March 13, 2017
President Donald Trump says his top priority is protecting America’s national security. The greatest threat facing America is not “bad” Muslims and Mexicans “pouring in” the country, as he claims, but Trump himself. Trump’s psychopathic moral impairment distorts his judgment and leads him to lie repeatedly, making him dangerously unfit for the presidency.
The violence Donald Trump does to reality was seen early on. For years, he led the birther movement, attempting to prove President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore an illegitimate president – even after seeing Obama’s birth certificate with his own eyes.
At a primary campaign rally, Donald Trump claimed that he watched on television as “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims in Jersey City, N. J. “were cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed” on 9/11. No evidence was found to support what Trump said he watched on television. (“Fact-checking Trump’s claim that thousands in New Jersey cheered when World Trade Center tumbled,” By Lauren Carroll, www.politifact.com, Nov, 22, 2015) The “thousands and thousands” of “cheering” Muslims reveal that Trump sees ominous things that do not exist.
President Trump’s distortions of reality are especially seen in his obsession with numbers. At his February 16 press conference, he claimed that his Electoral College win “was the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 win.” It actually was one of the lowest Electoral College victories since Reagan’s. In response, as reported, NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander “sought to correct Trump on those figures, and pressed him to explain how he could call reporting by outlets like The New York Times and CNN ‘fake news’ while using inaccurate figures himself.” Alexander asked, “’Why should Americans trust you?’” ‘I was given that information,’ Trump said, cutting Alexander off,” then adding, “’I don’t know. I was just given it.’” But he still held on to the lie with: “’ We had a very, very big margin.’” (“Reporter Fact-Checks Trump: ‘Why Should Americans Trust You?,” By Mollie Reilly, The Huffington Post, Feb. 16, 2017)
How does President Trump explain losing the popular vote? He repeatedly says that “millions” of undocumented immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton. When asked to provide proof, Trump’s reported response was: “You know what’s important? Millions of people agree with me when I say that.” (“Can Mr. Trump Handle the Truth?,” editorial, The New York Times, Jan 29, 2017) For Trump, truth does not consist of facts, but of people agreeing with him.
President Trump’s moral impairment leads him to create his own reality. It is like Donald in the made-up world of “Trumpland.”
Even in New Hampshire, he is quoted as claiming that he and former Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte both lost because “’thousands’ of Massachusetts residents were bused in from the Commonwealth to ‘illegally’ vote in the Granite State.” He provided no evidence. Nor did anyone else. Even an aide to Ayotte “said Ayotte does not believe fraud cost her the vote.” (“Trump revives fraud claims,” By Annie Linskey, Matt Viser, and James Pindell, The Boston Globe, Feb. 11, 2017)
For many people, seeing is believing. For President Trump, believing is seeing – an insight I learned from a former hospital patient years ago. In Trump’s eyes, the “inaugural crowd . . . looked, honestly, like a million and a half people . . . it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” But the photographs “showed that the crowd on the National Mall for Mr. Trump was about a third of the size of the crowd for Mr. Obama.” (“The Numbers Game of Donald Trump,” By Maggie Haberman, The New York Times, Jan. 22, 2017)
Photographs don’t lie. Or do they? “Crowd”-envy President Trump is reported to have “personally ordered” the National Park Service director “to produce additional photographs” of his Inaugural crowd, believing that those photographs might prove the “dishonest media” had lied in stating that the size of the crowd was “no better than average.” (“Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd,” By Karen Tumulty and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post, Jan. 26, 2017)
Even God showed up to anoint Donald Trump as President: by stopping the rain so that more people would attend and hear his Inaugural Address. As Trump reportedly said, “The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said, ‘We’re not going to let it rain on your speech.’” It started to rain as Trump began to speak. “I got hit by a couple of drops . . . But the truth is that it stopped immediately,” he said. “It was amazing. And then it became really sunny. And I walked off and then it poured right after I left.” What was reported: “The rain did not stop immediately leading former President George W. Bush to don a plastic poncho.” And “the sun remained behind the clouds following Mr. Trump’s speech.” (“Donald Trump: All the false claims 45th President has made since his inauguration,” By Jon Sharman, www.independent.co.uk, Jan. 23, 2017) Heaven and earth are full of Trump’s glorious delusions in “Trumpland.”
“Millions of illegal voters” prevented President Trump from winning the popular vote. “The biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” “The inaugural crowd looked, honestly, like a million and a half people.” “God looked down and said, ‘We’re not going to let it rain on your speech.’” These examples are illustrative of a psychopathically impaired president, who, in his first week in office, threatened America’s security with his distortions of reality.
In his Inaugural Address, President Trump promised to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” (“’This Moment Is Your Moment,’” Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address, The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2017) So far, Trump has “protected” us from children and women! And created countless more enemies.
“The civilized world?” Less than a week as Commander-in-Chief, President Trump ordered a military raid on Yemen. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed, three other commandos were wounded and an aircraft, valued at $75 million, was damaged and had to be destroyed. As reported, “The mission also killed several civilians, including some children.” One of those children was eight-year-old American, Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki, the daughter of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born alleged “Qaeda leader who was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.” Nevertheless, “Mr. Trump hailed his first counterterrorism operation a success, claiming commandos captured ‘important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.’” (“Raid in Yemen: Risky From the Start and Costly in the End,” By Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger, The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2017)
In fact, The White House is quoted as “defend[ing] the Special Operations raid in Yemen as well planned and executed, despite the death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens, the first military death on the new commander-in-chief’s watch.” (“Videos Seized in Yemen Appear to Be Nothing New,” By Helene Cooper, The New York Times, Feb. 4, 2017) Calling the raid a “success,” Trump administration officials are reported as “saying that criticisms like those from Senator John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee who called the mission a failure, dishonored Chief Owens’s memory.” (“Father of Commando Killed in Yemen Criticizes Mission,” By Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, Feb. 27, 2017)
President Trump piled on, “attack[ing] him [McCain] in a series of tweets, defiantly claiming that ‘Ryan died on a winning mission’ and that debating the success or failure of a military operation ‘only emboldens the enemy.’” (“Lingering Questions in the Yemen Raid,” Editorial, The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2017)
“Ryan died in a winning mission.” When Chief Petty Officer Owens’s body was flown back to the States, his father refused to meet with President Trump. He was reported as saying, “My conscience won’t let me talk to him.” Mr. Owens asked, “Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? . . . For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen . . . Now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?” Mr. Owens called for an investigation of the raid, and told the White House, “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation.” (“Father of Commando Killed in Yemen Criticizes Mission,“ Ibid)
Here is seen President Trump’s dangerous psychopathic personality. He did not hide behind Mr. Owen’s “son’s death to prevent an investigation.” He hid behind his son’s widow’s grief. Trump invited Carryn Owens to be a guest at his address to Congress, seated her next to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and then exploited her terrible pain, revealing just how morally impaired he is.
Pointing to Carryn Owens, President Trump said, “We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens.” Then he lied to cover his own amoral behavior as Commander-in-Chief: “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero – battling against terrorism and securing our nation.” (“Emotional moment of the night of the night: Trump recognizes widow of Navy Seal,” By Jessica Estepa, www.usatoday.com, Feb. 28, 2017) It is really not about honoring Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, but about justifying American aggression, no matter how counterproductive and immoral.
The Intercept reports that British-Irish independent journalist Iona Craig “traveled to the scene” of the Commando raid, the remote village of al Ghayil, in Yemen’s al Bayda province, “to interview eyewitnesses to the attack.” She reports that “witnesses described a night of horror, in which gunships fired down on anything that moved and razed homes where families slept, leaving at least 16 women and children dead. Craig’s report provides the most detailed account yet of the botched raid, demolishing the Pentagon’s version of the events and Trump’s claim that the mission was ‘highly successful.’” (“Editor’s Picks: Trail of Destruction,” By Andrea Jones, Associate Editor, The Intercept, March 5-11, 2017)
Faced with news reports of the failure of and deaths resulting from the Yemen raid, President Trump lied again to grieving Carryn Owens and the members of Congress. “I just spoke to General Mattis, who confirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.’” (Ibid)
In her article, “Death in Al Ghayil,” In the current issue of The Intercept, Iona Craig refutes President Trump’s claim that the Yemen “raid generated large amounts of vital intelligence.” She writes, “The only evidence released so far to back up Sean Spicer’s claim that ‘the goal of the raid was intelligence gathering, and that’s what we received’ was a video posted by the U.S. Central Command on February 3. CENTCOM ‘AQAP course to attack the West. But, “ she continues, “it was taken down after it was discovered that the footage was 10 years old – predating the existence of AQAP in Yemen – and was readily available online.” She adds, “The U.S. government has yet to produce any further proof of intelligence collected from the raid.” (‘DEATH IN AL GHAYIL,’ The Intercept, March 9, 2017)
Who needs proof? Especially when you have God on your side. Not only did President Trump “just” speak to General Mattis to justify the mission, he also turned to God and The Bible to make disappear the unnecessary death of Chief Petty Officer Owens and the criminal deaths of at least nine children and several mothers in the Yemen raid. “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” Trump said, and continued, “For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Trump added, “Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom – we will never forget him.” (Ibid)
Those in attendance did not forget Chief Petty Officer Owens – at least for two minutes, anyway. That is how long everyone stood, looking at Carryn Owens, and clapping in a prolonged ovation. Mrs. Owens herself stood all that time, emotionally overcome with grief and gratitude, occasionally looking heavenward and clasping her hands, possibly imagining her husband looking down. She repeatedly waved her hands above her head and then resumed clapping, wiping away tears, struggling to maintain her composure.
At this point, President Trump’s own narcissism trivialized the reality of this grief-stricken wife and mother of four children. Looking at her, Trump said, “’Ryan is looking down right now – you know that — and I think he is very happy, because I think he just broke a record’ for a standing ovation.” (“Trump to Congress: ‘The time of trivial fights is behind us,’” By Gregory Korte and David Jackson, ,www.usatoday.com, Feb. 28, 2017)
“Ryan is very happy?” He is dead! He is no longer present to embrace — and be embraced by — his wife! No longer near to hug — and be hugged by — his three young daughters and son! No longer around to look into his father’s eyes and see the love and integrity that affirmed him in good times and bad. No longer alive to pursue and fulfill whatever dreams he and his family shared. Still being alive is what would have made Navy SEAL Owens “very happy.” Standing ovations are what make a narcissistic-driven President Trump “very happy.”
Navy SEAL Owens’s “legacy is etched into eternity,” because, “as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” President Trump is prostituting a deeply moral Biblical passage to justify the horrific killing of a reported “25 civilians . . . including nine children under the age of 13 . . . the smallest . . . three months old . . . Eight women . . . including one who was heavily pregnant”. And “seven women and children were injured.” (‘NINE YOUNG CHILDREN KILLED; THE FULL DETAILS OF BOTCHED US RAID IN YEMEN,’ By Namir Shabibi, Nasser al Sane, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Feb. 9, 2017)
“’Ryan died on a winning mission and that debating the success or failure of a military operation ‘only emboldens the enemy!’” As reported: “After initially denying that there had been any civilian causalities, Pentagon officials quickly backtracked after reports from the Yemeni authorities began trickling in and grisly photographs of children purportedly killed in the attack appeared on social media sites affiliated with Al Qaeda’s affiliate there.” (Father of Commando Killed in Yemen Criticizes Mission,” Ibid)
As cited earlier, one of the children killed was eight-year-old Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born daughter of American Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who was denied due process, put on President Obama’s “Kill List and assassinated in a 2011 U.S. drone attack. And Imam al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman and several of his teenage friends were assassinated by a CIA-operated drone two weeks after his father. U.S. officials allege that the teenager was with their intended target, an al-Qaeda leader. But Abdulrahman’s grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki reported that his grandson was with several teenage friends at a barbeque, and all were killed. The grandfather said of his grandson, “His Facebook page shows a typical kid. A teenager who paid a hefty price for something he never did and never was.” (“Statement of Awlaki family on the killing of 16 yr old son of Shaykh Anwar by the US,” shuratulmujahideen.blogspot.com, Oct. 21, 2011) I’d say this graf shows that Obama is no better than Trump when it comes to killing ‘terrorists’!
“’Ryan died on a winning mission and that debating the success or failure of a military operation ‘only emboldens the enemy.’” What “emboldens the enemy” is killing the enemy’s loved ones! As reported, “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released a statement via online jihadi media referring to the raid as a ‘massacre,’ said U. S. troops had fired on women and children ‘in cold blood,’ and accused the SEALs of having ‘no human values.’” (“SEAL, American Girl Die in First Trump-Era U.S. Military Raid,” by Robert Windrem, William M. Arkin, Courtney Kube and Charlene Gubash, www.nbcnews.com, Jan. 31, 2017)
Here is seen another example of President Trump’s psychopathic personality. His inhuman moral impairment was on display during the presidential campaign when he said, “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families . . . They care about their families, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” (“Donald Trump on terrorists: ‘Take out their families,’” By Tom LoBianco, www.cnn.com, Dec. 3, 2015) This is deranged, demonizing reasoning! What so-called “terrorists” say they do not care for their families? How does Trump think anti-American terrorist groups came into being? Because the U.S. military invaded and plundered their countries and killed their loved ones. That is how ISIS was birthed in Iraq.
“With the terrorists, you have to take out their families.” Independent journalist Iona Craig provides another reality check here. She writes, “The villagers of al Ghayil are not calling for the usual tribal standard of compensation for the families of victims . . . all expressed the same sentiment less than two weeks after the raid: This time, they want revenge, not a payout. . . . The clearest outcome appears to be lengthening the list of America’s adversaries beyond al-Qaeda.” Craig then quotes a tribesman, who said, “If they come back . . . tell them to bring their caskets. From now on we are ready for any fight with the Americans and the dog, Trump.” (“DEATH IN AL GHAYIL,’ Ibid)
President Trump promised to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” In fact, with the killing of children and women and other civilians in Yemen, Trump has created countless more enemies. And his attempts to ban Muslims from entering the country is merely serving to unite more and more people in the Muslim world against America. An example is Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is quoted as “caustically thank[ing] the new American leader on Tuesday for revealing ‘the true face’ of the United States.” (“Ayatollah Calls Trump ‘True Face’ of the U.S.,” By Thomas Erdbrink, The New York Times, Feb. 8, 2017)
What should really shock people of faith is President Trump’s exploiting of Biblical truths to legitimize his psychopathic moral impairment. He used The Bible to justify his “stupid mission” that resulted in the death of Navy Seal Ryan Owens. “For the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” he told the grief-stricken widow and everyone else in his address to Congress.
President Trump was referring to Jesus’ revered teaching, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15: 13) Jesus was not talking about sacrificing one’s life for one’s comrades in invading another country and killing designated enemies, who turn out to be mostly children and women. Jesus taught that becoming children of God required his followers to love their enemies, and not only their neighbors, “For,” he said, “your Father in heaven . . . makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 43-48)
What should also horrify people of faith is President Trump immediately carrying out one of his psychopathic campaign pledges: “With the terrorists you have to take out their families.” His evil words and deeds violate Jesus’s teaching, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18: 16)
President Trump repeatedly talks about the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism.” He himself is the embodiment of radicalizing American terrorism.
President Trump prostitutes The Bible to serve his psychopathic purposes. Yet, ironically, The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops plans to present him with a Bible autographed by all of the bishops – a reported “tradition,” that began with President George Washington in 1789, “of giving a Bible signed by the bishops to each subsequent U.S. president.” http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/council-president-offers-post-election-congratulations-and-prayers
President Trump would relish receiving an autographed copy of The Bible from the Bishops of The United Methodist Church. On the campaign trail, he made a big deal out of comparing his book, The Art of the Deal to The Bible, saying “The Art of the Deal is second to the Bible. . . . There’s nothing like it, the Bible.” (“Donald Trump compared his book to the Bible at Liberty University,” By Holly Epstein Ojalvo, gokicker.com, Jan. 18, 2016)
When I was a little boy, our grade school teacher taught us children the importance of telling the truth: by using as an example our first president, George Washington, who, as a boy, as the mythical story goes, told his father, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.” Ironically, today we have a president who cannot tell the truth! He distorts reality and repeatedly lies, demonstrating that whatever he says cannot be trusted – which is infuriating and alarming. He claims that his primary responsibility as president is to protect America. Yet he himself is the greatest threat to our nation’s security.People of faith should not only gather regularly in front of The White House and confront President Trump’s dangerous policies with reality and moral truth. They should also call for his impeachment – loudly and repeatedly!