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Saul

January 22, 2017

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways.  Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.’

But the thing displeased Samuel…So Samuel prayed to the Lord.   And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people…for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me…However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them’ “ (1 Sam. 8: 4-7, 9).

When the nation of Israel demanded a king, it got the petulant ruler, Saul – a man who was rash and mercurial; vain and jealous; suspicious and insecure.

The United States has elected a president who is remarkably similar.  Many voters felt they had no other choice.

Economic Motivation

For some, their reasons were economic:

These voters felt overlooked by Washington insiders, their feckless representatives; excluded from the table, when trade deals and treaties were negotiated for the benefit of corporate giants.

These Americans were left out of the equation, when the benefits of technology were calculated – mere numbers on a page, when jobs were outsourced; casualties of globalization, so that fortunes could be made by a select few.

Racist Motivation

“Before the election, I went to Pennsylvania…and sat in the homes of Trump voters…I saw mixed motives and some blind spots…But I also found incredible…decency and honor among the Trump voters.  Many of them were holding their nose to vote for Trump.  They were not endorsing every crazy thing that he said…There are definitely some Trump voters who are energized by…the inflammatory comments against Muslims and Mexican immigrants and black protestors.  But there’s a much larger group that find those comments distasteful, just not disqualifying.”

– Esquire Magazine, “Van Jones Refuses to Give Liberals a Free Pass” by Britt Julious, 12/6/16, http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a51206/van-jones-interview/

The majority of those who voted to elect Pres. Donald J. Trump may not hold racist beliefs [1].  But the campaign disclosed a deeper racial rift among Americans than had previously been acknowledged.

The issue of illegal immigration became a focal point for this.

A ball of wax tying together disparate concerns over terrorism, fiscal irresponsibility, liberal elitism, rapid cultural changes, advancing automation, unfair competition for jobs, and undeserved profits by those willing to skirt the law, illegal immigration had racist and anti-Semitic overtones from the outset.

This was in part because of the then candidate’s own rhetoric, in part because of the attention by white supremacists [2].

The increase in anti-Semitic violence has since borne out the label [3].

Religious Motivation

For other voters, their reasons for selecting this most secular of candidates were religious:

“Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat.”

Bloomberg View, “The Left’s Doomed Effort to Coerce the Right” by Megan McArdle, 12/2/16, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-02/chip-and-joanna-gaines-vs-the-left-s-doomed-coercion

But the candidate selected adheres to no principle, except self-interest.  We can only wait now to see how much damage he does.

[1]  Christians offended by the “racist” label must take more care in choosing their associates (Prov. 12: 26).  Pope Pius XI’s early cooperation gave Benito Mussolini an aura of legitimacy.  Fascist rallies in Italy during the 1930s frequently began with a mass.

[2]  Racists learned long ago that inventing an external “enemy” could focus the fear and insecurity of their supporters.  An enemy will always strengthen group resolve and unify opposing factions.

[3]   Fortune, “American Jews Alarmed by Surge in Anti-Semitism” via Associated Press, 11/17/16, updated 12/13/16, http://fortune.com/2016/11/17/anti-semitism-donald-trump-jews/.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse http://www.avoicereclaimed.com

11 Comments
  1. Wonderful and thought provoking post Anna.Your analogy of king Saul is exactly the same analogy I heard used many times when referring to Mr. Obama,and for all I know could have been used many times before. I suppose every generation feel this way to some degree whenever a new President is elected.Especially one not cut from the DC mold.

    What I see in our new president however is the collective frustrations of many millions who, having decided they had no place else to turn,decided this was the best of two extremely poor choices.How sad that it came down to this,yet it was not entirely unexpected. This did not just happen overnight,rather it has been brewing on the back burner for a long,long time.Only now, the pot has boiled over.

    As you say,the self serving power brokers in Washington cared only for themselves, yet we cannot overlook the fact that those who “we the people” elected allowed this to happen right under their collective noses.Which means that we the voter must also accept responsibility for what has happened,for we are the ones who yield the power to put an end to the corruption.

    We are in for a very rough ride I’m sure,and I would have said that regardless of which candidate won the election.In my simplistic way of looking at things,America started down a slippery slope a long time ago and has never gotten back on track.Nor can it so long as we continue to reject the counsel of God.

    The rumbling of the approaching avalanche is getting louder with each passing year.

    • I did not expect this to be a popular post. It is not meant as support for Hillary Clinton, by any means. I think, as you say, we have lost our way. I pray Donald Trump will be a great president. But I fear the worst; I hear the avalanche approaching, to use your perfect metaphor.

      The nation has turned away from God. This election and the campaign which led up to it were just symptoms. Thank you for your eloquent expression of that sad reality. You are, as ever, a blessing to me.

      • I believe the hour is quickly approaching Anna,when our faith will be tested beyond the scope of anything we can imagine. Until then,the windows of servanthood are wide open and I’m going to try to remain focused on Him. It’s really all I know to do. Blessings to you my friend. Thank you for your kind words.

  2. I’ve been very anxious about the election results, more so than I was about Obama– I watched part of his farewell address and kept thinking, “Thank God, he wasn’t assassinated”; but now as turmoil is actively stirring in Trump’s first days, I see that pastors’ exhortations to “pray for our leaders, our country” is an emergency need…not merely ‘Christian-ese’. Hope I’ve said all this right…

  3. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but America began on a slippery slope, filled with murderers and greed. I’m not sure we were ever on the right track. We just seemed to have legislated our way to what some people thought was the right track. I agree there is much to fear nowadays. I’d like to add that no matter the reason people voted for our president, I believe wholeheartedly that no one really knew what they might expect. He’s been quite busy over the past few days signing executive orders for decisions made waaaay before his leadership.

    Apologies if this sounds like a rant lol…I’m just super frustrated with everything that’s going on and it’s only January 23rd!

    • No apologies necessary. You’re right that America was never a utopia, and Camelot never really existed. New archaeological evidence suggests that some of the starving settlers at Jamestown resorted to cannibalism. Only 41 of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower were actually Pilgrims. The separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution, and the separation of church and state were acknowledgments of human fallibility. Don’t get me started on the mistreatment of the Native Americans. Pres. Trump, too, will leave his mark. We can hope — and pray — for the best!

  4. I think you’re right on target with this Anna. He seems to thrive on ego which is the exact opposite of the Gospel.

  5. Thank you for sharing 🙂 God Bless

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