Archive for the tag “democrat”

Gaslight – a rant

Gaslighting is when a person or organization makes their victim question reality in order to gain a power stance over them. It is a common tactic of dictators, abusers, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is typically done over a longer period of time, so the victim doesn’t realize they are being gaslighted.

In this current societal era that we are in, gaslight is all the rage!

The phrase was actually created in a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton titled “Gaslight” in which a husband carefully, gradually, and diabolically manipulates his wife into thinking that she has lost her mind. The play was then made into a film and starred Ingrid Bergman.

But the corporate version of gaslighting remains the same. Carefully, gradually and diabolically manipulating people to be brainwashed into whatever you want them to believe.

In psychological terms, it almost always happens the same way. It starts with the victim questioning the small things, such as whether they heard a detail incorrectly. Then it moves to bigger things such as whether what they heard or saw really happened. Over time, it breaks down the confidence of the person until they have lost all touch with reality.

And I believe, America, that we are being gaslit (gaslighted?) today.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic, the COVID (said just like a typical old person).

Everyone should be confused by the mixed messages of public health experts right now. That isn’t gaslighting. That is simply the public health experts going through something they have never gone through before and learning along the way.

But when we see from our own government, who is the one who is filtering the information we receive, a constant stream of gaslighting, then we know that we are in perilous times. It starts with everyone’s favorite target, the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Actually, it doesn’t start there. It starts with all the lobbyists on both sides of the political spectrum. You see, just like all of us, Trump is a pawn. He would never agree that he is simply a pawn, but he is. He needs to listen, not to his advisors, but to the millions of people in the country who are his supporters if he plans to get his way in office.

The public health experts have been telling us what would happen if we didn’t follow their suggestions of social distancing, wearing masks, and shutting everything down completely for a short time.

But unfortunately, the lobbyists won out. The people with the true money won out.

It started great. Let’s shut everything down for a time.


Home Depot, you can stay open because people are going to need something to do while they are stuck at home. Oh, and grocery stores, you can stay open because no one can go out and get 2 weeks-worth of rations, you need to stay open in case some family just can’t live without their filet mignon for the next couple weeks. Restaurants, you can stay open too, but you can only do outside seating and curbside pickup.

SIDE STORY: When all this hit, I ran to one of our grocery stores and started to purchase some food with my dad. I kid you not, as we walked by the seafood counter, there was a woman purchasing 6 live lobsters from the tank and she wanted to pick each one out individually so that she got the best ones.

Anyway, once the lobbyists heard that some stores would remain open, then everyone lobbied to stay open.

Let me give you an example. I live in Maryland. Governor Hogan, who I think started by trying to do the right thing, ended up allowing himself to be gaslit.

Let’s start with March 5. He puts out a press release about the first 3 positive cases of COVID in Maryland. He said not to panic but to stay informed with him at his press conference that night.

That same night, he declared a state of emergency. Basically that is a gaslight phrase in and of itself which says (according to Governor Hogan’s own site): “A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders and news stations in order to be informed of the situation.”

The state of emergency allowed the governor to begin the discussions with all the organizations throughout the state about getting plans in place for a larger issue.

On March 6, he gave updates as to the 3 patients and tell everyone that COVID testing will be free as insurers waive the costs of it.

On March 8, he announced 2 more cases.

By the 9th of March, he created a COVID Response Team of medical experts around the state. It was during this time that each person who contracted the virus was news in and of itself.

On March 10, he met with his first lobbyist group, the group who lobby for the long-term care facilities. They came up with an entire list of things to keep the older residents safe. He also met with the lobbyist group for colleges and universities. They came up with a 2-week plan to close campuses during spring break timeframe.

By March 11, he had met with several other concerned groups, mostly state government, to come up with plans for them. The MVA was going to appointments only, the prisons were not allowing visits, the veteran’s affairs were not allowing people in.

Then March 12th happened. This is where Hogan decided to take action. He started by activating the National Guard. He then banned groups of 250 or more as well as closing all senior centers around the state. He closed all schools in the state until March 27th. He also rolled out a lot more restrictions on people coming in from international travel and cruises and locked down the medical system even more.

These are good things. They are a process of learning for someone who has never been through this before. I applauded Hogan for the steps he was taking and the speed at which he did it. (For those of you who want to use this as a soundbite in the future, please don’t, this is not going to end in a flattering way for Hogan).

This where the plan starts to buckle.

On March 14th, he decided to expand the childcare programs in Maryland so that they would stay open. He was starting to hear from the lobbyists that their group of people still had to go to work and needed to have childcare in order for them to continue.

While I don’t envy the decision he had to make, it was a mistake. And it was the first of many that he would make along the way.

On March 15th he closed down casinos. On March 16th he closed down theatres, fitness centers, spas, bars and restaurants. BUT, in order to allow them to keep income flowing, he allowed restaurants to have carry-out, drive-thu, and delivery services. That’s a little crazy. There were absolutely no directives to restaurants and bars about employees, only how to keep them open.

Also, on March 16th, he prohibited groups larger than 50 people. It is at this point that the religious community got involved. But not all religious communities were vocal about it. Keep in mind that ALL retail was still open at this time except fitness, theatres, spas, and indoor only restaurants.

March 17th he must have been getting calls because he put out what he calls “interpretive guidance.” Now food courts inside of malls are still ok to keep open, so are food trucks. Barber shops and hairstylists are ok to keep open, but not spas.


On March 18 we had our first COVID death in the state. On the 19th, Hogan “tightened” things down more. This is where he starts listening to the lobbyists more than fearing the virus.

On the 19th, he prohibited gatherings of larger than 10 people. He again closed all restaurants, unless they are able to do carry-out, drive-thru, or delivery (just to be clear, he didn’t do anything different to them). He closed malls. He didn’t close any other retail establishments, but he closed malls. And he closed down any amusement-type business. He also required all state colleges and universities to finish the spring semester online at this time.

This is where the true mistake was made. He, on the 19th, allowed delivery and carry-out of alcohol. How, on any earth, is that essential?!?!  He has immediately turned from someone I had respect for to someone who is now starting to gaslight for the purpose of keeping the lobbyists happy.

Also on the 19th, more interpretive guidance came out that said that convenience stores can remain open, as well as grocery stores.

March 23rd is the next mistake in a line of many. He closed all non-essential businesses. But he tried to keep all parties happy by telling everyone that this is “not a shelter-in-place” order.

But let’s look at those non-essential businesses:

  • All the former businesses he already closed
    • But restaurants and bars can still delivery food/alcohol and have carry-out and drive-thru
    • And retail establishments that have their own door to the outside can continue operations.
  • He added golf courses and social clubs now to the list.
  • He listed a website of and when you get in there, it is one of the biggest, most confusing, websites I have ever tried to navigate to find information easily. Here is what the interpretive guidance on the Hogan website says can remain open:
    • Manufacturing
    • Lodging
    • Laundry services
    • Construction
    • The media can remain open (that is interesting)
    • Defense contractors
    • Law/Rescue services
    • Energy services
    • All financial services
    • Grocery stores
    • Convenience stores
    • Farmer’s Markets (???)
    • Alcoholic distributors
    • Farms
    • Pet supply stores
    • Vets
    • Lawyers
    • All healthcare
    • IT services
    • All forms of transportation (although he said in the same order that Marylanders were not to leave the state)
    • Wastewater
    • Staffing services
    • Door to door salespeople (he discouraged it, but didn’t discontinue it)

That is a long list. But that isn’t it. I guess he got a lot of calls from people wondering if their business was on the list. So there is more interpretive guidance that came out on the same day on who could remain open.

  • Car dealerships
  • Bike shops
  • Moving companies (but I thought we couldn’t move anywhere out of state and were suggested to stay indoors)
  • Tool rental companies
  • Party rental companies
  • All retail except indoor malls

But wait…there’s more! On the 24th he came out with more interpretive guidance on what can remain open:

  • Greenhouses
  • Trash pickup
  • Residential cleaning services

And now we get to even MORE ridiculousness. If you deem your organization as essential, you should give all your employees a letter that says why they are essential in case it is challenged. Oh, and slipped into this latest order is that clergy is deemed non-essential. But we are allowed to have a skeleton crew that can keep the day to day operations of the facility going.

Isn’t that most churches? Most are just 1 or 2 people trying to get everything done.

But I guess the churches were starting to chomp at the bit a little. So on April 1, Governor Hogan put out directives to churches:

  • You are allowed to have a drive-in religious service
  • You may have indoor services if:
    • They are under 10 people
    • There is no physical interaction
    • Everyone 6 feet apart and wearing masks
    • A 4 hour gap in between services (and, yet, Home Depot or Safeway can allow in unlimited people all day long with no gap in between, interesting)

Effective April 18, everyone must wear face masks and socially distance themselves. The face mask MUST cover both mouth and nose. Under age of 2 doesn’t have to wear one. Between 2-9 the parent is supposed to do everything they can to get their child to wear one. Age 9 and above is required.

By April 20th, we now close down all barber shops and hairstylists.

By May 13th, the guidance came out that the following could reopen:

  • Pet shelters
  • Art galleries
  • Bookstores
  • Car washes
  • Florists
  • Pawn shops
  • Tobacco and vape stores

By May 13th we enter phase 1, which allowed all those businesses above to reopen.

Why do I write all of this?

It is to show that even Governor Hogan, a highly respected state official, can become the victim of gaslighting. He was led astray by his advisers and lobbyists. When all it would have taken was closing the state down completely for a matter of time, now we have a long, drawn-out problem that is resurging again.

Remember I mentioned Trump above? Well, he has his own gaslighting moments, but so do all the other organizations that are trying to gain all the power.

So when you are listening to all the pundits and the voices and the media, ask yourself these few simple questions to determine if they are gaslighting you:

  • Are they trivializing how you feel about the situation?
  • Are they saying that your thoughts are not valid?
  • Are they saying things that they later deny they said?
  • Basically, are they in it for the power or are they in it to effectively take care of the people they serve? This is a good question to ask whether it is politics, relationships, church, work, or whatever.

So there you have it. We are being gaslighted (gaslit?). So now it is time to do something about it. Educate yourself so you know the signs.




Supporting the Government 4: The Democratic Hopefuls

The past few weeks I have looked at the Republican candidates, probably angering not just conservative political supporters, but also angering much of the religious political groupies.

This past week I was at the Southern Baptist SEND conference. It was amazing and we had a surprise, at one point we saw an interview with Marco Rubio and then after that video interview, Jeb Bush walked out on the stage and spoke for about 20 minutes. Even after listening to him speak, I am still not going to change my view of him, I still believe he is a liar.

But I am not here to discuss Republicans anymore. I want to discuss the top Democratic contenders this week. Pretty much whenever someone thinks of a religious fanatic like myself, they think that being Democrat is a sin. And to most evangelical Christians, being Democrat is putting a scarlet D on your chest.

The first is Lincoln Chafee, former U.S. Senator and Governor from Rhode Island. Chafee served as a GOP Senator until he became disenfranchised with the system and turned independent. Even though he has declared as a Democratic Presidential candidate, he really tends to be more moderate and has earned a reputation of being a fence-sitter on various issues.

Unfortunately, on many of the issues which I, as a Christian, hold dear, we will find that not only he, but most likely all the candidates will differ significantly, some of which will nullify my vote for them. But one thing they do have going for them, on most of the major issues that I disagree with them on, they are not lying, like many of the GOP candidates have.

With Chafee, he believes completely in a woman’s right to personal reproductive decisions. I do agree with his immigration standpoint, which is legalization and guest worker programs. He supports gay rights. But one thing surprised me. He supports allowing churches to provide welfare services. I would think, and I would hope, that this means that he supports keeping the sanctity of the church as equal to those of other non-profits. Overall, he received 50% by the Gospel Coalition for being mixed on his voting record.

Overall, I would withhold my vote from him, but only because of his personal views on the issues above, not because he is a liar.

Martin O’Malley, Former Governor of Maryland

I know of O’Malley because of living in Maryland for almost all his political career. While I am impressed that he took a huge political swing at both Obama and Hilary by saying that “we must save our country now.” O’Malley has a history of making big promises as Governor but not following through. For example, he promised to reclaim the city’s abandoned buildings but between 2002-2007 the number abandoned buildings actually increased by over 2,500. Just after his exit from office, Baltimore was ranked as the least likely to allow children to escape poverty in a Harvard survey of 100 of the largest cities in America. He also raised taxes significantly during his time in office, taking the top personal tax rate to 5.75% (up 1%), increased corporate taxes by 1.25% to 8.25%, increased the sales tax from 5 to 6% and almost doubled the gas tax, increasing it from 23.5 cents to 43.5 cents. All of this increased taxation led to an exodus of 31,000 residents from the state while he was Governor.

Even if it weren’t for the issues that I am analyzing candidates for in this blog, I would not be able to vote for O’Malley. He simply does not have a strong financial record and has actually hurt the most impoverished throughout the state. But as for the issues, O’Malley has come out in support of abortion funding. He did say, however, that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

Mr. O’Malley, what do you mean? That is about as clear as a black piece of paper.

So, sorry Martin, I cannot support your campaign and will not be voting for you.

Jim Webb – former Senator from Virginia

Webb started out as a Republican and served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration. Most recently, though, he was a Democratic Senator from Virginia. He left operational politics in 2013, citing that he could not stand partisan politics that happened in Washington. As for the issues, he is blatantly pro-abortion, even going so far as to believe that the unborn deserve no rights. With civil rights, he has some strange beliefs. He believes that racism can end if the “right leader found a way to bring Scots-Irish and African Americans to the same table.” Ooooooook? That makes little sense to me, but I would give him a shot and see what happens with that. With same-sex marriage, he is a little schizophrenic. He support the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell rule that was done away with, but he supports same-sex marriage to non-military.

Sorry, Mr. Webb, I cannot vote for you. Not only are you schizophrenic, and a little out there, you oppose that which I feel is important to not oppose.

Joe Biden – Vice President of the United States

Vice President Biden has not officially declared, but was urged by his dying son to run for the Presidency in 2016. A strange twist is that there is a rumor that he would ask President Obama to be his running mate. Well if THAT isn’t enough to stop me from voting for him, there is quite a bit more that I can provide to show that he is not worthy of my vote. One of the major things deals with abortion. I can honestly call Biden a liar. He says that he accepts that life begins at conception, but that abortion needs to be allowed by the government. This is a blatant view that goes against what he says. Either he doesn’t truly believe life begins at conception, which means he lied, or he is too weak of a person to truly stand up for what he believes to the be the right choice.

Vice President Biden, I am sorry, I cannot cast my vote for a liar if you choose to run. I must say, however, that Biden would be the most logical choice for President from the Democratic party, especially if he can get Obama as a running mate.

Bernie Sanders – Junior Senator from Vermont

Sanders calls himself a “Democratic Socialist” and typically runs Independent but chooses the Democratic party because of their support of his views. I must admit that there are some views of his that I totally agree with. For example, I agree with his views on up to 14 weeks of paid time off for new parents. I also agree with his view of mandatory sick leave of 7 days for all employees. But in the grand scheme of things, I cannot agree with him on several key issues, such as when life in the womb should be protected. In 2009, he supported abortion for population control purposes. He also refuses to define the life in the womb as a child. He also voted against protecting the sanctity of marriage as one man one woman. To go along with that, he voted against protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. He is also considerably for removing God from the public. For example, he is for allowing public funding of responsible fatherhood programs, but voted no on the bill because it included faith-based organizations that would be eligible for funding.

Sorry, Bernie, I cannot vote for you. While I do like some of your ideas around the corporate world, I cannot honestly change how I feel about hot topic issues and my Christianity.

Hilary Clinton – Former Secretary of State

Hillary started her career of lying by explaining where she got her name. She explained that she got it from the first man to ever climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, but unfortunately, he wasn’t known until 6 years after her birth. She is clearly pro-choice as is evidenced by the significant number of quotes and stances on pro-choice. She also, not surprisingly, is for gay marriage and redefinition of marriage. But her big issue lately is the Benghazi scandal. The basics of the story is that Clinton used her personal email to discuss incidences related to Benghazi in 2012. Now she is claiming that she is unable to produce the records of what was really said. She has gone so far to say that no subpoena of her records was ever issued, but that was later proven false. A lot more will come out of this in the days leading up to, and even after the election. And I would suspect, that just like many of the GOP and Democratic candidates, she will prove to be even more of a liar than she already is.

Sorry, Hillary, you need to be able to speak the truth at all times if you even expect me to consider voting for you. But the fact that you have the stance you do on abortion and gay marriage means you will never earn my vote.

So there you have it. As of now, the closest I can vote is GOP. Unfortunately, both parties have drawn their lines in the sand on various issues and neither party is acceptable in my eyes.

Next week I will finish this series with what I would proclaim if I ran for President of the United States.

Supporting the Government, Part 1

In the next 3 weeks I am going to be discussing Christianity, government, and each of the people who are running for president. This week I will look at Christianity and government. Then next week I will look at each of the Republican candidates and then finally the Democratic candidates.

Jesus tells us to “….render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s; and to God that which is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) Jesus was telling the Christians of His day to act with integrity when it comes to their earthly ruling government. In the true context of this verse, Jesus is talking about taxation and that the government has the right to tax.

In Romans 13, Paul says that we need to “…be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is not authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, in Acts 5, the apostles were jailed for preaching in the name of Jesus. An angel freed them and they went back out to preach again. This time they were brought before council and told not to teach in the name of Jesus but they told the council “we must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Basically, in looking at the Biblical contexts, this means we are to follow our government when it does not contradict the Word of God. When a government acts in a way that goes against the Word of God, then Christians should follow the Bible.

So what is a Christian’s primary duty to government? 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

The job of the government is to protect the unfortunate and defend the afflicted.

I am not going to use quotes from early American leaders to prove a point either way about the United States being created from a Christian standpoint or from a secular standpoint. Bottom line, the country in the 21st century is not a Christian one. For those who believe that this country was created as a Christian nation, then we would be in a post-Christian world. If you believe as I do, which is that we were never really founded on Christianity (but based on Christian principle), then we live in a position where we are finally beginning to notice what those Christians in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and other countries have been going through.

If you read Luke 3, however, John the Baptist gives Christians the ok to be in government. But those Christians must be able to exercise their faith freely. If those are taken away, the Christian must weigh the consequences of their job choice and figure out where their honor and loyalty truly lies. The flag of the country comes second to Jesus.

Going back to Romans 13 for a minute, in verses 6 and 7, Paul tells us that the rulers are servants of God. If those rulers are no longer servants of God and the contradict Scripture, then they are not to be obeyed.

This is the reason for this blog series. I am going to look at each of the upcoming presidential candidates and discuss them from the standpoint of whether they are a “servant of God.”

So prepare for some controversy. It is time to see if there is a candidate out there we Christians can support with our votes.

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