A quick post that is a response to the Nazi rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. Its time to speak up and condemn Nazism which has no place in the United States. Not now, and not ever. We didn’t fight Nazism in Europe in World War II only to have it spring up in the United States. The resurgence in the alt-right which Donald Trump exploited needs to be condemned. This is about the season of my discontent when regular evangelicals are wrong, and the atheists and Neo-Calvinists are correct.
“Hope has returned to the hearts of scores of millions of men and women, and with that hope there burns the flame of anger against the brutal, corrupt invader … In a dozen famous ancient States now prostrate under the Nazi yoke, the masses of the people … await the hour of liberation … That hour will strike, and its solemn peal will proclaim that the night is past and that the dawn has come.”
Winston Churchill on Nazism to Congress on December 26, 1941
“Nowadays we are assailed by a chorus of horrid threats. The Nazi government exudes through every neutral state inside information about the frightful vengeance they are going to wreak upon us, and they also bawl it around the world by their propaganda machinery. If words could kill, we shall be dead already.”
Winston Churchill in a broadcast to Great Britain in November 12, 1939
“This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back, we’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump, and that’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back and that’s what we gotta do.”
David Duke on Donald Trump and Charlottesville
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness,we lie and do not live out the truth.
1 John 1:6 NIV
Did we fight Hitler so that Nazism can exist in the United States?
When I was growing up in Fresno, California one of the events I loved to attend was a Civil War re-enactment that would regularly be held at Kearney Park. They would re-enact Pickett’s charge or other battles from time to time. I loved Civil War re-enactments but in California they were different. It was a hobby and something that was fun. In time I eventually found myself in Virginia and something happened that jolted my thinking. Around Thanksgiving in 2006 I was outside Fredericksburg, Virginia and I saw a dark side to history. At at Thanksgiving Day parade I saw what I believe to be the United Daughters of the Confederacy pass out pictures of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. They also dispersed Confederate flags and people cheered. For me it was a moment of horror as I realized that for some people the Civil War never ended, and they were still fighting it. The reaction by many of that day changed my view on Civil War reenactment, especially in the south.
This past weekend has been unbelievable for me. The activity in Charlottesville stunned and sickened me. If you have never been to Charlottesville, I would encourage you to go. Its the home of the University of Virginia, and one of the greatest minds in American history, Thomas Jefferson also resided in the area. Charlottesville is quaint, nice, and has some good places to eat. Its a slow town in many ways, but its a nice place to call home. That was shattered when I saw the Nazi’s march on Charlottesville. I couldn’t believe the pictures I was seeing. People marching with torches and proclaiming “Hail Trump!” and “Sieg Heil.” Is this 2017 or was I looking at footage from the annual Nuremberg rally in the 1930’s? Against all this was the alt right of Richard Spencer and David Duke. They were proclaiming how Donald Trump was their man. I was watching and reading the news with horror when I saw a new aspect. On social media a person I know had family and friends who lived in the city of Charlottesville in fear and terror. I saw how one person described how their family was hiding in their house while Nazi’s were driving around waving shot guns out of their car up and down the street. I am sure I am going to hear more about this in the days to come.
These past few months have been the season of my discontent. I am 43, and I have seen things in my life these past few months that I thought I would never see. In this season of discontent I have dealt with betrayal, and saw people drink Kool Aid. I have seen people defy common sense and others who can’t think outside a black and white construct. In this season of discontent I look at many people in different ways. I have held my tongue but after what took place here in Virginia I can no longer be silent. When someone I say hi to is writing on Facebook that his family is hiding in terror outside Washington, D.C in Charlottesville its time to just come out and say it. If you are silent on evil then you are enabling the problem. Child sex abuse is a problem, but its not the only problem in Christianity. So having said that let me get started. If this feels like a rant it will be because I need to get this off my chest.
When the Evangelical Christians Are Wrong…
In my season of discontent I have seen where many Evangelical Christians are wrong on the issue of Donald Trump. I saw some people who protest a church because of child sex abuse issues cheer for Donald Trump on Facebook. They have dismissed the Access Hollywood tape and that left me scratching my head for a long time. Why is rape in a rogue church wrong but Donald Trump boasting of grabbing someone’s pussy fine? I also had another surprise that stunned me around the same time. I got to know some of the people of the SGM Survivors movement. I saw people who were outraged about sexual assault in Sovereign Grace Fairfax or Covenant Life Church who explained away the Access Hollywood tape and throw their support behind Donald Trump. So the rape of a child from Sovereign Grace Fairfax or Covenant Life is evil, but Donald Trump boasting of grabbing someone’s pussy is absolutely fine. I wrestled with that for a couple of months before arriving at the following conclusion. Some people will never learn and live out their life going from cult to cult. They can’t practice discernment, and for some of the people I can’t save them from themselves. I am not mentioning names, you know who you are, and this post is letting you know how I feel. Here is a question that I believe is fair game. The SGM crowd has hired Susan Burke who cut her teeth on the issue of military rape. Go and ask Susan Burke if she thinks the issue of rape in the military is going to get better by having a commander in chief who boasts of sexual assault and grabbing someone’s pussy.
Many Christians have stunned and sickened me these past few months. There has been no concern for those who serve in the military or those who take an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. I really think that there are a lot of evangelicals who are deeply lost and don’t know what they believe or who they are. But in this season of discontent I have wept to know that I am not one of you. I am in the 19% who voted against Donald Trump. I no longer consider a lot of evangelicals my home. To those in the 19% I stand with you. There is another problem I am going to get into below. But we must remember we got into this mess in Charlottesville because many evangelicals can’t practice discernment, critical thinking skills and they are willing to sell out their Constitution and democracy for a fucking United States Supreme Court seat because all they can think about is one issue alone. The Christians in Germany did the same thing when the Nazi’s were rising to power. They had resented the excess and immorality of Weimar and they thought the Nazis would make German society more “Christian.” In the process millions were killed. Last week I was in Montana and I was speaking with one of my old history professors. He told me that my German History professor had died, and I was saddened to hear that news. Father William Greytak was a gem and one of the best teachers I had in my life. I wish everyone had a Father Greytak. I still can recall him standing in class with his left index finger pointed up and saying, “The lesson of German history is that what happened in Germany can happen here. Its’ why you learn history to prevent it from occurring.” Father Greytak taught me well, and this post came about in part of his memory. How I wish all the evangelicals could have had a Father Greytak as a teacher. If they did I don’t think 81% would have voted and supported Donald Trump.
Hemant Mehta on why he can’t support Donald Trump
When the Atheists and Secular Humanists are Right…
In my season of discontent I learned something that deeply encouraged me. I learned that many of the atheists are right. Over the past few months I followed many on Twitter and saw a large number express their concern. I watched Hemant Mehta on Twitter along with Jase Heap of United Coalition of Reason, the Center for Inquiry, and so many other atheists and secular humanists reject Donald Trump and call him out. Some of them have a greater understanding of democracy and civics than many evangelical Christians. I have long had deep respect for the atheist movement even while I don’t consider myself one. But its led me to ask the following question…are many atheists and secular humanists as lost as many Christians portray them to be? When they call out someone who boasts of rape, while the evangelicals flock to vote and support that person, are secular humanists really lost? This next section is to those who are secular humanist who read me.
I want to thank you for your opposition and being grounded in science. I want to thank you for your critical thinking skills and how you use them. I want to thank you for your involvement in protests and getting people to oppose Donald Trump. I want to thank you for taking a stand even when it is profoundly unpopular. I hope that you will continue to do so and that some of you will see the 19% like me who stood against Donald Trump and much of evangelicalism as your friends. There is much we can agree on, and much we shall agree on it. But to those of you who are secular humanist I want to say thank you. I deeply appreciate you.
Collin Hansen at The Gospel Coalition
Garrett Kell on Charlottesville
When the Neo-Calvinists Surprise Me…
In my season of discontent I learned something that stunned me. You see when you set out on a journey for truth part of it is being willing to explore yourself and ask questions of yourself. When you seek out truth you have to seek it out internally as you have to find out who are you, and what you believe. In the process I learned that a good number of the Neo-Calvinists are opposed to Donald Trump. I deeply appreciate some of the conversations that I have had these past few months. Interacting with a few has helped me understand that some are not at all what others have written them out to be. They do not all follow lock step behind each other. There are some who are willing to break ranks and take different views.
Over the past few months as this blog has grown and as I traveled I have come to know a few Neo-Calvinist pastors or individuals. One I have spoken to on the phone, while the other I have met while traveling. I am not going to mention either name but in a Starbucks one actually told me why he voted and supported Evan McMullin. He also said that he couldn’t support Trump. Part of being on a journey and finding yourself means listening to others and breaking out of your tribe. To this pastor I want to say thank you for your friendship, and for challenging me. Thank you for getting me thinking, I appreciate that quite a bit. In the past 24 hours as I watched the horror play out in Charlottesville I saw many Neo-Calvinists come to condemn it. A partial list includes Al Mohler, Denny Burke, Russell Moore, 9 Marks’ Garrett Kell, Collin Hansen, and Matt Smethurst. I have a couple of their tweets above. I am not into Neo-Calvinism at all, I am troubled by many parts of it; however in this area the Neo-Calvinists are correct. And I have to thank them for speaking out and calling out what took place in Charlottesville. So to Garrett Kell, Denny Burke, Russell Moore and more I want to say thank you for doing the right thing.
Indiana Jones shows how a Nazi should be treated
Where do Evangelical Christians Stand on Nazi Ideology?
We have a major problem today in evangelical Christianity. The evangelical camp has largely split into two camps as I see it. One is the Neo-Calvinist camp and the other is the traditional, old style culture warriors that makes up the second camp. Many of the old style evangelicals and Baptists have attached themselves to Donald Trump, and become his strongest supporters. This camp contains deep problems and its engagement in politics is a major concern. The question that needs to be asked is where do you go if you don’t fit in either camp? That is part of the problem that exists today.
Part of the reason why I am no longer posting at The Wartburg Watch is because I have run into this camp that hangs out there. The old style Baptists are very much opposed to Calvinism and at the same time have unhealthy views on politics and faith. Quite simply they can’t separate politics and faith at all. I deeply appreciate the work of John Fea who writes a very active blog called The Way of Improvement. John writes about this camp quite a bit. But as some of these old school style evangelicals are hard core Donald Trump supporters I have clashed with a few of them, and I have seen a couple go after Warren Throckmorton as well. That is sad as Warren is a blessing, how I wish we had many more Warren Throckmorton’s around.
Now before I continue let me tell you what I was doing last week. I was up in Montana helping my father and listening and learning family history. I learned a lot of neat stuff about the 13th Governor of Montana who is John W. Bonner; who is also a part of my family. You can see a picture of John’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery here. With the new information I learned I would like to go into the archives of the Holocaust Memorial Museum and see if I can learn more about John. John W. Bonner also was the Attorney General for Montana prior to World War II and he served in the United States Army during the conflict, John was one of the people involved in the liberation of Buchanwald and he helped collect evidence which was used at Nuremberg in prosecuting the Nazis for war crimes. I am proud to have that in my family history which makes what happened in Charlottesville all the more angering.
And there is another factor that is all the more troubling. If you look at Donald Trumps’ statement he refused to call out the Nazis in name. Instead he cast the blame on the other side and included them in the statement. It became an epic fail, in that he couldn’t call out the Nazis to blame. Yet consider back in January when the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) issued the report that stated that Russia was involved in the interference of the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump rejected that and went after the CIA and Intelligence Community and called them Nazis. So Donald Trump won’t call out the Nazis in Charlottesville for who they are, yet he will call the CIA and its employees Nazis just for doing their job and issuing a report that needed to be released.
So after dealing with some of the readers at The Wartburg Watch here is my question to Dee Parsons and Deb Martin. In light of Charlottesville, where do the Deebs stand on Nazi ideology? Since Trump played to the alt right during his campaign and made them part of his base where do they stand? Are they a part of the 81% who strongly support Trump or are they like me and part of the 19% who reject him. What do the Deebs believe about readers who have embraced Trump and gone off the deep end? Is Nazism wrong? Did my great uncle make a mistake in liberating Buchenwald and collecting evidence for Nuremburg? The alt right movement has been resurgent in Europe as well, where do the Deebs stand on the Populist movement of Poland and Hungary which is a threat to democracy as well. Was Eisenhower wrong in destroying Nazi, Germany and having the beaches at Normandy stormed on June 6, 1944? These are questions that I have to pose. I can’t stay silent on this topic. Remember it was the ordinary Germans who voted and supported the National Socialists. So after some of the run ins I have with some of The Wartburg Watch readers who are part of the 81% who support Trump, where does Dee Parsons and Deb Martin stand? Or when people were rioting in Charlottesvile, in one of the largest Nazi demonstrations in decades were the Deebs turned into Fox News and hearing about Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails? That is my question that I ask with all sincerity.
Will Evangelical Christians Admit they Made a Mistake? Or will they Act Like C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll and Run?
Now here is my other prediction as well. When this mess with Donald Trump is over many of the evangelicals who support them won’t own up and admit they made a mistake. They won’t own it and say “I was wrong.” They won’t say that they errored and that they made a mistake. Many of the evangelicals are going to act like they did nothing wrong. They are going to act like C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll and run from their mistakes and leave many people behind confused and hurt. The fact that so many people won’t take the right course of action will validate the atheists who claim that Christianity is corrupt. It will leave those who are in the 20% who rejected Trump feeling homeless and the greatest harm will be the Christian faith. Some of the people I wrote above will do that to me as well. For those that are in the 20% who reject Trump, those families who were torn apart by SGM will use the same techniques against them as that is all they know, and they will reject them. Its a major problem. Some of the readers from The Wartburg Watch who I clashed with on Twitter or elsewhere who talk about Mark Driscoll fleeing will do the exact same thing as Mark Driscoll themselves. I honestly hope I am wrong, and that I will be proven incorrect.
There is No Place in the United States for Nazism…
I would like to promote a couple of articles that pertain to the Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The first is in the Washington Post “After Charlottesville, will white pastors finally take racism seriously? The second article I think is also in order and was written by Martin Luther King Jr. Its actually addressed at the whites and is called “Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’ This will be blunt, and this will be terse. But quite simply Nazism doesn’t belong in the United States. Not in my grand-parents lifetime, nor my parents, nor mine. It is inconsistent with the principles ordained in the Constitution or the democracy which is a gem and unique in the world. Did you know how many people emigrate and want to be a part of the United States? This is a unique and amazing country and Nazism is a threat to it. For everyone who doesn’t know what to think about Nazism go to the Holocaust Museum here in D.C. Heck I will walk through it with you and I can teach you German history and together we can learn. There is no neutrality when it comes to Nazism, and it is evil. Why did we fight World War II if we are going to put someone in office who is silent on the alt-right threat? Why are we having a resurgence in Nazi ideology? Its because Donald Trump fanned the flames and appealed to violence during his campaign. I don’t think one can be a Christian and support someone who appeals to and his revered by the alt-right and the Neo-Nazis. And I know many people will not like this post, but some are speaking up. I noticed on Twitter and social media that Julie Anne Smith has spoken up, so has Nate Sparks. I am proud of them and would encourage them to continue. But others are silent and that is not acceptable. We didn’t destroy Nazism in Europe so it can pop up and rally in my backyard of Virginia. Some people need to do a lot of hard thinking, especially those who are bloggers on being silent. When the Neo-Calvinists and atheists condemn the Nazis that popped up in Virginia but the normal evangelicals stay silent on the topic well basically you are pissing on the graves of those who gave their lives in Europe in World War II. But join me in rejecting Nazism and let’s appeal to the better angels of people’s nature as Abraham Lincoln eloquently stated. It with that stated that I will leave you with a musical number from Captain America which I feel is in order.