Pressing on …

The paucity of posts I’ve generated in the past few months reminds me of how hard it’s been for me to generate blogs lately. I could claim a lack of time, but I’ve always had to squeeze blog-writing into what are typically very busy days. I could claim a lack of subject matter, but that would be blatantly untrue.

The main problem, I think, has been too much subject matter — of the wrong sort. Our country has surrendered to the worst sort of fear- and hate-mongering, allowing fake news and distorted claims to generate enough hysteria to turn sufficient numbers of the electorate against the best-prepared candidate for president we have seen in years, and toward a man who is not only woefully unprepared, but dangerously unwilling to believe anything that doesn’t fit with his preconceived notions.

It’s a downside of democracy that things like this may happen. Several things contribute to the difficulty of writing about this. One is that the issues seem so obvious that you would think they need no comment, or that a few words of reason would be sufficient to clarify the better options, but many have become so entrenched in the twisted views manufactured for them that reason has gone by the wayside. Another is that feelings have run so high that it’s hard to even talk about the election without offending people I love, some of whom really believe electing Donald Trump as president was a good idea.

hopeI don’t want to offend anyone, but we have to acknowledge that the country is embarking on dangerous territory. The best hope I have at the moment is that, when you elect a completely egocentric individual as president, perhaps he will recognize that his own reputation will rise and fall with the fate of the country. So, if for no other reason than to build a positive legacy, one hopes that he might heed good advice from all quarters and truly seek what is best for all who call this nation — which has never stopped being great — our home.

And so, though I still find it hard to put the words “president” and “Trump” together, I will pray for him and hope that the weight of the office will somehow forge his largely unhinged past into something resembling steady leadership.

In the meantime, I look for other things to celebrate. I’m blessed with good health, good friends, and an amazing wife who makes every day special. I managed to turn 65 while feeling at least twenty years younger, and with no thoughts of retirement. I have the privilege of teaching a whole passel of amazing students at Campbell University Divinity School, and of writing Bible studies that help me connect with thousands of readers. I evan managed (with the help of a YouTube video) to fix the shift key on my Macbook, at least for now.

Life is good for me, and I am grateful. I hope our country can do as well.

1 Comment

  1. That you think Hillary Clinton was the most prepared candidate in recent history is proof positive that you saturate yourself in the kind of fake news echo chamber and distorted claims you accuse Trump voters of. No reasonable person could legitimately deny that the mainstream media was in Clinton’s corner from the very beginning. That Trump won provides ample evidence that Clinton’s lackluster record as a senator and national interest-harming record as secretary of state doomed her, not to mention her looseness with classified information and trouble telling the truth. In the end, voters sided with the devil they didn’t know over the one they knew all too well.

    In many ways, this Baptists Today site shows how fake news works, as its contributors routinely model the kind of inability to consider ideas beyond their preconceived notions you decry. Examples are legion, but two recent examples from Bruce Gourley’s daily scouring of the web for the wierdest (and generally unrepresentative) news he can find make the point.

    On 22 December he used this editorialized headline (“Progressive evangelicals call for Donald Trump to withdraw anti-environment, Southern Baptist Scott Pruitt from EPA”) to point toward this actual Christianity Today headline (“Leading evangelicals plead with Donald Trump to withdraw Scott Pruitt from Environment Protection Agency”). Seriously? Is he still in middle school? He did the same on 16 December by using his “curated” headline (“Trump’s anti-environment, science-denier EPA pick called magnificent Christian leader”) to link to this actual Baptist Press headline (“Trump’s EPA pick called magnificent Christian leader”). Curated headlines indeed. It’s fake news, and it’s evidence of how much of the mainstream print and broadcast media drive the narrative in a way that makes healthy dialogue all but impossible. Your site is part of the problem.

    Baptists Today is a clear example of how liberals cover “news,” which is really nothing more than opinion masked as journalism. It’s your blog, of course, and you can share any opinion you want. Just know that you, John, and Bruce are much farther to the left than you might think. The choir to which you preach is also smaller than you think.

    Interestingly, after 8 years of mercilessly bashing President Bush, you have said not one negative word against President Obama in his 8 years. Not one, at least than I can find. Really? Based on the condition of the world as he leaves office, it’s just another example of how liberal journalism works, driving the narrative based on what’s covered, what’s not covered, and how it’s covered. If Gourley’s history writing is anything like his choice of “news” stories and headline editorializing, it’s more tabloid than truth. Such is the state of the Baptists Today site. Thankfully, it’s not the state of most Baptists today.

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