divided
From Frontpagemag.com

by baldilocks

In the Washington Post, William Wan, Tanya Sichynsky and Sandhya Somashekhar say that “There are Two Americas”—an assertion made famous by the infamous 2004 Democrat vice-presidential candidate Senator John Edwards. All are were correct and the Washington Post writers outline the many ways in which the partitioning has been made flesh.

To Kelcey Caulder, 22, the division is painfully real. The college student from Athens, Ga., feels its looming presence every time she thinks about her grandma, a Trump supporter and ardent opponent of abortion rights.

They haven’t talked much since Caulder’s grandma found out that Caulder was voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton and told her granddaughter bluntly, “You’re going to hell.”

Caulder tried to be understanding.

“I think, in her way, she was trying to be protective of me,” Caulder said. “She wasn’t saying ‘Kelcey, go to hell.’ It was more like she was saying, ‘Kelcey, don’t you know this could send you to hell?’ ”

But when her grandma unfriended her on Facebook, Caulder said, it was hard not to take it personally. Now, she is nervous about Thanksgiving, although she hopes the family dinner could be a chance to reconcile.

Korey, a student at the Georgetown University Law Center, said he is skipping Thanksgiving altogether because of lingering resentments in his family over the election. After he posted an anti-Trump message on Facebook, his father stopped talking to him, and his mother’s ex-husband threatened to write him out of his will.

Korey, who asked to be identified by only his first name to avoid further angering his relatives, said he’s not ready to reconcile. In fact, he said, he plans to confront his father over his willingness to overlook offensive statements by Trump about immigrants, minorities, disabled people and women just to beat the Democrats.

Edward and the authors of the WaPo piece point to several dividing lines, but I’d like to draw attention to another—one to which they seem oblivious.

There are two types of Americans: people who look to flawed human beings to be their Savior and people who do not. Very many Trump supporters and Clinton supporters fall on the same side of that particular delineation.

[W]e are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

–Barack Obama

Make America great again!

–Donald Trump

The implication is that both men will do these things and their followers will be fundamentally transformed and great if we choose them to be our leader. It’s not an accident that mockers have referred to the two as Chocolate Jesus and Orange Jesus, respectively. And it also explains the animosities, even among kin.

By the way, I don’t remember any great overarching slogan from Hillary Clinton. That may be emblematic of her presidential defeats against both men.  However, many of her supporters even imbued Messianism into her persona.

This proves that when God is absent, people will create their own gods. Don’t do that.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

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The election results pose some significant challenges for the GOP since the Trump revolution may not have been as far-reaching as many would like to believe.

Donald Trump did not make significant gains nationally, earning only a few more votes than the Republican candidates in the past three campaigns, as Mark Levin has pointed out.

According to Cook Political Report’s latest tally, which is continuously being updated, Trump earned about 62 million votes.

That’s about the same as George Bush received in 2004 and Mitt Romney got in 2012. Even John McCain got 60 million votes in 2008.

In 2008, for example, more than 129 million went to the polls, giving Barack Obama nearly 69.5 million votes and a landslide in the Electoral College. In 2012, more than 129 million went to the polls, providing Obama with more than 65 million.

Hillary Clinton will fall short of Obama’s popular vote in the last election, but not by much. All told, the number of people voting also will fall short of the last campaign.

As the results indicate, Trump did well in the 13 swing states needed to win. According to Cook, Trump got 22.1 million votes in the swing states, while Clinton received 21.2 million. That is a shift of 5.5 percent over 2012, but the razor-thin victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan underline a continuing need to work hard over the next four years to keep these states in the GOP column.

It was unclear how many conservatives voted for Trump, although exit polls showed overwhelmingly that people wanted a change from Obama. Forty-six percent of voters said they wanted policies enacted by the next president to be “more conservative” than Obama’s policies, according to ABC News’s election exit polling.

I voted reluctantly for Trump. I credit Trump for bringing more conservatives into his administration so far, which may solidify the GOP’s appeal on the right. The key test to expand the GOP base will be his success in building a more robust economy.

Trump’s election surprised most people. But it’s important to realize that it was not a revolution. It will take a lot of hard work to keep the GOP in power when 2018 and 2020 roll around.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

 

As the year of Mercy Closes Pope Francis has made some significant moves in the context of mercy in an Apostolic Letter:  Mercy and Peace

16. The Jubilee now ends and the Holy Door is closed. But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters. The yearning of so many people to turn back to the house of the Father, who awaits their return, has also been awakened by heartfelt and generous testimonies to God’s love. The Holy Door that we have crossed in this Jubilee Year has set us on the path of charity, which we are called to travel daily with fidelity and joy. It is the road of mercy, on which we meet so many of our brothers and sisters who reach out for someone to take their hand and become a companion on the way. The Jubilee now ends and the Holy Door is closed. But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters. The yearning of so many people to turn back to the house of the Father, who awaits their return, has also been awakened by heartfelt and generous testimonies to God’s love. The Holy Door that we have crossed in this Jubilee Year has set us on the path of charity, which we are called to travel daily with fidelity and joy. It is the road of mercy, on which we meet so many of our brothers and sisters who reach out for someone to take their hand and become a companion on the way.

Ironically while the Pope is pronouncing truths of the faith Ed Morrissey is also pronouncing a basic truth when he says:

I’ve often joked that the four words in the media that most fill Catholics with dread are, “Today, Pope Francis said…” That’s not because the pontiff says things that are dreadful; it’s because we know that we’ll have to spend most of the day explaining what the media got wrong, and what Pope Frances actually meant.I’ve often joked that the four words in the media that most fill Catholics with dread are, “Today, Pope Francis said…” That’s not because the pontiff says things that are dreadful; it’s because we know that we’ll have to spend most of the day explaining what the media got wrong, and what Pope Frances actually meant.

Ed is very right and I would recommend everyone read what the Pope actually wrote vs what others (particularly in the MSM) claim he is stating.

I’d particularly like to bring to your attention this paragraph on the sacrament of Confession addressed to priests: (emphasis in original)

10. I invite priests once more to prepare carefully for the ministry of confession, which is a true priestly mission. I thank all of you from the heart for your ministry, and I ask you to be welcoming to all, witnesses of fatherly love whatever the gravity of the sin involved, attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the evil they have done, clear in presenting moral principles, willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey, far-sighted in discerning individual cases and generous in dispensing God’s forgiveness. Just as Jesus chose to remain silent in order to save the woman caught in adultery from the sentence of death, so every priest in the confessional should be open-hearted, since every penitent is a reminder that he himself is a sinner, but also a minister of mercy.

Note the following lines:

attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the evil they have done,

clear in presenting moral principles

willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey

All of these statements involve an important principle that our friends in the media like to obscure:

The clear acknowledgement that a person has committed an evil act which separates them from God and the understanding that said person needs to know why said act was wrong and be penitential concerning it.

Now that fact doesn’t change the fact that regardless of the evil involved God’s mercy trumps it as the pope also says: (emphasis mine)

Let us recall with renewed pastoral zeal another saying of the Apostle: “God has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has entrusted to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18). We were the first to be forgiven in view of this ministry, made witnesses at first hand of the universality of God’s forgiveness. No law or precept can prevent God from once more embracing the son who returns to him, admitting that he has done wrong but intending to start his life anew.

Note the end of that sentence, it notes that there is a condition for the mercy of God, that being one admits he has done wrong and intends to start his life anew.  This is reflected in the act of Contrition that a pennant says before being absolved.

O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

The wording varies but the intent is the same, I did wrong, I’m sorry and I intend to not do wrong again.

Humans being weak, that intention will often not be enough to overcome temptation in the short run, if it was then there would be no need for weekly confessions in church, but that intent and acknowledgement is the key here, and without that acknowledgement & intent to repent the search for Mercy will be in vain.