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Zirpoli: What did you say?

Many evangelicals are selling their souls in defense of President Donald Trump. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas Church, however, takes the cake. He told Fox & Friends Sunday that, “The Bible says even heaven itself is gonna have a wall around it. Not everyone is going to be allowed in.”

In all my years of Catholic education, I don’t remember the nuns teaching me about a wall around Heaven. But even as a child I would have wondered why God would need a wall to keep people out. Is Jeffress suggesting that, without a wall, people could escape from hell and sneak into heaven? I would think Jeffress’ all-powerful God would have a fix for that without building a wall around heaven.

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Regardless, haven’t evangelicals already lowered the “wall” to get into heaven by supporting a guy who has cheated on all three of his wives, paid hush money to two of his lovers, is on tape bragging about grabbing the genitals of women, and lies more often than a child explaining his missing homework? If Trump is the new standard for access to heaven, then the Pearly Gates are wide open.

Roger Stone and his supporters, including Sean Hannity of Fox News, didn’t like the way Stone was treated when arrested during an early morning raid on his two homes. Stone stated that he was treated harshly by the FBI during the recent morning raid on his home. Hannity and others agreed. Seriously? I guess Stone and Hannity don’t remember a July 2017 Trump speech in New York to law enforcement officers encouraging them not to be careful when placing people into their patrol cars.

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump continued, “you can take the hand away, OK?” Funny how these privileged white guys and friends of the president want to be treated so delicately, while he encourages law enforcement officers to be disrespectful to the rest of us.

Hannity suggested that Stone’s arrest was a “threat to our American democracy.” Interestingly, the shooting of unarmed black men in America by the police hasn’t concerned Hannity, but the arrest of Stone, charged with lying to Congress and obstruction of justice, is a threat to our democracy. Perhaps Hannity was confused and meant to say that Stone was a threat to our American democracy.

Watching our nation’s intelligence chiefs and directors provide their annual Worldwide Threat Assessment report to Congress last week made me think that they must be living in a parallel universe from their boss. “We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its weapons of mass destruction capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capability,” testified Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. But hasn’t Trump told us that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat anymore?

“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump said on Twitter in June 2018. “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Trump also told us that ISIS “has been destroyed” as his reasoning for pulling all America troops out of Syria. Recently, he updated that assessment, again on Twitter, to “ISIS will soon be destroyed” after Coats and other intelligence chiefs reported to Congress that “ISIS very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States.”

The Director of the FBI reported that Russia continued to use social media to attack the 2018 midterm elections, and was gearing up to influence our 2020 elections. On the other hand, just last week, the Trump administration lifted sanctions on three Russian firms controlled by Oleg Deripaska, known as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is interesting because, according to our intelligence agencies, Deripaska is associated with international organized crime and is not a friend of the United States. Everyone is wondering, then, why is Trump, once again, protecting Putin and his friends?

Do you know what was not included as a priority in the threat assessment report to Congress? That would be the southern border with Mexico, frequently cited as “emergency” by Trump to get his wall. The next day, Trump’s tweet response to the report included: “The intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naïve,” “They are wrong,” and “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Then again, maybe Trump should start reading his morning briefing reports instead of watching Fox & Friends.

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