One of my correspondents told me that a member of a church choir, at a service in which the choir doesn’t wear robes (or, apparently, have a dress code) stood in front of the congregation wearing an “I am a deplorable” T-shirt. My correspondent wondered why no one objected.
This brought to mind an article a couple of days ago which addressed the question of why Trump's anti-Muslim remarks hadn’t been taken down by a social networking site since the site’s rules prohibit posts that denigrate anyone based on race, religion, etc. The site’s answer was that that taking down the remarks would have shut down an important debate among the site’s users.
The word "debate" has been coopted by people who don't know what it means, and who assume that the trash people sling at one another on line, and that the ad hominem attacks Trump has made on his detractors and his opponent constitutes debate.
If "Deplorable" had caused people to think, to debate, to question, I suppose the T-shirt is okay.
It is more likely, however, that those in the congregation who support Trump had their prejudices and biases reinforced and that those in the congregation who support Clinton had their prejudices and biases reinforced. Their minds are already made up, and there’s nothing likely to change them. Their hearts are hardened.
There’s an irony to this happening in a Christian church whose founding philosophy includes the story of how God kept “hardening the Pharaoh's heart” so that God could keep bullying the Pharaoh and the otherwise innocent Egyptian people. Yes, read the story (beginning in Exodus 7) closely. The Pharaoh was ready to give in several times, but God took away the man’s free will, made him change his mind, and sent another plague. If God were a middle-school student, today, he'd be suspended for the rest of his immortal life.
Should “churched” people support Trump? He did promise that if elected he would lift restrictions on non-profits and churches spending money on candidates campaigns and on making endorsements from the pulpit, opening up another avenue for elections to be bought.
On the other hand, Clinton has suggested she would attack “Citizens United,” the Supreme Court decision that allows nearly unrestricted anonymous money to be used to support candidates. It’s a nice thought, but it’s a “throwaway.” It's not going to happen. The Supreme Court almost never reverses itself. Congress might, if united, be able to do something to curtail “black money” in elections. But, since sitting congresspersons are the largest beneficiaries of that black money, it's not likely that they’d vote to curtail it. We're on the slippery slope, and gaining speed.
After writing this on Sunday, I wanted to find something in the news that was cheerful and upbeat with which to close.
Nothing from the UN News site except dire warnings and demands for more money.
"Discovery" reports Brazilian monkeys are making knives. Soon, they'll be killing one another with them (they already do so with rocks), and demanding a seat in the UN.
Nothing on "Spiegel" online... it's in German and I've forgotten too much. Wait... Google just translated it for me. Hmmm. Looks like the alt-right (Trump’s core supporters), the AFD, Le Pen, and others of that ilk are about to unite in a worldwide movement. Not good.
"Vietnam Breaking News" reports on an increase in global Daesh/ISIL attacks. Not good.
Checking Associated Press now... wait, please…
Yes! The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time since 1945. Go Cubs!
There's an old saying, "Eat a live frog first thing every morning and nothing worse will happen the rest of the day."
I'm eating that frog by watching the third debate between Trump and Clinton on YouTube while I write this.
They have just moved to abortion and Trump is waffling and propagandizing on Roe v Wade while Clinton is being specific and strong. I think she has won this point.
Now Trump is denying that Russia has conducted cyber attacks on the US (seventeen US intelligence agencies have said Russia is doing so).
The live frog is kicking. They've moved on to nuclear weapons, and it looks as if every pretense of civility has disappeared.
One of my correspondents suggests that Millennials are not educated about the election. They may not be educated, but they’re not the only ones. A couple of elections ago, a big deal was made about the large number of people who got their news only from John Stewart’s “Daily Show.” That concern is trivial compared to the large number of people today who get their news from Twitter and other “social media.” The mis-information machine is a monster that grows as it feeds on itself. Despite claims otherwise, there are no gatekeepers on the internet.
How can one find the truth? It will take more than a lantern to illuminate an honest man.
I follow both Breitbart and Huffington Post (covering the far, far right and the far, far left). I also read, daily, online news sources including AP, BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, UK Telegraph, Christian Science Monitor, Drudge Report, UPI, and Politico as well as a random selection of other sources. Occasionally, I’ll watch one of the late-night comedians. And I still don’t know what is true. I can only hope that I have surrounded it.
Whether or not we know the truth, you and I must make a decision. It’s too late to change anyone’s mind, and what was said at this last debate likely won’t make any difference.
I voted on Monday, the first day the polls were open for early voting. There was a large turnout while I was there. My sister and her husband went Tuesday afternoon, and said there was only a trickle of people. I’m looking forward to seeing how the contest turns out.
There are only twenty days remaining before the November 8 election will be over. I hope the results will put to rest the bitter, derisive and divisive debates both formal and informal, on the stage, in rallies, in the so-called social media, and in advertisements. Please vote.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.