Trump. WMD’s. Facebook. Fake News. & Truth.

Trump. WMD’s. Facebook. Fake News. & Truth.


Trump. WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Facebook. Fake News. Truth.

You might ask what do all these disparate subjects have to do with each other. Honestly, I could have listed a host of other subjects that, at first glance, might have appeared to have had absolutely no correlation. But hang with me and hopefully I’ll tie them all together.

During the Presidential campaign in 2016, and the years leading up to it, Donald Trump, the candidate and citizen, made a number of claims that, now as he is President, appear to have been untrue… or else Trump just changed his mind.  While there are many promises one could point to, the most recent example is Trump’s views of Syria over the years. To be clear, this article is not about whether launching a strike on Syria was a good decision or not, but rather about the reality that a politician will tell you one thing when seeking your vote, but once elected, those promises are worth as much as the money the Federal Reserve prints.

So what is the truth?

A number of years ago the phrase, “Bush lied and people died” was regularly leveled at our 43rd President.  The basis for this view was the perspective that President George W. Bush lied about WMD’s as a pretense to invade Iraq.  The left, the media, and even many republicans and libertarians, asserted that there were never any WMD’s in Iraq.  While the intent of this article is not to re-litigate this decade old debate, it should be noted that there are numbers of reports that purport to validate that WMD’s were indeed in Iraq, including the notion that many of them made their way to Syria.  

So what is the truth?

Facebook touts nearly 2 billion active users.  That’s a lot of people sharing photos, personal tidbits, recipes, and untold other stories.  But Facebook has become a major purveyor of articles that are either totally false or are highly suspect.  In fact, Facebook has now set up a manner for its members to report false stories to them. So if you are suspicious, report the post to the Facebook police, and they’ll investigate the authenticity of the article you reported. Which doesn’t mean you’ll get the truth. Rather, you’ll simply get what Facebook wants you to believe is the truth.

So what is the truth?

Over this last year, a new phrase has become commonplace:  Fake News.  One news source asserts another one is false.  Websites now evaluate the claims of others and rate them with Pinocchio noses; the more noses, the greater the lie.  And even our President has become accustomed to referring to media outlets he views as his adversaries, like CNN, as “Fake News.”  

So what is the truth?

It seems that in the age of Google, Siri, instant access, and terabytes of data, man is no closer to understanding the truth of a matter, than when man was carving images on cave walls.  

And that’s the tie between all these seemingly unrelated topics.  TRUTH. 

So what is the truth?  That’s the question we should be asking ourselves over and over.  Regardless of where we read or hear a story reported, we should be skeptical, in a good way, of claims we hear in our polarized world today.  There is nigh a person, group, party, or nation, who doesn’t have an agenda to push, or a perspective that they cling to. 

We all want the truth.  But do we have it? And even more importantly, do we present the truth in what we live out everyday in our lives?  This is a question I am asking myself in my own personal life.

I’m reminded of these verses in Isaiah 59 that seemingly foretold this present age:  

We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord.  We have turned our backs on our God.
We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies.
Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found.
Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed.
Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.
The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice.

If you take the time to read the entire chapter in Isaiah, you will find a myriad of societal problems that flow from a rejection of Truth. When we reject Truth, we are in essence rejecting God.  Our problems now, as they were in Isaiah’s day, are pervasive.  No, they are not limited to Donald Trump, or WMD’s or Fake News.  If our government merely reflects its people, what does that say when our politicians routinely distort the truth? 

So is there a solution to our Truth problem in America?  Well, you and I cannot change Trump, or the Fake News sites, but we can individually commit to pursuing Truth in our own lives. As we do that, we will have taken the first step in the direction of Truth.  And as we do, the Truth will set us free.  

The Blessings of Family, Friends & Future

The Blessings of Family, Friends & Future

With Christmas just over and New Year around the corner, it’s a week when so many of us enjoy time reminiscing with family and friends, while planning for the year ahead.  Christmas, the day that begins the week, is all about family when you consider the reason for the day.

Two thousand years ago, a divinely chosen couple in Bethlehem became a family when the Creator Himself chose to enter this world as an innocent child.  The purpose of that child, Jesus, was to regather His spiritual family that had been lost because of the choice of the very first family thousands of years earlier in the Garden of Eden.

So I thank Jesus for the family He has given me.  From my wife and two sons and daughter-in-law, to my father, mother, brother, sister and all of their extended families, I am truly blessed.  But there is another family that dwarfs my physical family in size.  It is my spiritual one, that extends from Tennessee to the four corners of this world, from the present to the past and into the future.  This spiritual family is one that includes so many brothers and sisters that it will take an eternity to get to know them all.  And so this, yet unmet family, is also someone I am deeply grateful for.

But along our journey during our “three score and ten” years on earth, we all have the opportunity to make so many friends along the way.  Some we enjoy for years.  Others for a few moments.  But the blessings and words of truth we experience through these friends can deeply impact our lives in a way that often changes its trajectory.  And for this I am deeply grateful.  

But with a New Year just moments away, we must consider the future.  2017 is full of the unknown and will undoubtedly include many joys but heartaches as well.  Our future is largely like a lump of clay, without form but able to be shaped into whatever object we desire.  Will the object it becomes be one resulting from little thought and simply coincidence?  Or will 2017 be a year in which its outcome is one of deliberate planning, choices and consideration of God’s purposes for our lives and His plans?  

I trust your New Year is one that is thoughtful, deliberate and includes the blessings of God in all that you do as you seek to honor Him.  

The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet.  Why the Constitution will Trump Donald.

The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet. Why the Constitution will Trump Donald.

fat-lady-trump-2

As a majority of the nation’s voters have yet to vote in the 2016 race for the Republican nomination, we have heard the cry by many that Donald Trump is inevitable, and his victory is a foregone conclusion. At the same time, many who oppose Trump’s candidacy have begun the #NeverTrump effort to announce that should Donald win, they will find another candidate to support. I too have embraced the #NeverTrump effort in affirming my commitment to certain values and principles that are non-negotiable to me. If one is honest and objective, they must also conclude that Trump’s 40+ year track record reveals he has consistently opposed and vigorously funded the defeat of constitutional conservative values.

But regardless of your views on Trump, one thing is certain, the fat lady has not yet sung.

Let’s consider these facts:

  • To date only 23 states have voted and awarded delegates.
  • Trump has only garnered 35% of the raw votes, which means that 65% of the voters have either rejected Donald or not affirmed their support for him.
  • Out of the 1,032 delegates awarded to date, Trump has received 458, representing only 44%. Ted Cruz trails Donald by only 99 delegates with 359. And Rubio has garnered a total of 151 delegates to date. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed to win the nomination.
  • rubio_flow_newIn a recent scientific poll, Marco Rubio’s supporters favor Ted Cruz over Trump by a margin of 3 to 1. But consider that this poll was taken before Carson and Bush dropped out. Thus, were Rubio to drop out after a possible defeat in his home state of Florida, Cruz would be the beneficiary of the lion share of Marco’s supporters. And consider that the poll cited was taken before the continuing surge by Cruz and his solid performance last week in the FoxNews debate.
  • In the contests over the last week, non-Trump voters have for the most part begun to coalesce behind Cruz. Whether this is a rejection of Rubio’s recent strategy of getting into the muck and mire with Trump or whether voters simply recognize that splitting the anti-Trump vote is a strategy that will widen His lead is uncertain. But it is clear that support for Cruz is growing and voters of all stripes are coalescing behind Ted as the only consistent constitutional conservative. In fact, RINO Senator Lindsay Graham’s recent semi-endorsement of Ted Cruz may indicate that not only has “hell frozen over” but some of Ted’s most ardent critics are now uniting behind Cruz to insure a boisterous and profane celebrity does not ascend to the highest office in the land.
  • The longer Trump’s fantastic claims are made, with little to no substance to support them, the greater the likelihood is that some who have been wavering in their support will reject the Entertainer in Chief. At some point people grow weary of a brash, boastful, ego-maniac whose track record is diametrically opposed to his grandiose claims.
  • It’s clear that there is a certain percentage of Trump’s supporters who will continue to support their brazen candidate, who boasted “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” But as time passes and the scrutiny of Trump intensifies, Ted Cruz’ calm, deliberate and superior campaign based on substance will no doubt continue to sway voters who are growing tired and weary of Trump’s gutter tactics and his shallow, void of substance, cliches.

It’s helpful to have facts to back up your views, but at the end of the day, in order to win a battle, a General needs not only a winning strategy, but he needs the troops to deploy that strategy. And that’s where you come in. If you care deeply about your nation; and if you believe the commitment level of our Founders, which led them to pledge their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” shouldn’t be limited to them; then, in order to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” you and I must also be prepared to do more than simply share articles on Facebook (although go ahead and share this one) and debate opinions with our friends and family. At the end of the day, Ted Cruz, the only consistent Constitutional conservative needs You to help deploy his strategy. And here’s how:

  • Pray for Ted. I have encouraged others to commit to Pray for Ted everyday. Specifically pray for Ted’s health and stamina. Ask God to continue to grant him wisdom and discernment. And pray that Marco Rubio will come to his senses and coalesce behind and with Ted to stand for our Constitution and our founding principles.
  • Sign up for Ted’s Phone from Home program that is one of the most user-friendly systems to enable you to talk to pre-qualified conservatives who will be going to the polls in the remaining states. Whether you call 10 voters a week or 100, each call is meaningful and require no special training. Within 5 minutes you can be making reaching voters for Ted.
  • Send Ted a few dollars. Can you spare $10, $25 or $50 to help take back the ground we have lost over the last 7 years under Obama? If so, go to Ted’s website and make a one-time or recurring donation here. If it’s one-time, be sure to uncheck the box that references a recurring contribution.

Finally, will you share this post with others either via your email or on Facebook? Let’s get the word out that the fat lady has yet to sing. And if we all do our part we can in fact see the Constitution trump both Donald and the forces in both parties who have been undermining our founding principles for too many years.

Mark


 

Credit: Trump caricature courtesy of DonkeyHokey https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/18058245844/
A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Hillary — Why I will never vote for Donald

A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Hillary — Why I will never vote for Donald

Trump-Clinton

As I’ve begun to share with folks that if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee I will NOT vote for him, the standard response I hear is: “if you don’t vote for Trump you are voting for Hillary!” The intent with such a statement is to either 1) shame or coerce me into voting for Trump or 2) demand that I fall in line with the party nominee.

I find it ironic though that as Republicans have grown increasingly upset over their party and its unwillingness to live by its own principles, many are now embracing a man whose track record is the antithesis of the foundational values of the Republican party.

Contrary to the shallow argument that “a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Hillary,” one should consider this truth: A vote for Trump is actually a vote for Hillary. You might find your head swimming after that last statement so hang on and let me explain.

I contend that a person’s track record will always reveal the truth of who that person is and it will predict how that individual will act in the future. In the case of a politician, his words should be carefully examined and compared, with great skepticism, against his actual record. So when it comes to Donald Trump, let’s see if my theory holds any truth: that a vote for the Donald is in fact a vote for Hillary. Below are more than 30 examples where both Trump and Hillary are identical in their views on a number of key issues:

Of course there are areas in which their records diverge but when one considers the myriad of consistencies in the positions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the only conclusion I can come to is that Trump is no conservative. But even worse, the man is a faux Republican. If ever there was a RINO (Republican In Name Only), Trump is such a candidate, but on steroids. Truthfully, Trump is simply a liberal democrat who has deceptively embraced the Republican label, with nothing to justify his conversion.

Over the years I’ve heard the following statement made about those professing to be Christians:  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you as one?”  Perhaps though we should modify that statement slightly and apply it to Mr. Trump as follows:  “If Donald Trump were put on trial for being a Republican, would there be enough evidence to convict him as one?  Or would the evidence suggest he is something else, say a liberal progressive Democrat?” Follow the evidence and you’ll have the answer.

There’s a verse of Scripture that states, “By their fruits you will know them.” In the case of Donald Trump, his fruit of over 50 years is well known and if we are willing to objectively examine it, there can be no question as to his liberal bona fides. But will Americans care? We shall know soon enough… but it may be too late.

Mark

Too Many Citizens, Too Few Soldiers

Too Many Citizens, Too Few Soldiers

Soldiers

It was the summer of 1775, and the colonists in America were facing the growing threat of tyranny by their government. The new life they sought was in serious jeopardy by King George III, a man whom the colonists one year later described as having “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object an absolute Tyranny.”

During that same summer, the New York Legislature sent a letter to General George Washington, who had just recently been appointed the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. In the letter, Washington was commended for “taking up arms… in the glorious struggle for American Liberty.” The Legislature acknowledged the reality that Washington had the “character of our worthiest citizens” as he was answering the call of a people in trouble.

Washington’s response to the NY Legislature’s letter was a short 159 words, but the message he delivered is one, I believe, many Americans have forgotten but need to hear:

“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in that happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the firmest and most solid foundations, shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peaceful and happy Country.”

In his letter, Washington was affirming that while he was indeed a citizen, he had also assumed the role of “soldier” given the reality that his homeland was threatened by a government that sought to squelch the liberties of its citizens via the unjust laws and tyranny it imposed. While Washington acknowledged that he looked forward to returning to his status as mere citizen, he clearly viewed it as his personal responsibility to defend liberty and combat tyranny.

Fast forward 241 years to 2016.

In our modern era of every imaginable convenience and comfort known to man, I fear our nation has produced too many “citizens” and too few “soldiers.” By soldiers, I do not mean the brave men and women who have been defending our nation from enemies abroad. These men and women of our military deserve, without question, our unwavering admiration, loyalty, and support.

But the soldier to which I speak are the men and women who understand the times in which we live, they see the threat posed to our individual and corporate liberties, and they realize that their status as citizen is only secure if they willingly rise up as soldiers to defend the foundations upon which their citizenship relies.

This soldier does not bear arms with actual bullets and bayonets. But he does arm himself with the truths of our founding. He is prepared to engage to inform and educate the youth of our nation, who sadly, in too many instances are being offered distorted lessons of our nation’s heritage. This soldier engages in the marketplace of ideas, confronting views that seek to malign our nation at every turn. This soldier will even step forward to answer the civic call of duty, whether in elected office or simply by engaging with other citizens to enlist them in this battle.

While we do find evidence of such soldiers still engaged in the battle for the soul of our nation, they are sorely lacking. Truthfully, I fear we have too many citizens and not enough soldiers in this seminal battle to push back those ideologies and institutions which seek to undermine our foundational liberties and principles.

Without Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and so many more of our founding fathers, we would not be experiencing the blessings we enjoy in this 21st century. But the truth is that there were thousands of other unnamed soldiers who stood alongside our founding fathers. These nameless soldiers willingly set aside their status as mere citizens, and they picked up the mantle of soldier. And to these thousands of unknown soldiers we owe our very existence and the blessings of liberty that we still enjoy to this day.

But what about our offspring in 2116, one hundred years from now? Or what about our children and grandchildren just a decade or two from now? Will they continue to benefit from the liberty that we have so abundantly inherited? Or will the flame of liberty flicker and be extinguished on our watch?

The answer to these questions can be summed up in one question that only you can answer. Will you pick up the mantle of soldier and engage in the battle that is likely determining the very survival of our Republic? Or will we continue to suffer excruciating losses as too few citizens fail to answer the call to engage as a soldier in this battle?

There is a verse in the Bible that refers to a group of very astute men who also recognized the dire needs of their nation. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we read this: “the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do…”

Are you such a person? Do you understand the times in which we live? If so, then I pray that you will step forward and enlist in this epic battle. There will be ample time in the future to return to our role as citizen. Today though, a soldier is desperately needed. Will you enlist?

Mark