Pilot Letter: Trump’s critics unfair

https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/letters/vp-ed-letc-0903-20190830-jaj6gk7novbqxawdzedn5l247u-story.html

I’m glad to see this letter in today’s paper, because I agree with the opinion as captured in the headline it was given. I’m also intrigued to see a second letter in as many weeks reference the same Bible passage, 2 Chronicles 7:14.

The passage reads: “If my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

You don’t have to be a believer to get the gist of the passage. It says that the virtues of humility, duty and right behavior earn their reward. Even as a secular conception, the idea is a good one.

But why the public attention to this particular passage at this particular time? It might be that apocalyptic fear is on the rise in Hampton Roads, prompting some members of our community to share the antidote they personally have found. But, at another extreme, it might be that a God-drunk cult of gun-toting white supremacists has formed a knitting circle in our midst to churn out proselytizing LTEs.

I couldn’t possibly say, and the more I think about it, the less the reasons seem to matter. I’m left in the end with the notion that the spiritual and the material are more the same than different.

19 thoughts on “Pilot Letter: Trump’s critics unfair

  1. “President Donald Trump is my/your president, period.”

    Yes, yes he is, but that was not a competency test he passed, nor even an intelligence test, and certainly not an honesty test, just some weird “geo-population” weighted popularity contest, where the least popular person on a 1:1 basis, won.

    The author likes him because he believes him to be a “businessman” (I presume he believes a successful one) but against any of the measures of such, he comes up short there too.

    So, he’s an incompetent lying boob of a business failure in an office that commands respect but where it is not a crime to render that respect… yet. That’s all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Should go back to their native country”

    This statement explains the delusions in the mind of the letter writer. Since 3 of the 4 Congresswomen referenced are “native” to their Country of birth any ignorant defense of this indefensible comment will/should fall on deaf ears for those not in the cult.

    When any individual ties their “self-worth” to even an abomination of a human being such as trump it is extremely difficult to see reality for what it is.

    The not-so-bright just swallow the lies whole, while the smart people work tirelessly to justify his bald-faced lies and rationalize his statements and actions.

    “Unfair”. ??

    NAW….

    Liked by 4 people

  3. “LESLEY STAHL: It’s just me, my boss, and him — he has a huge office — and he’s attacking the press. There were no cameras, there was nothing going on and I said, ‘That is getting tired, why are you doing it? You’re doing it over and over and it’s boring. It’s time to end that, you’ve won the nomination. And why do you keep hammering at this?’
    And he said: ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.’ “

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/05/23/leslie_stahl_trump_told_me_he_uses_term_fake_news_to_discredit_the_media.html

    Think about that. No president has ever not been criticized by the press. None. Ever. It comes with the job in which about half the population voted against him. Democratic presidents get attacked be the right wing media and Republicans by the left. Both by the middle as the issues warrant.

    Teddy Roosevelt said it was unpatriotic and servile to not criticize the president.

    But Trump’s tactic is to literally confuse the American electorate, supporters or not.

    The question is not whether he is treated unfairly, but whether Americans are treated unfairly by him.

    And remember, regardless of whom anyone voted for, by participating in the electoral process, we all hired him to lead the administration.

    Not to purposely deceive our citizens to deflect challenges to his policy making.

    IMHO

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I found it quite interesting that the writer blamed only those on the Left for causing the divisiveness. Not a very open minded approach to ignore the fact that those on the Right are just as responsible for the divisiveness we are experiencing. And also to ignore the hatred for those that oppose him that comes from Mr. Trump is missing half of the story.

    Criticism of presidents goes back to the beginning of this country. To say that criticism of Trump is unfair is being blind to the reality of the politics here. What is truly unfair is the unpresidential manner in which the current occupant of the Oval Office responds to his critics.

    I also would wager one week’s pay that the writer of this letter was as critical, fairly or unfairly, of the previous occupant.

    Like

    1. You are far too generous when you say that “those on the Right are just as responsible for the divisiveness we are experiencing.” IMHO. In fact, divisiveness (“wedge politics”) has been the principle tactic of the GOP since Nixon’s Southern Strategy flipped Dixie. Trump is the culmination of these decades of hate-mongering leaving the GOP with not much else but haters. It is not realistic to think that people who have been methodically demonized are looking for a Kumbaya relationship with the demonizers.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. There is more that is disingenuous in spreading the false idea that both sides are equally to blame. They are not.

          Maybe you can point out something from a progressive leader that is remotely similar to the divisiveness, hate mongering and demonization of the “other” that is the stock in trade of MOST modern GOP leaders. Obama being African-American does not count.

          Like

  5. The use of II Chronicles again caught my eye, so I decided to see what the NJPS translation of that verse was and, more importantly, what was the context. Here is the verse IN CONTEXT with preceding and following verses:

    12The Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this site as My House of sacrifice. 13If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence against My people, 14when My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land. 15Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers from this place.

    This verse is part of the closing of the story of the completion of Solomon’s Temple to the Lord. It is the Lord telling Solomon (Shlomo in Hebrew) that the house is acceptable to Him. Again, someone takes a biblical verse and uses it to feed his narrative.

    The opinion of the letter writer is that because those on the Left have taken us down a path that will cause the Lord to …”shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence”… Take a closer look at our current President and ask yourself who has truly led us down this path.,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have more patience than I could muster. My grandfather (a Baptist Minister) mandated that I read the Old and new Testaments in my early teens. I hated that he did than, but have thanked him repeatedly over the last 50 years.

      Being able to repudiate religious mumbo jumbo with knowledge and context has served my atheist self well. Although I’ve quit trying with anyone over 30, if they’ve stayed in the cult that long it’s generally a done deal.

      Ergo the patience comment.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It wasn’t so much patience, but more a desire to see the verse in context. And as usual, someone took the verse out of context to advance his opinion. Anti-choice folks live in that world.

        As far as anti- or pro-religion, I stand by my idea that to each his own. All I ask is the same in return.

        While assigned to my first ship in 1985, I took on the collateral duty as Jewish Lay Leader. A young and VERY uninformed shipmate walked up to me one day and told me I was wrong to believe the way I did. I asked him how. His answer was basically if you don’t believe in Jesus, you are wrong. (Such forgiving people those Southern Baptists) As we were in my watch station and work center on the 09 level, I dragged his holier than thou self, by the ear, to the bridge wing and asked him if I threw him off would Jesus prevent him from dying. Once the tears and sobbing started, I let him go.

        I tolerate others of different beliefs. I respect the choice of those who don’t choose to practice or beleive in any religion. All I ask is to be respected in my beliefs.

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    2. At the risk of being branded anti-religion, I cat help but read that passage one feel that God is extorting Solomon.

      “Worship me and mine as I say and no one gets hurt.

      I’ll come by once a week and pick up the payment.

      It would be a real shame to fill your land with locusts and shut off the water supply. Nice guy like you, with family and all.

      Oh, by the way, I know where you live.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Grrr, typos in my first sentence.

        “I can’t help but read that passage and feel that God is extorting Solomon.”

        Auto fill and accidentally hitting “post comment” and no way to correct.

        Mea culpa

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “I can’t help but read that passage and feel that God is extorting Solomon.”

        Well, at the risk of being branded anti-Rothman, I can’t help pointing out that your “feel” about the passage may say more about your assumptions than it does about the passage itself.

        For example, considering the magnitude of God’s presumed powers, even just those listed in the story, it is unlikely God could profit in any way by extorting Solomon.

        No slam.

        Like

        1. Of course God profits.

          He keeps his worshippers.

          “1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

          1. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

          By saying “no other gods”, God make it plain that competition is not an option, but admits that there are other gods. And he is jealous of them. Woe be to those and for generations to come if the worship any god but Him.

          The OT God was pretty nasty if he felt slighted.

          Liked by 2 people

      3. Not a completely inaccurate sentiment. G-d wanted obedience. And in return He would guarantee happiness. It was a covenant, a contract. And the language of the contract had stiff penalties for breaches. So, yes, the G-d of the OT was vengeful. But He didn’t hide it from His people.

        And you are free to be anti-religion, if you choose. Both of my kids aren’t thrilled with the organized religions of the world today. I can’t really blame them. The one thing my wife and I taught them was to 1) believe in something (As my Jewish grandmother advised me when I asked for her guidance when we were asked by other family members how we were going to raise our kids. She also told me it was no one else’s business how we raised them wrt to religion.) and 2) RESPECT the belief (or non-belief) of others.

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        1. I admit I was being a bit flippant, but at times I see a humorous or maybe a cynical slant. I was confirmed Lutheran as a child, but my parents were definitely “floral” Christians. I had to go to church every Sunday with friends and neighbors, but my folks went on Easter and Christmas. Mainly to hear a good friend of the family sing solo in the choir.

          Here is a thought. I look at religion as the NRA looks at gun control. It’s not the belief that causes issues, but the believers. If you believe your faith permits or commands you to bomb abortion clinics or murder providers or slaughter infidels or enslave sects that differ, I have a problem with that. As should all of us.

          Sacred texts for all the Judeo-Christian and Islamic sects, of which there are hundreds if not more, have passages that call for violence against non-believers. And using those literally is wrong, in my thinking at least. Kind of like taking that 9mm you have at home for personal protection and comfort and going to Walmart and rid the nation of undesirables.

          Thus, my tendency to see the humor in interpretations. I suppose if I were living in an ISIS territory, I would tone down my routine in the interest of my personal safety. Discretion and valor, etc.

          “In the name of the Father, the Son and…into the hole he goes.”

          An Irish comedian, David Allen, interprets what he understood the priest to say as a 6 year old at a burial service.

          Just as a precaution, I will be avoiding aluminum flag poles. Just for a while.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. The letter writer has zero credibility after this sickening obeisance to a racist pig . . .

    “Trump actually said several members of “the Squad” should go back to their native countries to help solve their problems (Palestine, Somalia) and come back and show the United States how they did it.”

    Their native countries are . . .

    Somalia (brought here as a child)
    Natural born citizen of the United States of America (Puerto Rican ancestors)
    Natural born citizen of the United States of America (Palestinian parents)
    Natural born citizen of the United States of America (Slave ancestors going back hundreds of years)

    No politician whose ancestors were from Western European countries such as Norway has EVER been told to go back to the “shit hole countries” that they DIDN’T come from. Trump’s insinuation that people of color are foreign is racist. Period.

    Liked by 3 people

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