Sean Feucht for Congress and the New Religion of Politics

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Editor’s Note: Sean Feught, and Kris Vallotton of Redding’s Bethel Church, were featured at the “Rally for America” on The National Mall in Washington, D.C., Wed., Feb. 5.

Our mandate as believers is not passive or apathetic.
It’s time to take responsibility for our cities, states and nation.
We have to do more than just pray.
We must engage to bring change.”
-Sean Feucht, California candidate for Congress

Image from instagram.com/seanforcongress/

Sean Feucht is running for Congress in California’s Third Congressional District, an area that includes Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties. Politics is a new realm for Sean, who is most well known for his Christian music albums.

Here in the North State, his political aspirations matter because he’s a member of Bethel Music and closely affiliated with Bethel Church, a local Redding megachurch with 10,000 attendees and $60 million in annual income.

So what’s a Christian musician with a degree in business administration from Oral Roberts University, 20 worship albums, five books, and three religious nonprofits doing jumping into the political realm?

Sean tells us. He’s fearing God more than men and becoming a force for change. He’s seen the moral decay of our nation, and especially the state of California, and he’s determined to be part of the solution.

Specifically, Sean’s determined to end abortion, lower taxes, bring back school prayer, reduce or eliminate sex education in public schools, and most of all, bring back “common sense.” Or at least that’s what I’ve gathered from my informal survey of his tweets and Instagram posts.

I relied on social media to find out what he stands for, because, unbelievably, a mere month before the primary, this candidate for Congress does not have a single policy stance listed on his campaign website.

He’s running for Congress under the slogan, “ The people who got us into this mess can’t get us out!” referring, it seems, to California’s democratic leadership and to Sean’s disdain for their response to “the crisis” in our state. This crisis, per Sean, includes “exploding homelessness, high cost of housing, high cost of gas, wildfires and failing infrastructure.” All arguably, real problems requiring complex solutions.

But Sean offers no solutions for how he thinks he’ll get us out of the mess he says we’re in.

Not on his campaign site, not on his social media pages, and not in response to repeated requests from individuals responding to his posts online.

Instead, his campaign seems focused on what some have referred to as “virtue signaling”, opinionated commentary about his support for Trump, the dangerous sex education our children are being exposed to in California’s public schools, abortion, and the “unbelievably corrupt” political system in California. In the five months I’ve been following him on social media (with notifications turned on) I have not yet seen Sean offer a strategy or policy approach to these problems.

Instead he has offered opinions, which he refers to repeatedly as “common sense”, a euphemism he appears to use for “governing according to what I see as God’s way.”

In Islamic theocracies they call this form of governance Sharia law.

With the religious superpower, Bethel Church, behind him, Sean Feucht has the chance at some big political funding. But donations to his campaign through the end of 2019 capped out at just under $187,000. Recognizable donors include Bethel’s senior leader Bill Johnson, Bethel’s second-in-command Kris Valloton, Bethel elder and local Dignity physician Andre Van Mol, and Bethel’s “Love after Marriage” ministry founder Barry Byrne.

Sean also received campaign contributions from Lou Engle, famous for his anti-abortion and anti-gay activism both in America and Uganda and for his role as founder of The Call, a religious/political rally that has been held more than 20 times over the last 12 years in various locations. Bunni Pounds and Cindy Jacobs are also both donors to Sean. And he’s been endorsed by Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, who gave $5000 to Sean through his HUCK PAC.

In fact, donations to Sean’s campaign are not mostly from the people in his district, or even his state. Combined, Sean has more donors from the states of Oklahoma and Texas than he does from California. This is likely because Sean’s run for Congress is part of something bigger than representation of the Third Congressional District or indeed, even of California.

He’s part of a new movement where policies matter less than your affiliation with so-called Biblical morals and values. A movement where a musician, who runs a non-profit that consists of “furnaces” around the world (spaces dedicated to nonstop 24-7 worship and prayer), is considered a top-notch candidate for Congress.

It’s an organized new religion of politics. And it’s represented by behind-the-scenes political operative David Lane, who wrote an article for Charisma News, saluting Sean Feucht for running for Congress.

Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project and its subset, the California Renewal Project, whose event page includes the somewhat ominous manifesto “someone’s values are going to reign supreme.” The American Renewal Project seeks to involve pastors across America in the “cultural issues of today” through political involvement. According to Reuters, they have a network of 100,000 pastors.

Sean Feucht appears loosely affiliated with this group. An Instagram post on Sean Feucht’s account shows him with Dennis Prager, of PragerU, wearing an American Renewal Project name tag.

In the immediately preceding Instagram post Sean writes:

“God has a remedy for every crisis. I believe a spiritual awakening is our only hope . . . We experienced it yesterday with 1000 pastors in Anaheim praying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” vowing the church will no longer be silent while the state crumbles.”

While it’s typical for politicians to campaign for policies that reflect their values, those, like Sean Feucht, who are aligned with the new religion of politics, take it a great big step farther. They believe that the Christian God has the solution for every crisis and that spiritual awakening is society’s path to advancement. Which is likely why Sean Feucht, months into his campaign, sees no reason to post policy stances on his website. He knows and speaks with a God who holds every solution. So he’ll be given the keys to unlocking the problems of homelessness, addiction and balancing the federal budget. If God is the solution to everything, then the most important thing we can do for society is to bring it back into alignment with, and in submission to, Sean’s God.

The New Apostolic Reformation(NAR), a in which movement Redding’s Bethel Church is active, calls this “infiltrating the mountain of government.” The movement is summarized well in a 2011 interview of Rachel Tabachnick, by NPR’s Terry Gross. According to a Tabachnick article for Political Research Associates, NAR teaches that communities begin to experience freedom from poverty, crime and environmental changes once demonic influences are fought off through spiritual warfare, easily explaining why Sean feels that worship and prayer are more important than policy. NAR is also referred to as Dominionism, and NAR leaders have, at the top of their agenda, the “political and societal transformation of the world.” Put less tactfully, world domination, but of course for a good cause, God’s cause, in fact.

As David Lane wrote in a World Net Daily essay,

“Can you picture what America would look like following a decade-long war – a knock-down drag-out – to return God, prayer and the Bible to public schools. To regain our Christian heritage and reestablish a Christian culture?”

Sean might be seen as one of the answers to David Lane’s dream of recruiting 1000 pastors to run for political office.

“I’m getting an army marching.” Lane says.

Politico predicts that Sean is likely to lose his race for Congress.

But since Sean is part of something bigger, a new religion of politics nationwide, maybe it doesn’t matter. As he told the Christian Post, just by running he’s been a part of fulfilling his own prayers. Perhaps he’ll inspire others to run, he said.

And in the process he’s networking.

Sean recently posted multiple pictures after he visited the White House.

His accompanying Instagram caption reads: “Just nonchalant [sic] standing outside the West Wing of the White House after our meeting with @realdonaldtrump in the Oval Office today. ??? [pics coming soon]. I spoke to both him and @vp about the rising hope we feel for CHANGE in California and my race in district 3. They pledged their faith in our mission and will keep watching the progress! I feel more emboldened than ever – LETS DO THIS!”

Seems Sean’s got the ear of POTUS and his VP. But why would President Donald Trump spend time with a long-haired musician from California with skinny jeans, little funding and a long shot at political success?

Because Trump takes seriously the considerable influence of Bethel Music, Bethel Church, and the rest of the New Apostolic Reformation.

Maybe we should, too.

Annelise Pierce
Annelise Pierce is fascinated by the intersection of people and policy. She has a special interest in criminal justice, poverty, mental health and education. Her long and storied writing career began at age 11 when she won the Louisa May Alcott Foundation's Gothic Romance short story competition. (Spoiler alert - both hero and heroine die.) Annelise welcomes your (civil) interactions at AnnelisePierce@anewscafe.com
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114 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Fabulous article (and yes – we should all be VERY concerned about Bethel’s considerable political influence, which now extends to the national stage).

    In typical religious “right” fashion Johnson and other Bethel leaders have made plain that they consider supporting housing programs – or any other practical solution to the homeless crisis – “enabling” the poor (who according to their self-serving “prosperity gospel” theology are being punished by God for living sinful lives). Prayer costs nothing, and if it doesn’t work they maintain that’s simply because the person involved isn’t “obedient” enough to the dictates of their god. No policies or practical proposals are needed, since it’s so much easier (and so much CHEAPER) to just let God decide who is worthy of a magical fix.

  2. Avatar The Old Pretender says:

    Great article. It’s getting to the point that any proclamations by candidates that espouse political views based in their “faith” are suspect and too unstable to be trusted. Solving modern crises of our society shouldn’t be based on fables from the bronze and early iron ages. Those who see their next life in the ether or will o’ wisp should not be making policy that is funded by my tax dollars. It’s well after the time we need to tax the crap out of churches to support the poor whom Christ wanted to protect.

  3. Avatar Anita Lynn Brady says:

    I have contacted Garamendi campaign and told them to take this guy seriously. I told them he has deep pockets to finance him and troops of “volunteers” to go door-to-door. They will be preaching in the churches and online. I emphasized over and over that if they treat this candidate like the bizarre guy he seems to be, that it will be to the Congressman’s peril.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Anita, I’m not sure if I’d take him that seriously yet. He initially said he would need to raise $3-4 million to be competitive in the race. So far he isn’t anywhere close. He’s trying his best with social media and milking his connections though. And the movement and those connections should definitely have our attention.

  4. Avatar David Craft says:

    Sean fears god over man yet, he is in direct conflict with 1cor 11:14. Hope he studies politics more than the bible.

    • towers.steven@gmail.com towers.steven@gmail.com says:

      Most every woman in Redding, especially the Christians, are in direct conflict with 1 Corinthians. Not many of them go around town wearing the Hijab over their heads.

      The New Testament would have been better if it had just stuck with The Gospels. Paul’s letters are mostly: “What Jesus said, but let’s go back and see what the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) have to say.” Thus: “Men, cut your hair, for you are made in God’s image. Women, you don’t need to cut your hair—you are made of man. But always cover your hair.”

      And it’s clear from Paul’s letters that, until the day he died, he thought the end of time was going to happen during his lifetime. Whiffed on that one—we’re still here.

      • Avatar The Old Pretender says:

        But Paul wasn’t even an apostle and was declared a heretic for baptizing gentiles and was forced to lay prostate before James. Of course, his nonsense became the “true faith” when the original renegade Jewish believers of the messiah were wiped off the face of the earth by centurions during the aftermath of the 70 AD revolt.

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Steve: “the New Testament would hav been better if it had just stuck with The Gospels.” This made me laugh out loud. Thank you!

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      David: HA! Let’s hope he isn’t trying to help run the county according to the Bible. Your verse is an apt example of why I find the ideology of the NAR so concerning. When God speaks to them directly, who is anyone to disagree? It’s not even governance according to the Bible, it’s governance according to “what I heard from God.” As we know from a recent article here, Kris Vallotton, Bethel leader, heard from God that Trump will be elected again and that we shouldn’t oppose him. So now we’d better all vote Trump.
      https://anewscafe.com/2019/12/20/redding/bethel-church-god-is-not-in-the-mood-for-trumps-impeachment/

  5. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Sean has music cds selling at Walmart and on Ebay.
    What I find most interesting is the Republican he is running against, Hamilton, has been endorsed by Thom Bogue, mayor of Dixon and an unabashed Trump supporter.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Bruce, do you believe in the 7 mountains mandate yet? A little more than rumor and innuendo I’d say. 😉

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Annelise, I know many believe in the 7 mountains mandate just like many believe in other myths supported by rumor and innuendo. My eyes were really opened by Bethel Affiliated about the takeover of Redding by Bethel. But Affiliated doesn’t seem to be as concerned about world domination and more concerned with the takeover of Shasta County. Those folks, who actually live in Redding, don’t spout rumor and innuendo but visit the businesses and determine first person if they are indeed Bethel owned. They are more concerned about the illegal selling of homemade bakery sold on the web, confirmed by members that the sellers have no permits or health inspections. How is that possible without local authorities being part of Bethel?
        Why are the state authorities not investigating? Has anybody reported them to the Sacramento authorities, they are not controlled by Bethel, despite the 7 mountain wish list. When Doni had her house rebuild posted on Anews someone local reported her to the Sac authorities and her handyman was investigated. Why are all these Bethel illegal activities not reported to state and federal authorities, Bethel doesn’t own them.

        • Avatar Annelise says:

          Bruce, I think you’re deflecting from my question. I asked you the question because of some of your commentary on your editorial several days ago. Have you read Tabachnak’s research linked in the article? I think you’ll find it interesting. She was raised conservative christian and converted to judaism.

          I hear you though on local activities. I recently sat next to some folks in Manhattan Bagel, contractors who were loudly discussing how they only work for Bethel folks who will allow them not to report the income so they don’t have to pay taxes (or some such). They continued on to make sincere prayers and blessings for each other’s businesses and that God would give them prosperity in all they did. (BAM! laughter!) I was typing away on a Bethel article at the time and had to smile.

          Much love to all. But don’t let’s get the wool pulled too far over our eyes.

  6. Avatar Patrick says:

    Of course he’s getting big donations from Bethel’s cult leader’s, it’s very easy to spend OTHER PEOPLE’S money that they’ve been conned out of. Time to start taxing Bethel since they want to play politics and push their cult beliefs onto others.

  7. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Bethel leaders are such rabid Trump supporters (and members of the Bethel hierarchy are now even part of Trump’s circle of Dominionist “advisors”) because he has placed God-in-government Dominionists of the Bethel variety in charge of nearly every federal agency and commission, which greatly furthers the admitted plan by Bethel and its national ilk to take over government – and everything else – for their version of a theocracy. Redding is just a casualty and stepping stone (base of operations) on Bethel leader’s way to bigger things.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Patricia: you write, “because he has placed God-in-government Dominionists of the Bethel variety in charge of nearly every federal agency and commission”. Would love to see some evidence of this.

      • Avatar Dee Holmes says:

        Mike Pompeo, for starters.

        He gave a speech last October that was promoted on the State Department website called “On Being a Christian Leader.”

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/14/state-dept-website-promotes-mike-pompeo-speech-critics-decry/3980544002/

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Annelise,

        I’m just now seeing your comment above. And frankly I’m amazed you would ask.

        Among Trump’s MANY high-level appointees who have openly admitted they want to base our system of government on “biblical law”, establish “God’s Kingdom” in our government, etc. are Willian Barr, Betsy DeVos, Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, and Ben Carson. There are quite a few more – which doesn’t even take into consideration all of Trump’s federal court appointees.

        Of course this is why Christian dominionists (including Bethel) are so fanatical about getting Trump re-elected – he’s handing them our country on a silver platter.

  8. Avatar Aimee says:

    First off I don’t attend Bethel however I don’t understand the clearly biased opinion in this article. I found it utterly disgusting to compare Christianity and values to “in Islamic theocracies they call this form of governance Sharia law.” Usually I enjoy reading the content posted by a news cafe.com this not so much:/

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Aimee,

      Anyone who is familiar with the goals of 7 Mountains Dominionism is aware that the religious government its adherents envision will be based on brutal Old Testament law. Bethel is at the national forefront in attempting to deprive the gay community of basic rights, and to violate the rights of other groups the Old Testament condemns. In what way do you think this differs from Islamic Sharia Law?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Aimee — I’m going to take an educated guess here and presume that you don’t know the first thing about Islam and Sharia law. You probably don’t know anything of the differences between Sunni and Shiite beliefs, or the hundreds of sects of Islam and the variety of their beliefs and practices. (For example, which umbrella are the Sufis are under, what do they believe, and how they worship?) You likely know nothing of the divide between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists. I’ll bet you don’t know that Jesus is revered in Islam as an important prophet, mentioned more than 50 times in the Qu’ran) whereas he’s largely regarded by Judaism as a false messiah (or at best, a minor rabbi of little importance).

      I’m not a follower of any of the three Abrahamic religions, but I’ve long been a student of them. Among the three, Islam is the most internally coherent (probably a function of it largely being invented by one person, rather than hundreds across millennia, like Christianity). And Islam is the least tribalistic of the three (Judaism is by far the most tribalistic, though conservative American Protestantism seems to have big plans).

      Anyone who is knee-jerk disgusted by a comparison of Islamic values with Christian values probably lacks an understanding of the wide variation in values, much of it overlapping, of both religions. Neither religion offers a monolithic belief system. Assuming there is little or no overlap between the two reveals ignorance more than anything else.

      The transformation of our way of governance that the Bethelites seek parallels Sharia law to a far greater extent than you think. Your understanding of Sharia law, likely based on what you know from watching TV, is narrow and superficial. Broadly, it’s almost exactly what Bethel advocates. According to Islamic scholar Knut Vikør: Some areas of sharia overlap with the Western notion of law (social contracts, such as criminal code) while others correspond more broadly to living life in accordance with God’s will.

      Annelise isn’t at all off the mark when she suggests a parallel.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Aimee: Both Islam and Christianity are religions whose adherents include many kind, caring, concerned and good people. Neither religion is an appropriate source for governance of a nation.

      To draw a comparison between countries who govern by enforcing a particular brand of the principles of Islam and candidates who hope to govern by enforcing a particular brand of the principles of Christianity is fair.

  9. Avatar Kate says:

    Is he from Gilead?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Our man Mr. Feucht bears some resemblance to Kody Brown, the Mormon polygamist husband in the TV show “Sister Wives.”

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Kate: I’m not sure what you’re referencing here but I’m curious. Is Gilead a place? A church? A cult I should investigate? Excuse my ignorance.

  10. Avatar B says:

    well-reported article

  11. Avatar Candace says:

    Aimee, just because a comparison is made to Muslim Theocracy doesn’t make it any less apt. It may not be a useful comparison because despite what they say, I suspect that many who object to religious law are actually objecting to Muslim religious law (not necessarily you). I’d suggest to you that your disgust pales in comparison to the fear felt by many who don’t ascribe to or fit the mold of the world-view being championed by those being discussed in this article. Quite obviously many Christians are not bent on world domination and do not support this world-view; however this article was not about them.

  12. Avatar Candace says:

    On a lighter note regarding a serious subject – when I shared this article with my son, this was his first reaction:
    “ The most offensive thing about that is the graphic design of that poster…maybe spend 10 seconds making your Congress poster look better than something a 2nd grader printed out in the library?”

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I had a somewhat similar reaction: The only guy attending a prayer meeting in the Oval Freaking Office who thought he was too cool to wear a tie. What a rube.

  13. Avatar Candace says:

    Bruce, I don’t think anyone is asking you if you believe in (as in choose to follow and promote the “7 Mountain Mandate”) . I believe they’re simply asking if you now believe that the books, etc. promoting the mandate exist and are indeed taken very seriously (and are heavily promoted as actionable in our city and others) by many local (and beyond ) Bethel and Bethel affiliate followers. One can choose to not adhere to the premise while acknowledging the fact that it exists. The one thing doesn’t preclude the other. If you are indeed saying it doesn’t exist, well, then, I don’t know what to say other than “ Google” it. Also, I know it’s no fun to hear push back from a LTTE (so far, color me yellow) so in that regard I want to say good on you for speaking your piece if you felt it was important enough to you that you put yourself in firing aim of public opinion. I may not agree with all you write but I respect you for doing so.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Candace, I want to make it clear that I do not believe in the 7 Mountain Mandate, I never said it doesn’t exist. As far as I am concerned, it is nothing but a propaganda wish list fueled by rumor and innuendo. That others believe in it is their choice as it is my choice not to believe in it.
      The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon are highly promoted but not everyone believes in them.
      As far as pushback on a LTTE this is nothing compared to what I heard over another LTTE that showed Redding’s warts.
      And I can’t believe that anybody in Redding are afraid that this long haired skinny retro hippie is going to take over the world. If this is Bethel’s general I pity Bethel’s army.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Bruce, It’s not the candidate himself per say, it’s his ideology ( which is being shared and championed by our president, vice president and like-minded others with political power and sway) that are concerning to many here in Redding and elsewhere. Make fun of and trivialize said concern all you want, this candidate is not sitting in a pew in Redding’s Bethel Church (although he’s probably doing that as well) , he’s standing outside the Oval Office after meeting the President and then seated by Vice President Pence in another photo. Win or lose (most likely lose but then…Trump) ,“retro hippy” or not , that’s not by accident, that’s by design. Personally, I’m glad people are taking notice and paying close attention to
        realized or unrealized “God in government” abuses of power. If “exposing Redding’s warts” is important to some shouldn’t this, like all warts, be worthy of being held up to the light for examination? One would hope so. Ignoring symptoms of cancer doesn’t make it go away and as far as I’m concerned, the afore mentioned ideology of this candidate and Bethel leaders is indeed a cancer.

        • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

          Candace, I agree with everything you say and am sorry to offend you with my trivialization of a subject some in Redding are very worried about.
          As far as the 7 Mountain Mandate I have read everything posted on here, which has been a lot and “googled” it, and I don’t believe it and feel some are fueling it with rumor. This is not AGW which I agree with along with 97% of the population, it is a church political move that only 25% of the population believe in.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Bruce,

            While it’s probably true that Feucht doesn’t stand a chance of winning the California district he’s running in, remember that it was likely the 81 percent of white evangelicals who voted for Trump who put him over the top. Why do you think he’s handing these malignant flakes our country on a silver platter?

            Dominionism is currently happening on a massive scale in our federal government, and in many states. Admitted God-in-government Dominionists now head a large percentage of our federal agencies and commissions (not to mention their presence on our federal courts), and laws now exist and/or are in progress that carry out their hateful Old Testament agenda to a “T”. This is not just a “church political move” – it’s a successful religious political take-over.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Bruce, your “long-haired skinny retro hippie” dismissal made me laugh. Yeah, it’s hard for me to see Feuch-face appealing to a majority of District 3’s rural Republicans. And he’s certainly not going to unseat the popular Democratic incumbent, John Garamendi.

        But I think Candice is right to be concerned. Trump’s cult-of-personality status has exceeded that of Reagan’s. And whereas the Reagan Revolution continues to this day and horrifies me yet, at least he was seemingly a decent, mostly genteel, grandfatherly type of human being. The meanest thing he was likely to say in a debate was, “There you go again…”

        It took me three settings yesterday to get through Trump’s one-hour “victory” address—a rambling, stream-of-consciousness, boastful, paranoid, at many times incoherent airing of his grievances. But that’s just Trump being Trump.

        The truly frightening part was the large room full of GOP politicians and other sycophants repeatedly cheering him on as he demonized his opponents—calling out Democratic leaders by name as “horrible,” “lying,” “crazy,” and “vicious” people; repeatedly claiming that he’d done absolutely nothing wrong; claiming that he had been fully exonerated by the Senate’s acquittal; insisting that Sen. Romney and others were faking their religious convictions; claiming that no administration in history had accomplished more in three years; etc., ad infinitum.

        If you’re troubled by any of that, you have “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

        Trump is clearly a wanna-be fascist, but what’s more troubling is that his GOP followers, with few exceptions, are enabling him. It’s no longer crazy to make crazy predictions, so here goes: If Trump loses the election, he’ll refuse to step down, “…because of all the voter fraud I’m hearing about. It was fixed. I didn’t lose.” As Trump himself is fond of saying; We’ll see what happens.

        What does Trump think will happen? He’s already said.

        “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump—I have the tough people. But they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

        Yes, that’s a direct threat. And yes, he actually included “the bikers.” He’s a f***ing crazy-@$$ fascist who is looking forward to half of America being put down by the military, the police, and his “Trump’s Brownshirts on Bikes Brigade.”

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I ask this as not a big fan, but does anyone remember Bill Clinton’s post-impeachment-trial address in the Rose Garden? Two minutes long, including an apology and an expressed desire that we try to put the divisiveness behind us and come together as a nation. Basically, two minutes of eating humble pie with a dollop of hope on top.

          :::sighs:::

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            There is a difference, Steve…Clinton was contrite and sorry because he actually committed a crime and ruined his marriage, such as it was. President Trump is NOT contrite or sorry because he thinks he has been persecuted from day one…which he has, and thinks the impeachment was unjustified. it’s hard to be contrite and sorry when you don’t think you did anything wrong.

            “…put the divisiveness behind us and come together as a nation” You think Pelosi is doing that? Schiff? Nadler? No…The Democrats will spend the next year…or 5 years doing nothing but attacking the president.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            You’re right, Doug. The two offenses don’t compare.

            Clinton lied under oath about having an affair with another adult—a personal sexual peccadillo that had no bearing on the business of the nation. Unless you can demonstrate that it was used to blackmail him, a mere personal embarrassment.

            Trump, withholding Congressionally mandated aid to a strategic ally, not only compromised our nation’s international interests, but did so while inviting a foreign power to compromise our upcoming election. The GAO said that was a crime. Quite a few GOP senators said so, too.

            Who should be contrite? Both. Who isn’t? Trump, because of his narcissistic personality disorder and the undying support of the GOP’s vast store of sycophantic, delusional apologists.

            Your defense of Trump is carefully worded, I note. Basically, you argue that Trump is unapologetic not because he’s innocent, but because of his inability to recognize his own wrongdoing—and that because of his complex of paranoid, narcissistic persecution disorders. You’re basically giving him a hall pass because he’s a f***ing sick unit.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug Cook,

            Even many Republicans admit that what Trump did was horrible and unethical, but they self-servingly don’t have enough integrity to admit he committed obvious crimes deserving of impeachment. The idiotic claim that he didn’t do anything wrong isn’t even on the table.

            And I doubt many people really believe that lying to cover up an affair compares to Trump creating an entire shadow government to hide his efforts to blackmail a foreign government into digging up non-existent dirt on a main political rival by withholding $400 Million in Congress-ordered military aid, which could have destabilized an entire region of the world.

            Finally, Trump should never have been allowed to take office to begin with. In addition to the fact that he’s quite clearly deranged and completely corrupt and immoral, his presidency has been a disaster from the beginning. Democrats haven’t had a chance to thoroughly investigate one criminal activity or scandal before he does something even worse. That there happens to be a few more Republican than Democratic legislators at present (who sold their souls to protect him) doesn’t make anything he’s ever done right.

        • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

          Steve, when I first saw the picture of Feucht, on another website, my reaction was Is this a joke? Now I realize it is not a joke to those in Redding and I truly am sorry for being so dismissive about it.
          And if it is any consolation Barr will soon be gone, spoken on condition of anonymity or if you prefer rumor, and I suspect Devos will be too. Neither is helpful enough for Trump’s reelection. Their replacements will come from the west, one from Colorado, a swing state, and the other from California. California is not a swing state but it will be more a pointed rebuke to Pelosi.

          • Avatar Gary Tull says:

            Bruce V, I doubt Barr is going anywhere soon. He’s much to busy fabricating and assembling his abnormal- so-called “Intake Process.” – A quasi-judicial laundromat designed to prevent Giuliani, Pompeo, Flynn, Trump and others from seeing the inside of prison via normal procedure -State and Federal Courts.

        • Avatar Gary Tull says:

          Speaking of GOP Trump followers — This Washington Post piece by former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh is pretty darn convincing.

          For those who are unable to open the link; a couple of truth-ringing talking points:
          Real conservatives think for themselves. Trump Republicans have been brainwashed.
          Challenging Trump for the GOP nomination taught me my party is a cult. 

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/06/joe-walsh-challenging-trump-gop-nomination-taught-me-my-party-is-cult/

        • Avatar Candace says:

          Bruce, I wasn’t offended by you but yes, I’m very concerned. Thank you for acknowledging that, I appreciate it.
          Doug Cook, The following from Trump which Steve T. shared doesn’t give you serious pause? Or do you describe it as “Trump being Trump” bluster that you don’t care for but are willing to overlook because his policies appeal to you? (It also appeals to fascists and is both dangerous and inciteful rhetoric.
          We’ve seen the horrific consequences of those who act on the message behind such rhetoric.) If at all possible please try and refrain from deflecting with “whataboutism” or “Of course I don’t like this, but no other viable candidate…” because I’m asking you if you still will continue to stand behind and vote for a president who said the following: “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump—I have the tough people. But they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
          THIS is something said out loud by the president of the United States (who took an oath to look out for the well/being of ALL of us). This you’re willing to overlook? This is ok with you? If the answer is yes (if it’s no, thank goodness) please help me understand why and how you square that with saying you’re anti-fascism.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Candace, it was a stupid thing to say. President Trump says a dozen stupid things a day, so I took this as another one of his awkward statements. It is dangerous to think in absolutes but there are some things which seem pretty obvious to me. I think Trump is correct. Those who oppose Trump are quite fanatical and very radical. Contrary to the Jussie Smollett hoax, people wearing MAGA hats don’t physically attack the Communists and collectivist on the left.

            Trump supporters have been called names and attacked on a daily basis. The vitriol on the left and the blind hatred toward, not only Trump, but his family and his supporters and is aggressive and extreme in most cases.

            But Trump is correct that he does have the support of the military, and of the police officers and law enforcement. And even the bikers all of whom are very tough guys and women as well.

            The left is playing with fire very close to the fuse of a powder keg. There is a growing anger against those fanatics on the left. They refuse to work in compromise. They refuse to do anything to help the people of the country, putting all their energy into widening the divide. Their action seem to want this to be a fight to the death. This is a choice they will regret.

            I don’t think it is a THREAT. It is a WARNING of something that is could HAPPEN.

            When the left attack Republicans in restaurants and in the streets, when Democratic leaders like Maxine Waters call on people to publicly shame Republicans in restaurants, gas stations etc., when Hillary explain the Dems will return to civility after they return to power (usurped by the deplorables) – the Dems should understand they do not have the monopoly on this level of behavior, and THEIR tone may bring about an equal attitude. The right will start to push back

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug Cook,

            Your post above is completely divorced from reality. Trump supporters have committed FAR more violence (with his open encouragement) than the left wing.

            Pulling the hate hat off some jerk who’s laughing it up in a restaurant about lynching Black people from every tree (and yes – it was confirmed by witnesses) hardly compares to stabbing people to death in subways, deliberately killing and injuring dozens with vehicles, shooting people off bridges, beating them in the head with metal pipes, pushing them down flights of stairs, and all the other serious, proven violence Trump supporters have committed.

            No left wing politician has EVER told anyone to “punch people in the face” or beat their detractors so severely that they have to be “carried out on a stretcher”. Verbally confronting a handful of Trump’s top liars who were assisting him in tearing children out of the arms of their mothers and throwing them into kiddie concentration camps in horrible conditions should be considered a public duty.

            Despite your desperate attempts to excuse everything Trump does, those remarks by Trump about bikers, the police, and the miltary retaliating if he’s not re-elected are just more of his deliberate, blatant incitements to violence. If a Democractic president ever said such a thing (but wounldn’t), Republicans would be calling for his head. In addition, wearing Trump’s hate hat is rightfully considered tantamount to wearing Nazi or KKK regalia in the minds of all normal, decent people, and is itself an act of violence.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug sez: “The left is playing with fire very close to the fuse of a powder keg. There is a growing anger against those fanatics on the left. They refuse to work in compromise. They refuse to do anything to help the people of the country, putting all their energy into widening the divide. Their action seem to want this to be a fight to the death. This is a choice they will regret.”

            This is nothing more than an extension of Trump’s obscene threat. It’s a fantasy in which conservatives finally get to use all their guns on liberals—and they’ll be justified, see, on account of all of that hatred coming from the Left.

            Conservatives: “YOU WANT THIS TO BE A FIGHT TO THE DEATH, LIBERALS?!

            Liberals: “Uh….no. The fuck is wrong with you?”

            Conservatives: “A FIGHT TO THE DEATH IT IS, THEN!!!”

            Jesus Herbert Christ in a sidecar.

            Doug’s notion that it’s liberals who won’t compromise would be hilarious if it weren’t so scary—scary because you can tell Doug actually believes what he’s writing.

            I mean, take Obamacare. The retention of private insurance was designed as a compromise in the hopes of getting some across-the-aisle support. Conservatives: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! NO SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!

            Or take abortion. Liberals: “Okay, no abortions allowed after fetal viability (about 22 weeks into the second trimester), unless the mother’s life is at stake. We’ll give you that.” Conservatives: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! NO ABORTIONS WHATSOEVER! TOTAL BAN!

            Or take the Middle East. Trump: “It’s really a waste of our money. We should get out—time for them to fend for themselves.” Democrats: “Okay, we mostly agree, and we’ll work with you on this one—time to start winding it down. But let’s not completely abandon overnight the Kurds and others who helped us.” Trump: “ABANDON THE KURDS! WAR WITH IRAN!”

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Candace, Bruce: yes, Bruce, I thought you meant in your comments on your LTTE that you didn’t believe that there was such a thing as the 7 Mountain Mandate. I never expected you to subscribe to it. Glad we finally cleared this up! Thanks Candace.

  14. Avatar christian gardinier says:

    Annelise, very good article! Thanks. All I can say is I hope missy Americans don’t want a Christian caliphate anymore then we would want an Islamic caliphate. I also believe that the people, yes old white men for the most part, who wrote the US Constitution had church interference with state as well as state interference with church, in mind. What is scary about the hardcore alt-right Christian movement, is they openly proclaime they will use politics as an ends to their means of establishing political, social and economic power, as well as mandates not unlike the seven mountain mandate as well .Scary times we live in!

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Christian: exactly. It’s a matter of the ends justifying the means. It wasn’t how Jesus go things done from what I’ve read.

  15. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Great article Annelise. Thank you the good information. I’m alarmed when any religions refers to an”army” or a “battle”.
    It sounds like Sean doesn’t know that God and prayer and the Bible are certainly allowed in public schools. What isn’t allowed is that public school can force children to perform the Daimoku chant every morning or perform Islamic, Jewish or Christian prayers in school.
    Does the non-profit tax exemption that Bethel enjoys extend to published music and books as well?

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Joanne: Bethel music is sheltered under Bethel Church as a part of their tax exempt status. They are what is called a “supporting organization” I believe. This is legal because both Bethel Music and Bethel Church have the same mission: the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

      Individuals at Bethel often have their own tax-exempt non-profit personal ministries such as bill johnson ministries, and kv ministries. Some are more strategically named and somewhat harder to track down.

  16. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Simply what Bethel ?promised. Prosperity Mandate.
    They said out loud this is their mandate. To be involved in every part of your life and your society. As well as make as much money god will allow to support the mandate.

    Resistance to this mandate should be on everyone’s radar.

  17. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug, you define the statement by Trump that both Steve T and I referred to as being “awkward”? Wow. Thank you for answering me. After reading your anti-left, anti-Democrat and anti- non-Trump supporter rant I now have no doubt whatsoever what and who you stand for and with. Regardless if you or I approve of the use of protest tactics of name-calling, cancel culture or public shaming ( things by the way that Trump does on a daily basis) used by anti-Trump people, the exercise of using blame to justify or explain away any part of the premise of a “might makes right” response by Trump, the military, police, biker gangs, etc that manifests itself as real threats to the lives and physical safety of many, many people in our country is more than alarming, it’s an exercise in defending facism.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Candace, You think his statement is him inciting violence. I believe he is warning us that if the hatred from the left against Trump and his supporters continue, that the right will start to push back. As I said, it was a warning…not a threat. It is the left that throws conservatives out of restaurants, it was a Democrat representative that said to get in the face of Trump supporters in public. You think the fake MAGA wearing hat attack on Jussie Smollet doesn’t incite violence? Do supporters wearing MAGA hats deserve to be attacked? I’m sure you have read about, or seen videos of these attacks. It is conservatives on college campuses that are in fear of physical harm…like the student that was punched in the face at UC Berkely for recruiting for Turning Point USA.
      I get so weary of all this outrage over everything the president says. He is not a fascist, not a want-to-be dictator. I chuckled when he trolled the left by joking that he may not leave office after he was done with his term. Of course, they took him seriously and was shocked and outraged that he wants to be dictator for life. Good grief.

      “The Left takes Trump literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

  18. Avatar Annelise says:

    Steve, Candace, Doug, Patricia and whoever else: When I saw Sean Feucht, conservative worship leader from Bethel, was running for Congress, my interest was piqued. I assumed he’d be anti-abortion, probably generally conservative.

    But then I saw him posting about homelessness and my interest was piqued. What might he hear God say about the problems of homelessness? What policy ideas might he have? Bethel’s message is generosity, prosperity, and bringing healing to the hopeless. How might a conservative christian from Bethel respond to these topics?

    That’s one of the reasons I have been so disappointed to find that he really hasn’t ever, in the months I’ve followed him, given a single idea on how to respond to homelessness. He says it’s a crisis, he says the Democrats in charge in California are ruining the State, but he doesn’t give any ideas for how to solve things.

    Rather than bickering about Trump vs the anti-Trump (we’ve all seen how little that seems to accomplish), I’d love to hear responses to Sean’s lack of policies or what policies those who might support him or Trump would like to see enacted in response to homelessness or other topics that Sean harps on.

    Is it important to have policies? Is this about something bigger than being conservative or liberal? I think so.

    What do you think?

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      To be fair…there aren’t very many politicians out there with any plans or ideas to fix the homeless situation. The problem is that it is a very complicated problem with no easy fix. cities keep throwing money at the problem with little to no results. Los Angeles approved over a billion dollars to create housing for the homeless…all it is now is a money trough. The average price of these apartments has grown to over $500,000 PER UNIT. building costs of many of the homeless units will exceed the median sale price of a market-rate condominium

      If I was a politician, I would avoid this issue too. In order to figure out what to do about the homeless, we have to identify who the homeless are. There is a big difference between those that fell into economic difficulties and need a helping hand and those that are just bums and junkies. I want to help the former and be tougher on the latter. That is a tough one for a politician to get support for. As we have seen in some of the western state cities, just throwing money at the problem does no good. There is a new homeless industrial complex that is wasting government funding. I would love to live in a $500,000 apartment.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Per its website Bethel has helped “several” members experiencing a financial crisis, for which these members had to wait “several weeks”. However, it appears this “help” mainly takes the form of prayer over the phone. The website also states that Bethel doesn’t provide deposits of any kind, which of course eliminates anyone who is homeless and needs financial aid to access housing. It really doesn’t say what Bethel DOES do (aside from the eventual phone call).

        Bethel leaders have made their compassion-less attitude toward the poor and homeless abundantly clear in many ways over years. In fact, Bill Johnson even said that survival programs only “enable” the poor, and that what they need to do is basically just come to God, since He has given everyone the ability to accummulate wealth (translation: join his prosperity gospel church, pour money into Bethel coffers, and if a monetary miracle doesn’t happen the person has only themselves to blame for not being “obedient” enough in other areas of their life).

        In short I can’t imagine what a representative of a prosperity gospel church would propose as a “solution” to homelessness, since all practical (even proven) solutions are just “enabling”. Admitting that something practical is needed would ruin their miracle-promoting scam.

        And Doug – I’m sure there are no end of things wrong with your post (as usual), but I don’t have time to check them out tonight. However, I will say that your “bums and junkies” are often veterans with traumatic brain injuries and people with severe mental illnesses. Mental health treatment has been basically non-existent for the homeless in Shasta County (homeless people who show up at Shasta County Mental Health have been denied even an evaluation, and are instead pressured to go to the Mission, where they are practiced on by students from a local religious college).

        It’s also impossible to conduct the needed regular monitoring and adjustment of medications when a person is homeless. Housing First programs have had notable success in getting many of these people treated and straightened out, but of course local officials won’t consider trying this program, even on a very limited trial basis.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Annelise, You asked and I will respond with what I have been saying and faced much dissatisfaction from the other posters and you.
      I think Sean is a fake and a joke and a retro hippy like the ones I saw in SF in the 70’s. God will fix everything? Even the most rapid White Evangelists don’t say that, they say God is relevant and as has been said many times, God helps those best who help themselves. Bethel backs him and he had a photo op, like every GOP with Trump.
      Trump will be coming to Phoenix in the next week to promote the military and Martha McSally. Last fall Pence held a McSally rally and fundraiser in of all places, Grass Valley, I didn’t think that was a GOP stronghold but I guess it is. And I have seen little info that McSally supports God in government. The biggest knock against her, judging by the attack ads, is she is taking healthcare away from Arizonans . McSally works with Sinema in supporting women in the military.
      When Trump holds a rally for Sean than I will believe he is a threat.

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Bruce: you didn’t face much dissatisfaction from ME, I was just confused because I interpreted your comments as saying the NAR, dominionism and the 7 mountain mandate didn’t exist.

        Trump hold a rally for Sean? Oh dear god I didn’t even consider that.

        It would be in Fairfield/Vacaville area. . . . let’s keep our eyes out.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        A McSally rally in Grass Valley, right here in Cali? Did she dillydally in the bowling alley?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Annelise — As I said somewhere up above, the Reagan Revolution is ongoing. Wealth and income disparity continues to grow in America.

      The top 20% of Americans hold more than 77% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 20% hold 3% of the nation’s wealth.

      The top 1% hold 30% of America’s wealth, and that’s on the rise. The middle class hold 20% of the nation’s wealth, and that’s on the decline.

      People can run solutions to homelessness up the flagpole all day long, but the problems inherent in wealth disparity—including homelessness—will continue to grow as long as the Reagan Revolution persists. And as we’ve seen, there are huge numbers of chumps in this country who will continue to ask for more, in large part because the worship the rich and famous. More than a few will end up economic losers, and join the homeless.

      For once, I agree 100% with Doug: There aren’t very many politicians out there with plans or ideas to fix the homelessness situation. That includes those who say they have such plans—those plans look like window dressing to obscure a problem that probably won’t go away in my lifetime.

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Steve, ahhh but you DO seem to be suggesting a plan or at least a root to the problem which suggests we could come up with a response to that root. Are you a proponent of the wealth tax? How you suggest/encourage wealth distribution? Or don’t you?

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          The healthiest and most content people on the planet live under the “Nordic Model,” which entails a universalist welfare state aimed at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; a corporatist system where representatives of labor and employers negotiate wages and labor market policy mediated by the government; and a commitment to private ownership (with some caveats) within a mixed economy.

          In my mind, that means leveling of the economic-opportunity playing field, more than redistribution of wealth. But to those who want to think of it as redistribution of wealth? Okay. It still beats our system on almost every metric of quality of life.

          I’m not holding my breath—as I said, too many Americans worship the rich and famous, and too many think they’re one lottery ticket away from joining that cohort.

  19. Avatar Candace says:

    Annelise, while I fully realize the “bickering” as you put it rarely changes anyone’s entrenched political and social views , I’ve grown weary of people being admonished for voicing strong opinions on things that have dire consequences for many people in peril of losing/not gaining the rights others enjoy. Many people do not have the luxury of being “polite” while debating the fate of their human rights dangling in the wings. I’m angry and I’m scared for those most affected and I don’t feel like being politely quiet about the eroding of people’s freedoms. I feel that often times anger is equated with “rudeness” or “childishness” (and sometimes rightfully so) when sometimes that anger, although perhaps loud or jarring, is a righteous anger and is being used to push back against complacency in the name of all things loving and kind and decent and just. As far as the questions regarding Feucht, one would hope a lack of stated policy would matter to anyone casting a vote for any candidate but in the current climate, nothing would surprise me; plus it’s pretty obvious what he and his supporters stand for. My intention with these particular comments are not meant as a personal attack on you (I find your writing intelligent and compelling) I just think that sometimes in our endeavor to be “fair” we lose sight of the very things that indeed are.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Very well put, Candace. You mention a lack of stated policy by politicians as a concern. As I have mentioned earlier, politicians gave been ignoring the homeless issue for years. I follow the Democrat candidates closely, I can’t recall any proposed solutions given by any one of them. President Trump all but ignored the Federal debt in the SOTU address, as well as the Democrat candidates have in debates. So to be fair…show me a candidate that doesn’t avoid talking about tough issues. It’s easy to shout out “Free tuition!!” and receive the applause and adulation from bumper sticker exclamations. The nitty gritty part of the hard issues.. we’ll avoid talking about them. I of course blame both parties.

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Doug,

        For comparison, before publishing this article, I looked at Dr. Dhanuka’s campaign site. He has policy ideas clearly listed. Are they superficial, yes, somewhat. But they give me an idea of the problems he sees and the approach he thinks will work. Is it similar to what others have espoused? Somewhat. So now I know where he’s coming from, generally.

        Sean talks a lot about abortion and wants to “end abortion.” It’s easy to say “ban abortion”. You vote for Trump and you watch him appoint the right Supreme Court Justices and you challenge Roe v Wade. Fine. I respect that this is his approach to what he sees as a genocide.

        But he isn’t going to ban abortion on his own. So in the meantime, what is he doing to provide solutions for vulnerable families, help prevent unplanned/unwanted pregnancies, and look for solutions for care for the whole person from infancy on.

        In my mind the most pro-life candidate is the one who offers good sex ed, contraception, and early childhood interventions. Banning abortion is a very limited policy approach to being pro-life.

        Even on topics Sean is passionate about and comfortable with, like abortion, he doesn’t offer much if anything as a solution.

        This is business as usual not the “upside down Kingdom” that Bethel talks big about. People have thought of banning abortions forever; where are the downloads from heaven with new ideas?

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          Actually Trump was pro-choice not long ago, but of course that all changed when it turned out his main support base is made up of white supremacists and evangelical religious fanatics.

          Having followed the machinations of Bethel leaders closely for some years, I think I can safely say that their idea of addressing the abortion issue is to punish “promiscuous” women (that’s any woman who has sex outside of marriage, or for any reason other than procreation) with forced pregnancy, then pressuring her to give the resultant child up for adoption to one of the MANY religious-controlled adoption agencies, so that it can be indoctrinated and brainwashed into becoming a mindless follower of the cult.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Candace, I fully appreciate your sentiments here and thank you for voicing them. My terminology was dismissive of the real and often reasonable emotions being voiced by many, including you. I’m sorry.

      My concern is to seek to understand why so many view Trump as a savior and god-send. I think the reasons for this come from a very deep place of disenfranchisement that some feel. Until I can understand this and seek to find valid solutions to those perceived needs, I’m concerned that we will continue to be polarized, wasting time while the neediest suffer. I don’t need things to happen my way but I do care about the vulnerable. I want to be a part of finding solutions for those less privileged. I don’t care what party finds those good solutions. I just want to be a part of it.

      I’m not there yet, but like most, I’m a work in progress. Thanks for listening.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        To Annelise – No need for the apology, however I do appreciate your attention paid to what I said. I was speaking more in general terms but of course my comment was in answer to yours so your reaction is totally reasonable. On a different note, you and I know that division based on racism, classism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ+ and religion is not new. I think the difference now being that the “saying it out loud” part is encouraged much more due to a Trump Presidency. That doesn’t mean I think it magically goes away once he’s out of office. Not to simplify things but mean, hateful and selfish people will always be around and while I think it’s probably worthwhile to understand what’s at the core and cause of those attributes (in order to hopefully illicit change for the better), I’d rather they weren’t entrenched in and backed by our government while we’re trying to figure it out. I’m more concerned with marginalized groups and individuals of whom the hate is directed at. They come first.

  20. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug, thank you, however I highly doubt that you and I share the same concern for the same groups of people or share the same definition of what constitutes love, kindness, fairness and justice and how and to whom those things are applied. I’m sure we share some bits of common ground but our world views are quite obviously different. It’s not lost on me that the common ground part may be our only chance at helping to close the huge divide happening now in our country. That said, my vote come November will go towards removing what I consider to be a dangerous, hateful, opportunistic, fear-mongering president. You quite obviously disagree with my assessment. That’s ok. You do you and I”ll do me.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Candace, I believe we are closer than you think in our beliefs and concerns. And I don’t think our world views are that much different. I’m sure we want the same things in life. Peace, prosperity, raising our children, taking care of the truly needy. We obviously have different views on how to get there. Am I better off than I was 4 years ago? Most assuredly. Is the country better off? I think so… despite the bitter partisanship. What I look at is what has this president done for the country. Let’s look at the southern border. Why don’t we hear much about that crisis anymore? The president was critizied roundly for him getting tough on Mexico, threatening tarrifs if they don’t crack down on Central Americans flooding across the border. What happened?Mexico is now turning these people back. Now, you may think that anyone should be able to cross our borders, but this change has definitely saved lives. How about race relations? How come you don’t hear about Black Lives Matter anymore. Has race relations gotten better in the last 4 years? I believe so. Has my retirement portfolio improved? You betcha. All the criticism of negotiations with China. Look at the new deal that is good for America. Increase in soybeans sales, lowering of tarrifs. Will the president get any credit? Of course not. I don’t think the president is dangerous. He is for sure not the usual type president, but we knew that when we elected him. The country didn’t want another Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. No.. Trump is not dangerous, he hasn’t done anything dangerous. He’ll be gone in either a year, or 5 years and life will go on. Sure ..if I would invite a president over for a dinner party, I would rather invite Obama and Michelle over Trump. They seem like nicer people. Can I invite Melania too? Probably wouldn’t be proper. I want my president to get things done for the country, and Trump has done that. He had quite a list of accomplishments during the SOTU, and sure…most on the left won’t give him credit for those. Just ask yourself this, if it was a Democrat president, would you have given him/ her credit?

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Doug Cook,

        American taxpayers are on the hook for a $28 Billion bailout to farmers thanks to Trump’s harmful chest-beating nationalistic policies, with more to come, and small businesses are suffering. Entire industries have collapsed (which Trump promised to save), and manufacturing wages have fallen for the first time ever.

        And race relations have NOT gotten better. In fact, there has been a notable surge in violence directed against minorities since Trump took office. Not a week goes by that we don’t read about some Trump supporter verbally – and sometimes physically – attacking a Black or Hispanic person who is bothering no one, and Trump supporters have even committed multiple murders. In addition, the disparity between wages for Whites and Blacks has actually increased under the Trump administration.

        Finally, Trump’s incessant pandering to his Christian Nationalist base – Bethel included – has resulted in the loss of basic rights for entire groups (gay people and women in particular), with even greater losses on the agenda. I doubt those groups feel they are better off.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          “… Not a week goes by that we don’t read about some Trump supporter verbally – and sometimes physically – attacking a Black or Hispanic person who is bothering no one”

          Like Jussie Smollet”

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            No Doug – I was referring to the countless incidents (caught on video) of Blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims being harassed on the streets, on subways, on busses etc. and the considerable number of proven violent acts (resulting in deaths and serious injuries) committed by Trump supporters.

            People like yourself disingenuously attempt to draw attention away from the overwhelming amount of harassment and violence committed by Trump supporters by focusing on the one or two violent acts committed by Leftists, and the case of Jussie Smollett. There is no legitimate comparison.

  21. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    It’s really gross that Sean groped the Trumpster in the Oval Office. I hope he’s had his shots.

  22. Avatar Val says:

    It is all I can do to not have a complete anxiety attack and vomit reading about this entire disgusting… everything…of these…creatures….on this note… comments best left to Patrecia et al who can comment without emotional outbursts ?.

  23. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug, “How about race relations? How come you don’t hear about Black Lives Matter anymore. Has race relations gotten better in the last 4 years? I believe so.” This has got to be one of the most ignorant, offensive, whitepeposplaining statements I’ve heard in a while. Quite frankly, as a white person, I’m embarrassed by it. No sir, you and I do not share the same worldview. BTW, ”Black Lives Matter” still matters because, racism. The fact that you think Trump has been/is the white savior of race-relation improvements for people of color is mind blowing to me.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Doug: I too would love some explanation of why you think race relations have improved over the last four years.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        I’m on the road today traveling…but I will be happy to give you my perspective when I get home and have more time. Why do you think it has not improved?

  24. Avatar Candace says:

    Annelise, personally I don’t care what Doug’s explanation will be on this subject (pretty much know it by heart now anyway, his usual “cuz jobs”) which is why I didn’t initially respond with (excuse my acronym) “WTAF are you talking about?” It’s an exercise in futility seeing as when it comes to “Black Lives Matter” he quite literally has no skin in the game, same as you or I.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      We all have a skin in the game when it comes to race relations. How can you say I don’t? Or any of us don’t?

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doug, I’ll give you this – if you’re anything you’re predictable. Read my last sentence regarding “Black Lives Matter” and “skin in the game”. If you still don’t understand my meaning take some time to research “Black Lives Matter”. If you still don’t get it, educate yourself. Thing is, I’m sure you do understand “how I could say that” in regard to “Black Lives Matter” so you trying to conflate things is not new, surprising or worthwhile to me. If you indeed don’t know ( highly doubtful) what “Black Lives Matter” was born out of then might I suggest you take my initial advice in this post and educate yourself. I don’t believe feigned or willful ignorance or intentional
        misdirection is at all useful in any conversation surrounding the subject of racism. For that matter this conversation with you is probably not useful either for the mere fact that it more than likely accomplished nothing. While I’ve seen myself and others on this site apologize, concede, etc., I’ve not yet once seen you concede a point, self-reflect or even entertain the thought you may be wrong or misinformed in your thinking. After all, nobody’s perfect ( except of course, me). Say goodnight Gracie.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          A new Gallup survey shows that satisfaction with race relations has increased 14 percent since Trump’s inauguration…a remarkable jump considering the desperate efforts of Democrats and media to paint President Trump as a racist white nationalist. “The position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation rose 9 percent since Obama’s last day in office, while the state of race relations in America shot up 14 percent.”So…no, it is not an ignorant statement I made. Perhaps you can explain why you think race relations are worse. What proof do you have? I don’t deny that we have a long way to go, but things are improving.

          So…nope, nothing to apologize about or concede.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, like I said, an exercise in futility. Take your poll numbers and give them to the family of the next unarmed young black person that dies at the hands of LE. I doubt you’ll have to wait long. I’m sure having those numbers in hand will make the families feel a whole lot better at their loved ones’ funerals because “things are improving”. Heck, maybe the minorities that travel agents are warning about their safety can carry a copy of those same poll numbers with them for protection in Phoenix, AZ. Yep, quite obviously things are looking up for most poc , cuz Trump! Sure glad those Black Lives Matter folks got the message and went underground so as not to upset Doug Cook’s “blinders on” assertions regarding race relations in our country. Good gawd you’re rigid.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug,

            Who were they polling? I checked a Gallup graph on race relations. It had two categories of respondents: “Whites” and “Black and Hispanic”. The Black and Hispanic people believe race relations have gotten MUCH worse since Trump took office (and they’re the ones who would know).

            Also, this from the Washington Post:

            ” A Washington Post survey of African Americans earlier this month found that “more than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist, and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall.”

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            There was a study a few years ago by a black Harvard professor that found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings. “The professor told The NY Times that the finding of no racial discrimination in police shootings was “the most surprising result of my career.”

            It was the Obama Justice Dept that investigated the Michael Brown shooting and concluded it was a justified shooting. Remember “Hands up, don’t shoot”? That was a lie. Didn’t happen that way.

            I get it…I understand the guilty white liberal mentality. According to Pew, almost 80 percent of white liberals viewed discrimination as the major obstacle to black achievement. Do you know what the biggest obstacle is? Education…just a little over 50% of black male teens graduate high school. While in the Air Force, I proudly volunteered for a foundation that mentored and worked with minority teens. The carrot was teaching them to fly. In order to become a pilot, you have to develop reading, writing and math skills. We worked with these kids tirelessly with their schoolwork. We didn’t treat them as victims. We had a 100% success rate in high school graduation, with most going onto college, military or flying jobs. One of the kids I personally worked with reached out to me a few years ago. This was a kid going down the wrong road that is now working as an Air Traffic Controller, making over $100k a year living in Orange County, married with 3 kids.

            Can you show me any statistics that show LE are murdering black people at a higher rate than any other race?
            https://www.nber.org/papers/w22399

          • Avatar Annelise says:

            Doug: Please share said survey.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug — I read the paper—interesting study. The findings, in short: Police are more likely to use violence with minority (black and Hispanic) citizens, even when all contextual variables are accounted for. But the police are not significantly more likely to shoot minority citizens.

            The “taste-based model of discrimination” offered as a potential explanation by the author is interesting. Again, in short: If the penalties of racial discrimination in civilian-directed shootings are minor, there will be racial bias in shootings (as there are with lesser forms of civilian-directed violence). If the penalties for racial discrimination for shootings are high, there will be no significant discrimination.

            I think the statistical findings are real, but I have two large concerns with the data sets:

            1. The majority of the data come from large cities. Every city sourced for data is predominantly liberal (even those from Texas), with liberal city governments and police leadership that more likely to severely punish those who are found to discriminate racially in shooting civilians. (The author doesn’t identify this potential source of bias.)

            2. Smaller, more conservative cities and towns are unlikely to collect data on citizen-directed shooting that would reveal racial discrimination. And if they do collect those data and racial discrimination is apparent, those departments would be less likely to voluntarily share the data. (The author *does* point out this potential source of bias.)

            I would guess Redding falls into the latter group. The desire to avoid accountability by failing to systematically collect data is self-serving and self-evident. That includes RPD’s reluctance to equip our police with dash and body cameras. No film, no foul.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Patrecia — Oh, you looked at the minority respondents to a recent Gallup pole on race relations? Why would you do that?

            Yeah, it’s pretty clear that the 14% jump in satisfaction with race relations that Doug is touting is driven by white conservatives who are relieved that Obama is gone and has been replaced by an orange white guy, in accordance with all the laws of man and God.

  25. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    On the front page of the Arizona Republic today, Phoenix actually has black people unlike the ethnic desert of Shasta County, “Police shootings happen more in Black minority neighborhoods”. The three page article starts with a mother and wife who lost her husband and son to police shootings. This follows the Mesa article on a police officer who shot and killed a 14 year old black kid running away from him, yes in the back and the 14 year old was unarmed. Travel companies have issued a warning to minorities that Phoenix is a dangerous city for minorities.
    Whether it is Trump or other cause black lives have not improved for those who are poor.

  26. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug,
    “Do you know what the biggest obstacle is? Education…just a little over 50% of black male teens graduate high school.” Exactly, and for a myriad of reasons stemming from racial discrimination. The “victim” label you smugly dismiss as being generated by liberal, white-guilt ( nice try, doesn’t fly) makes the label no less apt. There have been and continue to be many who are “victims” of lack of opportunity and access as a result of the existence of racial discrimination in all of its forms. While you helping someone is rewarding forDoug,
    “Do you know what the biggest obstacle is? Education…just a little over 50% of black male teens graduate high school.” Yes and for a myriad of reasons stemming from racism. The “victim” label you smugly dismiss as being generated by liberal, white-guilt makes the label no less apt. There are victims of racism, that is a fact. That you had the opportunity and desire to mentor a student and help him be successful in his life doesn’t equate to many other kids having access to that same opportunity or being any less “victims” of systemic racist policies. In fact you bear that out in your graduation statistic comment. Thanks for helping to make my point. both of you it hardly translates to “things are improving” when talking about the overall current climate of race-relations in our country. Racism is alive and kickin’. Trump didn’t invent it, he just encourages racists to turn up the volume.

  27. Avatar Candace says:

    Hmmm. Not sure what happened there with my garbled comment. Must have been my own operator error from my self-editing. Quite obviously time for me to stop debating tonight. Apologies.

  28. Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

    Doug: Why are black American youth so often less educated than white youth? Could it possibly have anything to do with them being enslaved for hundreds of years and then systemically and individually discriminated against for decades after that?

    Why do so many privileged white people participate in forms of white saviorism towards less privileged blacks (as you report doing above) while decrying the existence of white privilege and systemic racism?

    In regards to bias in the so called criminal justice system: the resource I’ve linked below is pretty thorough, scroll down and you’ll find some studies that support your position on lack of bias in police shootings. One of the things I appreciate about this resource is that it shows how broad discrimination in this so called criminal justice system can be, not just with regards to shootings but stops, searches, juries, judges, sentencing, the use of isolation and on and on.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/18/theres-overwhelming-evidence-that-the-criminal-justice-system-is-racist-heres-the-proof/

    If you have not already, I challenge you to read the writings of black contemporaries such as Ta-Nehesi Coates book Between the World and Me or Mike Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Annelise, Why I have a disconnect with the posters here is because while the Anews posters post links of elsewhere or say when they lived elsewhere I actually see and read on my local Phoenix news of what is happening here. I live in a mixture of ethnics all around. Spanish is not a second language here but is a first. My blond haired grandkids may stand out but they have friends of every ethnic group. Soccer is big as the kids all play on teams, the weather probably helps out. Politics have no majority here as Dems, GOP, and Independents all have a voice and speak out, rally or protest. Neighborhoods vary from antiseptic Sun City to barbed wire South Phoenix. I personally interact with all ethnic groups and the poor and homeless through St Marys Food Bank volunteering. The southern border is not thousands of miles away but right here. No More Lives had three of it’s members cleared by a Tucson judge of committing crimes, their crimes were driving into the desert without a permit and leaving gallons of water in a area where 150 bodies, that they know of, were found. How many dead bodies do the Redding residents find on their excursions into Shasta County’s semi wilderness?
      If my comments sometimes seem to irk some it is probably because the Shasta County I left almost fifteen years ago was nothing like what I read on here and Facebook now.

      • Avatar annelise says:

        Bruce, I grew up right outside of DC and married a Navy man. We lived all over before coming here so I have been thankful to live in more diverse areas in the past. This area reminds me most of Northern Idaho where we were stationed for two years right after marriage. I remember flying into Coeur D’Alene for the first time and wondering with dismay where all the people of color were?! For the first time in my lief, everyone I saw was white. Diversity is a great gift and we desperately need more of it here.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Bruce — Redding is pretty homogenous, but few of us have spent our entire lives here. Lifetime experience counts for something, doesn’t it? But I take your point—none of us have our fingers on the pulse of race-related issues the way you do, living in an area of high diversity.

        There’s another side of the coin to Redding’s homogeneity. Imagine growing up one of the few persons of color here. An African-American kid who never sees a black cop, teacher, or city official. Maybe a black doctor once in a blue moon.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Annelise, if it was just racism for the poor graduation rates then how do you explain the rise in black females in college? By both race and gender, a higher percentage of black women are enrolled in college than any other group. The most successful ethnic group in America are Nigerian Americans.. 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population. Why? Why is their education not affected by racism? Why are black women succeeding. If you go back to my original statement, I didn’t say black youth…I said black males. Many of the kids I worked with started out playing the victim card. We wouldn’t allow it. We worked at instilling pride, a work ethic and discipline. The problem? Lack of a male role models in these communities. No fathers at home. The Brookings Institute did a study and came up with 3 rules to keep you out of poverty. 1. Graduate high school 2. Get a full time job 3. wait until age 21 to get married and have children. By following those steps, only about 2?percent are in poverty and nearly 75?percent have joined the middle class. I hate the using slavery as an excuse for what’s going on with the Black community. Young kids are far removed from slavery. It is nothing but an excuse. We didn’t allow it. We told them, how do you become successful? Hard work. And we are proud of our results. By the way, I was a bit disturbed of your characterization of “White saviorism”. I find that rather insulting. This foundation was started by a black female Air Force pilot who was motivated by meeting some Tuscagee Airmen. She recruited me and others as a mentor. I wasn’t a white savior. I was a fairly educated air Force pilot that could help out in my community and make a difference. And we did, something I take a lot of pride in.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Doug — First of all, good for you. Your service to black youth is to be commended, and I largely agree that there is little to be gained by cultivating victim mentalities. That victim mentality—being butt-hurt in perpetuity—is a large part of why our current POTUS is so damned insufferable.

        I part company with you on the issue of the enduring effects of slavery. Keeping the family unit together didn’t count for much of anything next to the interests of slave owners. You want to think that slavery is just an excuse—that there are no long-lasting cultural artifacts that endure to this day. By force and necessity, slave women learned how to make do without the fathers of their children.

        It’s funny how you conservatives hold so fast to the idea that traditional American values are everything—how strongly you embrace the cultural inertia of keeping things as you imagine they have always been. “God, guns, and the electoral college! That’s my ‘Murica ever since the Founders—nuthin’ can change!”

        But when it comes to the unfortunate cultural inertia that African-Americans experience, you want to believe that it’s a phantasm—nothing more than an excuse. “C’mon! It’s been generations! Get over it!”

        It’s true—African-Americans do need to find a way to get over it. But it’s pretty awful to suggest that there’s nothing much to get over at this point in time.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Steve, in 1965 the out of wedlock birthrate for blacks was 25%. Nowdays it is over 70%. Yes…out of wedlock births gave increased in all races, but nothing as dramatic as in the black community. All the kids I worked with, I don’t think one of them had a father living at home.
          I will again bring up Nigerian Americans as an example. Slavery in Nigeria was outlawed in the 1930’s. But they are able to succeed in the US. Why? Because they have a strong family structure and focus on education. Can we put partial blame on the creation of the welfare state? That subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life. That’s part of it.

  29. Avatar Candace says:

    Bruce, I grew up here in Redding (to some here that’s an identity I should not be proud of. I’m neither proud nor not proud of that fact, it simply is what it is). My black Godparents, who also lived in Redding, watched me at their home on Victor Ave. while my mother worked after her divorce from my father. The “N” word was tantamount to saying the worse curse word you could think of in my childhood home, it was simply not allowed. There were a very small group of black kids at my high school (Enterprise) and they had a rep as being the “tough kids”. My Godparent’s house was in a small cluster of homes (one of two black neighborhoods that I know of back then) the other one being on Railroad Ave.) that were very small and very, very modest (understatement of the century). Sometimes we attended the small church on Railroad Ave. that was predominately attended by the black community. I always thought of myself as progressive and open minded, after all, that’s who my mother was. I look back now and think about that small group of black girls in high school that we were afraid of and I’m ashamed of myself. They were “tough” for a reason. I look back and realize the segregation and racism that made the two black neighborhoods of my childhood and I’m ashamed that that was allowed. It wasn’t until after I read a comment by Steve Towers regarding the Sunset Terrace neighborhood regarding the old policy of poc ( still on the HOA form ?) not being allowed to live there that it hit home that my Grandparents who built one of the first homes in that neighborhood, a home I visited on weekends, were more than likely racist. I didn’t know anything about “red lining” until much, much later in life. Granted, I was a kid and didn’t know better (other than high school) and I realize times and attitudes can evolve. That said, I don’t want to ignore my inherent biases because of where I grew up. I’d rather take a hard look at myself, recognize those biases and work towards changing my reactions for the better in regard to situations I find myself in that I was (unintentionally or not) conditioned to fear. If people like Doug Towers want to slap the label of “liberal white guilt” on me so be it. I’ll readily own that label if that guilt helps me to be a more thoughtful person. I wont use ignorance as an excuse, especially here in Redding, where racism is still very prevalent and the “N” word is not just said in the privacy of one’s home, it’s bantered about, out loud, in restaurants, on job-sites, in private clubs, (and by one of my neighbors) for public consumption with a newfound boldness and back-slapping camaraderie of shared racist ideals. I can choose to ignore it or call it out when I hear it. These days I choose to call it out. Does that make me more noble than the next person? Absolutely not. That’s just me trying to not be such a complacent hypocrite when it comes to racism. Thank goodness my kids moved to diverse neighborhoods in large cities where they experienced first hand that the homogeneity aspect of their hometown (albeit surrounded by beautiful lakes, a river, mountains, etc.) is not something beautiful nor worthy of emulation. Racism has not improved under Trump’s reign. If anything it’s become more emboldened. Born and/or raised here or not, gun-rights activist or not, that’s nothing to be proud of and while I have no
    doubt that there are many of us living here who are, it’s also nothing to ignore.

  30. Avatar Candace says:

    *WHOOPS. DOUG COOK. SORRY GUYS.

  31. Avatar Candace says:

    *Doug Cook *Steve Towers *not Doug Towers. Again, sorry guys. Ugh. The no edit button thing is not my friend.

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