Tag Archives: Christianity
Have you ever had a friend with whom you disagree on something? You know what I mean – someone you’ve known for a while; shared things with; commiserated with; know some of their family; treated to lunch or dinner for their birthdays. I have a few of those friends. As a bonafide introvert, I don’t have many friends in the first place, so I value those relationships I’ve managed to maintain over any length of time.
I had one such friend, Pete*, until recently. He and I have known each other for over 30 years. Ironically, we attended the same parochial grade school in Dallas. I didn’t know him back then, as he’s three years younger. Even more curious is that our fathers had known each other; they grew up in the same East Dallas neighborhood and attended the same high school. When Pete’s father died several years ago, my father was heartbroken, as the two hadn’t spoken in a while. I attended the funeral service at a church in downtown Dallas. In turn, Pete attended my father’s memorial service in 2016; his sister and her young daughter joined him.
Pete used to host annual Christmas gatherings at his apartment; his sister and her two sons, along with many of that family’s mutual friends, joining us. In effect, I became part of their family. I was fond of Pete’s parents, as he was of mine, and was truly excited when one of his nephews joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006.
So what happened?
Last month “The New Yorker” published an editorial on the sudden and unexpected support for Donald Trump among Latinos. In Texas trump won a larger share of the Latino vote in the last election than he did in 2016. Reading the piece left me stunned – and curious. How could a man who made such derogatory comments about Mexicans in general, the same one who hurtled rolls of paper towels at people in Puerto Rico, find greater support from others in those same groups? Even though Trump had disparaged Mexican immigrants, I felt it was just a small step away from demonizing all people of Mexican heritage or ethnicity; people whose Indian and Spanish ancestors had occupied what is now the Southwestern U.S. since before Trump’s predecessors arrived on the East Coast. Many of those people are also among the nation’s working class; the blue collar workers who form the unappreciated and under-appreciated backbone of any society. And yes, even the white collar workers, such as myself, who have struggled through the chaos of corporate America. Regardless of race or ethnicity we’re the ones who suffered the most in the last Great Recession and in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That an arrogant, elitist, tax-cheating buffoon of a charlatan can find kindred souls in this crowd truly boggles my mind.
Pete, on the other hand, said the editorial made “perfect sense” so him. He had already expressed some support for Trump, especially in relation to his reactions to China. He then went on to demonize both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; dubbing them “evil” and decrying what he perceived to be their socialist agenda. In other words, Pete was reiterating the paranoid mantra of right-wing extremists.
But he went further. He bemoaned the stimulus payments coming out of Washington; claiming they were unnecessary and that anyone suffering financial distress during the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn deserved no help or sympathy; that they should have prepared better for such a calamity.
I pointed out that I was one of those people struggling now. I had taken off a lot of time to care for my aging parents and had managed to save some money over the years; adding that a lot of that hard-earned money was now gone and reminding him I have had trouble – like so many others – finding a job. I also noted that it’s that people don’t or won’t save money; it’s that they can’t – not with both the high cost of living and stagnant wages.
Pete sounds like many evangelical Christian leaders – the folks he once denounced as the heathens of Christianity – the idiots who propagate the myth that poverty is a result of moral failings; that people choose to be poor because they have no desire to work hard and sacrifice. He got upset with me over that; he – a devout Roman Catholic – being compared to an evangelical Christian?! The people who read and study only half the Christian Bible?! How dare I make such an analogy!
But that’s how I felt. Then and now. His new-found beliefs and sudden change of attitude are one reason why I left the Catholic Church and why I no longer align with any branch of Christianity.
I reiterated my discussions with Pete to friends and a relative who his both agnostic and generally conservative. The latter considers himself a Republican and has been very successful in life. He also subscribes to “The New Yorker” and had read that particular editorial. And he found it “awful” that so many Texas Latinos supported Trump who he does not like. He also noted that anyone can experience financial problems and that a lack of personal resources isn’t always a sign of any kind of moral failings. Like me he was raised Roman Catholic, but – unlike me – is not in any way spiritual. He also reassured me that I’m not a failure. A few other friends have told me the same. At times like this, I need that kind of support.
It’s a shame I felt the need to sever ties with Pete. I mean, how does a 30-plus-year friendship come to an end over an editorial? Is that something that needed to happen? I wonder if I was overreacting or my past hyper-sensitive persona had suddenly resurrected itself.
I’d like to know if any of you folks have encountered the same dilemma. Have you ever felt the need to end a friendship with someone over such strong personal disagreements?
“There’s no comparison. The disgusting events of January 6 do not threaten this country nearly as much as the suppression of free speech does.”
“What we have here is a classic collusive oligopoly, a kind of new wine in an old bottle. What we saw with this attack on Parler was chilling to me. It’s one thing to de-platform everybody for free speech. But, this was a pincer move where Google and Apple, [the] first part of the pincer, was to not allow Parler apps to be down.”
Peter Navarro, Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing, on the move by various media firms to remove Parler from its platforms
Parler is a conservative alternative to Facebook and other social media venues. Apple and Google removed Parler in the wake of the January 6 Capitol Hill riots.
“We have an executive order – not from Congress or D.C., but from the desk of the CEO of heaven, the boss of the planet. He said from his desk in heaven, this is my will; Trump will be in for eight years.”
Brandon Burden, pastor of Kingdom Life in Frisco, Texas, in a sermon on Sunday, January 10
Burden had insisted that God told him Donald Trump – a serial husband, tax cheat and draft dodger who once grabbed about grabbing women by their genitalia – was destined to serve 8 years as President of the United States. The FBI has been in contact with Burden.
“He literally saved Christianity. There’s a full-out war on faith in this country by the other side. I mean, the Democratic Party, the far left, has become the party of the quote-unquote atheist. They want to attack Christianity, they want to close churches, they want to ― they’re totally fine keeping liquor stores open ― but they want to close churches all over the country.”
“I would never ask someone to vote against their conscience, but I would challenge them to reconsider how their conscience is framed. Remember that by voting for Trump, you’re effectively voting for many more people. Sure, Trump’s name is on the ballot for president, but you’re also voting for Mike Pence. You’re voting for outspoken Christians like Mark Meadows, Mike Pompeo, and many other committed non-carnal Christ-followers.”
– John Reid, in a column for “Christian Post”.
Reid also declared: “If you’re a Christ-follower who’s wrestling with whether to vote for Trump in 2020, I get it. I understood your plight in 2016 and I understand it now, though less-so now. I’ll admit that in 2016 I abhorred the man’s behavior and I certainly wasn’t confident that Donald Trump would be the conservative policy-pusher that the Christian-right wanted. But I have no reservations now, and, my brothers and sisters in Christ, neither should you.”
“Prophecy” classes canceled?! Wow! Imagine reality smacking head-on into religious ideology! Happens every time there’s a REAL crisis!
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal – in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships. The problem with that is it’s really hard to define a committed relationship, and it’s really hard to define anything related to that.”
– Rep. Andy Biggs, on a radio program produced by the conservative Christian group Family Research Council.
Biggs was one of 40 lawmakers who voted against the coronavirus stimulus bill, said he did so in part because the legislation included paid sick leave benefits for domestic partnerships.
“It looks like a Jew coup.”
– Rick Wiles, founder of TruNews, a website aimed at conservative Christians, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
Wiles later said the statement just “came out of my mouth,” adding, “All I pointed out was many of the people involved were Jewish.” When asked if the term could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, Wiles declared, “It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I can tell you from my heart there is no ill will toward the Jewish people, with all sincerity.”
The next “coup” – Jewish-led or not – needs to come when Trump’s fat ass is voted out of office and sent back to his Manhattan penthouse, along with the rest of his corrupt family.