TRUTH, FICTION, AND NOTHING BUT GOSSIP AT HIGHEST LEVELS

by James A. Wilson

Once when I was still pastoring a member of my board raised a complaint at a board meeting. It seems a newcomer family had complained I pressured them for a pledge of money to the church. I responded this was neither my style nor a typical part of a newcomer visit; besides that I categorically denied doing it. The board member persisted that her friend was reliable and I needed to apologize for my misdeed. When I pointed out the Bible we revered required two eyewitnesses to verify a report against a leader – hoping to avoid wasting time on he-said-she-said – she seriously responded that inasmuch as her friend had witnessed my misbehavior and then told her of it there were two eyewitnesses. The rest of the board laughed off this equating of gossip with an eyewitness account and we moved on.

The latest tempest-in-a-teapot over President Donald Trump is much worse. A federal intelligence officer claims POTUS pressured the new Ukrainian president in a telephone conversation to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden over his recorded coercion of said president into firing a Ukrainian prosecutor; POTUS is even accused of threatening US aid to Ukraine as leverage. The Acting Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice did not treat disclosure as an emergency and Democratic Congressional leaders – and others, including some Republicans – are up in arms over what some would call “the appearance of evil” per the biblical 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

Why did they refuse to rush what would be a serious – and perhaps impeachable – abuse of power? It is simple enough.

The whistleblower has no firsthand knowledge of the telephone conversation. Some other unidentified person(s) told the whistleblower and that makes – in the minds of the New York Times, CNN, and Democratic leaders – two witnesses corroborating the story. The whole thing is dizzying unless we recall our country has a document nearly as sacred as the Bible called the Constitution; that document requires witnesses to be confronted by the accused and hearsay evidence to be inadmissible on its face. We need to laugh and move on from this absurdity – this journalistic atrocity. Instead, Democrats are going full speed ahead on an impeachment inquiry.

There are larger issues than this, although it can be readily seen the Times and CNN have again deliberately misled the American People by calling credible that which is vicious gossip at best. The larger issue is whether or not POTUS used the power of the presidency for political gain against a rival or simply requested a legitimate look into justice. Joe Biden – against whom Trump is accused of conspiring – has been seen and heard by millions of Americans bragging of how he strong-armed the former Ukrainian president into firing a state prosecutor who was investigating Biden’s son, Hunter, for graft. Even under these circumstances if our president invoked a quid pro quo forcing his counterpart to investigate Biden or lose US military assistance it would be impeachable. However, the conversation from last July has now been released; it was a friendly exchange in which Ukraine first broached the subject and then volunteered to aid in any investigation the US might undertake.

Additionally, Donald Trump had already frozen aid to Ukraine prior to this conversation on grounds of Ukrainian government corruption. With the advent of a new president he unfroze the funds before this conversation took place or was even contemplated. Money for aid was never once mentioned in the conversation. That our DOJ is currently investigating the roots of the Mueller investigation and FISA Court abuses stemming from high office holders in the Obama Administration – possibly including abuses by the former vice president – is well known. Almost as well known is that the Ukrainian Government made attempts to provide evidence during Mueller and was stonewalled. If Ukraine is again offering cooperation it appears much more like a clean than an unclean move on their part – and on the part of our president.

What we have here is House leaders grasping at yet another straw in their lust to uncover something impeachable where there is not – and never has been – anything. They are relying on nothing but gossip. Additionally we have nothing but a friendly leader encouraging another leader to complete the housecleaning he has already begun, as Trump himself is completing a housecleaning. Finally we have the utter absence of anything resembling quid pro quo alongside abundant evidence Donald Trump was simply doing his job as the President. House and media leaders attempting to again deceive the American People need to spend some time in time out…and do some serious repenting.

The rest of us have some serious repenting to do as well. The facts do indeed need to come out and all of us should eagerly seek the truth, letting the chips fall where they may. That said, Americans have been gifted with a government of, by, and for the people themselves. That government presupposes responsible citizenship, not whining malcontents on both sides demanding somebody else get things right. In Donald Trump we have a president who stands for life, responsible constitutional government acting only when it must, and personal responsibility played out on a level playing field. We owe it to the God who made all of us Americans to stand with our president.

That standing includes voting him a Congress of honest and decent representatives. This occurs only when we re-commit to honesty and decency ourselves – or at least a critical mass of us so do. Then it gets really good.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books or at praynorthstate@gmail.com

INDEPENDENCE DAY AND ITS DECLARATION

by James A. Wilson

Independence Day comes in the midst of unbelievable polarization in these United States. Charlottsville, Virginia, home to Thomas Jefferson, has decided to make no official recognition of his birthday. The author of the Declaration of Independence was our first secretary of state, second vice president, and third president. He doubled our expanse through the Louisiana Purchase and led us through our first post-revolutionary war. But…he was a slave owner.

Slavery and slave holding is indefensible and inexcusable;

Make no mistake. But how sad that – against his unique accomplishments – this is all that matters to the arbiters of hindsight. Truly those who can do and those who cannot criticize.

Major media outlets describe the observance of our nation’s birth as obnoxious. Actually, it is the consuming hatred for our president behind such sentiments that is obnoxious. And sad.

Nike has pulled an edition of its shoes off the market because an angry former NFL quarterback objects to the depiction of Betsy Ross’ flag on the shoes; people owned slaves at that time. Indeed they did, and it was a horror, but it was people like Ross who loved God and their country enough to eradicate slavery as rapidly as circumstances permitted. Politically correct types like the current complainers made every effort to perpetuate slavery at the time – see Democrat Party, origins and history – while the spiritual ancestors of today’s conservatives brought it down. I abhor the polarization and hatred on both sides of today, but I honor Arizona’s governor for taking a stand and pulling state subsidies from Nike.

Is this kind of self-consumption what our nation is about from her beginnings? I don’t think so.

The Declaration of Independence begins with a statement of respect for the opinions of mankind – that’s right, respect even for those who may disagree. It moves forward with this startling and unprecedented statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” There is more, but the business end is in the above. What did we – and I do mean we – actually say?

We said – for openers – that what we are about to commit our lives toward is self-evident truth. It is not subject to argumentation, mathematical formula, social science studies, or even a poll. What comes next – we said – is so patently obvious any human being should be able to see and embrace it. The revolutionaries staked their lives on that reality and not one of them emerged from the war without having lost lives, family, freedom or property.

It is our imperfect effort to embody this truth that we celebrate each July Fourth. We’ve made a lot of progress in two and a half centuries; I am deeply proud to be an American. There is racism here, but no more than anywhere else and a good deal less than in most nations. We wrote a constitution counting each black person as three fifths of one not to dehumanize but to facilitate the end of slavery by making it difficult for slave states to dominate government. We fought the bloodiest war of our history to accomplish that feat and thousands – black and white – gave their lives in the struggle for civil rights for all. The fight has been hard won but today we enter a campaign filled with people of multiple colors and races, men and women; we elected a black man in 2008 and 12. I cannot say I support any of their positions, but I cherish a nation in which all are welcome to serve.

This truth includes but is not limited to three propositions: All of us are created equal in our being, equally entitled to whatever benefits emerge from our creation and equally authorized to live out that creation. All of us enjoy unlimited access to life itself, the liberty without which life is not worth much, and the pursuit – not necessarily the achievement – of happiness. All legitimate governments are instituted for the sole purpose of guaranteeing those rights. Underlying these three is the clear assertion of a personal Creator, one who endows.

We have developed an economic and healthcare system – not to mention a science base that sent men to the moon and developed the internet – that are the envy of the world. The economy – as one example – was also hard fought. We went from faith unfettered capitalism is the best way for everyone to have that chance to pursue happiness to an era in which we learned it was still the best – but only when restricted by law to a leveled playing field. We have watched other nations suffer under socialism and communism and decided to perfect what we have rather than imitate them.

We have ground still to gain, but is the cup half empty or more than three quarters full? Can we look squarely at the reality some of our heroes are flawed and less than heroic human beings who nonetheless birthed the greatest nation on earth? Can we celebrate the reality that this intentional Creator achieved America partnering with such flawed human beings and He can achieve even greater things with us as we repent and turn our hearts toward Him more and more?

The authors of our Declaration of Independence seem to believe this. Being content to judge our forebears trashes us more than it trashes them. Let us celebrate what we have and redouble our efforts to become all that Jefferson and his colleagues hoped and prayed for.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books or at praynorthstate@gmail.com