A Message for Trump Supporters

As a general rule, the person who serves as President of the United States is held in high esteem by its populace. While this does not mean all citizens agree with this individual’s actions or decisions, there is overall respect for the office.

However, when Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States, all this changed.

As many of us watched this man ride down the escalator at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, little did we know what was in store for us when he announced his candidacy. From his first campaign speech and rally to the present, we have witnessed a man who has regularly and consistently insulted, offended, mocked, dishonored, and slandered people who disagree with him.

And you, Trump Supporter, have encouraged and abetted these actions. You may deny this accusation but you have supported (and even cheered him on) as he …

  • Mocked a crippled man
  • Disrespected women
  • Encouraged violence against non-supporters at rallies
  • Demeaned African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, and other minority groups
  • Referred to several nations as “shit-hole” countries
  • Defended white nationalists
  • Defamed a prisoner of war (after his death!)
  • Supported a politician accused of sexual misconduct
  • Slandered members of the media
  • Labeled his opponents as “bad people” (or even criminals)

And he continues to this day to attack and humiliate any and all individuals who disagree with him.

So my question to you is this: When you support and/or defend Trump’s actions…

WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT YOU?

Does it give you personal satisfaction to applaud and cheer and wave your MAGA sign for a man who is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, and misogynist?

************
Giving you the benefit of doubt, you may not even be aware that Trump has succeeded in gaining your support because he …

  1. Appealed to you emotionally through fear and humiliation
  2. Created an enemy that threatens you
  3. Emphasized the weakness and incompetence of others

And then he reinforced it all by making a promise to you (through generalities and few details) that he was going to Make America Great Again.

And you believed him.

But now it’s time to face the truth.

Nothing that Donald J. Trump has done thus far has generated a strong and unified nation that other countries admire and respect. Instead, he has created animosity, hostility, and even hatred among its people by emphasizing and playing on our anxieties, fears, and prejudices.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, as citizens of the United States of America, we cannot continue on this destructive path. There is simply too much at stake.

So the question becomes — what are you willing to do to bring our nation together?

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POTUS and Indictment

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Mueller report and its implications related to the sitting POTUS, I felt this article offers some answers that many people have been speculating about.

Can the Sitting President of the United States Be Indicted?

Anti-Vaxers and Their Rights

Was just reading about the anti-vax movement and a thought occurred to me. Perhaps some of you have already considered it (I can be a bit slow at times).

The people who are totally convinced that immunization vaccines are B.A.D. are fighting tooth and nail against those who want to make them mandatory.

Even though numerous studies over the past several years related to this matter have shown there is NO evidence of a link between autism and immunization vaccines, many continue to be swayed by misinformation and insist the government is intruding on their rights. It matters not that individuals who have not been vaccinated are creating a health crisis — to the point that the World Health Organization has declared the anti-vax movement to be a top “global health threat.” All they seem to care about are their “rights.”

YET … while many of these individuals are “up in arms” about the government’s intervention, they consider it “OK” to pass laws that would put prayer back in school, have bibles as part of the reading curriculum, forbid sex (gasp!) education, etc. It’s true none of these actions have health consequences, but the core principle is the same.

The bottom line is we all want to live our lives according to our own standards. And that may be well and good … providing those standards don’t negatively affect (or harm) others.

Winning the Battle

I recently received notification of a post by an ex-Christian blogger who goes by the name of Logan. I’ve been following his blog for quite some time and although he writes only sporadically, I always enjoy his posts. (Some of you may recognize him when I tell you his de-conversion was directly related to his oldest son declaring he was an atheist, which he wrote about here).

In Logan’s most recent post, related to the power of persuasion, he suggests that “we as humans are primarily emotional and intuitive thinkers. We want to believe we are primarily logical and rational thinkers … and adds … but we aren’t!” He amplifies this thought by referencing an open letter written by Dennis Augustine (ex-minister who was helped by The Clergy Project).

In the letter, Augustine describes how he left the faith via emotion, not reason. Here are a couple of excerpts from the letter:

I’m sure that I don’t have to remind you that it’s pretty pointless trying to reason with a believer. It is futile to try to reason a man out of a belief that he wasn’t reasoned into.

[…]

I’m convinced that reason … is pretty ineffective against the armour-plated defenses that shield believers from reason: the shame of sin, the terror of isolation and a fear of death (the ultimate isolation).

[…]

I think that it’s easy for people who are so steeped in a scientific environment dominated by the intellect to think that evidence and reason will make the difference; they can but only after one breaks through the walls around someone’s heart.

As I read these statements, I thought about the many times I’ve read arguments against Christianity in which non-believers have done exactly this; that is, used reason and scientific evidence in their attempts to break through the armor of the believer. While there’s no doubt this approach works with some, I tend to agree with the ex-minister that emotion is the predominant factor behind many (most?) deconversions.

Fundamentalists seem to be especially resistant to reasoning. Any kind of cogent argument is immediately dismissed … and their counter-attack usually includes emotional accusations, such as the non-believer/atheist left the faith because they hated god or their feelings were hurt or they are angry at god, etc., etc.

At the close of his post, Logan included a link to a video validating the power of emotion over reason called “Mr. Rogers and and the Power of Persuasion.” Well worth watching.

P.S. If you’re so inclined, I suggest you follow the link in Logan’s post to the actual letter by the ex-minister — and then read Logan’s comments at the end of the letter. He shares a personal story that happens all too frequently behind closed Christian doors.

Getting Through the Hard Times

Many people are looking for something, needing value or meaning to get them through the hard times.

One of my blogging friends made this statement in a recent post and as I read it, I thought about the truth behind the words. All of us need “something” to get us through the hard times.

For many (as the writer pointed out in his post), religion answers this need. In fact, turning to “God” for support (a fruitless effort, IMO) is pretty much a “given” for countless individuals.

But then I wondered … what about those who do NOT “believe?”

Getting through difficult times isn’t easy for anyone. Nearly all of us need something or someone to “hang onto” — especially when it’s a catastrophic or life-changing event. Certainly, friends and families help, but oftentimes, they simply aren’t enough. Or, as is sometimes the case, they are part of the ones that believe “God” is the answer and you get bombarded with a plethora of scripture and/or prayers.

What then?

Please understand I’m not talking about the usual “minor tragedies” that happen in each of our lives. Certainly these events can throw us for a loop, but most of us find our way through without too many cuts and bruises. No, I’m asking about the major events … death of a loved one (breadwinner, child, parent, etc.), major catastrophe (think: Paradise, CA) that wipes out your home and belongings, a life-changing injury that takes away your ability to support yourself and/or your family, etc., etc.

As a non-believer/atheist, how would you get through times like these? You know that “thoughts and prayers” are useless, so what are the actual steps you would take when facing a serious tragedy? Where would you find the strength to move forward?

Since your response could one day help another non-believer, I hope you’ll give some serious thought to your answer. ❤