A PATRIOTIC BLIND EYE

A PATRIOTIC BLIND EYE May 22, 2017

Editor’s Note: This was originally written this past February and unfortunately it’s just as timely several months later. I guess I vainly hoped that things would have improved by now, but I’m afraid they’ve gotten worse. Still, as our naturalized American writer says, we should keep on fighting. This post, which has been lightly edited, originally appeared on Fernando Alcántar’s blog.

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By Fernando Alcántar

Friends, unfortunately some Americans seem past the point of no return regarding their blind faith in the current American president. They feel that if they acknowledge any flaw of their leader, the opposition would use it to bring him down completely. They don’t want to take that chance. Hence, they dig in their heels and accept what Trump is doing to America.

Something to think about:

Americans are JUST AS HUMAN AS GERMANS. Trump supporters see a huge American flag waving behind their leader. Though they may see signs of dictatorship, they don’t care. They love American patriotism and feel patriotic as Trump pushes away people they see as non-American (i.e. Muslims, Mexicans, non-Christians, Chinese, etc.). Those who fit the stereotypical American look and don’t regularly mingle with them, find it much easier to believe what their leader says about them.

Donald_Trump_September_3_2015

They see Trump as so American and believe he loves America so much that they assume he is good inside and wouldn’t actually do something evil. They witness Trump attacking those who are not American, those who don’t look American, those who are not Christian, and those who are not white. But they think it’s OK. Just as Germans did with Hitler, they watch the mayhem around them but give their leader the benefit of the doubt extending the line on the sand and even losing complete track of it. They think that Trump’s attacks are just a part of his personality and not a path to destruction. They can’t imagine that someone so American and that loves America so much could be a capacity for evil. We are a civilized country and very American, so it seems impossible at this point.

Trump attacks immigrants, non-Christians, the media, those within his party that have a different opinion, fires those within his administration who have a different opinion, lies on a regular basis even when he is caught on video and scandal after scandal arises. Yet Trump supporters act as Germans did years in the 1930’s and 40’s — as humans sometimes do — ignoring the warnings and going back to the thought that keeps them in a daze:

“I love America, I love America, I love America.”

They repeat that mantra and choose not to see the clear path Trump that is taking toward destruction.

But we can’t wait for Trump supporters to wake up from that daze if they don’t want to. Look at Trump’s eyes—in any picture. His mind is made up and it’s a matter of time before it’s complete action. Trump is not a good man. Still, I love my fellow Americans who support the current president. Many of them are really good, very sweet people. Many of them actually despise the fact that I’m gay and that I’m atheist and they smile in my presence.  But in private they pray for my soul and denounce my “sinful ways.” They like that Trump is making America Christian again. They see the current chaos as the means to an end. If Trump is doing God’s work, then God will be in control and they give Trump free rein because he (mis)quotes their scripture.

I don’t know what shape or form Trump’s destruction will take, but we have seen this movie before. I am very proud of Republicans who stand up against Trump. I am very proud of Christians who stand against Trump. I love them and they are my sisters and brothers. I don’t fear Trump, but I fear what he does and what he can do. As an immigrant, non-white, non-Christian, non-straight person, I feel very intimately the terror Trump supporters enable with their blind faith in the lives of our community.

We will fight. We will continue to stand up against Trump’s hate and personal greed disguised as patriotism. I just hope it’s not too late to stop his momentum and help his supporters see it before it’s too late to control his unhinged power. Let’s continue to be cautious of that patriotic blind eye. Loving America doesn’t mean we allow a bully to manipulate us by hugging an American flag with one hand and squeezing out minorities with the other. Trump is not Hitler — yet. But we shouldn’t wait until the bombs are dropping on us before we stand up for those we love and call a maniac out for what he says and does. That is American too!

Fernando-AlcantarFernando Alcántar is a former leader of the Foursquare (evangelical, Pentecostal) denomination in Mexico and senior coordinator of North American Partnerships at Azusa Pacific University, where he oversaw hundreds of churches in Mexico and helped to mobilize thousands of missionaries a year from all over the United States and Canada. He is now a gay atheist activist, spreading a message of tolerance, introspection and understanding. He lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He is a member of The Clergy Project and author of To the Cross and Back: An Immigrant’s Journey from Faith to Reason, with a foreword by Dan Barker.

>>>>Photo Credits: Greg Dart;  “Donald Trump September 3 2015” by Michael Vadon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_September_3_2015.jpg#/media/


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  • Matthew Hullinger

    My mother is one of the Christians you speak of here and it is disheartening. She associates my lack of support for Donald Trump as an attack on her religious faith too.

    My feelings though are that this election is a culmination of factors that were inherent in past elections as well. I remember my own congregation, being totally against Mitt Romney, because he was a member of what our denomination considered to be a cult. Then the second he got the nomination, my congregation switched sides and began promoting the godly nature of Romney, even going so far as to claim their is nothing different between Protestantism and Mormonism.

    It is ridiculous that we see Christians promoting Donald Trump as a godly man but they can do nothing else. They have been taught for so long, not to question anything that occurs in God’s plan and so Trump being president must mean that God wants him there. Strangely enough though the majority of them did not see the same God hand on Obama’s shoulder when he was elected twice.

    It’s hypocrisy but anyone who has left the faith knows that Christianity is more or less hypocrisy held together by biased thinking.

  • mason

    Fernando, you wrote, “some Americans seem past the point of no return regarding their blind faith in the current American president.” This is a common problem with “true believers” as Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner Eric Hoffer wrote in “The True Believer.” (when the word Presidential actually meant something ) It’s also an easy exercise in no return for most Evangelicals since they’re already habituated to the bamboozeled, blind faith life.

    By way of clarification, when Trump uses the word “America”, as in “I love America” it’s his code word for “my financial interests.” Donald has been a career bamboozeler his entire life.

    https://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thoughts-Movements-Perennial/dp/0060505915

  • mason
  • mason

    Matt, My sisters are the same way (parents are RIP or they’d most likely also be in the bamboozled boat https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c080c2cd52eec75f57d37fca82c477ffa7c0ee4bc43727b06f6b1d9208d472e5.jpg ). I’m seeing first hand how Hitler had the support of Christians when he took over Germany. The dark underbelly of Evangelicalism is more twisted than even I wanted to think it is. But then, they follow a very twisted and totalitarian Jehovah & Son Inc.

  • Matthew Hullinger

    It’s hard to see especially from people who at one time you respected and believed along the same lines with. Not to claim a sense of superiority but I have always been a questioner. Even when I was a small child I asked questions in Sunday School that got me into trouble with my teachers and pastors. The ability to not only learn but to question what you learn is severely lacking in religion.

  • Jack Baynes

    I just can’t understand the idea that an attack on Trump is an attack on Christianity. Yeah, Trump has appointed a conservative judge who promises to attack abortion rights, and some Christians think that’s a good thing. But other than that I see no connection between Trump and actual Christian values.

  • mason

    Lacking … beat down, intensely discouraged, told it may be Satan talking to you, etc etc. I remember asking, “What happens to all the people in the world who die that never heard the gospel?” “Oh, they’ll be OK and go to heaven because they never rejected Jesus,” to which I had a follow-up question; “So why tell them in the first place if they’re already safe?” “Because we’re commanded to go to all the corners of the earth … and don’t you ever question God’s plan! It’s the Great Commission!” dear old Mrs. Warrick instructed with a raised voice I’d never heard before and a new scowling look she displayed.

  • Kev Green

    Trump really isn’t as intolerant as he appears; he’s an opportunist. He’s saying what he thinks his base wants to hear; it doesn’t help that he has Steve Bannon in his ear. If he sees a dollar to be made from reversing his views he’ll do it in a heartbeat.

    He needs to be impeached because his inability to control his ego presents a threat to national security. But, ideologically, Pence is going to be just as bad or worse. Pence is a true Evangelical who actually is homophobic and misogynistic, not just playing the part.

  • Jim Jones

    Trump hates all sorts of people – but never the rich. He pissed off the wealthy locals in Florida by welcoming anyone with money to Mar-A-Lago.

  • mason

    Agreed … Trump was as liberal as, or even more so as Hilary, before he saw the opportunistic Presidency opportunity with the birthers, US border dissatisfaction, Evangelical agenda, racists, unhappy middle aged white males, etc. Pence would definitely push towards theocracy with DeVos. Trump vs Pence? either a very bad choice

  • ElizabetB.

    Somehow a sane threat, Mr. Pence, as dangerous as it is, seems less dangerous than an unbalanced one.

  • See Noevo
  • guerillasurgeon

    Would you please, just once, post something fucking relevant?

  • mason
  • Mr. A

    I miss Sagan.

  • Keulan

    Trump is terrible and I hope he’s impeached soon, though at this point the Republican majority in Congress is too spineless and blinded by party loyalty to consider impeaching him. I doubt Pence would be much better since he’s an Evangelical Christian and a bigot, but at least with Pence we’d have a president with some experience in government. In any case, the next few years are going to suck for a lot of Americans.

  • mason
  • mason

    I keep imagining a million plus citizens outside the https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21c95de2609c7556376e8f9355c073cea8f84bb80d74244d64acc67dd6eab0ae.jpg White House chanting “RESIGN NOW! RESIGN NOW! and social media flooded with the same message.

  • ElizabetB.

    He developed a nifty refrain: ‘Lock him up!’ : )

  • HpO

    Just because you admit there, Fernando Alcántar (with the blessing of Linda LaScola of Rational Doubt), of “the fact that I’m gay and that I’m atheist” – no, make that “an immigrant, non-white, non-Christian, non-straight person” – you can’t go around spewing lies and fomenting hatred, with this pseudo-declaration: “Trump (is) attacking … those who are not Christian … Trump attacks … non-Christians” – because “Trump is making America Christian again”, even though it’s plain to see that, if truly “Christian” himself, “he (mis)quotes … scripture.” Even if there’s supposed to be a grain of salt of revolutionary truth in that disinformation a.k.a. propaganda of the atheistic LBGTQ solidarity movement, couldn’t you at least mis-quote Trump on those words from reliable sources like, I don’t know, Advocate or Huffington Post, WorldNet Daily or Christianity Today? “Fernando Alcántar’s blog” doesn’t count, sorry, brother. But you know what I’m getting at, right? I mean if you ever feel like quoting Trump to strengthen your case, at least do it like this: “Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.” (Cal Thomas, Trump Interview – The Transcript, Tribune Content Agency, 6/8/2016) Speaking of which, I’ll bet you that, being post-“Foursquare” and everything, you actually can kind of agree with Trump’s honest-to-God grasp of His Son there, can’t you? As one crucified, buried and resurrected with the crucified, buried and resurrected One and Only, I absolutely can’t.

  • Jim Jones

    I know I’m prejudiced but . . .

    Backpfeifengesicht: “a face that cries out for a fist” or “a face that’s begging to be slapped”

    “Dein Gesicht glänzt wie ein Affenarsch!”: Your face shines like an ape’s ass.

    The Germans: good with words.

    As for Trump, Trevor Noah has it right: Just compare what he said during the campaign with his actions now. Trump 2016 would claim that Trump 2017 should be in prison. He is correct.

  • Jim Jones

    Poe?

  • Jim Jones
  • Dannorth

    Hopefully but not with confidence.

    I don’t see the grain of humour that would mark it as a Poe.

  • Dannorth

    Nice comic.

    But it has been shown that hatred of cilantro has a genetic component that affects the perception of the taste of cilantro, To some folks it tastes like soap.

  • ElizabetB.
  • mason

    Yep, Trumpler is using the same appeals to the herd of sheep, who are a big part of his brown shirt base 🙁