A ‘Deplorable’ Situation

Fingers have been flailing across keyboards all over the country in response to Hillary Clinton’s statement assigning half of Donald Trump’s supporters to what she called her “basket of deplorables”. Obviously, a lot activity has resulted, so maybe I shouldn’t ignore some of the implications of her comment.

'Deplorables' Basket--Image by Mathers Museum of the World

‘Deplorables’ Basket–Image by Mathers Museum of the World

‘Ists’ and Phobias Everywhere ~
Hillary rattled off a whole list of phobias and ‘ists (like sexist, racist, etc) that basically indicted Mr. Trump’s followers as being ‘phobic’ or averse to anything, or anyone, perceived as different from themselves. Her comment was a mechanism through which a subliminal picture could be instilled in the minds of her audience. She wanted millions of Trump’s supporters to be seen as a class of people identified by a specific set of characteristics. She chose terms designed to portray them as unsophisticated social outliers, willfully ignorant, and trapped in a self-inflicted, close-minded, phobic state. The adjectives she assigned to them suggested a predictable set of responses that look something like this:

  • ‘It’ [the feared thing, idea, behavior, etc] is seen as dangerous, frightening, and personally repulsive. Thus, personal contact with it, or even proximity to it, is unacceptable.
  • The threat it represents to their lifestyle fosters an attitude of ‘protective’ intolerance.
  • Protective intolerance demands rejection of anything and anyone associated with it.
  • That mindset stimulates an emotional recoil from any threat of close contact with it.
  • The fact that it exists at all creates anguish, and to see it openly proliferated fosters a categorical hatred.
  • The fear and hatred evolves into a relentless drive to abolish it altogether, or at least remove all references to it from the public arena.

More Condemnation and Contrast ~
Her words were meant to condemn, of course, but more than that. They were presented to highlight a contrast between her followers and Mr. Trump’s. That sought-after contrast brings to mind a story that Jesus told that also involved a couple of speeches in a public setting, and that highlights the same kind of arrogant condemnation and less-than-subtle contrast. Thus, it fits this situation perfectly. The story is found in Luke 18:9-14, but with apologies, I’m going to relate it in the ‘CAGP’ version—i.e. the ‘Contextually Adjusted Gallagher Paraphrase’. It begins like this:

“Also He [Jesus] told a story directed toward some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and who despised those they saw as repulsive and deplorable…” (Luke 18:9).

The two men featured stand in remarkable contrast, one a very religious, publicly honored Pharisee, and the other a despised, socially rejected tax collector. Both were ostensibly speaking to God, but the Pharisee appeared to be most concerned about the human audience standing by. The tax collector, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to onlookers, and unconcerned about any response they might have. Both speakers presented a self-assessment, but the Pharisee’s judgments went beyond that. The Pharisee speaks as the story continues:

“God, I’m glad that I’m so much better than other people, and You’re so lucky to have me represent You. I don’t hang out with any of those deplorable social rejects who aren’t at my level of sophistication and accomplishment. You know the kind of people I mean, Lord—those self-serving types who think rules don’t apply to them. Why, people like that might even do things like create a ‘charity’ in their own name, then use it as a vehicle for fraudulent personal enrichment, political manipulation, and self-promotion. People like that always find some way to avoid justice by lying their way, or buying their way, out of it. It’s so cool to be in a higher class and protected from guys like that deplorable tax collector over there.”  (Luke 18:11-12) [OK, I know, the Scripture doesn’t really say all that, but I couldn’t help myself.]

The tax collector stayed off to himself and wouldn’t even look up. He just bowed his face to the ground and beat on his chest in anguish over his own sins and failures. Then, through his tears, he pleaded, “God, please have mercy when you look at me—I’m hopelessly deplorable, and I can’t measure up to your standards.” (Luke 18:13)

God’s ‘Basket of Deplorables’ ~
Want some ‘right side up’ thinking about ‘deplorables’? God has ownership of the only ‘basket’ of them that matters, and Hillary doesn’t get to decide who fits in it. By God’s standards, all of us, even the best of us, are not just deplorable, we’re worse—totally and hopelessly unacceptable on our own merit. I belong in God’s ‘basket of deplorables’ right alongside that tax collector, and like him, have cried out in anguish for God’s mercy. Hillary claims to have her own basket, and the criteria for placement in or out of it smacks of arrogance and hypocrisy.

HRC and her ‘progressives’ call others deplorable, while they embrace, advocate, and defend the killing of innocent babies simply because they’re inconvenient. They actively promote every kind of freakish relational and sexual distortion imaginable. They ignore laws, pervert justice, deny truth, and make a mockery of God’s designs, and they find all of that admirable. The very condition they find deplorable, and that activates their own phobic response pattern, is a desire to openly worship Jesus Christ, to honor the Word of God, to openly express personal faith in Him, and to live out that faith freely, as the Constitution allows.

A Way Out of the Basket?
And think about this piece of ‘right side up’ truth—both of those guys were deplorable to God in the beginning, but the tax collector went home in a different basket, not because he was better, but because he confessed what he was, and God took his deplorable sins away. When the Son of God was nailed to that cross, all the consequences that our deplorable lives deserve were emptied on Him.  Now, all who put their faith in Him get moved to another basket–from ‘deplorable’ to ‘delivered’.



© 2016 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

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About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
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17 Responses to A ‘Deplorable’ Situation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great lesson, Ron. How can we get Trump to read this ?


  2. Well said! Excellent post! Thank you, Ron. Must share.


  3. Darlene says:

    Excellent, Ron! I’m going to share this on Facebook!


    • Thanks for the Saturday morning smile, Darlene–always uplifting to hear from you, and I’m glad you guys are out there keeping the Light shining–hope you and the family are all well and thriving.


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