I had planned to post an article about debates and biased moderators this morning, but the revelations dumped on the American populace last night relative to things said by the leading candidates for President compel me to respond differently. The bottom feeding media will see to it that all of us are exposed to the language used by Donald Trump. Most of us find the words and the things they suggest repulsive, and some who even use such language commonly will feign outrage. In light of our attempt to insert more ‘right side up thinking in this upside down world’, I feel compelled to suggest a couple of things to think about as we contemplate what to do about our civic responsibility come November 8.
- Let’s make our response to Donald Trump’s language clear. It is crude and unacceptable for any communication by anyone, anywhere. It is diametrically opposed to this admonition from God, “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good, for the use of edifying…” (Eph. 4:29). Nothing justifies Mr. Trump’s comments. His words should be categorically condemned and summarily rejected.
- That being said, there’s a difference between conversational crudeness and behavior that directly impacts others—a difference between ‘crude’ vs. ‘criminal,’ if you will. While neither is acceptable, one has far less direct, detrimental impact on others. Expressing thoughts or desires about engaging in abusive behavior, for instance, is qualitatively different from committing rape. This is not an attempt to make a bad thing acceptable by finding a worse thing to compare it to. It’s about honestly striving to determine what to do when we’re faced with a limited array of choices.
- Let’s not fail to consider the fact that we live in a culture that has become so grossly hypocritical in its approach to language that accurate analogies are hard to find. Linguistic filth pours out through our airways every day, and the minds of our kids—not to mention their parents—are filled with things far worse than we have heard from Donald Trump. Beyond that, they are reinforced with images that are downright pornographic. The obsession with sex and inter-relational filth has far exceeded what can be clearly described without sounding like we’ve fallen into the cesspool ourselves. To have a media that helps to promote the very kind of evil they pretend to condemn is as sickening as the crude language itself. (Tweet That!)
- It’s important to consider the fact that Donald Trump has been ‘caught’. There is no attempt on his part to try to deny what he said, and even though it was over a decade ago, the news of it is current, and the media will keep it as current as they can for as long as they can. One of the things I know about being ‘caught’ is that it is a marvelously effective motivation for confession and repentance. A very successful businessman told me once that some of his best and most loyal employees were people that he could have been fired. The ones he didn’t fire were those who were openly repentant and didn’t make efforts to try to justify what they had done. Repentance never changes the past, but it can have a profound impact on the future.
- Consider that both of these candidates are, or at least have been, crude and repulsive at times in their ‘private’ lives. The words, and the attitudes associated with them, that are attributed to Hillary Clinton by those who worked around her are as repulsive as anything said by Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean that either is acceptable or that they should be ignored.
- Let’s not forget to consider our own contributions to the problem. The linguistic pollution we live with daily is a byproduct of the moral pollution we facilitate, promote, and willingly support in this nation. The filth that flows freely out of the mouths of our populace (not just our politicians) did not emerge because of failed public policies. It is the direct result of years of anemic, frothy, and polluted messages from our pulpits and spiritually ignorant and complacent occupiers of the pews in front of them.
- Finally, before we mount our holy high horse and become too righteous to vote, let’s remember that we have never voted for a candidate who wasn’t more flawed than we knew. They all craved our vote and we have delivered it, but we have failed to meet their deep need for more than that. They need our prayers, and they need our example.
- Every follower Jesus ever had was a moral failure to some degree. When faced with His greatest need for support, His most outspoken advocate cursed and swore, and denied even knowing him—how hypocritical, how human, and how like us. At an earlier point, Jesus told this very same cursing denier how to treat those who had wronged him. He was instructed to forgive those who confessed their failure and repented, and to do it repeatedly.
We have two Presidential candidates who have displayed language and behavior that is crude and repulsive; only one has been publicly humiliated. (Tweet That!) Trump’s offense, though disgusting, has the potential for destroying nothing more than his own political future. His opponent’s offenses have destroyed not only reputations, but careers, opportunities, relationships, and perhaps even lives. One of the candidates has offered confession and repentance with no justifying excuse. The other has offered denial and repeated justifications accompanied by no indication of contrition or expectation of change. Both are crude. One is criminal. We are faced with a choice. One of them will assume the most powerful position in this land, and arguably, the world. Not to choose is to have chosen retreat. Not to fervently pray, and to live out a better example is to approve what we claim to condemn – on both sides.
MORE TWEETABLES ~
- There’s a difference between being ‘crude’ and being a ‘criminal’! (Tweet That!)
- We never voted for a candidate who wasn’t more flawed than we knew. (Tweet That!)
RELATED POSTS ~
- Allegations, Outrage, and a Grip on the Vital Issues, October 15, 2016
- Crude vs. ‘Criminal’, October 8, 2016
- A Deplorable Situation, September 16, 2016
© 2016 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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