Trump, Sham Trials, & Misunderstood Analogies

Trump, Sham Trials, & Misunderstood Analogies June 3, 2024

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I put up a meme on my Facebook page that I got from my good friend Toni Vercillo. It read, “Jesus was convicted in a sham trial . . . and crucified. I still follow him.” A lot of folks liked it (132 after about 30 hours). Some definitely didn’t. This is a collection of what they wrote (their words in various colors) and how I responded to them. But sadly, for some reason, they chose not to respond back and have an actual dialogue. Others chimed in defending me, with some great comments. But for brevity’s sake, this is just the critical comments and my replies.

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Linda Holowecky: You have got to be kidding! You are somehow linking Trump and Jesus???

Yes, I “somehow” am: they were both subjected to sham kangaroo court trials.

You really think that even the trials are equivalent??? No wonder the left looks at many Christians as complete loons.

For the analogy to succeed, the trials need not be exactly equivalent. They both had in common the fact that they were sham farces and gross injustices. The degree can be different. The people involved can be vastly different. But there is common ground. All trials that are unjust and convict an innocent person have that aspect in common.

All analogies are not absolutely perfect. The exact analogy, however, is a sham trial:
1. Conflicted judge (big Biden supporter; so is his daughter).
2. A DA who campaigned on “getting” Trump.
3. Jury selected in a district that voted 85% for Biden.
4. A misdemeanor at most for which the statute of limitations had run out, then tied in a bizarre way to election law and 34 (??!!) felonies.
5. One of the defense’s best witnesses (election law expert) wasn’t allowed to even testify.
6. Bizarre judge’s instructions for the jury.
7. Democrat law professor Alan Dershowitz said it was the weakest case he’d ever seen in 60 years of law practice.
8. The timing was obviously planned to interfere with Trump’s campaigning.
This is not lunacy. Many lawyers and legal minds — including several Democrats — are noting the crazy nature of this trial. It will be overturned on appeal. The Democrats, of course, have an entire history of ridiculous and phony attempts to take Trump down: the Russian hoax invented by Hillary Clinton, etc. This is simply one more try.
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Not that I will convince you, since there is no rational discussion about politics anymore: especially as soon as Trump is involved. We even disagree on why he is hated so much.
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Even if you can stretch the analogy that far, it is not a good look for Christians to make any link between such a deeply flawed man and Jesus.
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I couldn’t care less about “looks” but I do care very much about reason and justice and the rule of law. No one ever said Trump was perfect. That’s irrelevant. What politician is? Even the world’s greatest scoundrel might be a victim of a scam trial, and I would defend him if so. We can’t let our justice system go to hell.
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The meme compares President Trump and Jesus insofar as both were victims of a farcical sham trial. See, for example: “Analogy and Analogical Reasoning” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). This is what the protesters in this thread aren’t grasping:
Analogical arguments rely on analogies, and the first point to note about analogies is that any two objects are bound to be similar in some ways and not others. A sparrow is very different from a car, but they are still similar in that they can both move. A washing machine is very different from a society, but they both contain parts and produce waste. So in general, when we make use of analogical arguments, it is important to make clear in what ways are two things supposed to be similar. We can then proceed to determine whether the two things are indeed similar in the relevant respects, and whether those aspects of similarity supports the conclusion. (“Analogical Arguments”)
I have now explained how and why the analogy is perfectly apt, reasonable, and appropriate. I expect (well, I dimly hope) that at least some who are protesting and liking negative comments will interact with my point about the nature of analogical argument. [none ever did] The analogy does, of course, presuppose that it is a sham trial (those who disagree will reject the meme on the basis of an alleged false premise). I gave ten basic reasons above for why we believe that.
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It was the 2008 Obama campaign that was shot-through with messianism [examples one / two / three / four], not Trump’s followers. We’re not nearly that stupid, and we already have a God that we worship. It’s when folks are not religious — don’t place God first in everything — that they latch on to mere politicians and make them God-like.
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On a similar note: when I first put up my website in 1997 I had a row of photos: St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and, myself. These are my three theological heroes, and originally I had web pages devoted to all three. It was obvious why I posted their pictures. Mine was there because (DUH!) it was my website! Sure enough, one of my many critics had to make the dumb remark that I was supposedly comparing myself to them, as if I were on their level. SIGH
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As usual, we saw several pointed criticisms, and I have carefully replied to ’em, but as of yet, no one has interacted with my replies. Takes two to have a discussion! Is political dialogue completely dead now, just like theological discussion virtually is? If someone thinks I am off my rocker and can’t defend myself, they’re gonna be disabused of that notion very quickly.
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Your first allegiance should be to your Christian faith. If your comments or actions make it more difficult to spread the Gospel then you should pray about it. The US justice system doesn’t trump the Great Commission.
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What makes you think my faith is not my first allegiance? Nothing I have said suggests that I place mere politics above my Christian faith. I explained the analogy. You have not interacted with it; nor has anyone else who was critical. I’ve devoted my life to defending my faith. It’s my vocation. I hardly write much about politics at all anymore. So where do you get off making such a charge?
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I may not vote for the first time in my life. I cannot in good conscience vote for a vindictive demagogue and I can’t support many of the Democrat policies. I will tell you that the last Democrat I voted for was Jimmy Carter ( I was young and probably foolish.) I voted for Trump twice thinking that his outrageous statements were just political posturing but he has now shown his true colors and I am not willing to overlook his very deep self serving flaws anymore. And by the way, it isn’t just his personal flaws, I’m not all that fond of many of his policies either.
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I’m delighted to hear that you won’t vote for the childkillers.
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Brian J. Roach Seriously? Trump is certainly not Jesus, and the analogy is a disgrace. For someone who is highly respected and intelligent, you have certainly lost your bearings when it comes to this man. I expect better. Based on my Newsfeed, it is Trump supporters that have apparently lost their minds. 
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Gary Bennett I support Trump, but the correlation while there, seems inappropriate somehow.
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Many people misunderstand the nature of analogical argument. All analogies have parts that are parallel and parts that are not. See my answer to Linda.
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Tara Butchart [responding to Gary] my thoughts exactly. I was not planning on voting for Trump until this circus, and do plan on it now, but I find these comparisons very inappropriate, and I’m seeing so many like this, it almost makes me go back to not wanting to vote for him as I don’t want to be associated with this line of thinking at all. [It’s] not a good comparison to make. Those sort of comparisons are what made me change my voting status to an independent this year. The sham trial made me change my mind in regards to voting for him and even consider contributing to his campaign. I’m just saying this sort of comparison and similar memes do NOT help the cause and as a matter of fact may make on the fence people shy away from him again. It’s just not an appropriate comparison. Period.
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And I am saying that you have an inadequate understanding of how analogical argument works. If you understood it properly, there is nothing whatever wrong with this one.
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I don’t think you need to be as defensive of the post as you are. I get the analogy completely. I just feel uncomfortable injecting Trump next to our perfect God and savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t feel comfortable using any Imperfect person in Trump’s place either. It’s bordering on being sacrilege.
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You do not get how analogical argument works (I do, because it’s one of my favorite forms of argument); nor are you interacting with my reasoning and further explanations. I wish someone would.
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Some things said in life are correct, but they are not always APPROPRIATE to say.
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That’s still not interaction with my defense of the meme.
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I agree completely with your defense of the meme. Between you and myself and a few others it’s all true. The analogy makes perfect sense.
I still find it inappropriate for the sake of those on the fence about Trump. The meme is too much for many to grasp and only acts as a deterrent to vote at all.
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Politics is about winning votes. Serving steak to an infant voter will not win that voter. Many Christian voters cannot vote for either Trump or Biden because they believe voting the lesser of two evils is still an evil. I believe abstaining is not good for this country, we must win votes for Trump. To those on the fence, this makes us look fanatical for Trump. I’m not fanatical for Trump the person, I’m only fanatical for what he will and won’t do.
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January 6th is a turn off for those on the fence, because they don’t know Trump requested the National Guard and Nancy Pelosi shot him down. Why would someone that allegedly wanted violence request the National Guard for Jan 6th to keep peace? Truths like that are not shared by Democrats or the media.
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These truths are more important than this meme for the sake of those on the fence. I cannot convey these truths like you can. I only hope you will come to understand what I’m trying to say about this meme and how it hurts our cause.
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Thanks for this concise comment. I appreciate it. I would respond that if you “completely” accept my defense, then the meme is not “inappropriate.” My defense / counter-argument disposed of that objection, in my opinion. I think you can make a case that this approach of mine is “unpersuasive” to those on the fence.
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That’s completely different. It would then become a pragmatic or strategic / tactical argument: what works in the effort to persuade those on the fence to vote for Trump. Of course, the sham verdict is already doing that work for us (as I confidently predicted that it would). It’s being widely reported that many who were on the fence are now solidly supporting Trump.
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But you assume that I was trying to persuade those on the fence in this article. I wasn’t at all (I did that a lot in 2016 with a long series of articles, culminating in an uncannily accurate prediction that he would win, and why he would), and it would be a very involved, complex issue to work through. I was noting that this was a Stalinist show trial and that such things are immoral, wrong, and bode very ill for the future of this country: if we keep going down this road.
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That’s a completely different argument from “you should vote for Trump because of x, y, z.” As I noted, I haven’t written a blog post about Trump for more than a year-and-a-half. The primary issue I was addressing is the nature of a legitimate, just, fair, impartial, nonpoliticized. non-corrupt justice system.
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Andrew Rabel You can’t compare the Lord to Donald Trump. Possibly a statesman who in is public and private conduct exhibits Christian values, like Blessed Charles of Austria, and St Louis IX, because it was Him they were trying to follow.
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Like all the other critics (apparently), you have not grasped how analogy works. I tried to explain it, but no one wants to discuss it. I’m disappointed, but not in the least surprised. There is no intelligent political discussion anymore, when folks disagree. That’s why the country is in the mess it’s in now.
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Alright. I will eliminate Jesus. Could you then compare Trump to Blessed Charles of Austria (the last Hapsburg Emperor) or St Louis IX, of St Casimir? It was King David himself who in the book of Psalms said, “Don’t put your trust in princes”.
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The comparison isn’t holiness to holiness; it’s sham trial to sham trial. It works because of the greatness of the One who also had the sham trial. The meme is saying, “oh, so you think I shouldn’t follow Trump because he is a convicted felon? I follow Jesus, Who was a convicted felon (and executed as well). Should I stop following Him, too?” The deeper question is if there is such a thing as a sham trial, and if this was one. But the reasoning works by reductio ad absurdum (another form of argument). It rests in no way, shape, or form on an alleged comparison of the righteousness of Trump (or lack thereof) vs. that of Jesus. This is what folks aren’t getting (because they are unacquainted with arguments from analogy and logical reductions).
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If we want to cite Scripture, it also stated:
Romans 13:1-4 (RSV) Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God’s servant for your good. . . .
And:
Ecclesiastes 10:20 Even in your thought, do not curse the king, . . .
And Paul said at his trial, citing the OT:
Acts 23:5 . . . “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.”
Yes Dave. I am not cursing anybody. But that is entirely different thing from trusting them. And anyway this particular person was a ruler, but hasn’t been for a few years.
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In this country we used to treat former presidents with respect. Not anymore. Now, granted, I’ve had choice words for Carter, Obama, Clinton, and Biden. I fall short of that ideal, too. But nothing is remotely like the mountain of lies, propaganda, and slander that President Trump has had to endure. I used to think they hated Nixon and Reagan and Bush Jr. so much. That was a lovefest compared to Trump-hatred. It’s all because he sees the leftist / secularist agenda for what it is and runs against it and takes no crap. That’s why he is hated with a diabolical hatred by the Powers That Be. I’m talking about the actual politicians and power brokers of Wash. DC, not everyone.
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Well people who want power over others, are a class of their own. I am not saying it’s all bad. Motives are often mixed. Often idealism is very strong at the beginning, but sadly it diminishes. Dave, I am just a little bit sceptical of the concept of “earthly Messiahs”. Sure vote for the person you think is the best. But that doesn’t mean he’ll deliver, and might even break his promise. When it comes to Trump, I am very disappointed about what he has had to say on life issues of late. When the state of Alabama recently stopped IVF procedures, (because of a new prolife law there), he said he was all for it.
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He’s not totally pro-life. But he was the man most responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade. So it’s him vs. a man who wants abortion up to birth and promotes it in any way that he can.
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And I agree the alternative is better from that standpoint.
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Mel Villarreal Really? You are defending a man who committed adultery with a porn star? That’s too much.
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You are assuming that he did, and that wasn’t the charge anyway. It was a non-disclosure payment, which very many businesses and famous people do all the time and is perfectly legal. Michael Jackson, for example, paid some idiot $20 million who had accused him. When he actually went on trial he was found not guilty. What I am defending is a fair and just legal system and the America I grew up in and loved.
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“I don’t really see how you can have it both ways, to claim to be the party of law and order and then to denounce trials that don’t come out the way you want them to,” William Galston, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, told ABC News about the Republican response. [link]
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There is such a thing as a trial or even a SCOTUS decision (Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade) that is a scam or immoral. It used to happen to blacks in the South all the time. Now it is happening against Republicans: even former Presidents. This perversion of the justice system is an absolute outrage that will produce untold terrible effects.
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Trump is being treated like anyone else. It is nonsense that the justice system is being perverted. You are engaging in conspiracy theories. But how can you defend engaging in adultery by having sex with a porn star. I remember Bill Clinton, and how terrible it was that he engaged in inappropriate activities. Now the worm has turned and our demigod, Trump, can do no wrong. I can’t read your stuff anymore.
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Again, no interaction with my arguments. Be well. I shall pray for your quick recovery from TDS [Trump Derangement Syndrome].
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No interaction with your arguments? You haven’t told me why you think it’s great to commit adultery by having sex with sex stars. What is that about? Faux News shrinks your brain.
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I can’t tell you why I think a thought is great that I never thought. So that wasn’t my argument. I gave several others that no one who disagreed has yet interacted with. If a person can’t defend their opinion [or their attacks of other opinions] it ain’t much worth having.
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Jake Jordan Jesus and Trump are two different people. Jesus was never guilty, Trump was. I’d take this post down, friend, it is in bad taste. Stick to theology. You are good at that.
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M A K E * A N * A R G U M E N T or get lost . . .  And don’t try to tell me what I should or shouldn’t write about . . .
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You lost me Dave. This is why folks shouldn’t force their politics on people. Former fan, take care.
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Yes you are lost. You come here and lecture me without interacting. That’s the classic definition of a troll. So go in peace. I will continue to actually attempt political conversations, even in our ridiculous age of mutual monologues and ignorant, insipid political sermonizing. It’s virtually impossible, but hey, I’m a hopeless idealist, heaven help me . . .
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I’ve bought several of your books and [am] pointing out the simple fact that a person whom folks look up to and support financially should not force their politics on folks. Amazon does this with the Pride Month as well as Target. They are foolish for doing this and all who do as well.
People like you for your theological insight, not your political one. You need to know your base and your base as you stated don’t care about your politics, friend.
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I don’t want to hear it, and based on what other people said, they don’t either, so why force it upon us? In my opinion it is foolish. I won’t buy any more of your books because you treat your customers like crap, it appears. I thought you were better, but I’m disappointed. Take care.
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So Jake likes my theology, but because I favor Trump over Biden, now he is theologically through with me. “He has great views on x (theology), but because he has political opinion y, I reject him with regard to x.” Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
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Bro, you are so smart yet so foolish. I’ll spell it out: people are here for your theological insight, not political. People shop at Amazon for their deals and don’t want to hear their Pride BS marketing. Don’t have a Bud Light moment bro. I believe I speak for many. You aren’t going to change a damn person’s mind with your political rant, it could only hurt you and your brand. So why go there? It is foolish. You have nothing to gain by going there. You’ve already lost my money and support, does that make you feel better? You’ve won nothing but want to flex with your pride. I’m past that. Take care. Such a shame
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How is it “forcing” my view on someone, to simply express my opinion, and put up a blog post? Just don’t read the damned thing if you can’t handle an opinion other than your own! In this world there will be many opinions you don’t agree with. I have written about politics all along, and pro-life, and things like the nuclear bombing of Japan (against, and lost a friend over that in 2005), or the death penalty (against). I have a huge page about politics and ethics, and others on pro-life and sexuality, etc. And that’s because Jesus is Lord of all of life. I address those things.
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I did extensive analysis of Trump in 2016, and successfully predicted that he would win, and was right in about 90% of my analysis for the reasons why. I had a much better predictive and analytical record in the 2016 election than almost all of the paid political consultants, making millions of dollars. So I am not uninformed about politics. I’ve been a political junkie since the early 80s, and a pro-life activist (with five arrests, three trials, and some jail time, when I was in Operation Rescue). I am an apologist but I am also a citizen.
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Nor is it true that my base doesn’t care about politics or anything besides theology and apologetics. This very post has received 147 likes in two days. Probably 90% of my base (estimate) is conservative Republican as I am. So I am not offending them. Once in a while there is someone like you who can’t handle a different opinion. There were a few dissenters in this thread, with whom I have tried to have a conversation. Not a single one, including you, even attempted to interact with my arguments in defense of this meme.
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Now you want to lecture me and use the old tired, idiotic, “forcing your opinion” mentality. Nice try. It won’t work. I haven’t even written a blog post about Trump since Nov. 2022: over a year-and-a-half. And the previous one before that was in Feb. 2021. I’ve never written a blog post about Biden. See for yourself [on my Political, Ethical, Moral Issues web page]. I made reference to the “Biden rule” in a Facebook post in 2018, before he was President. If that is being obsessed with politics and forcing my views and supposedly alienating my followers, so that you have to diss me now, it’s certainly a very odd criterion.
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If people (including my “base”) don’t want to hear it, it’s beyond odd that I have 147 likes for this thread, whereas for almost all of my theological threads, I’ve been getting maybe 30-40 likes. Look through my Facebook page if you doubt my report. So if that shows disinterest and disagreement, then it’s a very strange way of doing it. I was almost gonna make a comment about how I wish people were this interested in my theology posts.
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As usual, the protesters speak up because they don’t like it, and the “squeaky wheel gets the grease,” etc. Those who agree tend to comment a lot less. That’s just human nature. But it doesn’t suggest that the vast majority of my readers oppose me on this. Some small percentage are Democrat or non-Republican, but the great majority broadly agree with me. I would know, after 27 years being very active online. I know my
But in any event, what I write about has no necessary relation to whether it agrees with what my followers think. I write about whatever I want to write about. That’s what thinkers do. This happens to be a very hot current issue. So I wrote about it. I’m not afraid to be controversial; never have been.
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Now you have the audacity to attack me because folks support me financially. I appreciate you buying some of my books. The fact of the matter is that I receive $1-2 in royalties for books bought (many people are unaware of how little authors receive). So maybe you have contributed ten dollars to my income. My records show that 1,020 people have financially supported my apostolate through the years (because I offer over 4,600 articles absolutely free for people). 117 have given twice or more, and 118, three times or more. As I looked through the record of donations, your name doesn’t appear at all. So you are not exactly a huge supporter that I have now lost. I’ll survive your departure. Thanks for your concern, but it’s misguided.
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Folks want to talk about religion not politics.
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That’s not true. The critics wanted to talk about politics when they came onto my Facebook page and rendered their opposing position. They had no trouble talking then. And as usual, I now include their thoughts in the blog post because I like free speech and all views being heard. But when I counter-replied and defended the meme with reason, they wanted nothing to do with a DIALOGUE. Therefore, it’s dialogue with someone different that folks don’t like, not political discussion itself. They (including you) want to preach and lecture without interacting and debating and dialoguing.
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Photo credit: This caricature of President Donald Trump was adapted by “DonkeyHotey” (7-4-15) from a Creative Commons licensed image from Gage Skidmore’s flickr photostream. [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]

Summary: I shared a meme about President Trump and Jesus both being subjected to sham trials. Several objected and I defended my view, but no one wanted to discuss it.

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