Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (6)

sinThe Guilt of Mankind (1:24-32)

Why, you might well ask, is the Apostle harping on about sin so?  After all, post-modern sophisticates have grown so far beyond the crude concept of sin that it should be considered irrelevant.  And, talking about sin might hurt someone’s feelings, which we all know is the greatest sin, oops, I mean, you know … bad-thought (?).

Here’s a quote from that sums up the situation.

There are some who say that liberal/progressive churches don’t believe in sin.  That we never talk about it—or call people to confess.  I would agree that we seldom talk about it.  When I first came here I soon learned that was the “s” word that was never mentioned.

As a Commissioner to the Presbytery of Chicago I was able to listen to candidates during their ministry ordination examinations.  It was not uncommon for a candidate to proclaim that they didn’t believe in “sin.”  This admission caused not the slightest concern among the assembled Christian saints, and, in due course their candidacy was overwhelmingly approved.

However, the Apostle Paul considered sin to be so central to the Gospel that it had to be the first major point to be examined.  One might logically conclude that there is a direct, essential link between human sin and the Gospel.

So, you now face a choice.  You can press on, trusting that this passage of Scripture in Romans is relevant to our understanding of the Christian Gospel, or, you can pretend that it is an ancient, crude curiosity that we have evolved far beyond.  If you decide the former, welcome.  If you decide the latter, then I pray that you will someday return.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

This opening statement is shockingly contemporary.  What can be more obviously concluded about too much of Western Christianity than that it has chosen to serve “the creature rather than the Creator.”  Churches market themselves as places that will be comfortable and comforting.  Jesus Christ is that wonderful, faithful life coach who is always there to encourage you to “be true to yourself.”  The church programs will all affirm your good intentions and justify your personal choices.  Icky ideas like “sin” and “judgement” and “wrath” will be systematically attenuated.

And yet, the primitive Christian Church grew from tiny to massive under the threat and terrible reality of Roman persecution by preaching a Gospel that bears no resemblance to the above description.  And, in a position of freedom and safety unheard of in human history, the Western Christian Church has dwindled in both numbers and relevance while supposedly preaching the above “improved” gospel.  Perhaps the Creator knows more about what the creatures need than do they themselves.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

Here the Apostle steps on what would almost two-thousand years later become the “third-rail” of social and theological conflict.  The Christian Church has much to answer for by its singling out of this sin for greater condemnation than others.  It also has much to answer for by its theological failure to place sin in it proper place and apply it consistently without regard to person or position.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 

We should all shudder before this list of terrible wickedness.  If you imagine yourself to be righteous concerning murder, please read Matthew 5:21-26.  For all of these vices the only thing standing between yourself and perdition is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness  through an utterly undeserved act of grace by a merciful God.  If only we Christians (myself definitely included) would consistently think and act accordingly.

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

If we all stand convicted of sin, then how is a Christian different from anyone else?  This verse provides an answer at the point of extremity.  For, while The Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power makes Christians ever more aware of and sorrowful about their sin, the wicked glory in it.  They seek to become better at lying, boasting, slandering and all other forms of evil.  They hold themselves up to others as the standard of freedom and effectiveness to be emulated.  They glory in their wicked skills.  Who can look upon the current crop of political operatives and not recognize this vile behavior?  Who has not found this wickedness increasing in whatever domain of human activity in which they participate?

So, if you find a power not of yourself but yet operating within your life that increasingly illuminates your sin, calls you to repentance in Christ and pushes you to reform, then you can be confident that you are found to be in Christ.

However, if you are always finding new justification for sin, working to become better at it or glory in tempting others to fall into its grip, then may God yet have mercy on your soul.

But even this isn’t the worst.  For, to claim ministry of Christ’s Gospel while denying the concept of sin is a terrible deception.  By so doing you are pledging to deny the repentance and new life in Christ to those who look to you as a Christian guide.  You are working as an enemy of the Gospel while pretending to be called to proclaim it. You are certainly not beyond Christ’s power to save, though you have run almost as far from Him as is humanly possible.


Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (5)

sinThe Guilt of Mankind (1:18-23)

We fallen humans are ingenious in ignoring the reality of sin within us.  Thus, there is always an excuse, someone else who is worse, some compelling good intention that justifies our evil deeds.

In this passage Paul uses the undeniable, sordid sinfulness that permeated the Roman Empire to convict all humanity of their fallen state.  That is, this most glorious, powerful human achievement of empire is shown to have resulted in maximum scope and depth for sin.  Thus, concentrated human power leads not to an improved humanity, but rather to greater opportunity for cruelty and vice.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.

Far too many Christians choose to read this passage as an indictment only of contemporary Rome.  They thus avoid facing up to the truth that Paul is only using Rome as a concrete example of the vile sin that infects each and every human soul, then and now.  They deeply need to believe that they are saved because of something “good” within them that separates them from the condemned.  Their vain pride demands this belief, and there is no length that they will not go to remain within that false dream.  So Scripture is ignored and distorted, arbitrary human rules are created, and human pride is substituted for humble greatfullness to a merciful God.

These darkened minds sow destruction both within and outside of the Christian Church.  They are aggressive, active and relentless in their pursuit of self justification.  Were we left to our own devices there would be no stopping them.  But they are contending not against us, but against God almighty.  So, just at the mighty Roman Empire failed to stop God in Jesus Christ, so too will the vile contemporary empire of social and political power. However, I dread the reckoning to come.  If only we would turn from our evil pride and seek forgiveness perhaps it could be avoided.  I pray that a new reformation of Christianity will restore our civilization.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

If we are to be saved from God’s judgment it can only be caused by that same God’s mercy.  For, “claiming to be wise” we have become fools.  May God have mercy upon our darkened souls!

Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (4)

The Power of the Gospel (1:16,17)

The Alexamenos graffitoWhen the Roman’s weren’t physically harming Christians they were actively persecuting them through a sustained campaign of mockery.  The target was so easy and obvious.  For in an empire in which power and victory were worshiped above all else, the emergence of a religion that worshiped a crucified man appeared to be obvious idiocy.    An example of this mockery has survived in the Alexamenos graffito, which I have previously discussed.

So, when the Apostle Paul speaks of not being ashamed of the gospel he is not only referring to an internal emotion, but also to a very real and powerful external reality.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

God-made-him-who-had-no-sin-to-be-sin-for-us-so-that-in-him-we-might-become-the-righteousness-of-GodNote that Paul’s lack of shame is not due to anything sourced within himself, but rather to the the power of God.  It’s not that the pagans and Jews who so mock have an intellectually unsustainable position that Paul in his creativity and wisdom can defeat.  Rather, it is that God Himself has demonstrated their folly by, through this despised means, delivering salvation to everyone who has faith.  Thus, the gospel’s power is something that can only be personally experienced through a faith that originates within God’s eternal acts of mercy and grace.  However, the accumulated personal experiences of salvation will eventually shake the foundations of the pagan world.

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.”

Note well Who has the total initiative in the first phrase of this sentence — it is God and God alone.  Perhaps this understanding could slip by a reader if they stopped here.  However, were anyone to read the entire Epistle there could be no doubt.  It is God who gives some the faith to receive the Gospel.  Thus, the righteousness of the elect exists only because God’s righteousness is imputed to then through Christ.

Far too many Christians rebel against this scandal.  They deeply desire to save some sherd of their pride by claiming credit for their salvation.  Terrible destruction has been wrought in the lives of Christians and in all with whom they interact due to this false belief.  For, we cannot give true glory to God nor properly understand the nature of sin and its consequences if we cling to our false pride.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast.

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (3)

12.20.CHILDREN.CC.DontLikeChristmasPrograms-324x235Prayer of Thanksgiving (1:8-15)

Paul now engages directly with the elect in the church at Rome.  If ever there were a place that contradicted the Gospel of Christ, it would be the imperial city of Rome.  This city was built on the ideals of human power to conquer and rule.  Its politics were literally blood-soaked.  It’s diversions were uninhibited by any conception of human dignity, with rampant sexual license and bloodsport.  Pagan religion placed low barriers to the exercise of the basest human desires.  For, although the pagan gods were powerful and thus in need of appeasement, they were morally no better than humans and often were far worse.  It was in this absolutely hostile environment that God had called into existence a church of Christ-followers; and to whom the Great Apostle wrote this wondrous Epistle of grace.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, 10 asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Paul could legitimately have such deep affection for people he had never met because of their connection through the Body of Christ.  Paul loved the Christians in Rome because He who so loved Paul also loved these people.  And, what evidence of their allegiance to Christ could be more unmistakable than the light that they cast into the utter darkness of Rome?  And so Paul addresses these Brothers and Sisters in Christ with profound love, and, raises them up often in his prayers.

13 I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish: 15 so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Paul’s longing to visit the church in Rome is deep and profound.  However, the obligations of an Apostle are many, with God at the helm.  So, though Paul desires to visit Rome he gladly submits to God’s leading, trusting that in His good and perfect time this will come to pass.

We see here a man who by worldly standards is powerless speaking with joy and confidence about visiting the most brutally powerful city on the planet.  He leads no armed force, controls no territory and speaks for no significant segment of the population.  But he does know one thing — that God in Jesus Christ has made everything new.  The powers that be may take some time to discover this new truth.  In the meantime they may carry on in their fantasy.  But God is at work, igniting the Christian faith in human hearts, one precious human soul at a time.

Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (2)


The Apostle Paul

Chapter 1: Salutation

While reading these first sentences of Romans, consider the nature of a soul that could compose such a statement.  While so doing, remember that only twenty years earlier this same man was consumed by hatred that manifested itself in murderous violence.  It was at this man’s feet that the stoners of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, placed their robes (Acts 7:58).  He then proceeded to initiate a cruel persecution of the Christian Church with vile verbal outbursts of hatred on his lips (Acts 9:1).  And then, a mere two decades later, this is what he wrote.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s primary goal here is to establish his apostleship for a church that he hadn’t founded and hadn’t ever visited.  The Great Apostle wrote Romans during his third missionary journey, likely while in Corinth.  The map of Paul’s journeys following this paragraph clearly shows that his closest proximity to Rome had been in Berea Macedonia, which is approximately 580 miles from Rome “as the crow flies.”  Note that this map also shows Paul’s trip from Jerusalem to Rome (A.D. 59) as a prisoner to be tried before the Emperor.


The Apostle Paul’s Missionary Journeys and the Epistle to the Romans

Although the church in Jerusalem held the honor of being the “home church,” the church in Rome would have been of great import due to its proximity to the Empire’s power center.  In particular, it was in Rome that the most powerful rulers would most directly experience Christians in their beliefs, worship and behavior.  Their impressions could make the difference between benign neglect and terrible persecution.

Paul could have sought to establish his Apostleship by recounting the dramatic story of his meeting with the risen Christ on the Road to Damascus.  Or, he could have pointed to has amazing missionary journeys, resulting in new, vibrant Christian communities planted throughout Greece, Macedonia and Asia Minor.  He could have explained his central role in the allowance and continuance of Gentile conversion to Christianity.  He could have bragged about his suffering for the cause.  He chose to ignore all of these powerful arguments.

Rather, for this critical introduction that would make or break his reputation with the church in Rome, Paul simply and plainly stated his servanthood to and love for Jesus Christ.  Every word points towards Jesus, and thus away from Paul.  Yes, Paul is an Apostle, but only because of Christ’s grace towards him and chosen purpose for his life.  This text is thus primarily focused on establishing Jesus as the Christ and only secondarily on Paul’s apostleship.

Given all his amazing experiences and accomplishments the temptation to focus on himself could have been decisive.  But this is the man who said in all truth that:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

So, this man who could have said so many impressive things about himself simply pointed to the source of it all — Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.

And, by the Holy Spirit’s intervention, the Roman church did indeed find in this Epistle the Gospel of Jesus Christ expounded with a power, clarity and completeness that time cannot diminish.

Let’s return to it now with expectant hearts.


Romans: The Case for Christ to a Hostile World (1)


Imperial Rome and its Gods in A.D. 56 … Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Gospel



The Roman Empire at its Apex

When the Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in A.D. 56 Christianity was a tiny struggling religious sect within the vast Roman Empire.  There is no way to know how many Christians lived in the Roman Empire then, but 25,000 might be a reasonable guess.  Were this the case, then less than one in two-thousand people were Christian (the population of the Roman Empire at that time has been conservatively estimated to be around fifty-million).

Depending on dating of Christ’s resurrection, the Christian Church may have only been in existence for 23 years in A.D. 56.  Gentiles would have only been generally accepted as Christian converts for 6-8 years.  Thus, by the standards of civilizations who had centuries, even millennia of historic consciousness the Christian Church was nothing more (in the world’s eyes) than a newborn infant.

Although, by God’s providence, the Church had experienced massive growth, it had occurred within an environment of violent, sustained persecution.  Of course, Saul (now renamed Paul) had been a recent leader of that persecution.  Thus the primitive Church was experiencing direct and purposeful hostility from the ancient Jewish community from which it was emerging.

But the world’s hostility was by no means limited to the local Jewish community.  For the Roman Empire had established pagan religions that viewed the Christian Gospel as at best idiocy, and at worst a dangerous heresy.  The following excerpt summarizes the religious environment that dominated the Roman Empire.

From the beginning Roman religion was polytheistic. From an initial array of gods and spirits, Rome added to this collection to include both Greek gods as well as a number of foreign cults. As the empire expanded, the Romans refrained from imposing their own religious beliefs upon those they conquered; however, this inclusion must not be misinterpreted as tolerance – this can be seen with their early reaction to the Jewish and Christian population.


A Roman Triumph Parade, for a General who had won an important battle or war.

The Roman Empire stood near to its apex in A.D. 56.  It ruled most of the known “civilized” world, having conquered virtually every civilization surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  Its military prowess was universally feared and its administrative efficiency allowed it to rule over a diverse population.  Its rulers played the power game with consciences unaffected by humane considerations.  They would brook no challenge to their power, be it a barbarian horde or a tiny new religious sect.

peter crucified

The Apostle Peter crucified in Rome.

Only eight years after Romans was written the first official state persecution of Christianity began (under the Emperor Nero).  One year later both Apostles Peter and Paul had been martyred in or near Rome by the Roman State.

The fact that a Christian community already existed in the capital city should be of no surprise given that some estimate 10% of the empire’s population lived in or near to Rome.  It’s clear from Paul’s description that this community was both vibrant and visible.  That is, they were not hunkered-down in a defensive crouch just hoping to survive.  No, they just like so many other Christian converts were living lives utterly transformed by their encounter with the risen Christ.

It is within this context that I propose to reconnect with the Book of Romans.  I hope to explore how this Epistle could have been written within these contexts of time, place and culture.  Along the way many other ideas will also be explored.

The Book of Romans has become for too many Christians a source of “old chestnut” verses that have lost their power and purpose.  However, in our increasingly hostile culture it shines as a beacon calling us back to that which animates all of Christian life — Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Making Sense of It All (8)

What is at Stake?

Our nation is engulfed in an angry, sometimes violent debate about something.  But what is it?

People who think that this all started with Donald Trump are seriously mistaken.  Recall that many in the Democratic party “resisted” the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and then proceeded to destroy his person and administration.  President Bush did nothing to help himself by attempting to “split the difference” between conservatism and progressivism, and, by leading us into a war with Iraq that came to be seen as justified by faulty intelligence and naive expectations.

The nation then traded the “compassionate conservative” philosophy for “fundamental change” progressivism by electing Barack Obama to the presidency.  However, there was no “racial healing” to be found in this historic development but rather increasing racial division.  There was no achieved consensus on health care reform, but rather a solution supported by 51% of the Congress shoved down the throats of the 49% (and the citizens whom they represent).

Many people believe that we have withdrawn into two political camps that share no common ground.  In that scenario there is only the question of who will finally defeat whom.  But, for that to happen a stable “51+%” of the population would have to emerge that lasted for a generation.

Given the disinterest of, say, 60% of our population in politics and policy (a position that I better understand after the past 20 years), one reasonable expectation is that the ideological “20%” on the left and right will compete in an unstable environment.  In this scenario, we would experience huge policy swings as unreconcilable ideologies sequentially gain temporary political power.  This is exactly what we see now, with Donald Trump reversing Barack Obama’s policies.  Were a Democrat to win in 2020 or 2024 we would see the same dynamic.

But although the above scenario seems bad (because it is), I contend that it is the optimistic scenario.  That is, it assumes that, over time, the irreconcilable differences between left and right will be resolved by the working of a stable democratic republic.  Yes, there will be many terrible consequences from the instability.  But the instability will occur because the citizens of the republic can’t make up their minds.  And, even within this instability there will still exist a stable constitutional system that protects fundamental liberty.

The more pessimistic scenario is that we are leaving a constitutional democratic republic behind and heading towards tyranny.  Anyone who has been keeping up with this blog knows that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump.  Nor was I a supporter of Barack Obama.  However, the election of Mr. Trump has, if nothing else, allowed light to penetrate into the dark crevices of our gargantuan permanent ruling class.  And what has been revealed is truly alarming.


The Nunes Memo

As I pointed out in a previous post, the Obama Administration used its temporary public trust to weaponize powerful law enforcement, intelligence, regulatory and revenue departments of the federal government in order to attack citizens and groups with opposing views.  Since that post was written new information (see here, here, here, here, etc.) has become available that shows the scope and depth of this corruption to be far beyond what I could have imagined.

It has become clear to me that a significant motivation for the violent emotional progressive frenzy over Trump’s election is because what they thought would be forever hidden would now come to light.  It’s not just that they lost a Presidential election.  No, it’s that the people against whom the federal government was being weaponized forced these corrupt practices into the light.  And note well — this reaction does not depend on the personality or policies of Donald Trump.

Under President Obama the Democratic Party was devastated at the federal Congressional, state and local level.  The last bastion of power was their hold on the Presidency.  They thought that hold was unbreakable.  They found out to their horror that the people who had voted against their candidates at all other levels of government would do the same at the Presidential level.

Trump InaugurationTheir response was to “resist” the Trump Administration in all ways imaginable, from violent street riots, to shameless leaking of classified information to publishing unattributed innuendo as fact to ginning up a “Russian collusion” narrative that more than a year later is still without a shred of credible evidence in support.

Does the Democratic Party presume that, while they own the Presidency, they are free to use the overwhelming power of the state to subvert, intimidate and criminalize opposition?  Is the Democratic Party claiming a “veto power” over Presidential elections?  If the U.S. citizenry doesn’t vote the “politically correct” way does anything go to overturn their decision?  I hope the answer to these questions is a resounding No!

Because if the answer is anything less then we are contending between a constitutional democratic republic and naked tyranny.



Making Sense of It All (7)

2016-09-16-37525587_largeThe Interests of the “Basket of Deplorables”

In 2016 Hillary Clinton, while running for President, insulted approximately one-quarter of the United States’ citizens.

cnn_hillary“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

By this statement Mrs. Clinton gave voice to the quasi-caste hatred that animates far more of the Progressive program than many would like to admit.

I am not here to claim that any segment of our population is morally superior.  Those citizens who chose to vote Mr. Trump into the Presidency are all fallen, frail flesh and blood, just exactly as are those who voted for someone else or didn’t vote at all.  I am here to point out that this quarter of the nation’s population has legitimate interests that both the Democratic and Republican parties had ignored for decades.

We must first identify to whom Mrs. Clinton was referring.  We can begin by agreeing that this “deplorable” quasi-caste can be found within that segment of the population who are willing to vote for Republican candidates.  That is, if you are a reliable Democratic voter then in spite of any personal faults or bad behaviors, you are certainly not a “deplorable.”

However, not all people who are or vote Republican are “deplorables.”  If you are in this group but submit in silence to, or better yet, actively support core Progressive policies (e.g., open borders immigration) then you can avoid (as long as you don’t stand between Progressives and the acquisition of political power) falling into this category.  Make no mistake though, you are both stupid and likely evil, but not to the point of being an actual “deplorable.”

The above discussion helps, but doesn’t sufficiently describe the boundaries of the “deplorable” quasi-caste. To accomplish that we must revisit some of the other statements made by the leaders of the tip-top Progressive quasi-caste.  The most useful of these was made by candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

obama-below1You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Mr. Obama was right about the economic frustrations experienced by a large segment of our population.  However, note also the condescension and contempt with which he responds to these very real issues.  For, in his mind, these sorry communities are so full of incompetent people that neither Democratic or Republican administrations are able to pull them out of failure.  The reason is that they are bitter, small minded folk who stupidly “cling” to dangerous or irrelevant totems of the past.  Sounds a lot like “irredeemable” to me.

Another boundary setting statement fell from the lips of no other than Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives in 2017.  Joe Scarborough set up the discussion by asking:

But how do Democrats who have the right policies economically, in their minds, how do they reconnect with a middle America who feels like sometimes they are looked down upon because of their faith or their values?

Her answer to this soft-ball question shows the depths of contempt that lives in the Progressive mind towards those who don’t share in their ideology (emphasis added).

Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference“And I say, this will be a little not in keeping with the spirit of the day of unity, but I say they pray in church on Sunday and prey on people the rest of the week, and while we’re doing the Lord’s work by ministering to the needs of God’s creation they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.”

With this material I believe we can identify the boundary between the lowest “deplorable” quasi-cast and all that sit above.  They tend to:

  • live in small towns, suburbs or rural areas;
  • be (but are not all) middle to upper-middle class;
  • have suffered significant, sustained economic frustration and/or decline over the past 30 years;
  • be Bible-believing Christians;
  • own guns or support gun ownership;
  • oppose Obamacare;
  • oppose open-borders immagration;
  • have become suspicious of “world-trade” agreements;
  • not embrace gay-marriage or the other aspects of “queer ideology“;
  • not embrace radical environmentalism in general, or “climate change” in particular;
  • believe that the United States in particular and Western Civilization in general have great value and should be preserved;
  • love their country, believe that it has mortal enemies and honor those who defend it.

As far as I can tell, these are the people who made the difference in electing Mr. Trump to the Presidency.  This is a group who found themselves actively hated by the Democrats or treated like an embarrassment by the Republicans for decades.  The idea that these citizens would forever ignore the fact that neither major political party cared about, let alone addressed, their interests was ludicrous.

Such a situation couldn’t last in a functioning democratic republic, and it hasn’t.  The question that now faces us is will the United States continue to be a democratic republic or is it on the way to becoming something else?


The 2016 Presidential results by county. A Progressive archipelago in a sea of deplorables.

Making Sense of It All (6)

trump-inaugrationWhere We Are Now (1)

If nothing else, the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency has clarified what was before a murky situation.  For, prior to this event it appears that the Republican elite’s top priority was to conserve the idea that beneath all of our policy differences there existed a common creed spanning the Progressive-Conservative divide.  Yes, we may disagree vehemently on means, but, so they believed, we were all pursuing common ends, and valued our common heritage.

Thus, for the past thirty years Republican elites have stressed their willingness to “cross the aisle” to work with their Democratic opponents.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this idea.  However, so determined were they to preserve the idea of national cohesion that they actively refused to notice that “compromise” usually meant conservatives compromising their core values to move towards progressives.  As I have previously noted, even the most ardent Republican “bi-partisaners” suffered vile political and personal attack if they were contending with an accredited progressive in an election.

mitt-romney-newsweekThe patience of non-progressives towards “bi-partisanship” likely ran out with the 2012 Republican nomination of Mitt Romney for President.  For, here was a man of manifest good intentions and manners who had successfully governed a “blue” state (Massachusetts) as a Republican.  Yet, this man was systematically slandered in the Presidential campaign to such effect that he ended up reviled by a plurality of the population.

Why then shouldn’t citizens who opposed the progressive project conclude that it was a losing proposition to nominate nice, bi-partisan guys for the Presidency.  For, as I have previously pointed out:

No, after eight years of abuse the electorate that opposes Progressive policies decided that only a bare-knuckled street fighter was capable of winning back the Presidency.  They nominated Mr. Trump, supported him through thick-and-thin and turned out to vote him into office.

So, if you are wondering how we ended up with a man of Donald Trump’s character in the White House, my above answer holds.

cruz-trump-attackLooking back on the 2016 Republican primaries, it’s clear to me now that Mr. Trump won by sequentially exposing each opposing Republican candidate as a wimp.  Thus, what I and many others saw as cruel, uncouth behavior actually had a rational purpose.  Most of the other Republican candidates said that they were tho one who could effectively oppose the progressive movement.  By showing that they would wilt under cruel attack Mr. Trump demonstrated that they, like Mitt Romney, would collapse under the far more powerful attacks of the Democratic media-political machine.

trump_mirror_largeIf progressives and Republican elitists are appalled by Mr. Trump’s victory then they need only look to themselves for the reason.  For, they had built a culture in which progressives were free to engage in the most savage and dishonest attacks on their opponents while elite Republicans cowered in fear before them.

This is the description of an unofficial quasi-caste system (based on family, education and outlook), where the progressive left sits at the absolute top and elite Republicans get to occupy (as long as they behave properly towards their betters) the next lower rung.  Far, far below them sit the unwashed masses of citizens — ignorant, stupid and immoral.  How dare this low caste rise up and elect someone who intends to represent their interests!

What are the interests of those who elected Donald Trump to the presidency will be discussed next.

Making Sense of It All (5)


Architect of the Fundamental Transformation Debacle

How We Got to Here (4)

The Progressive Left

The progressive left is absolutely certain about and united on what they want.  That being the “fundamental transformation” of a nation founded on evil and made powerful by plunder.  There is precious little from our founding and history that merits preservation.  No, the whole nation is so corrupt that the only reasonable and moral choice is to burn it down to the bare earth and start afresh.

But it is this very certitude that has led to madness.  So certain is the progressive left of its moral perfection that it has justified and used corrupt means to achieve its chosen ends.


Lois Lerner: IRS Agent of Fundamental Transformation

And so, our institutions have been weaponized against anyone who dares to dissent.  Thus, the IRS is turned into a tormentor of “right-wing” groups seeking to organize and speak.  The DOJ and FBI conspire to protect their ideological friends and destroy their enemies.  The “Intelligence Community” leaks anything, regardless of damage to the nation, that undermines their perceived political opponents.


Peter Strzok: FBI Agent of Fundamental Transformation

Individuals and businesses are randomly destroyed by braying mobs in order to induce terror in all the rest of us.  Professors in “institutions of higher learning” teach irrational, failed ideas as vanguards of an achievable utopia.  The “mainstream media” descends into ideological conformity and political partisanship that would make Pravda proud.  Sexual predators are protected because they support the “correct” political positions. This just scratches the surface, but I trust that my point is made.

obama-messiah-BA5fuj6CQAAvSE9So certain were they of the permanence of their political power that all pretense of respect for our nation or its “unwoke” citizenry was dropped.  Their Alinsky law-giver, Barack Obama, had led them out of slavery to our founding ideas and institutions.  All their political opponents had been decimated when the Marxist Red Sea came crashing down upon them.  hillary-clinton-bad-copAnd then, power would certainly be handed to Hillary Clinton, who would lead the progressive left across the Jordan River.  Once across they would finally obliterate their political enemies and build their utopian “promised land” where everyone would be equal, but some would be permanently more equal than others.
But something else happened on the way to progressive utopia.  It turns out that when many citizens saw the progressive left’s true beliefs, behaviors and intentions they recoiled in horror.  Many of them had assumed that the progressive left was a force for reform and renewal.  What they actually began to see was something completely, and disturbingly, different.  And so, they began searching for someone, anyone, who could stand against this rising tide of political correctness and corruption.


We couldn’t have lost because the voters didn’t see our moral and intellectual superiority!  It must have been stolen by the Russians!

Thus, when Hillary Clinton inexplicably lost the Presidential election all of their fantasies  came crashing down upon them.  How could they have possibly lost a fair election?  How could the citizens of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio have failed to vote in the correct manner?  It couldn’t possibly be because history wasn’t on their side, or because they had governed in a corrupt manner, or that the populace failed to see their moral superiority.  NO!  It could only be because Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election!

Yes, rather than do any soul searching about their own beliefs and behavior, the progressive left apparently descended into a state of madness (or madness like a fox).  But hey, if you can’t fundamentally transform this vile nation by winning elections then other means must be found.  After all, comrades, the ends justify the means.

Debacle Bonus Material: Pure Tragicomic Gold Edition

The Tragedy

The Progressive Left’s enthusiastic embrace of deceit.

The entire menu of race, class, and gender identity politics, lead-from-behind foreign policy, political correctness, and radical environmentalism so far have not won over most Americans.

Proof of that fact are the serial reliance of their supporters on deception, and the erosion of language on campus and in politics and the media. The progressive movement requires both deceit and euphemism to mask its apparently unpopular agenda.

The Comedy

We can get away with it! Those stupid, bitter gun and religion clinging, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it, citizens will never remember how we coddled the Russians for our eight years in office!  Trump-Russian collusion full speed ahead!

The Gold


What! A Democratic Secretary of State making nice with the evil Russians!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!


What! A Democratic President of the United States colluding with the evil Russians! Look away, look away, nothing to see here!


What! A Democratic administration selling 20% of U.S. uranium to a Russian company controlled by the Russian state!  What!  The Clinton Foundation received tens of millions of dollars from evil Russian sources while the Uranium One deal was in progress!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!


What! President Obama mocks Mitt Romney for saying that the Russians are a geopolitical foe!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!

I’ll stop here, but there’s so much more…wait, what!