DANGEROUSLY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE

By James A. Wilson

A democratic republic depends on a robust two – or more – party system to flourish. The healthy rough and tumble of debate, competition, and victory for one alongside defeat for the other at the polls every election cycle is what creates and maintains a healthy body politic. Yet the unhinged rhetoric – and behavior – of one party threatens to create such a voter backlash against it we may find ourselves effectively a one-party culture following the 2020 general election.

The Democratic Party was the creation of Andrew Jackson and John Calhoun in the first third of the nineteenth century. Its twin purposes were to perpetuate slavery and suppress the power of banks; the latter became moot after Jackson left the White House but the party bent every effort toward preserving slavery through the Civil War and minimizing the impact of its destruction for a century thereafter. The Ku Klux Klan was created and populated by Democrats.

This is relevant history in light of Democratic claims to be the party of help for minorities. Since the sixties they have talked a good game but have never delivered on their promises. Although civil rights legislation required both parties – within their adversarial relationship – to bring it about, it took Donald Trump to bring prosperity to minority communities and move beyond token appointments of a judge here and a cabinet secretary there to make America the society we envisioned when we confessed all men created equal.

This party that spawned the KKK is now led by people like (black) presidential contender Cory Booker, who recently announced he wanted to punch President Trump in the face; he relents only because he does not – in his words – want to sink to Trump’s level. Yet Trump has threatened no one; his level is a good deal higher than Booker’s. Frontrunner (white) Joe Biden actually challenged the president to a fistfight; his challenge was ignored. These antics bring ridicule on leaders and trash the credibility of their party.

It is current standard operating procedure for Democratic candidates and congressional leaders to resort to absurd slanders – racist in chief, white nationalist and white supremacist in chief – instead of addressing issues. They threaten impeachment for enforcing immigration law on the one hand and refusing to cave to pressure from the now thoroughly discredited Russia conspiracy investigation on the other. On top of this is the evident chaos as rookie members of Congress announce harebrained plans to offer free healthcare to illegals while citizens struggle to pay for health insurance for their families. At the same time the neophytes spew anti-Semitic poison their leaders are powerless – or unwilling – to address. The party looks pathetic and voters are awakening to the pathos.

Other factors make the party look sinister. In the aftermath of the Mueller investigation the exposure of fraud and perjury against the FISA court by FBI officials – including James Comey – gains breadth and clarity daily. All the personalities under investigation are Democrat activists and operatives. The emerging level of corruption amounting to an attempted coup is unprecedented.

The most chilling revelation – recently – is found in the testimony of Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology before the Senate Judiciary Sub Committee on the Constitution. According to Epstein party supporters outside of government diverted two-point-six million votes to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election by manipulating social media; ironically this is roughly the same number Clinton claimed to exceed Trump’s total. Epstein went on to testify the actual number of diverted votes was likely larger – and would be much larger in 2020 as social media moguls become more intentional.

I said at the beginning the health of a democratic republic depends on a robust balance, debate, and ongoing contest between at least two parties commanding allegiance in a broad swath of the American public. The contest is an un-mandated but thoroughly necessary check-and-balance in a free society. In this season the Democratic Party is so compulsively binding itself in knots of incompetence, corruption, and lunacy it risks total disintegration of credibility beyond its shrinking base.

This is not a good thing for Republicans or the country. I hold as much disdain and mistrust for Republicans who do not live up to their vision of freedom for all – the vision on which they were founded in the 1850s to eliminate slavery and the corruption of rule by privilege – as I do for Democratic elites who are unfortunately living down to theirs in this season. Politics inherently appeals to those who love power more than progress, despite the presence of good men and women in both parties. If either party becomes simply irrelevant it gives free rein to the worst elements in the other.

My prayer is that the Democrats will recognize redemption when they see it and spend a season of rebuilding instead of seeking a season of revenge. My prayer is likewise that Republicans will see this not as a time of plunder but as a time to say, “There but for fortune…and the love of God for our nation…”

As of now one party is dangerously self-destructive and the other can be easily infected with the same disease if it takes coming success as a reward rather than an object lesson.

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

ADDRESSING EL PASO, AND DAYTON FOR RECONCILIATION

by James A. WIlson

In the hurricane of vitriol engulfing the tragedies in El Paso, and Dayton I am (almost) at a loss for words when I see presidential candidates grabbing media attention for political gotchas with their denunciations of a real president as he seeks to bring healing and resolution. These people shriek about the so-called racist-in-chief – and attack the Constitution – instead of seeking to comfort the afflicted. If there is a way to preclude reconciliation in our culture, these people have found it.

Yet as God is my witness, we are better than this.

Reconciliation – as I outline in my first book, Living as Ambassadors of Relationships – is a three part process. It begins with expressing our view of reality through passion coupled with respect; direct speech is good but name-calling a conversation killer. The second step is listening to the other’s point of view with respectful appreciation of the passion if not the logic; again direct speech is appropriate but character assassination is a deal breaker. The last and most important step is permitting the great reconciler – His name is Jesus – to reframe the conversation so all win and no one is victimized. This requires a miracle; human ability is always inadequate..

When this process is engaged with integrity it becomes possible to address issues in terms of what we actually know. What then do we know?

We know gun controlled Norway leads the world in mass shootings on a per capita basis. We know our nationwide ban on assault weapons of the nineties – while it reduced the number of incidents involving fully automatic weapons – failed to reduce overall gun violence. We know Australia has had strict gun control for decades and yet –on a per capita basis – continues to have as many incidents as we do. We know there were as many or more El Paso-like incidents during the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations as we see under this one; these include Orlando, Sandy Hook, and Aurora, Colorado. No one blamed Barack Obama for the incidents on his watch.

The solution requires a painful admission – it is not about who occupies the White House; it is about us.

We know Chicago posted fifty-five gun deaths the same weekend thirty-one died between El Paso and Dayton; most violence in Chicago is black-on-black, demonstrating hatred knows no racial boundaries. We likewise know most large death events are not caused by guns; the Oklahoma City bombing – during the Clinton Administration – killed one hundred sixty-eight and wounded nearly seven hundred; the weapon was made from fertilizer. And we know the most prolific killers are gangs and government, although they are not listed as mass murderers when we take up issues like El Paso; we dare not forget the WACO massacre under Bill Clinton when seventy-six cultists were slaughtered when government agents set their compound afire while they and their children were inside. Neither should we forget cartel killers who terrorize Mexico and traffick across our borders.

To seriously address the violence we have to seriously sacrifice some sacred cows. While deep background checks seem no-brainers considering how many gun killers bought legally, so-called red flag laws pose a serious constitutional threat inasmuch as they seek to ban guns from people who have done nothing unlawful but who are deemed – by whom (?) – to be high risk for offense. Serious or feel-good?

We need to think outside the box across the board. That means revisiting the many studies linking violent crime to family disintegration, violent ideologies, and – brace yourselves – violent video games, hard core pornography, certain kinds of music, and in-your-face movies and television. Whether to ban or restrict these things is for discussion, and other factors must be weighed, but pretending the jury is not in on these factors of causation is burying our heads in the sand.

There is a catch. If all parties to a dispute are not committed – equally – to reconciliation there will be no reconciliation. For example – to take up a current event that has no connection to these massacres – once top officials of the FBI who have been fully exposed for their attempted coup and terminated from their positions humble themselves I would favor that mercy which enables reconciliation. As things stand Andrew McCabe and Peter Strozk are suing to regain their power while James Comey and John Brennan continue to pontificate and fulminate. Only their prosecution can achieve damage control on the one hand and deterrence on the other.

There is a spiritual dimension to the dilemma that cannot be avoided or denied. For openers we need to re-commit – at home, in church, and in school, public or private – to teaching the traditional values that made us a great nation. (I am not promoting religious indoctrination on taxpayer funds, just American History.) Even more important is recognition by a critical mass that we began this dysfunctional road trip with that first betrayal back in the Garden of Eden; we traveled it one knife-in-the-back at a time. (Whether we believe or not there is no other adequate analysis of how we got here.) That said, the same critical mass needs to re-commit to re-focus on the God who alone can reverse our course and bring us home; He assures us He has already done as much and is only waiting on us to cash the check. Now would be an excellent time for that.

The God who creates all and redeems all is first of all a maker of reconciliation. Let all parties engage with one another in the process I outlined above and let us see what He might make of us yet.

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

LIFE IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS AND CERTAINLY MINE

By James A. Wilson

Nothing much has changed. In 2011 I was invited to testify before the California Commission on the Status of Women. Citing the trauma most women endure post-abortion, I said if the state wanted to address suffering women they could stop funding thirty thousand abortions yearly.

I remember the audible gasp from the audience, and the hissed, “This time he’s gone too far.” I remember with equal clarity the chairperson’s effort to encourage dialogue over diatribe; she asked if I was willing to hear views other than my own. I answered I had been listening to such views for more than thirty years and was happy to keep listening, so long as I received – for a change – a chance to be heard as well. The Planned Parenthood representative agreed to dialogue with me, yet when I approached her on a break to seek an appointment she huffed, “I’ve got better things to do than talk to you,” and stalked out of the room. It is not about exchange of ideas; it is about who is entitled to speak and who is not.

More recently presidential candidate Senator Kristin Gillibrand excoriated a Texas city council for banning abortions in their city. Her perspective was clear – men have no business making decisions concerning a woman’s body. Her rivals for her party’s nomination agree with her and are – frankly – just as aggressive over whether women may legitimately weigh in on what they consider not open to discussion. The common agenda is not to win an argument but to be abusive enough to stifle speech they find disagreeable.

I’ve got some news for Kristin and her friends.

I was an unwanted child. Had my mother had the option in the 1940s to cancel my life I most certainly would not have gotten past the abortionist’s knife. I am glad I was born and grew to manhood. I say the issue of disposing of unwanted children by abortion is very much my business. I am still willing to listen, but I will not be inhibited by those who – because they have no argument – resort to bullying others into silence. I exercise my right to speak as an American, a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and a survivor of my mother’s revulsion at my presence in her womb.

By the way, it is not all about abortion and infanticide, this effort to stifle speech. Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple, made a very fine address to the graduates of Stanford University about accepting responsibility for unintended consequences if they would accept credit for unforeseeable successes. He exhorted them to see themselves as part of a story they would not get to finish, not unlike the author of the Letter to the Hebrews commending the prophets and martyrs who anticipated the coming of Christ and paved the road for Him, knowing they would not see Him in this life and choosing to believe their sacrifice gave them abundance where it counts. He had me – despite my disagreement with his political agenda – until his deeper agenda came out.

The unintended consequences are all about enabling what he calls hate speech and fake news. Coming from a gay activist this is obvious code for what spells out later. He does not want to win a debate over the LGBTQ program; he wants to stop conversation in its tracks. Freedom of speech and (Christian) faith are just too dangerous in his world to be tolerated.

The suppression does not end with gender and sexuality.

Actor John Cusack has joined with congressional members Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib to make blatantly anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli statements. Cusack re-tweeted a drawing of a Star-of-David decorated sleeve from which descends a hand busy crushing a crowd with the caption, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

The laugh is Cusack hoisted himself on his own petard. Although he has received criticism for his blatant anti-Semitism, it is open season on Jews all over the world from UN condemnation of Israel after Palestinians bombard Israeli civilians with seven hundred rockets in one day to the still unaddressed hatred of Jews emanating from Democratic members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar. By Cusack’s twisted logic the indisputable conclusion is Jews rule nobody, since everybody feels free to condemn them.

The abortion lobby, on the other hand, is beyond criticism for most pundits and kingmakers; departures from this faux orthodoxy are punished with labels from anti-choice to anti-women. The alternative sexuality lobby is equally protected; top Australian footballer Israel Folau is vilified all over his country for quoting a Bible verse that includes gays as sinners among many others – Go Fund Me even took down the page supporting his legal defense and withheld donations given for it – and singer Taylor Swift is in trouble not for criticizing same-sex-attracted but for supporting them with too-little-too-late.

Good news is suppression is not working.

Israel enjoys a resurgence of popular support in the Trump era. Comfort with the gay agenda has slipped to minority status even amongst millennials and Folau has received two million dollars for his defense from other sources; even the Australian Prime Minister has spoken against the persecution he endures. Sixty per cent of Americans now want to ban all or most abortions. The bullies have overplayed their hand.

Of course the reality is criticism – in isolation – achieves nothing, much less condemnation. What is needed is behavior expressing accountability plus blessing. That of course requires repentance from all of us, but it’s worth it. The last time the world saw this phenomenon the Iron Curtain fell.

But it begins with this: Life is everybody’s business.

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