Friday, August 18, 2017

Responding to Mitt Romney's Letter to Trump

Mitt Romney (Motus Non-Sequitorum)
TETH (who explicitly detests and disavows Nazism, white nationalism, white supremacy, Antifa, BLM, and a host of other unsavory ideologies antithetical to Christian discipleship) has never strayed into the domain of politics on this blog, but Mitt Romney's letter to Trump was sufficient cause to publish a few thoughts in these distressing times. What follows is the perspective of one lone Primitive Baptist on Romney's facebook post:


I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. (Mitt Romney) 
So telling racists and extremists they are to blame for the violence in Charlottesville causes them to rejoice? If that is true then one is simply affirming that telling them the truth causes them to rejoice, because it is undeniably true that there was blame on both sides that led to the violence in Charlottesville. Should we rather tell them a lie because we believe it will be disheartening to them?

Telling minorities that there was blame on both sides that caused the events in Charlottesville, causes them to weep? So the truth is hurtful to them? Isn’t that akin to saying that “minorities” can’t handle the truth? A more racist implication is hard to invent. Telling “the vast heart of America” the truth causes them to mourn? Well, the truth of this matter is certainly a mournful tale of decline in our nation, no doubt about that, but I suspect many of that “vast heart of America” are mourning Trump's words, not because they were irresponsible or inaccurate, but because they are relentlessly true and because of the unhinged reaction that they see many fellow Americans have when confronting difficult truths. 
His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric. (Romney)
The reality we have uncovered is just how disconnected from truth a great many American’s have become. Trump’s words are not the cause of the disease, but they do expose a symptom. The reaction to Trump’s comments reveal the incapability of many to rationally assess and digest the truth, when it does not conform to one’s preconceived notions of political correctness. 
The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president's words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces--made up and sustained by men and women of all races--could be in the balance. (Romney) 
Nonsense. Trump’s statements are factual. If our military leadership is incapable of dealing with unpleasant factual realities, they will prove to be poor leaders on the battlefield.
Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. (Romney) 
Really? I suppose we will see that their confidence is so rocked that they’ll stop accepting all that free military defense we have been graciously providing them for well over half a century. How on earth does denouncing violence of all sorts diminish America’s ability to secure a peaceful and prosperous world? That is complete hogwash. 
And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11? (Romney)
Perhaps more to the point: Who would want the support of countries that are so devoid of understanding that they interpret any statement made that does not conform to some ideal of political correctness as “racism”? Many of these “allies” are bought and paid for and we’d see them changing their tune very quickly if America simply started pulling the billions in support that we pour into their coffers every year. 
In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. (Romney) 
What statement did Donald Trump make that is any indication that Jews, blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims are not as much a part of America as whites and Protestants? That implication is nowhere to be found in Trump’s statements at all. Those who insist otherwise are either ignorant of Trump’s actual words, motivated by a political persuasion that is not interested in the facts, or have no comprehension of very plain and indisputably true language. 
But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence? (Romney)
Spare me the “What about the children?” routine, Mitt. What about teaching your children to look at what Donald Trump actually said rather than just accepting everyone’s paranoid reaction to it? What about using this as a teachable moment that demonstrates to your children that there are many in this world who refuse to listen to the truth because they don’t want to hear it and because it does not conform to their narrow rules for politically correct public discourse? What about using it to teach your children to think rather than to just accept whatever the media tells them? Why not sit your children down and say, “Listen to president Trump and tell me if he ever says that ‘Jews, blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims are not as much a part of America as whites and Protestants’?” When they say, “President Trump didn’t say that, Daddy,” why not tell them, “That’s correct, son. So don’t believe everything you hear or see in the media, be skeptical, check the facts, lest you be deceived.” When they affirm that Trump did not say those things ask them, "So what does that say about Mitt Romney, who implied that Trump had said such things?" Why not teach them that all such lying is evil and that God hates such things (Proverbs 6:17). That’s how parents should deal with this serious matter with their children and I submit that they would learn a lot from that exercise. "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." (I Thessalonians 5:21)
The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. (Romney) 
Totally false. Trump was NOT wrong. His statements were 100% factual and accurate. He has nothing to apologize for and nothing to back-peddle from. Instead he should continue to insist that he has told the truth (because he has), and that the hysteria of the MSM is all fake news, and that those who cannot deal with truth are the real danger to our country. 
State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis--who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat--and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. (Romney) 
Nowhere in Trump’s remarks did he state or imply that there was “moral equivalency” between the clashing ideologies in Charlottesville. That is a complete fabrication that has no rational basis in Trump’s statement at all. If a priest and a rabbi are both itching for a fight and they end up having one, then denouncing that sort of violence on both sides does not somehow sanction the actions of either side, nor does it make any statement whatsoever regarding the moral equivalency of Christianity and Judaism. That simply does not follow from the denunciation of violence on both sides. To insist that it does is childishly illogical, and therein lies the real problem. Too many Americans are functionally inept in the exercise of rational thought. They have been taught to emote, not to think. 
And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association. (Romney)
Trump has already disavowed David Duke and the KKK on numerous occasions. Over and over again the press repeatedly and brazenly denied that he did. Why on earth should Trump think that if he does it 20 more times that the MSM will do anything other than deny that he has disavowed? More to the point, as the President of the United States, Trump is sworn to protect free speech and that speech includes the promotion of very, very objectionable ideas such as Nazism and White Nationalism. Indeed it seems a great many American seem totally ignorant of the fact that the right to free speech is of no value whatsoever if it does not protect speech that others (even the majority) find extremely objectionable. I believe if you looked more calmly, closely, and rationally at what President Trump has actually said you would find that he soundly condemns violent extremism of all sorts. He was correct to do so and you ought to applaud his statement and his defense of the First Amendment because that is what the President of a Constitutional Republic ought to do. It is fundamental to his job description. 
This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. (Romney) 
Spare me the saccharine children’s references, Mitt. Let me state this very plainly, if parents allow the MSM’s inaccurate narrative of what Trump said to “define America in the hearts of their children”, then such people were already terrible parents long before Trump ever came on the scene. Their children had no hope of acquiring a rational and accurate definition of America as a result of their parent’s instruction. Trump's words do not make that a reality, they only make it manifest. 
They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country. (Romney)
It is true that everyone is watching. While you have their attention, President Trump, take the opportunity to teach them that leadership often means standing for the truth in spite of strident, irrational, and ubiquitous opposition. 

God help us and bless America in spite of what we have evidently become, 
TETH

PS. How does this relate to pop-theology you ask? I submit that the exact same addled thinking that leads many to false conclusions regarding Trump's remarks is frequently employed in many's efforts to understand the bible's statements. Many who clearly see this sort of illogic when in the domain of politics find it much harder to identify the same logical problems when they occur in the domain of Christian theology. I believe that if many such people held their hermeneutics to the same logical standard as their politics, they might well improve their understanding of the faith once delivered to the saints. 

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