I must state at the outset that last Friday’s (02-05-2021) airing of Frances & Friends contained just about every wrong-headed idea, supposition, and belief possible in a single program. It was, as far as I am concerned, an absolute bonanza of misinformation packaged as truth. People, this is what is defined by the terms “religious dogma” and “superstition”. This is how a single religious viewpoint begins to become so dominant that it is made into a state religion. I know my history. It happens this way EVERY SINGLE TIME. When religion has free reign to guide the political thought of the masses, the initial result is religious tyranny one-hundred percent of the time. And the end result is the downfall of the nation. It happened with the ancient Israelites, Judeans, Persians, Greeks and Romans – every one of them.
I placed that stirring paragraph first because it is now imperative that people begin to get this, rather than blithely ignoring the fact that religious personalities are directing the masses, not only in the United States of America, but in several countries the world over, toward a religious/national ideology based entirely on falsehood. It’s nationalism wrapped in the garb of religion. AND THEY KNOW IT. If they know history even half-way as well as I do, then they know fully well where all of this is leading, but they won’t tell YOU. They want you to believe something entirely different; something that fits their warped, ever-changing, theology – a theology that they are creating and re-creating constantly as they go along to fit whatever is happening in the world.
When I was a young ministerial student in college, I started out believing just like them. In fact, I was practically a devotee of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. On top of that, I was an evangelical Pentecostal type, so I believed (or, rather, forced myself to believe) all that they taught. How devastating it was to see their downfall! Years later, it was almost impossible for me to believe that they were both back on the air again, spouting their nonsense; for during the intervening years I had learned some things about the very nature of religion. The basic truth that I came to understand is that most religious leaders will more than willingly just lie in order to continue to perpetuate their brand of belief. They will rationalize it in any way possible to make it seem as if it is the gospel truth. The fact of the matter is that THEY KNOW BETTER, but THEY DON’T EVER WANT YOU TO KNOW BETTER. I am more than thankful for actual scholarship, which served to enlighten me to this. Yes, scholars and academia have the information, but they generally prefer for it to remain within scholarly and academic circles, just as your average preacher who actually has a real theological education prefers to keep his/her knowledge within the realm of the theologians.
Instead of just telling YOU the truth, they prefer to spout all sorts of nonsense and decrepit theology in order to keep the money flowing. That’s really the truth. I, on the other hand, could not proceed in that manner. Once I came to understand the many things that they won’t tell you – and that would never have been told to me had I not pursued a ministerial degree – I simply could not continue with the charade. But that’s a longer story than we have time for here.
Back to Frances & Friends; after some opening remarks, Donnie Swaggart went into this prayer for our nation, crying, sobbing, etc. – it reminded me of his dad when he cried saying “I have sinned”…. As far as I am concerned, it was as fake as anything I have ever seen, especially as he immediately stopped when it was time for a commercial break. And that speaking in tongues part, I just couldn’t listen to at all! It remined me of the days long ago when I knew fully well (but somehow rationalized it) that people didn’t really speak in tongues and I had actually forced myself to utter something so I could become a member of the A/G. That wasn’t any more real than a pair of fake leather shoes. It gives the appearance of being real, but it really isn’t. And please, really, anyone who hasn’t noticed that all that babble always sounds like the same “language”, no matter how many testimonies they may have in which some say they are speaking Aramaic or something; I suggest you aren’t really paying attention.
Anyway, one of the main points of his prayer, as far as I could stand to listen to it, was that the church is being persecuted because people aren’t being allowed to meet in some areas of the country because of COVID-19. Donnie even went so far in his prayer as to say that the current administration is “not a friend of the church” (he certainly hasn’t given this administration much of a chance, like he did for Trump). I was left wondering just what he based that insinuation on, since the current administration has done absolutely nothing thus far against the church at all. In fact, IF churches are being shut down, as the Swaggarts and the Bakkers all insist, it has been taking place well prior to the start of this new administration, in case no one has noticed. So, Donnie cried to God for overall forgiveness, etc. until the break came upon them. It was sad to see, really.
In any case, after Frances and the panel complimented Donnie on his prayer, they went into some viewer questions, starting with the difference between Cherubim and angels. Even some of them seemed to not quite grasp whatever differences there may be, for those who actually believe such beings exist. Somewhat after that, Frances mentioned some book (title not provided) that she said William Federer had sent her detailing the universe and God’s creation, apparently, that she obviously found very much to her liking. Somehow that conversation evolved into John Rosenstern talking about Lucifer originally being a Cherub and falling from grace because of pride and the current world system being under his domination – and then having to add with no provocation that this is why they oppose the direction the “Left” and the Democrats (whom he regularly refers to as “Demoncrats”) want to take this nation, stating that they are “falling into the plan of Satan”. He continued that their aim is to create an “oligarchy of individuals” who want to rule the world like Satan wants to do. Yes, Mr. Rosenstern tied the Democrats to Satan very nicely indeed here (nothing new for him). Too bad for him the things he said were hyperbole at best. Personally, I get rather tired of being referred to as “of Satan” just because of my political understandings. But, apparently, it’s part of their religion to do so.
A bit later in the program, after a bit of “religion” was interjected (they seem to be deliberately doing this now to stifle the criticisms that they have been too political), Frances began talking about how she is having “great trepidation” concerning some things that are happening now and that she is seeing on the news, referring directly to the Laura Ingram Show that she had watched the night before in which, according to Frances (I haven’t watched the program, and don’t plan to, so it would be unfair for me to state that this was exactly stated on said program), it was said that under the current administration the military is purging and/or planning to purge “all conservatives and get rid of all conservatives in the military”. John Rosenstern almost immediately jumped in, stating that the President, who is Commander in Chief, can do and order anything he/she wants to with reference to the military because of that position, but few people know this.
Rosenstern then continued that former President Obama had started such a purge within the ranks during his administration, with Frances agreeing and partially reiterating this, all the way down, Rosenstern stated, as far as the rank of Captain, making a big deal of that. He referred to this as these officers “being removed”. And, as usual (one does get tired of it after a while, John), Mr. Rosenstern could not help but tie it all to Hitler and Nazi Germany, stating that Hitler “did the same thing”, demanding total loyalty from the military.
Frances then continued that, in her mind, she was thinking how, if the military is purged of all conservatives – get this – it will have no problem arresting American citizens anywhere in the world, including here. “That’s unheard of in our country”, she said. “But now it’s law and I could see what’s going to happen. . . . It is so plain; the handwriting on the wall”.
Then Dave Smith, with the only relatively intelligent comment in this particular segment, stated that the Secretary of Defense had stated that they were purging the military. I state that his comment was relatively intelligent because he was at least ALMOST right in what he said, as opposed to the others.
Frances continued that “they” now have no fear letting everyone know what they are doing because now they are in power (I’m seeing this as a new theme – “they” aren’t afraid to be open about what they are doing now that they won the election), reiterating again that they are purging the military of “every conservative voice”. She then went on about how so many “great conservatives” left the military under Obama, including Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin. John Rosenstern then added that we are now seeing the rise of a dictatorship and that the current state in Washington DC with National Guard members heavily stationed there is, to him, “troubling”, adding that they are not really needed, but that “they” are afraid of more terrorist acts. He continued, “and they are now talking about defining white nationalism” (he never really elaborated as to what he meant by that), stating that it is all being done to justify extreme power being given to the government – once again reiterating that this is what Hitler did. Yawn. Then he twisted everything around even more by stating that “they” are claiming that it is “we” who are doing this. Then, to hammer it home, he said he has been studying, once again, the rise of the Nazis in Germany for the past five weeks.
Finally, Donnie Swaggart managed to chime in on this subject, stating emphatically that “[t]here is no threat against the Capitol. There was no insurrection [on January 6th], and the so-called insurrection . . . was not Trump supporters – a few, but they were nuts” and all politicians “have nuts”. He continued, “[b]ut there were more Antifa. They arrested them.”
Frankly, if we lived in a sane world or country, there would be no need to refute any of this or even say anything about it. We all could just let them babble on and on, assured within ourselves that it is nuts, but that it is also harmless. But, sadly, the necessity to do otherwise is present because people really take this as “gospel” because religious “leaders” say so. This is the main point I want to drive home overall. People are accepting all sorts of nonsense exactly because the people they see as religious leaders say it. And this is the danger we all face.
Thus, I will parse it by beginning with the first statement here made by Frances that the military is moving to purge all conservatives from its ranks. Note that she did not say most, or almost all, or anything like that. She said ALL. Now, that in and of itself really makes no difference in that the very idea that the military would be purging conservatives and their voices from its ranks is ludicrous on its face. How do I know this? Because I was in the military! It is at least possible that at least she does not really understand the make-up of today’s military in this nation, but I submit that this is not the case for everyone on the panel, sparse as it was for a Friday. So, let me set the record straight here for those who truly don’t know. The majority of military personnel are conservative and most of them are also Republicans. I don’t need statistics to tell me that because, again, I was in the military – a liberal virtually surrounded by conservatives the entire time I served (and some of them made that quite clear). But, if you want “proof”, just type into Google a query as to the percentage of conservatives in the US military. Happy hunting.
The point of the above paragraph mainly being to show that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the military to purge all conservatives, or even most conservatives, from its ranks. This is nothing more than damaging fantasy being spread by those who know the truth, but don’t want YOU to know it.
In addition, John Rosenstern certainly exaggerated a bit when he flatly stated that the Commander in Chief can do and order whatever he wants with reference to the military. The actual truth is that the military is indeed under the command of the President because of his role as Commander in Chief, but that does NOT mean he can order just anything he desires, and they have to acquiesce. In fact, the military, as one of its primary obligations, is expected to adhere to high moral and ethical standards, part of which include the obligation to refuse any unlawful order, even from their Commander in Chief. I don’t even need to go further than that here. Rosenstern is simply in error, and he probably knows it. But most people listening to him probably don’t know it.
As for the so-called “purge” that the panel labeled the Obama administration with; what took place under his administration is NOT the same as what is taking place now (which we will get to). Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is that some did refer to that which took place under the Obama administration as a purge of high-ranking officers, mainly Generals. But, if one looks at the reasoning behind the majority of the firings that took place, one will see instances of overt, public disagreement with the administration concerning military matters. That is simply something that cannot be condoned or tolerated. Frankly, even in grade school most learn that civilian authority trumps (no pun intended) military authority in this country as demonstrated by President Truman’s firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur for doing exactly that – openly defying presidential orders. It’s simply something that cannot be tolerated in our constitutional Republic. And, frankly, what happened then – and what is happening now – are NOT the same as what happened in Nazi Germany, no matter how much Mr. Rosenstern likes to tie everything Democrats do to Hitler.
But, those facts (which I think at least some on the panel would have known) did not stop Frances from openly worrying about how, if the military is purged of all conservatives they might go around arresting Americans – for what, she did not specify. But, I have a feeling she would include just being a Christian among the “crimes” people might get arrested for since she is always pining away about Christian persecution. Sadly for her point of view, that which she is envisioning is actually NOT law, regardless of what she said or what those who listen to her might believe. The handwriting on the wall is certainly not plain (and it never is, in case anyone wonders), but the gullibility of many who listen to such programs is quite plain to see.
In any case, when I stated above that Dave Smith ALMOST actually got it right, I was referring to the fact that he mentioned the Secretary of Defense and what he is doing. But, that’s all he got right – that the Secretary of Defense is doing something, because this is NOT a purge either. What has taken place, thus far, have been two major things. First, the new Secretary of Defense, Gen. Lloyd Austin (1) first fired all of the Pentagon’s advisory board members from the previous administration in order to have a fresh start and, (2) he has ordered a military wide stand-down of forces to address the issue of extremism within military ranks (that would include white nationalist groups and ideas, in case Mr. Rosenstern wants to know). Neither of these orders indicates a purge of conservatives from the military, unless the Swaggarts are afraid that rooting out extremists qualifies. After all, shortly thereafter Mr. Rosenstern referred to the administration “defining white nationalism”, so perhaps this really is their fear here. The rest of his comments are below the level of requiring rebuttal, except that I can’t help but laugh a bit at his mention that he has been re-studying the rise of Nazi Germany for the past five weeks, which, apparently in his mind, makes him some kind of renewed authority on the subject. Five weeks, really?
Frankly, I find it distasteful to even have to grapple with a descendant of Holocaust survivors, but I find it equally distasteful for said survivors (he and his son) to regularly class me as “of Satan”. What I am really saying is that one would think that he, as a Holocaust survivor, might know his history a little better than that. And, frankly, maybe he does.
But if it could get any worse, it would have to have been done by either Jim Nations or Donnie Swaggart. Jim Nations was not present for this particular program, which is practically unheard of. In fact, Frances has let it be known that he had a heart attack, but is doing well at this time. Personally, I wish him well even though I disagree with him on practically everything possible.
That being said, obviously it was Donnie’s turn to chime in with the same baseless conspiratorial garbage that helped to cause the storming of the Capitol on January 6th – only, according to him, no insurrection took place. Reiterating once again that those who stormed the Capitol were mainly Antifa (this has become their standard mantra to comfort themselves with), and that only a few nutty Trump supporters were among them, he questioned the need for military personnel to even be present in Washington. Seems like he follows directly on the same lines as a caller from the other day who stated that everything he read and heard led him to believe Biden is taking over the Capitol using the military. Donnie didn’t say that, but he may as well have. In effect, he fed directly into the paranoia that has become so pervasive in our current society that those “communist liberals” are taking over and handing us over to a one-world governmental system in which our freedoms will be taken away. If you don’t believe this is a pervasive theme among the televangelist-types, just watch the Jim Bakker Show and listen to guests such as Derek and Sharon Gilbert who, by the way, also insist that the wearing of masks is really a means by which the government is manipulating the population to get control of society.
In any case, Frances went on to another caller who asked about the Muslim ban that was instituted under former president Trump, with John Rosenstern flatly stating, “president Trump did not ban Muslims. . . .”, adding that we are already seeing less support for Israel, and increased support for Palestinians, under the current administration. Too bad for Rosenstern that Trump himself referred to his action as a “Muslim ban” several times before he saw that he needed to tone that down. And the current administration, thus far, has really done just about nothing with reference to Israel, regardless of whatever visions Mr. Rosenstern has conjured up in his head.
Then Rosenstern complained that the Democrats are pushing their agenda through by using the process called “reconciliation” – get this, beginning with COVID relief, set to continue next with climate-change, and after that with infrastructure. That’s right, apparently Mr. Rosenstern has an issue with all three of these. Now, I am well aware of his positions, and know why he takes positions against the first two (and I obviously disagree with him), but infrastructure? I suppose he will say we would be spending too much money on it, as all of it continues to deteriorate around us and the earth slowly cooks us like crabs in a pot if COVID doesn’t take us all out first. But, I mean, why should he care. He thinks Jesus will come back any day and destroy it all anyway.
Frances chimed in on that, stating that we have to have wisdom and “the mind of God” in order to counteract “their” efforts. “I believe God can still perform miracles on this country and we can retain our freedom as a country”. This even as she alluded to placing god-fearing persons into office, and to prayer as their “weapon”.
Eventually, as I knew they someday would (it was just a matter of time, really), Frances brought up Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her supposed plight. Frances talked about the fact that Greene spoke at the session set to strip her of her committee assignments, as Frances told it, for statements she made when she was “younger”. In fairness, Donnie did interject that she made some of these statements during her campaign, but Frances went on anyway, stating that we have all probably said things when younger, but are different people now and should not be judged for past mistakes like that. Frances then referred to Greene as a “great conservative”. I was left wondering how she defined “great”.
Rosenstern then stated that she has recanted of her former ideas, and added (without presenting evidence) that the Republicans who voted to strip her of her assignments had gone along with Democrats because they thought the Democrats would do something about Reps Omar and Ocasio-Cortez too. Then he went on to state that others who were there said that Ocasio-Cortez was not even present during the storming of the Capitol, as she says she was. He then referred to the whole episode as a “double-standard”, likening it to what Israel, in his words, has to deal with from other nations.
Then Rosenstern reiterated the admonition from Frances from earlier in the program that conservatives not protest, stating that to do so would be to fall into a trap in which “they” would create some kind of situation causing conservatives to be blamed for it “just like before [meaning on January 6th], I think”. Frances, agreeing, continued that “they” were [on January 6th] “directing it”, but nothing was said (in the media, presumably) about that; both she and Rosenstern continuing to opine falsely that the media didn’t even cover any of the protests or riots that took place last year. Frances even said, “they burned down parts of our cities and nothing was ever said”. She seems to have forgotten that this was all over the news for days on end and that several people were arrested for their part in said riots which, they don’t seem to understand, are separate from the otherwise peaceful protests that also took place at the same time. But, you know, Antifa.
After that a clip of MTG speaking at her hearing was played in which she virtually claimed Christian persecution (yawn), adding that she never mentioned such things as QAnon during the election (contrary to what Donnie said), or afterward, and emphasizing that she was grateful for the opportunity she has because she believes in God and is grateful for being forgiven of sins, she then spoke against abortion, stating that a nation with the motto “In God We Trust” cannot condone abortion. Then she went on about how “they” are “crucifying” her for words she spoke “a long time ago”, adding that the media is just as guilty as QAnon for lies and distortions and words that divide.
Now, I don’t know how she defines a “long time ago” or how much younger a person has to be in the eyes of Frances for their words and/or deeds to be overlooked, but conspiracy-theories such as Pizzagate, which Greene espoused, are really not that far back in time even as far as origin is concerned. A mere four to five years ago, in fact. Let me say, a “long time ago” would be a qualification for, say, something one did as a teen-ager when one is her age now, not a mere four to five years ago. But, if she said any of this during her campaign, then the time-frame becomes even more narrow. Still, it is interesting to note how easily Frances and the panel move to forgive and forget in the case of Greene, even as they recently skewered and castigated AOC and other members of the Squad, more than once with Frances derisively referring to AOC as that “young little girl”. Talk about a double-standard.
Even worse than that (you probably thought it really couldn’t get worse by now), immediately after that clip ended, Donnie Swaggart clapped his hands in approval, stating “[t]hat’s what we need! That woman could be president!” Appalled is a word I truly try to use sparingly, but it certainly fits my reaction here, not that any of it surprised me, because it didn’t.
Frances emphasized the thought-process even more by stating that Greene was being persecuted for standing for her beliefs. Then Donnie rubbed it in even more by stating “her constituents should rise up and demand she be put back on her committees. Her constituents should bombard every congressman with telephone calls, emails; flood them. Don’t let them do their business. Tie up their phone lines demanding . . .” (as Frances interrupted him), “But it’s done now”; to which he responded, “[b]ut mother, it can be changed’.
Imagine, being so upset over one congressperson being stripped of her committee assignments that one would tell people to resort to making sure the Congress could not do its business – important business that would have much greater weight than one mere person’s position would! But, that in and of itself gets to the real crux of the matter. Donnie Swaggart essentially directed constituents to completely bombard the Capitol with messages in order to stop any business from taking place until one person was placed back onto her committees. But, I’m sure Mr. Swaggart would retort that he wasn’t really directing anyone to do anything, but was just exercising his freedom of speech and expressing an opinion; just as, in his mind, Trump did not direct anyone to storm the Capitol on January 6th. It can’t be his fault if such a thing actually takes place, after all.
After that a caller asked about what separation of church and state really means, enquiring also as to why they and the church seem to have become more political in their speech over time. Good call and a legitimate question. Of course, Donnie went into the now standard explanation that separation of church and state are indeed real (something they would not even acknowledge until David Barton gave them a way to do so and save face), but that it basically means that the government is to stay out of the business of the church, but the church can say anything desired and is right to encourage people to vote (he didn’t say for a certain candidate, but that is the gist of it). After all, if unions and other organizations can do it, why can’t churches and pastors? He added that the issues they discuss are moral issues, not political issues, another now standard mantra.
Funny; I never heard of separation of union and state, but I digress. The difference, of course, with most would be that they are not non-profits, while churches are. That said, labor unions are non-profits and are exempt from federal taxes, which means that Donnie actually does have a partially valid point when citing them. But that’s about all. Unions don’t have TV stations with 24/7 programs telling people how they should vote. Frankly, I was a member of a union in the past and I don’t recall actually being told who to vote for, or not vote for, although it was obvious who anyone should be for in more or less subtle ways. Still, perhaps it does happen sometimes; I don’t know. But that does not give churches and religious organizations the right to tell anyone how to vote.
Donnie’s final retort, however, that “God created government”, so the “church should be involved” falls flat as total illogic. But, I’m sure he probably got that from David Barton too.
Want it to get even worse? After that Frances cited a website that she said was based in Canada entitled “True North Politics”, from which she read the following excerpt: “Imagine being a president so popular with the people that they [there’s that infamous “they” again] have to ban you from the internet to stop citizens from communicating with you and have news organizations do everything they can to destroy your legacy and impeach you the second time to make sure you don’t run again. . . . Trump’s supporters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Believe that one-hundred percent”. The response of Frances to this; “I think that’s tremendous to have that said about you”. Of course, if you are on Trump’s soap-box, then naturally it’s “tremendous” to have some pity-party thing like that said about Trump. Naturally. The fact that the entire diatribe is false overall has little bearing to those who are self-deluded, after all.
Immediately after that Frances said she needed to finish a thought and did not want to be interrupted because it was important. Having brought up MTG earlier, she sought to finish her thought on this matter. Frances lamented the fact that MTG was stripped of her committee assignments by Republicans, while at the same time Republicans voted concerning the future of Liz Cheney, but Liz survived. Frances said of Ms. Cheney;
“[s]he stood against President Trump, who was then president of the United States. I want you Republicans to listen to what I’m saying. Go back and look at what Liz Cheney said”. She, Frances continued, let it be known ahead of time that she would vote for Trump’s impeachment; “a Republican president of the United States. Liz Cheney . . . was all for, and voted along with Mitt Romney and six other . . . Republicans to see president Donald Trump impeached”, adding that Cheney kept her “seat”. “What was the difference” as to what each did?
Frances directed that question to the panel with Donnie first responding in a halting manner, stating that he did not quite follow her question, but adding that there was a lot of difference. He then added, “[b]ut Liz Cheney is not fit . . . she betrayed the American people; the conservative people”.
Here I want the reader to fully get what happened. On this program Frances Swaggart took it upon herself to directly speak to Republicans, telling them it was wrong for MTG to have been removed from her committee positions. She was directly, and overtly, political here, just as Donnie was when he said MTG could be president. If anyone thinks that people just ignored that, I am not getting through to them.
Frances then continued, “[s]he keeps her seat but the other poor woman, that hasn’t done nearly what Liz Cheney has done; she’s not allowed to keep hers”. Donnie responded, “[b]ut we need to pray, mother, that in just a short time if that campaign [that is currently being mounted against her by a Republican challenger] in Wyoming – and that she’s ousted”. This is where, if I were Liz Cheney, I would have made up my mind to call these folks and lambast them for even speaking my name and telling people how they should vote.
Frances then asked the two other panel members their opinions, to which Dave Smith agreed that the establishment supported Ms. Cheney, and at the same time took MTG out. John Rosenstern said that politics is like denominational religion (remember, they don’t think they are part of denominational religion) in that they will support whoever will support their cause and, so, they become tolerant of wrong-doing by those who have the same agendas. They have the mindset that everyone must go along with the Party.
Here I only wish to emphasize how absolute the bias of everyone on this panel and, indeed, no doubt the entire ministry, is. And Mr. Rosenstern must know, somehow, that he stuck his own foot into his own mouth big-time by insinuating that denominational religion will go along with anyone who supports their agenda, while for the last four years they themselves have gone along lock-step with Trump solely because he supported their agenda even though he was obviously not a good person; thus, they tolerated wrong-doing in the name of having their agenda supported. The hypocrisy is beyond belief here, but it is still no surprise to me. This is what they have become. This is what they have made themselves into. And they rationalize it in every sort of way, knowing the truth, but hoping that YOU won’t figure it out.
After that an email writer opined about the US seemingly moving back into globalism, to which the panel agreed. After all, to get along with, and ally with, other countries is a terrible thing, right? But I know where such thoughts really come from since the people who watch these programs are regularly being told that every little change must be a sign of a future one-world government and the advent of the Antichrist, as almost unceasingly expounded on the Jim Bakker Show.
After that a caller asked if the new administration was God’s will. After all, she and others were so disappointed because Trump didn’t win as they had expected, thinking that a win for Trump was God’s will. Donnie answered with, “God may have allowed this to happen because of the sins of the nation” in order to bring the church back to repentance trough persecution. Then he went on to literally twist church history (I am well acquainted with church history) to prove his point, but I won’t get into the details of it.
After that another caller referred to her “demon-possessed governor” (in California) seeking to shut churches down. She added that persecution is going to happen here just like it did for the early church. Donnie corrected her in that he said that California is already under a total church shut-down, but some are defying it and being hit with fines and possible jail time because of it. He stated that shutting down church buildings is “contrary to the word of God” and against the Constitution. He added that even more should say “no” because “they can’t arrest everybody”.
The caller continued that she believes that if God’s people had prayed hard enough, Trump would have been reelected. Donnie responded that this was possible, but that “there are powerful forces at work . . . and if someone wants to steal ten-million votes . . . whatever happens, happens because God willed it or allowed it . . . and if he allowed the election to go the way it is – did – I personally believe it’s because of the sins of the church and the nation.” There was a little more, but I think most readers get the overall picture here.
You know, when I was a young student of religion and I was first exposed to the horrors that happened during medieval times, mainly stemming from the Inquisition, naturally, being a Protestant and understanding what that meant too, I was always glad that I had not been a Roman Catholic. My thought was that there was no way I could support, endorse, or even be a part of any church that had done such heinous things even in the distant past. I was also glad that, in my mind, world society had learned from this sad episode in history and would, therefore, never repeat it. Never again would that church, which I was gladly not a part of, have the ability to harm people in the way that they had in the past again.
Of course, at that time I had no idea how arrogant and hubristic both thoughts were because I could see things in only one way, the way I had been taught to see them. Critical thinking skills were not things that had really been instilled into me very much at all although, thankfully, I had been exposed to Greek and Roman philosophy, as well as logic itself, which I struggled to rationalize into some warped sense of justification for everything I believed anyway (I have learned over the years that knowing just a little is just as dangerous as knowing nothing at all). But the seed was still there, and that’s all it really takes for those who really want to know truth and learn more.
Somewhat later, when I became exposed to even more church history – to the darkness that took place long before the advent of the Inquisition – to the time when Byzantine emperors and their religious supporters went around destroying everything they could of the ancient world in the name of God; when laws were passed persecuting anyone not of the Christian faith (and sometimes even those within the faith who simply saw things differently); when all sorts of ugliness, hatred, and strife took place in the very name of God, my hubris and arrogance fairly quickly peeled away. This wasn’t the Roman Catholic Church against Protestants – people like me. No, in this instance if was the church overall, or at least the strongest, most politically-connected part of it, directly persecuting everyone else, mainly as a response (so they said) to the fact that they had previously been persecuted. So, in essence, the church saw fit not to turn the other cheek. All the false narrative I had been taught about how the church swept into the world with a message of love – with the gospel – fell to the very ground as I saw it trampled underneath the feet of those so long ago crusaders for God, so sure that they were right in every way that they had to force their beliefs and will upon others on pain of family separation, loss of property, torture, and even death!
Where was the loving Lord that they were all supposed to be following here? Where was “love thy neighbor” here? Indeed, where was “obey the powers that be, because they were put into place by God”? I looked, and it wasn’t there. None of it was there. All that existed there were the soiled rags of hatred, vengeance, and violence. And it was this that led directly to the medieval age, with its backwardness, disease, poverty, strife and overall pain, complicated by a church system that essentially ruled the lives of everyone with the threat of eternal punishment for any wrongdoer.
I came to realize that almost all I had been taught about church teaching and history was warped, at best, and false, at worst. Scholars and historians knew. People like me, by virtue of the fact that I was a ministerial student, knew. But the general public not only did not know, but would never be told. After all, to tell the populace the truth about church history might cause many to doubt their salvation and leave the church, and we just couldn’t have that, could we? Yet they continue to propagate the false narrative that is church history in support of whatever misplaced theology they can come up with.
Frankly, over the years I have come to see the Roman Catholic point of view more clearly than I ever could have during those early years of study. There is truly something to be said for a form of stability of doctrine rather than the willy-nilly anybody can make up his/her own doctrine approach that Protestantism overall has today, and basically has had from the beginning, with some horrid exceptions. What we see today with televangelists literally making doctrine up as they go is so absurd, that in and of itself ought to cause people to question their very salvation. After all, for those still open enough so that rationalization hasn’t totally taken over, they can’t all be right. And that not only holds true for religion, but does for politics too.
In any case, the truth is that what these evangelicals and televangelist-types, along with those who regularly appear on their shows and who write books with every imaginable theme, have done and are continuing to do is to weaken and, frankly, discredit the church overall. In a word, they are making a mockery of Christianity, and profiting all along the way because the deluded continue to shovel money into their oh-so deserving coffers like the sons of Noah shoveling animal crap from the Ark. It really is the church itself that should stand up and repudiate these errant prophet wanna-bees. But, more than this, the very soul of this nation, and its success, are at stake now because of them, so this nation needs to take a concerted stand in opposition to their efforts to make us into a kind of Christian theocracy. Yes, this IS their objective, and that is exactly why they cannot fathom letting go of their precious “Cyrus” Trump!
People, I am going to be blunt here. I really could care less whether the church survives or not because I am not a part of it anymore. But I don’t want to see it morph into the hideous thing it has morphed into so many times in the past yet again – not here in this nation. I don’t care if the church survives or not because I am a Pagan. But I do care if my nation survives, and if the present trend continues, then Christians will destroy this nation just the way they did the Roman Empire in the West. You see, once again, I know my history. I know the things they don’t want YOU to know. I know how it goes every single time, and it never ends with the nation surviving. From ancient Israel onward (yes, I know they weren’t Christians, but the scenario still applies), every nation that has adopted a religious theocracy has fallen. They want to say that socialism doesn’t work and point out that no nation that has adopted it has survived. But they will ignore Christian theocracy in that respect.
The truth is that every nation waxes strong and eventually wanes weak over time, regardless of politics or religion. But the United states of America is a separate and distinct nation by its very design. We are unique in the history of the world, not because we were founded upon Christian principles (which we, in part, were), but because we were also founded, in part, on the concept of separation of church and state. Even the televangelists have to admit that this is a thing now – they can no longer deny it, even as they twist it into something it never really meant. It never meant a nation run exclusively (or almost so) by Christians on so-called Christian principles. Our original national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” – from many, one (NOT, In God We Trust, as some would have everyone believe) signifies the truth in and of itself, in that it demonstrates that all are meant to come together from all nations, and contribute what they bring to the overall whole of our society. It does not mean that people are to come here from all nations and reject all that they ever were for the sake of becoming what religious zealots envision that they should be.
We, as a nation, are simply NOT directly connected to Israel in any way. We are more directly connected to ancient Greece and Roma. The Romans did the same thing we are doing, with the exception that they did not develop the concept of separation of church and state. For them, religion (their religion) was an integral part of the state. But that literally also meant that they grew to accept the religions of the conquered nations too, while keeping their own (with modifications) as the official state religion. This is what literally allowed the Byzantines to impose Christianity upon the masses – because they adopted Christianity as the state religion and, unlike Pagan religions, there could be only one. Thus, a major fault of the Roman system is that they could no conceive of separating religion and state. But, if they had, they would have been the only political entity on earth to ever do so. Instead, WE became the first political entity to ever do so, with others following-suit afterward.
But now, instead of following our own example, we today seek to devolve into the primordial soup of base religious superstition, with widely varying theologies and precepts, and set this as the very head of the nation – above science, above even politics. To do as the televangelists and others cry for us to do is to step backward. It is to force our nation to crumble before our very eyes.
Our nation is not, and never was, in any covenantal relationship with God, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any divine will that we exist today. Those are false concepts. We are not Israel! One will hear John Rosenstern say repeatedly that the Bible says that Israel is the “apple of God’s eye”. What does that make us then, if we are in some covenant relationship with God? And if Israel is the apple of God’s eye, then why did it cease to exist after the Assyrians came down and destroyed the nation, all the way until modern times? Judah/Judea existed afterward in various forms, but even its existence was nullified for about two-thousand years! Is that really the kind of God people want? I, for one, don’t.
Any little change frightens these religious fanatics. But, frankly, it has always been that way. If you study enough history, you see that religion – the church – overall has ALWAYS stood against change; stood against what was right rather than standing with beneficial change. “Progressives”, if you will, have over and over again had to drag the churched along to greater enlightenment and acceptance of newer norms. They come kicking and screaming and howling persecution every time, but they still eventually get here with the rest of us because they have to.
But, they always claim that the other side, the progressives, are “evil”. They always paint those they oppose as evil and destructive and even covertly trying to take over the world. They said it of Pagans in ancient times. They said it of witches and Jews during medieval times. And now they say it of “progressives” today. Along with this, they also always twist things around, claiming that the “other” is painting them with these things. They do it EVERY TIME! And there are ALWAYS those who will follow them and support their agenda, usually the poor and uneducated who have been deluded into believing false tales of prophets, miracles, and the final judgment to soon come – but it never does. Instead, the so-called “prophets” eventually die off and it is all basically forgotten, allowing a new crop to spring up spouting these same nonsense in repackaged form.
They never really stop if left to their own devices. Like the mythical Hydra, it simply grew more and more heads until each one was burnt off and the immortal head, from which they all sprang, was buried forever. No matter what is done, even if absolutely nothing is done, they will still cry “persecution” because they always do. It is their way to make others afraid to deal with them. They are already doing it now, and no one has so much as touched them! “Oh, being made to wear a mask is persecution!” “Shutting down our services temporarily for the health of the nation so people won’t die is persecution!” Some Jesus. If the church was ever going to be punished for a sin, it would be this.
People, please get these things straight. There are no sheep and goat nations or states. There are no “Cyrus rulers”. We are not being judged because of supposed sins or on whether we are good enough to Israel or not. We were NOT founded as a Christian nation. Separation of church and state is a reality (even the televangelists have to admit that now). Saying, or posting, In God We Trust is not going to get us some kind of favor with God. Putting “God” back in schools is not going to save us. An insurrection did take place at the Capitol on January 6th, and it was NOT led by Antifa or BLM. No military purge is taking place, period. Progressives are NOT evil. Ingesting bleach or disinfectants won’t kill the Corona virus, but it will probably kill anyone who ingests it. Trump was not put into his position by God. God just doesn’t do that. The world, especially our nation, is not run by a bunch of rich, baby-eating pedophiles led by Hillary Clinton! Globalism is not really a bad thing; we need to take part in it so we can help shape the world. Climate change IS real! The planets revolve around the sun. In my opinion, YOUR god isn’t real, especially if your God is the same as the televangelist’s God. Most people who say we should learn from history don’t know enough history to learn anything from. Televangelists and so-called “prophets” make up their theology on the fly to fit current events as they see them. Velveeta really is cheese and belongs with the rest of the cheese in the grocery store. The modern state of Israel has really little to nothing in common with the ancient one. In Israel, being gay is legal and accepted as is gay unions and families headed by gay couples, along with abortion, but you don’t hear televangelists howling that God will destroy them for it, do you? Trump lost his reelection bid fair and square. Religion and politics never mixes well in a democratic society.