Calvin’s Corner

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105 Responses

  1. once a cc guru says:

    Bro, you are way off calling Trump “a picture of the Antichrist”… really? I call BS!

  2. Michael says:

    So…lets look at why I said that.
    Here is someone who has proclaimed himself able to solve all the problems we have by sheer will and force.
    He declares himself able and denigrates any who challenge him.
    He is being cheered without question…because people believe him to be a “strong man” who can do what he pleases.

    He even said that the military would bow to his demands, even if unlawful.

    He promises “peace and safety”.

    There seems to be something powerful about him…if you would have told me that Christians would someday vote for an adulterous strip club owner I would have laughed in your face.

  3. Xenia says:

    Trump is an anti-christ.

    I will not vote for an anti-christ.

  4. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    What makes you say that?

  5. Xenia says:

    For the same reasons you gave.

    He’s not THE anti-christ but he’s certainly one of many that have appeared on the scene.

    I can’t explain, otherwise, the almost supernatural hold he has on the American populace, most of them Christians who seem to be in some kind of trance.

    + He believes he’s above the law
    + He is immoral
    + He is a scammer
    + He has a love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil
    + He has already managed to offend several world leaders. WW 3, here we come.

    I heard Trump say on TV the other day that his life is motivated by greed.

    When Israel and Judah fell into idolatry, God send the idolatrous Assyrians and Babylonians. America worships money so we (might) get Trump.

  6. Xenia says:

    Trump is a caricature of everything the rest of the world hates about America.

    He is the arch typical ugly American.

  7. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Kind of off track, but I’m curious.
    What is the Orthodox view of the anti-Christ?

  8. Xenia says:

    I’ve lead several high school groups on trips to Europe and before each trip I gave the kids and the adult chaperons a lecture on how not to behave in Europe. Looking back on those lectures, I was basically telling them not to act like Donald Trump: vulgar, arrogant, greedy, loud, etc.

  9. Xenia says:

    Hi Michael,

    Since we are amil, many of us expect to see The Anti-christ before the Lord returns.

    There is a tendency toward partial preteritism, and those people believe Nero was the Anti-christ.

    Eschatology is a big theme among monastics. Most of the time, all that ordinary people will say is that the Lord is surely coming one day. But I think most of us believe that The Anti-christ will appear before the End.

  10. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Thank you.

    I believe he will appear first also…that’s why it’s important to see these types.

    On the other hand, I could be wrong.

    Now, I have to look up those monastics…that interests me.

  11. SJ says:

    If you want to see a funny commercial from SNL this weekend put in YouTube “Racists for Trump commercial”. It was the hardest dig I have ever seen against a pres. candidate. Maybe he deserves it after the Duke comments or lack there of.

  12. Xenia says:

    I can’t even point you to anything written. I picked this observation up from my visits to monasteries.

  13. Xenia says:

    Here’s a quote from Fr. Seraphim Rose (memory eternal) recorded in his biography, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works,

    “The Antichrist must be understood as a spiritual phenomenon. Why will everyone in the world want to bow down to him? Obviously, it is because there is something in him which responds to something in us—that something being a lack of Christ in us. If we will bow down to him (God forbid that we do so!), it will be because we will feel an attraction to some kind of external thing, which might even look like Christianity, since ‘Antichrist’ means the one who is ‘in place of Christ’ or looks like Christ.”

  14. Xenia says:

    (Fr. Seraphim helped found a cherished monastery in northern California, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, near Platina, California.)

  15. Michael says:

    I will say this though.
    There are a lot of good and decent people who are responding to Trump because they see our country being changed forever by forces out of their control.

    The threat of the Muslims and the globalization of the economy have changed things dramatically for all of us.

    We have to address those issues or worse will befall us.

  16. Xenia says:

    I agree, Michael.

  17. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That quote is a keeper…wow.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    The other day something was mentioned here about someone with great children and how the person who raised those children had to have some good in them (I forget who)….

    Trump’s children by EVERY witness I have heard (and there are many) are some of the most impressive, intelligent, respectful people you will meet. And not in the Romney-bot, we want to get our dad elected mode either. They are their own person, great families, great love for their dad. They have been by his side this campaign and you might have seen them interviewed as well (or watched them on The Apprentice).

    Second, there are many stories surfacing of the financial generosity he has showed other people – ways that aren’t tax deductible. Private, personal stories – brought forth now by people who keep hearing Trump is a greedy monster who say, Hey, let me tell you what he did for me that nobody knows about.

    Third, I have heard testimony after testimony from people who have known him personally for decades that he was one of the most genuine, kind people behind the scenes – that the Trump we all see is a lot of act (like so many celebrities). I am not saying he SHOULD be that way, only that it is said he is.

    Fourth, well before any political run, he was the only celebrity to welcome Naghmeh and meet with her about Saeed – not one Hollywood type, musician type, nobody else spent a couple hours of his schedule with her.

    Fifth, yes he did say his life has been motivated by greed. He also said in the very same remarks that because of that he wanted to give back to the country that had given him so much. Trump is the only one running where President is actually what the founding fathers imagined – successful Americans giving a few years back for public service, unlike Cruz, Rubio, Hillary and Sanders who have known nothing but political life and living off the taxpayer and to whom President is a lifelong dream.

    My point? Like most people he is an incredibly complex person with many talents, good traits, bad traits, some excellent traits and some horrific traits. I could likely list a similar list for President Obama too – even if I would not vote for the man in a million years. This is not an endorsement and I imagine a whole lot of people I would vote for in the primary before Trump.

    Does he cuss? Yeah, just like young pastors are learning to do to be fashionable.
    Adultery? Yeah, just like a lot of pastors have done and keep on preaching.
    Is he crude and boisterous? Yeah, (paging Mark Driscoll)
    Casinos? Please. Those are adult Disneylands considering how much porn is consumed by Christians today.

    Now, Xenia will say, rightly and to the EO’s credit – our priests aren’t like that. Yes, and Xenia you will notice is not a Trump supporter. However, are we really surprised that Christians, in some general sense, overlook his sins considering they overlook the sins of their own pastoral leaders (and those that often they see in the mirror).

    Trump is not a monster. He is no more evil than anyone on this board. Let’s save the evil word for people that really deserve the tag. Like racist, or fascist or whatever insult gets tossed around casually, the words lose their meaning when they can be applied to anyone we just don’t like or disagree with.

    His ego is no bigger than anyone else running for President believe it or not, and to his credit, he has done so by the rules, gotten into the arena, and faced the debates, the negative ads, media criticism, and most of all – the will of the voter. And for a political novice who speaks very poorly (i.e. that military line about orders was immediately clarified), he has earned the wins and delegates so far. Maybe he is lucky the field is still crowded (because the other egos refuse to drop out even though they have no chance). Maybe God’s hand of providence really IS in charge and Trump is either going to be a terrible President, be the means of electing Hillary to be a terrible President in order for His purposes for America to continue…or…maybe he will succeed and be a great President too. Dr. Carson is a great man and that was the thing that struck me when he said, the thing about Trump is he will WANT to succeed and will put the best people in places of authority and let them do their work – that’s what business people do.

    If Trump wins the nomination, my personal convictions are, each year, that I will vote and will vote for a candidate that can actually win, which almost always means I have two choices. This year, given the choice between Hillary or Trump, it will be Trump. I understand those who choose not to vote…I refuse to be shamed into thinking though that one’s “Christian duty” is to vote for Hillary or stay home as the only viable options (and rest assured there will be millions of Christians voting for Hillary too).

  19. BrideofChrist says:

    A recent opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times got my attention . “Evangelicals’ Support of Trump Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise’ by Randal Balmer, a Professor in Religion who is a Christian raised in an evangelical church . I could relate to much of what he said. I have been a Christian for a very long time and I have also seen the “worldliness” creeping into the evangelical church and the so called “religious right”. For those of us who have attended church for a very long time, much of what this man writes will ring true. Read the article at latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0303-balmer-trump-evangelicals-20160303-story-html .

  20. BrideofChrist says:

    http://latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0303-balmer-trump-evangelicals-20160303-story-html might work better! It can be googled also. I’m curious if folks voted for Mitt Romney last time around, and if they did, what did they think of his speech about Trump a few days ago?

  21. once a cc guru says:

    Thank you Steve, for taking the time to type out EXACTLY what I feel and believe about Donald…

    Agreed 100%!!!

  22. Michael says:

    I think he’s one of the most despicable, evil, people of my lifetime…so we will disagree.

  23. Michael says:

    That’s just weird.
    A guy is thrice married, brags about his affairs, owns strip clubs, but thats ok because Driscoll is an ass.

    My hope is that after my surgery I recover enough to engage in civil disobedience after he’s elected.

  24. once a cc guru says:

    # 20

    Judge Jeanine: Mitt Romney awoke a sleeping giant: More truth from the Right….

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4788291323001

    Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

  25. Steve Wright says:

    A guy is thrice married, brags about his affairs, owns strip clubs, but thats ok because Driscoll is an ass.
    ——————————————-
    Yeah, that’s exactly what I wrote.

  26. Michael says:

    “Does he cuss? Yeah, just like young pastors are learning to do to be fashionable.
    Adultery? Yeah, just like a lot of pastors have done and keep on preaching.
    Is he crude and boisterous? Yeah, (paging Mark Driscoll)
    Casinos? Please. Those are adult Disneylands considering how much porn is consumed by Christians today.”

    It was a summary.

    I find this inexplicable in so many ways…but that’s politics and the church.

  27. Scott says:

    Michael, I think since you’ve rubbed all the hair off of Miss Kitty, you mind need to get a couple of backups 🙂

  28. Michael says:

    I’m on the look out for strays as we speak… 🙂

    Seriously, I’m past the time I usually shut down, so I’ll do so now…

  29. Steve Wright says:

    Like I said, I see why people might sit out this election. I never sit out any election. That is my personal conviction. That is my starting point before the Lord. Always.

    The Clintons (yes, that includes Hillary) have used their power and influence to destroy numerous women that Bill slept around with (or in one case, raped), with the added bonus of hypocritically claiming to be a feminist fighting the “war on women” against the evil republicans.

    And millions of Christians will run to vote for her….and nary a peep from the “Christian” media.

  30. Steve Wright says:

    Michael @26 – Two different things are at play in my comments.

    As I said, he is not my first choice. Or second, third…It is often asked “how can Christians support the guy” and I answered that question with noting look what else Christians support. Is it really surprising. That was my summary. You will note I do not cuss, have adulteries, support adulterers staying in the pulpit etc.

    I then explained how it is OTHER Christians, including yours truly, can pull the lever for the guy in November. That is a totally different issue.

  31. Xenia says:

    Steve, I said something similar to this a while back, that the same people who are attracted to abusive pastors might be attracted to Trump. (Well, this isn’t exactly what you wrote, but it’s in the same vein.) People who value excitement over humility, show-offs over quiet servants. Flash over substance.

  32. Em says:

    abusive pastors draw from the same folks that Trump does? i wonder… i suspect that the whole world of vote seeking politicians do that… we surely do lack discernment, but then only God knows the insides of us…
    what puzzles me is why we don’t have more discernment where track records are concerned… we buy into promises to fix the same things that they spotlight as the problems they promised to fix when we elected them the last time around…
    maybe a good amendment to the Constitution would be a provision allowing for every incumbent up for reelection to be put on trial for their track record …?… dunno

  33. Xenia says:

    That was a great podcast, by the way Michael.

    It’s not that Trump doesn’t have the right to run for office. He can say and do whatever he wants. As you noted, what’s distressing is the lack of discernment on the part of Christians. That is very troubling.

  34. Michael says:

    Thank you, Xenia!

    I wasn’t real together that morning so that makes me feel much better.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t care about Trumps personal life. If he needs to have extra women in the side so he functions in life, who cares.
    But doesn’t it bother anyone who supports Trump or Carson, that these guys have no experience or track record in government work?
    Who here is going to vote for sheriff some who has had no experience in police work?

  36. Steve Wright says:

    Flowers – adultery, Broderick – rape, Jones – indecent exposure, Willey – sexual assualt off the Oval Office, Lewinsky – sexual harassment on the job and multiple lewd details…the names are ingrained deep – I’m sure google could bring up a few more.

    And each time the woman was villified and destroyed, by Mrs. Clinton and Bill and their machine.

    Add the emails, Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation (for starters)..and against Trump I guess we can go back to the 80s with her too, cattle futures, whitewater….

    How many articles will be written about the Christians who will vote Democrat in November.

  37. Michael says:

    Steve,

    80% of evangelicals are Republicans.

    My guess would be that the number of evangelicals voting for Clinton will be minimal, so that’s not much to write about.

  38. Xenia says:

    I think there are Catholics, Anglicans, other mainline Christians and some Orthodox who will vote for Hillary because they believe the Democrats do a better job of loving one’s neighbor.

  39. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You are very brave. 🙂
    I concur…

  40. Xenia says:

    This is the bind I always find myself in every election. I want to vote for someone who is:

    1. Decent
    2. Is against abortion
    3. Is for traditional marriage
    4. Has a heart for Mexico and Mexicans
    5. Has a heart for those who need health insurance
    6. Can get along with Congress
    7. Can say the phrase “Extreme Islamic terrorism.”

    I am not going to vote for anyone who plans to round up all the illegal Mexicans and send them home. I suspect I have some inlaws on that list…. How could I ever look that side of the family in the eye again? There’s no one I want to send back.

    I am not going to vote for anyone who says he’s going to tear up Obamacare the first day in office. Oh really? What about the thousands of people who will be without healthcare if that happens? (Gradually replace it with something better, yes.)

    No one to vote for.

  41. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    What a great list…I’m writing you in. 🙂

  42. Xenia says:

    Thank you 🙂

    I should add that I would like a candidate who has a good plan to keep jobs here in America.

  43. Well, since all of the GOPers have vowed to cut my Social Security and Medicare, wouldn’t I be playing the fool if I voted for them?

  44. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I wasn’t aware they were targeting that as well.

  45. Michael says:

    It’s estimated that undocumented migrants pay 13 billion a year into SSI that they can’t collect.
    You better hope they only deport the unemployed ones…the system could collapse without them.

  46. brian says:

    I hope you are feeling well Michael / everyone else. My personal view, if you will on the end times, is I would watch the sun, not literally please do not view the sun without proper equipment. But anyway when the sun begins to become unstable approx. 7 billion years from now. It will become a red giant and engulf the earth in its outer atmosphere, most likely we as a species, if we endure that long will be far away from Earth. On a galactic scale, it will be a rather non-event. Again there are many other things that could spell the end of the human species, a nuclear, chemical, or biological exchange, continued dramatic climate change, a pandemic or several natural disasters together.

    Most likely I won’t be here. As for Mr. Trump being a / a type of “Anti-Christ” from a traditional Christian view many leaders are types of anti-Christs. Personally, I think he is a reflection of what many of us have allowed take place with the constant fear mongering, lack of civil discourse, acceptance of crass speech towards others and the rebel without a clue I’m not PC rhetoric. I have seen this as common in discussions on and offline for years, I wonder why we are shocked when it has spilled over into the public sector so to speak.

    http://futurism.com/death-from-the-skies-how-our-solar-system-will-die/

  47. JoelG says:

    #46 – Wow. Never thought about that. Thanks Michael.

  48. Em says:

    #46- seems a little high – dunno – there’re are a lot of workers being paid under the table, though – not nearly all are undocumented

    the management of tax payer dollars in this nation are terrible by any measure…

    on another tac – i wonder if we have a clear picture of how far down the road to globalism this world is now … borders are clearly defenseless everywhere

  49. Michael says:

    Those aren’t my numbers…they are from the SSI.
    They are not difficult to tally, nor is that information hidden.

    Let’s look at some other facts that don’t match the Republican lies in this fear mongering mess.

    Mexican immigration has been in negative numbers since at least 2012.
    They don’t tell you that.

    The border is “porous” for one reason.
    It’s not because we don’t have a wall.

    It’s because of “commerce”.

    For example…Laredo, Texas is now the fourth largest port in this country.

    Unless you read that here or read what I read, you wouldn’t know that.

    Mexico is the U.S. biggest trading partner.

    You probably didn’t know that either.

    https://nacla.org/blog/2015/12/10/trade-efficiency-and-border-security-odds-us-mexico-border

    For the poor, the border is very dangerous and difficult to cross.

    The entire Republican plank on immigration is based on lies and half truths meant to exploit fear and latent racism.

    They are providing a scapegoat for angry Americans…when the real scapegoat should be our own policy makers.

    Those jobs that leave here and go there do not benefit the Mexican worker…it is just another way to exploit them as the American worker is exploited and discarded as well.

    Finally, learn the difference between a migrant, an asylum seeker, and a refugee…three different categories with very different paths.

    We do need immigration reform…we do need a plan to deal with global migration…but these lying asshats aren’t interested in real solutions to real problems.

    They are interested in your rage paving a path to power for them.

  50. Mr Jesperson says:

    Concerning “the Anti Christ” if we allow John himself to interpret the familiar passage from Revelation: 1 John 18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[a] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.”
    How about 1 John 4 2 “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
    How about 2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
    If we use these verses to interpret the other verse also written by John we see that “The Antichrist” is a spirit who is ancient and has been active and alive for millenia. The Antichrist uses antichrists throughout the church age to do his bidding. They are of limited use because by the time they are old enough to have gained enough earthly power to be useful, they only have a few short decades before their health falls apart and they die. This is why there have to be multiple antichrists. By the time one is really well trained they start to die. None of this is hard for me to understand and I am not a theologian nor a preacher. There is so much worthless speculation about this topic that goes beyond the scriptures. I choose to interpret John by John. So simple, so logical, but it will not sell those “Left Behind” books. But it always gets back to Mammon in the end does it not?

  51. Michael says:

    While I find Trump loathsome, I think this is also true.

    “In each instance Trump’s successes at the polls have forced me to acknowledge a degree of blindness. A great number of people in America no longer feel at home, a greater number than I imagined. They’ve been pushed aside by our global economy. A liberalized immigration regime has changed their hometowns. When they express their sense of loss, liberals denounce them as racists, which is equivalent to saying that they have no moral standing in our society. Increasingly, conservative leaders let those charges go unanswered or even agree. Then, when they cheer the idea of making America great again, they’re written off as crude nationalists rather than recognized as fellow citizens who want to do something.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/03/what-trump-teaches-us

  52. Xenia says:

    ^^^ That is true.

  53. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That is what I failed to understand for a long time…and that was my blindness.

  54. once a cc guru says:

    Oh Look… The Antichrist just won Michigan and Mississippi!

  55. Michael says:

    A sad day.

    I believe he could win the Presidency…and I will not comment on what I believe will happen after that.

  56. once a cc guru says:

    I’m Happy 😉

  57. Michael says:

    That too is sad…but not unusual in this climate.

  58. once a cc guru says:

    The truth is Michael, that you have never looked into my eyes nor I into yours and in reality, debates about Politics and Religion are only opinions… Love ya brother!

  59. Xenia says:

    When the real Antichrist comes he will win nearly all the world.

  60. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    We see now how easy it will be for him to do so…

  61. Em says:

    the Antichrist will probably not get voted in by John Q. Public, just affirmed by acclimation, eh?

  62. Michael says:

    He will also be affirmed by personal choice.

  63. Em says:

    maybe Donald T. is the Antichrist, … i’m beginning to think he just might do a good job … yikes!

  64. Em says:

    i sense that one had better stay close to God in heart and mind, not looking around for big time leaders of the Church if one hopes to not get fooled in that day… just before the great and terrible day

  65. Michael says:

    I will say again, he is a picture of the coming anti-Christ.

    If a good job means bringing civil war then he’s your man.

    Some of us will get in the way when he comes to deport our neighbor.

    My boy and myself will be two of those, God willing.

  66. Xenia says:

    Ditto.

  67. Em says:

    Michael, Trump could well be that… but as i study some of our career politicians – such as the Clintons – i see much more insidious evil there, at least in the sense of using us, the common folk and for no purpose other than to gain power… i admit that i am in a trough of disappointment when i look at the state of our nation … i hope we become wise (no that doesn’t mean i hope that everyone thinks like i do :smile )

  68. Michael says:

    Xenia just made me cry which means I’m probably too emotional about this matter…or maybe not.

    I understand being unhappy with many things about the government.
    I just spent many days exploring that concept.
    We can and should do better.

    I don’t understand entrusting this man with anything precious…and hate will always be it’s own reward.

  69. Em says:

    #80- i think that is an important fact to keep in mind… “he will win nearly all the world.”

  70. Em says:

    make that reference # 60, not 80 … i broke my glasses 🙂

  71. Em says:

    Xenia made you cry, Michael? i read that and i thought that that was about the worst outcome that i could think of, you three out there defending your friends against the government… a couple hundred years ago you folks would be on the underground railroad maps – God keep

  72. Michael says:

    It’s not an outcome anybody wants.
    I’m grateful to God that I’ve lived in such a way that the boy would want to stand up to this.
    I’m grateful to God that Xenia would do likewise.
    It grieves my soul that such would be necessary in this country.

  73. Xenia says:

    Way back when Obama care was under discussion, my sister said she’d go to jail rather than be forced to sign up. I told her I would rather go to jail to save my Mexican neighbors. This isn’t a new thought with me.

  74. Pastor Al says:

    Every major Evangelical Guru who is worshipped by the “sheep” is a much truer Anti-Christ

  75. Michael says:

    I don’t think anyone here is worshipping any people so we’re good to go.

  76. Pastor Al says:

    I disagree.

  77. Pastor Al says:

    You have an unhealthy view of John Calvin and J.I. Packer for example

  78. Michael says:

    I respect them.
    They are excellent teachers.
    That’s not worship and it’s not your place to tell me what is healthy for me or not.
    I’ve profited greatly from their work.

  79. Pastor Al says:

    Your defensive tells of your worship.

  80. Michael says:

    No, it speaks of being bone tired of this crap.

  81. Michael says:

    Anyway…back to the last thing I wanted to say tonight.
    The greatest challenge in this election cycle is going to be maintaining relationships in a very divisive atmosphere.
    It’s too easy to allow this conflict to split both friends and families…I know people already feeling the stress.

    This concerns me…as it will be hard for me to separate people from position when the stakes are this high.

  82. Xenia says:

    Yep. I found my first real life Trump supporter the other day and for a few minutes I thought poorly of this person. I had to mentally smack myself upside my head and readjust my attitude.

  83. Michael says:

    I have someone pretty close to me that thinks he’s the cats meow.

    We got pretty heated and my first thought was how little I would speak to this person from now on.

    That’s when I knew this was going to be a long, hard, haul.

  84. Micheal, “I will say again, he is a picture of the coming anti-Christ.”

    Now you are sounding just as hysterical as Steve Wright on the other side about Hillary Clinton.

    Is this your first attempt at paying attention to partisan primary elections? Take a breath.

  85. Cookie says:

    Michael- you hate Trump because of his position on immigration. So I guess you must hate a lot of people- because the overwhelming vast majority of Americans want our borders secured- and want to stop giving free stuff to people who deliberately broke the law to come here.

    How does it feel to have all that hate inside you, Michael? I know you have a very strong position on immigration. Do you really want open borders? Do you believe anyone should be able to walk into America without any rules and immediately sign up for food stamps, public housing, free medical, public assistance- pay no taxes- pay no social security?

    Do you have any problem with the middle class forking over 30- 40% of their salaries to support the immigrant- along with the rest of the unemployed, the underemployed, the slackers, the lazy, the slothful?

    I know this is a much more complicated issue and I might sound ignorant.

    But no more ignorant that someone who states: “Donald Trump is one of the most despicable, evil, people of my lifetime.”

    So lets look at some evil people in Michael’s lifetime: Charlie Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Zodiac Killer, Tim McViegh, Osama Bin Laden, Sdaam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeni, Idi Amin, Pol Pot,

    But Donald Trump makes your list? Give me a break.

  86. Michael says:

    Cookie,

    I don’t have any hate inside me.
    I have huge sadness over people being misinformed and acting out in anger instead of finding solutions.

    I have never , not once, not ever, advocated for “open borders”.

    The border cannot ever be totally secured because the amount of commerce done across the border is also the path for most illegal smuggling of both drugs and people.

    What a wall or even more militarization does is cut off the poorest and most desperate of the groups while the moneyed find paths across with the billions of dollars of product that come over every year.

    Undocumented migrants are not eligible for food stamps, welfare, or Medicaid.

    As I noted above, the Social Security Administration estimates that they pay about 13 billion a year in SS taxes that they will never be able to draw from.

    I’m for immigration reform that takes in an understanding of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and considers the role that this country played in some of those migrations.

    I’m against demonizing an entire group of people as Trump has Mexicans while mocking women and disabled people as well.

    I’m against draconian solutions that will create more problems in the long run.

    I’m for people being informed and reasoned dialog about the most important issue facing not only us, but the globe.

  87. Michael says:

    “Undocumented immigrants are already U.S. taxpayers.
    Collectively, they paid an estimated $10.6 billion to state and local taxes in 2010, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a research organization that works on tax policy issues. Contributions varied by state. In Montana they contributed $2 million. In California, more than $2.2 billion. On average they pay about 6.4% of their income in state and local taxes, ITEP said.
    A 2007 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the impact of undocumented immigrants on the budgets of local and state governments cited IRS figures showing that 50% to 75% of the about 11 million unauthorized U.S. immigrants file and pay income taxes each year.
    A 2013 CBO analysis of the failed bipartisan bill introduced by the so-called “gang of 8″ that would have created a path to legal status for many undocumented immigrants found that increasing legal immigration would increase government spending on refundable tax credits, Medicaid and health insurance subsidies, among other federal benefits. But it would also create even more tax revenue by way of income and payroll taxes. That could reduce deficits by $175 billion over the first 10 years and by at least $700 billion in the second decade.
    ITEP estimates that allowing certain immigrants to stay in the country and work legally would boost state and local tax contributions by $2 billion a year.”

  88. Michael says:

    When a demagog energizes an entire base of people through preying on their anger and fear, that is evil.

    It’s not an evil that I thought would ever take hold here, but it has.

    By the way, Mexican migration is already in the negative…but DT didn’t tell you that.

  89. Mike says:

    “By the way, Mexican migration is already in the negative…but DT didn’t tell you that.”

    Of course not. DT and most Republicans today live in a fact-free world.

    It’s the old saying come to life: “Don’t bother me with the facts — my mind’s already made up.”

  90. Michael says:

    Mike,

    I don’t think the other party is any better…
    We are devouring ourselves on both sides.

  91. Em says:

    taking nothing away from the concerns expressed here by Michael and Xenia – they are valid concerns …
    but we’ve always had haters among us – at one time i would have thought them an anomaly, but a lifetime has taught me that they aren’t – there is something in a percentage of the human race that feeds on hating, needs an enemy and a scapegoat and i don’t know if it’s curable without a new birth (one place where fruit inspection may be a valid indicator of salvation – ?) –
    my point is that i think that parents, politicians and salesmen all use the boogeyman ploy – we need to be praying for wisdom to discern just what powers are behind the candidates… none have the interests of the common man as a priority
    i strongly suspect that Trump is much more pragmatic than the rhetoric coming out of his mouth, that he is no worse than the others
    dunno, tho – do i? 🙂

  92. Michael says:

    Em,

    You are undoubtedly right to a large degree.

    However, what has happened now is that reasoned discourse to find real solutions is impossible.

    We can’t afford that.

    The global migrations won’t stop, can’t stop.
    Muslims aren’t going to disappear.

    We need to be at our best, with real facts and real desires to find solutions before the only solution is violence.

  93. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, you love Charles Bowden, correct?

    You call the Gangs and Drug Cartels a great “dark, demonic evil” etc, correct?

    Do you know that the Illegal Immigration problem is also a Drug Cartel and Gang problem?

  94. Em says:

    you are exactly right on each of those points, Michael… when i’ve watched the debates there is nothing there – no substance and when one or two of the candidates make a try at it, they quickly get lost in a buzz word attack
    violence is already at work … it’s the more violence that is frightening … civilizations destruct when they reach the point we are at now … i think Xenia pointed out a while back how quickly the whole landscape can disintegrate

  95. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Bowden has my highest respect and esteem.

    Gangs and drug cartels are evil.

    The cartels have taken over much of the coyote jobs to get people over…ironically because it’s so difficult to do so now.

    The drug wars are a whole separate issue.

    All the militarization of the border has resulted in no decrease in drugs, lower prices, and higher purity.
    We should be asking why and how that can be.

  96. Pastor Al says:

    “We should be asking why and how that can be.”

    B/c the rich elites and politicians and Wall Street guys need their cocaine.

    And, b/c the CIA relies on the Black Money to fund their Black Ops and they are a Fiefdom unto themselves.

  97. Pastor Al says:

    Plus, Prohibition has never worked…unless you go full Taliban or like the Chinese did with their Opium epidemic and start killing drug addicts until there is no more demand.

  98. Em says:

    time to go feed Stickie, Axle and Rainy

    Suds and Gracie got their hay and carrots early as the weather prediction was for raining cats and dogs outside by now – it is doing so and how! twas Divine Guidance, i’m certain

    Stickie the cat and Rainy the dog send their love to Miss Kitty… Axle the cat only loves Axle, but he does accept unbridled admiration and limited amounts of homage

    God keep

  99. Michael says:

    Drugs are Mexico’s second highest currency producer.
    If drugs stop flowing, Mexico collapses.

    The U.S. doesn’t want a failed state on it’s border.

    It also provides cash for American banks.

    Prohibition doesn’t work…especially when it’s a 50 billion dollar market economy.

  100. Xenia says:

    Except for the Civil War, the US has had 230+ years of internal peace, advancement and incredible prosperity. Being isolated on North America and sequestered from all the wars that largely take place in the rest of the world, we find it hard to believe that it can all fall apart. We think we will always be the richest, smartest, bestest people in the world. We think our country is unbreakable. Let me tell you, the USA is very breakable. All the empires of the world have collapsed and our turn is coming sooner or later. Many believe the inevitable decline is upon us now. I don’t think any of the current candidates will be able to slow the decline and a few have the potential to set alight a powder keg and hasten the collapse.

    Yet as Kevin and others have so eloquently said, none of these things will prevent us from loving God and loving our neighbors, which is all God requires of us.

    Last night, amidst advertising his bogus steaks, Trump said “I am a good Christian, a very good Christian.” He is delusional about this and a myriad of other things. He is DELUSIONAL. And many have been deluded along with him. Yet even if he wins, or Hillary, I can and will continue to love God and love my neighbor, starting with my family, my parish, my neighborhood and my town. In fact, my opportunities to love my neighbor may actually increase.

  101. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think that’s going to be what we focus on going forward.
    There is no point in me adding to the strife already existent…your perspective is the only real way forward for me, I think.

  102. Xenia says:

    Michael, speaking of which, the puppy “ministry” is going very well.

    Yesterday I gave a baggie* to a toothless gentleman with a huge pit bull and when I looked back, the pup was enthusiastically poking his nose in the bag like a little kid. Today I found a crazy guy screaming obscenities at traffic:” No *&$(@(&*& of you will give me any food!” and then he turned around and I handed him a bag. “Oh…. thanks!” I never say “I will pray for you,” which is a little condescending. Instead I ask them to pray for me.

    *These bags were a friends of Michael’s idea. I have 2 kinds. One is for homeless people with dogs: Big Milkbones for the pup, a granola bar for the person, a Gospel of St. John, a dollar or two and a small prayer card. The ones without a dog get 2 granola bars.

  103. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That is awesome.
    The people in our church are getting more joy out of the process than the people they help, I think.
    It’s a really good ministry…

  104. Cookie says:

    Michael, thank you for your reasoned, informative response. I need to do some research. I was not aware of some of these facts.

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