All of this Trump-bashing and Trump-hatred is expressly against scriptural admonitions. St. Paul and St. Peter both stated that we should honor and obey the emperor and the government. At the time, that was the pagan Roman Empire, that was killing Christians, and Emperor Nero. If we wanna talk about someone who was truly mad and nuttier than a fruitcake, that was Nero, who had both Peter and Paul killed.
Then we have the example of how David treated Saul, who was trying to kill David. He refused to kill him when he had a chance, and honored him as king, because he was “God’s anointed.” Even after he died, fallen away from God and in sin and disgrace, David honored him, because he was the king:
2 Samuel 1:17-19, 23-24 (RV) And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, . . .  . . . He said:  “Thy glory, O Israel, is slain upon thy high places! How are the mighty fallen! . . .  “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.  “Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, . . .”
For more on this biblical command to honor rulers, see:
Could God Possibly Use Trump, Like Queen Esther? . . . and Like He Used Balaam’s Ass, Jonah’s Whale, King Cyrus, and the Babylonian Heathen King, Nebuchadnezzar (Not to Mention Adulterous Murderer, David)? [3-23-19]
[words of Mark Shea below will be in blue]
At this point only an absolute idiot doubts the veracity of the narrative [of Bob Woodward and the New York Times]. In other words, every Trump supporter, 35% of the electorate. They are now enemies to be defeated, not rational actors, not patriots, and not decent people.
I’m very proud, then, to be an absolute idiot and an enemy to be defeated, not rational, not a patriot, and not decent.
I struggle with it [hatred & contempt of Trump, in context] every day, though I struggle far more with Super Christians who should know better and who make endless excuses for this vile filth.
[directly to me] If you choose to apply that to yourself in the teeth of the overwhelming evidence for the accuracy of Woodward’s book, I cannot help you. You do good work on Catholic stuff, but your defenses of Trump this late in the game do you no credit and will only destroy your credibility. I’m sorry.
So you reiterate that I am an absolute idiot, an enemy to be defeated, not rational, unpatriotic, and not a decent person?
I said nothing about you. You chose to apply that to yourself.
[a few minutes later] Fair enough. I should not have said people who deny an obviously factual and carefully research book by a stellar journalist with hundreds of hours of taped conversations are idiots. What word should I apply to people at war with extremely well-documented fact? I’m stumped.
Hogwash. Stop your game-playing evasions. You made a blanket statement about anyone who “doubts the veracity of the narrative [i.e., of Bob Woodward and the New York Times].” I doubt it; therefore all that you said applies to me: “every Trump supporter, 35% of the electorate. They are now enemies to be defeated, not rational actors, not patriots, and not decent people.” Now you want to play games (as you always do when called in instances like this) by claiming that I am applying it to myself and “if the shoe fits, wear it” etc.
I did not apply it to myself. I dispute every jot and tittle of it. You applied to me, as a part of the class of those who voted for Trump and who support his policies (rather than those of child-killing Hillary), and who dispute this fanatical and slanderous [anonymous] bilge currently being spread by Woodward and the New York Slimes.
Yes. That is correct. I do not believe that there is any way to serious cast doubt on Woodward’s book. None. I believe every attempt to do so is simple denial of reality.
So you retract “idiot” but not “enemies to be defeated, not rational actors, not patriots, and not decent people.”? And it is your position that Bob Woodward is gospel truth, whereas the abundance of Scripture about respecting and honoring rulers (and definitely not hating and slandering and mocking them ad nauseam) is apparently not, or is, but somehow we are at liberty to ignore it and thumb our noses at it (as you and many others are currently doing)? Cute . . .
I obey the law. That’s all the respect Caesar deserves. Trump is a crook, a traitor and an enemy of my country. I don’t have to think Woodward’s book is the gospel. I just think it is obviously accurate and well researched and that to make war on it is to make war on reality. It is not rational to do that.
Have you read the book?
It is not patriotic to support a treasonous mob boss who want to destroy the Constitutional order. And it is not decent to make excuses for a man who who want to keep children in cage indefinitely. I will do everything in my power to defeat him. For the sake of the gospel. I could do nothing else in good conscience.
Why didn’t David go on and on about Saul, who was by then an enemy of God? He honored him even after he died. Why did Paul stop his blast against the high priest who had him struck? He stopped as soon as he learned it was the high priest. You do not stop, no matter what. You are disobeying both scriptural commands and godly examples. It’s my duty to tell you that.
You apply this deference to Pope Francis but you don’t when it comes to a President, even though the Bible has far more about respect for mere political rulers than it does about respect for Peter or the pope. Paul rebuked Peter to his face for hypocrisy, whereas he stopped criticizing the high priest and talks about honoring rulers [again, at the time this was Nero] as from God.
I didn’t make Scripture what it is. I didn’t make David or Paul do what they did or cause Peter to say “Honor the emperor” (who at that time was Nero) or Paul to write what he did about political rulers. God allowed all that to be recorded in inspired Scripture. You can be righteously indignant against me all you like. I’m simply passing along rather clear commands and examples of Scripture.
How they despise this man! That’s not good for the soul. Disagree, work for an opponent and opposing policies, fine, but cease with the endless derision and contempt. It clouds reasoning, and in the long run will make one bitter and uncharitable.
What we see is the fruit of liberal politics, and of RINO, establishment and swamp Washington politics, but not of good conservative politics. It’s gotten worse and worse since Bork in 1987. But it increased exponentially since Trump came on the scene, because he is an existential threat to swamp / liberal / RINO power and control. They can’t have that, so have sought to destroy him from Day One.
It’s absolutely maddening trying to reason about Trump with any Never-Trumper. I’ve rarely seen such intransigent irrationality and pure hostile emotion: even among people I highly respect and think are great writers and thinkers.
[someone — not Mark Shea – referred to, as an exception] “the extraordinary deference that David gave to Saul, who was directly chosen by God and anointed by Samuel the prophet.”
Likewise, political rulers are:
instituted by God.
what God has appointed,
God’s servant for your good.
the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.
ministers of God,
respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
[all from Romans 13:1-7, RSV]
Wow! All that was said about Saul, pretty much, was that he was “God’s anointed.” David honored him after he had rebelled against God; even after he died. Is President Trump worse than Saul, and so can be savaged in a way that David didn’t even start to do with Saul?
Mark said that he was bound only to obey the laws. But that’s not true. I showed him that he is also commanded to respect and honor the rulers (like Saul, the high priest, and Nero, in context). We have concrete examples of how that was done, with David and Saul, and Paul and the high priest. In both cases, they did not engage in extended blasting and mockery and savaging. They both honored the rulers by shutting up.
Respect and honor is stuff like football teams going to the White House. Many liberals can’t do that. If I had been on such a team during the Obama administration, it would have been the biggest honor of my life to go to the White House and meet the President.
The closest I came was meeting George McGovern [1972 Democrat candidate for President] in the mid-80s, at a talk. I said to him something like, “I wouldn’t have voted for you but I am glad you came to talk, and I respect that.” I shook his hand. I was respectful.
[reply to a Never-Trump friend] I didn’t say “[Name] spews hatred in his posts about Trump.”
I have made a general statement that much of anti-Trump rhetoric falls into actual hatred and contempt. You yourself conceded that in a post today, I believe, and spoke against it (good for you). And I use the word “hatred” very rarely.
Then you and Mark both admitted today that you have either fallen into that or are tempted to. How much you do it is between you and God. I simply noted that you guys said that about yourselves.
I don’t know anyone’s heart. But I know something of what is in such a heart, if a person [Mark Shea] says (by direct deduction), that I (and I am a big expert on myself and my interior motivations) am “an enemy to be defeated, not rational, not a patriot, and not decent.” He sort of retracted “absolute idiot” but did in a smart-ass way. The rest still stand. You yourself denounced them (if I recall correctly). Is that “hatred”? I would say that it is: this particular utterance.
If I am an “enemy” as a fellow Catholic, then I’ve been put into a very low place. That doesn’t even make any sense. How could a fellow Catholic be an “enemy”? Mark says he is defending the gospel and that “Trump . . . has profoundly corrupted American Christianity.” Does that mean I am an enemy of the gospel? How am I not “decent” etc.?
Yet Mark is the one always carping on about how Republicans supposedly put politics above their Catholic faith. Sounds to me like that is exactly what Mark is doing (having now openly proclaimed that the Democrats are infinitely superior to the GOP, and constantly trashing the latter). He actually made agreement with Woodward’s stupid book as the litmus test. Disagreeing with it makes one an “absolute idiot.”
I asked if he had even read the book (crickets, unless I missed something). I highly doubt it. Thus, praising it to the skies and making it some kind of “test” for fidelity to Jesus is both absurd and a clear example of the genetic fallacy (Woodward wrote it; therefore, it is gospel truth).
Now, you guys will say, “well, you haven’t read it, either.” That’s correct. But what I know about it is that at least four high-ranking people in the administration have vehemently denied that they said what Woodward reported that they said, based on his ubiquitous anonymous sources. That suggests shoddy scholarship. That severely casts doubt on Woodward’s credibility, just as Omarosa (who?) has fallen off the face of the earth, after glaring credibility problems in her book were exposed. The main difference is that Woodward is a Canonized Liberal Saint because he took down Nixon (the previous evil, wicked, diabolical figure: well, besides Reagan and Bush II).
The hypocrisy and irrationality in Mark’s comments are off the charts. But that’s just how it is when he deals with politics. When he gets tired of ranting and actually does some apologetics on rare occasions, I continue to recommend his work as among the very best.
As I have stated more than once, I’m not talking about all criticism of political figures whatever being prohibited by Scripture. Of course that is permitted, and I do it myself. At the same time, it’s also true that there is no record in the Bible of David criticizing Saul at all, or Paul criticizing the high priest (once he knew who he was, or Peter criticizing Nero (only saying he should be honored).
So, as with all things in Scripture, it’s a balance. We have Romans 13 and we also have Revelation 13, etc. Mark Shea denied that we have to even honor and respect rulers. He thinks we simply have to obey laws. This is massively untrue, as I have shown in many papers on the topic (listed and linked above).
(originally from 9-6-18 on Facebook)