Which World Is Yours?

November 16th, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 50 comments

This week, at the intermission of a performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, MD, according to people in the audience, a man interrupted the show by standing up and yelling ‘Heil, Hitler,’ “Heil Trump’. Understandably, the audience was shaken and at least one woman said she expected bullets to start flying. That didn’t happen and the man was escorted out but not arrested.

I added the words, “according to people in the audience,” for one reason only. When I read the reports, more than one person saw the Nazi salute and heard Heil Hitler, but one man was the source of the Heil Trump citation. While I’m not attacking that man’s veracity, the political climate is simply too venomous not tack on concepts like ‘allegedly’ on almost everything one reads or hears. The video from someone’s phone that I saw suggests that most people were unaware or unfazed by what was going on. It certainly isn’t a good thing, but is it an omen? 

Leaving the words ‘Heil Trump’ aside, because they are irrelevant for my thoughts in this Musing, I am seeing a trend in the media of focusing on incidents that promote a theory that there is a major resurgence in white-supremacy activity. Is something really going on or is this like the summer of the shark attacks, where there was no increase in the number of people attacked but a large increase in the coverage given to those attacks?

I would like to know the truth, but there is barely a pretense that this is about anything other than labeling President Trump, and by association anyone who supports him, as racist and anti-Semitic. Quite frankly, I treat anything I hear on TV or read in most popular publications the way I imagine that Russians treated Pravda. If I sift through the propaganda and lies I might get an inkling of what’s going on, but I am being given thought-direction rather than unbiased information.

What I am being told is so different from the world in which I live. My world is a world of lots of those who would be (by those knowing nothing of their individual stories) labeled as privileged white men. I see their friends, co-workers and fellow church-goers and pastors whose skins are black, brown and yellow and about half of whom are female. It is a world where every Christian high school student I know reads The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, who is presented to these students as a role model.  Corrie ten Boom’s father and sister lost their lives to the Nazis while she, herself, was incarcerated in a concentration camp. Her Christian faith motivated her and her relatives to voluntarily put themselves in danger to save Jews under Nazi domination.

In my world, there is a movement known as the “Walk-away movement” filled with accounts of former Democrats who became sickened by the increasing hate within the Democrat Party. Their liberal leanings made them rebel against the assault on free speech, attack on the presumption of innocence and other ideas that used to be venerated within that party. Some recoiled at the growing racism and anti-Semitism of this political group that they used to respect. They question why we are once again counting how many drops of blood people have inherited from diverse ancestors. Many tell tales of being ostracized by former friends for having an opinion that goes against their previous conformity.  If you haven’t heard of this campaign, or the peaceful march they recently held in Washington, D.C., it is because it is, for political rather than factual reasons, deemed not to be newsworthy, much like the Gosnell movie I wrote about a few weeks ago. While on many issues my value system and many of these individual’s value system differ, we share in common a desire to treat others with respect and humanity as well as an appreciation of America. 

The many Christians I know, the diverse membership of the Walk-away Movement, and the courtesy and kindness I see in the supermarket and on airplanes show me a very different America from the one being highlighted in our universities and in the media. All these things are cause for optimism. What I don’t know is how to share my world with those who truly mean well, are kind and loving people, but who exist in their own bubble, thinking that they are informed while they are actually being deliberately misled.

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50 comments

Lynn says:

Thought direction! That is exactly what the media is doing! Good term! Another great Muse.
I’m fearful for my country. So many are being deceived and have no idea that they are. In our world today you must find many different media sources and then weigh them out. Sift them to find truth. I have been politically active most of my life, because I believed living with liberty is important for the future. I’m discourage as never before. So I tune out to much now. I’ll focus on what is important and not the noise from media sources who refuse to do their job but instead choose to propagandize. God is in control. We must always believe that. He has a purpose.
Blessings Susan. Happy Thanksgiving to your family.

Susan Lapin says:

Lynn, I hope after you take a break you come back to the fight with energy. Whether it is writing a letter to the editor or speaking up in a coffee shop or contributing to a campaign, we really do need action. I empathize with and often feel the discouragement too – but we have to move past it.

Lynn, I live in Netanya, Israel an oasis in the middle of Arabs some of whom are indoctrinated with hate. Yet, there are others who still advocate peace. There is always Tikvah within us.

Susan Hire says:

I totally agree. Everything is politicized now, food, entertainment, even the FBI. Washington, D.C. in general hates Trump as well as the mainstream media. Yet when I go to the store or talk to my neighbors with different political views, we all seem to respect each other.

Susan Lapin says:

I know what you mean, Susan. We need to interact with all types of people -not different genders, colors, etc., rather people who think differently but share a common respect.

Michael Overstreet says:

Susan I share your perspective that the mainstream is proactively promoting a “narrative” (code word for truth). I believe you might find “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer a profound reading. This profound example is an excellent teaser.

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and fortune, frees him of jealousness and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass. Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.

Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”

Susan Lapin says:

Fantastic quote, Michael. Thank you.

Steve Lancaster says:

Eric Hoffer is seldom read on campus today. I grew up in CA when they still had an education system, today it is an indoctrination system and has spread nation wide. There were communists in the professorships but students argued with them. My first year at Berkley Hoffer’s classes were SRO. A man like Hoffer would never be allowed on campus today, as a speaker or professor.

Originally of thought has been replaced with conformity and restriction of action. If you want to understand the current problems I suggest Hoffer’s book, The Ordeal of Change. One of the most insightful quotes, “Those who proclaim the brotherhood of man, fight every war as a civil war”

susan says:

thank you for your thoughts, they are so refreshing after all the hate I see on tv, I don’t see that hate around me, in my neighborhood, or at the store, it scares me to think that people have become so used to the news, on tv, or social media that they no longer think for themselves and forget to see for themselves. I appreciate your thoughts thank you

Susan Lapin says:

Susan, I was on an airplane a few days ago and once again saw people helping each other and being courteous. That is how most of us live. It isn’t the agenda being pushed on us.

Al Hoffman says:

A proverb:Do not respond to a fool as his did in folly.
Iff we do, we sort of make those who do so look coirrect.

Brian McCord says:

Susan thank you for writing this I don’t think I have seen this expressed so distinctly and precisely as you have expressed it, it saddens me when I look at out world today to only see the voices of the extremist on either side represented in the media today I can only pray the somehow saner voices will somehow be able to express themselves to a larger audience where real dialog can take place and practical solutions can be at least be discussed.

Susan Lapin says:

Brian, a few weeks ago, friends of ours invited us to a meal along with acquaintances of theirs who are on the opposite political spectrum from us. We shared a lovely meal discussing ‘safe topics.’ Down the road, if politics do come up, it will be slightly harder to cast all conservatives as hate-filled. We can only do this one person at a time to those who are willing to meet us.

Matt says:

What we are seeing is the rise of the religion of equality. Actually, it’s a cult. If you are not a fully believing member of this cult then eventually you will find yourself in trouble unless you keep your mouth shut.

Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future?

The universities are fully compromised. Most journalists are compromised. Most of the media is compromised. Most influencers in the US are compromised by the religion of equality and all its associated baggage. I just can’t find a reason to be optimistic.

Susan Lapin says:

Matt, please go read some of the stories in the #Walkaway campaign. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFFICIALWalkAwayCampaign/?fref=nf. You need to actively seek out the optimistic signs, but there are some.

cretee nemmer says:

I totally agree! For the last few years I also have tuned out. I tell myself there’s really nothing that worrying about it adds to my life. Some days I get up and think “Thank God that I am getting old and won’t be around to see how far we are falling as a society. ” I live in despair for what my grandchild will face in this country. I’m not much of a Trump lover as a person but I don’t think he is doing all that badly either. I certainly have never seen racist or anti-Semitic behavior. After all his daughter and son in law are practicing Jews. I’ve seen footage of him at the Wailing Wall. I wish he would stop tweeting but I also kind of like that he doesn’t roll over for the media. I spend a lot of time in prayer for America and for Israel. Only God Himself can change what is going on.

Susan Lapin says:

Cretee, I understand what you’re saying, but we need to fight for the world our grandchildren will inherit. I think that Establishment media only trumpets anything Donald Trump does that can be misunderstood and they do exactly the opposite for Democrats. And so, the masses are fooled.

David J says:

Thank you, Susan, for that comment. Sometimes I feel so tired of the nonsense going on in the US (e.g. ENDLESS accusations of bigotry by the Left against the center-right, being called a bigot for not wanting to allow people with testes into female restrooms and showers, releasing $150B to state sponsors of terror and allowing that state sponsor of terror to have nuclear weapons worry free in a few years and when a US president wants to put a stop to that he is torn to pieces, etc.), that I just want to retreat to a 3rd world country and hide for a couple of decades and see what is left of the US then. But as you point out, I must continue the fight for my grandchildren (which I don’t have quite yet, but hopefully will one day). It is my duty as a parent, not just as a citizen, to continue the fight for what is good and moral. Thank you for bringing me to my senses.

L Maslonka says:

I use a cane for bad knees and have grey hair. Everywhere I go lovey people of all ages stop and patiently hold doors open.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you for sharing that. That is what I see around me as well.

Judith Harris says:

Thank you for sharing this. I struggle to watch the news on TV because I sense ridicule by those giving report. But I do read another’s short blog, or musings, that promotes that there is still a lot of good in our society. He travels the back roads and visits small southern towns. Shaun Dietrich’s writing is almost like simple poetry but it is actually how he speaks. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Susan Lapin says:

I will go look for this, Judith. Thank you.

Thomas Hammett says:

Susan,
Look for Sean of the South.

Susan Lapin says:

I found him and his writing is lovely. Thanks.

Rita says:

Thank you for those great comments and from the other responses as well
Its good to know there sre still people who are not fooled by the media trying to” direct our thoughts”
It scary that this country and our freedom of speech is “ under attack” by our own people How sad it would to lose that freedom
Why cant people see whats happening?
Thank you for having a place where we can still voice an opinion
God bless your ministry

Susan Lapin says:

Rita, freedom of speech and religion are both under attack and we need to forcefully and persuasively let people know that.

Peter B. says:

Hi Susan,

I am currently reading Dinesh D’Souza’s 2017 book titled The Big Lie. I highly recommend it. It pairs fantastically with both Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom (1944) as well as Jonah Goldberg’s book titled Liberal Fascism (2007?).

The Big Lie builds upon the (somewhat pedantic but groundbreaking) brilliance of Hayek as well a the historical perspective of Goldberg to perfectly expose the con-job that the Left has purposefully executed over the past 73 years vis-a-vis Hitler being so-called “right wing”. Hitler was clearly a man of the Left (as was his hero Benito Mussolini).

I love reading your comments section as much as I enjoy your Musings. What a terrific community of folks! I will be ordering The Ordeal of Change by “the longshoreman philosopher” (Eric Hoffer) after being persuaded to do so by a fellow commenter (above). My best to you and Rabbi Lapin.

Susan Lapin says:

I agree, Peter. I learn a great deal from our comment section. Including getting book suggestions.

Steve Lancaster says:

Don’t miss the True Believer, it is a manual of insight into the mind of the “committed” and picks up where Thoreau left off.

Alice says:

I live in a small town. A few years ago “IN GOD WE TRUST” in large letters was placed on the outside of our court house.
I have a proud moment every time I pass our court house.

Susan Lapin says:

How wonderful to hear that, Alice. I would be proud of that too.

Alice says:

Thank you Rabbi and Susan. I am learning so much from you.

Susan Lapin says:

We’re glad you found us, Alice.

James says:

‘Heil Trump?!?’ In fact I myself witness such postings on a certain commercial server all the time. What deluded moron could be cajoled into making parallels between our President and Hitler? The answer is: an ideologue who has been taught neither history, the monstrousness of what Hitler did, nor critical thinking to compare two leaders objectively. The mass media are pushing a narrative endorsing and promoting the mindless goals of a leftist Democratic Party. And some of the sweetest, kindest people are being persuaded into mistrust by the mainstream media, including CNN. My wife attended a luncheon with several foreign friends, and most of the ladies there voiced fear and insecurity inspired by the ‘Presidential menace’ the media portray. Further inquiry revealed that these poor ladies received most of their news from: CNN! Recently press ‘reporter’ Acosta revealed in dramatic manner the Party Line of his CNN employer, and his calculated rudeness, insolence and intransigence resulted in his banishment from the White House press room. And now a federal judge is declaring that our President has no right to evict a petulant child from his newsroom. We have long seen legislation from the bench. But revoking executive privilege from the judicial bench?? Will the madness ever stop?

Yet all the while, oblivious to the super-storm of vitriol in the airwaves and cyberspace, the kindest people of all races, religions, races and colors are connecting, getting along and helping each other along the road of life. One day the angry, dark cloud of telecommunication pandemonium must implode.

Susan Lapin says:

Truth will prevail, James. Hopefully, the United States will survive long enough to witness that.

DAVID WAYNICK says:

Thank you for this well-reasoned “thought”. From my early “Christian’ training I was always taught how special the Hebrew, Abraham was and the children of Israel were, in fact, God’s chosen people. I never witnessed any anti-Semitism personally (although I’m sure it exists) I try to learn from Jewish history, philosophy and even from Rabbis in an attempt to better serve God. Thank you again for your service in the Kingdom of God!

Susan Lapin says:

David, one of the problems with all “ism” words is that are hard to define and mean different things to different people. If you read my Musing, Tragedy in Pittsburgh https://rabbidaniellapin.com/tragedy-in-pittsburgh/ I speak about both the reality of anti-Semitism and the misreading of it.

Gordy Beil says:

I would have said mind control, but I think that thought direction is more accurate. Few people seem to actually have presence of mind. Informed, critical thinking appears to be in short supply. Perhaps, like the truth, it is so valuable that folks are trying to conserve it ?! I, too, wonder how one can enlighten those who will not see.

Take care, Gordy.

Susan Lapin says:

Gordy, as a homeschooler I saw one of my main goals as teaching critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, universities teach the opposite.

Mark says:

Thank you, Susan for the first sentence that had in it, (Fiddler on the Roof).That happens to be one of my favorite films, for two reasons. One because we have two daughters and I always get a good eye wash every time I watch it, and two because the father is constantly speaking to God. I should be doing that more often.
There was a Rev. John Wise (1652-1725) whose writings were well known by our founding fathers. Rev. Wise’s writings were instrumental in our Declaration Of Independence.
Although the Progressive movement didn’t start in America it was certainly embraced by President Woodrow Wilson. He wanted the Declaration to be treated as just an historic document. Here are six things he wanted us to forget about:
1. There is a Creator.
2. We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.
3. The purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights.
4. There is a fixed moral law, the laws of nature and natures God.
5. The consent of the governed comes after the first four.
6. The inalienable right to throw off the government.
I’ve been told that before the early twentieth century the first schools only went to the eight grade and only for three months a year. The children were tested on their knowledge of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Washington’s farewell address and their state’s constitution. They also had to take a test, that I don’t believe most of our college grads could pass. Sorry for the ramblings. God loves you and I hope will bless you.

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, I am not familiar with Rev. John Wise and will now know to look him up. Thank you for the suggestion.

Lisa says:

Reading your article made me think of earthquakes and how even a slight tremor can damage or destroyed any foundation. It seems one’s world is always being sorely tested by the earthquakes of incidents related through media regardless of the veracity. If one’s world is not based and built on a good strong foundation, then one would be tossing and stumbling at every tremor the media put forth.

Susan Lapin says:

Lisa, in what seem to be a non-political areas (but actually do relate to politics at the end of the day) the constant fear-raising concerns about foods and everything else that can kill you and the headlines about all the threats around us do lead to a constant state of uncertainty just as when one insecurely awaits the aftershocks from an earthquake.

Now what used to be loyal opposition the two camps are for all practical purposes bitter enemies. There is no hope for reconciliation or of finding common ground any time soon. Progressives have thus said so. Conservatives, especially constitutional conservatives, have not invited this state of affairs but have witnessed nearly everything they hold dear in life bastardized and impugned so naturally are furious, offended and calling what they see what it is, “evil”. All God asks His people to do is courageously be the salt and light. Though extremely exhausting psychological warfare is now a daily fact of life. Let us not be the first to blink. God bless, Susan.

Susan Lapin says:

Kristin, I agree that the two camps are wide apart but I still think that there are many individuals who can come together.

Jerry McKinney says:

Susan, yesterday I had the pleasure of watching your husband on Glenn Beck’s show. Today (Nov. 16), Glenn had on a guest who, perhaps, offers you a means of sharing your world with kind and loving people, who do truly mean well but have different value systems than we do. Their political views may not be changed, but maybe what divides us really can be smoothed over a little bit by talking and treating one another with respect, and sharing a common appreciation of America.

Dave Isay (founder and a producer of StoryCorps on PBS) contacted Glenn to invite his listeners to specifically talk with people who (like Dave and Glenn) probably disagree, politically. The secret is to not talk politics, but to “share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world” (StoryCorps.org mission statement). While Isay’s ultimate “ends” may be to stockpile future shows, I found his “means” worthwhile and sincere. I believe he sees the deep wounds we suffer from and knows they are festering. I won’t attempt to relay information much better seen, firsthand. The segment is in the third hour of the show. I believe you will find it interesting, Susan, and hopefully lead to a new pathway for you to “share your world” with others. — Love your ‘Musings,’ Susan, and appreciate and admire the good Rabbi, so much. I would love to see him and Glenn do more Biblical teaching/lesson shows.

Susan Lapin says:

How interesting, Jerry. I was not watching the show and didn’t catch my husband or the other segments. Thanks for pointing this out.

Rev. Sophia Snyder says:

I feel that when people do whatever their emotions say and they out of the abundance of their hearts speak without regard to other’ ears or souls or even minds they are displaying the hold satan has over them rather than just giving their angry opinion and freedom of speech. It is taking away from others freedom to usurp your opinion in a public place to express one’s unresolved issues and to impose one’s world view. This man not only sinned against the audience and performance but against God who sets one up and puts one down. I remit his sin, I forgive him and bless him and turn him over to God’s choice of discipline, and action. I will not allow others anger to become mine. By not allowing ourselves to be caught up in all this angry cultural events we remain free for God to use and not the devils/satan.

Susan Lapin says:

Rev. Sophia, you sound very lovely, but I do wish he could have been fined or punished by society in some way. I think we were not wise when we stopped allowing there to be standards for public behavior.

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