Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump and the End Times

Why are so many evangelical Christians supporting the twice divorced, thrice married Donald Trump, despite a history of womanizing that makes Bill Clinton look like a rank amateur in comparison?  Why are so many evangelical Christians supporting Trump, despite his glorification of his own greed in a manner that runs counter to what Jesus preached?

It’s quite simple.  Many evangelicals believe we are living in the End Times.  They also believe that, at the advent of the Apocalypse, they will magically rise to heaven in their physical form – while the rest of us heathens are left on Earth to endure the terror.  (Personally, I believe if all religious extremists of every faith were to disappear, the world would probably become a quieter, more tranquil place, and a new era of human progress would unfold.)   The fixation of evangelicals on the Apocalypse leads to the conclusion that if an evangelical was elected President, he or she could well bring about a real End Times scenario  - the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I don’t believe for a New York minute that Trump himself is either an evangelical or even particularly religious.  But he’s the candidate who’s doing their bidding, and they may even believe that they have some form of control over him.  This is a delusion.  Nobody, but nobody, controls Donald Trump.  He’s the little boy who does what he wants, never faces reprimand when he hurts someone else, and has never faced consequences.  Not from his parents, not from his wives, not from betrayed vendors, and not from the law other than the minor financial slap on the wrist.  In other words, Trump is a walking Id who knows nothing of boundaries.

Trump’s bombastic statements, which have already ratcheted up religious tensions in the United States, would lead to even more danger – worldwide - if he was actually elected President. That may be what religious extremists, craving for the Apocalypse want.  That’s not what sensible people the world over desire.   

Sunday, September 11, 2016

34, 11/22, 9/11

One day when my father was 34 years old, he left work early to surprise my mother on their seventh wedding anniversary.  On his way home, he stopped at a florist and purchased a dozen roses.  After leaving the florist, he switched on the radio of his 1963 Ford Galaxie and shortly thereafter heard a news flash from Dallas announcing that President Kennedy had been shot and seriously wounded.  He hit the gas pedal and raced home.  My mother greeted my father with a tearful embrace as Walter Cronkite announced that the President had died.  My parents and my sisters sat in front of the television for much of that weekend – never leaving the house.  The flowers my father bought had been left in the passenger seat – where they withered and died over the course of the weekend.  The date was November 22, 1963 - a day my parents would never forget.     

One morning when I was 34 years old, I left my home to head for work.  I switched on the radio of my 1997 Saturn SL2 and heard an ongoing news report that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.  As my car merged into traffic on I-480, I heard that another plane had struck the other tower.  As I arrived from work, I raced past my coworkers, shouting the news to them as I headed to my office and switched on the TV.  My colleagues gathered in front of the TV as updates came in: multiple hijackings; a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon; the FAA suspended all takeoffs; the South Tower collapsed; a fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania; then the North Tower fell.  Driving past Hopkins airport that night, the usual line of planes approaching to land was gone, replaced with eerie stillness.  The date was September 11, 2001 - a day my friends and I would never forget.