After Eight Years of Obama, Israel Optimistic About a Trump Administration

There’s no doubt in my mind that President Obama has been the most hostile president towards Israel that this nation has ever been saddled with.

Israel remains the United States’ most reliable, faithful ally in the Middle East, but relations between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are “chilly,” at best.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder they’re hopeful about the incoming Trump administration.

Senator Ron Johnson is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He relayed that message after returning from a weekend trip to Israel, where he met with Netanyahu.

“The primary point that he wanted to make to me is that Israel is America’s best friend in the region, the most important ally, and he wants to strengthen that relationship and so do I,” Johnson said.

The senator visited Israel to meet with their foreign policy, border and cybersecurity experts.

What impressed him most was how Israel strives to work with Palestinian officials, even delivering 800 trucks a day of food and supplies, while most reports in Washington suggest instead that Tel Aviv is persecuting its neighbor.

This is an important point.

Liberals have this violent aversion to telling the truth about Israel’s role in the region. In fact, as long as Israel exists, they will find ways to paint the tiny nation, surrounded on every side by people who want them wiped off the face of the planet, as the aggressors.

Liberal logic.

“America, on a bipartisan basis, multiple administrations, have put Israel under tremendous pressure to make unilateral concession after unilateral concession offering a deal to make peace so that they can have two people, two states live in peace,” he said.

But the other side never recognizes those efforts, said Johnson. “Their goal is to destroy the state of Israel. And we have to face that unfortunate reality. And it looks like the Trump administration will and from my standpoint, I think American foreign policy ought to recognize that you achieve peace through strength.”

He said that America must “Do everything you can to strengthen your friends and weaken your enemies which has been the exact opposite of what the current administration has been doing. We need to reverse that trend and recognize that Israel is America’s best friend, best ally, represents the greatest hope for the Middle East.”

This is true.

Every resolution has been for Israel to bend, and it has not made the region or the world safer.

I’ll admit, I have very little faith in Donald Trump knowing what he’s doing in domestic matters, much less foreign affairs, but he can’t be worse than Obama, and he might even stumble into something good.

His choice of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel was a plus for Israel, as Friedman is definitely a friend to the region. Fiercely so, as a matter of fact.

After eight years of being snubbed and disrespected, the only place to go, as far as diplomatic relations, would seem to be up.

For myself, I will be watching this one with keen interest, as it is not only an interest of national importance, but it appeals to my sense as a Christian.

God made his intentions for Israel and those friends of Israel clear from the first book of the Bible.

“And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
– Genesis 12:3 AMP

I hope Trump proves to be a better steward of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. It will be a nice change from the egregious treatment of the Obama administration.

 

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UPDATE: After a Full Day in Special Sessions, There Will Be No Repeal of NC’s Bathroom Bill

And there will be no repeal of HB2 in North Carolina.

Before the great wailing and gnashing of teeth from liberals begins, it will be helpful to get the full background on the day’s events.

Earlier this week, Governor-elect Roy Cooper laid claim to a deal he had very little to do with: full repeal of HB2 – the bathroom bill.

In actuality, Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly were willing, as they always were, to have a special session to repeal HB2, on the condition that the Charlotte City Council repeal the ordinance that resulted in the need to quickly pass HB2 into law, in March 2016.

For those who need a refresher, the Charlotte City Ordinance was a broadly worded mistake from liberal Democrats who wanted to use Charlotte as a testing ground for social engineering, and the citizens were the lab rats.

The ordinance would have flung the doors of bathrooms in businesses and schools open for anyone who claimed to identify with the opposite gender to gain admittance to whatever restroom or locker room they wanted.

The bathroom law has caused a lot of controversy and outside activists have flooded the state, demanding Governor McCrory’s head on a platter.

The new agreement would be basically be a reset, putting things in the state back to where they were before the Charlotte City Ordinance. However, the faithlessness of North Carolina’s Democrats would not allow such a thing.

As reported, on Tuesday night, the Charlotte City Council met behind closed doors, in violation of meeting protocol, and decided that one third of the ordinance repealed, while leaving the rest in place would be enough.

This was in violation of the original agreement, so when the General Assembly met today, it was a long and contentious day, indeed, with Democrats demanding full, total, and immediate repeal, in spite of Charlotte’s faithless move. Republicans, on the other hand, were still willing to repeal, but were seeking safeguards, due not only to Charlotte’s double dealing, but council members from Durham and other liberal cities openly proclaiming their intentions to fling open their bathrooms, once HB2 was repealed.

Republicans presented SB4, proposing a full repeal, after a 6-month cooling off period, in order to allow for those cities eager to write their own ordinances to come to their senses, I imagine.

From ABC11.com:

However, Republicans went into Wednesday’s special session deeply divided, spending the bulk of the day meeting behind closed doors.

The North Carolina Senate failed to pass their bill that would have repealed HB2 on its first reading. HB2’s fate is now in limbo since the special session is over. The General Assembly is back in session on January 11th.

“This wasn’t the deal,” said Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat. “This bill breaks this deal. Charlotte would have not repealed its ordinance if this was the deal.”

Charlotte only repealed their ordinance after they were found to have fudged on the original agreement. A hastily called meeting on Wednesday morning resulted in their finally repealing the ordinance in full.

At that point, because of their actions, Senate Republicans owed nothing to Democrats.

The Senate vote was taken after legislators agreed to split Senate Bill 4 into two pieces: one, a straight up or down vote on HB2, and then a separate vote on a so-called “cooling off period.”

Republicans first proposed a 6 month ban for any municipality passing their own anti-discrimination ordinances, the so called “cooling-off” period has now been extended to the entire duration of the 2017 legislative session plus 30 days.

I watched the live feed of the proceedings and Democrats were beside themselves, desperate for a full and immediate repeal, unwilling to accept a 6-month waiting period.

Why not wait the 6-months? What difference would it make?

A likely explanation is that the same reason they refused to a mutual appeal in September stands now.

In September, the Charlotte City Council was prepared to repeal the ordinance, and Governor McCrory was willing to call a special session for the repeal of HB2.

It was later discovered that Roy Cooper and several Democrat lawmakers talked city council members out of the agreement, because they felt they could use it as a talking point to take down McCrory in November.

McCrory was ousted (although HB2 likely only had a very small part in that), so belaboring the issue seems like a winning strategy. North Carolina has special elections in 2017 and the mid-term in 2018.

Let’s face it: 6-months and then a full repeal is a pretty good deal, if repeal was ever the goal.

Democrats intend to use this issue to end the majority hold Republicans have in the General Assembly, or at least, that’s their hope.

For the time being, however, HB2 stands, and that’s a victory for decency in North Carolina.

 

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Former Producer of “The Apprentice” Regrets the Image of Trump the Show Crafted

A former executive producer of Donald Trump’s reality TV program, “The Apprentice,” is feeling some pangs of remorse, over what he sees as his culpability in crafting a false image of Trump – savvy executive and successful businessman – to the intellectual wasteland of American consumers.

“Did we think this clown, this buffoon would the funny hair, would ever become a world leader?” Bill Pruitt asked in an email published by Vanity Fair on Wednesday. “Not once. Ever.”

Pruitt, who worked on the first two seasons of “The Apprentice,” said he regrets that the program may have inspired a favorable public perception of Trump.

“’The Apprentice’ was a scam put forth to the public in exchange for ratings,” he said. “We were ‘entertaining’ and the story about Donald Trump and his stature fell into some bizarre public record as ‘truth.’”

“We are masterful storytellers and we did our jobs well,” added Pruitt, who has worked in reality television for more than a decade. “What’s shocking to me is how quickly and decisively the world bought it.

Seriously. This isn’t a new concept.

When I was a kid, I thought pro wrestling was real.

For that matter, I remember many summers spent at the homes of friends, with their housewife mothers, who would give us treats to stay quiet while their favorite soap operas were on, and who treated the characters as if they were real.

Still, I wouldn’t vote for Ric Flair, based solely on his figure-4 leglock.

“There’s a larger issue at hand: non-fiction or ‘reality’ television has obviously become a huge force in shaping the minds of the populace. ‘The Apprentice’ contributed to that. People lapped up what the producers were putting out, and the danger became real as news directors, desperate to compete with rating, starting putting music under soft news stories.”

Pruitt, who has worked on other reality television hits such as “Deadliest Catch,” added he is troubled by how the media is imitating the genre.

“Now that the lines of fiction and reality have blurred to the horrifying extent that they have, those involved in the media must have their day of reckoning,” he said. “People are buying our crap. Make it entertaining, yes. But make it real. Give them the truth or pay the consequences.”

Pruitt’s email snippets were made public by Vanity Fair, after he declined to be interviewed about his experiences with Trump. He basically took a “what’s done is done” stance, and he’s right.

Trump is smoke and mirrors. We get that, but he’s what we have. Let’s just consider his cabinet picks. They’ll be running everything, anyway.

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BREAKING: NC Democrats and Republicans Put Forth Competing Bills to Repeal HB2

After no less than three recesses, North Carolina House Republicans have finally put forth a bill intended to repeal the HB2 “bathroom bill.”

Democrats had early proposed SB3, calling for a full repeal. Republicans, however, could not seem to agree on the language they felt necessary to include in any bill talking of repeal. The multiple recesses, presumably, were to try and get the votes necessary to move forward with a bill of repeal.

At approximately 2:50pm EST, State Republicans filed SB4, their own version of a repeal bill. It calls for a full repeal, but also, adds a six month “cooling off” period, to keep other cities (looking at you, Durham) from enacting similar ordinances as the Charlotte ordinance that began this whole mess.

That part of the bill reads:

“Six Month Cooling-Off Period. – No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”

The bill can be viewed here.

Democrat lawmakers are, so far, calling the proposal unacceptable.

Could it be because their hope is to stab Republican lawmakers and North Carolina families in the back before the ink is even dry on the paperwork?

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UPDATE: Charlotte City Council Votes to Repeal City Ordinance to Save HB2 Repeal Deal

When it was revealed on Tuesday that the Charlotte City Council had violated certain standards of protocol, by having a closed door meeting on the repeal of the ordinance that prompted HB2, it put the deal made my outgoing Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina General Assembly, Governor-elect Roy Cooper, and the Charlotte City Council in jeopardy.

The deal made (and touted by Cooper, falsely, as his own accomplishment) was that for a full repeal of the Charlotte City Ordinance, McCrory would call a special session, in order to repeal the bathroom bill.

What the Charlotte City Council did, instead, was to shut the doors to the public and the press, and agreed to partially repeal the offensive ordinance, not fully repeal, as agreed upon.

The General Assembly and heads of the Republican Party in the state expressed doubt that the good faith deal they made could go through, considering Democrats had already broken the agreement.

This morning, under mounting pressure, Charlotte agreed to uphold their end of the bargain.

Following a night of confusion after it was revealed that two parts of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance still stood – which could have put a deal to repeal House Bill 2 in jeopardy – Charlotte City Council voted to repeal all of it Wednesday morning.

Council members said at Wednesday’s emergency meeting that it was not their intention to try to pull a fast one on the General Assembly.

It never is, with Democrats. It just sort of happens, right?

The meeting was hurriedly called an hour before the General Assembly was to meet, in order to discuss repeal of HB2.

At this point, it seems that if Charlotte holds true to their word (finally), there will be little trouble in getting the support for a repeal of HB2.

The problem, at that point, becomes the likelihood of another liberal pocket of North Carolina enacting the same kind of dangerous ordinance as that which began in Charlotte and stirred up this maelstrom, to begin with.

Durham County councilman, Charlie Reese, has already stated that as soon as HB2 is repealed, Durham will enact a similar ordinance, as they are not part of the deal between the state and Charlotte. It will then become more difficult for the General Assembly to act to protect citizens from the social justice experimentation of men like Reese and Charlotte’s Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

Anyone who would like to mass contact their North Carolina state representatives and urge them to keep HB2 can do so through this link.

A statement by Lt. Governor Dan Forest was released a short time ago:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Lt. Governor Dan Forest releases the following statement regarding special session to repeal HB 2:

“Charlotte repealed an ordinance that the General Assembly already voided months ago. I support HB 2 and do not favor its repeal. No economic, political or ideological pressure can convince me that what is wrong is right. It will always be wrong for men to have access to women’s showers and bathrooms. If HB 2 is repealed, there will be nothing on the books to prevent another city or county to take us down this path again. The left has already publicly stated the removal of HB 2 is necessary for the rest of their agenda to move forward. With certainty, if HB 2 is repealed, we will fight this battle all over again with another city or county. The names will change, but the national groups who are pushing this agenda will not stop until their social engineering is accomplished. The only thing stopping them are those of us who continue to stand strong.”

Well said.

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Gingrich Says There Will be No More Talk of Swamp Draining

Newt Gingrich is probably the one of Trump’s most loyal toadies, at this point.

He’s become completely unhinged, in the process, but still, when was the last time a once-respected policymaker, pundit, and big brain in our American system openly advocated for an authoritarian system, with no checks and balances against the power of the president?

Pretty much anybody on mainstream media in 2008?

Got it.

This, however, is a new level of politician-worship. It has all the trappings of Obama’s 2008 sycophancy, with an added layer of open admittance of deception, once the election was won.

Many have made note of just how many swamp creatures Trump has brought into his cabinet since the process of filling up his administration began. All the rally cries of “Drain the swamp!” are but a distant echo, at this point.

Gingrich spoke with NPR on Wednesday morning about candidate Trump versus President-elect Trump.

Gingrich told NPR’s “Morning Edition” that he was told Trump “now says [the phrase] was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore.”

Gingrich, who has been a close adviser to Trump, said he likes “drain the swamp” because it “vividly illustrates the problem, because all people in this city who are the alligators are going to hate the swamp being drained.”

“But, you know, he is my leader and if he decides to drop the swamp and the alligator I will drop the swamp and the alligator,” he added.

Yeah. Emphasis mine. That just seemed kind of creepy.

“Maybe he feels that as president, as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps,” Gingrich said.

Dignified isn’t what won him the election, and the definition of that term, “dignified” has morphed into something completely different, if you go by some of the gaudy, science-fiction/fantasy-inspired memes his supporters are releasing.

Regardless, it is an interesting tell that even his most ardent devotees have lost interest in keeping up the sloganeering that Trump rode to victory in November.

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BREAKING: Charlotte City Council LIES to NC State Lawmakers, Jeopardizes HB2 Repeal Deal

Despicable. Faithless. Conniving. Liberal.

As was reported earlier this week, a deal was struck between North Carolina’s lawmakers and the Charlotte City Council to mutually repeal both HB2 – the “bathroom bill” – and the Charlotte ordinance that made the bathroom bill a necessity, for the safety and privacy of the state’s citizens.

Outgoing Governor Pat McCrory had announced that he would call a special session to repeal HB2, pursuant to Charlotte repealing the ordinance – and agreement that all parties seemed to agree with.

This move would, essentially, reset conditions in the state and put things back the way they were before.

Governor-elect Roy Cooper even took a victory lap on the agreement, as if he had done this on his own.

He didn’t.

The Charlotte City Council voted Monday to repeal part of its non-discrimination ordinance. Specifically, council members voted to strike the part of its ordinance dealing just with access to bathrooms.

At the time of the vote, council members said they were voting to repeal the entire ordinance as part of a deal brokered between legislative Republicans and Democrat Governor-Elect Roy Cooper.

However, what he did do (besides working with Democrat lawmakers to convince the Charlotte City Council to hold off on a repeal until after the election), apparently, is collude with the Council to deceive North Carolina’s lawmakers and citizens.

Members of the public had no way of knowing what the council was actually voting on at Monday’s meeting because the vote was not announced ahead of time and copies of the proposal were not made available to reporters—or anyone else—present for the vote.

The council’s partial repeal has now become a major sticking point for some Republican lawmakers who feel the city did not uphold its end of the deal, a legislative source with knowledge of the ongoing discussions told On Your Side Investigates Tuesday night.

Governor McCrory had called for the special session on Wednesday, but with this new revelation, it remains to be seen if the state General Assembly will uphold their end of the deal.

On a side note, Charlie Reece, a councilman out of Durham County (you know – the same Durham County of the last minute “found” 94,000 ballots) has stated that once HB2 is repealed, Durham will take up the same kind of ordinance as that of Charlotte, and will begin this bathroom nightmare, all over again.

North Carolina Democrats are the dirtiest players in the game.

Am I even slightly uncomfortable with Republicans neutering Roy Cooper, at this point?

Not in the slightest. For the well-being of our citizens, it can be no other way.

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Rush Limbaugh Suggests Obama Will Stay in Washington to Make Things Hard on Trump

Community organizing is only about a half-step above inciting riots, anyway.

Trump bootlick, Rush Limbaugh, is wringing his hands over the possibility of Barack Obama hanging around Washington for the purpose of causing trouble for the Donald Trump administration.

Said Limbaugh:

“The first moment that Trump does anything that is the unraveling of an Obama agenda item. Obama’s going to be on TV,” Limbaugh said Tuesday on “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” “They’ll give Obama as much time as he wants to rip into Trump and to warn the American people.”

Of course they will. It has been well established that the media is unrepentantly left-leaning. Obama, as the “first black president” can count on unfettered access.

Leftists do love their identity politics.

Limbaugh went on to point out that Bill Clinton and Al Gore at least let George W. Bush warm up the seat in the Oval Office before slamming him.

“They would go to Europe to make speeches ripping into Bush,” Limbaugh said. “But Obama’s going to do it from Washington. And he’s going to do it within hours of whatever Trump does. And he’s going to do it on major cable news. And the media is going to be 100 — 1,000 percent behind Obama.”

And anybody who thought this could be otherwise has not been paying attention.

Until Trump was elected, Obama also had the distinction of being our most petty, thin-skinned president in recent history.

He was definitely the most arrogant.

And now he is looking to be dethroned by this 70-year old upstart.

If we’re to accept this new Trump party, and this coarsening of dialogue in America, along with eschewing all traditional decorum, then Trump and his toadies shouldn’t start clutching their pearls now.

No, Obama shouldn’t be slamming him. He’s had eight years of being awful. If he does, however, welcome to Trump’s America.

You asked for it.

 

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Out With a Bang: Outgoing NC Gov McCrory Closes Year With More Jobs and an Ambitious Budget Plan

I’m I still heartbroken?

You bet I am.

Do I have good reason to be?

Oh, you bet I do!

Pat McCrory has less than two weeks to go before his administration ends, and North Carolina once again descends into the darkened days of a Democrat governorship, under droopy lay-about, Roy Cooper.

Seriously, had I been hamstringed by my own party the way McCrory was, I would have likely been tempted to just leave them to their fate and would ride out my time in office with my feet up, making crank calls to the Durham Board of Elections all day.

The man has a lot more patience and professionalism than me, obviously.

Instead of resulting to such spitework, Governor McCrory has continued on the same, positive track that his four years have been marked with.

For starters, he announced another expansion of jobs in the state. In particular, Alamance, Catawba, Lee, and Person counties will see GKN Driveline – a company that develops, builds, and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline technologies – add over 300 new jobs, at an investment of $179 million into the state, over the next five years.

That is, if Droopy Cooper doesn’t screw things up.

McCrory also announced his budget recommendations for the upcoming year, and it is a textbook example of a well-mapped out, priority-laden budget.

From the Governor’s site:

As our state prepares for a new year, it is now my responsibility to provide budget recommendations as required by North Carolina law.
Thanks to our decisive action over the past four years in regards to tax reform, paying off massive debt, investing in our roads, education and our rainy day fund, North Carolina’s economy and financial standing is stronger than ever before in North Carolina history.
Because of this financial strength, the key points of my recommended budget will have a positive impact on North Carolina for generations to come in four key areas.
The first area is transportation.
My recommended budget supports a future transportation bond of over $1 billion that will anticipate and prepare  for future road needs.
Like the Connect NC bond, this transportation bond would not require a tax increase.
The second area is teacher pay.
Over the past four years, we provided the largest teacher pay increase in the nation, boosting average teacher pay in North Carolina to $50,000 for the first time in state history.
My budget continues this progress and raises average teacher pay to nearly $55,000 by the year 2018.
This is in addition to a plan to increase much-needed principal pay by more than 10 percent over the next two years.
The next area is Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
I am calling for North Carolina to build upon the progress of our Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use by investing an additional $40 million to support those suffering throughout the state from mental health and substance use issues.
And finally the last area is continuing to build upon and replenish our Rainy Day Fund.
Over the last several months, we have been able to address some of the worst natural disasters in state history thanks to our responsible financial management and record investments in our Rainy Day Fund.
My proposed budget would invest nearly $700 million into our Rainy Day Fund to ensure North Carolina continues to recover from Hurricane Matthew and is prepared for the next natural disaster or possible economic downturn.
By investing in these key areas, I believe North Carolina can continue the incredible progress we have made together.
You know four years ago, the Carolina Comeback began.
Today we can say with certainty that the Carolina Comeback happened.
May God bless you and the great state of North Carolina.

Yes, under Pat McCrory’s steady hand (with a solid assist from the General Assembly), North Carolina came roaring back to life, in a big way. It pains me beyond measure to think of how low-info, single-issue revenge voters in the Republican party were so eager to drag us backwards.

Elections have consequences. If we lose all the ground we’ve gained, Republicans in Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties need not seek sympathy.

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Baptist Leader Takes a Stand Against Trump, Faces Backlash From Church

For months, I’ve written on these pages about what amounts to my heartbreak over seeing the Christian community abandon faith, in favor of fear, and trust in an ungodly, unrepentant man to “fix” this nation.

Faith leaders have bent to fear, citing the Supreme Court’s importance over every admonishment of the Bible to choose leaders of firm, moral character. After all, if a man has proven, repeatedly, that he cannot be faithful in his dealings with his marriage, his creditors, or clients, how much trust should he be given by the people?

Indeed, this past election season has been a steady parade of high-profile names in the Christian community making excuses for the excesses and abuses of Donald Trump, and a large number of self-identified Christians fell in line.

In the midst of my disappointment with the Christian community and those vocal voices of “leadership,” who have obviously forgotten where their help and hope comes from (Hint: It’s not Washington or SCOTUS), there have been a few sparks of genuine courage.

One of those would be Max Lucado, who spoke out in February 2016 about the problem with Donald Trump.

The other is Dr. Russell Moore, the face of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is the largest Protestant denomination in America.

Moore was an early critic of Trump’s, speaking forcefully and frequently about why Trump was wrong for America.

For Dr. Moore, and the current climate of the church in Trump’s America, however, such adherence to principle could prove troublesome.

Some Baptist pastors are considering cutting funds that flow from their congregations to the Southern Baptist Convention—or to its policy agency, which Mr. Moore heads—in a potentially dramatic rebuke.

In interviews, pastors in multiple states, including leaders of some of the country’s largest congregations, said Mr. Moore’s rhetoric insulted many of the people he was supposed to represent as the Baptists’ chief advocate in Washington, D.C.

“There was a disrespectfulness towards Southern Baptists and other evangelical leaders, past and present,” Baptist pastor Jack Graham said of Mr. Moore’s denunciations of Mr. Trump and some of his supporters. “It’s disheartening that this election has created this kind of divisiveness.”

Mr. Moore addressed the backlash in an essay he wrote that was shared with The Wall Street Journal before its publication. Noting that pastors and friends read his comments as criticizing anyone who voted for Mr. Trump, he said, “I told them then, and I would tell anyone now, if that’s what you heard me say, that was not at all my intention, and I apologize.”

It would appear that the nation’s Baptists have expended so much grace on Donald Trump, that they have none left to extend to Dr. Moore.

What a disappointment.

Still, there are those who suggest that it is Moore’s earlier moves – not his opposition to Donald Trump – that has them “disgruntled.”

Since his election in 2013 as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Baptists’ public-policy arm, Mr. Moore has sought to remake evangelicals’ approach to hot-button social issues by pulling back from the fiery rhetoric of his predecessors.

A 45-year-old father of five, Mr. Moore holds deeply conservative positions on abortion and marriage and hasn’t wavered on core Baptist beliefs. But he attempted to guide Baptists to adopt a softer tone toward gays and lesbians, and to build alliances with Muslims, Jews and Catholics.

“43 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” – Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV

I just thought I would toss that in there, since the members of the Baptist community that have a problem with Moore’s flies-to-honey approach probably haven’t read that far ahead in the Bible, yet.

Still, Moore has held firm to his position on Trump and those in the faith community who propped him up.

In an essay published in the January 2017 edition of the religious journal First Things, Mr. Moore said that during the election, “the old-guard religious right political establishment normalized an awful candidate,” adding that religious conservatives were one of the only groups “willing to defend serious moral problems, in high-flying moral terms no less.” The essay was adapted from a lecture he gave during the campaign.

This stance won him some support, especially among younger evangelicals who are becoming more diverse and appeared to be turned off by the culture wars of their parents’ generation.

“Young Christians like me are craving authentic leadership, people willing to risk access in order to stay true to their goals,” said Ruth Malhotra, a 32-year-old Baptist and lifelong Republican who opposed Mr. Trump. She said Mr. Moore represented that conviction as well as anyone, adding she hoped voices like his “will become the leading voices.”

A large part of the argument that leading Baptists have with Moore is that they feel his position threatens their access to Trump’s White House.

Indeed, Trump has no ability to remain gracious to opposition, and just as he has blacklisted members of the press who have been less than worshipful, there’s no reason to believe he would be any more generous to religious organizations that oppose him.

They’re not without a point.

Access to presidents has proven important to the faith community, as they seek to have their positions heard and have some kind of influence on the direction of our leaders in Washington.

Moore is not without advocates, nor is he fighting with no allies.

Mr. Moore was hardly the only Baptist to oppose Mr. Trump. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also criticized evangelical leaders who defended Mr. Trump. He called Mr. Moore “one of the most brilliant leaders” in his generation.

“I know his heart and his character and his love for the Southern Baptist Convention,” Mr. Mohler said in an email. “I also have confidence in his ability to serve all Southern Baptists as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.”

Moore has also run afoul with some controversial opinions, such as his belief that magistrates or clerks who could not perform gay marriages, out of religious convictions, should step down from their positions, then protest as citizens, rather than as employees of the court.

He’s not completely wrong. We’re called to submit ourselves to governing authorities. We’re not called to work for them in perpetrating sin on the nation, however, and if we want to change the world, it begins with the culture. That, in turn, begins in our homes, our cities, our businesses, and beyond.

We, the people, ARE our government, after all.

So far, no churches have pulled funding in protest of Dr. Moore’s stance on Trump. It’s all just grumbling, at this point.

I’m not a Baptist, so I’ve got no dog in that particular part of the hunt, but I am a Christian, first and foremost. Because I am so, I applaud Dr. Moore’s faithfulness to the Word, and to his faith, first.

We need a few more like him in Christian leadership. Maybe then the church in this land can truly be a motivating, Spirit-filled force for change in the culture.

 

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Source: Red State