America's election campaign lasted over 500 grueling days. It was filled with insults and humiliations. It produced two of the most despised presidential candidates in the nation's history. The longer it lasted, the more degrading the revelations about them became.
On the eve of the election, as commentators contemplated what it all meant, cbs News's Bob Schieffer remarked that this campaign was uniquely horrible. "I have seen a few, but I've run out of ways to say I've never seen one like this. It's as if the nation is enduring some kind of curse. What should we expect next--that it will rain frogs? I wouldn't bet against it" (emphasis added throughout).
When Peggy Noonan wrote her last Wall Street Journal column before voters went to the polls, she was in a similarly reflective mood. "A closing thought: God is in charge of history," she wrote. "He asks us to work, to try, to pour ourselves out to make things better. But He is an actor in history also. He chastises and rescues, He intervenes in ways seen and unseen. Or chooses not to. Twenty sixteen looks to me like a chastisement. He's trying to get our attention. We have candidates we can't be proud of. We must choose among the embarrassments. What might we be doing as a nation and a people that would have earned this moment?" (Nov. 3, 2016).
It is highly unusual in modern America to hear mainstream commentators openly wondering whether the nation is being cursed, even chastised by God. But this is where the lead-up to this election left us.
It's one thing to ask the question, however, and another to seek a real answer. If this is a curse, what should we expect next? And what might we be doing to have brought chastisement upon ourselves? Peggy Noonan apparently doesn't know, or is unwilling to say.
Are you willing to consider the question honestly?
A Hypocritical Nation
When Donald Trump won the November 8 election, many people were shocked. The liberal half of American society--the Hillary Clinton supporters, mainstream media reporters and analysts, most of America's urban population, academics, majorities of college and even high school students, majorities of ethnic minorities--could scarcely fathom that some 61 million Americans had voted for such a loathsome human being, by their reckoning, as Donald Trump.
Early in the campaign they had dismissed him as a clown and a punchline. As he scored successes in the primaries, they characterized him as a bully and a sideshow. After he secured the Republican nomination, they branded him a bigot and a racist. As his support remained stubbornly buoyant, they tarred him as a sexist and a misogynist. They insisted he was temperamentally unfit for office. They called him an avowed enemy of everything America represents.
Then, the moment it started to become clear Mr. Trump would win the election, his opponents had a meltdown. "Objective" journalists openly voiced dismay and despair. For many people, these emotions quickly gave way to anger and hysteria. Soon America became seized by demonstrations and protests--even violent and destructive riots--punctuated by chants of "Not our president!" and "We reject the president-elect!" And the media duly reported on the rebellion as if it were a noble pursuit of social justice.
What was it, exactly, that provoked these dissenters to so passionately storm the barricades and seek to overturn the system?
In essence, it was Mr. Trump's presumed "message of hate." That is what fuels all the hostility, disgust and revulsion being expressed by these warriors for justice.
America today is simply "too righteous" to tolerate Mr. Trump's egregious sins of intolerance, bigotry, racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. Today's America is a land of enlightenment, acceptance, inclusion, fairness, equality, civility, respect and decorum--it is no place for such a rude, crude, crass, callous, ill-tempered, backward, barbaric, blustering bully as Mr. Trump. Or so we are supposed to believe.
But is all this indignation really so righteous?
In Isaiah 10:6, God calls America a "hypocritical nation." The left's sanctimonious attack on Donald Trump perfectly illuminates why God would use that terminology.
It also gives some clues as to what we might be doing to have earned God's chastisement.
Racism and Bigotry
The American left has a very specific definition of racism and bigotry. By its definition, Mr. Trump is the embodiment of these sins. And the 61 million people who voted for him exposed their own bigotry by doing so.
Reporter Wesley Lowery covers racial issues at the Washington Post and has just written a book called They Can't Kill Us All. He believes that "our American existence ... is very largely premised on an original sin of slavery. We have baked in these ideas to the fundamental structures of our society." These were his words in a National Public Radio interview after the Trump victory, referencing the words of President Barack Obama.
The npr reporter asked Mr. Lowery whether it was fair to characterize all Trump supporters as racist. He responded, "I think one of the fundamental battle lines in this conversation is: Do you believe that racism requires intent, or do you believe that racism is about the outcome--the effect? That if a policy has the effect of racism, of creating a racial disparity, is that accurately described as racist--or does it require someone actively desiring to oppress a certain group of people?" He explained how a person could think, "No, I don't have hate in my heart for people who aren't like me" and still be racist because, as the left argues, "racism and prejudice are what occurs when, whether intentional or not, a structure or system is put in place that leaves one group of people behind."
This is a fair representation of what passes for "enlightened" thought in today's America on this subject. Racism isn't hatred for someone because of skin color--it is something, perhaps intangible, that results from the establishment, possibly unintentional, of a structure or system that puts certain people at a disadvantage. This is radically different from the dictionary definition of racism, and intentionally so.
According to this definition, it is practically impossible for the advantaged majority (white) to not be racist--and it is absolutely impossible for disadvantaged minorities to be racist.
It is by this perverse logic that Mr. Trump's intention to enforce existing immigration laws is bigotry, and his pledge to prevent foreign criminals and terrorists from entering the United States is tantamount to a declaration of war against Mexicans and Muslims. It is by this reasoning that addressing inner-city violence perpetrated by blacks against blacks is racist. It is how a black police officer shooting an armed black criminal is proof of systemic racism.
This is also the logic by which the media blamed Mr. Trump personally for a handful of post-election incidents where apparent Trump supporters expressed white-supremacist sentiment or committed crimes against minorities--yet the same media remained completely silent about the violent backlash among non-whites against Mr. Trump, his followers and whites in general. Black people beating and assaulting white people for voting for Trump, spray-painting kill all whites, indiscriminately smashing shops and burning cars, tweeting assassination threats, screaming that it's time for a black uprising--all this behavior is understandable and acceptable, and nobody labels it racist, thanks to modern "enlightened" understanding.
The left says it opposes racism. But it has defined that term in a way that justifies and encourages a tremendous amount of behavior that is blatantly, openly, defiantly, unapologetically hateful, even violent, toward other people because of skin color.
What does God think? He created the races, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26). He Himself is not white, black, brown or any other color--He is radiantly bright, and He made all mankind, of all races, after His own likeness (Genesis 1:26). He is "no respecter of persons," not favoring one race over another (Acts 10:34); He wants "all men [of every race] to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4).
Further, God commanded in the Old Testament, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart ... but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:17-18). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ made clear that your "neighbor" includes everyone, even someone of another race you may tend to consider an enemy (Luke 10:25-37). God views all hostility of one race against another as contemptible. In fact, He considers hatred comparable to murder (1 John 3:15).
The left purports to believe something akin to a secular version of this truth, but recent events have exposed the yawning gulf between its version and God's. In its view, minority-against-majority hatred is justified, even honorable and moral.
The left holds whites today responsible for the slavery that was made illegal on American soil over 150 years ago. But it does not hold whole swaths of society responsible for the violence they are committing at this very moment.
The left vehemently condemns bigotry, yet it tolerates and encourages open, hostile contempt for others on the basis of ideology. Witness its treatment of the florist or county clerk who doesn't actively support same-sex "marriage."
A video emerged of several black people beating a white man and stealing his car after the election because he had a Trump bumper sticker. These people feel it's perfectly right to assault this man because of his presumed bigotry. They see no irony in beating and robbing a white man because he voted for a "racist" candidate.
But God sees it. He recognizes hate and racism. He knows hypocrisy when He sees it.
Can the liberals in the media, academia and politics even perceive their own double standard? Will these people who ceaselessly label Mr. Trump as racist, the ringleader for an irredeemably bigoted segment of America, take any responsibility for stirring up the hate-filled, race-based division playing out in America's streets? Will they see that romanticizing lawlessness and encouraging retributive racial "justice" only makes the problem worse? Or will they continue, as they have been, pinning all the blame on Mr. Trump?
Sexism and Misogyny
Liberals rained righteous wrath upon Mr. Trump for years-old boasts about his exploits with women. Hearing their damnation, one would think these people possessed Victorian-era prudishness in the delicate matter of sex.
In truth, these same people are passionate advocates of sexual license. Universities scrupulously school their students in the wickedness of a businessman using power privilege as sexual leverage, and their students have been vociferous in their condemnation of Mr. Trump's chauvinism. Yet these very universities turn around and host and sponsor abominably licentious, perverse, sexually themed events for these same students, who participate with abandon.
Today's America piously condemns Mr. Trump for the sin of sexism. Yet it simultaneously promotes fornication, adultery and pornography. Americans proudly create and subsidize a popular culture that romanticizes misogyny that would have horrified prior generations.
Liberals denounce Donald Trump as a powerful billionaire businessman who preyed on women. Yet a great many of them--mainstream news outlets included--promoted and personally contributed to making a bestselling book and movie phenomenon out of Fifty Shades of Grey, which glamorizes a powerful billionaire businessman bringing an unsuspecting young woman into literal bondage.
Where is the liberal outrage against the porn industry, which routinely depicts women being brutalized and abused in countless horrific ways? Why never a word of condemnation about the hip-hop industry, which is saturated with songs sexualizing, objectifying and debasing women? (article, page 22).
The weekend before the election, Hillary Clinton held a hip-hop-themed "get out the vote" fund-raiser. Performers included rappers like Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole and Jay Z. Search any of their lyrics in any of their songs. At the concert, Big Sean rapped about women being whores and objects to gratify himself, describing chauvinistic sex acts in a torrent of vulgar misogyny. Jay Z (a darling of the left; President Obama has invited him to the White House several times) spilled out profanities, rapping about men and women and sex, for men using the n-word, and for women the b-word. His wife, Beyoncé, performed "Formation," a song full of vulgar sex language. This song's music video hints at a racist government conspiracy during Hurricane Katrina; she and her backup dancers performed it at the Super Bowl dressed to evoke the Black Panthers, an armed black nationalist Communist organization.
Jay Z and Beyoncé were then joined on stage by Hillary Clinton, who called Beyoncé a champion for women.
These are the people decrying Donald Trump's treatment of women. How is it that the left manages to overlook the rat's nest of immorality, misogyny and bigotry that is popular culture--and at the same time, priggishly hold Mr. Trump to a rigorous moral code? That is a baffling double standard. They see no irony in raising money for Hillary Clinton by having rappers boast about their sexual feats--while insisting that an unseemly conversational statement by Mr. Trump caught on videotape 11 years ago disqualifies him from public office.
But God does. He knows hypocrisy when He sees it.
None of this is to defend Mr. Trump's behavior, which was wrong and unacceptable. It is only to point out the outrageously glaring hypocrisy of the left's condemnation of this man.
The Righteousness of God
Today's America has cast aside traditional moral codes and Bible-based moral law and replaced them with an alternate, highly exacting, extremely selective morality of its own invention by which to stringently judge, inconsistently, individuals of its own choosing.
This trend is perfectly described in Romans 10:3: "[T]hey being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
God's Ten Commandments demand piety, preservation of what is holy, and respect for parents. They forbid idolatry and blasphemy. They prohibit murder and hatred, adultery and promiscuity, lying and deceit, theft and covetousness. They apply equally to everyone.
In today's America, these commandments are antiquated and irrelevant. America's new commandments outline a different set of cardinal sins, like racism (selectively defined), sexism (exemptions available for liberals), homophobia and transphobia. Wealth is also immoral, unless it is accumulated by a liberal who professes socialist principles.
Biblical values like hard work, personal accountability, parental responsibility, self-sacrifice, respect for the elderly, honesty and integrity have been shoved aside. In fact, some of these virtues are actually labeled as "microaggressive" "code words" for, you guessed it, racism. In their stead we have embraced new standards and expectations: government welfare, blaming society for personal failure, following your heart, self-actualization and personal fulfillment, exalting youth, manipulating the system and knowing how to play the game.
Biblical instruction in letting offenses go and living peaceably with all men is now passé. Today's virtues include being hypersensitive to offenses, nurturing a sense of victimhood, speaking out at even the slightest grievances, and demanding personal rights. The scriptural injunction to forgive and forget, to turn the other cheek, to let the man who took your cloak take your coat also, is seen as weakness. Today's social justice warriors insist that the more righteous path is the warpath. Peace can only be achieved through revolution--bloody if necessary.
Modern America is far more righteous than God.
And it is hurtling down the road to disaster.
God is the only true Lawgiver (James 4:12). "[M]y thoughts are not your thoughts," He says, "neither are your ways my ways .... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
America really ought to recognize the truth in these statements, and seek to think more like God does!
God hates all sin. But of all sins, self-righteousness must be one of the most pernicious. The people waving love trumps hate signs while they burn effigies of the president-elect apparently see no irony in their actions. But God sees it. He recognizes their epic lack of self-awareness. How can He rid people of self-righteousness, when it makes them so blind?
With the evidence of our failure piling up around us, half of the country is growing even more convinced of its own rightness. And the other half is hoping against hope that a new president will be able to reverse the nation's course and avert disaster.
Is anyone really looking to God?
As Peggy Noonan said, He's trying to get our attention. He is chastising and cursing us, not out of frustrated anger, but out of a desire to wake us up!
God Is in Control
As Noonan also said, God is an actor in history. He intervenes in ways seen and unseen, including putting people into political office. "[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17).
God is ultimately in control. He directs affairs to fulfill His purposes. At this most dangerous time in our history, you can be certain that He nudged and steered events in America just enough to bring Donald Trump to power. (For explicit and detailed information on this subject, request a copy of a special letter on Amos chapter 7, written by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.)
But His intent is not to use this man to make America "great again."
When you look at this nation and wonder if it is being cursed, if it is being chastised--there is a reason for that. This is exactly what is happening!
"What might we be doing as a nation and a people," Noonan asked, "that would have earned this moment?" Surely we should be able to answer that question!
Look at America today! Try to see it from the point of view of the God who is in charge of history, and ask yourself if you see anything we are doing that would cause Him to be chastising us and trying to get our attention!
God has been trying to get America's attention for decades--and we have ignored Him, defied Him, and openly blasphemed Him. We are suffering curses for doing so--curses that are destined to intensify, no matter who is president.
You need to know why. Don't let this tumultuous election go by without learning the lesson! Let God get your attention. He has spelled out in biblical prophecy exactly what is going to happen to this nation because of the course we have chosen. You can read all about it in Herbert W. Armstrong's book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Anyone who ignores that forewarning is about to experience a series of shocks far more devastating than an election upset. If you know biblical prophecy, you know that the surprises in America are just getting started.
Yes, America is cursed today. But as bad as that sounds, God allows curses for a reason! They are actually intended to open our eyes to recognize our sins--our immorality, our lawlessness, our self-righteousness, our hypocrisy. They are intended to achieve God's ultimate goal for us, and for all people of all nations: He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). God wants to turn America around--so we can begin to receive His blessings and favor once more.
Once He gets the nation's attention, and once we respond, America will truly be on the path to becoming great again. ▪