Thursday, July 11, 2024

The difference between Christian Nationalism and Christianity

  CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM:  Our country is blessed.  It's manifest destiny.  Our ways are superior.   Our constitution is divine.  Our people first.  God chose US.

 CHRIST (to all nationalities):  Love your neighbour.  Serve others.  Welcome the stranger.  Care for the sick.  Feed the hungry.  Be a peacemaker.  For God so loved the world.

- posted by Stephen DeVol, Catholic Internet Television Network

Political nationalism can be very dangerous.  We have witnessed the horrors of Hitler's German nationalism, as well as Putin's Russian nationalism.  Unfortunately, religious nationalism can be just as dangerous. It can lead to hatred, violence and strife.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's right-wing Hindu nationalism, for example, has incited anti-Islamic sentiment in India.  By the way, Modi recently provided a warm welcome for war criminal and dictator Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Islamic extremists, such as the 9/11 terrorists, are fueled by Islamic nationalism.  They believe that they are fighting a holy war, despite the fact that their actions are contrary to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

Sadly, many American evangelicals and right-wing Republicans have embraced Christian nationalism.  A prime example is Mike Johnson, speaker of the United States House of Representatives. The ultra-conservative Johnson is closely associated with the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, which advocates Christian dominion over all aspects of society, ending or weakening the separation of church and state.

Mike Johnson

Johnson and his fellow MAGA Republicans support convicted felon Donald Trump for president, a man who consistently violates the major tenets of Christianity, a man who sews hatred for Blacks, women, immigrants, Latinos, homosexuals and the disabled.  In 2015, this same Mike Johnson wrote on Facebook that "Donald Trump . . . lacks the character and the moral center we desperately need again in the White House."  He added, "I am afraid he would break more things than he fixes.  He is a hot head by nature, and that is a dangerous trait to have in a Commander in Chief . . . I just don't think he has the demeanor to be President."

Mike Johnson has certainly changed his tune about Donald Trump now that he is a leading figure in a Republican Party that is under the absolute control of the mob boss former president.  Johnson is also second in line to the presidency after Vice President Kamala Harris.

- Joanne

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thoughts on American Independence Day 2024

"President Joe Biden's debate performance was a disaster. His disjointed responses and dazed look sparked calls for him to drop out of the presidential race.

But lost in the hand wringing was Donald Trump's usual bombastic litany of lies, hyperbole, bigotry, ignorance, and fear mongering. His performance demonstrated once again that he is a danger to democracy and unfit for office.

In fact, the debate about the debate is misplaced. The only person who should withdraw from the race is Trump.

Trump, 78, has been on the political stage for eight years marked by chaos, corruption, and incivility. Why go back to that?"

- Editorial in The Philadelphia Enquirer, June 29, 2024

Dear America.

Today is July 4th, Independence Day in the United States, the day when Americans celebrate the birth of the Republic in 1776.  248 years later, the United States faces one of the greatest challenges in its history.  Someone has emerged who wants king-like powers bestowed upon him.  Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, demands loyalty to himself, not to the United States of America.  This is how authoritarians behave.  Trump's words and deeds are extremely disturbing, a threat to America's freedoms.  If Trump wins the election, he will assume king-like powers, especially after the Supreme Court's decision that would give him immunity in official matters.  

The Supreme Court's decision means that if Trump wins the presidency, the guardrails would be off.  He could order the assassination of a political opponent, organize a military coup, or take a bribe in exchange for a pardon.  It is not difficult to imagine Trump acting in this way if he regains he highest office in the land.  

On his social media platform, Trump has called for a televised military tribunal for former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, and the imprisonment of top elected officials, including President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.  He has decreed that Cheney is guilty of treason because, even though she is a conservative, she has been severely critical of Trump.  She has bravely defended the rule of law.

"The rule of law means in this country that the law is not used as an instrument of the ruler -- the rule of law is supposed to contain the ruler. The Supreme Court just undid that, and it's binding." 

- Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

As a Canadian, I am profoundly worried about the political climate south of the border as the November 5th election draws closer..  I write this out of the utmost concern and consternation.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the 2024 election is the most consequential in American history.  It must be emphasized that the election is much more than just a choice between two men, Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  The real choice is between democracy and rule of law (represented by President Joe Biden) versus chaos and authoritarianism (represented by former president Donald Trump.  Democracy is on the table.  It is on the ballot.  In fact, American Republic has not been so severely threatened since the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.

Donald Trump will not accept the results of the 2024 election unless he wins.  During the recent debate, he was asked if he would respect the peaceful transfer of power if he lost the election.  He replied that he would absolutely accept the results of a fair election.  For Trump, the only fair election is one in which he is victorious.  Otherwise, he considers the election a scam.

It saddens me that there are people in the United States who wear T-shirts proclaiming "I'm voting for the convicted felon."  Since when has being a convicted felon become a source of pride, something to brag about?  Trump brings out the worst in Americans and he gives them a licence to be crude and rude and racist.  He is a cult leader who has convinced many of his followers that he has been sent by God to save America.  


Donald Trump is the biggest whiner and complainer on the planet, constantly portraying himself as a victim.  He's gotten away with far too much for far too long.  If anyone else had done what Trump had done, he or she would be prison right now.  Michael Cohen served prison time for his crime, the same crime that Donald Trump committed.  Isn't justice suppose to be blind to wealth and privilege?

Frankly, the mainstream corporate media are far too easy on Trump, despite the fact that Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and to the world.  Joe Biden is not a racist or a misogynist.  He did not lead an unruly right-wing mob in an attempt to overturn the results of a valid election.  He has not threatened anyone's life the way Trump's mob threatened to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence.  Biden has not given tax cuts to billionaires.  He has not ignored the threat of climate change.  He has not praised dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.  Nor has had tried to keep classified documents for himself/  Nor has he been found liable for sexual abuse and defamation as Trump has in the E. Jean Carroll Case. Nor has he locked up the children of migrants in detention centres, separating them from their parents.  President Biden has not behaved like a mob boss.

Despite all of this, it is Joe Biden who is facing a whirlwind of criticism over his debate performance, some from his own Democratic party.  However, very few Republicans are calling for Donald Trump to step down in the wake of his criminal behaviour.  Many Republicans have criticized Trump in the past, but are standing by him now.  They are only concerned about winning power, not the welfare of their country.

Trump hates the free press whenever he is criticized.  He has called the media "the enemy of the people." in the chilling language of a despot.  However, as the former host of a reality show, Trump understands that the media thrive on controversy and ratings.  He is a showman, a bully and a con man,  and the press falls right into his hands.  

It's Biden who is on the defensive, while Trump seemingly gets away with everything.  For the most part, Trump's delaying tactics have prevented the courts from giving him the justice his deserves.  However, his luck can' last forever.  Sooner or later, he's destined for a reckoning.  This is not to argue that Biden should not be under scrutiny, or that there should no be questions about his performance during the debate, but why hasn't Trump been criticized more strongly for his outright lies during the debate?

Why is Tramp allowed to run for the office of President of the United States after all he has done?  He is a sick man and he is becoming more unhinged every day.  Democracy in America has a strong heartbeat. but is it strong enough to withstand the onslaught from Donald Trump and his supporters?  We'll find out on November 5th.  Meanwhile, I will continue to alert you to the consequences if Trump is returned to the Oval Office.  Don't ever say I didn't warn you.



Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Reflections after Canada Day



A Mari usque ad Mare

"From sea to sea"

Yesterday, on Canada Day, we celebrated the 157th anniversary of this great country.  I spent most of the day at Harbourfront in Toronto.  The weather was beautiful and very temperate.  Thankfully, there were no gusty winds and it was not overly humid.  I  must say, it was heartening, in these troubled times, to witness people of all ages, and a multitude of different races and religions, simply relaxing and enjoying themselves by Lake Ontario.

It's time for Canadians to lighten up.  Those on the far right claim that Canada is broken.  Some on the left claim we have nothing to celebrate because of colonialism and the treatment of the Indigenous peoples.  All we can do is acknowledge the sins of the past, and work toward healing and reconciliation, Once we recognize our failures, three is no choice but to move forward and look to the future.

The Confederation of 1867 was truly remarkable, almost a miracle, considering the odds against it ever happening.  It is an extraordinary achievement that such a vast territory, with disparities in language and tradition, could be united, especially with such a powerful nation to the south.  Yet, it happened.  It happened without war or revolution.  75 years ago, in 1949, we welcomed Newfoundland and Labrador as our 10th province.  In 1999, the territory of Nunavut was established, with an independent Inuit government.

No country is perfect.  Every nation has its blemishes.  However, it isn't helpful to throw away the baby with the bathwater.  Unlike those on the far right, I do not think Canada is broken.  I just it needs some retooling and repairing.  That can't happen over night.  Political opponents must work together to build a better Canada.  They are not enemies.  They have a common purpose.  That purpose is to improve the lives of the people of this country.  Canadians must not allow Trumpism to infect our body politic.  Donald Trump and his supporters have set the tome for a language of hate, especially of immigrants and refugees.

These are uncertain times.  The last few years haven't been easy.  The world has endured a devastating pandemic, only to see the cost of living rise greatly as a result of the COVID virus.  Our wages have not kept pace with inflation.  Nevertheless, Canada has weathered the storm in better shape than most countries.  Whining and complaining is not helpful.  It never solved a problem.  We need to find practical solutions.  I understand that people are hurting, but whining and complaining won't help.  

My grandparents were Italian immigrants from Sicily.  I am proud of my Italian heritage and I am grateful to my grandparents for allowing me to have the life I have in Canada.  We have freedoms and opportunities that people in other countries can only dream about.  This is a vast country, a diverse country from the Arctic Circle to the Great Lake waters.  I am proud to call myself a Canadian.

- Joanne