Happy 124th Birthday, Martin Niemöller!

OK: One day early! Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor during the time of the Nazis, and initially, he was a supporter of Hitler. Later, he awoke to the horrors of the Nazis, and he began to align himself with the Confessing Church. Apart from his well-known quote, he was going along as faithful German pastor, and remained largely indifferent to politics. The war and the extreme violence toward Jews and other non-Aryan peoples confronted the quietism of many Lutherans like Niemöller.

As he awoke, he observed the various groups of people being selected by the Nazi for “removal,” and finally, having moved theologically and politically to resisting the state control of German churches, the Nazis came for him, and he was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau from 1937 to 1945. His personal move also included becoming a pacifist. He went to be with the Lord in 1992.

Below is his famous quote.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Advertisements

2017 is starting out just… epic… #not normal

So, in the last 48 hours, I’ve had remarkably encouraging and remarkably disappointing experiences.

First, I attended a challenging and brilliant lecture given by Kirsteen Kim of Leeds Trinity University. Some background regarding the challenge and brilliance of the lecture.

For those unfamiliar, a significant amount of my ministry with InterVarsity involved international student ministry at Fresno State and Rice University. Of the many facets in this cross-cultural ministry, one involved the training and mentoring of American Christians. Often, these devout followers of Jesus were completely unaware of how much of their theological commitments represented the American dream. Yet, one could hardly fault them for their readiness to host and welcome low-English speakers into their homes week after week, befriending I-students, and including them in their lives in ways that demonstrate a generosity and sincerity that cannot be explained as other than a genuine commitment to Jesus.

Kim recognized that often we in the West perceive hospitality as mission. How easy it is to welcome the stranger into our home for a meal and care for them: such behavior and attitudes represent a significant practice throughout the Christian tradition. We care for and seek the welfare, best interests, and offer our love to the guest.

Similarly, migration receives a strong perception as mission. As Jehu Hanciles asserts the consensus perspective, “Every migrant a potential missionary.” And, there is much to support this viewpoint. The sheer volume of migrants from the southern hemisphere who hold the Christian faith deserves better attention from the western church. Moreover, such followers of Jesus merely assume that the proclamation of one’s faith still has validity wherever they may find themselves in the world. Kim did a great job of explaining this phenomenon.

But, she took this a step further. The tricky part involves a pair of pairs that give evidence of cultural commitments that inadvertently displace the gospel. Take the last perspective: The prevailing assumption of myself and my colleagues involves that our students know their culture best. Kim confronts this: How can we demonstrate this? Only by asking questions? Not a bad start, but we cannot confirm that any migrant intends to reproduce or “bring with them” all of their culture with themselves to their new home and relationships. Some may have a variation in how and what they disclose of their faith commitment. My critical realist heart swooned.

But, she took all of this into another pair: Often we perceive hospitality as a binary: the host and the guest. As you might guess, Kim exposed how peoples from the west can preserve unequal power differentials. I observed this all the time in my interactions with Americans with the best of intentions. They deftly kept the I-students from making their own theological conclusions in reading the Bible, settling for “teaching the truth of the Bible.”

Kim proposed a different way of identifying ourselves: what if the Christian also perceived themselves, theologically, as a sojourner? One could look to Abraham, or the early life of Israel, and the early church found in Acts. This proposal for identity allows for a mutuality of learning and serving together, each person, instead of host and guest, contributing to the flourishing of the other and the created order. Furthermore, such a response to grace positions one toward the Holy Spirit in ways that allow for empowerment, healing, and local movements of mission that occur through life in proximity to one’s neighbor.

Suffice it to say, I was deeply moved by this robust description of Christian identity and mission. Kim’s presentation deserves publication, and I hope that happens soon. One of the adjacent ideas that sprouted during her presentation regarded the development of self-awareness of one’s powers. More often than not, most of my white friends have no clue as to their privilege. Merely telling them that they can enter a room, an office, a grocery store: and no one will question their location or their intent, simply bounces off of them. It’s not as though they’ve ever had to consider the question—literally— in their lives.

This matter of self-awareness of one’s powers really benefits from the long game, as it’s rarely the case that anyone can flip the switch and know how much power they possess as a function of their ethnic identity, especially if they are white. Put another way: one of my colleagues in smaller group settings of students will ask aloud, “What’s it like to be white?” Without fail—I’ve observed this several times—the white students will begin a nervous laugh, and then fall into embarrassment. Why? Often, as I later hear, such white students discover the answer to the question involves a scandalous reply: It’s normal. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s my way. They may not utter the answer right away, but they instantly realize the power and privilege that inhere their social location as a function of their dominant ethnicity. Remarkably, when the silence to my colleague’s question has lingered long enough to become awkward, he turns to a Black or Latin/x or Asian student, and asks if they can answer the question. Boom. They already know the answer, and articulate the sense of privilege that white students possess with easily accessible narratives that happened: even the same day, right before the event.

Friends: That just begins to account for ethnicity, this need to develop our self-awareness of power. I haven’t touched gender, or socio-economic status. Or even political identity, i.e., citizenship.

Returning to my historical observation above, through Bible reading and an explicit attentiveness to how one moves through the West as a function of gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, I began to imagine the Holy Spirit might generate painful but fruitful ways to prune back our western privilege from life as “hosts.” Such identities have a unique way of sustaining privilege, but a relocated identity in Christ as a sojourning follower of Jesus allows for one to receive the power from the Holy Spirit to set aside that culturally and socially conferred advantage. Again, Kim’s lecture was excellent, and if I catch that it gets published, I’ll link to here.

However, following the lecture, I learned of power employed to suppress and to threaten: all coming from, unfortunately, from Christians. Following the Kim lecture, I observed some paternalistic comments made about women in the academy that made me pause. The comments occurred in the flow of a public meeting, and I wondered, “How do people get away with these statements?” Then, I received an earful from some of my female colleagues who also heard the comments, and I realized that those comments landed with so much more offensive power than I had realized. I imagine I have an upcoming conversation with at least one of the offenders in the near future about such egregious statements; it won’t be easy (see preceding conversation about power differentials and “hosts”) but I’m sure it needs to happen: because too much of Christian leadership these days really relies upon social location instead of pneumatology.

Also, even within InterVarsity, I observed some remarkable uses of power in the last 48 hours that made me wonder about the ongoing decay of western evangelicalism. One colleague has received…how shall I say this?…ominous prospects of termination. Others find that the absence of many of our colleagues at our triennial national staff conference is, of course, due to their disagreement with either the new theological statement on human sexuality and the roll-out of the employment policy related to the statement: and we miss their presence and ministry.

Adjacent to the statement and the new policy stand Black colleagues and friends on InterVarsity staff, for whom the presence of Michelle Higgins and her dynamic message at Urbana signaled a new day for InterVarsity: and this remains an unfulfilled symbol for them and their students. The palpable sense of anger and disappointment emerges from a displacement of the movement of the Holy Spirit at Urbana to attend to the roll-out of the new policy. The levels of trust continue to lower, and morale proceeds to descend among staff of color who wonder if the movement to preach Christ crucified for our sins and to call for justice will ever received the same kind of energies and funding that the statement and the new policy received.

The serendipitous lecture of Kim still rings in my ears and in my heart: the sojourner as Christian identity, and for mission.

So, 2017 has started, and much of it is the same as 2016: epic, in its peculiar inattentiveness to personal power and privilege. But it is not normal.

 

Suffering, Disappointment, & Hope in 2016

Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. Don’t be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God’s chosen ones, and he will bless you.
1 Peter 3:8-9

“In the subsequent years of ministry in England I have often been asked: ‘What is the greatest difficulty you face in moving from India to England?’ I have always answered: ‘The disappearance of hope.’ I believe that everyone who has made the same move will bear me out. Even in the most squalid slums of Madras there was always the belief that things could be improved. One could start a night school, or agitate for a water supply, or establish a ’Young Men’s Progressive Society’. In spite of all the disappointments since independence came in 1947, there was still the belief in a better future ahead.
“ In England, by contrast, it is hard to find any such hope. Apart from those whose lives are shaped by the Christian hope founded on the resurrection of Jesus as the pledge of a new creation, there is little sign among the citizens of this country of the sort of confidence in the future which was certainly present in the earlier years of this century.”
Lesslie Newbigin, The Other Side of 1984

A friend and mentor, Scott Sunquist, wrote an introductory text called Understanding Christian Mission: Participation in Suffering and Glory. Within the text, Sunquist the historian makes the missiological case that any form of Christian mission will involve suffering on the part of the missionary. After distribution to reviewers, Sunquist immediately noticed two distinct responses to the title and to the book itself. Missiologists from the west were largely affirming of the book, and suggested it could serve as a fine book in many seminaries. Missiologists from the Global South were overjoyed by the title and the text! They passionately informed Sunquist of the deep attraction they had to the book and expressed their gratitude for it. Why? Because he recovered their experience in mission: suffering and glory. No suffering, no mission. And most certainly, no glory.

Over the last several days and weeks, I’ve observed several versions of the same comment from friends and others on social media: “Let 2016 be over with.” Whether it is the deserving opprobrium toward injustice, or the grief from the loss of an artist and entertainer, there is a great deal of disappointment, grief, and in some cases, expressions of anger and frustration. Perhaps the lowest point came on the morning of November 9, when the world awoke only to discover that a supremely unqualified, reality TV entertainer would soon lead the world’s most important democracy.

Perhaps at the end of 2016, we might pause for a moment and consider our present experience in suffering. To be sure, much of what we endure contrasted with life in Syria or in Iraq rarely involves the kind of threats to our lives. But, as an African American pastor once told an audience white Christians, “If you are hurting: you are hurting!” Pain doesn’t stop or reduce because of the source of your pain wasn’t as “serious” as someone who fails to be fed because of famine. And, as a friend mentioned to me sometimes we’re so frustrated, that part of our release involves statement desiring a reset: Let 2016 be over.

And: for those believing you are a follower of Jesus: let’s not abandon the hope we have in Christ. I discovered, perhaps like many of you, that the announcement of the winner of the presidential election elicited a great deal of fear and anguish. And, the more I prayed to the Lord, I made a surprising discovery. Actually two.

First, one that I had and will continue to repent of: I had too much trust in the state. The election results evoked some serious fears about our democracy self-destructing. Like so many people, I assumed that the outcome we now live with could never happen. I began to seriously consider that the executive branch of the government would directly oppose my attempts at human flourishing.

That’s when I learned of the second discovery: most of my African American friends went on with their day on November 9. They’ve continued to live with the very threats to their existence from the executive branch most of their lives. Also true for some of my Latino American and Asian American friends: and family. What I considered new and astonishing, they had already learned to negotiate and learn to thrive. That’s not to say they were not disappointed with the election outcome. Or that they felt less safe than before. Rather, they had long since developed and shared strategies and knowledge for promoting safe engagement throughout the social world, and they intensified their learning for persevering through disappointment.

So, all of this pain and disappointment is new for me, right? Maybe for you, too. Hope gets much sustained treatment in the NT: it’s far more enduring that unexpected election results or the kind of frustration that makes us want to rage. Treating everyone with kindness requires some deep reservoirs of love and of a sense of belonging that come from Christ. Thriving is possible, because the produce of the resurrection has yet to cease bearing fruit of justice and peace: the new creation continues to be formed by Christ and those who join in his suffering as his chosen ones. But, let’s face it: it sure hurts.

Christian Identity: Yet Another Reply to Tim Keller & Brian McLaren

In a recent conversation, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times asked Pastor Tim Keller, “Am I a Christian?” Although posted on December 23, the op-ed has generated more than 900 comments through today. Almost immediately, people from around the blogosphere affirmed, critiqued, and interrogated Keller’s many and nuanced replies to questions from a friendly Kristof: including Brian McLaren. I want to highlight the posts from Kristof/Keller and McLaren, as each have cast a certain light upon Christian identity, and raise important questions that we would do well to consider.

 
For Keller in his conversation with Kristof, the replies flowed from “literal” belief in the Bible, textual criticism, confidence in one’s faith in tension with questions generating diffidence, skepticism, attraction to people in mission but incredulous reaction to the same people with antagonistic beliefs, the range of Christian salvation, religious plurality, and finishing on the doctrine of God. Whew! What a tour!

 
For the most part, Keller framed the Christian faith, right from the get-go, as “a body of thought”, one which contributes to forming social boundaries for the church, so that one could have “a cohesive, integrated organization.” Then, his all important claim: “Jesus’ teaching was not the main point of his mission. He came to save people though his death for sin and his resurrection.”

 
Now, let me first of all say: Bravo. I like and endorse the move that links Calvary and the Empty Tomb; Keller links the two, and that deserves further elaboration from him. I need to follow that by asking: Whither the Kingdom of God? I make mention of this, chiefly because Redeemer Presbyterian Church has a remarkable history and presence of witness and service within Manhattan: such practices offer valuable signposts toward the reign of God in Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I found it strange that Keller omitted any response about Christ’s preaching on the Kingdom of God. Finally, it’s hard to know the importance of mission from a single interview about the aforementioned commitment by Keller and his congregation; so much of Kristof’s questions centered on identity, and—as I will get to below— Keller consented to keeping the discussion within that ambit.

 
For McLaren, though, the interview became an occasion to recollect (sans pleasure) how Keller’s version of “Christian identity is primarily defined by a list of beliefs, as it was for me in my upbringing.” As he continues his journey through his memory, McLaren knows first-hand that such a identity both secured a destiny in Heaven and one could have repellent list of personal sins left intact and impervious to transformation: simply because “if you held the right beliefs, you were going to heaven when you die, and in comparison with that, nothing else matters much.” This kind of propositional-based belief still has currency (see any of your friends from neo-orthodox churches), and empowers a long view of being safe in Heaven, while completely diminishing any value of other persons, the need for justice (or correcting injustice), holds dominion over the earth as a primary value for human existence thus authorizing environmental decay, and simply affirms a dualism between body and soul. McLaren suggests an alternative… or does he?

 
McLaren also takes up the question of Christian identity, although his angle of entry initially appears sympathetic to one I would endorse: “As we approach Christmas, it’s a good time to reflect on why Jesus was born and why it matters.” From there, McLaren approves of people entering a journey of discovery of significance: “It’s a good time to note that according to the Gospels, Jesus himself gives a number of reasons for the ‘main point of his mission’.” From here, McLaren cherry-picks some excellent topics: repentance, liberation and healing, truth-telling, preaching the Gospel: and then this: “Yes, a meaning-rich and world-changing suffering and death were among those many reasons (Jn. 12:27), but it’s a mistake (a popular mistake) to let that one reason silence all the others.” Well, yes and no.

 
Yes, McLaren is correct to elevate and celebrate the importance of Christian identity becoming generated, practiced, and competent through practices of mission. Amen. But, as Newbigin once said, “Words without deeds are empty. But, deeds without words are dumb.” Put another way, and even Keller and Kristof recognize this: the Christian faith does not have the religious market on caring for the poor, the widowed, and the orphan. Actions like these, in which as Keller recognized as “the importance of the individual person and … love as the supreme virtue”, deserve interpretation from beliefs and doctrines. But, we need those practices to assist in developing maturity as Christians.

 

So, No, we can’t discard some of our espoused convictions regarding soteriology and the doctrine of God just because a different system of beliefs is asserted to be superior or to be more inclusive for the naming and creation of Christian identity. To wit, that different system merely addresses different questions: “Do you love the least of these? Do you love the earth as God’s creation or money that can be made from exploiting the earth? Is love— for God, self, neighbor, other, enemy, and the earth— your highest aim and deepest desire?” McLaren raises these questions and more in his conclusion. He is correct to interrogate static models of Christian identity that only rely upon assent to theological convictions.

 
But, we don’t check in our theological traditions along the way in identity formation. We need to recover a process of identity formation that involves a constructive, dynamic response to the imperative of the one we are convinced of who offers us life: “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of humanity.” (Mk. 1:17)

 
But, I wonder how “local” the questions of McLaren are, especially relative to Jesus. Put another way: even Jesus had a context, one of a long religious tradition that permeated every aspect of life. That tradition underwent several changes during internal political changes, external influence and military invasions; these changes took place during forced migration from home and in repatriation.  But, the Jewish tradition endured, and long expected another exodus-like saving event from YHWH. So, whether the changes enacted by family politics or Roman imperial forces acting upon the tradition, the Jewish people kept their faith in a multicultural and multiethnic milieu. Jesus had no problems engaging with Gentiles, (e.g., Mk. 5:1-20) and he certainly directed those who followed him to do likewise. (C.f., Mt. 28:19-20)

 
Now, one might push back on me: “McLaren observes “the other”, and “the outsider.” True. But, here’s the snag: For McLaren, (and for that matter, Keller) declare through their silence that belief and service occur in an ethnically-neutral context of North America: that is how Christian identity becomes formed. One wouldn’t know from either of these pastors that racism is America’s original sin. While McLaren (and we could presume Keller, as well) would champion a wholesale rejection of racism, violence, and structural injustice, and especially in light of the increasing events of white hostility following the recent presidential election, their omission of such makes me wonder how far their observations extend to Christian identity. How can we discuss caring for the poor, or the healing of the sick— who are often people of color— without consideration of their ethnic identity and our own ethnic identity? How can we make any prescriptions—or recommendations— about beliefs or practices for Christian identity without some consideration of the racialized society we dwell in?

 
Other friends chimed in on my FB page: surely the NT doesn’t drive a wedge between belief and practices. Similarly, if one wanted to press the whole notion of identity, we could look to the rite of initiation: baptism. And, this initially appears warranted, at least theologically. Yet another observed regarding beliefs, that evangelicals like Keller and McLaren (although the latter may not want that label anymore) hardly can be affirmed for the inclusion of the creeds in their belief systems as constituting evangelicalism. Some version of “both/and” was called for. I made note that for both Keller and McLaren, they both draw boundaries, and they simply do it differently than each other. I wanted to address this element more thoroughly but in my prayers, I could not look away from the total absence of discussion of ethnicity and context as informing Christian identity. One might also wonder why suffering is omitted from either descriptions of Christian identity. (C.f, 1 Peter 3:8-22) Similarly: there’s not a shred of conversation about how our gender contributes toward the formation of our Christian identity: clearly, this last element needs a more thorough examination. To be sure, the differences between Manhattan and Manhattan Beach hold unique elements.

 
Christian identity becomes formed not only through beliefs and practices, but also in context; both engage the respective contexts and are engaged by the same. For Kristof, Keller, and McLaren, we would ask them: “Who is your neighbor? And, is your neighbor of a different ethnicity than yourself?” How they—and we— answer such questions may well help all us understand how we all are formed into our Christian identity.

Happy 107th Birthday, Lesslie Newbigin!

Today is the 107th anniversary of the birth of Lesslie Newbigin. He went from life to life in 1998. What wonderful and prophetic Christian; so much could be said. Better for us to hear it from the man himself. Here’s an abridged selection from “The Other Side of 1984.”

“Many Christians feel themselves to be in a position analogous to that which was a ground of complaint at the time of the Reformation. At that time the complaint was the Bible had been taken out of the hands of the laity and become the property of the clergy. Now it has to be asked whether it has not become the property of the guild of scholars in such a way that the ordinary lay person feels unable to understand it without the help of a trained expert.

“But the lay person knows also that the results of modern critical scholarship are by their nature ephemeral…

“Yet it must be said plainly that there is no way by which the Bible can be restored to the laity by taking it out of the hands of the scholars… And the layman and woman are themselves part of modern culture and cannot with integrity divide their mental world into two parts, one controlled by that culture and the other by the Bible. A much more exciting and costly move is called for, namely a genuinely missionary encounter between a scriptural faith and modern culture. By this I mean an encounter which takes our culture seriously yet does not take it as the final truth by which scripture is evaluated, but rather holds up the modern world to the mirror of the Bible in order to understand how we, who are part of modern culture, are required to re-examine our assumptions and reorder our thinking and acting. This is, I believe, our present task.” (46-47, italics added)

Ignoring our conscience: This is not normal

Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. (Matthew 1:19, CEB)

Over the last several weeks, my reflections about conscience have intensified a great deal. In some ways, my research on how freshmen regulate their faith commitment has touched the borders of research on ignoring one’s conscience, moral-decision making processes, and unexpected outcomes of agency that deviates from norms. So, I’ve had some skin in the game that has become, following through on the metaphors here, become a little sun burnt from recent events.

So, I’m wondering what it will take for us—let me be clear:  If you have a conscience, you know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, moral and immoral. There are some slight cultural variations on this matter of conscience, but there is a remarkable mass of overlap in the world that deserves acknowledgement. (And to the followers of Jesus coming from all Christian traditions, we need trust that… well, that Jesus has our back when we trust Him through our conscience.)  And, some of you also know: I really dislike binaries (good/bad, etc.): So, this intensification of reflection on conscience has gone deep.

I realize that some egregious sins have been committed when people claim to follow their conscience; I will cite a few of those in a moment. But, I am thinking of those venial type that claim to justify adultery, lying, and others. While I’m not a fan of the argument for the distinction between mortal and venial sins, I also realize that people do weird acts, without regard for consequences, and they later justify the outcomes trusting that such acts will not deprive them of grace. Obviously: this rendering exposes a flawed narrative: that the freedom God offers in Christ endorses all kinds of disobedience. Theologians better than I have addressed this from a variety of theological traditions, but the outcome is the same: You’re in deep if you ignore your conscience, take up a immoral act, and presume all will be well on the other side with God, because of… you know… “grace.”

So: here’s an incomplete list of recent incidents of people ignoring their conscience:

• DA in Ferguson not sending Grand Jury recommendations to trial on the police assassination of Michael Brown.
• Democratic and other voters  failing to show up and vote against Donald Trump.
• Republican and other voters both confirming in Clinton and failing to reject in Trump the “cupidity and mendacity”  of the candidates, which, in the case of Trump, is so generative of his racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
• GOP Presidential Candidates groveling their way back into Washington at Trump’s golf course.
• A single juror rejects a guilty verdict for the police officer who assassinated Walter Scott.

I will attend to the last item on the above list. I wonder, like many of you, how on God’s green earth, can someone fail to cast the vote for a guilty verdict on a police officer that: (1) claimed self-defense after (2) firing several shots into the back of a black man who ran away from the officer, and who followed that by (3) dropping a taser near the dying black man with a further claim that it failed to subdue the black man, and (4) all of this was captured on cell-phone video. How could someone fail to cast the vote for a guilty verdict on a police officer with that kind of evidence?

By ignoring your conscience. Or: is it?

Indeed, I have an alternative proposal: that the lone juror did indeed attend to his conscience. I will assume that the juror did the social calculus on participating on a jury that casts a unanimous decision for a guilty verdict on a police office in South Carolina. The result of that math was: My family, my friends, my co-workers know I am on this jury (or they will find out) and they will know that I voted in a way that denies white people the power they have been trying to claw back since before the Civil War. They will know I voted against a police officer. They will know that I voted to imprison and punish a white man.

This juror paid attention to his conscience: “In a letter to Judge Newman on Friday, a single juror said he could not ‘in good conscience consider a guilty verdict.’”  Correct.

I suspect that this lone juror did the math: and checked the result to make sure that the solution was correct for his social orbit. This juror paid attention to his conscience: and placed his own sense of comfort and security above weightier matters of justice. He would then be dismissed from the panel, along with the other 11 former strangers, and he could simply refuse to answer anymore questions for the rest of his life… quietly.

This is not normal: An unusual week. To say the least

I started harvesting more news items, blogs, and other sources for this week’s version of #notnormal. It turned out to be quite a week of possibilities. Steve Bannon? More of Jeff Sessions? Betsy DeVos selected as Secretary of Education? The (unfortunate) firing of Charlie Strong?

No. Just under the wire: This.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-9-25-33-pm

So: The backstory here is DJT’s outrage that Clinton and others have requested an audit of the votes in a few states. We all might take a step back for just one moment and at least concede this: anyone who has won an election might have more than a little emotional resistance to this kind of effort. OK? That makes sense.

And, truth be told, when I first heard about the various momentum toward audits, I thought that DJT would scoop everyone with the high road: Say something to the effect that he welcomed such audits, as the outcomes would not only verify his victory, but it would also reaffirm confidence in voting in any election, no matter what kind of ballot would be cast. Right? Such statements would at least position DJT as one who held confidence in the process and could steady the anxieties of the electorate.

Instead, this guy, the so-called PEOTUS, has done a few things that simply move the dial toward the category of “he’s certifiable” through a single tweet. Of course, he made several others since then, but the damage is done.

First, he made a claim that he could never in a million years ever confirm. How he knows this to be true simply is never substantiated.

Second, he called into question the very process that got him elected. Is there a conspiracy that we should now know about that he was already aware of?

Third, and here is where he moves into the same territory that got Clinton in so much trouble for calling US citizens “deplorable,” he ends up labeling the Clinton voters as people who committed voter fraud. Really?
Clearly, words do not matter to this fella. The kind of wordsmithing that DJT practices hardly commends any trust in the soon-to-be Executive Commuter. Stay tuned. Last week was an unusual week.

#notnormal