Fake News and Christian Evangelicals

As a young minister in the 1970’s, Larry became a witness to fake news gone viral, twenty years before the modern internet.  

In their desire to defend religious freedom of speech, many preachers and pastors were “rushing to print” with false claims which continue until the present.

The original article was clearly bogus, unattributed, and embarrassing. This should have served as an instructive moment for the evangelical community. Apparently, it did not.

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Dream President For Evangelicals?

When President Donald Trump chose Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA to deliver a graduation speech, the school’s leaders were elated. 

According to University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., President Trump is a “dream president” for evangelicals.

Not all of the 65,000 “distance learners” would agree, including Ivan Herrán, a church deacon and facilitator for incoming community college students. Ivan has not found the Trumpian message or agenda particularly helpful to the Hispanic community.

In addition to working full-time, Ivan has earned a Biblical studies and counseling degree from Liberty, and will attend the 2017 graduation.  The irony of having President Trump as his graduation speaker has not gone unnoticed.

 

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No Fake Jacksonian History for Tom Cole!

Republican Congressman Tom Cole is not impressed with President Trump’s recent embrace of Andrew Jackson, whose portrait proudly graces the Oval Office.

It was not the president’s recent fractured attempt at history that bothered Cole, but the fact of Donald Trump’s obsession with Andrew Jackson, period.

To President Trump the Jacksonian presidency was “a long time ago.” But to the “proud Chickasaw” and member of the U.S. House, Jackson’s Indian Removal Program is a perpetually fresh memory.

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Filth and Context

Washington Post contributor Daniel W. Drezner may have gotten well over his skis when tweeting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had referred to immigrants entering from Mexico as “filth”, in the prepared transcript for his border speech.

Drezner later retracted his statement with an apology for not correctly noting the context in which the phrase was originally intended. Sessions, for whatever reason, did not give voice to what he had written, and dropped the “filth” reference from his public proclamation.

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The Racism Behind the Immigration Issue

For those of us who advocate discretion and compassion when dealing with families with an undocumented member, the emphasis on “enforcing the law” rings hollow.  

In this “country of law”, there will always be a law to enforce.  

Yet  historically our laws have often been a way to codify some form of white supremacist dogma, as evidenced by the immigration hardliners such as Representative Steve King.

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Immigrants with an Asterisk *

When speaking before white folk, our black citizenry often feel forced to de-emphasize the fact and effects of our history regarding the “slave caste” upon which our new nation rested.

Their concern — that white folks are often in denial and just don’t want to hear about it — has validity. However, it is possible for one to be too accommodating. 

Dr. Ben Carson, our new African American Secretary of HUD, shocked our country this week with his assertion that his ancestors were somehow inconvenienced immigrants nonetheless motivated by the American Dream.

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The Poor Will Always Be With You…

It has become fashionable for many of the more affluent to treat the poor as welfare parasites worthy of their station in life, while themselves seeking to pay less taxes so as to become even richer.  

Some would even quote some version of Jesus’ statement about the poor always being with you, as some sort of righteous justification for their heartlessness.

Seven years ago (March, 2010) Larry spent several days among the poor in coastal Colombia, South America.  He returned with a different attitude about the poor.

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The Saga of Juan Carlos Hernandez-Pacheco

When Candidate Trump declared undocumented Mexican immigrants to be dangerous drug-dealers and rapists — dangerous people who must be quickly removed, a southern Illinois town didn’t flinch. With the promise of jobs, coal production and the overturn of Roe v Wade, it never occurred to them that the cost of accepting possibly unfulfilled promises was one of the city’s greatest assets — a beloved Mexican restaurant manager.

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A White Reflection on Black History

Larry is committed to the “Greater We”, embracing and celebrating our nation’s diverse backgrounds and cultural histories. 

However, raised during the 50’s and 60’s, strict racial segregation was a way of life in the South. 

As Black History Month ends, Larry recalls a time of “we-they thinking” in this honest, confessional reflection of his formative years, believing that there is much to be learned from the past, as long as we are not willing to repeat it.

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Illegal, Period! It’s Just So Simple, Praise the Lord – Or Is It?

We all would like for the immigration issue to have a simple solution.  Must literally millions of people live in fear?  Dare we throw away an entire generation of US citizens, who in the minds of many are worth-less and therefore disposable? 

Larry doesn’t have all the answers, but he in committed to allow the teachings of Jesus to inform his viewpoint, as he daily seeks to embrace the immigrant communities that he has come to love, and invest in the young US born bilinguals —  citizens who have so much to offer.

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A Recurring Nightmare

For years now Larry has been writing about the increasing negative sentiment directed at our Latino residents. In 2012 he wrote:

“We can say what we will about immigration law, but that doesn’t do much to free me from a haunting fear that I cannot dispel. With every new immigration effort targeting Hispanic immigrants, I feel it a little more. It’s like a noose slowly tightening.”

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Inoperative?

Larry personally watched the televised Senate proceedings in June 1973, as former White House counsel John Dean revealed the methodology of the Watergate cover-up.

 

In this blogpost, he recalls the strange use of a word which clearly gives insight to the current president’s actions, including his need to conduct post-election campaign rallies.

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