Trump Talk is Cheap; Let’s See the Actions

Photo credit: Shawn Allen

Steve Deace said something on his show Friday night that all Americans–especially those who call themselves Christians–need to hear and take deeply to heart. So I’ve transcribed what he said here, from the podcast, about 14 minutes in:

Trump, today, chose to have himself, one of the two Bibles he chose to have himself sworn in on was Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural Bible. One of Lincoln’s most oft-quotes phrases during the Civil War was I am not saying God is on our side, I am saying that we’re trying to get on his.

I’m happy to see there were prayers in the name of Jesus today. There were things that have been missing in our nation’s capital, and I am going to take them at face value that they were done in earnest. And even if they are, that is utterly meaningless if they are not followed by action.

Why do you call me “Lord,” Jesus says, if you do not do what I say?  It is not about what you say, it is about what you do. A tree can call itself whatever it wants. But you know how we know what kind of tree it is? By the kind of fruit it bears. It can scream and yell and cry and it can Tweet all it wants “I am an apple tree,” but come harvest time, when oranges are sitting there budding on the leaves, it’s not an apple tree, it’s an orange tree, no matter what it identifies as or claims to be.

So it’s not about the fact that we heard prayers today. In fact, I would urge you to follow Trump’s own advice. Trump himself said today the time for talk is over. The time for action is here. Well, I believe James would agree: faith without works is dead. Enough with prayers. That’s great, but if they’re not going to be followed by action, they’re irrelevant. They will fall on deaf ears. I am sure plenty of unrepentant people prayed when they saw the floods coming, but the floods still came.

There was a threat of rain today. Franklin Graham said that rain is a blessing in the Bible…unless you are one of Noah’s contemporaries. We have to be very careful with this, guys. We are playing a very dangerous game here, invoking God’s word and then not following through with it. As Saint Peter says, it is better to have never known God’s law and his word, than to know it and not obey it.

Woodrow Wilcox

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I cannot believe how many of you Tweeted me today or sent me notes today: “It’s good to hear these words again.” No, it’s not about words. Jesus said people come to me and they will say we did this in your name, we said this in your name, we, we, we–“I don’t know who you are.” Where’s the obedience?

Trump said today that our nation will be protected by God. Pretty presumptuous to speak for God. You know, there’s no nation that God loved more than his own, Israel. And he punished them with captivity for their disobedience. Would we presume–we have been a very blessed and favored nation–would we presume to be more loved by God than his own?  That’s quite a presumption unto itself as well. So if he was willing to take his belt off and spank them,  if he was willing to look at them and say, “I just want you to know before Nebuchadnezzar shows up, this is going to hurt me more than it’s gonna hurt you, for the next 70 years, if he was willing to do that with his own people, you don’t think he’d be willing to do that with us?

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So the question isn’t that we will be protected by God. The petition is, may we be protected by God. And if you follow God’s word and if you follow the way he interacts with his people, and all of his creation throughout history, there seems to be at least some reliance on our obedience in order to obtain his protection in the end. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

The president of the United States cannot just simply decree that we will be protected by God. Whether his name is Barack Obama or Donald Trump or Pope Whatever; can’t simply decree that. Don’t fall for empty rhetoric, don’t fall for empty sentiments.  And that worries me when I see that. And when you demand that God will protect us, and you have a known heretic like Paula White up there doing the praying, that might not be the best way to try and curry God’s favor. 

Now I’m going to take it at face value, because there were also some people doing some praying up there that I respect immensely. So I’m going to take at face value that Trump, spiritually, is a neophyte, he’s really just new at a lot of this. And he’s got a menagerie of beliefs and perspectives surrounding him, and he’s earnestly seeking the right way to do things. And we’re all clumsy when we fumble through the darkness. I get that. That’s why we search for the light. I get that. I did the same. I’m going to take at face value that’s true. 

But it doesn’t work the way it was presented today. It doesn’t work that way. And those aren’t my words, those are his. Read them yourself. We have to be very careful in the way invoke God into our public and civic affairs. Because we don’t dictate terms to him, gentlemen, he dictates terms to us. So it’s not about, are we praying to him. It’s about what are the motivations behind those prayers. Because if the motivation is there behind those prayers, obedience will follow.

Just some things I pointed out a few thousand times during the election last year in countless conversations with many people who have in the past championed conservative and Christian principles (and which fell almost entirely on deaf ears this past year).

And in case you don’t know or have forgotten why I (and others, like Deace) am so skeptical that we will see any real conservatism or righteousness from the Trump Administration, here is a brief summary of why (and more here, in case that still leaves you wondering).

I am not nearly as optimistic as Deace seems to be that Trump is really trying to do the right thing, but he’s just a “neophyte” whose trying to sort through a lot of conflicting advice. You just don’t get to be 70 years old and be that kind of neophyte if you’ve been paying attention to anything of significant importance for the past 70 years. And someone who’s trying doesn’t act the way Donald Trump has acted in the past year (not even getting into the past 70 years), and continues to behave, if you’ve truly repented of your reprobate ways and genuinely want to do better. Maybe it’s all my years in law enforcement, my years in the collections industry, and my years being active in politics (all of these, rubbing elbows with human nature brazenly on display), but color me skeptical.

Yet I have no choice but to give him a chance–to prove me right, or prove me along. I’m along for the ride. Unlike the Leftists who promised to leave America if Trump got elected (then mostly disappointed us by sticking around), I’m not leaving this country I love. I hope that despite all the voluminous evidence that Trump has supplied which indicates he’s nothing but a reprobate liberal whose number one priority is boosting himself, he proves me wrong and he will actually press for policies which return this nation to its heritage of righteousness and liberty.

For once in my life, I really want to be wrong. Because if I’m wrong about the kind of man Donald Trump is and the kind of agenda he will pursue (in other words, if he behaves completely different from the way he has behaved for the past several decades), then America will prosper and become healthy again.  Because if I’m right about Donald Trump, and he behaves the way he has for the past several decades (and if so-called “conservatives” and “Christians” continue to behave the way they did during the past year), then America is going to continue sliding down into the pit of sewage and destruction, with virtually no one to put on any kind of brakes.

I hope against hope, but experience has taught me not to hold my breath when we have the kind of fruit on the tree that we have to behold. If I have to be a kind of “Jeremiah” for our times (though incredibly lame in comparison), so be it. I continue to hope America will turn back to its Creator…even as I fear it may be too late.


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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Kevin in Brookings

    Well Bob,
    Personally I was GLAD to hear Jesus Name! I have no doubt we will be disappointed with some of the things Trump does, that said, I don’t want to start complaining until he actually DOES something I disagree with.
    My Friend, EVEN Ronald Reagan disappointed me at times! They are ALL FAR from perfect!
    As for me, I will continue to Thank God we don’t have at least 4 years of Hillary Clinton (and 30 years of a Hillary Supreme Court)!

    • He has ALREADY done many things I disagree with (and I’m not even talking about all the liberal positions he applauded during the campaign).

      he’s already been back pedaling on building the wall and getting rid of illegals, going back on prosecuting Hillary Clinton, talking about TRILLION dollar infrastructure spending and so on.

      And then there is the lame quality of many of his nominees:

      http://www.americanclarion.com/2017/01/17/could-republicans-please-stop-promoting-homosexual-activists-47277/

      http://www.americanclarion.com/2016/12/12/tillerson-not-the-nominee-conservatives-were-looking-for-47037/

      I’ve heard LOTS of claims that he’s conservative. So far, I’m seeing a LOT of liberal fruit. (And he’s only been inaugurated a day). Based on available fruit, color me not hopeful.

    • Thisoldspouse

      The leftist faux “Christians” drop Jesus’ name all the time, emploring his blessing on their sodomic perversions at their sabbats-disguised-as-church-services. I’m not comparing Trump to these Christ perverting leftists, but making the point that Jesus’ name can be invoked in vain, and often is.

  • Kevin

    Very Well Bob,
    I hear you. You are saying (in so many words) My man did not win; therefore I am against ANYTHING the guy that did win will do!

    My Man did not win ether Bob. I will not be happy till Jesus is ruling, however, I am GLAD at least Jesus was MENTIONED yesterday! I am also glad the speech was not a typical PC JUNK speech!

    I do not like some of Trump’s picks for his cabinet. Some are GREAT! It is a mixed bag, but at least there are SOME I like! Bob, I have read reports that Trump got out of bed this morning; Isn’t that HORRIBLE! I wonder if he got out on the RIGHT side! Bob, name me ONE person (other than Jesus) that you would agree with on EVERYTHING.

    I CHOSE to look at the positive as much as possible. I am sure in 6 months I will be disgusted again! After 8 YEARS, I am going to enjoy a LITTLE time before I turn doom and gloom again! I am tired of disagreeing with EVERYTHING the President does; aren’t you? There are several things I don’t like about Trump! That said, I am not going to start off his term MAD! Perhaps we can improve on him in 4 years.

    I am NOT making excuses for Trump. The guy has been in OFFICE for ONE DAY! I believe Romans 13 (even when I wish it were not so)!

    • You apparently don’t hear me.

      I am saying, “Donald Trump has been a liberal for decades. His record of words and deeds over those decades prove he is a liberal. Donald Trump continued to embrace liberal policies during the campaign. Donald Trump continues to embrace liberal policies after he won the election. He has nominated people who embrace liberal positions.

      “I do not cut slack for liberals or people who embrace liberal positions.”

      If he does anything meaningful that is conservative, I’ll support and applaud it. So far, it’s been ALL talk (and even a lot of that talk is the bad kind).

      There are a handful of his nominees who are fair to pretty good, but the majority embrace liberal positions.

      I do not CHOOSE to be fooled by RINOs who tell me they’re conservative, while their actions tell me they are liberals.

      I also believe in Romans 13. Do you know who our governmental authority in America is? It isn’t congress. It isn’t the court. It isn’t the president. It is the U.S. Constitution. THAT is the highest law and supreme authority in our land. Anyone–especially an elected official who is sworn to uphold it–who behaves contrary to it is disobeying the rightful authority of the United States.

      And peddling trillion dollar spending plans (that aren’t authorized by the Constitution), and embracing lawlessness (like the lawless marriage opinion issued by the Supreme Court, which Trump and his Attorney General have told us they will go along with), as well as other liberal positions are in disobedience to the U.S. Constitution–the supreme governmental authority of our land.

      I understand the desire to feel good and have some hope, especially after 8 years of having an anti-American Marxist in the White House.

      But we cannot fulfill our duty to be responsible if our desire to feel good and have hope blinds us to a demonstrated threat that we just put into office.

      Embracing a peddler of BS who tells us what we want to hear (at times, at least) isn’t worth a few moments of illusory peace.

      I’m sorry, but I just can’t join in the delusion, not even for a minute. The evidence to the contrary is too overwhelming, and ongoing.

      • What you’ve said here tonight illustrates why I can’t go along with this dog and pony show, even for a second. Based on conversations you and I have had, I KNOW you know Donald Trump is a fraud. Yet your own words indicate how powerful the desire to join in and feel a little hope (even if it’s based on a lie) is.

        It’s so powerful, it led people who KNOW better to put their faith in a fraud like Donald Trump in the general election–and even some in the primary! Many gave him a pass on things they would have crucified an out-of-the-closet Democrat for.

        I GUARANTEE that “making excuses” will continue into the days, months and years of the Trump administration. Instead of holding him accountable for all the liberal poison he will push on America, many “Republicans” and even a lot of conservatives will actually applaud him for doing so, and will make excuses for how it’s really (somehow) “conservative” to peddle all these liberal things, just because someone with an “R” after their name proposed them. How do I know? Many have already been doing it. If people have been so willing to clown themselves for a clown when the clown only had the possibility of gaining real power, how badly are they going to clown themselves now that he actually has power.

        Conservatives, people who understand what made this country great and are committed to it, MUST keep our perspective, and that means, while we can hope in the backs of our minds that Trump will stun all rational expectations and actually implement a few meaningful conservative initiatives, we must be realistic about the raw material we’re working with, as well as be realistic about whether a 70 year old liberal dog can actually learn any significant conservative tricks.

        We need as many conservatives as possible holding his feet to the fire, educating the American people, and pointing other conservatives and “Republicans” to the values and principles the Right CLAIMS to believe in. I’ll do what I can alone, if I have to, but if it’s only me and a handful of conservatives who haven’t swallowed the blue pill, we don’t have any hope of stopping the liberal slide into the cesspool.

        I’m not trying to destroy hope or joy. Just calling for us to keep it real.

      • Thisoldspouse

        The real danger of Trump is that he will dumb-down conservatism, likely permanently. If his ardent sycophants will label what he does as “conservative,” where does that leave real conservatism, except in the realm of right wing ‘extremism?’

        • Exactly.

          Other than the impact of his liberal policies themselves, this has been my greatest concern over a Trump presidency. People associating conservatism with the gutless sellouts to the Left committed by Boehner, McConnell and the rest of the RINOs has been bad enough. Seeing a “Republican” president peddle liberal policies under the “conservative” label will do even greater damage.

          If people think Donald Trump is an example of conservatism (and, given the opinions of a whole lot of idiots who called themselves “Republicans” in the last election cycle, many people already do), then the public is going to become even more confused about what liberalism and conservatism really are. And that will gravely be to America’s detriment.

          • Thisoldspouse

            And now, the equivocation begins on whether or not to “repeal in full” Obamacare or just tweak it, delay it, or make it sound not-so-mean in its implementation.

            • And it’s sounding awfully strong that they’ll only do a partial repeal. Unfortunately, leaving in place most if not all of the factors (i.e. government meddling in the health care and insurance industry) that were primarily responsible for driving up health care costs in the first place.