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Donald Trump is God?

At lunch this past week I was having a friendly conversation with a colleague, and we came to the conclusion that Donald Trump may be God. I a past post I made the point that he is like a Chinese, Daoist god, inn that he expects all to direct their attention to him. So this point has been firmly established. But this new question is to consider if Trump has expanded his "godship" to also become the christian god. Let's consider the evidence.

When I was growing up, in Sunday School I was taught that God has three omnis: omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Let's consider each of these attributes as they apply to Trump.

First, we know from his claim that he has "one of the greatest memories of all time" (except when he is trying to recall his meeting with George Papadapoulos) that he is omniscient. So that satisfies one of the omnis.

Second, we know that Trump is everywhere and at all time. For instance, when exercising in the gym at the University of Mac…

Reflections from Jakarta

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I'm back in Jakarta, Indonesia--my fourth visit. I am glad to report that the city shows signs of improvement. It is possible to walk (mostly) unimpeded along major roads, the traffic flows better, and the bus system is improved. If anyone has ever visited Jakarta in the past, you can appreciate how important this is, and how bad the traffic has been in the past.

For this visit I have come during the month of Ramadan, while Muslims observe daylight fasting. It is my first time to be in a Muslim country during Ramadan, and it is interesting to see how it is observed. Life goes on much as before with people working and carrying out their daily routine. Yet street-side vendors who offer food and drink during the day do not have much business. (The non-Muslim population here, comprised primarily of Chinese Indonesians, does not observe Ramadan.) At 6 pm the daylight fast is over, and people go out to eat and drink. The last meal can be taken around 3 am, when people may awaken to take…

Some reflections on Mosul, Nineveh, and the Prophet Jonah

This past Sunday, Neil, the pastor at Oasis church, gave the first of what will be a series of messages on the book of Jonah. I enjoyed it, as the story of the travails of the most reluctant prophet, Jonah, is one of my favorite books of the Bible. But one thing that I have learned recently, both from watching news of the fighting in Iraq, and from one of the slides Neil showed us, is that ancient Nineveh, the city Jonah was told by God to preach to, today is Mosul. For the past several months a battle has been waged in Mosul, as Iraqi and allied forces are fighting to retake the city from the Islamic State (IS), a truly horrible and repressive regime. The battle is going “well,” although as in every war, unfortunately too many innocent lives are lost and there is much heartache and destruction. We must all pray for the people of Mosul, that they will soon be freed from this awful regime and the scourge of war.
While we can feel sad in the abstract about what is happening in far-away…
Donald Trump sees himself as god/king!!

Trevor Noah of the Daily Show did an excellent job analyzing the performance of Stephen Miller on the Sunday shows in the US. Toward the end, at 5:20 of the clip, Noah explained:

"His [Miller's] Sunday show appearance wasn't designed to persuade anyone or argue about facts, it was about pledging allegiance to an audience of One! And it worked. Because immediately after his appearance, Don Trump tweeted:

Congratulations Stephen Miller - on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!"

It is not a stretch to see how Trump sees himself--as king of the US. Truth, service to the American people, morality--none of these matter to Donald Trump. The only thing that matters is fealty to him, his image, and his desires. This is what a king wants. Or more accurately, I should say that this is what the despotic king wants. The good king (and there are still good kings in this world--the King of Bhutan for on…

Don't be a Sucker!! An attack on any immigrant or minority group must be resisted!!!

This 1947 war department film,Don't Be a Sucker!terrifyingly resonates with the situation in America (and Europe) today. All must watch this 16 minute film!!!
From Wikipedia: "Don't Be a Sucker! is a short film produced by the US War Department in 1943 and re-released in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The film was made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces. An American who has been listening to a racist and bigoted rabble-rouser is warned off by a naturalized Hungarian immigrant, who explains to him how racist and bigoted demagogy allowed the Nazis to rise to power in Germany, and warns Americans not to fall for similar demagogy propagated by American racists and bigots."
This film argues that the Nazis effectively split German society into competing groups, based upon religion, national origin, and race. This was left unchallenged; then it spread and gained in power and influence, until the world finally had to t…

Reflections on Being a Stranger in a Foreign Land

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Reflections on Being a Stranger in a Foreign Land
By Todd L. Sandel, Ph.D.
In 1944 the scholar, Alfred Schütz, known for his writings in sociology and phenomenology, published an essay, “The stranger: An essay in social psychology.” He claimed that while most people operate according to the “cultural pattern” of a standardized scheme, with common sense “recipes” for how to act and how to interpret others’ actions, the stranger experiences the world differently. Such a person has moved from the familiar to the unfamiliar, and thus experiences a “crisis”: the stranger “has to place in question nearly everything that seems to be unquestionable to the members of the approached group” (p. 502). What is seen by “in-group” members as an objective, standardized way of navigating the world, to the stranger is experienced as a “subjective chance” that depends more on “personal circumstances and faculties” than an objective, impersonal system open to all.
It is not difficult to see how Schütz’s es…

America's Wall Builder

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The freely elected leader (do I call him President?) of the United States of America has "fulfilled" a campaign promise and begun to build his wall. This first wall is not a physical structure, but a political one, in the form of a directive that keeps certain people from entering the US. Fortunately, within 24 hours protests broke out, supported by lawyers and the ACLU, and a judge temporarily and partially blocked the directive. As I write this it is impossible to know what will happen next. But I fear that it will not be good.
A couple months ago, and after the election of November 2016, I wrote an introductory piece as incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International & Intercultural Communication. This is the 10th year of the journal, and in this short piece I looked both forward and backward in time, reflecting on what is the aim of this journal, and what I see it to be in coming years. I framed the piece by reflecting on two November 9 (11-9) events, the fi…