Sunday, December 18, 2016

CGI: Bill and Wayne’s Excellent Adventure in Politics




Bill and Wayne’s Excellent Adventure in Politics
By
Lonnie C. Hendrix

The Church of God International has reaffirmed its bona fides as a legitimate part of the Armstrong Church of God culture. Like their counterparts within the ministries of most of the other descendants of the Worldwide Church of God, Bill Watson and Wayne Hendrix have made clear that they are firmly in the conservative/Republican camp when it comes to American politics. The CGI’s latest webcast, Post Election Discussion, is an adventure into the political mindset of most folks within this culture.

They begin their conversation with a discussion of the liberal/Democratic media bias which they claim should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense (sound familiar?). According to Bill and Wayne, the media was in the tank for Hillary. The way they see it, the media neglected the stories about her “ethical” problems; and instead focused on calling poor Donald Trump a racist, misogynist and homophobe (the implication being that there is not one shred of evidence to support the use of such labels – in other words, please ignore all of The Donald’s statements during the campaign). As with many other issues, they pine for the good old days when journalists were neutral and exhibited “professionalism” (like the folks over at Fox News?).

Next, they move on to an examination of some of the statements which various celebrities (Cher, Snoop Dogg, Kelly Clarkson) made expressing dismay over the results of the election. They proceed to make fun of the distress that many folks have felt over the election of Donald Trump. They simply cannot seem to understand how anyone could be that disenchanted with the results of the 2016 election. According to Bill and Wayne, most of the protesters are paid by the likes of George Soros and his allies to do so. In other words, the notion that these crowds might be motivated by genuine disgust with the result is not even worth considering.

For Bill and Wayne, God is in control – the right person to fulfill God’s plan always wins. Barack Obama was exalted to tear down America, and Donald Trump was anointed to set things right.
At one point, they even go so far as to compare Trump’s ascendancy to the U.S. Presidency with the ascension of Josiah to David’s throne. They even venture to speculate as to what degree Trump might be able to “turn things around.” At the very least, they conclude that Trump will probably be able to slow down America’s decline. In fairness, they do finally admit that the analogy is not perfect – that Mr. Trump is no saint, and that his focus is very secular in nature.

In their analysis of Trump’s victory over Clinton, they conclude that a vote for her would have been a third term for Obama. Fortunately, according to them, the American people voted against Obama’s policies (what happened to their assertion that Clinton was an extremely flawed candidate with serious ethical issues). For them, Donald Trump was the champion of the average American – ordinary folks – the common man. There is no mention of the fact that Trump won with 46% of the popular vote (meaning 54% of Americans voted for someone else for president). There is no mention of the fact that Clinton received almost three million more votes than he did (I guess those Americans don’t count as average, ordinary or part of the majority they have in mind).

Finally, almost as an afterthought, Bill and Wayne address the issue of whether or not it is appropriate for two elders of “God’s Church” to discourse on political issues. Of course, they conclude that it would be remiss on their part not to address the topic. Apparently, they feel that their perspective (inspired as it is by the Holy Spirit) is indispensable to a right understanding of the issues involved. Thus we are left to wonder, do these guys honestly believe that they are presenting God’s perspective on the 2016 election? AND, if that isn’t what they are suggesting, why should church members be interested in anything they have to say on the topic?


One thing on which we can all agree with Bill and Wayne:  The country is very polarized/divided. Nevertheless, finding ourselves in agreement on this one point, one has to ask:  Why would two ministers of Almighty God decide to take sides in such an environment? Wouldn’t the more prudent course for a minister be to stick to religious/spiritual issues? What do you think?

29 comments:

Black Ops Mikey said...

The interview with Jon Stewart was spot on: While a lot of people focus on Donald Trump (and he really did get a raw deal where the Democrats carried on a smear campaign -- but that still doesn't mean that we are thrilled with either choice for President), the real concern is that the Republicans will be in power and though Mr. Trump may personally be for personal freedom and support LGBT and various races, we should not be so very comfortable with very conservative Republicans being appointed to various powerful agencies, such as the Supreme Court, where the future freedom of people -- particularly minorities will be undercut or eliminated. Donald Trump is merely the showman and the Corporate CEO with big ideas and visions of what should be. For someone as old as he is, he's still spry and active. He also -- along with his children -- don't drink alcohol, which is something the boozing alcoholic Armstrongists should seriously consider (as Dennis Luker said in 1982, "If you say you can do without it, prove it... and of course, you can't). No, the Republicans will reinforce their position to enable Corporate America to undercut the wage slaves and make the United States the very picture of the latest Syfy dramas depicting our future (where do you think Syfy gets their ideas, anyhow?).

It's a complex situation which Armstrongists can't even begin to grasp because they have limited two dimensional thinking, primarily because they are handicapped as not having inherited structural visualization and are not able to visualize 3 dimensional and 4+ dimensional constructs. Truthfully, they've been left behind not even realizing what they are missing in their daft incompetence to reducing everything to their stupid thinking in black and white, while acting out liberalism in their personal lives, not actually believing in States' rights and not caring one whit about conserving natural resources (of course, the so-called Republican 'conservatives' don't either). Furthermore, in the boozed up condition being pleasantly plastered five sheets to the wind on a good day, Armstrongists don't get the fact that the new Government (if it survives the Electoral College and the follow on Congress to approve the vote), if they knew -- really knew -- what Armstrongism was all about, they would find themselves in a world of hurt, under extreme examination for their questionable practices, which, they cannot see because they are blind incompetents.

To even begin to address whether or not that ministers (of the kook Armstrong persuasion) should dabble in the matters they cannot know anything about because of their lack of talent and competence is astonishingly obvious.

But to stick to religious / spiritual issues?

C'mon. Give us a break. They understand those even less. They have no concept of right and wrong and their ethics is sort of stuck at the age of 2. They can never mature because they have taken the limitations of the template devised by Herbert Armstrong, limiting their abilities to ever break out of the mold of abject unethical and immoral behavior.

They could start by giving up booze to clear their heads.

And then they could proceed to admit they are wrong about such fundamental things as British Israelism.

After that, they should slink away in shame, realizing that they are incapable of understanding anything at all.

Byker Bob said...

All that ACOG ministers are capable of doing is attempting to harmonize the results of elections with the Armstrong prophecy mold. This is, of course, what we expect of them, and what they are programmed to do. You are not going to hear anything particularly insightful or original from them. Further, since the Republican Party is more in alignment with Armstrongite thinking, they see the Democrats as destroyers, and the Republicans as fixers. In fact, the Democrats simply see to the needs of a different constituency.

I've done better financially under Democrat presidents, but have felt a greater sense of international security under Republican presidents. President Obama has not been the evil destroyer that ACOG types would like to portray him as being. He has been a stabilizing influence during troubled times, an excellent communicator with a heightened awareness of the historic nature of his presidency, and therefore, a compulsion to do well. Having said that, I also believe that it is now time for the proverbial guy wire to pull more strongly in the other direction. That is what actually often happens as the result of an election. The pole is held straight and upright by virtue of pulls in opposing directions. Checks and balances.

BB

Miller Jones said...

Black Ops, I share your concerns about the conservative Republican establishment curtailing rights, but I believe Donald Trump represents a significant departure from our traditional notions of what a democratic republic's president should do/be. My point about the religious/spiritual referred to their own claim to be God's Church/ministers.
Byker Bob, I agree that they were trying to harmonize the election results with the Armstrong prophetic mold (exactly the point I was trying to make about their firm footing in the camp of Armstrongism). British Israelism infects and pollutes prophetic understanding and distorts one's world view (especially relative to politics). As for the pulls in opposing directions, I think that has historically been one of our chief strengths as a people. However, many of us see Mr. Trump's election as considerably more than a course correction. His statements suggest that he'd like to erase the last eight years and eliminate any trace of Barack Obama. For me, that's way too much (especially for a man who won the presidency with only about 46% of the people who bothered to vote).

Anonymous said...

The bible does talk about the beast leader, false prophet and the coming 10 nations. That is politics. Many old testament prophets listed and complained of the sins of Israels leaders. That's politics as well. There's a lot of politics in the bible. Those who want religion to stick to 'spiritual matters,' don't want to be rebuked or warned of the consequences. Well too bad. God has warned, and still is warning nations.

Byker Bob said...

I didn't vote this election cycle because frankly I couldn't stomach either candidate.

However, I believe that since winning the election, Donald Trump has become a party to information that he did not have during the campaign. That high level of information is sobering and is often a game-changer for a new president. We'll have to see what happens, but in any case, I don't believe he'll be able to erase all that President Obama has done, because to a large extent, Obama followed the will of the people.

The electoral college was established to keep the larger states from having undue influence. California and New York are both liberal states with large populations, and if you throw them both out, I'm sure that it would change the popular vote situation. So, actually, the electoral college concept has worked from a geographic standpoint, as painful as that might be for the Democrats.

President-elect Trump does not have a mandate, but since the Republican Party will also control Congress, that point could end up being moot. Everyone knows that this control could totally change during mid term elections, so the smart money would be on them trying to steamroll their agenda through early in Trump's presidency. It's almost a given that this presidency will cause massive street level protests all along the way.

I do have friends in the Native American community, and minority friends who are concerned about their rights. I've reminded them that we do have a strong Constitution and Bill of Rights, and checks and balances in place that restrict what a president can do. Also, there are some things that have been squeezed from the proverbial toothpaste tube that most likely can't be squeezed back in at this point.

Heaven help us if the parties get into competing by declaring martial law during their presidencies to implement and enforce their agendas. Hopefully they realize what a dangerous precedent that would set!

BB

Byker Bob said...

Who is sounding an audible warning, 9:01? If it were not for these blogs, I wouldn't even know the ACOGs existed. No street buzz, they're not in the news, and honestly after 40 years of continuing to cry wolf after the failure of 1972-75, even if one did explode into mainstream consciousness, they would have zero credibility in matters of prophecy.

The cookie cutters of the old Plain Truth and World Tomorrow exist soley to convince you folks on the inside that your splinter is getting the HWA version of a gospel out so that you'll keep sending in your tithes. Other than that, they're darned near invisible.

BB

Miller Jones said...

Anonymous 12/18/16/9:01, your reference to the beast, false prophet and 10 nations presupposes a very literal and political interpretation of certain prophecies. And, yes, many of the OT prophets rebuked Israel's people and leaders for their sins; but isn't that fundamentally spiritual in nature? Those rebukes focused on violations of the ten commandments (mainly various manifestations of idolatry), the basis of the covenant between God and them. In other words, those prophets were focused on what they saw as God's business. They weren't interested in being partisans for Rehoboam or Jeroboam, Zedekiah or Nebuchadnezzar, Egypt or Babylon, etc. Remember, God is NOT a Republican (or a Democrat). God is NOT a Trump supporter (or a Hillary supporter). Do you see the distinction between spiritual and political?

Anonymous said...

4.26AM. Thank you for your comment. Every political ideology rests on a 'religious' foundation. The religion can be a established religion such as Christianity or a secular religion, such as the religious spirit that drove the French revolution (liberty, equality, fraternity). That's specially true today since the examples you give are from a past era where there was a separation of state and religion. The democratic party today is a religion (left wing liberalism) with political window dressing. With the democratic party, there is no distinction between the spiritual and the political. They are one. Do you see?

Miller Jones said...

Anonymous 12/19/2016/9:47, Your statement about the Democratic party could also be made about the Republican party.

Anonymous said...

4.19PM
The Republican party is a umbrella organization comprised mainly of conservative Christianity and laissez faire capitalism. Capitalism is the same social system one finds in the old testament, including Christ's time. It is a social system, not a religion. Historically, it lacked a religious spirit, and still does.
In practise, the conservative party today is the me-too party, the democratic lite party, which is why Obama got most of what he desired. The moral decline thingy.
Laissez faire is French for 'hands off,' (no ministers snooping in members cupboards) so it's hardly surprising the Armstrongites have and continue to reject it.

Byker Bob said...

Let's put all of these things into proper perspective. To the Armstrong-infected mind, the Democrats enact or produce the signs of the end times, as the Republicans attempt to counter them or slow them down.

BB

Miller Jones said...

Byker Bob,
I think that your thesis about how Armstrongites think of our two parties is correct. For them, positions that are usually associated with the Democrats (pro-choice, civil rights for gays and other minorities, pro-environment, pro-labor, federal regulation and support of education, gun control, separation of church/state, etc.) are seen as destroying the fabric of America. Likewise, the positions that are usually associated with Republicans (pro-life, pro-development, pro-business, anti-regulation, school choice, gun rights, strong military, etc.) are seen as stances that protect/preserve traditional American values. Hence, Obama (an apparently extremely devoted family man and Christian) is seen as the Anti-Christ; and Trump (an apparent misogynist, serial adulterer with virtually no religious conviction) is seen as the Savior of all things moral and good. And, as Black Ops pointed out about their religious views being riddled with error, their politics is replete with the same. Armstrongists: "We have our beliefs, don't bother us with the facts!"

Byker Bob said...

Yes, Lonnie, and I also believe that some who leave the ACOGs, as part of their recovery, freshly consider the issues which are most important to them, and then make new decisions as to which party best serves those issues.

I registered to vote for the first time in 1992, specifically for the purpose of voting for Bill Clinton. And, actually, I did quite well financially during President Clinton's terms in office. Sometime during that time, however, I stopped getting my political information from Rolling Stone Magazine mostly because they began editorializing more and more in favor of the gun grabbers. As of this point in time, I'm pretty much middle of the road, perhaps just slightly right of center. I really can't stomach the extremes in either party, because there isn't a heck of a lot of common sense to either extreme.

Honestly, this time around, I sat out the election, being disgusted by both candidates. But, with the checks and balances in place, we should be alright. Generally a president learns and matures starting with day one in office, because unless you were VP, the only training for POTUS is on the job training.

BB

Anonymous said...

The only thing worse than a two-party system is a one-party system. And America chose the right one, for now. Wait a second, let me rephrase that with a one-party system that masquerades as a two-party system who recently felt entitled to steal the election from the American people! Seriously, the only real way we can get our country back on a sensible track is if we all realize that we will often find that the solutions lay OUTSIDE of either party. And if we could only focus on the changes needed that will benefit ALL or MOST Americans, then the extreme polarities that exist will naturally become less extreme or important, while all along the way protecting the rights of the individual. But only if the Establishment will allow it or is powerless to stop it, and I hope it is the latter.

Trump has been an easy target for the left to demonize and for representing the "Hitler", but it was Killary who has behaved like one. Not Trump. And in my mind, HRC is far worse than the pre-fuhrer "Hitler". HWA was a conman not unlike the Establishment, which has utilized social-engineering, transformational grammar, and identity-projection shenannigans to take and hold on to power. Remember, it was the Democratic party that originally opposed civil-rights and the Republican party that built the military-industrial-complex. Knowing this, Obama was far worse than George Bush Jr. in terms of debt, war-mongering, deportations, transparency, corruption, war-crimes, and the protection of an individual's liberty. Now imagine HRC as Madame President. !!!!

Even though my mind has been mostly cleaned of "prophetic narratives", I have wondered if the rest of the world would have seen Killary as the whore that rides the beast.

DBP

Anonymous said...

Miller Jones said:"Likewise, the positions that are usually associated with Republicans (pro-life, pro-development, pro-business, anti-regulation, school choice, gun rights, strong military, etc.) are seen as stances that protect/preserve traditional American values."

The Evangelicals have elected an atheist.
I am amused by that!

DBP

Anonymous said...

BykerBob, Job training by whom?
;)

DBP

Tom Dale said...

I voted for Trump. ^_^

nck said...

DBP,

If he is a real leader with ears to hear the on the job training will be provided by the great american people. They have shown great compassion and mercy to presidents who were personally flawed and a certain ruthlesness toward their peers, like a self correcting mechanism.

All a president needs to do is bring the humanity back in the mechanism.

nck

Retired Prof said...

DBP, you made some bizarre kind of mistake when you included transformation grammar among the tools the establishment uses to hold onto power. Transformational grammar is not a system for using language rhetorically, which is what is needed for political purposes. It is an analytical approach for modeling how the mind converts (transforms) vaguely conceived "deep structures" (roughly comparable to underlying meanings) into "surface structures" (grammatical sentences). Though imperfect, it gives valuable insight into the inner workings of language systems. Objective knowledge of it, or any other system for analyzing grammar, does not guarantee to make a person rhetorically effective. Neither does it have any discernible effect on anyone's political leanings.

I suspect you have fallen into the trap of thinking, "Hm. Noam Chomsky proposed the basics of transformational grammar. Noam Chomsky is a flaming liberal. Therefore Noam Chomsky invented transformational grammar to serve as a tool of the Liberal Establishment." That makes no more sense than to claim that carbon-14 dating or mathematical set theory or computer science was designed as a tool of the Liberal Establishment. Besides, Chomsky proposed his approach to understanding how languages work before his political opinions firmed up, or at least before he started writing about them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I like Noam Chomsky.

Anonymous said...

Nck, check this out.
I think it's great!

Anonymous said...

RetiredProf said:"I suspect you have fallen into the trap of thinking, "Hm. Noam Chomsky proposed the basics of transformational grammar. Noam Chomsky is a flaming liberal. Therefore Noam Chomsky invented transformational grammar to serve as a tool of the Liberal Establishment."

Where and when did I say they were bad? I only stated that people, or in my case, some people who don't have your best interests in mind, use these techniques as well. And I think it's worthwhile that everybody use them as well. By the way, I have a Master's Prac. in blah-de-blah blah.

Anonymous said...

If you don't mind the efforts to defeat the copy-right bots, here is the full movie.
The Book of Eli.

Anonymous said...

"It is an analytical approach for modeling how the mind converts (transforms) vaguely conceived "deep structures" (roughly comparable to underlying meanings) into "surface structures" (grammatical sentences)."

I still don't understand why linguists visualize the surface structure on the floor and then branch off the deep structure higher and higher from the floor till it's over their head. It seems ambiguous.

DBP

nck said...

2:11

I like that. Continuous feedback loop and flexibility. In my experience the analysts were still wet behind behind the ears and not seasoned at all in the dirty mindset of the opponents.

But I would caution too against "off the cuff", trigger happy, shooting from the hip without any proper analysis. It's a balancing act. But so far refreshing indeed. (re phone call Taiwan etc)

In my brief encounter with Chomsky material at my Alma Mater I was intrigued by the structuring of that what "felt" self evident.

nck

nck said...

2:11

I was reading the comments on Chomsky when I saw your recommendation.

I was IMMEDIATELY reminded by Tom Clancy's "The sum of all fears."
Where Morgan Freeman cautions the Ryan character before a senators hearing to: "Choose your words carefully, words have a habit of being turned into policy."

nck

Retired Prof said...

DBP says, "I still don't understand why linguists visualize the surface structure on the floor and then branch off the deep structure higher and higher from the floor till it's over their head. It seems ambiguous."

I hadn't thought of it that way, but I see what you mean. The metaphors "deep" and "surface" conflict with the top-to-bottom construction of transformational-generative tree diagrams. Tree diagrams can work in either direction or sideways, but they are easiest to construct on a typewriter or word processor with the branches extending downward. Also, they depend on our habit of reading text from top to bottom. We expect the beginning to come at the top.

Interesting view of the "rhetoric" of diagrams. Thanks. Your comment might prove instructive to technical writing teachers and their students, and I may send it along to a couple of my still-employed ex-colleagues.

(NO2HWA, sorry for the off-topic comments. I try to suppress my tendency to get pedantic about linguistics, and I will resume guarding against it as soon as I click "Publish Your Comment" on this one. Honest.)

Anonymous said...

Trump, (around 2:03)"...had our politicians had gone to the beach and enjoyed the sun we would have been better off."

Anonymous said...

RetiredProf, no harm no foul. I admit that I'm bizzare in some ways. I have no degrees in linguistics, but I did read Suzette Haden Elgin's trilogy of The Gentle Art when I was a teenager, and I believe that alone saved some of my sanity when I was in a cultic dysfunctional family. The structure of magic. Her written work is massive. You might like John Grinder's "Turtles All The Way Down" and "Whispering in the Wind." He can be very analytical in his writings, unlike his former colleague. But that's where my Master Practitioner comes from, which I got around 2002-03.