In my mind, I see it is connected to the Brexit vote which also distressed me. I wonder if is it the forerunner of far-right victories across Europe.
Why did Trump prevail? Here is my take on it.
I think it’s got something to do with popular entertainment. Every year brings a new batch of block-buster action movies. The theme is always the same. There is a hero whom no one expects to succeed, who comes and prevails against all odds. What is more, the hero is then able to start fixing things up. Hilary never looked one bit like that kind of hero. Donald claimed this persona.
I think it’s got something to do with celebrity culture. Glamour and glitz dazzle us. We may not want to own up to it, but as can be seen in magazines and TV, the billionaire and their lifestyle fascinate us – attract us. The Kardashians are just an example. It is assumed by many that they are the ones who ‘have got it all together’.
During our flights over the last few days, I spent hours looking at small screens on the back of airline seats. The screens are bigger and brighter, the headphones more comfortable and the sound is better. I sampled a dozen or so recent releases, family themes and dramas (I avoid the horror and action genres). I also viewed many snippets of current television shows we do see in NZ. All of the films and the TV series are produced in the USA. I found the whole exercise to be most disturbing. The lifestyles, the language, the values and the quality of human relationships distressed me. What is happening in a society that produces these shows as ‘entertainment’?
I wonder; Am I just too old? Am I missing the point. Am I not with it?
I have long since given up looking at religious TV. However, in recent weeks prior to the election, I did sample some of the big names. I heard Donald Trump being proclaimed as ‘God’s man’, the new Cyrus (the Persian King who set the Jews free). The handsome, well-dressed men who claim to know so much about the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus don’t impress me a bit. It is clear that many Bible-believing, global-warming doubting Christians in the conservative churches voted for Trump believing he was God’s instrument in these troubled times.
Obviously, fear played a big part in this election, fear of terrorism, fear of migrants –legal and illegal. fear of America losing its’ place as the ‘greatest’ nation in the world.
I leave these topics to media commentators. Above I have set out some insights that have distilled in me and that I thought are worth sharing with you.
And what about our Church and Centre? Is what we are doing of any value to anyone above a privileged few? I think it is. Ours is an open door to all people, cultures and races. We offer them our friendship and such help as we can give and we are always grateful when they help us. We believe in music and the arts; we grab any excuse for having a party, and we love having fun. But our hope is that our fun and our parties will not degrade and the arts we produce and in which we participate will lift us as people.
“Love is the key to everything we do, Jesus is the source of it all’. This is our theme song and still moves me. I want to keep on singing this and sharing this as long as I live. I find it is a sweet and healing sound in a world where so many discordant and unsettling sounds are to be heard. In another way, it is like saying, ‘You (we) are the light of the world’.
Malang, Java, November 10, 2016