of fanaticism, this plague of intolerance, prejudice and hate which flows from the crippled nature of man who is afraid of love and does not dare to be a person. It is against this temptation most of all that the Christian must labor with inexhaustible patience and love, in silence, perhaps in repeated failure, seeking tirelessly to restore, wherever he can, and first of all in himself, the capacity of love and which makes man the living image of God.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.

~~~~~~

And we close with the famous poem about Nazis by German Pastor Martin Niemoeller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me. 

- Amen.

Go in peace. Go and vote.