Killing the Messenger: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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197 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    It is possible that you yourself have a plank in your eye?

    Is it possible that by labeling comments and tweets that have come out of the White House as, “racist and xenophobic”, you yourself are trying to “kill, or at least damn, the messenger”?

    Is this not a “…convenient way to dismiss any message”?

    I’ll bet “knowing full well that some readers will reject” what I say “not necessarily owing to its content, but owing to the knowledge that the statement was written by those who might be identified as” a Trump supporter.

    “A convenient way to dismiss any message is to kill, or at least damn, the messenger”

    “Once again, it is not the label that others hang on them that is of importance. It is not that we have to be in agreement with all that they say. It is, however, the truth in their content to which we should pay attention”

    “Don’t dismiss the message by killing or damning the messenger”

    Yes, “learning is a challenge… it is meant to challenge your assumptions. I don’t know about others, but I still want to learn”


    Just asking…

    God Bless you

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    The description of “racist and xenophobic” is apt and accurate. Sorry if you disagree…

  3. Bob Brow says:

    Your quick response without thoughtful, contemplative consideration, belies you. Had hoped for better. You are no different that those you criticize. Sad…

  4. Josh says:

    Bob – Do you enjoy the way our president speaks to and about others?

  5. Duane Arnold says:


    I always think… but I think even more before I write a piece, considering what words to use. I choose these words with intent. I would use the very same words in describing similar remarks and tweets by someone of either party or no party at all.

  6. Bob Brow says:

    My comments have nothing to do with Party or Trump. I think Trump often acts like a bully and a jerk. It’s your hypocrisy…

    In your own words,
    “A convenient way to dismiss any message is to kill, or at least damn, the messenger”
    “…it is not the label that others hang on them that is of importance”

    “It is not that we have to be in agreement with all that they say. It is, however, the truth in their content to which we should pay attention”

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    It is the content that I’m evaluating in the words I choose…

  8. Bob Brow says:

    Why not just say this instead: “It is, I believe, a thoughtful and reasoned response to some of the comments and tweets that have come out of the White House over the course of these last two years”

  9. Josh says:

    Trump has a much longer history that would point to racism.

  10. Bob Brow says:


    Never mind…

    I stand by my comments on the possible plank in your eye.

    I’ll consider mine, too

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    Because the content of some of his tweets are, by almost any definition, racist and xenophobic.

  12. Jean says:

    In defense of this article, the problem specifically is the message. It is a message proceeding from the figurehead of our nation; it is the loudest and most distributed voice in our nation. The message models both social relations and communication style.

    It influences beliefs and provides cover for similar existing beliefs to come out into the open. In a community of similar beliefs, in the confidence of like mindedness, the message grows more bold and behavior follows. The message influences and reinforces behavior, that it is acceptable, or even virtuous, in America to destroy your neighbor (or his or her reputation and dignity), if he or she does not think, look like, or share your ideology or nationality, race or religion.

    Our country avoided the lions share of Islamist extremism, which plagued the UK, France Germany and Belgium, because unlike those countries, America has previously always been a country who welcomed foreigners and assimilated them into our society by providing them opportunity to participate in the American dream. This has always been a strength of our culture, which is relatively unique in the world.

    These immigrants did not steal the opportunity of the existing citizens, they began at the bottom of the ladder and worked their way up. In the mean time, they grew the economic pie for the benefit of all Americans. They serve in our military and keep all of us safe.

    The new message coming from the President is antithetical to what built and secures our country. It is a divisive, destroying message. It has short term electoral benefits, but long term harm for all of us.

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    I appreciate your candor… we all have presuppositions (including myself)…

  14. Steve says:

    Trump is not a racist. I trust Ben Carson on that.

  15. Josh says:

    Umm, ok. What evidence would sway you otherwise?

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    If that is the case, I would only wish that his comments and tweets would reflect it…

  17. Bob Brow says:

    Using the definition of racism… a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race…

    Could someone post an actual Trump comment that proves he is a racist?
    How about an action of his while president that proves he is a racist?


  18. Bob Brow says:

    Just because Eugene Peterson said “________________________”, doesn’t mean he is “endorsed same sex marriage”, right?

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know that border control is racist. I would bet that if 1 million white Canadians were storming our borders by any means we would take the same action.

    Talk about hate speech, almost every Democrat candidate (and there are a bunch of them) labels Trump supporters as racist, white supremacists, white privilege abusers, little Hitlers and Nazis.

    This swings both ways. I haven’t read the national cathedral article yet – did the address the public hate of the democrats in order to be balanced.

    I have no issue with anything they may have said as long as they are just speaking for themselves.

  20. Duane Arnold says:


    It turned out Peterson did not say what was claimed by the reporter…

  21. Josh says:

    Instead of trying to meet this impossible standard that Bob has posted, could we just say that Trump says awful things about a lot of different people and groups of people. Often times, those people are from minorities or different nationalities. I do not care if the man is a racist or not. I detest his words.

  22. Sue says:

    I read the article referenced here and would agree with a lot of the content…I condemn Trump’s disgusting, dehumanizing comments. I think he is bad for our country. I do not support him. However, I would be lying if I said that the “messenger” doesn’t matter…even though I agree with this statement on Trump, I feel betrayed by the Episcopal hierarchy that wrote it and their wholesale selling down the river of what I consider to be core Christian orthodoxy. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed when I heard that someone of the caliber and heart of Eugene Peterson had endorsed homosexual marriage, and then relieved when I heard that he really hadn’t. I guess I feel the messenger is of some importance, though I take your point that we should not completely close our ears to those with whom we disagree…I guess that’s why my favorite radio station is NPR!

    I am also troubled when I think of this upcoming election….support Trump (gag)? or vote for someone who supports abortion on demand up to the moment of birth and the entire overhaul of the gender and sexuality ethic represented by a historic Judeo-Christian belief system? Wow.

  23. Josh says:

    Sue – those are not the only two choices. Voters have to abandon the party system en masse.

  24. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…again, you missed my point.

    Josh…I’m just using the definition of the word. Is it possible the term “racist” is thrown around too much?

    I agree, some of Trumps words are detestable

  25. Josh says:

    Bob – Trump has a long history (decades) of treating minorities with disdain. What would you prefer to call it?

  26. Bob Brow says:

    Sue…It is a tough if those are our only 2 choices. This is why I abstained voting for President in 2016. 2020 will be even tougher, as the current set of Dems are so much further Left than HRC. Lots of praying ahead of us…

  27. Bob Brow says:

    Name them, Josh

  28. Duane Arnold says:


    Having been a Fellow of the National Cathedral and an Episcopal priest for 30+ years, maybe it is enough to say I have similar feelings…

  29. Josh says:

    Bob – The Dept. of Justice sued him in 1973 for renter discrimination. (and again in’78). If you start there, and I’m sure there are issues before that, there is a steady stream up til modern day.

  30. Sue says:

    Josh–thanks. I am struggling with whether the “third option” of abandoning the two-party system is really a “choice” when it feels so unlikely to be widely thrown off any time soon. Maybe I’m just a pessimist. (likely). How do you see it working?

    And, aside from whether we can pinpoint any specifically, identifiably racist Trump comments, let’s not forget he is on tape chuckling over grabbing women by their private parts. *Hurl*

  31. Steve says:

    AOC called Pelosi a racist. Bob is right that the word racist is thrown around carelessly because they don’t like Trump when he is politically incorrect. If Elijah Cummings or Bernie Sanders say the exact same thing as Trump in regards to Baltimore they get a pass and pat on the back. When Trump points out the truth he is a white supremacists. Clearly Trump irritates the left because he doesn’t subscribe to their woke orthodoxy.

  32. Sue says:

    Duane, thanks. I can only imagine the mixture of feelings at the direction of the Episcopal church for you…keep writing please! People like you encourage me very much…

  33. Josh says:

    Steve – Do you stand behind Trump’s tweets since he has been president?

  34. Josh says:

    Sue – I don’t see it “working”, but I see Christians being able to keep their principles, even if the man they vote for doesn’t have a chance of winning the presidency.

  35. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…Getting sued proves one a racist?

    I’ll ask one more time…based on the definition of racism, please…

    Could someone post an actual Trump comment that proves he is a racist?
    How about an action of his while president that proves he is a racist?

    No more silly, millennialist type opinions…Thanks

  36. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks… I’ll keep on keeping on…

  37. Josh says:

    SO Bob, no one could rove to you that Trump treats minorities poorly. Close your eyes and support your man. You have that right.

  38. Steve says:

    Josh, please tell me what tweets from Trump you are referring to. I’m not defending any of them but curious which one are the worst of the worst that you think proove without a doubt he is a racist.

  39. Josh says:

    You are here defending him and saying that he scares democrats simply because he isn’t woke. Do you approve of the way he speaks to and about people?

  40. Steve says:

    Josh,. I’m being responsible here. I am neither approving or disapproving anything that anyone says without knowing what you are referring to. Trump today condemned hate today in response to the shootings. I guess I agree with what Trump just said. Do you have a problem with that? He is not a racist. This characterization of him I believe was painted by democratics and liberal media outlets. They have not gotten over Clinton’s loss in 2016. And they continuing to put our country in Hell by not moving on.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Time for a test. Is this racism? This is the message from the left. In this blog, Frank Schaeffer blames every WHITE evangelical voter for every mass shooting.

    Just remember, if you call him out for making racist comments, you then will self label as a racist. It’s funny how leftist think works.

  42. Steve says:

    MLD,. What you highlight here is a typical example of the lefts woke orthodoxy. Trump and Trump voters are absolute heretics. It’s amazing they cannot give a single white person the benefit of the doubt and be able to freely make up their own minds at the voting booth.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A comment from the article – “To save lives the Republican Party/NRA/Gun Lobby/Trump racists must be destroyed. Let’s call it like it is: the white evangelical voter is the enemy of the American people. ”

    Tell me this isn’t a call to arms against white voters. Wear your flack jackets when you go out boys and girls.

    I am looking for the next position paper out of the National Cathedral to condemn this kind of talk.

  44. Bob Brow says:

    I’ve rented out a house 2 times in my life. The first family left it cleaner than when they first moved in. The 2nd, it took 25 large garbage bags of trash and $15,000 to get it back to where it was.

    Does this prove I’m a racist for thinking twice about renting our next house out to people similar to the 2nd family?

    You posting something from The Atlantic, Duane, tells me all I need to know about you…Thanks

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    The comments on race in this thread alone tell us how divided we are… and it’s sad.

  46. Bob Brow says:

    Still waiting…

  47. Jean says:

    Steve and MLD at 9:27 am and 9:31 am, respecively, make the issue of racism a left-right issue or a “white evangelical” other Christian issue. Why do you do that? Do you find that Trump’s racist, misogynistic or anti-immigrant bigotry are more popular among the political right or white evangelical? You are the ones who seem to think so.

  48. Steve says:

    Jean,. There are a lot of black voters that love Trump so don’t see your point. I do believe the political left is becoming extremely radicalized especially with the squad. At least in Congress I don’t see this radicalization on the right. It might be happening in the country but folks just are not voting them into office which is a very good thing. Republicans seem a bit more sane and unified.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, someone asked earlier for someone to point out racist comments by Trump – where are they? Because he has a political foe who is black or Hispanic does that qualify as racist?
    Trump is not anti immigrant. He is against an immigration system that willfully allows and or promotes illegal immigration.
    I have not seen anything disturbing coming from Trump about immigrants of color who come here through legal channels – check out Asian immigration and mass legal immigration from India and much of Africa.
    What you guys bring to the table are Democrat talking points and nothing deeper.

  50. Jean says:

    Steve, terms like “squad,” “radicalized,” and “sane,” are loaded terms that tell us absolutely nothing. I could list top issues of Republican leaders and label them as radical or insane. So what?

    To me, would rather debate policies than throw slogans, trigger terms and hate speech around. I would rather prevail on the issues, than by sowing hate and division to earn votes.

  51. Jean says:

    “What you guys bring to the table are Democrat talking points and nothing deeper.”

    Tell that to the Republicans and true conservatives who have acknowledged that trump uses racist and bigoted language.

  52. Steve says:

    What is the point of even having this discussion? Trump has denounced white supremacy, hatred and racism many many times. Some of you are still convinced he is a racist but have given zero example of such speach after some of us asking for evidence. Since it’s not forth coming what other choice do you give us but to conclude this is a made up spin propaganda machine that is fake news. Believe it or not I have an open mind but this is mind blowing to expect folks to believe your opinions with no basis in fact.

  53. Josh says:

    “Does this prove I’m a racist for thinking twice about renting our next house out to people similar to the 2nd family?”

    If you mean racially similar, yes.

  54. directambiguity says:

    “Sue – I don’t see it “working”, but I see Christians being able to keep their principles, even if the man they vote for doesn’t have a chance of winning the presidency.”

    If your principle is allowing a Democrat to win and let

    “abortion on demand up to the moment of birth and the entire overhaul of the gender and sexuality ethic represented by a historic Judeo-Christian belief system”

    Then yes, Josh.

  55. Josh says:

    Trump is no better than a democrat.

  56. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…What do you mean?

  57. Josh says:

    If you are choosing your next renters based on a preferable race, then yes, you are racist.

  58. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m not the moderator here, but I would ask that all refrain from ad hominem arguments. Discussion is not served well on either side of the issue…

  59. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…Why are you bringing race into my question/story?

    I never mentioned race.

    You interject race into what you read.

    Your opinions on this topic are now meaningless and worth less than nothing.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  60. Jean says:

    Steve, you’re an intelligent guy. You don’t need anyone here to educate you. If you haven’t been listening to Trump over the past 3 or so years, just google something like “Trump’s racist comments.” Stick with the quotes, so you don’t have to worry about spin.

    For me, I first heard things from him in the primaries that were racist or xenophobic. For example, saying a judge wasn’t fit to hear his case against Trump U because he had relatives from a Latin American country. Then, he referred to a Ms. Universe winner (his organization at the time) as “Ms. Housekeeping,” because she was from South America.

    He refers to asylum seekers in de-humanizing ways (infestation, invasion, bring large scale crime and disease). He referred to an entire American city as rat infested and its minority congressman as a thief.

    You seem to excuse some of his comments as not politically correct. But how do you think the objects of his hateful rhetoric hear those comments? Do you think that our President (or a candidate) should be mindful of how he is heard?

    I think he knows exactly how he is heard and only cares about how his base hears him. Have you noticed how slow and reticent he is about calling out right-wing extremism? He could hardly bring himself to condemn the racists in Charlottesville. He lets the crowds at his rallies chant “send her back.” If you have an open mind, then please open it.

  61. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…Aren’t you the one who brought racism into this?
    That is sad…

    Duane, Jean, Josh…Still waiting

  62. Josh says:

    “You interject race into what you read.”

    Bob – We are talking about race. Look in any other thread and show me where I’ve done that. We are talking about racism in this thread. You should have made it known that your comment was completely off-topic and unrelated.

  63. Josh says:

    Bob – What are you waiting for?

  64. Steve says:

    Duane,. In all due respect calling Trump a racist by all definition is an ad hominum attack on Trump. I only wish you could see the truth in that.

  65. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…I mentioned 2 families

    Why did you assume they were of 2 different races?

    If I were guessing, based on your answers, you are about 30 years old, college educated and have never rented out a house before.

  66. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…Just apologize for the plank in your own eye and be done with this.

  67. Josh says:

    Bob – 44. Was a landlord for 14 years.

    I have to admit to being educated, though. Sorry if that is a problem.

  68. Duane Arnold says:


    Reference was made to “to the racist and xenophobic comments and tweets that have come out of the White House over the course of these last two years.” His comments have been tagged as “racist” by editorial standard boards across the US and Europe. t is not merely my designation. But you know that…

  69. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…I’m wrong again 🙂

  70. directambiguity says:

    “He referred to an entire American city as rat infested and its minority congressman as a thief.”

    So you can’t criticize a minority politician if you’re white. That sounds racist.

  71. Duane Arnold says:


    “Duane…Just apologize for the plank in your own eye and be done with this.” On this particular topic, when hell freezes over…

  72. directambiguity says:

    And the people that live there say it’s rat infested.

  73. Steve says:

    Jean, why would You want me to Google Trumps’ racist remarks? That makes the assumption they are racist and I’m sure left leaning Google will take you right to the the anti-Trump spin machine labeling him as a racist. No to find the truth listen closely to raw uncensored Trump in the no spin zone if you can find it which is not here. But I’m not here to defend Trump but not sure he needs my defending. He will win 2020 by a landslide.

  74. Josh says:

    “But I’m not here to defend Trump”

    That’s all you’ve done.

  75. Jean says:

    “’He referred to an entire American city as rat infested and its minority congressman as a thief.’
    So you can’t criticize a minority politician if you’re white. That sounds racist.”

    First, if the President of the United States going to criticize a sitting congressman publicly by calling him a thief, he’d better present some good evidence. Second, if you’re the Chief law enforcement executive of the nation, why haven’t you had him arrested or referred his theft to an appropriate law enforcement agency? That would be your responsibility.

  76. Duane Arnold says:

    “Left leaning Google”, “fake news”… sounding more and more like a Trump rally by the moment…

  77. Steve says:

    Jean,. Give us a break. This congressman was one of the first to call for Trump’s impeachment. For what high crimes? If This congressman took Ben Carson’s advice and worked with Trump for a change instead of trashing him, Baltimore would be much better off. I’m sure of that. And that my friend is the real crime here.

  78. Bob Brow says:

    “Left leaning Google”, “fake news”… sounding more and more like a Trump rally by the moment…”


  79. Erunner says:

    I am no fan of the president. Never have been. Never will be. But I will not buy into the opinion he was the cause of the two mass shootings. Maybe he’s also the reason men cheat on their wives??

    Two evil people did the unthinkable. I don’t have the power to look into their minds or hearts to tell people why this happened. These were unspeakable tragedies.

  80. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob Brow

    “smh”… I’ve been doing that for much of this thread…

  81. Duane Arnold says:


    Where has someone said “he was the cause of the two mass shootings”?

  82. Duane Arnold says:

    I might add, this article was written before the shootings took place… as Michael will attest.

  83. Bob Brow says:

    I think erunner wants to ensure this thread continues 🙂

  84. Erunner says:

    Duane, if you believe that the president didn’t cause the two mass shootings then I apologize for misunderstanding you.

  85. Jess K says:

    I don’t understand what is up for debate in this thread. Jesus calls us to feed, clothe, and shelter those in need. Trump disagrees with this if you are brown or don’t come to this country, ‘legally.’ Jesus didn’t say, “take care of everyone except those who are undocumented.” The rhetoric Trump spews is racist because he targets people of color (especially Latinx and Arab people). I’m not sure why it’s so hard for Christian Trump supporters to comprehend that Trump’s entire platform is not Christlike and should be questioned.

    Jesus literally loved and forgave the man who led him to his death. Yet Christian Trump supporters can’t even seem to show love to someone who isn’t documented, much less someone who believes a different religion than them.

  86. Duane Arnold says:


    I’ll be honest with you, I think we have a toxic atmosphere which contributes to the violence that we are witnessing. Some, I think, contribute to that atmosphere more than others…

  87. Steve says:


    Trump is not and will never be my pastor. Why folks think the president should be America’s pastor is beyond me.

  88. Duane Arnold says:



    “Why folks think the president should be America’s pastor is beyond me.” I don’t.

    On the other hand,
    Trump has publicly bragged about committing adultery.
    Trump has mocked and disrespected women, the disabled, and even prisoners of war.
    Trump has acted like a con artist (for example, Trump University).
    Trump has acted like a demagogue, appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than rational arguments.
    Trump has acted like one who is shamelessly proud. He has boasted, “Nobody reads the Bible more than me.” Yet he said that he has never asked God or others to forgive him for anything.
    Then there is his obsession with outward appearance, sexiness, superficiality, wealth, his own status and accomplishments, and his quickness to berate and insult people and seek revenge on his critics.

    Certainly not a pastor (I hope) but flawed in regard to character, to say the least…

  89. Steve says:


    I’m not disagreeing or agreeing with you but I think folks need to lower their expectations of the POTUS. Christiandom is over. This is not a Christian country and they shouldn’t have expectations that the president is a Christian.

  90. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m not even talking about whether he is a Christian or not. I’m talking about basic character… Old fashioned, I know…

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    FDR, JFK, LBJ, Nixon and Clinton all had very serious character flaws. My question – so?

  92. Duane Arnold says:

    Thank you for the wholly predictable, “What about…”

  93. Steve says:


    Not disagreeing with you. However the refreshing thing with Trump is he is the most transparent president we have ever had (minus his tax returns). :). What you see is exactly what you get with Trump. No spying on politacal openent and lying to the FISA court. Obama administration was the most corrupt ever, yet he himself was a charming man that the media fell in love with.

  94. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – you can be dismissive and nasty all you want – I have come to expect it. But the question still remains – so what that he has a dicey character as long as he does the job he was elected to.
    Have you placed yourself to be his moral judge?

  95. Duane Arnold says:


    Respectfully disagree on both points…

  96. Duane Arnold says:


    I hesitate to say what I expect from you… apart from it being wholly predictable.

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess K – “Jesus calls us to feed, clothe, and shelter those in need. ” – I guess the question is, who is the us?
    I don’t think Jesus was identifying the ‘us’ as the government to do it. In fact I am sure that Jesus was identifying the ‘us’ as the Christians and the Church and telling ‘us’ to do it.
    I am 70 yrs old raised by a currently 92 year old Jewish mother who to this day knows how to lay on the guilt – and I have learned well from her.

    So, how many homeless immigrants do you, the Christian, have living with you? How about your church? Filled with immigrants sleeping on the pews until they can find proper accommodations? If not, why not? Here comes the guilt part – sorry. Why do you concern yourself with what Trump does or does not do in this situation, if you are not doing what has been directly aimed at you, the ‘us’? Why are you not down on the border helping face to face.

    OK, guilt time over.

  98. Duane Arnold says:

    I didn’t know that guilt was a Lutheran prerogative…

  99. Jean says:

    Duane, that wasn’t Lutheran, by any means.

  100. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If my words are too complicated for you let me know and I will go down to a 3rd grade reading level for you guys.
    I said it was Jewish guilt. Don’t let your Trump hate blind you guys to all reality.

  101. Jean says:


    If you want a non-dismissive response, then address the subject of the article.

  102. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, If you weren’t so quick to be dismissive and divisive you would have known I addressed the article at 8:13 this morning – even saying I had no issue with the National Cathedral.

    Now as is ordinary and permissible, I am commenting on comments – which you are doing on my comments.

  103. Jean says:

    Did Duane bring up Nixon or Clinton?

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    No, but he seem to indicate that the job of POTUS was somehow marginalized by a flawed character. I only pointed out that many considered national heroes in the position had similar flawed characters. Perhaps it should be a non issue when considering the Trump job performance.

  105. Jean says:

    Has Duane endorsed Nixon or Clinton’s character?

  106. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You left out FDR – JFK – LBJ from my list. (I am sure it was with purpose to dismiss me and elevate yourself.)
    I am not challenging who should or who should not endorse another’s moral character. What I am saying is that it does not seemed to have disqualified those highly regarded presidents – as I am sure you and Duane feel it disqualifies Trump.

  107. Jean says:

    Doing a compare and contrast would be a time consuming diversion. I don’t think the article attempts to rank Trump among his peers. Again, no thank you.

    The article commends an embedded article offering in Duane’s opinion “a thoughtful and reasoned response to the racist and xenophobic comments and tweets that have come out of the White House over the course of these last two years.”

    “What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.”

    Apparently, for some here, much more.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As Duane would say “yes, that’s an opinion.”

  109. TJB says:

    The hypocrisy of those on the political left never ceases to amaze me. We are inundated constantly with President Trump’s “ moral failures” and his “lack of character” by people who would vote for the most corrupt, evil people in the country. Duane, what are your thoughts on partial birth abortion? Or socialism? Or men dressed as women using women’s bathrooms? Or selling assault weapons to drug cartels? Do you have an opinion on the dozens of people who have all coincidentally committed suicide or turned up dead when about to testify against a Clinton? But when it comes to Trump there is “moral outrage”! Need I say more? Personally, I don’t think people on the left suffer from corporate stupidity, I think it has to be a demonic influence permeating hearts that may lean toward bitterness.
    Overall Trump has proven that he is as conservative as he proclaimed and should win in a landslide…. the real problem is going to be when the next leftist wins the office, at that point the United States is doomed.

  110. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m really not interested in right wing rants and/or conspiracy theories…

  111. Steve says:

    Duane, glad we can respectfully disagree without calling each other deplorable and lacking decency. However the one voice mentioned above is representative of the “woke orthodoxy” that I spoke of earlier. It allows no dissent.

  112. Duane Arnold says:


    Sorry, not getting your meaning… (just rejoined the conversation…)

  113. Steve says:

    Duane, I was responding to you at 3:29 and my comment about being indecent was in reference to Jean’s at 6:27. Apparently, if you don’t agree 100% with the anti-trump rhetoric with the one voice Jean is advocating you are an indecent person. Hillary I think said it best in that we are in the basket of deplorables. There is no room for dissent with this anti-Trump hatred.

  114. Duane Arnold says:


    I would never wish to speak for another person (and I don’t think that’s what Jean was saying)… although my views are pretty well known. To be specific, I would agree pretty well down the line with the statement from the National Cathedral. Moreover, along with Jon Meacham, I still think character counts…

  115. TJB says:

    Your post regarding Trump as a “racist” warrants a response, come on, don’t bug out now and hide behind comments like “I’m not really interested in right wing rants”. Frankly, I’m not interested in your opinion on Trump and certainly don’t read the Phoenix Preacher to find it….but I did. And….you didn’t respond to any of my questions. Is partial birth abortion merely a “conspiracy theory”? This being a Christian blog I would expect a clear, resounding, authoritative response to the evil of abortion, if not, then some of us should be going back to researching the Scriptures rather than opining about Christian ethics.

  116. Duane Arnold says:


    “Your post regarding Trump as a “racist”…”

    Try to be accurate. This was not said or written. Furthermore, if you are indeed not interested in my opinion, I can only assume that your real interest is in coming up with a litmus test to bolster your position. Oh, by the way – yes I’m opposed to late term abortions (so-called)… of course that was not the subject of this post. I’m not really interested in bumper sticker ethics or theology…

  117. Steve says:

    I believe, a thoughtful and reasoned response to the racist and xenophobic comments and tweets that have come out of the White House over the course of these last two years.

    Duane, I’ll admit here I did not read the article. But why should I when the assumption is Trump is making racist and xenophobic comments and tweets? But no one here has pointed to even one comment. If you care to put things in perspective, you have shot and killed the messenger Trump who dares to voice condemnation over full bown socialism and after birth abortion which boggles the mind to even debate. It be would behoove you to listen to his state of the union speech where he did so eloquently and powerfully. I believe that speech and Trump may go down in history as heroic. Yeah, I get it Trump is rude and crude and arrogant and boastful and immoral. I get it it. But if it’s him against any one of those Democrats in the recent debates, Ill take Trump in a heartbeat.

  118. Duane Arnold says:


    I have a full page of comments, remarks in speeches, specific actions, etc. You can find them easily. I heard the speech you refer to and I simply disagree with your assessment.

    I’d encourage you to read the article…

  119. Steve says:


    I respect you a lot. Unfortunately you poison the well and shut down dissent and make it difficult when anyone pulls the race card out and starts mentioning the numerous x-phobias that Trump is guilty of. I don’t see Trump’s comments as racist or phobic but actually just the opposite. He has condemned racism more times I can even mention here. Maybe you are listening to what you perceive as dog whistles. At that point we can start talking conspiracy theory. But I’ll try to bow out now and respectfully disagree.

  120. Duane Arnold says:


    Sometimes, especially on topics like this, it is best to agree to disagree.

  121. Josh says:

    “Yeah, I get it Trump is rude and crude and arrogant and boastful and immoral.”

    Apparently, these are the new fruits of the spirit.

  122. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…Is sarcasm a new fruit also?

  123. Josh says:

    Bob – Yes

  124. Josh says:

    Here’s the deal – You’ve so tied yourself to a political affiliation, that you guys are defending someone who you admit is awful.

  125. Bob Brow says:

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”

  126. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…You don’t have a clue with whom I am tied. You are assuming again. Go re-read everything I’ve posted

  127. Josh says:

    I know who you are defending.

  128. Josh says:

    If “Do not judge” applies in this case, then we also can’t judge those who want abortion to be legal.

    I think that is baloney.

  129. MM says:

    I voted for Trump for one simple reason, I could not vote for his opponent.

    Overall I find our Nation’s President a poor example and a failure to meet even the simplest biblical definition of a leader. I believe the personal morals border he demonstrates are situational in origin.

    If he is what it means to be a Christian then I would gladly embrace Joshua Harris and seek his forgiveness these days.

    Now as far as the “measure for measure” quotation mentioned above, I think the poster needs to seek some background and history to make it more relevant.

    Did I write I voted for Trump? What does this say about how I feel about his opponent.

    Duane, I get your article. Thank you.

  130. Bob Brow says:

    Josh…I don’t believe you understand the verse, yet. Pray about it…

  131. Jean says:

    Regarding “do not judge,” two comments:

    (1) No one here is judging Trump’s salvation.

    (2) The exhortation does not apply in society to one who is given the office to judge. As citizens, who elect their leaders, we have a responsibility to judge the actions of our elected leaders. Otherwise, on what basis would we vote?

  132. Josh says:

    MM – Thank you.

    Bob – whatevs.

  133. Bob Brow says:

    “On this particular topic, when hell freezes over…”

    Duane…On which topic?

    That you are 100% sure Trump is a racist?
    You are 100% sure you couldn’t have a plank in your eye when it comes to Trump?

  134. MM says:

    Hey Mr. Bob Brow are you the senior pastor of this church?

    If so, how do you structure your leadership, the web sight doesn’t say?
    Pastor, elder, deacon board, independent, CC start up?

    It helps your readers know where you are coming from.

  135. Bob Brow says:


  136. MM says:

    Thank you.

  137. Josh says:

    Bob – maybe there is a plan in your eye regarding Duane.

    This kind of stuff just goes in circles. Maybe discuss actual issues.

  138. Josh says:

    plan = plank

  139. Michael says:

    We have passed the point in this country where we can reason together.

    Trump represents something visceral to both those who support him and those who oppose him.
    It goes beyond politics to how people identify themselves and the country.
    It will lead to more bloodshed as both sides no longer believe in the humanity of the other.

    The article wasn’t about Trump, but about the voices and resources we allow to frame our thoughts and theologies…does anyone have any thoughts on that?

  140. Duane Arnold says:

    The weaponizing of scripture when the purpose is wholly political is unattractive at best, and disingenuous at the least…

  141. Steve says:

    Michael,. I think you make a good point. Sometimes I feel I am stuck in a virtual reality simulation and diametrically opposed forces are framing a simulated battle field where we have to take sides. I believe this is soffisticated well funded brain washing effort going on in both parties. Both sides claim the higher ground and look at the otherside as evil. We are all used to the battle of evil vs. good which is why we think this way. Honestly I think most Christians should in general stay out of national politics.

  142. Bob Brow says:

    “Wholly political”?

    I agree with Michael…I thought “…the article wasn’t about Trump, but about the voices and resources we allow to frame our thoughts and theologies”

    Why DID you bring Trump in to it, Duane?

    Also, your argument is with Jesus Christ if you think His words are “weaponized”.
    Good luck to you, Duane.

  143. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m sorry, but I think you have a real problem… just saying…

  144. Josh says:

    We become like what we worship.

  145. Bob Brow says:


    Feel free to tell us what my “problem” is


  146. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…I live in Indianapolis

    Would you like to sit down for a cup of coffee or glass of beer.

    It might be helpful as brothers in Christ.

    I meet with people all the time.

    Any time if fine for me.
    I’ll buy


  147. Josh says:

    I mean, why WOULDN’T someone want to meet up with an aggressive internet stranger? What’s the worst that could happen?

  148. Dan from Georgia says:


    I agree with your last comment. The majority of this comment thread has left a sour taste in my mouth. It just seems to mirror the society at large. Demonizing those we disagree with. Seems like gone are the days where one can debate with another person, and later on the two can enjoy a beverage of their choice together. Maybe I’m an idealist.

    Anyways, I do think that if we consume way too much of one information source or various sources that reflect our own beliefs, and with it said sources that also demonize and ridicule the opposing viewpoints, it is very easy indeed to become just like them., and end up hating other and holding them in contempt. The vast majority will not resort to physical bloodshed. But nevertheless, we can still destroy each other with our words and intentions.

  149. Bob Brow says:

    Dan…Good words

    Duane…The invitation is still there.

    Josh…why do you continue to divide?

    I have met many amazing people online and then in person.

    One is Joshua Levi Lester
    Look him up on Facebook
    He will be coming in to live with us n a few weeks for a 3rd time

  150. Josh says:

    What am I dividing? Your strange fixation on Duane?

    I don’t know why but I looked up that name. First link was his instragram. Would not be allowed in my house.

  151. Bob Brow says:


  152. MM says:


    “Seems like gone are the days where one can debate with another person, and later on the two can enjoy a beverage of their choice together. Maybe I’m an idealist.”

    We tend to be much more polite and listen a bit better when face to face. These internet “debates” for some are nothing more than I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s not really about seeking truth or common ground.

    Frankly I find Bob Brow’s comments very aggressive.

    I’ll also admit Josh, Jean and MLD go at it rather strongly also. But they seem to get along, on line at least.

    Just my impressions.

    Side note: Bob Brow are you the Health Care CEO in Indianapolis? Just wondering, no big deal.

  153. Bob Brow says:

    Health Insurance Brokerage CEO…yes

  154. Bob Brow says:

    Hi MM

    Which comments of mine are aggressive?


  155. MM says:

    Your whole scripture quote, the plank,

    “Also, your argument is with Jesus Christ if you think His words are “weaponized”.
    Good luck to you, Duane.”

    I do agree you used Jesus’ words as a hammer and not as a discussion.

    And the tone in general is aggressive.

    Yes I know you are responding to Duane, but it just seems your political position and (my word) passion for it leave no room for others.

    I also believe we have the right to both respect the office of President, the one holds, and to judge his (and possibly her) execution of that office.

    I hope that’s enough and they are just my online impressions of what you wrote. I really know nothing about you (other than what you put on linkedin).

    Overall I find Duane to be quite personable in his on line writings, but your impressions seem to not quite agree and that part is OK with me.

  156. Bob Brow says:

    “it just seems your political position and (my word) passion for it leave no room for others”

    MM…What did I write that “just seems” like my “political position and (my word) passion for it leave no room for others”?


  157. Bob Brow says:


    Tell us about yourself… “It helps your readers know where you are coming from”


  158. MM says:


    I went back through the thread and highlighted every place Trump is mentioned and what I found was this, The author, Duane, only mentions him through a link to any article he is commenting on. He also makes this comment about the article:

    “It is, I believe, a thoughtful and reasoned response to the racist and xenophobic comments and tweets that have come out of the White House over the course of these last two years.”

    The rest of his post is about treating others with respect and civility even when we disagree with them (my take at least).

    You then start the firestorm by mentioning Trump and calling his introduction, (quoted above) a plank in his eye. Then the PP chorus jumped in and fueled the fire over your Trump and plank comment.

    My impressions, even though you stated this “I think Trump often acts like a bully and a jerk.” are you are a strong supporter of his Presidency and therefore quickly came to his defense as a response to Duane’s comment and called him a hypocrite.

    These are just my impressions and you are free to disagree with them and be a strong supporter of our President, his policies and personal way of doing things.

    Again I voted for the man and fully admit I’m embarrassed to say I did so. But I was faced with a choice and he was the one who got my check.

    America is Great, not because Our President campaigned with that slogan, but because we can openly talk about it and vote our conscience without fear in this nation.

    That’s about all I have. I hope I achieved my goal of civility in what I wrote.

  159. Bob Brow says:

    I enjoy what Duane writes.
    Very thought provoking…excellent.
    He has a gift

    Personally, I didn’t vote for Trump.

    I just thought that the National Cathedral article spoke for itself and tried to ask Duane if it were possible he had a plank in his eyeregarding Trump because Duane wrote that “A convenient way to dismiss any message is to kill, or at least damn, the messenger”


    “…it is not the label that others hang on them that is of importance”


    “It is not that we have to be in agreement with all that they say. It is, however, the truth in their content to which we should pay attention”

    In my opinion, the emotions and personal feelings (and quick responses) of some folks got the best of them.

    Take care all…

  160. Dan from Georgia says:

    MM (at 1:37pm),

    That is true. Seems like some people (not pointing any fingers here btw) are just looking for an argument, and to win said argument. Saw this in college back in the 1990s WAY before social media and the internet. People do tend to be more aggressive and hostile online than in person. This is primarily why I have pulled back my commenting habits online…I can post the most innocuous, innocent observation, and there is a good chance someone out there looking for a fight will jump on me. Maybe I’m not that confrontational. So what. My Lord doesn’t berate me if I don’t always correct people.

  161. MM says:


    I’m a sold out die hard follower of Jesus who believes He died and was raised three days later and is Lord.

    I also believe He said the words, “if anyone loves Me he will keep My word,” which means to me our life struggle is to figure out what those words are and how to live them out.

    I am also just a couple years away from retirement, married for over 4 decades to one woman, I once was recognized by a major denomination as a pastor (some might say clergy).

    I found PP after dealing with some CC pastors who were less than they should have been. What I found at PP was some Lutherans, Anglicans, Evangelicals, Orthodox and many others who tend to spar a bit over ideas.

    I find reading their ideas stimulating, revealing and helpful in keeping me centered and prevent self centered religion from sneaking into my thoughts.

    I tend to vote Republican, but am not affiliated with any party.

    I hope that’s enough for you.

    BTW, good move throwing that question back at me!

  162. Bob Brow says:

    Thanks MM

  163. Duane Arnold says:

    Just back from an afternoon of instructing younger clergy. So you would like to meet…

    Well, first you mistake what I have written. Then you call me a hypocrite, with a “plank in my eye”. My reading of the Atlantic informs you that it is “all I need to know about you”. You ask me to apologize once again for the “plank in my eye”. You insult me, stating things that I have not written or said. Oh yes, and my “argument is with Jesus Christ”.

    Sure, I’ll meet with you, though I can’t imagine why you would wish to do so. Contact Michael for my contact info… You can even wear you MAGA baseball cap, if you wish…

  164. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…Great (and the MAGA hat comment made me lol. I love to laugh…good for the soul). I think we’ll have some things in common as I used to attend church in Franklin, TN with Michael Card. Love JMT, too. Troubadour of the Great King is one of my all timers. You intrigue me…and I think i can learn from you. If it’s just a 1 time coffee thing and you end up hating my guts…that’s ok, too. Will contact Michael. We have a 5 acre retreat on Raccoon Lake (45 miles from Indy) that is very peaceful…but that can wait for our 2nd date if we make it that far 🙂

    Dan…I agree. Having been involved as a bible study teacher, elder, curriculum writer and/or home group leader these past 37 years at…in oder since 1982…a CC, Methodist, Baptist, AoG, Christian, Covenant, Bible, CMA and now Mega Non Denom church, I have been fortunate to have been taught by/exposed to a lot of different “ideas”.

    MM…40 years. Wonderful. It’l be 25 for us in March. Fortunately, I married late. And am married to a saint.

    Michael, what do i need to do to get a hold of Duane

  165. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob Brow

    Lovely to hear all the interesting items… but the thread is not all about you.

  166. Bob Brow says:

    Oops…forgot about the PCA church my wife and I were involved with for a while

  167. Duane Arnold says:

    Well apparently it is all about you… really sad.

  168. McGarrett says:

    Mr Brow,

    Joshua Levi Lester would not be allowed into my house as well. I think your bark is far bigger than your bite on this thread.

  169. Bob Brow says:

    Well…I figure if Jesus would supp with this sinner, why shouldn’t I.

    Very interesting last few comments…

  170. Bob Brow says:

    Joshua was abused by a relative when he was 4 and has been treated like dirt by “Christians” his whole life because he is gay.

    Again…very interesting these comments…

  171. Bride of christ says:

    I have been following this comments section and I am amazed that many of the most aggressive critics of Duane NEVER READ the statement published by the church in Washington. It is obvious that these posters have completely closed their minds. How can you
    Anyone post comments here when you never even bothered to read the original article? The arrogance of these posters is stunning. Many Christians supported Hitler right up till the end as well. Is it pride? Arrogance? I, too, know people who voted for Trump and now regret it. Those Christians are humble and broken in spirit – they truly mourn their choice. I cannot say it is pride keeping Christians who voted for Trump from admitting that Trump is an unfit president , but surely refusing to even read the original article and then posting so aggressively shows a haughty arrogance unbecoming to any Christian and seems to indicate a dangerous degree of pride .

  172. Bob Brow says:

    amen BOC

  173. Bob Brow says:

    “…but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?
    Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, (his) words are dangerous” -from the article

    “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace” -Bernie Sanders

  174. Bob Brow says:

    “Violent words lead to violent actions” -from the article

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” -Barrack Obama

  175. Bob Brow says:

    “To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words” -from the article

    Duane…feel free to post the National Cathedral statement when BO made his knife/gun comment


  176. Bob Brow says:

    My point…no side has a monopoly on decency, pride, humility, racism, rhetoric, etc…to think otherwise is blindness. Hence my original plank/speck comment.

    I’ll stand by what Jesus says…

  177. Duane Arnold says:

    I think someone like Mr. Brow likes to hear the sound of his own voice… Sorry, you can do it on your own.

  178. Michael says:

    Mr. Brow,

    Just out of curiosity…how did you get here and how long are you planning to stay?

  179. Bob Brow says:

    Duane…Actually, I wish my voice was lower. We can still meet for coffee, can’t we?

    Michael…I was “saved” at CC Costa Mesa 37 years ago. Very, very grateful for that. However, in the next 37 years, I never go to involved with them. Just didn’t seem to fit in. Foe that, I’m also grateful. Been following you for only a few weeks, but have been reading Duane’s writings for a while.

    Hope to stay for a while if you keep asking questions.

    Sorry if I have given too much info about myself.
    People asked…I answered


  180. Bob Brow says:

    also…feel free to call me Bob
    My dad was Mr Brow

  181. Duane Arnold says:

    Mr. Brow

    As I said, you can do it on your own…

  182. Bob Brow says:

    Christ was right again…

  183. Duane Arnold says:

    I usually find that to be the case, often in contrast to those who cite his words…

  184. Josh says:

    “has been treated like dirt by “Christians” his whole life because he is gay.”

    I only noticed his love for porn…and I have children in my house. I will protect them.

  185. Bob Brow says:

    In your case…absolutely

  186. Bob Brow says:

    Sorry you if scripture offends you all ” I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside”

  187. Bob Brow says:

    This is so, so interesting. Fascinating…

  188. Duane Arnold says:

    “Sorry you [sic] if scripture offends you all…”

    It is not the scripture that is offensive…

  189. Josh says:

    This poor guy…

  190. Jean says:


    I am tempted to mock your interpretive skills, but I I don’t want to get myself in trouble here. Are you saying that Paul is encouraging Christians, like Josh, who have young children in the house, to open their doors to strangers with a history of sexual immortality?

  191. Bob Brow says:

    Hopefully, you know the answer.

  192. Michael says:

    Some people fit well into online communities. some don’t.
    Bob Brow does not and I have taken him to the city limits and sent him away.
    I simply don’t have the energy for nonsense right now.

  193. Josh says:

    Sheriff Michael, is a good man…but tough.

  194. Duane Arnold says:

    More like Doc Holliday in ‘Tombstone’…

  195. Jean says:

    I hope that while Michael was walking Bob to the outskirts, he convinced him that if he could find just 10 righteous men on the next blog, that he would spare it his judgment.

  196. Jim says:

    This one was a doozy.

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