January 6, 2021: Lessons Learned?

Even at our best, we humans often botch the job of identifying what’s true and right. The important thing is to recognize what went wrong, learn the lessons, and aim to do better.

If I could gather every American who self-identifies as conservative and deliver one message to them right now, that would probably be the bottom line: Face the facts of January 6 and start identifying how to do better and be better.

Facing Up

There’s much we still don’t know about what went wrong leading up to, and on, January 6, 2021. But many points are already known. Here’s a baker’s dozen.

  1. Large numbers of Trump supporters gathered to protest a stolen election that had not been stolen.
  2. A significant number of these supporters were radical enough to make a violent attempt to prevent Congress from completing the transition our Constitution requires.
  3. Some of these radicals were willing to carry weapons, and some were willing to assault and murder.
  4. Hundreds more were fanatical enough to join these radicals in illegal trespassing of the Capitol exterior, or in damaging government property, in defiance of police on the scene attempting to control the situation.
  5. Thousands more were fanatical enough to remain in the throng outside, lending visible and sometimes vocal support as these events took place (example).
  6. Some of those gathered prominently displayed Christian symbols and slogans, linking their identity as Christians with their identity as Trump supporters. (See photos here, here and here, for example.)
  7. For two months, the Republican President of the United States actively encouraged Americans to believe that “massive fraud” occurred in the election and that the election had been stolen from him.
  8. Many popular pundits on the right echoed these claims, along with some members of the U.S. House and Senate, as well as state and local Republican leaders across the country.
  9. Other influencers in politics and conservative media indirectly added legitimacy to the stolen election hoax by emphasizing “fraud” in ways that muddied the distinction between isolated local incidents and a coordinated effort altering the outcome of the election.
  10. Months before his post-election propaganda campaign, Trump planted seeds of doubt in the integrity of the election in public statements. The narrative, even before November, was Trump wins or it’s rigged (quotes and many references).
  11. Trump’s political career has emphasized populist emotional appeals focused on fighting and winning. He has framed his politics as a war with enemies, rather than as persuasion of fellow citizens. He has frequently expressed support for conspiracy theories.
  12. Trump had multiple opportunities to act to prevent the predictable events of January 6. As a leader, it was his responsibility to steer his followers toward accepting his defeat and acknowledging the rule of law—beginning in December, at the latest. (Post-riot, he has remained true to his never-apologize ways, even continuing to try to use the risk of his supporters’ anger to his advantage.)
  13. Congressmen and Senators loyal to Trump encouraged Americans to believe that the scattered cases of election irregularities and/or fraud could be addressed properly by objecting to the electoral college count, which they could not. These leaders knew that, but chose to pander to Trump-loyal constituents rather than telling them the truth.

Doing Better

In the wake of this disaster, the questions for conservatives are simple: what went wrong, and how can we do better?

The answers are not simple. We didn’t get here overnight. Nothing that happened on January 6 was actually “sudden,” though it seemed that way. But though the problems that led to the capitol attack are many, complex, and long-brewing, there is a path to a better future for conservatives in the U.S.

I can’t do much to fix conservatism in general or the Christian piece of it in particular. But I can pray. Some things I’m praying for:

I’m praying that the Republican Party/conservative influencers will …

  • Nurture a culture of responsibility vs. a culture of victimhood, blaming, and resentment (rejecting this kind of populism), acting intentionally and patiently to shift the balance much further from “what’s wrong with Them” toward “what can be better with Us.” (We’ll know we’re making progress when whataboutism becomes the exception on the right rather than the rule.)
  • Start regaining the moral high ground we’ve lost. Though conservative appeals to high morals have long met with skepticism, we’ve reached the point where we can’t even believe those claims about ourselves. I’m praying that leaders who still believe in high moral ideals will gain influence and insist that actions follow principles. We need our ethos back.
  • Shift emphasis away from winning tactical fights to winning hearts and minds. If abortion is so important to conservatives, I’m praying more of us will see what winning on abortion would look like: millions of Americans changing their minds and concluding that killing an unborn baby is morally wrong, because they listened to people who spoke with moral authority.
  • Recover genuine commitment to constitutionalism and rule of law vs. selective appeal to these when convenient—refusing to appeal to the basest instincts of the most uninformed and foolish citizens. I’m praying that conservatism and the GOP will become an increasingly uncomfortable place for the likes of the Proud Boys, “boogaloo boys,” QAnon supporters, and other conspiracy theory promoters.
  • Refocus on educating people on conservative principles (vs. slogans and clichés) and their historical roots until most conservatives know what conservatism is supposed to be conserving and why—that it’s not a set of policies, much less an individual leader.

I’m praying that Christian churches and ministries in the U.S. will …

  • Begin a new focus on building discernment and wisdom among Christians, especially to develop skilled, thoughtful, disciplined consumers of media (mainstream, social, and right wing).
  • Increasingly reject a vision of Christians’ relationship to their country that blurs the distinction between loyalty to Christ, truth, and Christian principles vs. loyalty to political party, political agenda, or political leader.
  • Recover an emphasis on character in leaders, both within churches and ministries and outside them in society and government. I pray that may will come to believe that character matters more than agenda.
  • See that colleges and seminaries train ministry leaders in civics and government from a biblical perspective, so they can teach and influence their congregations and ministries. Davenport is probably wrong about how to solve our national problem, but he’s right that America “suffers from a pandemic of civic ignorance and a deep deficit of civic respect.” I pray that Christians will stop being as ignorant and lawless as most unbelievers.
  • Many more Christians will develop an integrated worldview—one that rightly relates and values theology, Christian living, the arts, and the sciences. I pray for a day when conservative pastors commonly understand and teach that being a Christian plumber, pathologist, poet, or politician is as much a calling and a service to God as being a Christian pastor.
  • Do a better job of teaching and preaching a biblical view social ethics, government, and our role as citizens. If there’s ever another right wing, stolen-election hoax protest at the U.S. capitol, I pray that zero Christians will attend. I also pray conservative evangelicals will grow out of thinking they have to elect unprincipled, third-rate candidates just to beat the other guys.

Teach believers the difference between “the world” (in the John 15:18-19 sense) and “the Left.” Maybe it used to be good enough to loosely identify “the Right” with biblical ways of thinking about society and “the Left” with secular/anti-Christian ways of thinking. The last five years have proved that will no longer do. I pray that more conservative Christians will come to understand that they must greet the claims and agendas of “the Right” with just as much critical thinking as they do those of “the Left.”

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There are 62 Comments

Ken S's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

On my phone I have a news app that puts together media stories from around the web. Despite trying to program my preferences it still is horribly liberal in the stories it presents to me. This was the leading story this morning...

 

All the Times Joe Biden's Love for Ice Cream Melted Our Hearts - E! Online - A

 

Nope, no difference from the way Trump was treated from the start at all!

Kind of ironic given the picture at the top of Aaron's article.

And while some media outlets are no doubt biased and offer ridiculous articles such as this ice cream article, much of the way Trump was treated even at the start was due to Trump himself. When someone is rude, arrogant, and constantly acts like a jerk to people, they aren't going to have much of a honeymoon period.

Mark_Smith's picture

Ken S wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

On my phone I have a news app that puts together media stories from around the web. Despite trying to program my preferences it still is horribly liberal in the stories it presents to me. This was the leading story this morning...

 

All the Times Joe Biden's Love for Ice Cream Melted Our Hearts - E! Online - A

 

Nope, no difference from the way Trump was treated from the start at all!

 

 

Kind of ironic given the picture at the top of Aaron's article.

And while some media outlets are no doubt biased and offer ridiculous articles such as this ice cream article, much of the way Trump was treated even at the start was due to Trump himself. When someone is rude, arrogant, and constantly acts like a jerk to people, they aren't going to have much of a honeymoon period.

Well Ken, in a few months tell me how "sweet and nice Biden" is working out for you!

Ken S's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Ken S wrote:

 

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

On my phone I have a news app that puts together media stories from around the web. Despite trying to program my preferences it still is horribly liberal in the stories it presents to me. This was the leading story this morning...

 

All the Times Joe Biden's Love for Ice Cream Melted Our Hearts - E! Online - A

 

Nope, no difference from the way Trump was treated from the start at all!

 

 

Kind of ironic given the picture at the top of Aaron's article.

And while some media outlets are no doubt biased and offer ridiculous articles such as this ice cream article, much of the way Trump was treated even at the start was due to Trump himself. When someone is rude, arrogant, and constantly acts like a jerk to people, they aren't going to have much of a honeymoon period.

 

 

Well Ken, in a few months tell me how "sweet and nice Biden" is working out for you!

I think Biden will probably be a terrible president. My point had nothing to do with me thinking Biden would work out well for me as president.

You contrasted the treatment of Biden and Trump at the beginning of their presidencies. I'm simply saying that Trump brought on a lot of the negative treatment all by himself due to the fact that he treats others so poorly.

JD Miller's picture

I think Biden will probably be a terrible president. My point had nothing to do with me thinking Biden would work out well for me as president.

You contrasted the treatment of Biden and Trump at the beginning of their presidencies. I'm simply saying that Trump brought on a lot of the negative treatment all by himself due to the fact that he treats others so poorly.

Yes, I kept hoping Trump would be more careful in his conduct and at times it looked like he was doing better.   Although I have not been as critical of Trump as some have been, this is why I really hope he does not run in 2024.  

G. N. Barkman's picture

I remember how the Left leaning media treated President George Bush, who was as nice as any president in recent history.  You can't  blame that uneven reporting on George Bush's attacks on the media.  Or farther back, I remember the way the main-stream media treated Ronald Reagan, one of the most gentlemanly presidents in US history.  You can't blame that unfairness on Ronald Reagan.  It's clear to me that no conservative Republican will ever receive fair treatment from our liberal media.  Trump could have behaved like a kitten, and he would have been maligned and misrepresented.  The Left hates conservatives.  The Left hates Christian morality.  The Left hates Jesus Christ and everything He represents.  Should we be surprised?  No.  Should we accept such blatant inequality in public discourse without pointing out the obvious double standard?  I think not. 

As citizens of the United States, we have the right, and I would argue, the duty, to uphold truth and expose deceit.  (Including lies told by Trump.)  Should we fail to use our voices and votes to try to keep the Left from controlling the levers of government?  I believe we should.  I'm afraid some Christians seriously underestimate the degree of hatred coming at us from the Left, which will not be "fixed" by eliminating Donald Trump.  We need to do what our citizenship privileges allow to protect Christians and defeat the Left.  We know that the ultimate solution lies entirely with God and the working of His Spirit across our Land.  But we have been granted political freedoms with which to promote our understanding of truth and righteousness, and the principles that we know are most advantageous for our country.  We know what ideologies will destroy our nation if they are allowed to succeed.  May God rescue us from our folly!  

G. N. Barkman

JD Miller's picture

Greg, although I agree with everything you said in your last post, I still hope Trump does not run.  Sadly he has made it more difficult for us to convince some of our friends here on SI of what you so clearly articulated.  I think TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), just like Bush Derangement Syndrome, is a real condition that has been created largely by the media frenzy.  Sadly Trump's behavior on a number of occasions helped them promote their narrative and made their lies more believable.  I really appreciate your balance in understanding the truth that Trump misbehaved and so has the media.  I just hope those with TDS and BDS will realize they have misbehaved as well.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Can we please stop discussing politics?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

WallyMorris's picture

Politics is a partial theme of Aaron's article. If you don't want to discuss politics, then perhaps SI should stop posting articles relating to that theme.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

JD Miller's picture

I would go so far as to suggest that criticizing Trump supporters has become a bit of a hobby horse for Aaron.  Many do not think such divisiveness is good for the cause of Christ.  Others seem to think that it is the only hope for restoring the credibility of Christianity.  I think much of the debate we have had here on SI comes down to those two opposing views.

Still as we have continued the discussions, we have actually found some common ground and I would hope that both of us would become more biblical in our positions.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

A major part of what I hoped to communicate in this one is that there is no way forward for conservative Christians that fails to drop the whataboutism. Focusing on what's wrong with other groups and other media and other elected officials will keep conservatism and the GOP stuck in reactive mode rather than...

a) Fixing its own problems
b) Pursuing a proactive, positive agenda

I was going to say it's disappointing to see the immediate response to this piece be another whatabout the bad lefty media rabbit trail. But it's pretty much what I expected. It's unfortunately typical of what ails the right... Many have completely forgotten how to pause their criticism of the left long enough to even briefly look at how the right has failed and how it should improve. They can't tear their gaze away from the offending Other and look in the mirror.

But it's not everybody. I know that many who were stuck in "But the Left!" mode were jolted awake by the events of January 6, and they're giving the mirror a long look. Whether there will be enough of them to lead to a healthier and more truly conservative "conservatism" in the future remains to be seen, but I can hope. And I can pray. (If the Trumpet doesn't sound, my kids and their kids are going to be living in this world and most likely this country, so... I very much don't want it to be a place with no competent and credible conservative influence.)

Edit to add: If we're just going to have back forth about "the media" and Joe Biden, I'll probably close the thread. I'm just not interested in giving any more space to that. Let's talk about how to fix our own tribe.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Articles about politics on Christian websites should be like church YouTube channels ... post content, but always disable comments!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

JD Miller's picture

Articles about politics on Christian websites should be like church YouTube channels ... post content, but always disable comments!

Doesn't that defeat the idea of iron sharpening iron?  Silencing political voices is part of the reason there is so much tension in this country.

G. N. Barkman's picture

This is beginning to sound way too much like the Cancel Culture from the Left.  I don't believe that is an appropriate way to proceed.  The Editor has the right to post what he desires and forbid what he dislikes, but that will simply stimulate irritation and discourage participation.

I've been a bit irked myself by Aaron's scolding those who take a different position from his.  From time to time, he expresses his disappointment that everyone doesn't see things the way he does, especially since, in his view, his perspective is so obviously correct, and others so clearly flawed. I've also been disappointed that Aaron doesn't recognize the validity of my perspective, but have never, until now, thought it appropriate to articulate my irritation.  That sounds way too condescending to me.  I read Aaron's comments, and respond accordingly.  I don't intend to scold him for his opinion, and do not think it appropriate for him to scold me, and others, for ours.  As JD Miller said, that's supposed to be the purpose of SI.  Many people feel strongly about politics, and feel compelled to respond to viewpoints they consider weak.  If Aaron, Tyler, or others, find political discussions tedious, then stop posting material in that category.  Please don't post your viewpoints and then become irritated by those who respond with a differing viewpoint.  If you don't want to see a different viewpoint, don't post material to which those who do not agree may respond.  ( realize this comment could get me banned from SI. if so, I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to express my views over the years.)

G. N. Barkman

Mark_Smith's picture

I just realize politics is not Christianity. Here are some problems:

1- The Right sees small business leaders as scions of virtue. "Real men" start businesses. Suckers work at them.

2- Phrases like "I worked hard for my money", which is probably true. There are also lots of people that "work hard" and never got more than a $0.15/hr annual pay raise in their entire life. 

3- Public schools are labeled bad places for decades. Then we complain 40 years later when the public schools are run by liberals! GO FIGURE.

4- Teachers are lazy because they get off at 3PM and get the summers off. Goes along with 3. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a Republican or church member say teachers are lazy, I'd actually have a decent retirement fund.

5- Lowering taxes stimulates the economy. Maybe. Maybe not. Could be that the rich who get their tax deduction just use it to buy another BMW... or take another trip to Cabo San Lucas. 

6- Health Care System is the greatest in the world. Yep. The care is great... if you can afford it. But something is SERIOUSLY wrong with it. I had a diagnostic test a few weeks ago to make sure everything was ok. I'm 48 and the family history of heart disease is atrocious so I had an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test to see where I'm at. All was good for the record. With insurance, which I pay $1500/month for family coverage, the echo was $2750 and the stress test was $8700. Yes you read that right. I call that broken. I'll be paying that for years, probably until my next series of tests in a decade.

I'm just getting started with my list. But you know what isn't on that list? The twitter habits of politicians.

 

Joeb's picture

Give that man a Bubble Gum Cigar.  
 

Chris Christie For President 2024.  

Joeb's picture

Aaron you are spot on.  Wow. Make that Double Wow.  The church and myself needs to get back to putting Christ first and do what we can to improve things in this world, but always remember that our destination is the next.  
Focus more on the Great Commission than chaining oneself to the doors of abortion clinic full time.  I'm with Tyler on the politics.  
 

How about Elon Musks future impact on our nation and how God is revealing things to men like Musk for his Glory and our benefit.
 

 I talked to my house church leader whose a Scientist at Merck and works in vaccines.  He said out of the past 7 vacines Merck has developed 4 of them and never ever has a Vaccine been developed this fast for Covid and had such a impact on preventing Covid.  I believe rates are 95 % plus coverage.  My House Leader says it is no doubt it's the hand of our Lord in action.  

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Silencing political voices is part of the reason there is so much tension in this country.

There's been some inappropriate exclusion from specific events and platforms. Nobody's actually been silenced.

I'm inclined to think a bigger factor in the "tension in this country" is that too many voices who have nothing of value (and plenty that is damaging) to say are heard.

I don't claim to know what the solution to that is--beyond people learning to discipline their credulity in response to claims from people they see as their own people, or claims that feel true to them.

There is a right in America to not be silenced by the government. There is not a right to "be heard" wherever and whenever and as much as we like regardless of the truthfulness or consequences of our words.

...

It might be interesting to see more people interact with the contents of my article. I wonder how many who have posted 'responses' actually read it. I tried to make reading easier by using numbers and bullets and such... and excised about 500 words from earlier drafts. So... maybe readers can slog through it and follow the reasoning? It might be edifying to be challenged on facts and inferences. (I accept that we're not going to agree much on emphasis--because I'm much more interested in fixing the right than lobbing salvos at the left.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

WallyMorris's picture

I printed your article in order to read it carefully. I usually don't print SI material.

Below is a copy of a Letter to the Editor that I sent this afternoon to the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette. I send them letters about twice/year, and they usually print them:

I believe in the right to life from conception to natural death. I believe in the First Amendment guarantees of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government. I believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and that homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgendered are morally wrong. I believe that no one has the right to violence, rioting, or looting for any reason. I believe that all lives matter and that singling out any particular race or ethnic group for special treatment is wrong. Do these beliefs mean that I am deplorable, racist, and should be deprogrammed and re-educated (even though I have an earned doctorate)? Do these beliefs mean that I should be censored and restricted from stating my beliefs? I wonder if those who are now advocating for the deprogramming, censorship, and restriction of American citizens have read Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov? If America becomes the land of the unfree, then America will have to be the home of the brave.

 

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Not really seeing the relevance, though.

We're off topic, really, but who's censoring and restricting any of that?

I wonder if those who are now advocating for the deprogramming, censorship, and restriction of American citizens have read Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov? If America becomes the land of the unfree, then America will have to be the home of the brave.

There are a few talking  in vague terms about kinda that sort of thing (well the only one I know if is AOC), but, ironically, they are free to talk all they want. But where is "deprogramming, censorship, and restriction of American citizens" actually happening?

Closest thing we have is corporations, social media platforms, and social pressure in general, none of which have to do with government or the first amendment... or Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov.

This is more worrying about a vague, sinister, Them and not looking at the problems in our own house that desperately need attention.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JNoël's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

A major part of what I hoped to communicate in this one is that there is no way forward for conservative Christians that fails to drop the whataboutism. Focusing on what's wrong with other groups and other media and other elected officials will keep conservatism and the GOP stuck in reactive mode rather than...

a) Fixing its own problems
b) Pursuing a proactive, positive agenda

I was going to say it's disappointing to see the immediate response to this piece be another whatabout the bad lefty media rabbit trail. But it's pretty much what I expected. It's unfortunately typical of what ails the right... Many have completely forgotten how to pause their criticism of the left long enough to even briefly look at how the right has failed and how it should improve. They can't tear their gaze away from the offending Other and look in the mirror.

But it's not everybody. I know that many who were stuck in "But the Left!" mode were jolted awake by the events of January 6, and they're giving the mirror a long look. Whether there will be enough of them to lead to a healthier and more truly conservative "conservatism" in the future remains to be seen, but I can hope. And I can pray. (If the Trumpet doesn't sound, my kids and their kids are going to be living in this world and most likely this country, so... I very much don't want it to be a place with no competent and credible conservative influence.)

Edit to add: If we're just going to have back forth about "the media" and Joe Biden, I'll probably close the thread. I'm just not interested in giving any more space to that. Let's talk about how to fix our own tribe.

Aaron,

It is pretty clear you were looking for traffic when you posted this article. There are so many better ways to deal with "lessons learned" than by listing a baker's dozen of your opinions with links that support them (there are oh-so-many links that contradict yours, and one doesn't even need to go to Gateway Pundit to prove it) and expecting listeners to just accept your article as being credible. List a bunch of opinions, and you're going to create a conversation that includes argument - but not the kind of argument that is profitable to actually discuss "lessons learned."

I think a good lesson learned may be that your article is an example of what not do do.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

WallyMorris's picture

Aaron: I tried to pay you a complement by mentioning I printed your article (which I rarely do) in order to read it carefully and you completely misunderstood my post. Strange.

1. I posted my letter because I thought some might like to see it, especially as it relates to the back and forth debate about who is worse as President.

2. If you aren't aware of the growing openness to "deprogramming" and "re-education" of those whom American elites consider "dangerous", then you need to do some research. Katie Couric, the editor of Forbes magazine, leaders in Congress, and more have all started calling for some type of forced deprogramming of people they consider "dangerous".

3. I posted the letter because some posting on SI have warned about what to expect in a Biden administration. Well, it seems those warnings are not wrong.

4. The changes coming to our country, accelerated by the new administration, will affect our ministries and people in our churches who work in business and gov't where they will be subjected to CRT training & sensitivity and other agendas. Today Biden told gov't workers that he will not tolerate "disrespect" from any employee and he will fire them. What does "disrespect" mean - stating disagreement with BLM, etc?

5. Solzhenitsyn eloquently and thoroughly documents Soviet oppression. Some of the same tactics are now being openly advocated in America.

6. "Lessons Learned?" Yes, we can and should learn from the successes and the failures of the last 4 years. But have we learned anything from the oppressors of the past? Their descendants are alive and well - and gaining more power.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

KD Merrill's picture

Of course certain people don't want to discuss politics anymore.  According to the new standard set here on 1/7, voters are accountable not only for the actions of politicians they helped into office, but that politician's supporters.

No wonder they want to ban political discussion now, after engaging freely the past several years.  Why is that, do you suppose?

Sorry, but it's a little late.  What's coming the next four years is "what you voted for."

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

2. If you aren't aware of the growing openness to "deprogramming" and "re-education" of those whom American elites consider "dangerous", then you need to do some research. Katie Couric, the editor of Forbes magazine, leaders in Congress, and more have all started calling for some type of forced deprogramming of people they consider "dangerous".

I'm aware that there are many efforts to do this in civil society, like college campuses, for example... and business, as I've already noted. These are not government efforts. There a few extremists in Congress who have uttered some blather on the topic. That's going nowhere.

It is pretty clear you were looking for traffic when you posted this article. There are so many better ways to deal with "lessons learned" than by listing a baker's dozen of your opinions ...

Name one that is not a verifiable fact. (Hint, there are a couple that are in the "extremely probable" category as opposed to verifiable fact, but only a couple.)

This, too, is an expression of what ails the right. In our cynicism toward "mainstream media," and fondness for right wing pundits, we've lost the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion. For far too many, the definition of fact is "what feels true to me" or "whatever comes from 'our side,'" and everything else is opinion, no matter clear it is in primary documents, videos, and audio recordings.

So, a challenge. In my baker's dozen, name one that is merely my opinion. To save us all some time, go ahead and read the links first and maybe google a bit.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

WallyMorris's picture

Aaron: Just because the gov't isn't directly involved (yet) in what I mentioned doesn't make the effort any less dangerous. On college campuses, this is more than "efforts" - They are actually shutting down free speech. The evidence is overwhelming on this topic. From college campus to business to gov't. The fact that people now feel comfortable mentioning in public forums the idea of "deprogramming" those you consider "dangerous" indicates how far American society has come in accepting the tactics of Marxism/Leninism. Ironic that it is "wrong" to offer "conversion therapy" to homosexuals but not wrong to deprogram/re-educate those whom society considers politically "dangerous".

The solution is the gospel, people getting saved (and the resulting change of viewpoint), and work in the "marketplace of ideas", such as letters to the editor which I wrote and posted here.

You make some good points in your "Lessons Learned" post. I do not have any regrets voting for Trump. I think his actions after the election, once it became clear that there wasn't enough voter fraud to change the results in any state, were dangerous and contributed to the rioting on Jan 6. He has ruined his legacy, which is sad considering that his administration accomplished much good.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

WallyMorris's picture

One addition to my last post: Not enough voter fraud in the traditional sense in order to change results in key states. However, large social media (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc) used voter manipulation to affect voting. That kind of fraud is harder to confront and solve.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

TylerR's picture

Editor

I suspect Christians, Baptists in particular, and me specifically, need to do a great deal more critical thought about the Church's relationship to the State. Baptists typically do little more than emphasize separation of church and state + soul liberty, and call it a day. I suspect there's more substantive Baptist material out there on political philosophy, but I'm not aware of it. Someone please tell me what it is, and I'd be grateful.

I know there's a whole host of literature out there on natural law theory and political philosophy from Christian perspectives, a significant amount of which is from Roman Catholics. I haven't even begun to mine this material yet. I ordered a primer on natural law theory just yesterday to help me think through these issues for research for a book project.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

josh p's picture

Read him to understand the natural law position better. 

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