Thursday, November 10, 2016

God has judged America [UPDATED]

Notwithstanding a priest's recent comment that the earthquakes in Italy recently are a judgment of God re The Issue, I think God's judgment on this world is best discerned in the course of human history. The decisions we make have consequences, and the consequences come to pass in the course of time. In Paul's repeated words in Romans 1:24, 26, 28, "God gave them up ..." we find that God does not so much visit us with punitive earthquakes as refuse to rescue us from what we have foolishly chosen to do.

For an America which has given itself over to the debauchery and quackery (reality TV) which passes for Hollywood entertainment, which has rorted the political and financial systems in favour of the 1%, and more recently doubled down its relentless critique of the Christian gospel, God has given them up in this election to the perfect expression of 21st century American culture.

The rest of the world is under this judgment too, the pain of it almost certainly to be felt in economic strife and stress, if not in many more wars or even one big WW3.

Yesterday, NZ time 9 November = US 8 November, our morning office OT reading was Daniel 5:13- the end, the memorable "writing on the wall" story. Within the writing on the wall is the word "MENE" meaning "God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end" (5:26). Are we seeing the end of America as a "kingdom"?

Even a secular approach to these matters has some coherence here, in the old political adage that we get the leaders we deserve!

POSTSCRIPT: There are thousands of blogs etc being written about the election and I have read a few of them. The best comes from friends in Uganda, offering a wry observation on all that we can celebrate about Trump's victory!

UPDATE: I have read widely, consulted with rocket scientists, and I suggest the wisdom of the wider world a few days after the election is this: Trump will not be as bad as some people fear and he will not be as good as other people hope. :)


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
Er, please don't put words in my mouth!
I posted this morning "as the Spirit led".
I have no idea what I would have posted if HC had won.
Perhaps three words, "business as usual"???
Perhaps with a postscript, "God's sword is yet to fall"???

Andrei said...

Apologies Peter, if I was a bit terse

Is God's hand in this? I don't know - its a mystery but the title of this post, well needled me

I think Western Christian civilization is fading and that's a fact - but then God works in mysterious ways to preserve his Church and his people

In any case this might be of interest in all the other noise

Dear Mr. Trump,

Accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of your victory in the United States of America’s presidential elections.

I look forward to working with you toward the normalization of Russian-American relations from their current state of crisis and to addressing the pressing issues on the international agenda and searching for effective responses to global security challenges.

I am convinced that building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington based on principles of equality, mutual respect and taking into account our respective strategic interests addresses the interests of our peoples and the world community.

I wish you good health, prosperity and success in your responsibilities as head of state.


Vladimir Putin

Original (in Russian)

Anonymous said...

God may well have judged the Liberal/Globalist elites in the US, and judged in favor of America's forgotten conservative rural and working classes.

This morning is a great day for all us non "evidence based" thinkers. :)

Tessa L said...

Fantastic Pete. Nailed it.

Father Ron said...

Here, Peter, is an appropriate response - in music - to the tragedy:
The Day the Music Died:

And all because, apparently, of the White, Evangelical Vote!

Anonymous said...

While not putting words into your mouth, I think it is always interesting in these situations to replay something with the opposite person --and I think Andrei is right about the post being very different.

However, if you want to see an absolutely sickening example of the "dumb hicks" meme then look at this article in the New Scientist

It did more to explain to me why the population may not be willing to follow the "thought leaders" than anything else I have read.

Anonymous said...

The narrative that dumb conservative white men are the reason DT won is not an explaination. It is part of the problem. The bible is full of great leaders and terrible ones. The redemptive plan under God's hand carried on just the same. I'm sure it will hear as well. Ex 22:28 is a challenge to us all and would have been regardless who won. Steve

Anonymous said...

The significance of Trump's victory goes well beyond him and however long he is President. For the first time in decades there will be a real chance to significantly change the makeup and direction of the Supreme Court. A Hillary victory would almost certainly have meant an end to 2nd Amendment rights, a radical expansion of abortion rights, and more restrictions on Christian liberty in the name of gay rights.

The 2nd Amendment is safe.

On the abortion issue, until now all conservative Presidents could do was tinker around the edges of the policy. But with Republicans holding on to both houses of Congress, and a Republican President, Roe v Wade could actually, in fact will likely, be overturned, and the moral stain of abortion ended.

The nomination of conservative judges may even overturn the Court's invention of a right to gay marriage, but will certainly mean an end to the persecution of Christians for holding fast to God's Word and refusing to bow to fashionable idols.

All in all I could not be happier, and will be going about the last of the unpacking with a song in my heart!

This one in fact... Chris Tomlin, How Great is our God!

Glen Young said...

Andrei,thanks for Putin's message.Shawn,keep the faith which you have so boldly displayed in the face of staunch opposition. Ron,happily the sick music from people, (I won't refer to them as artists) such as Madonna,Lady Ga Ga,Jay Z,and Beyonce; with their lewd antics and words has died.May they,along with all those Hollywood puffups, who have promised to leave America if Trump won; go to somewhere like the middle of the Sahara Desert.There they can acclimatize for life after death.Get use to the heat.

Peter,God has certainly judged America,and found it's stewardship of His Creation sadly wanting.He has raised up a movement to bring a new vision to the country.Not just a few white evangelical males.Men,women,Whites,blacks,Hispanics,Hindus,Native Americans,Armish and there was even a group holding up a banner'Gays for Trump.' This movement stands against the sovereignty of America being handed to the UN's one world government.It stands against the SATANIC religion,which the UN worships.It stands against ex presidents who flew 26 times on the Lolita Express and his wife took 6 flights.It stands against the Oval Office being associated with voo doo. The fact that Trump won as he did,means that a greater part of America does not share in the Obama/Clinton/Bush/Soros/Alinsky vision of socialism and corrupt leadership.

God will lead them out of the wilderness and heal their land. 2 Chron.7:14

Andrei said...

How's this for a headline: Aberdeenshire business owner wins presidential election :)

And no Fr Ron this is not a tragedy - as old honest Abe, the first Republican President rightly noted "Democracy is Government of the people, by the people for the people"

An early contender for the Republican crown was Jeb Bush, son of the 41st president and brother of the 43rd. Donald J Trump saw him off otherwise the people might have had to choose between the Royal house of Clinton and the Royal House of Bush and I'm sure that would have had old Abe spinning in his grave

Anonymous said...

For those who don't understand what just happened, and why...

Rosemary Behan said...

The people who have been sooooo tolerant and Liberal, who believe in globalisation but not God, do NOT believe that the people at the bottom of the food chain like the Brexit folk in England, or the voters in the USA, DO NOT WANT THEIR LIBERALISM. We already know we’re NOT tolerated, we’re DISPOSABLE.

Andrei said...

"We already know we’re NOT tolerated, we’re DISPOSABLE."

I believe the term used during the campaign for people like you and I Rosemary was "DEPLORABLE" as in "the deplorables"

Shawn and Glen and others who comment are also clearly among that group

Brendan McNeill said...

The rise of a ‘Donald Trump’ and the reason for his electoral success have been increasingly self-evident for a decade.

We the (conservative) voters are utterly tired of being told we are on the wrong side of history, that not only are our views racist, illiberal and wrong, they don’t even deserve a hearing.

To quote Peter Hitchens:

“To suggest to them (Guardian and NY Times readers) that mass immigration is risky and destabilising; to urge that the married family needs to be supported, not dissolved; to say that education needs more rigour, discipline and selection; to advocate the deterrent punishment of crime rather than its indulgence; to suggest that pornography and swearing may damage civility; to object to attempts to abolish national borders and sovereignty;  to say that violent liberal intervention in foreign countries is dangerous and wrong… any or all of these things has earned me a patronising sneer, a lofty glance, a dismissal as if I am some sort of troglodyte who has got into the room by mistake.”

Trump is a flawed human being – welcome to the club, but one thing he is not, and that’s a member of a neo-Marxist globalist elite for whom national borders and sovereign states are an anachronism to be deconstructed at every turn.

I don’t know if he is able to ‘drain the swamp’ at Washington, but there will be plenty of Americans who will be cheering his every attempt.

Trump may be an indication that America is under God's judgement, (I don't know) but it's people have decided that life under a Clinton hegemony would have been much, much worse.

Europe will be next..

Glen Young said...

Hi Andrei, It all been rather surreal,what with Hillarious being so offended by Trump's language and yet taking a couple of the lewd and foul mouthed performers along with her to get an extra five votes.Apparently,they were paid millions for their gigs.How wonderful to have Uncle George (whiter than driven snow) SOROS,splashing millions of dollars around and not expecting anything in return.What a model of utter generosity he is !!!!! Us 'deplorables', are too selfish and self centered to understand the need for UN imposed socialism and sustainability,so that the 'third world DICTATORS' can become as rich as Uncle George.It is indeed a sad day that the Evangelical white males were too deplorable, to seize the chance to be led by Hillarious into Uncle George's Brave New ORDER. Hillarious would have been laughing all the way to the bank;not that she ever gained personally out of her dedicated civil service. But before we anoint another certain
'First Lady' as the first female President,let's google Michael La Vaughn Robinson.

Father Ron said...

Lots of rallies against El Trumpo - post-election. Not many celebrations. Not too different from the Brexit reaction. No time now for regrets. People get the Government they vote for - and deserve. I wonder how many pro-Trumpers here in N.Z. would just love to go and try their luck in post-election USA? Just askin'.

BrianR said...

Oh give over, Ron - people without jobs and families to look after always do that drama queen stuff - when they're not sitting in Starbucks. Real men and women go to work (if they have a job) to feed their families and pay their bills. Meanwhile, this on America's new Vice Prsident Mike Pence - stuff to bring joy to the heart of every Catholic and Evangelical:

"Pence and Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.[222][223] During Pence's service in the House, his family lived in Arlington, Virginia, when Congress was in session.[7] Michael Pence's son is a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.[224]

Pence was raised in a Catholic family, served as an altar boy, and attended parochial school.[2][225] He became a born-again Christian in college, while a member of a nondenominational Christian student group, and identified his freshman year—and specifically "a Christian music festival in Asbury, Kentucky, in the spring of 1978"[226] referring to the Icthus Music Festival at then Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky—as the moment he made a "commitment to Christ."[2][225] After that point, Pence continued to attend Mass (where he met his wife) and was a Catholic youth minister.[225] Pence called himself Catholic in a 1994 news piece, although by 1995, he and his family had joined an evangelical megachurch, the Grace Evangelical Church.[2][225] In 2013, Pence said his family was "kind of looking for a church."[2] He has described himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," and as "a born-again, evangelical Catholic."[2][225] Pence is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs."

Anonymous said...

Peter, I'm happy to accept Vice President-elect Pence as a blessing not a judgement. Mr Pence is governor of Indiana, legally educated and an evangelical Christian. He might not appeal to college age rioters, but they'll grow out of it. On the positive side, there is the real chance of a conservative Supreme Court and the reversal of manufactured constitutional rights.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. The protesters, who call themselves Leftists, are angry about an election where the working classes in the rust belt, who have been battered into grinding poverty and unemployment by global capitalism, chose a man who is going to invest in infrastructure to put them back to work, instead of a women who was financed and backed by Wall Street, bankers, and billionaire capitalists like George Soros.


Perhaps their a wee bit confused? :)

BrianR said...

What on earth have NY 'Leftists' got to do with the working classes?
I'm sure these tender souls have never dug a ditch, driven a truck, ground metal mouldings, picked up sheep dags, unblocked a drain or laboured on a building site in their lives.

Well, yes, since you ask, I have. (blushes modestly while whistling The Internationale)

Peter Carrell said...

It is not clear to me, Brian, that a certain Donald Trump has ever done any of those jobs either!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
I think we could follow Obama, Clinton and Trump's graciousness over the last few days and get some names correct in comments ...

This, from you, redacted,

"Ron, do you mean rallies or riots??? These 'over inflated puffballs of snow flakes' just can't accept that they lost the election.They are trying to stop the 'people' from getting the Government they VOTED FOR.They don't stand for DEMOCRACY,or else,they would accept the election results.I would more than suspect that they are just agitators funded by George Soros; who can't believe that the billions he pumped into Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign; did not buy the election.Is there not a slight irony in multi billionaires trying to foist socialism onto the Nation;along with the UN's ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT,and it's wealth sharing 20/30 Agenda.

Barry Obama's eight year stint in the BIG HOUSE is coming to an end and Uncle George wanted to ensure that the implementation of his Saul Alinsky type program of social organization;continues in safe hands.So Obama goes to the UN, Hillary goes to the BIG HOUSE and Uncle George clips every ticket that passes by.NICE ONE UNCLE GEORGE.How could he lose,everybody, including the MAIN STREAM MEDIA was getting their cut of his largess.

But there is always one kid in the playground who won't play ball.He had the
cheek and tenacity to come from left field and spoil Soros' game. One does not do that in polite circles;but this kid was not polite,he was a brash loud mouth .There was another kid who had some emails and started telling people about them.And guess what? Eight years of lies and deceit were exposed.It all starts to make real sense if you google Michael La Vaughn Robinson.

Anonymous said...

Apologies, but "Perhaps their a wee bit confused?" should have read 'Perhaps THEY'RE a wee bit confused?'

Massive move week + exhaustion + up too late. :)

Anonymous said...

The protesters are a very small group of people, mostly university students with heads full of cultural Marxist twaddle, and the violent rioting club known as Black Lives Matter. Not remotely representative of Americans regardless of who they voted for.

They should take a cue from Obama, who, to his credit, has been very gracious given that the outcome means the total dismantling of his policies.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

And it is still gracious for other commentors to call PRESIDENT-elect Donald Trump: El Trumpo?????

BrianR said...

Wee new watt yew wear sane, shorn.

(Spell cheque is grate!)

Andrei said...

This is epic and I think this man may well be the next AG which would be brilliant

Anonymous said...


Thought I'd stop by to see what was going on at ADU. Guess I'll quietly slip away again.

Have fun folks. Enjoy pouring scorn on your fellow Christians.

Tim Chesterton

Rosemary Behan said...

"Enjoy pouring scorn on your fellow Christians."

For years my fellow Christians have poured scorn on me .. but strangely, all I want to do is try and save them from their stupidity.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
Goerge Soros is a rich man and I don't want to be sued by him, so I am omitting a sentence or so from your comment below because I am not personally sure of the veracity thereof ... besides which I think you draw a long bow re George Soros' relationships: hasn't he been pursuing his political agenda for a long time before becoming related by marriage to HRC?

""We find that God does not so much visit us with punitive earthquakes as refuse to rescue us from what we have foolishly chosen to do." Peter.

God's Judgments are both RIGHTEOUS and MERCIFUL.God is not a 'king hitter nor does He knife us in the back.When he writes those WORDS on the wall,only the arrogantly foolish would be surprised.His message is there plain as day;--It is called the Scriptures.It is the HOLY WRIT of the ONE,HOLY,CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH.It is GOD'S AUTHORITATIVE WORD to all mankind.It is the MISSION of the Church to preserve the Holy Writ in IT'S PURITY and PROCLAIM IT,in IT'S FULLNESS.It is the Ministry of the Church to be both Christ's Priests and Prophets.

As liberal America started to foolishly worship the world and things of it; was this being pushed by those in the 'rust belt'. Did they say to their politicians,we want you to go Washington D.C.and become crooked and greedy??
NO,the average person became a victim of a corrupt political machine which made their votes purposeless. Did the Episcopal Church of America fulfill Her God given PROPHETIC function and speak out against it???? It was to busy conforming to man made ideologies and philosophies. God wrote on the Cathedral wall and raised up some men to maintain the true Faith. I believe they are called The Anglican Church of North America.

More recently, God wrote large,His warning on the wall of the White House. He does not to destroy every God fearing American person;but boy, does he want them to clean up their act.. He raised up a group of men and women,and brought them together to give the American people a choice.Like Moses,the leader was not a perfect man.Had not Moses killed a man?? But God knew that this man had to be one tough cookie.He had to have the mongrel to stand up to all that the evil forces would throw at him and not fold.These chosen men and women were to represent the polar side of that global, monopolist,self serving one percenters who are dedicated to world domination.In his speech to the last rally,Mike Pence,stated that as a Nation and as individuals,America and Americans had to go back to God,repent and seek his forgiveness and humbly ask Him to heal their Nation. The Nation has Spoken;
they heeded the writing on the wall,and like the prodigal son;have gone home.

But ,multi-billionaire George Soros, can not accept that the people did not vote for his [] program of UN imposed socialism and one world government;implemented by Obama and then to be fronted up by H.R.Clinton..And who is this George Soros??? He is Chelsea Mezinsky nee Clinton,uncle by marriage.She of course is married to George's nephew Marc Mezinsky. Marc's father, Edward,went to jail for fraud and still owes 9.4 million to his victims. Soros in the meantime is []. They are certainly a gracious bunch.
Mum,can I bring them home for tea tonight and to meet you?? No,son,not tonight.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
As moderator I am torn between not wanting to suppress views freely aired her, not wanting to be sued, and not wanting to foster unwarranted critiques.

Tim Chesterton's words above are a salutary reminder that I may not have gotten the balance right in letting through some pretty critical comments above.

So, for the rest of this thread, any critical remarks about the following people will mean your comment is simply deleted, without me going to the effort to redact it:

- any member of the (extended) Clinton family
- any member of the Obama family
- any member of the extended Trump family
- another commenter here.

The great question of the election is not whether X was a crook or Y is a charlatan, the question is what is God up to, what should we do to love and serve one another and to love, serve and worship God. Try to aim comments in those directions, please.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter.

For myself God is calling me to take an extended break from both politics and social media. Over the last weeks I have divested myself from a whole lot of blogs, and most recently deleted my Facebook account. Social media can play a positive role, but it can also be distorting of reality, and lead us to miss the truth that where God is working is often in our real world daily lives with real flesh and blood people.

Politics too has it's place and importance, but it's secondary at best to the work of the Kingdom, which more often than not has nothing to do with politics, especially in this secular age. And it too can be distorting, leading us to miss what is happening right in front of us while we are focused on the world "out there".

So ADU is the last social media I am connected to, but as I say, God is calling......

God bless all.

Anonymous said...

Peter, I'm not an especially conservative evangelical, but I find it important to try to understand what thoughtful conservative evangelicals are saying in the USA at the moment. In this respect I've been particularly impressed with the writings of Russell Moore, director of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Russell I'm sure is a heartfelt conservative for whom the Republican Party would be his natural home, but he is very unhappy with the direction in which Mr. Trump has been taking it. He is also very unhappy with the way in which the old guard of the religious right has politicized the Christian faith.

This piece he wrote for the Washington Post is especially good I think:

He also gave an excellent 'Erasmus Lecture' for First Things a few weeks ago; it's up on YouTube and is well worth listening to.

Al Mohler (hardly a leftist) is another example of a conservative Christian who is dismayed by the way Mr. Trump has co-opted the religious right.

One thing Moore said a few months ago that I find very poignant is that he has stopped using the term 'evangelical' to describe himself because of all the stereotypes that word brings up in the minds of non-Christian people. He refers to himself now as a 'Gospel Christian' (see

Tim Chesterton

Anonymous said...

Rosemary responded to my remark 'Enjoy pouring scorn on your fellow-Christians' with 'For years my fellow Christians have poured scorn on me .. but strangely, all I want to do is try and save them from their stupidity.'.

Well, maybe so, but my parents always used to say 'Two wrongs don't make a right'. I always thought that the biblical response was 'a soft answer turns away wrath' and 'Do not return evil for evil'. But maybe I was just being stupid?

Tim Chesterton

Andrei said...

Writing op-eds in the Washington Post is a political act. The Washington Post has been hostile to republicans since I don't know when, before Nixon in any case.

They will seek out evangelicals who are unhappy with Donald Trump to promote their agenda - it's politics and evangelicals who play along are doing so as a political act - any criticism of other evangelicals for engaging in politics is a case of "pot meet kettle"

As Christians we live in the world and politics is part of our world - if a Christian doesn't like that they can always go and live in a monastery

And like it or not in most States of the union there were just four names on the ballot with only two real prospects - for most voters a binary choice and you are never going to get your perfect candidate - never!

Donald Trump won the election - in a democracy you accept that. In four years the voters can give him another term or they can say "You're Fired! - that is how it works

This sour grapes from the media and others because their favoured choice didn't prevail is repulsive - it happens every time a Republican wins but has been far more extreme this cycle

If you live in a democracy sometimes your candidate looses

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; as the Latin poet Horace said; carpe diem, seize (for gen Ys grab) the day. Our God provides ever increasing opportunities for us to serve. N

Jean said...

It will be a wait and see how the incongruity between how Trump has lived his life (e.g. making money by outsourcing to other countries and using migrant labour; the seeking of self glorification, and taking sexual liberties) and the promises on which he campaigned (e.g. jobs for working class America; upholding Christian ethics) play out.

Can a leopard change his spots, or more importantly will he now he is President.

BrianR said...

"So, for the rest of this thread, any critical remarks about the following people will mean your comment is simply deleted, without me going to the effort to redact it:

- any member of the (extended) Clinton family
- any member of the Obama family
- any member of the extended Trump family
- another commenter here"

- Seriously, Peter, you are NOT in the slightest risk of being sued by George Soros or anyone else for the words others say. The fact that you run the bog does not make you liable for libel (and don't tell a lie, Bill -- oops, I did it again! :) ) - unless the words are yours.
And if you can't talk about these persons, their probity and fitness to serve - then what on earth is the point of running a thread on it?
Courage, mon vieux!

And Tim - Vice President Pence doesn't seem to have made it on your radar. And if things get really bad - you can always go to Canada.
(OK, that was a bad joke - like Justin Trudeau.)

Glen Young said...

God is doing what He has always done;expecting us humans to exercise proper stewardship over His Creation.We don't even seem to be able to understand His Revelation as the type of leaders we should elect in His Church;let alone in public life.In making our choice of leader,if x being a crook and y being a charlatan is not of prime concern,what is??? For all his other faults,Trump stopped America from being taken over by the UN one world government and its false religion, which would have outlawed Christianity.

So,Peter,in bowing out of this site;thank you for the chance to blog but I also have other interests to pursue.

Father Ron said...

A WORD from the Word-Made-Flesh:

"They will know you're my disciples by your LOVE" - not by your capacity for making money - from whomever.

Pageantmaster said...

Peter+ - My comment in June on another post on your site has come back to haunt me with its prescience:
I did not at that stage envisage what has come to pass, unlike the Simpsons or Back to the Future which both foresaw a Trump Presidency.

The future is not our to see, well unless like Iranian Pastor Abedini you have some of the wierd stuff:

God is in charge, and we just have to trust Him and to pray.

Andrei said...

Fr Ron @November 11, 2016 at 11:41 PM

The Clintons are not exactly poor either

It costs a lot of money to become President and the Clinton campaign spent twice the amount Donald Trump did $450.6 million compared to $238.9 million for Donald Trump

But Donald Trump did not invoke God in his campaign - I have no idea what his religious views or affiliations are he didn't campaign on them

Hillary Clinton did invoke her Methodist upbringing and did campaign in churches (something I regard as wrong - if any politician of any persuasion campaigned in my church I'd walk out but it wouldn't happen)

The intersection of church and politics is a tight rope - but my political views are entwined my religious ones, they have to be

The big issue we are grappling with in the Western world at the beginning of the 21st century is the matter of National identity, the questions being asked what is the soul of our nation? Who are we as a people?

To live in a functioning society we have to be unified to cooperate with each other and answering those questions is vital to our civilization persisting

It was Armistice Day yesterday - did you acknowledge it? That could be a unifying event, remembering and honouring

This is also why we as Christians should resist Easter trading because Easter is part of our Christian Heritage that we should seek to preserve as part of our National identity

We should seek to have the Church as part of our National life, though this is resisted by our elites - for this to happen we have to live our life in the Church and convince our fellow citizens to do likewise - true democracy starts at the grassroots, you and I - not in now smoke free backrooms with political operatives balkanizing us into "communities" and using identity politics to divide and conquer

As an outsider I see the Anglican Church as the natural expression of Christianity in these Islands but it is confused and Peter's blog seems to exist to try and resolve that confusion and this is why I read and comment here, hopefully to contribute to that process in a helpful way

Glen Young said...

Well said Andrei. Peter knows why I came onto this site;it was to contend for the Doctrine,history and Constitution (1857) of the ACANZP. Then along came this thread.And the two have much in common.

I have tried,in EZ.33 and 1 Cor.14:8 fashion, to sound a clear note of warning;that, the choice which the American voters faced on Nov.8th and which the Anglican Communions faces; is as to whether we wander further into the wilderness or do we turn back.The choice for the American people, was as to whether they accepted the Obama de-Constitutionlizing and de-Nationalizing of America or whether they claimed their rights back and rebuilt the Nation.It was not a simple vote between Trump and Clinton;but between two diametrically opposed ideologies--between Nationalism and extreme Globalism, based on the UN's one world government with open trade and open borders --between religious freedom or having to worship the god of the UN.

It is the same for the ACANZP. Someone did not wake up one morning and say,"I think this is really what the Scriptures mean".The choice for us is to either remain true to what God has REVEALED or accept the Church conforming to the social programming of the UN's humanistic secularism.

Hopefully,as the American people claimed their NATION back from the ruling elite,we shall claim Christ's Church back from them to.

Brendan McNeill said...


I’m about to let you into a secret. I happen to know how Trump was elected, and it has nothing to do with what you have heard on the media, or written (yet) in blogs.

In my humble Anglican Church, some weeks prior to the election in a time of congregational prayer, a church member posted a series of photographs onto the front screen which they used as an aid to lead us in prayer, accompanied by their uttering only the words ‘Dear God’.

The first showed riot police doing their job. - ‘Dear God’

Followed by others…. - 'Dear God'

Eventually a photo of Donald Trump flashed up on the screen accompanied by the words - ‘DEAR GOD!!!’

So, now you know. The fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman availeth much. James 5:16

Be careful how you pray. :-O

Anonymous said...

Peter et al,

A nation cannot become the Kingdom by voting well. And because no nation is the Kingdom's perfect realisation, the Lord judges every nation. All are judged, all of the time.

So the Lord is always judging America, ofcourse. Voting by the American people, whether good or bad, does not change that. And there is little evidence that minds have changed in this election season.

But if the way that Americans voted Tuseday is of any other serious interest, let it be known that about 60,840,000 have voted for Clinton and 60,266,000 for Trump. The change of administration in progress reflects the distribution of those votes to the fifty states that actually elect the President in the Electoral College.

Bowman Walton

Anonymous said...

Hi Brendan,

It's good to hear from you again. And on a new topic.

The election just past is looking like a mash-up of the elections of 2000* and 2008**. Because the American electorate is almost evenly divided, victory is going to the candidates who are best able to get their natural constituency to the polls, *provided* that this constituency is in the right states for an Electoral College majority. Like Barack Obama, Donald Trump inspired an unusually high turnout, and like George W Bush, his supporters were in the right states to secure an Electoral College majority despite being too few to win the popular vote.

The billion dollar questions are: (a) How much did each of the several Trump attributes contribute to the amount, fervour, and location of his support?; (b) Can other candidates, especially Republican candidates, succeed by replicating these traits?

On the face of it, it seems that Trump's several departures from conservative Republican orthodoxy enabled his rapport with the voters who supported him with such zeal. Thus on one hand the Republican donor class will now have to explain to other candidates why they must oppose social programs on which even Republicans depend. On the other hand, Democrats will now have to convince rural and working class voters that they respect working people who dwell in *fly over country*. Neither will easily succeed.

You may have seen pundits argue that the important divide in American politics is not left-right but inland/rural-coastal/urban. The Trump campaign seems to have nudged at least some Republicans from defending a weird secular religion of Conservatism to defending the interests of their alienated, mostly white, working poor constituents. They will not agree with Democrats, but they may not be as polarised from Democrats as the ideologues for whom it is 1980 and will always be 1980.

The clearest sign of things to come may be that the President-elect has already qualified his campaign pledge to seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act. His language is flexible-- reform, repeal with replacement, preservation of popular features-- but the triangulation is clear.

Bowman Walton

* In 2000, Albert Gore won the greatest number of votes cast by ordinary voters, but George W. Bush won a majority of votes in the Electoral College. In 2016, Hillary Clinton has likewise won the popular vote for President, but because so many of the votes for her were cast in a few states, they did not help her to secure an Electoral College majority.

**In 2008, Barack Obama was elected because the election turnout for John McCain was lower than had been hoped, while the African-American turnout for Obama reached a new high. Conversely, although Donald Trump received fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, he was able to rally the support of white working class men in key states.

BrianR said...

Actually it's fifty states plus the District of Columbia. And the election of the US President - just like the election of governments in the British Commonwealth - has *never been based on who gains the national plurality of votes (though they usually correspond). Gore also outpolled Bush in 2000. The Constitutional Fathers did not want a direct election of the President, leaving it to the States how to allocate their electoral votes. Theoretically they could opt to allocate their votes to whoever wins the national plurality - but no state has so decided. So the US really has 51 elections going on. What would be the point of having a Federal system if a Democratic supermajority in heavily Hispanic California and heavily black and Hispanic New York could always over-rule the red states?
'The change of administration' reflects in fact the failure of Clinton to hold onto Obama's vote in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan - for reasons that are well known now. Six million fewer votes, I believe.
Personally I would prefer to see candidates fighting EVERY state, not just this tedious battleground states overkill. But now Democrats ignore 'flyover land' and Texas, while Republicans ignore NY and CA. How things have changed since Ronald Reagan's day. If the Presidential election allocated EVs according to the congressional districts, you might see a different kind of election.

Glen Young said...

Peter,I do not know from what cotton wool insulated ivory tower you are viewing the American election from;but I suggest that you (and Bowman?) concentrate on the ACANZP. The Book of Revelations is quite clear that God is also JUDGING His Church.The "Ruling Elite "(General Synod) of the ACANZP,is about as far off the mark, as is the "Ruling Elite" of, not just America,but the rest of the West.It seems,all these Ruling Elite including TEC wish to bow their knee before the "false god of the UN's one world government.

Good on TRUMP for declaring that he is re-locating the American Embassy to Jerusalem as one of his priorities.The UNESCO has just passed 10 resolutions
stating that Israel has no historical connections to Jerusalem or the Mount.

Perhaps,if you had not been so grossly intrigued with Bonhoeffer's relationships,you may have noticed on of his profound statements:"If you drive the Jews out of your Nation,you also drive CHRIST out, because He was a JEW".What has Europe done by allowing millions of Muslims into their Nations.This is the second time in my lifetime that the Germany has effectively done this. Good on the English for wanting out of the EU.

Peter,I challenge you to start expounding your Scriptural AUTHORITY for the statement you are making,along those on the Unity of the Church being more important than PROTECTING THE PURITY OF HER HOLY WRIT.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters,
All your comments are appreciated!
Thank you for the encouraging comments and for the challenging comments.
I think I should leave politics in general, worldly terms for a while.
The next post will be on ... apostolicity.

BrianR said...

Thinking of the real earthquake and praying for you all (and my sister and her children in Chch).
God bless you and keep you safe.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Brian
It was an unnerving experience here in Chch- a gentle quake BUT it went on for three minutes which (compared to most quakes 2011-2012) is a very long experience.

Worst hit is North Canterbury, Kaikoura, Marlborough.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Bowman

Thank you for the welcome, and great to have a change of subject, albeit both speak to some extent to our understanding of what is true, what is good, and how to live faithfully before God.

I believe the core issue in the US was not the lost of jobs, the economy, or the relative corruption surrounding both candidates, but the loss of culture.

There is a deep sense in the west that we are losing our cultural identity through wholesale immigration, both legal illegal. This does not mean that conservatives are racist (as claimed by those on the left) but that rather we are concerned about the preservation of those cultural and (yes religious norms) that make us New Zealanders, or Americans, or English, or even European.

Dreyer has a great article on this today.


Father Ron said...

I'm now much more understanding of the benefits of MMP - the electoral system that suits us best in Aotearoa, New Zealand. If this system had been in place in the U.S.A there might have been a rather different result.

Praying for you Americans!

Anonymous said...

Yes Brendan,

I agree that fear for their cultural identity has motivated many voters, especially the non-liberals in those "battleground states" that Brian just mentioned (and in which I have just spent the past several months). And although I understand the opposing conviction that this fear must surely manifest racism, I think that it is much simpler to see this fear as a reasonable attachment to commonalities of language, law, custom, morality, and social habit that enable ordinary people to transact the business of life with greater success. That is, ordinary folks are not rejecting people unlike themselves, but they are emphatically rejecting the idea that markets and governments should be reshaping the ground rules of their own daily lives to make full participation easier for newcomers and marginals.

The Rod Dreher article that you link does explain this rejection well, but Peter's readers will get a still clearer understanding of it from the essay by psychologist Jonathan Haidt that Dreher quotes--

Haidt naturally explains nationalism in terms of the moral psychology that I have mentioned here in past threads. And although no single article from economics makes the point as well, several economists have begun to try to quantify the exchange value of commonalities that enable trade by enabling the trust that enables transactions to happen.

Anonymous said...


Those liberals who see everything through the binocular lenses of Selma and Stonewall have struggled to assimilate either theory to their selective yet paradigmatic memories. Their faulty folk psychology of morality-as-sentiment is the culprit. Social changes that they have understood in manichean terms as an uncompromising and unconditional triumph of the“good” sentiment of righteous “egalitarians” over the “bad” sentiments of wicked “suprematists” have in fact been a gradual renegotiation of life-practises where a bit more equality here and there has been seen to pose little or no risk to the common goods of authority, discipline, and solidarity. Reform movements have succeeded only to the degree that a society's trusted insiders have weighed the risks of incremental changes against their benefits, and have concluded that the costs of changing mores are worthwhile. The Jesus of the synoptic gospels was one of those trusted insiders.

Conversely, no matter how righteous or charismatic, reformers hit the wall at the precise point where this negotiation breaks down. Is the gospel served by the social marginalisation of gay couples? No, it isn't. Does that mean that they should be able to attend church without the comments of a self-appointed morals police? Yes, we have pastors. Well then, does that mean that we should change our theology of marriage? No, we also ground our lives in a scriptural vision of the reconciliation of the sexes in Christ. Insofar as it actually works, reform depends as much on the discerning traditionalism of Tevye the Milkman as it does the liberal dreams of his daughters.

Anyway, the now-empowered *alt right* would go further to argue that, especially in a democracy, the state should be conserving those ground rules for all as a matter of social justice. From their perspective, if unity is the problem, acquired proficiency in what cultural praxis we collectively have is the solution, not the thinning of that praxis to a few transcendent rights. To progressives who believe that the only good America lies in a future created by perpetual reform, they reply that the only America real to the electorate is the one on which the vast plurality have already based their lives.

The patriotic peasants with pitchforks see a fundamental continuity from the thinning of their local economies by the trade deals of elite free-traders to the thinning of their families by the foreign wars of elite state builders to the thinning of their social commonalities by the rights absolutism of elite cosmopolitans. Meanwhile, the talented technocrats with tablets live by a saga whose heroes are all disruptive change-makers, and that one-sided saga both obscures this continuity from view and complicates it on the ground. For voters of both tendencies, election days, like wedding days, mark the end of all their dreams and the beginning of their real lives.


Bowman Walton

BrianR said...

Um, could you say that again in English?

Anonymous said...

Father Ron, thanks for your observation about MMP.

MMP could not be introduced in the United States as a whole without an amendment to our pre-partisan Constitution. But its provision for a second vote on party preference clearly addresses the paradox that most voters choose Democrats for the House of Representatives yet nevertheless get a House controlled by Republicans. Republican *gerrymandering* probably affects about 15 seats of the 435, but the main reason the American people cannot control "the people's house" is the tendency for Democrats to live in or near cities and for Republicans to live in or near rural areas. That geographical distribution of partisans makes it very hard to draw fair boundaries for House districts. Because states amend and even replace their constitutions from time to time, proposals like MMP may first be considered at that level.

Bowman Walton

Anonymous said...

"Peter,I challenge you to start expounding your Scriptural AUTHORITY for the statement you are making..."

Yes, Glen,

Our Lord has been judging his Church since his Ascension. We celebrate that less than we should.

On Revelations, you have probably already explained your exegesis of the book and linked it to the contemporary topics you mention. So that I can better follow your comment above, could you link to that exegesis here?


Bowman Walton

BrianR said...

"Republican *gerrymandering* probably affects about 15 seats of the 435, but the main reason the American people cannot control "the people's house" is the tendency for Democrats to live in or near cities and for Republicans to live in or near rural areas."

But it's up to each state to draw its own congressional districts. If Democrat-run states don't re-draw accordingly, how can they blame Republicans? The shape of congressional districts is often weird, but the courts often have a say in them and include issues that couldn't appear in other nations, such as - yes - 'gerrymandering' seats for 'minorities' - ensuring, for example, that a convicted felon has been a Congressman for Florida for a long time. But surely the real issue is that in an non-Presidential election year, barely 40% of people bother voting.

Anonymous said...

Postscript: A friend of mine recently waded into these deep waters using the work of Richard Bauckham--

Bowman Walton

BrianR said...

I think you will find there is Democrat gerrymandering in places like Maryland and probably Massachusetts. That Republicans now control the majority of state houses (and even the NY Senate) will limit Dem scope for action. The Dems evidently need to win the state legislatures but outside NY, Mass, Maryland, Illinois and California this does not seem easy to do.
The Voting Rights Act mandates "minority" representation in Congress, so strange districts get drawn to meet this racist (ie. based on race) requirement.
And yet I am old enough (and a recovering political junkie) to know that in the 1960s the Democrats had an unassailable lead in both Houses of Congress. How did they lose it? I imagine it was their own Voting Rights Act, which turned Dixiecrats into Republicans.

Father Ron said...

Here is a very interesting update on the political situation in the U.S. :

Andrei said...

"Here is a very interesting update on the political situation in the U.S. :"

That article is neither interesting nor enlightening Fr Ron - it just an example of confirmation bias

Watching the News you might think the USA is going up in flames as anger grows over the Trump presidency but of course it isn't

In Boise Idaho, Topeka Kansas and Lafayette Louisiana and many other places besides there is no unrest and life goes on as before.

Looking at the electoral map you see that the support for Clinton came from the North East coastal states and the West Coast while the hinterland went overwhelmingly for Trump - the Hinterland known derisively as "flyover country" because the elites fly over it as they move between their enclaves on the East and West coasts.

What ever

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Ron

Thanks for sharing that link. It’s useful to read a variety of perspectives even if you don't always agree with them. I have just finished reading J.D Vance’s recent book ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ – A memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.

Vance grew up in a highly dysfunctional Hillbilly family that eventually moved to Ohio. Without giving away the entire story, he talks about life growing up with his addict mother and older sister. However, it was his gun toting, Bible reading, and equally dysfunctional grandparents that provided some (crazy) stability and unconditional love and protection in his life.

He eventually left school, joined the Army. Served four years in the Marines, did a tour of duty in Iraq, and eventually went to Ohio State University, and then on to success at Yale.

He talks about his life at Yale being so completely different to his Hillbilly upbringing. Literally a world apart with different mores, family backgrounds and expectations. He reflects upon the damage that living in fear and abuse does to children growing up and how this experience was common to his friends and neighbours; how change has been incredibly difficult. About how he was the first person in his extended family circle to go to University and how that came about.

He also talks about spending time with his Pentecostal dad as a boy – his dad became a Christian after his parents split up. He held the young earth, and pending rapture views similar to the article you referenced Ron, albeit Vance acknowledges there were redemptive elements to this family’s life and Church community.

All though Vance later rejects this expression of faith, as the story unfolds we discover that at Yale he begins to re-explore Christianity and it would appear comes back to faith – presumably a different expression than his birth father. He had many ‘fathers’ through his home while growing up and was adopted by one of them, albeit the relationship with his mum didn’t last, just like all the others.

He concludes that if the family is broken there is virtually nothing Government policy can do to remediate the situation. Something we could all note. He does say that it is possible for Government to put their ‘thumb on the scales’ to help those on the fringes, which I suspect is something that we would also concur with, although we may debate how heavy the thumb should be.

It’s an important book because it brings into sharp focus the ‘different worlds’ that go to make up America today. At one level you would think those poor communities would vote Democrat, but seemingly they don’t, at least not in overwhelming numbers. He did say that his grandfather who worked in a steel mill only voted once in his life. He supported the Democrats politically, but at his only visit to the ballot box he voted for Regan because he didn’t want that (bleep bleep) Mondale to be President.

As others have reflected, if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic nominee, then he may have been president elect today and not Donald Trump. It seems the God fearing gun toting Hillbillies and their children recognised something of themselves in Trump that they couldn’t see in either Walter Mondale or Hillary Clinton.

BrianR said...

Yes, we all recall how shocking were the outbursts of arson, shooting, lynching and rioting across Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas in November 2008 when Obama was elected.

Oh hang on ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Grandfather Brendan and Father Ron,

Both narratives are worth reading. I prefer the Vance one to the Hochschild one, but so far as they go, both are sound where they overlap. Many in the interior do perceive disrespect from the coasts. They do fear that the Democratic nation-building project is constructing a nation with no place for them. And indeed the whole idea of a society being perpetually reformed from above does sound to Red voters like a society being unequally divided between aristocratic reformers and peasants to be reformed. Hochschild detects but understates the paradox that liberals who mean to expand social equality usually seek to do so through a state that their beneficiaries perceive as the engine of their less than equal status.

Vance's personal narrative seems better grounded than Hochschild's phenomenology of religion in Louisiana. I have met people like Vance fairly often, and readers of Ross Douthat and David Brooks have already encountered plausible interpretations of America's Red inland similar to his. But I have to force the imagination rather hard to believe anything like Hochschild's eschatology of Trump.

And there are obstacles to generalising from Hochschild's Louisiana to the rest of the Red voters. Theda Skocpol's careful studies of the Tea Party in Massachusetts explains why it also flourishes in rich liberal states. Exit polls showed that many once-enthusiastic Obama supporters ultimately voted for Trump.

A hypothesis-- Insofar as American evangelicalism reflects the "democratization of religion" chronicled by many historians it also marks practitioners of an *art of not being governed* that originated in the ancestral experience of Scotch-Irish (aka Border English) settlers who disdained rule from London.

A corollary-- Trump's arguments resonate with evangelicals, not because they deploy religious language or symbols, but because they depend on suspicion of the loyalty and competence of elites that have been embedded in their region's evangelical culture.

A speculation-- Red : Blue :: Borderlands : East Anglia :: Ottoman : Habsburg.

The contrast between views of the state in America's inland and coastal regions seems to reflect the contrasting experiences of the Borderlands and East Anglia as the modern English state took shape. If that is the case, then it should bear comparison to the apparently analogous contrast between the experiences of bureaucracy in Ottoman and Habsburg lands, and between differing views of the state that persist to the present day in countries that straddle the Ottoman/Habsburg frontier.

Bowman Walton