How Close is America to a Civil War?
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Thank you for joining me at Keep the Faith Ministry once again. We are on the precipice of great and climactic events that foreshadow the close of probation and the soon return of Jesus. When I think carefully about the issues in religious liberty that are going on in America at the moment, I can’t help but think that heaven may well have approved the development of a strong religious right. This does not bode well for America’s future. We really need to pray that God will hold back the winds of strife so that God’s people who have not been sealed will have a little more time to unite with Christ and that their characters may be transformed into His likeness. Our own characters must be transformed. But this is at the very time when most pastors tell their congregations that they cannot quit sinning and live a full-time righteous life. They are told that their characters will be transformed when Jesus comes the second time. That is deadly, my friends. The whole Great Controversy is about the character of God, especially the expression of His character in the lives of His people.
But I’m worried about America for another reason. I believe that the United States is about to begin a very dark time. Oh yes, America will become strong and great again as predicted in Revelation 13:12. But in reality it is sinking lower and lower on the scale of moral worth as it does so. And in the process it is getting more and more polarized, even to the point of violence.
But before I begin, let me thank you for your support and prayers for the work of Keep the Faith Ministry around the world. We really need them. Your gifts help us to fund the CDs that we send to over 13,000 subscribers. And your prayers open the windows of heaven. The word of God and the angels strengthen us to do our work.
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Now, let us begin with prayer. Our Father in heaven, we are in need of Your grace in our lives, especially Your power to overcome the enemy who is always on our track. We need to understand the signs of the times, so that we can see that Jesus is coming back again soon. Please take over our characters so that when the inevitable chaos comes to the world we live in, we will have the character of Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can be given in rich measure. That way we can show others the way of Salvation. Now we ask for Your Holy Spirit to teach us as we study the festering potential of a civil war in America. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Friends, turn with me in your bibles to Genesis 6:11. The Bible says, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled violence.”
In the time of Noah, the people loved violence. They loved it so much that God saw that they had filled the earth with it. They loved killing and causing pain. They loved scenes of war and bloodshed. They did not respect human life. It was so bad that God said the thoughts and the imaginations of the human race were only evil continually.
Jesus said, as it was then, so it will be now. And I am very worried for America. The nation has become so polarized politically that it can now be said that there is no political reconciliation. In fact, the left and the right, or the liberals and conservatives, or the secularists and the religious are so far apart in their viewpoints that they cannot have a civil political conversation. They use aggressive language that reeks of violence. They talk over each other’s heads. They don’t listen to each other. Their minds are so engaged in political thinking that they are blind to the things that are coming upon them. And this is just how Satan would have it. He wants to distract anyone and everyone he can so that they cannot prepare for the coming of the Lord.
And now we are approaching a time of even greater violence than ever before. Violence has increased enormously in the last few decades. It has been stoked by governments on a global scale, but also by Hollywood, video gaming, the Internet, social media and by other means. Now people are so prone to violence that even little things can trigger an outsized violent response. And violence is everywhere.
But what has concerned me is the rise of political violence or the cultivation of violence on behalf of one political party or another. The liberal left has had such a long run of success in the courts and legislative bodies (even under so-called “conservative” governments) that many of them cannot bear to think that one day religious conservatives will rule the United States, just as Bible prophecy declares. Consequently, they will resort to measures to keep things going their direction. But even those so-called conservatives on the right aren’t exempt from violence either.
But before I continue, I would like to make something patently clear. Sometimes, due to some of the things involved in our sermons or Prophetic Intelligence Briefings, people of one political persuasion or another will attack me for allegedly defending or siding with the other political party from theirs. I realize that if I’m going to publish online, there will be those that disagree and will sometimes take me to task. I’m ok with that. However, the trouble is that some people who read my blogs and online sermons don’t really think about what it is we are doing before they make their criticisms.
Keep the Faith is different from political commentators. Our mission is to show the connection between current events and Bible prophecy, to point out that the Bible is as relevant as the evening news, and show that we are nearing the second coming of Jesus. We are not merely blogging about politics, but about prophecy. All political sides do things that are very prophetic. And this cannot be ignored if you want to understand our times. That’s why, sometimes, it may sound like we are siding with one side or another. But we’re not. We’re making the point that both sides play a key role in fulfilling the most compelling predictions of scripture.
Jesus did not engage in politics. He rode above political matters to show men the kingdom of heaven and the way to get there. He clearly made this distinction when He said, “render… unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. He separated church and state, and invited His true followers to bury political questions and rise above it all. Yes, we must live in this world of political controversy, but He called us to a higher work than politics can ever reach.
As Mr. Trump once said, “political stuff is nasty.” Why would Jesus want His followers to be dragged down into the swamp of nasty politics that inherently causes people to lie, assassinate the reputation of others, and generally grovel in sinful behavior? It will never sanctify them and get them ready for heaven? Christ’s life was a masterpiece of real godliness in the midst of an evil generation.
Listen to this statement from the Desire of Ages, page 509. “The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses, — extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.”
Here’s one of the secrets you need to understand political things. People get tired of their leaders and eventually they will vote in the other party. American history is full of the switching back and forth between Republican and Democratic governments. It’s a predictable pattern and the elites and the Vatican understand this. They bide their time. They accomplish what they can toward their goals by working with one set of officials while they are in office, even if they don’t agree with all they believe or do. They know eventually the other party will be put in office, and they can accomplish other things with them.
But here is the prophetic crux. When one political party is in power, they will fulfill some aspects of prophecy, while the other party, when they are in power, will fulfill other aspects of Bible prophecy. Each side tattles on the other, exposing their prophetic behavior. So, you can’t just read the liberal press or the conservative press depending on your viewpoint. You have to read both if you want to understand prophetic things. You must read them in conjunction with your Bible. And the Holy Spirit will enlighten you concerning some of the secret things and the hidden things going on in every political party. He will show you how the Bible is exactly accurate and how it addresses every perplexity in life and every important situation in the world.
Here is a statement that you might find of interest. I’ve read this before, but it bears reading again today. It is from Fundamentals of Education, page 475. “The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles, which are plainly revealed in the word of God.”
Here is another interesting statement along these lines. It is found in Manuscript 139, 1897. “The present time will bring dangers which we must individually be prepared to meet… We are not to come down from our position of ever remaining a people distinct and peculiar from the world. Our vocation is high, holy, and elevated. Our faith, if appreciated, will keep all true believers from political strife. We are to work for the spiritual recovery of mankind to God, to bring them under His theocracy. Then only are we a safe people…”
Friends, we are on the precipice of major changes in America. It is not the time to be involved in politics because political things always bring strife. I am praying that the angels will hold back the winds of strife so that there will be a little more time for God’s people to get ready for Jesus to come. I hope you are paying attention and bringing your life into harmony with the Bible, the most relevant guide on the planet.
Friends, I am fearful for America. A nation that has in its pledge of allegiance the phrase, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Today, America is anything but indivisible. It is more polarized than ever, except perhaps at the time of the civil war in the 1860s. People on the left and right cannot have a civilized political discourse. The tension between capital and labor, Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal is as wide as ever. There is seemingly no reconciliation, no middle ground. Each side seems to think that they have to have it all and cannot compromise. Friends, this situation has been cultivated by the enemy of the United States, the enemy of souls. Politics does almost nothing but drag people down to the place where they sin in their hearts and with their lips against their fellow Americans.
Concerns have been growing about another civil war in America. The roots of civil war are always economic. If people can’t provide for their families, especially food, they will become violent. In the depression era, the government began social programs, which made sure people at least had food. And it helped to stave off civil war and violence.
Discontent in the sixties was sharp and sometimes violent, but it was more of a clash of old vs. new, with the new winning out, as it always does in time. Revolutions always move from right to left. Once enough leftward changes were made, the “crazy talk” of civil war died down.
Today, the economics are unique. While nobody is at risk of starvation, never have so many Americans been so uncertain about their economic futures. Even middle-class Americans now worry about making their mortgage payments, for instance. And they are frustrated about health care, inflation and other economic problems. Low wages and high prices have made a lot of people angry.
In the political arena, the rhetoric has become almost seditious. Politicians give speeches telling people to “be disruptors.” In the media, people have depicted the assassination of President Trump. There are also battle lines being drawn in the streets. There are anarchists, ANTIFA (or anti-fascists), and Black Lives Matter in all major cities that have led protestors into the street by the thousands, sparking riots. There is a sense that more people not only want revolution, but it is being advocated by the left, which is angered with the results of the election of 2016. It is possible that should they fare poorly in the 2018 midterm elections, violence could result. This is especially true if their leaders lose hope and become fatalistic. It will inspire younger, more radical minds to take the lead. The word, “Revolution” is being bandied about and it’s difficult to avoid the idea that people are being called to arms.
The morning of June 14, 2017 was a beautiful day in Alexandria Virginia, a close-in suburb of Washington, DC. The sun was shining on the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, which is nestled among a neighborhood dog park, the local Y.M.C.A., a coffee shop and a grocery store. And it was a perfect day for an early morning baseball practice. Republican members of the U.S. Congress began arriving early. It was their last practice before their annual friendly partisan charity baseball game, which was to be played the next day against their Democratic colleagues. The game has been played to raise money for charity during most years since 1909. But on that day, lurking in the parking lot was something evil, someone who had been steeped in anti-Republican rhetoric. Someone who intended to kill.
James Hodgkinson was born in 1951 and was one of three children raised in Belleview, Ill, a suburb of St. Louis MO. He sometimes went by his middle name “Tom” or “Tommy.” Married and living in Belleview, with his wife Suzanne, he owned a home inspection company.
In 1996 tragedy struck when their foster daughter, Wanda Ashley Stock, 17, doused herself with gasoline and set herself on fire inside her car on a rural road south of Belleville just hours after her boyfriend broke up with her.
In December 2002, the Hodgkinsons’ assumed legal guardianship of their 12-year-old great-niece, Cathy Lynn Putnam, who eventually changed her name to Cathy Hodgkinson. Three and a half years later, she was returned to the state for undisclosed reasons.
A business setback followed these family difficulties. In 2003 Hodgkinson lost a contract as an independent contractor with the St. Clair County housing rehabilitation and weatherization program for “unacceptable behavior.” Mark Kern, County Board Chairman said he would not have been permitted back into the program.
With some history of run-ins with police, Hodgkinson had a mostly minor criminal record of domestic violence, driving under the influence, and resisting arrest, etc. He had a valid gun license, though he sometimes used his guns in a threatening manner. He also had a streak of violence. For instance, on one occasion he dragged his daughter out of her boy friend’s car, slashing her seatbelt, and punching his daughter’s boyfriend in the face.
The young woman’s boyfriend later confronted Hodgkinson, and Hodgkinson pulled out his shotgun, hit the younger man in the face with the wooden stock of the gun and then fired a single shot that missed, according to police. Hodgkinson was charged with battery, but the charges were dropped.
Hodgkinson’s social media was remarkable for its focus on politics; he took part in protests and often wrote impassioned letters to the News-Democrat, a local newspaper, in protest against conservative policies. Now 66, he had strong democratic political views and had been very disappointed with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
“I knew he was a Democrat, a pretty hardcore one,” said one of his neighbors. “I know he wasn’t happy when Trump got elected, but he seemed like a nice enough guy.”
One day, probably in March 2017, Hodgkinson left his home in Belleville and traveled to Northern Virginia because he apparently wanted to protest the election of Donald Trump. He lived in a white cargo van for a few months in Alexandria near the YMCA (where he could shower and freshen up each day). Former Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille said he had regular encounters with Hodgkinson at the YMCA near the field where Euille exercises. Euille said the man appeared to be living out of a gym bag with all his possessions.
Hodgkinson often hung out on a bench in the park nearby the Eugene Simpson baseball field in the Del Rey Neighborhood of Alexandria. Alison Manson would steer her one-year-old daughter away from him. “I just thought he looked homeless,” she said. “He had a lot of bags with him.” Alison’s husband, George, said he sometimes tried to say hello to Hodgkinson. He would not respond. “He didn’t seem scary,” George Manson said, “he just seemed out of it.”
How Hodgkinson developed a deep hatred for conservatives and especially for Donald Trump is an important question. He had joined several anti-GOP Facebook groups, including “Terminate The Republican Party;” “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans;” and “Join The Resistance Worldwide!!”
Hodgkinson’s favorite TV shows were the Rachel Maddow show and Real Time with Bill Maher, two very liberal and extremely sacrilegious personalities. He also watched “Democracy Now,” and other left leaning TV programs. He also listened a lot to Bill Moyers and Michael Moore. He read leftist publications like the Huffington Post. The last letter he wrote to the News-Democrat called for President Obama’s re-election and to “vote all Republicans out of Congress.”
On Facebook he wrote: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” He also wrote: “Republicans are the Taliban of the USA.” And about Steve Scalise, he wrote, “Here’s a Republican that should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.” Hodgkinson was passionate about tax hikes on the rich and universal health care along with other leftist issues.
Hodgkinson was obviously steeped in extreme political ideas. When someone gets reigned up by the strong, emotional and political rhetoric of talk show hosts, politicians and others, they can be pushed over the edge and plan violence.
Hodgkinson developed a hit list of at least six Republican lawmakers whom he thought should be assassinated, which the FBI found it on a paper he was carrying. All of them are members of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus. Mo Brooks, AL, Jeff Duncan, SC, and Trent Franks, AZ, were among them. Hodgkinson was planning political assassinations. It was not an impulsive act of rage.
James Hodgkinson: high school athlete, political gadfly, distraught father, accused shooter
FBI finds possible assassination list on James Hodgkinson’s body: Report
Michael Savage Predicted “Violence By Marginals” Day Before GOP Shooting
Limbaugh: ‘Scary’ proof U.S. facing ‘major divide’ it can’t escape
Hodgkinson went to the ball diamond, which was near his van, and remained outside the fence. He was carrying a Chinese made SKS rifle (a pre-cursor to the AK type rifle) and a 9-millimeter pistol, probably in his duffle bag.
When Jeff Duncan left the game, he met Hodgkinson in the parking lot outside the fence. Hodgkinson asked him whether those playing were Republicans or Democrats. Not knowing that Hodgkinson had planned to target at least some of them, Duncan replied, “they are Republicans.” “O.K., thanks,” he said [and] turned around.”
By 7:00 a.m., several dozen lawmakers, members of their staffs and a handful of others — many wearing red shirts with “Republicans” on the front — had been practicing hitting, pitching and catching for more than a half-hour.
At 7:09 a.m., bedlam erupted in a hail of bullets shattering the quiet morning. With the sound of loud bangs, one after another, people dived for cover, crouching down by the concrete wall of the dugout. Hodgkinson was shooting with his rifle through the fence behind the third base dugout.
Standing along the first-base sideline, Senator Jeff Flake, AZ, crouched near the ground and then helped Representative Mo Brooks, AL treat Mr. Barth, a congressional aide, who had been shot in the leg in center field and had managed to stumble into the dugout. Mr. Brooks said he had used his belt as a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding.
But standing near second base, Steve Scalise, the Republican Whip and the third ranking Republican leader in the House, had nowhere to hide. He was hit with a single bullet to his thigh, which then ripped through his body causing a lot of damage. Several lawmakers said they saw him go down and then try to “army crawl” himself toward the dugout across right field with his hands, bleeding profusely. Failing to get very far, Mr. Scalise remained on the field while the barrage of bullets continued, forcing others to wait until the shooting stopped to reach him. It seemed like it went on forever.
Mr. Scalise’s security detail from the capital police began firing at the shooter with their revolvers. One of them was hit in the leg by one of Hodgkinson’s bullets. The other suffered other minor injuries. “If not for the detail who stepped up with basic revolvers, we would’ve all been dead,” Representative Bishop, MI said. Mr. Hodgkinson was shot multiple times in the torso. “It was a combat situation,” said Michael L. Brown, the Alexandria police chief.
Senator Rand Paul, also a witness, said he heard “as many as 50 shots.” Scalise, initially conscious, while two other Senators worked on him, went into shock while being taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in critical condition, where he underwent immediate surgery.
The bullet that hit Scalise “travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding.” Dr. Jack Sava at MedStar said “when he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death.” Scalise will require additional operations to manage abdominal and bone injuries; and will certainly need to convalesce for a period of time.
Three other people were hit including a police officer. After the gun battle with police and the security detail, Hodgkinson died from gunshot wounds.
Representative Mike Bishop, MI, who was standing at home plate when the shooting began, said the gunman had seemed to be firing a series of two shots at a time, a firearms technique known as “double-tapping.” He said, “He was hunting us at that point… There was so much gunfire, you couldn’t get up and run,” he said. “Pop, pop… pop, pop — it’s a sound I’ll never forget.”
Senator Rand Paul, KY, who was among the lawmakers practicing that day said, “the field was basically a killing field — it’s really sick and very sad.” He also said, “It would have been a massacre.”
Others wounded included Zachary Barth, a congressional staff member, who was struck in the leg by a bullet, and Matt Mika, a former congressional staff member, who was shot twice in the chest. He was in serious condition.
Some people will argue that there is no connection between the violent rhetoric and the crime committed at the baseball diamond, but with the information that has been pouring into my office, I’m not convinced. It seems to me that there is something more sinister involved than merely a deranged man with a rifle.
For instance, I’ve noticed that there has been an unprecedented rise in death threats to public officials, brawls and mêlée’s at political rallies, entertainment portrayals of gross and violent acts against political leaders, etc. And while political instability and violence is something we have seen in other countries, in the last few months since conservatives took over the control of the United States government following one of the most divisive political campaigns in American history, it may have reached a tipping point. It seems uncanny that so many things are colluding to bring America to the brink.
The day after the attempted assassination of Republican members of Congress, Karen Handel, and several of her neighbors in Roswell, Georgia received suspicious packages containing an unknown substance. Karen was the Republican congressional candidate running for office against Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election for Georgia’s 6th District seat. “The packages contained threatening letters and a suspicious substance,” said Handel. A letter sent to a neighbor said, “Your neighbor Karen Handel is a dirty fascist… but I’m sure you already knew that. Take a whiff of the powder and join her in the hospital you bourgeoisie… RESIST THE FASCIST TAKEOVER!!!! STRING UP THE COLLABORATORS!” The unsettling letter had foul language (which I removed). Using that kind of disturbing emotional language suggests energy that could easily turn violent.
A Fox News affiliate in the area also received a similar package and document that said in part, “America’s terrorist soldiers are raping and killing innocent Muslims by the thousands. Republicans are literally ushering in the apocalypse by ignoring the impending climate disaster.”
Ossoff said he also received threats and hired a security detail, though no evidence of threats appears to have surfaced. Handel won the election by 3.7 percentage points.
Less than 24 hours before the shooting in Alexandria, talk-radio host and author Michael Savage warned of violence by “marginal” people who are set to explode and “kill somebody.” Savage is the host of the nationally syndicated “The Savage Nation.”
“I don’t know how much more of this the country can take,” Savage said. “We are at a boiling point… There’s going to be a civil war… If they keep this up, I’m telling you there’s going to be an explosion in this country… Do you understand that there are people out there who are marginal, who are going to go off like a rocket and kill somebody?” Savage asked.
After the shooting, Savage said many people “think predicting things like I did yesterday is just talk; well it’s not… I know what’s coming, and it’s going to get worse,” he said, pointing to his 2014 book, “Stop the Coming Civil War.”
Savage wasn’t the only talk show host that predicted violence. Rush Limbaugh, said “at some point,” the extreme Trump resisters “are gonna crack, and they’re not gonna just start cutting heads off of dolls, and they’re not gonna just start using fake knives to stab people at Central Park.”
No matter what you believe about President Trump, there is no denying that the mainstream media has torn off the veneer of objective journalism and has taken aim at Mr. Trump with vitriolic attacks, incessantly spinning him in the worst possible light. Now many people are starting to question whether or not the mainstream media, liberal politicians and celebrities bears some responsibility for the violence that occurred on the baseball field in Alexandria? Could that hostility lead marginally stable people to take violent action? Are they stoking a civil war? Is violence the real consequence of the vitriolic narratives that have taken over civilized political discourse in America? And if there is anti-conservative violence, would that trigger anti-liberal violence? It goes both ways folks. Violence begets violence.
Meanwhile, after discussing the shooting again on his radio show, Savage ended with the following dire question: “Like I said yesterday, there are marginal people out there and soon one of them will act. Well, one of them has [acted]. When will the next one take action?”
Various celebrities and media personalities have been stoking political violence for decades. Consider some of the things that have happened in recent times.
Comedian Kathy Griffin published a photo in which she held up a gory prop that looked like President Trump’s bloody, detached head. The photo got the attention of the secret service.
Barron Trump, the President’s 11 year old son apparently thought the shocking image was real at first, and screamed in panic when he saw the bloody decapitated head of what he thought was his father on television. Melania Trump said the photo was “very disturbing.”
No matter your political persuasion, this kind of buffoonery is simply disrespectful and inappropriate. Griffin apologized for the stunt, but was fired by CNN.
The photographer said that even though movies can be very violent, people see images like this “as reality, and that’s why it’s so shocking to some people.” And that hits the nail on the head. For far too many people, a violent message coming through images and rhetoric gives the impression that violence is the way to solve frustrating problems.
We are told that, “by beholding we become changed.” The scriptures say, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory…” 2 Corinthians 3:18.
But if by beholding Christ we are changed into his image, then the opposite is also true. If we behold evil, we will be changed like that evil image. It is a law of the heart. It is a principle of the universe. By beholding we become changed. As comedians and celebrities and other media people say or do things that recommend violence, it will eventually happen.
America is in one of its most polarized periods in history. That polarization has no solution and many people on both sides are frustrated. Their impulse is to take matters into their own hands. And when they do, they can do quite a lot of damage. Political violence is a nasty business.
New York’s arts organization, Shakespeare in the Park, played a rendition of Julius Caesar, which depicted a Trump look-alike being stabbed to death in an assassination. Delta Airlines withdrew its funding from the theater, and Bank of America pulled their funding from the play. Meanwhile, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore publically donated $10,000 to support the play because, he says, conservative media bullied corporate sponsors to withdraw their support.
Laura Sheaffer, a longtime fan of Shakespeare in the Park, said, “To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful…” She added, “I mean it was the onstage murder of the president of the United States.”
While Julius Caesar is just a play, making it appear as if Caesar is the President of the United States is a political statement. Assassinating him suggests this is the way to get rid of him.
Then on July 15, celebrity actress Rosie O’Donnell tweeted a link to a game in which the player can make Mr. Trump jump off a cliff, again and again. “Push Trump Off A Cliff Again,” O’Donnell tweeted, in an apparent play on Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Other options in the kill Mr. Trump game involved shoving Mr. Trump into molten lava, or have him eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Needless to say conservatives were not happy about the game or the liberal celebs pushing it on social media.
Then Johnny Depp joked at the Glastonbury arts festival in southwest England by asking the audience “Can you bring Trump here?” The remark was met with booing and jeering and he continued: “You misunderstand completely. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? I want to clarify: I’m not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it’s been awhile, and maybe it’s time.” Depp’s “joke” was an allusion to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. Depp apologized.
But there is now an unprecedented level of “violence-speak” that has become a pattern among Hollywood Celebs, mainstream news media commentators and talks show hosts, comedians, musicians and others. Here are just a few of them.
In January, Madonna, speaking at the Women’s March on Washington, said that she’d “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
In a TMZ video in 2015, Mickey Rourke, the boxer-turned-actor, called Trump a “big-mouthed (expletive) bully,” saying he would “love 30 seconds in a room with the little (expletive).” Rourke has also expressed a desire to “give [Trump] a Louisville slugger.”
In 2016, Larry Wilmore, the host of Comedy Central’s now-canceled “The Nightly Show” joked about then-candidate Donald Trump: “I don’t want to give him any more oxygen. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I mean it literally. Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia and I’ll do it — I’ll do it!
In 2016, Mexican-American comedian George Lopez tweeted a cartoon image of former Mexican president Vincente Fox holding the decapitated head of Donald Trump aloft, with the caption “Make America Great Again.”
Also, last year, shock-rocker Marilyn Manson released a teaser video for his song, “Say10,” released just after the 2016 election, in which a Trump-like figure wearing a suit and a red tie lies decapitated on a concrete floor, in a pool of his own blood.
In February 2017, actor Robert De Niro said on ABC’s “The View” that he would like to punch Trump in the face. He clarified the comment, saying “It wasn’t like I was gonna go find him and [really] punch him in the face, but he’s gotta hear it.”
In March 2017, rapper Snoop Dogg released a music video that cast Trump as a clown and orchestrated his death. At the video’s end, the “Gin and Juice” rapper points a gun at the harlequin Trump figure and shoots. But instead of a bullet, a red flag that reads “Bang!” fires out of the gun.
More recently, the musician Moby released a cartoonish video in which a transformer-like Trump morphs into a swastika/dollar sign and wreaks havoc on a city before meeting a fiery, explosive demise.
Meanwhile, Hollywood director Josh Fox blasted President Trump and Mitch McConnell in a tweet, calling them “terrorists” over the Senate version of the health care bill because, he said, the Obamacare replacement “sentences poor people to death.”
Meanwhile, a total of 30 Republican members of Congress have either been attacked or revealed that they were the victim of a death threat since the beginning of May.
Phil Montag, a technology chairman for the Democratic Party recently said he was glad Rep. Steve Scalise, was shot. He was fired for saying: “I’m glad he got shot. I wish he was (expletive) dead.”
And there are many more that have talked violence against conservative politicians in recent times. Many of them also used vulgar language to stoke up emotions, which I won’t repeat here. They include Montel Williams, Rapper Everlast, Bill Maher, Courtland Milloy Charles Karel Bouley, Representative Paul Kanjoski, D-PA, Michael Feingold, Linda Stasi of the New York Daily News, Representative Chuck Kruger, Stephen Crockett, Allan Brauer, Jos Whedon, Alan Pyke, Mike Malloy, Lea DeLaria, and Dan Savage.
It was Dan Savage who said, “I wish they (Republicans) were (expletive) dead!”
And it’s not over. Outside of Republican Senator Jeff Flake’s office in Tucson, AZ, a protestor said to one of Mr. Flake’s staff members “You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem? They are going to get better aim. That last guy tried, but he needed better aim. We will get better aim.”
And it’s not just the liberals that are advocating violence, though that is where the bulk of it comes from at the moment. Mr. Trump himself, during the presidential campaign made comments that advocated violence. For instance, in Cedar Rapids, he said he would pay the legal fees for anyone that engaged in violence against anti-Trump protesters. “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the… I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise.”
Then in a Las Vegas rally, he said security guards were too gentle with a protester. “He’s walking out with big high-fives, smiling, laughing,” Trump said. “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.”
And at a rally in Warren, Michigan, Trump said of a protestor, “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court. Don’t worry about it.”
As a protester was being escorted out of a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he was sucker-punched by another attendee.
Still more recently Mr. Trump even released a video in which it appears that he punches out a man with the CNN logo over his face. Perhaps it’s understandable why a violent mentality has taken over America. The left hates the right, the right hates the left, and it’s a free-for-all. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump and his staff continue to deny inciting violence.
America, in some ways, is a huge brawl right now. It’s on the verge of anarchy, which will eventually lead to a dictatorship. It has become a seething cauldron of unprecedented hatred between political parties and many wonder what’s next? Some are calling for change.
Conservative journalists held a rally days after the Hodgkinson shooting demanding that the violent rhetoric stop. The organizer of the event, Jack Posobiec said, “There is too much violent rhetoric, and it is time, finally, for us to say, ‘Enough with the violence, enough with the violent rhetoric – we need peace and we need it now.’”
The intent of left-leaning news outlets including CNN, MSNBC, New York Times and Washington Post, Posobiec argued, appears not to be to report – but to obstruct President Trump. As a result, they are pushing the radicalization of the American public. “We are seeing so much of this ginned – anger against our president – from the mainstream media, from them calling him Hitler [etc]… it’s radicalizing people to an extent where they are committing acts like James T. Hodgkinson did…”
After the Scalise shooting, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) said, “…We’re targets. This is exactly why there’s a lot of fear of doing town halls at this point.”
Representative Thomas Massie, (R-KY), who introduced a concealed carry gun bill in Washington, D.C., said, “As soon as we step into Washington, D.C. – or anywhere in the public – we are unarmed and unaccompanied … for the most part.”
And it goes both ways. Democrats acknowledge that more security is needed to thwart future shootings. The third-ranking House Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), explained how he deals with the threat. “I can’t tell you how many threats I’ve had against my home. In fact, I’ve had state police staying at home with my family.”
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D.-CA) expressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that new legislation pushing for increased security measures should be put on “hyper drive” after the Scalise incident. “Many of us receive threats, and it’s not that we get used to it,” Cardenas said. “You’ve just got to hope and pray that people don’t follow up on those threats, but at any given moment they could – like we saw this morning.”
Popular conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh recently said. “So the bottom line, it is clear that we have a divide, a major divide in America that does not seem surmountable,” Limbaugh lamented. “It does not seem reparable. It does not seem like it is possible or even likely to find any common ground, when many Americans think that their number one enemy is the other political party… Scary times.”
And friends, we are indeed in scary times. It is the end times. The current atmosphere is unsustainable. It is belligerent, intractable, unwilling to compromise, and comes with a militant demeanor willing to go outside the lines of decency and lawfulness.
“How many more kooks are hiding in the bushes,” wrote famous singer Charlie Daniels, “just waiting until some words or events set them off and they go on a rampage? How many springs are close to snapping, how many malcontents standing on the edge of the precipice just waiting for an excuse to jump off? It has been proven that both sides, right and left, conservative and liberal have their own oddballs and cliff hangers… The point is the rhetoric itself, the attitude of take down the other side if it kills us all and destroys America in the bargain, not which direction it comes from.”
If we look back in history, even back to the Roman empire, there is no doubt that inflammatory political rhetoric can turn the people into a seething mob ready for all manner of malevolent behavior. While political speech is protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there is a reasonable expectation of civility, particularly in political discourse. This is not happening today. Decency has been stripped out of it.
And while we must resist the urge to silence those with whom we disagree, civility and freedom of speech may be losing it attraction. This is especially true of the elite establishment media who manage to twist and appropriate every action or word into their own narrative. This is called propaganda. Disagree with the politically correct position and you’ll be yanked off your pedestal and shamed and accused of any number of “phobias” – homophobe, Islamophobe, xenophobe – take your pick – till you crawl into a hole. It’s a world only for the stiffest of backbones, my friends.
We aren’t allowed to disagree any longer. We must toe the line. Free speech these days isn’t really free speech any more. Freedom of speech has been jailed by the politically correct. But that platform has taken a violent twist. Consider the rage you see on social media. Even over minor inconveniences, some people are angry enough to spout off with some of the most vulgar, angry, evil, violent and wicked phrases you’ll ever hear.
Road rage, for instance, is a common occurrence. It is as if people are living on the edge with their emotions, and one little incident can trigger it. Rioting in urban communities and its destructive behavior is far more common these days. Anger and violence has become so common that the news media often ignores all but the most sensational. The verbal abuse promoting violence between political parties, on social media and in the streets, is leading us to the place described in prophecy. Here it is from the book Education, page 228.
“At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution—all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France. Such are the influences to be met by the youth of today. To stand amidst such upheavals they are now to lay the foundations of character.”
The people who talk about revolution today tend to be young, liberal and idealistic. All revolutions fit a pattern. No matter where and when in history, the pattern often repeats itself the same way and for the same reasons. There are exceptions, like the American Revolution, but those are uncommon.
First, the establishment is overthrown by a popular, united uprising. This can often be surprisingly quick, especially if the establishment fails to quell the violence. The military could be reluctant to strike fellow American citizens, for instance. Leaders could hesitate.
In the second phase, the revolutionaries turn on one another, struggling for control. This is where revolutions become bloody and brutal, often tearing apart families and leading to the greatest number of deaths.
In the final phase, a strong leader emerges, unaffiliated with the dominant factions. They gain power by promising law and order and a weary public accepts it. Dictatorship then follows democracy.
We are closer to a civil war than we have been since the Great Depression. The threat is real, prompted by economic problems. Our politicians are promoting the danger though divisive speech and behavior. All that is needed is a good, deep cut to social services, or some other great crisis, and the conflict may start. Such conflicts start suddenly and with little warning. Once begun, they take on a life of their own and they cannot be stopped until they have run their course.
My friends, let me ask you. Have you laid the foundation of character that will provide you the ability to survive the coming upheavals that are already starting to show their ugly faces? Have you immersed yourself in Christ and in His word, so that you will not be confused by the political winds of change that constantly blow. Do you live above all the political rhetoric? Oh, my friends, how we need to follow the divine counsel that will get us out of the fray when all hell breaks loose and human passion drives violence in the streets.
Listen to this statement that explains why politics becomes so passionate and violent. It is found in Desire of Ages, pages 336 and 337. “Sin has destroyed our peace. While self is unsubdued, we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control.”
It is because of sin, my friends. And it is sin that destroys peace both in the human heart and in the nation.
“We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, “Lord, save us,” will find deliverance. His grace, that reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29, 30. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” Romans 5:1; Isaiah 32:17.
Friends, if you get involved in politics, you will destroy your peace. You will learn hatred and violence. And most of all you will lose out on your eternal reward. Disconnect yourself from any activity or engagement that involves political matters or anything that will destroy your peace. There is no safety outside of Christ. In Christ, “there shall no evil befall thee,” says the Psalmist.
This last statement from Testimonies from the Church, Vol. 9, and page 17 explains what to expect in the future. “Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming,—a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation,—God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his host cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them.” If you are in Christ, you can face them without fear.”
Let us pray. Our loving Father in heaven, we see the strained and restless relations of the political elites. They are stirring a tempest that will bring violence and destruction to our lands. And it’s not just in America where this happens. It seems that we are about to enter a time of great trouble and our lifestyle will be unexpectedly shaken to the core. Please help your true people, if they are living in the city, to get out. Please send your Holy Spirit into our hearts that we may have peace. Please help us disengage in any political thinking. Help us understand that the Bible and its message, its principles and its prophecy should be our consuming interest. Please let Jesus reign in our lives. And may we all be ready to meet Him when He comes in the clouds of glory. In His precious name, I pray, amen.