On Remaining Silent


(Spectrumbot) #1

Unless you mercifully chose to unplug for the last week or so, you are well familiar with Donald Trump’s racist, xenophobic, White supremacist comments in the week before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I am not here to debate the obvious. We have much bigger problems if we need to debate whether Trump’s statement is racist or express White supremacist views. (Even so, I will spend some time laying out the depth of the depravity evident in Trump’s comments.) Now my mind turns to the dilemma that every White Christian pastor (and by inclusion every White Adventist pastor) faces in the wake of these comments.

A slight digression – I think it is important to briefly touch on why Trump’s comments are racist. There are three points to make on this subject. First, in a discussion on immigration, Trump lamented the idea that we accept immigrants from certain countries around the world populated by Black and Brown people and used a swear word to describe those countries. (I really struggled to find a way to say that without using the word Trump used. I will admit that I am wrestling with whether I should use it in this piece and I am currently deciding not to use it.) The major problem with his statement is not just the use of vulgarity to describe Haiti and the continent of Africa, but the fact that Trump’s mind immediately jumped to Norway as an example of what country would be acceptable to him. If one were not sure about Trump’s White supremacist tendencies when he referred to those countries in that way, the case is closed by him referencing Norway. Second, many of Trump’s defenders cite the idea that while Trump’s language is vulgar, these places are as he described. The logical flaw in this argument is that Trump was not discussing visiting these places, he was discussing people leaving those places to come here. Trump doesn’t seem to acknowledge the difference between where people live and the type of people they are. I surmise that in his mind there is no difference and therein lies the problem. If you’re from that type of place, Trump assumes you are that type of person and so he does not want you immigrating here – and that’s a racist statement when the countries you cite are those populated by Black people. (Found a way to avoid the bad words again there, but I will admit that this sentence loses some of its effect by not being able to use Trump’s language.) Third, even if it were true that these places are as Trump described, his commentary begs the question of how and why those countries are in the condition they’re in. Racism and White supremacy raped these places of their human capital and natural resources, creating the very conditions that Trump now attributes to the victims as opposed to the perpetrators. That misattribution is racist (or stunningly ignorant) in and of itself.[1]

Week after week, White Adventist pastors stand in their pulpits and look out onto congregations filled with Trump supporters. The media reported the high level of support Trump has amongst Evangelical Christians practically ad nauseum. I know Trump supporters attend the church I go to most regularly. To be clear, I am not advocating that any pastor tell their parishioners who to vote for or that they chastise congregants for votes already cast. However, we exist in a new (old) day after Trump’s blatantly racist comments.[2]I think Christians, and pastors specifically, have to do a better job of establishing the idea that Trump is not the type of human being that any Christian should feel comfortable supporting. As moral leaders, pastors should be willing to help their members reprioritize their political hierarchies, helping them to see how a love and concern for every member of the human family should have pride of place over other self-serving concerns. Moreover, some of these White pastors look out on congregations of mixed heritage. Their words at this critical moment will be even more important. These pastors will be honor bound to defend the people of color that God entrusted to them. To ignore these events because of their political nature sends the wrong message. For the immigrants and people of color who sit in those congregations it may give the impression that the pastor does not care about them and the lives that they lead outside of the church. Or worse – that the pastor shares Trump’s views.

I will admit - I don’t have much hope for the Pastors who have this tremendous responsibility. Unfortunately up to this point we have mostly seen obfuscation and silence at best. We have also seen an even more insidious option – that pastors will use their pulpits to defend Trump. May God forgive them. At the same time there have been organizations within Adventism who have spoken to these recent concerns – Allegheny East Conference, Andrews University, and a small golf clap to the North American Division, which released a statement that we know is related to this issue only because of the time when it was released.[3]I’ll be praying that pastors will do their job. I’ll be praying that these pastors lead their parishioners to a Savior who loves us all so much that He sacrificed His life for everyone, regardless of the condition of their homeland. And I’ll be praying that, regardless of the pastor, Trump supporters in the pew will realize how much their support of this man has hurt the very people they claim to be their brothers and sisters.

[2]I say a new (old) day because it isn’t like we haven’t had ample opportunity to discuss Trump’s racism in our churches.

[3]To be clear I know of no Adventist church where a pastor defended Trump from the pulpit. There are examples of Christian pastors and writers defending Trump in response to those statements.

Jason Hines is a former attorney with a doctorate in Religion, Politics, and Society from the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University. He is also an assistant professor at Adventist University of Health Sciences. He blogs about religious liberty and other issues at www.TheHinesight.Blogspot.com.

Previous Spectrum columns by Jason Hines can be found at: http://spectrummagazine.org/authors/jason-hines.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8529

(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #2

Our own church prophet, EGW, made profoundly racist comments / statements, starting with her “amalgamation “ claims regarding the black race, and even asserting that blacks and whites should not worship under the same roof.

The White Estate will happily supply these racist statements to any enquiring person ( or you can google them ).

With this history, “white Adventist pastors standing in their pulpits,” have more to contend with than an intemperate remark by a flamboyant president Trump.

Meanwhile, the things that REALLY count:
After a year of Trump in office, black unemployment is at a multi year low, and black home ownership is at a record high


(Jason A Hines) #3

Thanks for reading and commenting. I usually like to stay out of the discussion but I have this thing about letting people say things that aren’t accurate in response to things I write. So I figured while I’m here to correct one thing I might as well respond to everything else.

  1. I don’t care enough to research whether what you say about EGW is correct. Here’s what I do know - even the most aware White person living in the late 19th or early 20th Century is bound to believe something that we would think is racist today. If I bothered to confirm your statement it would not be shocking to me, nor would it make me think any differently about her statements that I think are divinely inspired. From what I do know EGW was more progessive on race than the common man in her day and that’s good enough for me. Though I agree with you that Trump’s comments give White SDA pastors more to deal with in a church that already has a poor legacy on dealing with race issues. As a writer on a blog I seek to stay current, and so I dealt with what was happening currently as a window to a larger problem.

  2. You are correct in stating that Black unemployment is at an all time low, but attributing that decline to Trump is a disputed point. In general, unless a President has done some major move to change the economy (Spoiler Alert: Trump hasn’t) then any improvement in the first year is usually attributable to the previous administration. (For example, Obama gets credit for the '09 economy because they did pass major legislation to address the Great Recession. On the flip side, Clinton took advantage of our lack of nuanced analysis in the '92 election blaming the bad economy on Bush and then benefiting from the economic upturn that Bush tried to tell us was coming but we didn’t believe him. I find it odd that some of the same Republicans who made that argument in 1992 now want to give Trump credit for a first year economic upswing.) But even if you don’t believe me there are still problems with the numbers. First, while Black unemployment has decreased, the racial gap in unemployment has not. So from a racial perspective Trump has done nothing to actually address racial disparities in hiring. Second, the rate of decrease is dropping itself. Over the last year, Black unemployment decreased 1%. Over the 2 years before that it averaged a decrease of about 1.5%. So even if you want to attribute the good numbers to Trump the numbers aren’t as rosy as they first appear and in my mind don’t even begin to make up for the fact that Trump is an open and unabashed White Supremacist. (see this article for more information - https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/18/16902390/trump-black-unemployment-rate-record-decline)

  3. The idea that Black home ownership is at a record high is untrue. (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/dec/11/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrong-black-homeownership-rate-record/) What is true is that Black home ownership increased over the last year. But home ownership is a dependent measure. People don’t own homes just because they do, neither do people get a new home just because they got a new job. So if Black home ownership has increased it is due to an increase in jobs from 3-10 years ago, as people got jobs, saved, and then bought homes. Very little credit for Trump there if any in my estimation.

I think it’s telling that you think Trump’s statements don’t matter. Tell that to an African doctor who wants to come here to build a better life for himself and his family. Tell that to a Haitian refugee. Tell that to a Puerto Rican who still doesn’t have power after almost 6 months. If Donald Trump were just the star of the Apprentice I would agree with you. He’s not. How he thinks about things and people dictates the policies of the administration, and his disparaging comments about members of the African diaspora will mean a lot both here and abroad. But why would I expect you to care about that?

Thanks again for reading,

Jason Hines


(Kevin Paulson) #4

To begin with, the Ellen White statement on amalgamation being referenced here (3SG 75) mentions no particular race of human beings as the subject of the statement or its context. Nor does Ellen White ever speak of any particular race of humans as holding inferior status or deserving of inferior treatment on account of their origin.

This is in fact the only statement in which Ellen White namelessly mentions certain races of humans resulting from the amalgamation being described. Controversy still rages as to exactly what is meant here. But one thing is sure: Ellen White was never an advocate of any views that could fairly be called racist.

So far as the need for candor in the church regarding certain political views held by certain members, perhaps the following Ellen White statement from the Civil War era might offer some guidance:

“Many Sabbath-keepers are not right before God in their political views. They are not in harmony with God’s Word, or in union with the body of Sabbath-keeping believers. . . . These brethren cannot receive the approval of God while they lack sympathy for the oppressed colored race and are at variance with the pure, republican principles of our Government” (1T 533-534).

For a divinely-ordained religious movement that proclaims a message directed at “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6), not the slightest hint of racism can be tolerable. Nor should the wholesale, obscene denigration of half the world’s people be permitted to pass without the sternest rebuke and the most unqualified condemnation from those seeking to be part of Heaven’s final generation of victorious Christians, whose lives and witness to humanity are, through imparted divine grace, to be free from all guile and variance from the eternal standard of God’s Word (Zeph. 3:13; II Peter 3:10-14; I John 3:2-3; Rev. 12:17; 14:5,12), which includes acknowledgement of the dignity of every man and woman on earth, irrespective of race or national heritage (Gen. 12:3; Isa. 56:7; Matt. 8:11; Acts 10:34-35).


(David Scott Dildy) #5

It’s hard to know how to respond to an essay whose premise is that to disagree with its contents is to reveal oneself as both “racist” and “stunningly ignorant.” I think Mr. Hines just read me out of the church.


(Billman) #7

Perhaps you might want to contribute some ideas as to the attributes that Trump has that a Christian would feel comfortable supporting. And then perhaps explain how Christ exhibited and his followers should exhibit these same attributes. Some of us would appreciate having these explained to us.


(Tom Loop) #8

I’m not one to agree with Kevin Paulson very often, or come to the defense of EGW, but I must do both right now. I distinctly remember reading in Arthur White 6 volumne biography on his grandmother, that EGW withheld giving all of her tithe directly to the denomination, and instead diverted it to give to underpaid black ministers in the South. She sympathized with their plight and that of the blacks, but she was very cautious in her statements on the situation. She had to be, considering the way things were at that time. By the standards of the late 1800’s she would have been considered a progressive, but gauged by what we consider to be right in 2017, some of her statements may appear lacking in empathy.

I wish folks would consider the culture of the times when certain things were written in the past, be it race relations, women’s orgainization, homosexuality, et al.


#13

Jason,
As a middle-aged “white guy”, professional (doctorally prepared), who gives liberally and volunteers 15% of my time caring for “non-legal” individuals from numerous countries around the world, I find your comments appalling! Your article reads like a partisan hit piece based on questionable sources! But, the church for most of my time as an SDA has been apolitical. We can’t even support the un-born!

Now, I’m afraid your bigotry has become mainstream SDA thought! As SDAs we really don’t fit in either party, as both have pillars that are incomparable with Jes’ teachings. H, and will probably do it again. In 2016 President Trump was the lesser of two evils, and I mean EVIL!

So, if your views are mainstream, it’s time for me to find another church!


(Steve Mga) #14

Since most of this is directed at Donald Trump, I would like to take a posture on his comments.
I DO NOT consider his Description of countries or territories relegated to the people citizens of those areas.
I DO believe he was Directing his Description to the Leaders of those countries who over time have kept the citizens locked into the living conditions they find themselves in.
A group of us in Macon, GA have been working in a small village in Haiti about 25 miles SW of Port au Prince for over 10 years. Working with an Episcopal group to educate youth, and find ways to assist the village people. For over 10 years we have funded an elementary school program – replaced one damaged by the earthquake, 250 students attend.[Some of these students WALK 3 hours to school and WALK 3 hours home each day] We pay teacher salaries, send school supplies down each year, purchase uniforms made locally, supply a hot lunch each school day for the 250. [For some this LUNCH is the 1st Meal of the day] The school has computers, has solar panel generated electricity on the roof for lights and the computers. We have a goat ministry for the village for both milk and meat.
Every year a group of teachers travel down and provide Teacher Training for a week.
conditions are poor for the citizens. Our budget for this [this is a lay program, not part of our church budget] program for the past 9 years has been $50,000. This year we hope to raise $60,000. God has abundantly blessed our program. A sunday school study of the Book of Acts began the idea for the Gospel. A timid goal of $1000 a year began by the S.S. class members. Now we BOLDLY GO in the name of Christ toward our yearly goal for 2018 – $60,000.
A problem we have seen is that a lot of money sent to Haiti through non-profit organizations never got to the people, or was used for what it was given. This was especially true after the Earthquake.
Look at Venezuela. All the Oil Money not being used for development of the country. Going into the pockets of the leaders. People starving. children dying.Not allowed to have food and medicine to come in from neighboring countries.
Same with many African nations. Monies generated enriching the leaders, not for the development of their country.
So Trump could call down the Leaders of these places and say their countries are THIS because of their Leadership.


(Preston) #15

First of all praise the Lord and pray his continued blessings upon the charitable work you are participating in Haiti. I truly understand the frustration you must feel regarding corruption and the conditions of the citizens. Do not be weary in well doing–you all are most likely making a difference despite the barriers.

Respectfully, I disagree with your take on the posture of the comments. For the sake of argument let’s say it was about the leaders. Then the logical conclusion of that posture should be MORE sympathy for the people trying to improve their lot not less. But what was the conversation about? According to the reports it was a questioning why we are letting in people from “substandard” (clean euphemism for the word reportedly used) countries…the clear and disturbing logical implication being questioning why are we letting in substandard people from substandard countries? It is clearly aimed at the type of people especially when followed by the Norway comparison. Again if it was a commentary on substandard leadership that would logically lead to a conversation about how we can improve the situation of the innocent people living under the thumb of corrupt regimes. There is no evidence this was the case.

Secondly, while there is no dispute that corruption and poor leadership often plagues certain countries, historically often Western nation’s policies have a great deal to do with that (as Jason mentions). For wider geopolitical concerns (i.e. the Cold War) the US and Soviets backed certain leaders for none other major reason than they would pledge their support to either side. It was not because they were great and noble leaders of their people. The legacy of poor leadership in many countries facing challenges such as Haiti is a direct result of these policies picking client states even at the expense of good government.

Lastly, as you most certainly already know Haiti has been in the path of repeated natural disasters for years. I think we need to be very careful as a nation not to to speak down on others suffering the literal winds of strife on a repeated basis. Just look at Hurricane Katrina several years ago and last years hurricanes…a series of natural disasters has exposed the weaknesses and corruption in our own “first world” system. There but by the grace of God go us…

Altogether though we can disagree on the posture of the comments. What I think Jason is ultimately saying we need to grapple is that the pews in our churches in North America are increasingly filled with fellow believers from the countries in question. The energy and the growth in the world church is coming from these countries.

I was visiting a small congregation in Texas last year and this congregation was probably 50% Kenyan recent immigrants. I was thinking tonight after reading Jason’s piece–I wonder how these families feel right now? Probably not wanted. Definitely not welcome, and likely they may not even feel very safe. What are their US citizen Adventist brothers and sisters going to do in this situation? Be silent? Come up with excuses to explain away divisive political comments? Tell them to get over it? Put our party and politics over a concern for how they may be feeling and becoming part of our country? Or should we stand and be counted as saying what’s wrong is wrong?

Two scriptural references I think are pertinent…

From a people living in a foreign land facing opposition to their presence from high places…a warning to people in position to speak up (in this case Esther).

“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14.

“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Ex 23:9 (note: I am not arguing for no immigration laws or open borders…we have a right to determine who comes into the country and attract those with means and talents…but from a Christian perspective these policies also be invested in assisting those who are in need help and welcoming and treating with respect those who arrive to live in our society). We should be proud to be a nation that welcomes the stranger to a land of opportunity.

God bless. Again may God richly bless the work you are doing in Haiti.


(Sirje) #16

Some context conveniently ignored:

1 - Trump was elected president of the USA in accordance with US election rules. The campaign was run, by both parties, with those rules in mind - prompting a mad rush to states with the most ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes. After the election a cry went out that those rules are unfair and we should elect by popular vote. That would mean LA and NY elects all our presidents - sorry Central Time zone, your vote doesn’t count.

2 - Donald Trump ran his campaign WITHOUT donations from any self-serving group, and doesn’t accept salary due to US presidents.

3 - Donald Trump didn’t go to Harvard or Berkley, but became a developer by hard work, rubbing shoulders with real estate and construction industry workers, and could be considered a “blue-collar billionaire” with no appreciable family wealth behind him.

4 - Donald Trump is a “loudmouth” - (anybody ever walk past a construction site in the Bronx - at lunch time?)

5 - Anybody read up on the history of Haitian political corruption? Anybody read up on the Clintons in Haiti?

6 - Anybody see the list of “The 20 Best Countries to Live In” published just about the time Trump ran off his mouth? Anybody see Norway on the top of that list?

7 - Anybody, not connected with some missionary group, voluntarily wanting to choose Haiti over Norway as a place to spend their vacation - with a camera?

8 - Anybody know the difference between condemning a poorly run dictatorship; as opposed to the poor people that have to live under its power?

9 - Anybody not partisan here?

10 - Do I wish I hadn’t posted this?


#17

Well, just for the record…

Stephen Baxter wrote: This subject, and Ellen’s words regarding this topic, is a perfect example of Adventists bending over backwards to try and explain that Ellen didn’t really mean what she actually said.

They choose to live in a perpetual world of cognitive dissonance. Ellen, indeed, believed blacks (Negro race) to be inferior to caucasians. Furthermore, she thought that evangelizing among the blacks was a waste of time.

EGW: “The Colored People should not urge that they be placed on an equality with White People.”( Testimonies Vol. 9, page 214)

EGW: “We cannot expect that they … [Colored People] will be as firm and clear in their ideas of morality.” (Testimonies Vol. 9, page 223)

EGW: “No one is capable of clearly defining the proper position of the colored people.” (Testimonies Vol. 9, page 213).

EGW “The work of proclaiming the truth for this time is not to be hindered by an effort to adjust the position of the Negro race.” (Testimonies Vol. 9, page 214)

EGW: “Slavery will again be revived in the Southern States; for the spirit of slavery still lives. Therefore it will not do for those who labor among the colored people to preach the truth as boldly and openly as they would be free to do in other places. Even Christ clothed His lessons in figures and parables to avoid the opposition of the Pharisees.” (Spalding, Magan Collection, page 21 and 2 MR #153, page 300 )

EGW: “God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master’ brute beasts. But He does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He lets him be as though he had not been.” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 193)

EGW: “God cannot take to heaven the slave who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and holding a lower position than the brutes. But He does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He permits him to be as if he had not been, while the master must endure the seven last plagues and then come up in the second resurrection and suffer the second, most awful death. Then the justice of God will be satisfied.”
(Early Writings, p. 276)

EGW: “You are the children of God. He has adopted you, and He desires you to form characters here that will give you entrance into the heavenly family. Remembering this, you will be able to bear the trials which you meet here. In heaven there will be no color line; for all will be as white as Christ himself. Let us thank God that we can be members of the royal family.”
(The Gospel Herald, March 1,1901; Trust in God, paragraph 20)
Stephen Baxter: Furthermore…her husband James knew exactly what she was referring to and wholeheartedly endorsed it.

Mrs. White said the results of amalgamation could be seen “in certain races of men.” The question that has haunted the SDA Church for more than 150 years is, which races are the result of amalgamation of man and beast?

Ellen White’s statement provoked instant controversy and stinging criticism of her in the 1860s forced church leaders to attempt to defend their prophet. In 1868, four years after the amalgamation statements first appeared in print, Adventist leader Uriah Smith published his defense of Ellen White. In that book he conjectured that the union of man with beast had created “such cases as the wild Bushmen of Africa, some tribes of the Hottentots, and perhaps the Digger Indians of our own country”.

James White “carefully” reviewed Smith’s book prior to its publication, and then recommended it in glowing terms to the readers of the church’s official magazine, the Review and Herald:

“The Association has just published a pamphlet entitled, ‘The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White, A Manifestation of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures.’ It is written by the editor of the Review. While carefully reading the manuscript, I felt grateful to God that our people could have this able defense of those views they so much love and prize, which others despise and oppose.”

As noted, the prophet’s husband carefully read Smith’s book. It is inconceivable that the statements about the Bushmen of Africa passed by James White without notice. His endorsement of the book indicates his implicit approval of the explanation. In fact, because it supposedly established Mrs. White’s claims, James and Ellen took 2,000 copies of Smith’s book with them to peddle at camp meetings that year! By promoting and selling Smith’s book the Whites placed their stamp of approval on his explanation of the amalgamation statement.
— D. Anderson
Stephen Baxter: I just reread Testimonies for the Church Volume Nine : Page 199
7. Among the Colored People"

What Ellen promotes is separation of blacks and whites. What she promotes is segregation and inequality.
As a so-called prophet of God, what she SHOULD have been promoting is integration and equality as Jesus taught.
Our Lord taught, “Love thy neighbor” and illustrated it by telling the parable of the good Samaritan who BTW were seen as inferior by the Jews just as whites did of blacks in her time.

She taught, don’t ruffle feathers. Get along to go along or else it will hurt the church. Her church was her priority.


(Pagophilus) #18

Trump is no diplomat, but he isn’t stupid. He speaks before he considers how it will come out, but he often says what needs to be said, in the same way as Ahmadinejad before him and Duterte currently.

What Trump should have said is this:

People want to come to come to America because they hate the way their country is. But they are a product of their country, they share the mentality of their country, they think like their countrymen, they solve problems like their countrymen do, they likely don’t have any skills to increase their employability when they hit the shores of the US. They won’t suddenly think and act like an American the moment they arrive.

So what will likely happen is when they arrive in the United States they will bring a part of their country with them. They will find it difficult to assimilate into US culture and will likely live in a community (ghetto) of their own countrymen, which of necessity means that they will bring the same problems they tried to escape from to their new community in the United States. And so their life won’t necessarily be any better, though they may be financially better off (at whose expense?), but the US is worse off as now it has to deal with a community with the same issues that they hated enough to want to run from and escape to the US.

Refugees and immigrants need hardcore education sessions:

  1. You do not solve problems with violence.
  2. You do not steal when you need (or want) something.
  3. Hygeine and sanitation is not an option.
  4. You do not grope or rape a woman (or a man for that matter) because you have the urge or need.
  5. To get ahead economically you need to work. That means gaining an education, gaining skills, and being competitive in the job market. It also means fluency in the English language and an accent others can understand. A job is not a handout, it is not something given to you so you can steal and give to your family members,. It means actually getting off your backside and working.
  6. If your family member apostasizes from your religion, or worse, shacks up with an unbeliever, you do not kill them. The worst you can do is not have anything to do with them.
  7. Personal space, privacy and silence is appreciated. You cannot play loud music or shout loudly so the community can hear at all hours of the day and night, and loud music should preferably not be heard beyond the 4 walls of your own home.
  8. Rules are there for an ordered society. They are not optional, they are not there for decoration, and they are not a challenge (to circumvent).

We could add more to this list but I think you get the picture. Failure to adequately embrace these (and more) principles should result in deportation to the exact place they were escaping from.

It always amazes me that people who move abroad for a better life then want to turn their new country into a mini-old country that they were escaping from. Some even admit that they see their old country as “home” or as the best place to live. If so, why move? Or if you really hate the old country, don’t attempt to bring the same culture and environment to the new country. Make an effort to be like the people in the new country. Your life will be better because of it.


(reliquum) #19

Some context conveniently ignored:

Unfortunately these facts do not fit racially or ideologically predetermined narrative, nor, it seems. is writer willing to be disabused of his distasteful sentiment. As previously noted, if one disagrees with his premise, that person is an unaware white, bigoted racist. Sad, to so believe every white Adventist pastor harbors a bogeyman. Sad to believe that all black ills (like in Haiti, or Africa) are due to White Supremacy Rape. Really?

Spectrum, how far have you fallen? That a political article represents your most popular one the previous year, and that a preponderance of racist declring articles punctuates the new one only serves to display the lack of spiritual meat-or milk.

I suppose I ought dip my rusty white quill, dip it in the blackness of my inkwell, and scribble a different kind of story, but I’m uncertain it would be acceptable publishing here. It certainly would be uninteresting and largely unread, given the anti-white conservative animus represented by this groundless lien.


(jeremy) #20

thank-you…the less we are forced to confront the vulgarity coming from trump, the better off all of us will be…even if this terminology was the only evidence we have that he is racist, it would be conclusive and appalling…but of course, we all know that it isn’t…

i think trump adventists have gnawing moments of inner regret that they’re constantly reviewing, even if they don’t admit it…several anchors and commentators on FOX news seem to be permanently casting about for something evil and ongoing about obama or hillary, as if they’re still trying to justify their vote…it does seem as if trump voters are experiencing deep psychological wounds…nothing has been advanced by the extreme polarization in secular society that trump’s presidency has produced…and the fact that his excesses no longer shock anyone is evidence of a plummeting collective moral core that is constantly being nudged lower…no thinking person can look at these facts and feel good about it…

but the thing to remember is that the house, and possibly even the senate, have a good chance of flipping later this year…if this happens, it will be all over for trump and the GOP…trump’s impeachment will certainly be the highlight of 2019…it will also add to the credibility of allan lichtman, the prediction professor, who two yrs ago correctly predicted trump’s win, and has also predicted his impeachment:

this isn’t a compelling point…someone as thoroughly immersed in the type of calculations that has enabled the correct prediction of every presidency since 1984 except bush 43 - and recall that gore won the 2000 popular vote - doesn’t lean on hunches that are uninformed or as meaningless as those of someone who isn’t…

the big elephant in this room is the evident amorality of trump…anyone facilitating that amorality by voting for him has little standing to claim a moral platform from which to lecture in any way those who didn’t, or wouldn’t have…


(Frank Peacham) #21

Inspiration never covers everything a prophet does, writes, or thinks. Prophets are visionaries, however they remain products of their times and cultures. Their inspiration is selective. David and Solomon were unashamed polygamous. David is guilty as charged in genocide. Instead of evangelism of the pagans, he had no theological issue with killing entire families in the name of God. Moses had issues with any kind of mixture in cloth, religion and sexuality, which would no doubt include marriage with peoples of color. He supported slavery even the beating of disobedient slaves. During the Civil War the South justified slavery through Biblical references of both OT and NT.

EGW believed that peoples of color will be transformed into WHITE people in heaven. My guess is this view was widely held by nearly all white Christians. As prophets speak for God their feet are still planted in their culture. Inspiration is what it is.

“In heaven there will be no color line; for all will be as white as Christ himself. Let us thank God that we can be members of the royal family.” EGW


#22

Wow!
That’s not how I see it.
Sad to see SPECTRUM descending into partisan politics again.


(Sam Geli) #24

Spectrum has ASCENDED into the context and reality we are a part of.

sharethelove Wow! That’s not how I see it. Sad to see SPECTRUM descending into partisan politics again.

SPECTRUM should concern itself with the reality around us and be open to dialogue about reactions to our present reality. We should have reactions and feedback to the The State of the Union speech about to happen in a couple of hours. This speech is like a physical exam for our country. It tells us how we are doing as a nation and it can provide us with hope for the future In less than three hours we will know if our current President has the ability to do something he has not done before: bring the country together. Along with millions of skeptical, hopeful, and disheartened persons as part of the audience will be the First Lady who may be full of questions and uncertainties about her husband.
In his inaugural address, the President offered a dark and divisive picture of “American carnage.” A senior administration official who has been involved in the drafting promised “a speech that resonates with our American values and unites us with patriotism.”

Regardless of whether Trump mentions it, an unseen presence looming in the House chamber will be special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The inquiry appears to have reached a critical phase, with the possibility that the president himself may soon be interviewed by investigators. Even if the State of the Union address lives up to the White House’s billing, there remains the possibility that Trump will do what he has done in the past: step on his own message. Whatever happens it is an important speech and SPECTRUM should be open to comments and reactions.


(Andy Hansen) #25

“Professor predicted Trump win, says he will be impeached” is misleading because the alleged impending impeachment is just his hunch/instinct, as opposed to his ‘scientific’ calculations for presidential elections. Many of us seem to be too blinded by our dislike of the president to be aware of the events happening around us that are good for the country. Much like Paul Krugman’s doomsday prediction, which he belatedly attributed to his political views/bias rather than to facts, indicators or true economic calculations.

@sam to suggest that the “First Lady . . . may be full of questions and uncertainties about her husband” is uncalled for.

'tis revealing when rather than rebutting, one would feign moral superiority and resort to name calling - amoral - someone who may have a different opinion on a subject.


#26

If you truly believe that Donald Trump was the lesser of two evils in 2016 (Hillary Clinton being the greater evil, I assume), then why vote for either one? Voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil.

Incidentally, there is nothing partisan about telling the truth about an unfit candidate, regardless of his/her political affiliation. It would seem, sir, that you are the one who is being partisan.

And would you really leave the church because someone disagreed with your vote? Is your connection to the Seventh-day Adventist Church that tenuous?