Blog Trump

Bob’s Tired

This morning my old buddy Bob (pseudonym) called me. First time in months. We shared some great memories. Bob has fantastic recall, especially for high school days.

Then, a comment led to politics. Bob really didn’t like some gender stuff he’d seen on TV. Made it clear he’d been a long time Republican. Primed for a verbal duel, asked if I voted for Hillary. That seemed irrelevant to me. I returned to the present. Told Bob I understood his concern.

Bob seems to feel Donald Trump will make such disturbing stuff on TV go away. He says President Trump has done many great things. Bob will send me a list of 20 great things. (Another evangelical friend said he’d send me his Trump top 20. Is that a thing? Like maybe the wellspring of faith in Trump?).

I began to drill down. Bob said, “I really felt good at the start of our call. I just feel tired now.” End of call.

It was when I started talking First Amendment Rights I could sense Bob getting tired. I wanted to know if he thought it would be better for government to limit speech which offends us or to have a system which would allow people to say things we found offensive, even do things which went against our belief system. All that got no further than Bob’s parting claim of “lots of good things, at least 20.”

To my evangelical brothers and sisters younger than I, please consider some facts which may not be as present to you as they are to me. Hitler brought us a number of good things: Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, BMW, and indirectly the Ford and General Motors companies we have come to know, even the precursors of interstate highways. Henry Ford had a portrait of Hitler in his office (for a while). Ford and GM factories located in Germany built some 86% of Nazi war machine vehicles. World War II spurred amazing industrial development and scientific research. Yes, some things that looked pretty good came from Hitler.

Maybe doing “good things” is not the ultimate measure of value for a society. The foundation of my faith is freedom. First, the most amazing thing about God is the gift of free will to me. That’s truly theologically unsettling. It’s been a subject of debate, warfare and torture over the centuries. But that’s where I stand.

As to politics, I believe God gave us a marvelous system of government which, even though flawed as all human ventures seem to be, has given me the freedom to believe what I wish and even voice it, for now.

The US was built in large part on the desire for free choice and the resulting efforts of people fleeing from state imposed religion. Freedom of religion means I can choose to be believer, agnostic, atheist or totally oblivious to such matters. I love that system. In this sense, maybe I’m a troublesome minority among evangelicals who just know we need to go back to our Christian roots and are counting on Donald Trump to take us there.

My recollection of readings about the ramp up to World War II, was that many religious leaders saw Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain as leaders who would really get some good things done. I guess they did. But then, it seems things went kind of sideways: Guernica, Blitzkrieg, concentration camps, etc.

I heard one evangelical leader who seems to have broken ranks with Trump believers refer to a Faustian deal: Give Trump support. Church leaders get access to power.

That didn’t work too well in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain or most anywhere else for those who were just bargaining for “good things,” for “peace in our time.” There is some saying about the Devil will have his due.

Ho, hum, you say. Like Bob, you grow tired of my babble. But are you really sure, my evangelical friends, that your heavily armed vigilante colleagues will play nice. It seems some have such itchy trigger fingers they use protestors for target practice.

I’ll hope to share more with you on these points in some upcoming posts, in particular “Blue Eyed Nazi” or something like that.

Meanwhile, let’s close with a poem brought to mind earlier today by my good evangelical friend Dr. D, down south. It’s from the late German Christian theologian Martin Niemöller.

First they came

When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


Let Us Be Still

This poem seems most appropriate on this New Year’s Eve 2016, at least for a friend or two who speak German and perchance for some unknown visitor wer Deutsch spricht. Surprisingly, I could find this poem nowhere online among the many works of Maria Dutli-Rutishauser. So I copied it from an Italian poetry quarterly : Voci Nuove: Quaderni de Poesia Contemporanea, No. 64, April 1967. Why do I have this little book? I have a poem published therein, but in English, not German. Also, vorwärts auf Deutsch! Oh, this poem is most relevant if you happen to be camping.

von Maria Dutli-Rutishauser

Lasst uns stille werden
da das Jahr vergeht.
Wir sind wie der Nebel
der im Tale weht.
Flüchtig ist der Tage
kurzer Sonnenschein.
Über eine Weile
wird es Winter sein.
Wie ein Schleier senkt sich
Wehmut auf die Welt.
Lasst uns stille werden –
warm sind Herd und Zelt.



The Way Today

I do not want to spend the rest of my life on a dead-end street or worse, in the parking lot. I want to go the right way to end up at the right place at the right time with the right people. That’s what I want every day, every minute in fact. If I can do that, I will be fulfilled. I will fulfill my destiny. I will fulfill my role in the lives of those it is my lot to impact. I want to own my destiny, to the extreme! (Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8, NIV,

Por la mañana hazme saber de tu gran amor,
    porque en ti he puesto mi confianza.
Señálame el camino que debo seguir,
    porque a ti elevo mi alma. (Salmo 143:8, NVI,

Fais-moi dès le matin entendre ta bonté! Car je me confie en toi. Fais-moi connaître le chemin où je dois marcher! Car j’élève à toi mon âme. (Psaume 143:8, Louis Segond,

Lass mich schon früh am Morgen deine gnädige Antwort hören,
denn auf dich vertraue ich.
Lass mich den Weg wissen, den ich gehen soll,
– meine Seele sehnt sich nach dir. (Psalmen 143:8, Neue Genfe Übersetzung,