Democrats Think Muslims Worse Off Here Than Christians Are In Muslim World

worse-off

It’s True! Democrats Think Muslims Worse Off Here Than Christians Are In Muslim World.  Explain to me what liberalism does to your brain…

Democrats Think Muslims Worse Off Here Than Christians Are In Muslim World

Rasmussen Reports Tuesday, February 07, 2017

 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters believe most Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly because of their religion. Just 17% disagree, while 21% more are undecided.

These findings have changed little in surveys since early 2015.

By comparison, 39% feel most Muslims living in the United States are treated unfairly because of their religion. That’s up from 31% last year and is the highest finding in surveys to date.  A plurality (46%) still believes Muslims are not treated unfairly because of their faith, while 15% more are not sure.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 2 and 5, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters favor the president’s temporary ban on refugees and on visas for those from seven Muslim-majority countries that the State Department views as terrorist havens. Trump wants to ensure that the government can adequately screen out potential terrorists before letting any more newcomers into the country.

Majorities of voters across most demographic groups agree that most Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly because of their religion.

Women are more likely than men to think most American Muslims are mistreated here but less likely to believe Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world.

egyptian-christians-persecuted

Nearly as many voters under 40 think most Muslims are mistreated in America (51%) as think most Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world (57%). Older voters by a two-to-one margin believe the treatment of Christians in the Muslim world is worse than that of Muslims in this country.

A majority of black voters (52%) believe most Muslims here are unfairly treated, compared to 37% of whites and 42% of other minority voters.

Among voters who do not believe Muslims here as mistreated, 76% say most Christians living in the Islamic world are persecuted. Among those who feel most Muslims in America are mistreated, only 56% agree that most Christians suffer in Muslim countries.

The United States remains a majority Christian nation.  But 94% of voters also rate freedom of religion as an important right, including 80% who say it is Very Important.

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Following the massacre by a Muslim terrorist at an Orlando nightclub last June, only 21% of all voters said the Islamic community in this country has been vocal enough in its condemnation of terrorist attacks.  Forty-nine percent (49%) think Islam as practiced today encourages violence more than most other religions, and 71% say Islamic religious leaders need to do more to emphasize the peaceful beliefs of their faith.

Most voters continue to believe the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism.

One million thanks

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In a world instant gratification and video neurosis…this blog did something impossible…read what’s next!   In just 12 short months, one million people didn’t just view it…they read it!  When I began this blog 4 years ago, with the format that God told me to use, I could not see how it would succeed.  Now the total readership is in the millions.  A million thanks for making 2016 an explosive success.

By Mario Murillo

My nerves were frazzled the first time I sat down to write something called a blog.  I argued with God.  I could not see how it would succeed. I knew there would be a firestorm over the things I was compelled to say.  I was right about the firestorm.

Now millions have read the blog in virtually every nation of the world.  Every day we are amazed at the impact of this little blog.

Check out this excerpt from the first time we spoke out:

“The America we once knew has been taken away.  It happened overnight.   Because America has changed ministries must change the way that they relate to this new nation.

Government has become our national God.   This new God is waging an incremental war on the Constitution.  The New York Times just called the U.S. Constitution an evil document that we should give up on.

Obamacare targets freedom of worship.  It forces Christian Institutions to violate their religious convictions.  Cardinal Dolan the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of New York calls it “an unwarranted, unprecedented radical intrusion.”

The White House met with Cardinal Dolan and several Bishops met with the White House to talk.   He said he was told to “shut up and accept the mandate.”

one-million

 

It is time for the people of God to speak out on the danger of gun control.

Mass shootings have become the excuse to take away our guns.    Obama wants absolute power.

Mahatma Gandhi the great pacifist said, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that the greatest threat to liberty was not foreign invasion or domestic unrest but rather a standing army and a militarized police force that had no fear of inflicting tyranny upon the people.

If Government is our new God, Celebrities are our new pastors.

Ben Stein asked, “Where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God?  There are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.”

Hollywood is the most powerful propaganda machine in history and it has declared war on our faith. 

Ministries must change how they relate to America.  1 Samuel 10: 6 Says, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.

Here is what I believe the occasion demands:

The Holy Spirit is saying we can publicly oppose government tyranny while still maintaining a loving witness.  Acts 16: 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”  Paul had just led a jailor and several prisoners to Christ and now he turns around and exposes politicians who have broken the Roman Bill of Rights.

We must accept the fact that there is a new generation that has no Christian orientation. “And also all that generation was gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, who knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10

We must lay a new foundation of faith in America.  We must preach the central doctrines of our faith. The Bible needs to set fire to our sermons.”

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The big question now is what does the church do now that Trump is president?  In new blogs I will open my heart to you about the radical steps the church must take to seize this greatest soul winning opportunity in our lifetime.  Once again we must change the way we relate to government.

I know we need fresh fire.  Prayer, repentance and waiting for new orders are the keys for the American church in 2017.

One thing is certain…success will not tame this blog.  It will continue to keep its edge.  It will continue to provoke, stretch and force minds to think and hearts to examine themselves.

When the Kingdom of God Overtakes regular church.

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We are on the cusp of a long overdue revolution both inside and outside the church.  An explosive truth is right under your nose; a truth that could fundamentally turn the course of the United States back to God.   I have no doubt that this is the very answer that we are desperately seeking.

When the Kingdom of God Overtakes Regular Church.

By Mario Murillo

Experts say that America has lost her way because the church has lost its way.    How can they blame the church for America’s problems?   Many say it is because they helped reelect Barrack Obama.   They say reelection because, as the saying goes “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

Do you, yes you Pastor, need to cry “shame on me for putting race over righteousness” since Obama told you what he was going to do to marriage before you voted?   Will history say that your vote helped open the floodgates for the greatest decline of morals, money, prestige and safety in American history?   You were supposed to protect the sheep.  Did you instead help the wolf by not only voting for him but influencing 6 million believers to violate their conscience?

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This is an extreme example of what happens when “church” overtakes the Kingdom of God.   You wake up committed an agenda that violates your convictions.  This disaster is not limited to politics.  We see it now on every level.  Pastors cannot call sin, sin.  They dare not challenge their people to prayer.  They are imprisoned in a system where they cannot hear from God at all because they are wholly tuned to the whims of fickle members and prevailing social trends.

By now you’ve guessed that when I say “church” I do not mean the Church of Jesus Christ.  I am talking about the machine that man built not God.  Some are built by traditions, others are built by control freaks, and still others are the spawn of charts, graphs and market research.   They have one thing in common…they are working for God but not with Him.

What is even worse is when “church” becomes “church incorporated.”  Now the Pastor must tenaciously protect a far flung empire…even protecting it from God!  They are forced to keep Christians in a childish condition.  You cannot build an army against evil in a Christian country club.

So, even when “church” is wildly successful, Satan laughs because he understands that it is no threat to his destructive plan.

Things look pretty grim don’t they?   No in fact the opposite is the case.  We are on the cusp of a long overdue revolution both inside and outside the church.  An explosive truth is right under your nose; a truth that could fundamentally turn the course of the United States back to God.   I have no doubt that this is the very answer that we are desperately seeking.

So if you are ready…I mean ready to stop chasing fantasies about church growth, soul winning, revival, the supernatural and  the anointing, then you can unlock a truth.  Not just any truth but a truth that terrifies Satan more than any other.  It is about that moment when the WHEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD OVERTAKES CHURCH. lights over america

  1. That moment that you hear the knock. I noticed something consistent in the churches that are not “churches” but power centers that are driving the forces of darkness back in their communities: They all describe the day that their church was “overtaken.”

This came after they heard the knock and opened the door.   Revelations 3:15-20 clearly describes the American church.  Revelation 3: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.   Imagine that!  Jesus is knocking at the door and trying to get back in His own church.

If you are weary from trying to hold something together that you put together it is time to hear His knock and His voice and open the door and let the Kingdom of God overtake you.

  1. The Kingdom of God has its own agenda. Joshua 3: 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

Joshua was intensely involved in leading until he was overtaken by the agenda of heaven.

Long before you got to your city, God was working there.  Long after you are gone God will still be working there.   He loves the city more than you do.  He has all the wisdom to reach it.  You do not.

Whenever I hear a leader say “we are studying the issue” I know they are operating from churchiness and not the Kingdom.   Our plans need to be consumed.  Kingdom plans must be embraced.

big boy pants

The greatest lie is the one that says we cannot survive unless we become “relevant.”    The Kingdom of God is beyond relevant it is timeless.   No genius in a thousand years would have come up with the plan God had for taking Jericho.  Likewise the agenda of the Kingdom of God infinitely surpasses all that we rely upon.

Why I am so filled with hope?  Because I know that Jesus does not lie.  He promised that if you would hear the knock and open the door He Himself would enter and take over all aspects of church life.

  1. Sailing before the wind. Something else stuck out about those power centers that exchanged “church” for the Kingdom of God. They suddenly had unlimited resources for every project.  How does that work?!

Acts 16: 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis.

This is the best example of an overtaking.   They tried and tried and finally stopped trying.   A vision appears.   And they sail from Samothrace to Neapolis in one Day?  This is a two day trip!   A sea wind filled their sails and cut their time in half.

Things are bad…no way around it.  However it is the sober realization of how bad that can fuel a divine desperation.   Some who read this need to let go of things that are your natural security.  Others need to return to a first love.    I do not know who has a more difficult challenge the pastor of a small church or the leader of a mega church.  One is struggling to survive and the other is diluted by false success.

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When we drop all and open the door for the Kingdom of God to overtake our lives and our plans we immediately connect to unlimited power, wisdom, favor and resources.  We can answer anyone, we can implement plans with wisdom from beyond this world and we can connect to the others who have been overtaken by the Kingdom.    This is how national fires are set and the course of a culture is transformed.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO PROSPER?

prepared

I am asking you a simple question: Are you prepared to prosper?  The funny thing is that no matter how clearly, I condemn the materialist gospel…just using the word prosperity lumps me in with those vulgar preachers living in obscene luxury while begging for the widow’s mite.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO PROSPER?

By Mario Murillo

Are you prepared to prosper?

It is 200 times stronger than steel and six times lighter.  It can carry 1,000 times more electricity than copper.  It conducts electricity 250 times faster than silicon.  It bends light so that it can create invisibility in camouflage.

Its applications seem endless.  Astounding electric batteries, computers hundreds of times faster, many times lighter, and can bend.  Imagine a child carrying a 50-inch flat screen television because it only weighs 4 pounds. Imagine a powder that absorbs radioactive waste. It is called graphene, and only God knows how it will change the world.

This blog is not about graphene. It is about you!  It asks you a simple question: Are you prepared to prosper?  The funny thing is, no matter how clearly I condemn the materialist gospel, just using the word “prosperity” lumps me in with those vulgar preachers living in obscene luxury while begging for the widow’s mite.

This is a message about being prepared.  Listen to Paul the Apostle: “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need”- Philippians 4:12 NASB.  Paul knew how to seize whatever opportunity the future held.  Look at those words again: “I know how to live in prosperity.”

Meet the leading American scientist handling graphene: Professor James Tour, raised in a secular Jewish home in White Plains, became a born-again Christian as a freshman at Syracuse University. Married, with four grown children, he rises at three forty every morning for an hour and a half of prayer and Bible study, followed several times a week with workouts at the gym, and arrives at the office at six fifteen.

Why do I mention him?  I mention him because his faith is driving his quest for scientific breakthroughs.

However, his belief that he can change the world runs counter to the bunker mentality of the American church.  We are prepared for disaster.  We are prepared for terror.  We are prepared to leave the scene.  We are prepared for conspiracy theories.  But we are not prepared for prosperity.  We are blind to any opportunity that contradicts our pessimism about the future.

Obama taught Americans to feel sorry for themselves.  He canonized the victim mentality.  He blamed Christianity for everything and Islam for nothing.  He convinced a lot of believers that the great tribulation was 8 years long and not 7.  No wonder the church went on the defensive.  No wonder we are continually lowering our expectations of how much we can accomplish in this life.

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Yes, I believe the anti-Christ is coming.  I believe in the coming of world-wide convulsions that are clearly laid out in the Bible.  I have warned the church about sin, hypocrisy and corruption as much as any preacher in America.  I have raised some disturbing questions for our leaders.  Now, in that same tradition, I raise more disturbing questions:

What if you can accomplish more for the glory of God than you first believed?

What if the best books are yet to be written?

What if the most powerful missionaries are yet to appear?

What if God wants to give you authority and provision to drive back evil and you have mentally disqualified yourself?

What if you are going to live longer than you think, with a sharper mind, a greater discipline and a stronger body than you imagined?

Don’t get me wrong, prosperity is not a life of ease.  Professor James Tour trains like a Navy Seal!  Success is not about money, especially not for the righteous!

Godly prosperity is embodied in Daniel.  He handled great temptation.  He decided—from the jump—to remain pure.  Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank…”

Anyone can remain holy while holed up in a survival cabin hiding.  It takes Holy Ghost gumption to invade Wall Street, the halls of power, and sit with World Leaders carrying the counsel of God.

It takes special grace being the Christian singer who crosses over and carries the Cross over.

Anybody can be that comatose, Christian complainer who sits in the bleachers and criticizes vision and greatness.

The most dangerous thing about today is the fact that a miraculous life can be right in front of you and you can miss it.  Graphene was discovered in one of the most common elements.

As Professor Tour said, “Imagine if one were God. Here, He’s given us pencils, and all these years scientists are trying to figure out some great thing, and you’re just stripping off sheets of graphene as you use your pencil. It has been before our eyes all this time!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success will not tame this blog

provoking

When I began this blog, I could not see how it could succeed.  Now readership is in the millions.  Success will not tame it.   We will provoke the church in the Trump era…

Success will not tame this blog

By Mario Murillo

My nerves were frazzled the first time I sat down to write something called a blog.  I argued with God.  I could not see how it would succeed. I knew there would be a firestorm over the things I was compelled to say.  I was right about the firestorm.

Now millions have read the blog in virtually every nation of the world.  Every day we are amazed at the impact of this little blog.

Check out this excerpt from the first time we spoke out:

“The America we once knew has been taken away.  It happened overnight.   Because America has changed ministries must change the way that they relate to this new nation.

Government has become our national God.   This new God is waging an incremental war on the Constitution.  The New York Times just called the U.S. Constitution an evil document that we should give up on.

Obamacare targets freedom of worship.  It forces Christian Institutions to violate their religious convictions.  Cardinal Dolan the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of New York calls it “an unwarranted, unprecedented radical intrusion.”

The White House met with Cardinal Dolan and several Bishops met with the White House to talk.   He said he was told to “shut up and accept the mandate.”

charade

It is time for the people of God to speak out on the danger of gun control.

Mass shootings have become the excuse to take away our guns.    Obama wants absolute power.

Mahatma Gandhi the great pacifist said, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that the greatest threat to liberty was not foreign invasion or domestic unrest but rather a standing army and a militarized police force that had no fear of inflicting tyranny upon the people.

If Government is our new God, Celebrities are our new pastors.

Ben Stein asked, “Where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God?  There are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.”

Hollywood is the most powerful propaganda machine in history and it has declared war on our faith. 

Ministries must change how they relate to America.  1 Samuel 10: 6 Says, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.

Here is what I believe the occasion demands:

The Holy Spirit is saying we can publicly oppose government tyranny while still maintaining a loving witness.  Acts 16: 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”  Paul had just led a jailor and several prisoners to Christ and now he turns around and exposes politicians who have broken the Roman Bill of Rights.

We must accept the fact that there is a new generation that has no Christian orientation. “And also all that generation was gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, who knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10

We must lay a new foundation of faith in America.  We must preach the central doctrines of our faith. The Bible needs to set fire to our sermons.”

bible fire

The big question now is what does the church do now that Trump is president?  In the next few blogs I will open my heart to you about the radical steps the church must take to seize this greatest soul winning opportunity in our lifetime.  Once again we must change the way we relate to government.

I know we need fresh fire.  Prayer, repentance and waiting for new orders are the keys for the American church this Christmas.

One thing is certain…success will not tame this blog.  It will continue to keep its edge.  It will continue to provoke, stretch and force minds to think and hearts to examine themselves.

THE KING CYRUS CRISIS: IF WE BLOW THIS IT WILL BE DISASTER

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Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer.  Trump is a foot in the door—a stay of execution.  He is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life.

The King Cyrus Crisis: If we blow this…disaster will strike

By Mario Murillo

Something worse than Obama looms.  Something indescribably bad can take over for the agony we have just left.  It will be more hellish than Hillary.  You can already see the evil forming.

Meanwhile, American Christians claim Trump is a miracle like King Cyrus.  In 536 B.C. God moved King Cyrus to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah who said that after 70 years the Jews would be sent home from bondage in Babylon.  Cyrus even provided resources to help rebuild Israel.

If history is repeating itself, we had better remember what happened next.  The restoration of Israel faced multiple warheads:

Pagan tribes:  The pagan tribes who settled in Israel set a sophisticated trap for the returning Jews.  At first, they acted like they wanted to help.  Instead, they hampered the work.  When that failed, they launched terror attacks.

Political backlash:  After Cyrus, the enemies of Israel lied to King Artaxerxes, accusing Israel of preparing for war, so the king stopped the work.

Morally corrupted Jews:  Many Jews wanted to stay in Babylon.  Some who came back to Israel were half-hearted in their mission to restore the nation.  Those who were left behind during the 70 years became pagans.  They knew nothing about Scripture or the laws of God.

If not for the astonishing endurance of a handful of priests, prophets, and one notable cupbearer, Israel would have remained in ruins.  (Read Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai).  It took nearly 80 years after the king’s decree before the Temple and the wall were finished.

Let me let you in on a secret: we can’t wait 80 years—we don’t have 80 years.  Unlike Israel, this is our last chance.  If we do not learn from history—America will never be restored.  If we blow this…expect disaster.

The Christians who want to make America morally great again face significant headwinds and don’t realize it. Here are the threats:

-The left is staging a massive retaliation. A nefarious coalition of universities, billionaires and tech companies are ramping up their rhetoric, paying agitators and plotting against the church.

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-The media doesn’t care that people know they are lying.  They are stepping up their lies. They learned nothing from Trump’s victory. The crocodile tears we saw from some media outlets meant nothing.  Their blatant falsehoods are back with a vengeance.

-Most Christians don’t know what to do because they don’t understand the miracle.  They thought Trump would save us.  They are not preparing for the work that we need to do right now.  They are already disappointed in Trump because they don’t get it.

Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer.  He will not be a social conservative who will fight for family values.  If you look to him for that, you will be disappointed.  Worse still, it will distract you and you will miss your assignment in this miracle.

If you ever listened to anything I ever said, I beg you, listen now!  Trump is a foot in the door—a stay of execution.  He is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life.

Trump broke the political correctness that threatened to swallow us whole.  The revival is our job, not his.

-Morally corrupt Christians and lukewarm pastors don’t appreciate the miracle.   Why would we expect a generation of believers raised on Pablum to know what to do with this miracle?  They don’t read the Bible or pray.  They have never truly repented.  They have no concept of sacrifice.  There is no way they will stand in the heat of battle.

-We are not seizing the moment to repent because we do not appreciate God’s mercy.  The Jews did not appreciate the miracle of Cyrus’ decree.  It did not provoke them to repent.  Ezra the priest said, “And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, 14 should we again break Your commandments…” -Ezra 9:13,14.   This is a chilling warning to us.

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-We want Trump to do things for us that we must do ourselves.   Winning the lost is up to us, not Trump.  Trump may not be a big help to the church.  The Jews thought they could keep going back and complaining to the King about the same thing.  They vainly tried to communicate with the King and found that it was a waste of time.

The American church must build on the opportunity that Trump gave us. We must wake up to our task!  Our disunity is killing our cause.  Petty differences have never looked so petty!  We must shake off the disastrous apathy and complacency that is dulling us to our duty.   Churches must come together in citywide prayer and soul winning.  Pastors must push back on the lies being perpetrated against orthodox Christianity—they must roar from their pulpits.

We must muster all our strength and stand strong.  Seize this miracle for what it is. Remember the words of the man who God told to make Israel great again and build the wall, “And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” -Nehemiah 4:14

Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.

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Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.  Liberals liked executive authority as long as Obama wielded it. Now they’ve set a precedent.

Glenn Greenwald: Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.

November 11
Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of the Intercept, led the NSA reporting that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for the Guardian.

Liberals are understandably panicked about what Donald Trump can carry out. “We have a president-elect with authoritarian tendencies assuming a presidency that has never been more powerful,” Franklin Foer wrote this past week in Slate. Trump will command not only a massive nuclear arsenal and the most robust military in history, but also the ability to wage numerous wars in secret and without congressional authorization; a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that can reach most forms of human communication and activity; and countless methods for shielding himself from judicial accountability, congressional oversight and the rule of law — exactly what the Constitution was created to prevent. Trump assumes the presidency “at the peak of its imperial powers,” as Foer put it.

Sen. Barack Obama certainly saw it that way when he first ran for president in 2008. Limiting executive-power abuses and protecting civil liberties were central themes of his campaign. The former law professor repeatedly railed against the Bush-Cheney template of vesting the president with unchecked authorities in the name of fighting terrorism or achieving other policy objectives. “This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide,” he said in 2007. Listing an array of controversial Bush-Cheney policies, from warrantless domestic surveillance to due-process-free investigations and imprisonment, he vowed: “We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers.”

Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance.

Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.

Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint. As early as May 2009, Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official under George W. Bush, celebrated Obama’s abandonment of his promises to rein in these authorities, writing that “the new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit.” He added that the “Obama practices will be much closer to late Bush practices than almost anyone expected in January 2009.”

By putting a prettier liberal face on these policies, and transforming them from a symbol of GOP radicalism into one of bipartisan security consensus, the president entrenched them as permanent fixtures of the American presidency. As Goldsmith put it, Obama’s actions were “designed to fortify the bulk of the Bush program for the long-run.”

Liberals vehemently denounced these abuses during the Bush presidency. From 2001 through 2008, Democrats called them the embodiment of tyranny, an existential threat to democracy, a menacing expression of right-wing radicalism. “America’s Constitution is in grave danger,” Al Gore warned in a widely praised 2006 speech on civil liberties. Bush had become “the central threat that the founders sought to nullify in the Constitution, an all-powerful executive, too reminiscent of the king from whom they had broken free.” In one 2007 poll, 57 percent of Democrats said they wanted the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to be closed.

But after Obama took office, many liberals often tolerated — and even praised — his aggressive assertions of executive authority. It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats’ about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power. According to a 2012 Washington Post-ABC News poll, 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats and 67 percent of moderate or conservative ones now supported keeping Guantanamo Bay open. After just three years of the Obama presidency, liberals sanctioned a system that allowed the president to imprison people without any trial or an ounce of due process.

In fact, a new Democratic Party orthodoxy took hold under Obama: the right of a president to detain people, or even assassinate them, without charges or a whiff of judicial oversight. This included even American citizens. “We do not believe that [Anwar] al-Aulaqi’s U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action” by the military or the CIA, a Justice Department memo proclaimed in 2010.

Democrats (who had bitterly complained in 2005 about mere eavesdropping without court approval) not only failed to contest this assassination program but ultimately expressed their support for it. “Fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones,” according to the write-up of that 2012 Post-ABC poll. Support drops “only somewhat when respondents are asked specifically about targeting American citizens living overseas, as was the case with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American killed in September in a drone strike in northern Yemen.”

And of course, Obama aggressively expanded the system of mass surveillance, including on U.S. soil, that had been secretly implemented by the National Security Agency after 9/11. Once Edward Snowden showed the world what had been created, many Democrats became the leaders in protecting this spying system from meaningful limits, reform or oversight. When, in the immediate aftermath of the Snowden revelations, a bipartisan coalition of House members headed by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) sought to impose serious limits on the NSA’s domestic spying, the White House turned to then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead the successful effort to stop them.

Civil liberties advocates and proponents of limited executive authority tried everything they could think of to persuade and cajole Democrats to rediscover their concerns about these abuses and once again become allies in the battle to constrain government power. But those efforts were largely futile. Partisan loyalties easily subordinated any commitment to the principles that they had purported, in the Bush years, to support.

The problem such advocates encountered was the same one they’d faced during the Bush presidency when trying (and failing) to persuade putatively small-government conservatives to oppose these expansions of presidential power: namely, many people are perfectly content to have such authority vested in leaders they trust, and fear them only when a politician from the opposing party wields them.

As such, the tactic of last resort to induce Democrats and liberals to oppose such policies was to ask them to think about how, one day, these powers could be in the hands of someone other than a benevolent, kind-hearted, trustworthy progressive like Barack Obama. Instead, Democrats were urged, imagine that a right-wing authoritarian, or a lawless demagogue, or a petty, vindictive tyrant won the presidency and inherited the framework of unrestrained, unchecked powers that Republicans implemented and Democrats expanded.

That day has arrived. With Trump looming, there is much talk of uniting across ideological and partisan lines to impose meaningful limits on executive authority, and those efforts are justified. But, as progressives were repeatedly warned, a matrix of power that has been defended and legitimized for 15 years by both parties will be very difficult to uproot.