Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Humility, US Elections-2, Annunciation to Mary
Volume 6 No. 384 November 18, 2016
III. This Week's Supplement: US Elections (Part II)

Introduction: US Presidential Elections - Part II

by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Chief Editor, Malankara World

As you know, contrary to our regular practice of not commenting on Politics, we had published a section on US Presidential Elections in the last issue of Malankara World Journal (Issue 383). As explained in that issue, this was done because this election would have had far reaching consequences to Christians, in general, and how we practice our faith, in particular. Many of the evangelical Christians were praying for a specific outcome of this election. As you will see from articles in this journal, many seriously believe that there was divine intervention in this election from answered prayers. Certainly, this is of great interest to our readers.

I like to share a letter I received from one of our members here.

With thanksgiving to God for those who work with and for Malankara World Journal in all capacities. Just months ago I found 'you' and have been educated, inspired and bless with each issue. Volume 6 No. 383 November 11, 2016 was most outstanding with the comments about abortion, Mother Teresa and the Family Special: How to Care for a Mother Who's Lost a Child - also, the materials about America's election. God is working powerfully through your efforts. I am confident that this ministry is one of the fruit bearing ministries that will lead many to Christian and Christian living.

Thank you

Oak Forest, IL

I am glad that Matt found it useful.

Politics is personal and emotional. This year, the divide between the two main candidates was so strong that it broke several relationships. Wall Street Journal had an excellent article a few days ago about the effect of this election on relationships. WSJ quotes William Doherty, director of marriage and family therapy at the University of Minnesota, who said, "politically opposed couples should put the presidential campaign in a box, leave it on the shelf and move on. If you didn't come to a consensus a year and a half ago, you're not going to come to one now that the election is over." People who need to vent about the outcome should do so with people who share the same view, but avoid getting locked into bitterness, he says. Good advice. We have given 5 suggestions from that article in today's journal.

In the comments/discussion section, there was an amusing suggestion for reconciliation from someone with the handle, MH Serafin:

Invite your entire family over your house for Thanksgiving. Make sure YOU pay for the entire shabang, plum-pudding and all. Thank God during your prayer for His grace in giving us Donald Trump. Toast President Trump before dinner.

Wear your Trump hat during dinner and give Uncle Sunshine, your family aging hippie who sports a grey ponytail over thin hair on top, the finger. Tell him elections have consequences and you hope President Trump erases all of Traitor Obama's executive actions in one afternoon, that all he needs is his pen and phone. Remind him that when Obama had POTUS, the house and senate, he rammed Obamacare up our collective a@@@s without one Republican vote. That what's good for goose is good for the gander. Then ask him if his serving of crow tastes good.

When he get indignant about it all, remind him that YOU are paying for dinner and he, like liberals everywhere, like free stuff and then like to complain about it.

How's that for a great Thanksgiving dinner?

I certainly wouldn't recommend that. But, it sure was good for a laugh. Let us hope that after Thanksgiving get togethers, all will be forgotten.

Signs of Divine Intervention In Trump Victory

by Garth Kant

Bachmann prayed with millions at crucial moment tide turned

WASHINGTON – Election eve 2016 began without any real sign of a gathering storm. No hint a popular revolt was brewing. In fact, just the opposite.

The networks were reporting the mood in the inner circle of the Republican candidate was subdued, somber, tense, even foreboding – as if fearing the worst.

In direct contrast, the mood in the camp of the Democratic Party presidential candidate was described as confident, expectant and already almost celebratory.


When the first polls closed on the East Coast and the first results began to come in, those moods seemed to be swiftly confirmed by reality. The pre-election polls were not wrong. Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton immediately took the lead.

And she was winning in the battleground states.

She was leading in Florida.
She was leading in North Carolina.
She was leading in Pennsylvania.
She was leading in Ohio.

Clinton was threatening to pull away and end the suspense early.

At 7 p.m., there was no sign of a popular uprising led by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. There was no sign at 8 p.m. There was still no sign as time inexorably marched on.

Something would have to break.

And then it did.

Like a scene out of the film "It's a Wonderful Life," people had begun to pray.

But not just in one small town. Across America. And around the world.

Simple acts of faith heralded the first faint wisps of a breeze that would soon become a storm that would shake the world.

It began in Jerusalem.

Christians from many nations gathered in the heart of Israel to pray and fast for the fate of the United States. Americans knelt on stage as the faithful prayed. Organizers instructed them to pray like never before for a just God to deliver his most Christian nation. They called it the Jerusalem Global Gathering.
Christians also gathered to pray for the nation outside the U.S. Capitol. As WND reported, pastor Dan Cummins of the small rural East Texas town of Bullard led prayers for a return to biblical principles.

And it was in Texas that the prayers for deliverance were sent around the world, using modern technology.

A large prayer group had gathered in Dallas, hosted by Ken Copeland ministries. It was broadcast by the Daystar channel. Presenters David Barton and former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., invited viewers to join in prayer.

Daystar has a global reach of 400 million potential viewers.

As they prayed, something began to stir.

"At the precise moment we began broadcasting on Daystar," Bachmann told WND, "as the polls were still open, and a national audience of believers joined together and prayed in concert, we literally saw the race break in favor of Trump."

"At that very minute."

She presented proof.

"The New York Times documented the shift in voting from that minute."

New York Times graph displaying "Chance of Winning Presidency" in real time

"The Times put out a timeline tracking the election results as they broke for Trump last night," Bachmann continued. "We went wild in the Dallas studio last night when David Barton, Ken and Terri Copeland, and various pastors saw that the victory for Trump began exactly at the precise moment believers corporately, over national television, sought the Lord for His favor upon our nation."

"We knew it was at the exact same time that believers joined in corporate prayer on behalf of voting for a godly platform. Believers brought the Lord into this election, and that made all the difference," added the devout believer.

"That is the story of last night's victory. I have no doubt. The strong right arm of a holy God heard the prayers of His people and graciously answered our prayers," Bachmann reflected.

"It truly explains the Trump victory. I have no doubt. No man can take the credit. Only the strong right arm of a merciful God."

But that was in harmony with the "believers interceding on behalf of the American election last night in Jerusalem, praying in concert with those of us praying in America."

And there is no doubt someone was listening.

In addition to the hundreds-of-millions of viewers within Daystar's reach, the event drew about a million views online.

Bachmann said there had been a genuine repentance and coordinated beseeching of God. She told WND, "We saw the effective fervent prayers of righteous believers availing much."

"And, prayers so specific," she explained, "we prayed for elections by county and cities and districts. We literally watched results follow the faithful effectual prayers of righteous people who had humbled themselves and cried out to God for his mercy. This wasn't credit for us; this was clearly the Lord's gracious doing."

Bachmann proclaimed, "It is the story of the night and the biggest story of the year. I have no doubt."

"We were told more believers came out to vote in this election than ever before," she reflected, and the numbers confirmed that.

Trump benefited from the largest evangelical turnout in history.

Exit polls showed that an overwhelming 80 percent of white evangelical voters (who made up 25 percent of all 2016 voters) supported Trump.

Evangelicals of color preferred Clinton, but she did not get the same support from Hispanics and African-Americans as did President Obama.

Polls also showed that Trump recaptured the Catholic vote for the GOP by a margin of 52 percent to 45 percent, after most of them voted for Obama in the two previous presidential elections.

Bachmann said all of this "shows the necessity of believers voting for biblical principles in the voting booth."

Despite the victory, she concluded the work has just begun for the faithful, as well as the president-elect.

"This is not the time for believers to celebrate and turn away from doing our part affecting our society with the salt and light found in the Bible."

"Now is the time," she continued, "for pastors to preach biblically from America's pulpits on the various issues we confront in America."

"This is a beginning for people of faith. It is an opportunity to share the gospel and educate people on the fundamental primacy of the foundation of western civilization: the Bible."

So, what did happen around 8 p.m. Eastern time, when the Times indicated the odds favoring Trump began a dramatic turnaround in his favor?

Did prayers sway the vote, or did they coincide with the moment the tabulations began to swing to Trump?

Either way, there could be a case to be made that the Trump victory was not really the work of man, because man chose Clinton.

She won the popular vote. Just as the polls predicted.

But it was where those people voted that made all the difference. Providentially, perhaps, the shift toward Trump happened in the key swing states needed to push him over the top in the all-important Electoral College.

From that perspective, Trump's victory might indeed be seen, even by the skeptical, as less the work of man, and more of an act of God.

Thessalonians 4:16: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God."

Copyright 2016 WND

Why Christians Voted for Trump

by Alexander Boot

One has to admit that Donald isn't everybody's idea of a pious Presbyterian. Though he still maintains some loose connection with his parents' confession, his behavior is, how shall I put it, more Playboy than Presbyterian.

And yet he won over Christians by a wide margin: 52 per cent of all Catholics, 58 per cent of all Protestants and 82 per cent of all evangelicals voted for him.

The Catholic vote is particularly notable. After all, some 40 per cent of US Catholics are Hispanics, and, putting it mildly, Trump didn't go out of his way to endear himself to that group.

Why did Trump win the Christian vote? Here I recall a conversation I once had with a friend, a good Catholic and a good man, even though his politics are somewhat to the left of mine.

The conversation veered towards Franco, whom I described as a savior of Spain. The man had no wings, but the choice Spain faced wasn't one between Franco and an angel. It was between Franco and Stalin, and, had Franco lost, Spain today would closely resemble Romania.

My friend didn't exactly share my enthusiasm for the Caudillo. But, he admitted, had he lived at the time, he would have supported Franco, begrudgingly. Because, he explained, "the other side was killing Catholics".

But what about a place where no priests are being murdered? Should faith in Christ still skew a person's political convictions and, if yes, how?

The question is valid, for the dual nature of Christ demands a synthesis of the physical and metaphysical. This is the cornerstone of Christianity, and it's no accident that the deadliest heresies in history preached the evil of the physical world.

Yet, when Christ said that his kingdom wasn't of this world, he meant that his kingdom was higher than this world. He thus established the primacy of the metaphysical ideal, which ought to determine how the physical life is lived.

Hence one's faith should at least influence one's politics. Otherwise the metaphysical thesis and the physical antithesis won't meet at the counterpoint of synthesis, thereby flouting the dialectical essence of Christ.

Now skipping some intermediate logical steps, I'm convinced that it's a Christian's moral duty to vote for the most conservative (or the least socialist) candidate on offer.

For Christian Socialism (predominantly Protestant) is an oxymoron, as is its Catholic doppelgänger Democratic Socialism. Socialism can no more be Christian than it can be democratic.

Socialism, in its multiple variants, is the most toxic offshoot of that etymological cognate of Lucifer, the Enlightenment. Its animus was rebellion against Christendom, starting with its founding religion. That was the original revolt of the masses, to use Ortega y Gasset's term.

When it erupted in a violent 1789 outburst, hundreds of thousands of Christians were killed. But the damage went even further than that: the Enlightenment also killed Christianity as the dominant social, cultural and political force.

Everything about post-Enlightenment modernity is an active denial of everything about Christianity: modernity's statism, materialism, mendacious premises – and its natural political expression in socialism.

The essence (as opposed to verbiage) of socialism is deifying the omnipotent central state, transferring most political and economic power from the individual to a bureaucratic elite ruling in the people's name. This is the exact opposite of Christian subsidiarity, devolving power to the lowest sensible level.

Financing the giant provider state through extortionate taxation is also the opposite of Christian charity: a man giving his money to a beggar acts in the Christian spirit; one giving his money to a mugger doesn't.

Ascribing an undue significance to the process by which the ruling elite is formed bespeaks the characteristic modern obsession with formalism. Having failed to replace the Christian content of our civilization with anything of remotely similar value, the modern lot are obsessed with forms rather than essences.

Hence their fixation on method of government, masking the fundamental kinship of all modern governments, whatever they call themselves. Equally hostile to the traditional organic state, they're all different parts of the same juggernaut rolling over the last vestiges of Christendom (I make this argument at length in my book How the West Was Lost).

A Christian must feel the inner need to slow down this juggernaut as best he can, even if it can't be stopped. Hence he's duty-bound to support the most conservative candidate, in the only valid meaning of conservatism. Only thus can he preserve his intellectual integrity.

Many Christians must perceive this viscerally, even if they haven't thought it through philosophically. Hence their support for Trump – no matter how thoroughly most of them must be appalled by his vacuity and vulgarity.

I don't see Trump as a fellow conservative. Had he stood against a George Canning or at a pinch a Ronald Reagan, no right-minded person would vote for him. But, even as the alternative to Franco was Stalin, not an angel, the alternative to Trump was Hillary, not a George Canning or at a pinch a Ronald Reagan.

It's a damning comment on our time that believers in absolute truth have to become political relativists, choosing not the greater good but the lesser evil. Trump, they decided, was just that – and, God help us all, they were right.


Trump - President by The Sovereign Intervention Of God

by Michael Brown

Michael Brown has 8 things to pray so 'wrecking ball' leader will do good, not harm

As the political pundits weigh in on the many sociological and ideological factors that contributed to Donald Trump's stunning victory, allow me to weigh in on the spiritual side of things.

I believe Trump has been elected president by divine intervention.

I'm aware, of course, that some people believe that everything happens by the will of God, which means that whoever wins the presidency wins by God's express will.

Yet there are times when there are so many odds against something happening, when it so greatly defies logic, that it is easier to recognize God's involvement.

That, I believe, is the case with Donald Trump winning – and remember, this comes from someone who endorsed Ted Cruz and was one of Trump's stronger conservative critics during the primaries.

Just think of the obstacles Trump overcame, including:

1) the massive baggage of his past, including the release of a vulgar video with his tremendously offensive sexual comments along with numerous women accusing him of sexual assault (as reported by no less than the New York Times);

2) his myriad campaign errors, with enough misstatements and inappropriate remarks to sink several candidates;

3) a very strong Republican field, including governors like Bush, Christie, Kasich, Huckabee and Walker, senators like Cruz, Rubio and Santorum, and outsiders like Carson and Fiorina;

4) the massive power of the Clinton political machine; and

5) the overwhelming collusion of the mainstream media.

To be sure, some will say, "Yes, God has raised up Donald Trump, but it is to judge America, not bless America. He has given us what we deserve, and it is not good."

That is certainly a possibility, and either way, Trump's many negative qualities are still glaring, and our nation remains terribly divided.

But if, indeed, God has raised Trump up for certain divine purposes, it behooves us to ask what those purposes are.

First, consider this post from Pastor Jeremiah Johnson, now just 28 years old, dating to July of last year. Jeremiah knew very little about Trump when he wrote these words:

"I was in a time of prayer several weeks ago when God began to speak to me concerning the destiny of Donald Trump in America. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, ‘Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely, for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.'"

Obviously, Trump's policies regarding immigration would seem to contradict the final sentence here, but if the rest of this proclamation is true, then perhaps this part will prove true as well.

Second, consider the perspective of Dr. Lance Wallnau, a Christian speaker and leadership coach who often thinks outside the box. He, too, felt that God was raising up Trump to be a Cyrus-type leader – someone used by God to help the nation, even though he himself was not a believer – feeling directed to read a passage from Isaiah 45 to Trump (this passage speaks of Cyrus), and say that Trump was called to be the 45th president of the United States.

Wallnau believes that God is using Trump as a "wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness," claiming, "His emergence is such a destabilizing threat to the vast deal making machinery embedded in both parties that he has the unique distinction of being rejected by both liberal Democrats and establishment Republicans at the same time."

In Wallnau's words, Trump is God's "chaos candidate."

But here is the major caveat, even if all (or most of these things) are true: If Trump, indeed, is a divine wrecking ball, then he could do as much as harm as good, and to the extent that he is appealing to the fears and frustrations and anger of a nation, he is channeling some potentially dangerous emotions.

That means that we should pray that:

1) he will continue to surround himself with solid men like Mike Pence, his vice president, and Rudy Giuliani, possibly his attorney general;

2) he will listen to the godly leaders who have been speaking into his life, like James Robison and Tony Perkins;

3) he will humble himself, recognizing that the pride that has brought him this far is the pride that could destroy him;

4) he will keep his word about the Supreme Court justices he will nominate;

5) he will not compromise the Republican Platform in some misguided effort to prove his moderation;

6) he will do his best not to alienate those who are horrified by his presidency, instead pledging to be the president of all Americans (that would mean, for example, declaring war on radical Islam without declaring war on all Muslims);

7) he will demonstrate that he will ultimately help our nation as a whole (for example, with good economic policies or by proposing something better than Obamacare);

8) he will learn to act presidential (rather than vengeful and impetuous) on both a national and international level.

In short, if Trump indeed is president by divine intervention, we should pray for divine restraint on his life as well, lest this divine wrecking ball wreak havoc on the nation while tearing down what is wrong. May he be a divinely guided wrecking ball!

Copyright 2016 WND

A Message From a Heartland Pastor on Trump's Promise and the Great Race

by Bethany Blankley

Pastor Terry Amann of Des Moines, Iowa, is no stranger to politics. He's been involved in politics and pro-life activism for decades. Most recently, he was a formidable influence in the last three presidential races. One Iowa State Senator just last week remarked that he is the "most influential pastor in politics in the state of Iowa."

Politics aside, Pastor Amann has a heart for ministry, as evidenced by the single most important issue he addressed when he first met Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Below are his remarks to me about the presidential race, in which he describes how Donald Trump kept a very important promise to him and to another pastor.

From Pastor Terry Amann:

In Iowa, the "First in the Nation status" state, residents are given a front row seat into the drama of what I call the "Great Race," which results in the winner becoming the "Leader of the Free World."

I met with Donald Trump in April, 2015, in Waukee, Iowa. There were other hopeful presidential candidates gathered at a church that day seeking to make their mark in Iowa.

Donald Trump came into the room where I was waiting. He graciously asked me if we should talk right away, or if he could meet with reporters first. It was my choice. I told him I would be fine having the reporters go first. While he was interviewed, I asked one of his staff members what it was like working for Trump and, "does he treat his staff well?" His staffer replied, "Yes, he definitely is good to his people." In the brief interactions that I saw behind the scenes I would say that was accurate.

When we sat down together Trump gave me his full attention. He first took out a card with a picture on it. He pointed to it and said, "That's me in my Confirmation Class from 1959."

I boldly told him, "You looked like a tough kid from New York." He chuckled and seemed to enjoy the light-hearted jab. We spent the next fifteen minutes talking about politics, his campaign, and my life as a commodities trader before being called into the ministry. He was fascinated by my story and respectful of the Christian faith.

As our time together came to a close, I was surprised by Donald Trump's offer to me. He said, "Pastor Terry, if there is ever anything I can do for you - you just let me know."

So there I am with one of the richest men in America, a man with much influence, telling me he is ready to assist me with whatever I asked him. (The parallel of King Solomon rushed through my mind in the way that God offered King Solomon the same kind of open-ended opportunity. (1 Chronicles 1:1-12).)

"Actually, Mr. Trump, there is something you can do for me," I said resolutely.

Trump sat back and straightened up a bit, seemingly not expecting my response, and inquisitively said, "Yes?"

I said: "Pastor Saeed Abedini. Pastor Saeed is languishing in an Iranian prison where he being held hostage. He will die there if we don't keep his situation in front of Obama and the country."

Trump was quick to answer, saying, "I have been doing that. I have talked about his case many times. And really, there are four American men in prison over there."

"I know you have been talking about it," I replied. "But you asked me what you could do for me and that's it. Please, please keep Pastor Abedini's plight in front of the American people."

Trump then ended our conversation with this promise: "Okay, I'll do it." We were photographed together, shook hands, and parted company. I went to another room to meet with Dr. Ben Carson while Trump readied himself to give his upcoming speech.

As the weeks went by in the nascent stages of the presidential primary season, Trump did in fact keep Pastor Saeed's case in the news. There were a couple of times when my wife and I saw him plead Abedini's case on television and social media.

But Trump's promise did not end there. Another blessing came. It had been my hope to connect with Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, so I could tell her about my conversation with Donald Trump to hopefully provide her with some encouragement. To know that there were people who deeply cared about her husband could be a mustard seed to keep hope alive.

As it turned out, several months later, Naghmeh Abedini came to Des Moines to what had become an annual prayer event for Pastor Saeed's desired release. At that prayer meeting Naghmeh spoke passionately of the challenges that she and her two children were enduring. After her talk, I went up to her and told her about what had transpired in my only meeting with Donald Trump. I shared with Naghmeh what Trump had promised me, and how he had been honoring that promise. Then Naghmeh reached in for a hug and held onto me while my daughter Rachel captured the moment on camera. Then Naghmeh began to weep, and so did I.

In January of this year, Pastor Saeed Abedini was set free from the nightmare of his captivity in Iran. Upon his release Naghmeh publicly and specifically thanked Donald Trump for his continued support of their plight. She said:

"I am most thankful that of the many issues that Mr. Trump could engage he has chosen to speak out about the unjust imprisonment of my husband by the Iranian government. This reveals to me the heart of Mr. Trump and his commitment to religious freedom. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Trump for his concern of my husband and our family. I am very grateful for his support and want to offer the most valuable gift I have – the gift of prayer. May God bless Mr. Trump and his family."

Donald Trump kept his promise. He didn't have to talk about a pastor being persecuted in prison. But he did. One can only hope that the man who emerged from a bumper-crop of excellent candidates, who remains committed to religious freedom, will stop the corrupt Clinton machine and become the next President of the United States.


Avoiding Extremes - A Post-Election Reflection

by Msgr. Charles Pope

In the aftermath of the recent election I have noticed a tendency toward extremes. I'd like to point them out and counsel something of a via media.

There is no doubt that we have been through a difficult and painful election cycle.

There were many strong, acidic, and even hateful things said by the candidates and their supporters; the knives were surely out. Even within the parties there were strong differences. It is clear that we are a very divided land.

And thus there are very different reactions to the results.

Sadly, at least among the most vocal, two extremes are apparent. Some see catastrophe while others think that all of our country's problems will be solved. Some demonize; others canonize. Neither extreme is helpful or accurate.

To those who see catastrophe and those who see utopia

To those who see catastrophe and those who see utopia, I would point out that this is not the first political earthquake in the United States nor will it be the last. But we did not elect an autocrat; we elected a president. And like others before him, he is going to have to deal with our political process within a divided land. He will encounter resistance and will be forced to negotiate and compromise; the founding fathers deliberately designed it this way. Previous elections considered as great upheavals (e.g., the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the 1994 shift to a Republican majority in the House of Representatives) did bring about change, but not overly dramatic change. Whatever the campaign rhetoric of the candidates, political reality tends to temper the results.

To those who would canonize the President-elect

To those who would canonize the President-elect or any political leader, or who would see him as "God's choice," I say, beware. Some people can become inordinately devoted to a candidate, so much so that they seem to believe that he or she can usher in the Kingdom of God! Every leader is flawed, some more deeply than others. Frankly, Donald Trump is a hard man to categorize - politically or otherwise. Mr. Trump's campaign promises are in accord with the Church's position on abortion and religious liberty, but he is not with us on other key matters such as euthanasia, immigration, and likely LBGTQ-related issues. I'm sure that we will have to deal with his administration and Congress on an issue-by-issue basis. That a candidate is right on certain important issues does not mean that we should be unquestioning of his views on others. When we grow too devoted to a candidate, reflection often shuts down and we don't issue the challenges we should. This is true with respect to political parties as well. No party perfectly reflects Catholic teaching; Catholics in both parties have many reasons to challenge their candidates and the parties with which they are affiliated. And yet there is only marginal evidence that such challenges take place. Mr. Trump is not aligned with the Church on some important issues. Even those who support him and are pleased with the outcome of this election should be prepared to issue challenges. I will be publishing an article at the National Catholic Register with more detail in this regard.

To those who would demonize our next president

To those who would demonize our next president, I admonish that no Christian should succumb to the temptation to use the sort of vitriolic language we saw during the campaign, both from the candidates themselves and their respective supporters. There are legitimate concerns about the character and behavior of the President-elect as well as his stated views and policies, but comparing him to Hitler or using demonic terms to attack the man and/or his family is lamentable. Neither should the language and behavior at some of the anti-Trump rallies over the last few days infect our own speech and conduct. The scriptural stance from St. Paul regarding our leaders is clear: I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (1 Tim 1:1-3). And remember - when St. Paul wrote this, Nero was Caesar! When it comes to Mr. Trump, we ought to skip the invective and start the prayers.

It is time to rebalance our priorities

Finally, with all this outward focus on the federal election cycle, it is time to rebalance our priorities. For most Americans, Washington is a world far away. Perhaps now is the time to devote more attention to the things and people closer to home. We ought to tend more the vineyard of our own soul. The problems and sins of the world are not isolated to Washington; they exist in our own souls, too. We should focus more on our families and communities and seek to improve them; Washington should not get all of our attention. Washington is not irrelevant, but neither is it all-important. It is time to find the proper balance.

These are just a few of my thoughts as a pastor. Avoid the extremes and find a via media, a middle way.

The scriptural stance from St. Paul regarding our leaders is clear: I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (1 Tim 2:1-3).

A Victory For Life

by Brian Burch

America has spoken.

The message was clear: our political system is corrupt and broken.

And they voted for change.

Voters shocked the world last night by soundly rejecting Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine - and electing Donald Trump and Mike Pence. According to exit polls, Trump/Pence won the overall Catholic vote 52-45. They won white Catholics 60-37, but lost Latino Catholics 67-26 - though among non-Spanish speaking Latino Catholics the margin was likely significantly closer.

Some Thoughts on the Election Eve:

Republicans retain control of the United States Senate – with the likelihood of holding a 53-47 majority. This is a huge win for life - and the votes we need to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.

Justice Scalia must be smiling from Heaven. The opportunity to replace his vacancy on the Supreme Court, and possibly others, with judges who respect the Constitution is real. Furthermore, a large number of lower court judicial appointments will be made by Trump/Pence. This is huge.

Biggest losers of the night (apart from Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine): ISIS, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Emily’s List, Hollywood, Jennifer Palmieri, John Podesta, secular elites…

Ignore the elite media narrative. The Republican Party has become the party of the working class. Notably, the same Rust Belt voters that backed Trump last night voted for Obama in ‘08 and ‘12. Were these voters racist when they voted for Obama? Nonsense. American workers, especially the white working class, have abandoned the Democratic Party. The GOP must now deliver on their promises. Republicans must create the conditions for an economic rebirth along with a vision for cultural renewal that heals.

Now, some "inside baseball" that I think you will appreciate…

Earlier this year we had to make some decisions on where to focus our resources. We decided to hire a full time "community organizer" to build a network of Catholics on the ground in one state. We purchased massive amounts of Catholic data and organized churches across this state. One volunteer team alone focused on Vietnamese Catholics and hand-delivered over 25,000 flyers to parishes in one county.

And then… three weeks ago we issued a challenge. And by the grace of God, were able to raise over $500,000. We saturated Catholic voters across hundreds of websites and social media with digital ads to supplement our massive ground campaign.

Nearly 95% of our budget was spent in one state: Pennsylvania.

The state that decided it all.

Finally, I owe you some humility.

This last year has been difficult in many ways. Trump is not perfect, and we have said so. Yet, like so many others, we underestimated him. We had serious doubts about his viability as a candidate as recently as a month ago. And yet we rallied together to win the Senate, and to stop Hillary - and together we succeeded. The time for gloating or hand wringing is now over. Catholics must now unite and embrace this historic opportunity to reclaim our country and the cause of life, family, and freedom.

Like many of you, I prayed like crazy these last few weeks. And especially yesterday. I heard from many of you that you were praying throughout the day. Praying before the Blessed Sacrament. Praying Novenas. Praying the Rosary and pleading with Our Lady to intercede.

A friend approached me after Mass last Sunday. He could see I was anxious. His words astonish me as I remember them today. He said: "Don’t worry about Tuesday. Our Lady of Guadalupe will come through."

Our Lady of Guadalupe - the Patroness of the Unborn.
The Patroness of America.
Pray for us.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Source: Catholic Vote

How to Reconcile With Family and Friends After the Election: 5 Tips To Bury The Hatchet
How to reconcile with friends and family who backed the other candidate.

1. Don't gloat if your candidate won, and don't predict the end of the country if yours lost.

2. Don't continue an argument that will get you nowhere.

3. If you need to vent, do so with people who share your view.

4. At holiday gatherings, respond to a gloating Trump supporter that you weren't for him but hope he is a good president. Then go get a glass of wine and find relatives who share your views.

5. Put the presidential campaign in a box, leave it on the shelf and move on.

Source: William Doherty, director of marriage and family therapy at the University of Minnesota

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal Article, "How to Reconcile With Family and Friends After the Election" By Clare Ansberry

Copyright ©2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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