‘I wouldn’t buy any green bananas’

‘I wouldn’t buy any green bananas’ September 26, 2019

• “Trump administration to slash refugee program, capping number at 18K

The Trump administration announced Thursday it planned to cap the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. next year at 18,000, the lowest number in decades. …

Trump has cut the number gradually each year. In 2016, President Barack Obama’s last year in office, the cap was 85,000. Trump cut it in 2017 to 50,000, then 45,000 in 2018 and 30,000 this year.

The cap is the lowest ever since the program was created in 1980.

As Trump has slashed the cap every year, refugee resettlement agencies, ministries and nonprofits have had to downsize. Their capacity for rescuing people in danger is now a fraction of what it was just a few years ago.

Many of these agencies are faith-based or church-based, such as the white evangelical agency World Relief or Catholic Relief Services. They won’t be coming back from this. The faith that originally led to their formation has devolved, replaced by a stunted nationalism and me-first chauvinism that is incapable of understanding the idea of missions that saw these ministries as essential duties of the church.

White evangelicals have rapidly gone from viewing World Relief as unassailable, to perceiving it as “controversial,” and then as suspect, and ultimately as an enemy to be eliminated. As white churches spiral further into a Trumpified, Foxified nationalism, the next domino to fall will be international missions.

Yes, really. I do not think even the Southern Baptist IMB can survive another full term of Trump Christianity. It will be hollowed out, scaled back, attacked as “controversial” and purged of any missiology other than a Colonization Society ideology designed to keep them over there. Folks like Russell Moore and JD Greear will express their grievous concern over this, and just as many people will listen and follow as they are now their protestations about refugees.

When white Christians in America are forced to choose between whiteness and Christianity, they will always choose whiteness. Expecting or hoping them to do otherwise is like betting on the Washington Generals.

• This:

I was barely in elementary school during Watergate, so I asked my older brother what it was all about and what it meant. He said it meant that for a whole year there was nothing else on TV.

• I bookmarked this article a week ago because it was a fascinating bit of history and a great read: “The Mayor and the Mob.”

It seems there was this crusading anti-crime prosecutor who later got himself elected mayor of New York City, enjoying immense popular support. But then it turned out he was deeply entangled with the very corruption he campaigned against and ultimately wound up having to flee the country to avoid prosecution. Looking at it again this week, this story rhymes.

• “About That ‘Favor’ Trump Wanted From Ukraine

Given that background, it seems likely that the favor Trump asked for on the call was for the Ukrainian president to look into an American company, with a non-existent Ukranian CEO, to verify a conspiracy theory — one that has been debunked by his own intelligence agencies and Department of Justice — which would reveal that the Russians didn’t actually hack the DNC, that the leaked emails came from a midlevel staffer who was then murdered by the Clintons.

And that bonkers … request would end up being the less damning of the two requests Trump made of the newly elected president while delaying military aide to the country.

• Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was abruptly fired last month. Coats, a longtime Republican senator from Indiana, is a graduate of Wheaton College, where he remains respected and beloved as a role model (unlike, for instance, Dennis Hastert).

Coats has been pretty quiet since his departure from the Trump administration. And he’s been pretty quiet about the latest rapidly unfolding scandal(s) and allegations of corruption now surrounding the president. I don’t think he’ll be answering the phone if Jane Mayer or somebody from The Washington Post calls for an interview. But you know who he might talk to? An earnest journalism student from the Wheaton Record. Tell him, “Students would be interested in a profile of a distinguished alumnus at the end of a long career of public service.” Then see what else he might have to say. Please.

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