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A great divide

Generational differences over the Trump presidency show, at their root, a changing view of America

A great divide

Trump supporters at a rally in Newtown, Pa. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

At noon on a drizzly, mist-filled Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump placed his left hand on Abraham Lincoln’s and his family’s Bibles and vowed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Hours later that same day, 13 women of three generations sat shoulder-to-shoulder at a private inauguration party in Mission Viejo, Calif., to watch Trump’s inauguration speech. They chuckled when the camera zoomed on the Obamas and Clintons as Trump trashed D.C. politicians as “all talk and no action,” then snickered at Trump’s signature finger-swiping gesticulations. But other than those few light moments, all 13 women held grim expressions as Trump promised to restore America to greatness.

When the speech ended, the women glanced at each other, stewing in their own thoughts and emotions. One 44-year-old mother of three, who watched the inauguration with stretched eyebrows and pursed lips, said she felt “disappointment” at Trump’s speech. A 27-year-old Mexican-American said she was “skeptical”—Trump promised a lot of things to certain groups, but does he actually care about minority Americans like her? A 28-year-old homeschool teacher said she got “angry.” When Trump referenced the Bible to support patriotism, her facial muscles hardened: “I think it’s a misnomer to assume that patriotism is somehow Christian.”

A 43-year-old housewife from a staunchly Republican family in Alabama said she felt “hopeful,” then giggled almost apologetically. A 60-year-old piano teacher said she felt “at peace” and “relaxed.” She too giggled half-guiltily when she said she had voted for Trump—after all, they live in California, one of the bluest states in the nation.

David Herrmann

Women gather in Mission Viejo, Calif., to watch the inauguration. (David Herrmann)

Across the continent in rural New Berlin, Pa., three women—a baby boomer, a Generation Xer, and a millennial—also gathered to watch Trump’s speech. Their community is an entirely different world than upper-middle-class Orange County suburbia. Here in this borough of 900 people, residents proudly planted duct-tape-patched pro-Trump signs on their lawns. One farmer even mowed 12-foot-wide letters “TRUMP” into his 250-acre hayfield. During the speech, 58-year-old Kathy Wohlschlegel cried from joy, while 46-year-old Terri Manning cheered Trump on: “He is about to undo everything. Just about everything.” Meanwhile, 31-year-old Natalie Fox kept silent. She was the only woman in the group who didn’t vote for Trump.

None of the five millennials in sunny California or agrarian Pennsylvania voted for Trump, while all the older women did. Two millennials voted for Gary Johnson, two for Evan McMullin, and another for Hillary Clinton. Those who voted third-party knew their candidate had zero chance of winning—they were simply protesting the two dismal options they never wanted. Meanwhile, those who voted for Trump said they were voting against Clinton, who to them was basically Lucifer in a thousand-dollar pantsuit.

One man, one speech, 16 reactions from 16 women. These women were all evangelicals active in church and ministry, who upheld Biblical values such as the sanctity of life and marriage. They observed the same presidential campaign, prayed to the same God, watched the same speech—and they all arrived at divergent conclusions. With conservative Christian women so divided, how much wider is the ideological schism between 231 million voter-eligible Americans spread across race, sex, religion, social class, and geography?

Anthony Behar/AP

People march in protest of Trump toward Trump Tower in New York. (Anthony Behar/AP)

The 2016 presidential election felt to many like a nuclear explosion, with mushroom-cloud street protests and social media tirades—but watch out too, for the lingering, invisible radiation that poisons its way into family dinners, coffee dates, and even church community groups. When did politics get so intensely personal? How did hate and disgust against political opponents become the norm? How did political hostility get to the point where husbands and wives hide votes from one another, and brothers and sisters in Christ stop speaking to each other?

Most of the 16 women named Abraham Lincoln as their favorite U.S. president, and the discussion among the 13 California women intensified with a question by 52-year-old Wendy Garcia: “Isn’t it shocking how we as a nation have not grown since Lincoln?” She then added, “Do we really need a leader to unite us?” To which 28-year-old Stephanie Bowman immediately retorted, “Have you seen the number of idiots on social media?” Garcia shrugged: “Then how can we unite these people? How? I don’t know. … Maybe we need Christians to step up?”

"How can we unite these people? How? I don’t know. … Maybe we need Christians to step up?”

The over-40s who voted for Trump had a variety of reasons. Natasha Westerfeld, 44, hopes for a Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade: “I voted for Trump at the very last second through tears.” Mandy Hogan, a 47-year-old, curly-haired, stay-at-home mother of three, said as a former CPA, she understood Trump as a no-nonsense, cut-out-the-waste businessman who will “get work done.” She wonders why social issues trump tangible concerns about national security and the economy: “I have three kids under 13. I’m so scared to think of what their world is going to be like.”

Robbin Blank, a 62-year-old retiree with a stylish bob and Tiffany & Co. eyeglasses, said she was at first aghast at Trump’s nomination, then accepted him as the lesser of two evils: “Who’s going to uphold the Constitution, who’s pro-life, who’s going to let God back into the vocabulary?” Later, she became his “biggest advocate”: “Wow, I think Trump’s going to turn this train around! I believe what this guy is saying!” On Election Day she dropped to her knees, raised her arms, and prayed for Trump’s victory.

The younger women said they refused to vote for Trump because of his questionable character and offensive comments. Erika Ruiz, 27, said she didn’t vote for Trump because of his “ignorant,” “offensive,” and “unprofessional” comments about race and sex. A daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, she didn’t feel Trump represented her at all: “He’s not willing to understand or see our side. I felt like he didn’t stand for us little people.” She voted for Clinton because she’s “basically everything that Trump is not.”

When one baby boomer said it didn’t matter to her whether the sexual assault claims against Trump were true or not because “that’s not who he is now,” Stephanie Bowman began fidgeting, then raised her hand and said in a loud, agitated voice: “Can we all agree that molesting someone is a federal crime? That’s all I have to say.”

Evan Vucci/AP

Trump supporters cheer during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Evan Vucci/AP)

To many millennials, it was a rhetorical question that stirred visceral revulsion against Trump, but boomers responded with skepticism. One baby boomer asked, “Was he ever charged for it?” “I wouldn’t let him in a room with my sister,” Bowman answered. Another boomer wondered: “How can 13 women come out at the same time? I thought that was a hoax.” Bowman stood her ground: “We all know or are women who were once assaulted. To me, that’s an immediate disqualification.”

The women in Pennsylvania clashed over the same topic. Natalie Fox, a millennial, said Trump showed no repentance regarding the scandals: “It was, ‘Well, that’s just how it is. Locker room talk.’ … For somebody who’s going to be leading a country as an example and a role model—” Generation Xer Terri Manning interrupted, “Yeah, but he didn’t know that then!” Fox—typically a conflict-averse woman—began raising her voice: “There’s enough of a problem in our culture of people not really respecting women.” That’s why she couldn’t vote for Trump with a clear conscience, she said.

Manning encouraged Fox to embrace that idealism while it lasts: “I really appreciate that about young people. I remember being idealistic.” Yet many millennials see their elders as the idealistic ones for stirring hope that Trump will bring change. Theirs is a nostalgic idealism for a past America that millennials never knew, when jobs weren’t giving way to automation and eager offshore employees in India, when Christian bakers didn’t worry about losing their business to LGBT discrimination lawsuits, when parents didn’t fret about terrorists exploding their children’s school while screaming “Allahu akbar!”

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Guests at Capitol Lounge in Washington, D.C., watch the last presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Here, perhaps, lies the greatest generational divide: Each grew up in a different America as culture, technology, and methods of communication change ever more rapidly. As the country, the world, the culture, shifts and shakes, millennials read and interpret history far differently than their elders do (see sidebar).

Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan highlights that division. For 64-year-old Maggy Wong who immigrated to America with her Dutch-Indonesian family in the ’60s, it’s redundant: “Wait, we’re already great!” She lived through the civil rights era and witnessed advances on racial and gender equality—so what does being “great again” mean? “I pray that we don’t go back to the ’60s.” Carrie O’Malley, a 44-year-old senior policy adviser, interprets the phrase in light of America’s special role in the world. For her, strengthening borders, fighting terrorism, and bringing back jobs would benefit America, and thus the world: “How can we help others if we’re not strong?”

But Stephanie Bowman reflected a common millennial view: “I don’t trust my government to do good in the world.” She wondered if America ever was great: “I don’t know if America being great is God’s ultimate will—is that a dangerous thing to say? I don’t know that’s a good thing, given the values that we tend to uphold on a federal level.”

Baby boomers grew up amid breakthroughs in the economy and in race relations, but millennials have not personally witnessed that progress. They watch movies about evil capitalists and the global financial crisis, cringe at crude cell phone videos of police shootings, hear “Black Lives Matter” cries, and draw a very different image of America. Some were once hopeful about Barack Obama’s promise of hope and change, but eight polarizing years later, those dreams crumbled. Now they hear from cultural leaders and social media that a nightmare is impending in the form of a Twitter-bullying, woman-groping, orange-hued billionaire.

As the discussion drew to a close, snowy-haired Maureen Messenger urged this: “As Christians, as citizens of this nation, we should be praying. And we should let our neighbors, co-workers, and children see us pray.”

with additional reporting from Chelsea Boes in New Berlin, Pa.


Times differences

The baby boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) were born to parents raised during the Depression. Divorce was rare, so most children grew up with a mom and a dad. More moms stayed home, and families had fewer conveniences than they do today: black-and-white TV, no AC, one car, bigger families, smaller houses, hand-stitched clothes, rare restaurant meals. Times were turbulent: Cold War threats, Vietnam, race riots, political assassinations, sexual revolution, and drugs. College was cheaper—and as adults, boomers benefited from the thriving ’80s and ’90s economy. Their children—Generation Xers (1965 to 1976) and millennials—(1977 to 1994) grew up in material plenty with more choices of every kind, but not all for the better.

Generation Xers came of age in an era of cultural decline: They were more likely than ever to grow up with divorced parents, a working mom, and one-child households. Burned by political scandals such as Clinton-Lewinsky, they’re suspicious of the government but not apathetic. They were the guinea pigs for racial integration, the first to come of age with MTV, the highest-educated generation in America. As youth they watched conservative Christians coalesce into a formidable voting bloc and then dissolve. 

Millennials were born into the debris of a cultural war already lost to liberals: Supposedly, abortion is an undeniable right, evolution is proven science, homosexual love is love is love. Identifying as a Christian—or worse, a conservative Christian—is not just uncool but despised, a synonym for a bigot. The America they know is increasingly less white, less religious, less homogenous—and particularly for those flocking to cities, it’s less apple pie, more carnitas tacos and lamb gyros; fewer Sunday Christians, more yogis and therapists. Even those growing up in Middle America acculturate to a diverse, postmodern America through pop culture, college, and social media. That means the basic concept of a “great America” means something else to different generations. —S.L.


Divergent views

Millennials who identify as evangelicals are sometimes less doctrinally orthodox than their elders, but were more likely to name personal character as a top consideration for their presidential vote last year. Millennials were more interested in separating what they view as “politics” from the pulpit.

The Bible, like all sacred writings, contains helpful accounts of ancient myths but is not literally true. *

Agree:

 32%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 18-34

 19%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 35+ 

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The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual -behavior doesn’t apply today. *

Agree:

 34%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 18-34

 16%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 35+ 

----------

The church should be silent on issues of politics. *

Agree:

 47%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 18-34

 36%  of self-identified evangelicals ages 35+ 

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In the 2016 presidential election, for whom do you plan to vote? **

Among evangelicals:

Ages 18-34:

Donald Trump =   27% 

Hillary Clinton =   40% 

Gary Johnson =   25% 

undecided =   6% 

Ages 35-59:

Donald Trump =   55% 

Hillary Clinton =   22% 

Gary Johnson =   1% 

undecided =   20%  

----------

American adults who say “personal character” was the most important factor in deciding for which candidate to vote: **

Ages 18-24 =  23% 

Ages 55-64 =  13%  

 

* Source: LifeWay Research/Ligonier Ministries April 2016 online survey of 3,000 American adults, including self-identified evangelicals.
 
** Source: LifeWay Research Sept.-Oct. 2016 online survey of 1,000 American adults (n=158 evangelicals with 8.8% margin of error), Evangelicals defined as those who trust in Jesus alone for salvation, say Jesus is the only way of eternal salvation, name the Bible as their highest authority, and affirm the importance of evangelism.
Sophia Lee

Sophia Lee

Sophia is a features reporter for WORLD Magazine. She graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in print journalism and East Asian language and culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Shalom. Follow Sophia on Twitter @SophiaLeeHyun.

Comments

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 03:18 am

    Speaking as a millenial, I saw Trump's nomination as a betrayal of everything I had been taught growing up. I saw the previous generation chastise Clinton, and I naively believed that they really were shocked by him and honestly offended by the poor moral example he set.  The fact that they elected Trump seemed like a betrayal; an acknowledgment that morality did not really matter, and that Clinton's only real crime had been being a democrat.  (Aside: WORLD's own call for him to resign was, in all this, a breath of fresh air.)

    More objectively, I think a big part of this is Trump's promise of a return to the past.  The older generation wants America to go back to something like what they remember.  The younger generation doubts that there is any going back, or if the former world was really as good as the elder generation says.  They're more interested in a new vision of Christianity and Conservatism, and feel Trump represents neither.  Most of them are expecting, in fact, that Trump's charge toward the past will destroy the Republican party's chance at a future.  A friend of mine commented that Trump had firmly established the Republican party as the party of old white men, which by its very nature, could not live much longer.

  • KY MikeS's picture
    KY MikeS
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 05:29 am

    Speaking as a Boomer, I challenge the assertion that I want America to go back to something like what I remember. I remember that as a society we were no better morally than we are now and we were not nearly as prosperous technologically or economically.  I want to advance, not regress. 

  • Michael D
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 01:38 pm

    As one of the over-40 men that voted for Trump, I saw in him a man who was clearly pro-life, pledging to appoint pro-life judges and sign pro-life legislation while Clinton was clearly the "abortion until the last minute" candidate. I don't understand how women that were "pro-life" actually voted for more years of Clinton, continuing the same culture-of-death trajectory that we have had with the Obama administration.

    I think a huge difference in shaping our opinions, not stated in the article, is where people got (and still get) their information. Those that tuned into the corporate-controlled "mainstream" media tended to favor Hillary Clinton, while those listening to voices in independent media tended to favor Donald Trump. Those that gave importance to revelations by wikileaks over revelations of very vulgar talk (not to excuse it by any means) favored Trump. Those that believe that the government is our savior from our problems favored Clinton. Those who think government is a part of the problem favored Trump. (I'm from a generation who think this statement is a joke: "Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." Maybe the younger generation doesn't recognize this as a joke anymore.) The point I'm making is that our source of information, filtered by our outlook on government's scope and purpose, made a big difference in who we voted for.

    Even here in World magazine it's leaders called for Trump to step aside, making his sins greated than those of HIllary Clinton. How could you call for Trump to step aside without simultaneously calling for the same of Clinton??? 

    Two weeks of Trump's administration has demonstrated (at least to me) that we elected the right candidate. He will make mistakes (and already has), but he has surrounded himself with some wise couselors. Perhaps he has moved too quickly, but with good intentions nonetheless. I believe he actually has intentions of making government of the people, by the people, and for the people. For too long it has not been, and President Trump nailed it on this point, and he is a man with enough unction to get it done.

    Let us pray for him, for his counselors, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. Jesus is our Savior, not the government or President Trump. Our Heavenly Father wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. May His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Hawkdriver
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 03:40 pm

    Michael D, you are truly my brother in Christ.  I couldn't have said it better had I typed it myself.  Only addition I have is what I call a strategic decision to support Trump.  I too am repulsed at his comments towards women and pray he has truly repented.  But, we cannot be too fickle with our votes when people’s lives are literally on the line.  Unborn people, dying at a rate higher than all military combat operations in the history of the United States.  During the Holocaust, people who stood up to the Nazi slaughter stole, lied, cheated and even killed to defend the Jewish people.  In no way do I advocate violence as a solution here but are we so high and mighty that we can’t bring ourselves to support the person whom God might use to save some unborn lives?  I dare say that if you had to support a lying pervert in order to save the life of your son, daughter, mother…..you would find a way to do it.  I say all of this but at the same time, I do understand why World and others want a righteous leader.  This was a tough decision.  Some day we can all stand before our God and He will tell us what His plan was for this election in perfect detail…..I can’t wait….in the meantime, PRAY, PRAY , PRAY!

  • Bill in Michigan's picture
    Bill in Michigan
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 01:39 pm

    Sophia, the one analysis I would like to hear from you is WHY you think there are some many divergent reactions to President Trump?  There are so many reasons for that---I was hoping the article would go into that. It is not generational.  There are the very young and very old in both camps of thought---and in camps in-between as well.  One must also deal with the caricature of Trump in the media versus the real man. I have seen so many condemn Trump for something he never thought or did---but that is how the press reported it.  Even World Magazine, which supposedly finds abortion abominable, called for Trump to step down before the election, even though he has now appointed one of the most constitutional jurists ever since Reagan. Perhaps more will follow.  You could do an entire article and research on opinions on Donald Trump and the EDUCATION they received, how and where the received it, and how recently.  What the teach in schools now falls quite often into propaganda. Is it any wonder then, when there are no objective truths taught, opinions of the country, and even of "evangelicals" are divergent?

  • lexrex
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 02:21 pm

    There are a lot of us who  need to tell our younger friends that we were where a lot of them are now. We came to find that the political and social postures they embrace simply don't stand the tests of time and truth. We must 'fess up to having been radicals in our earlier days and that we found in Christ the King whose Word defines His world. Yes, it was a poor choice last  November. But none of us wanted the alternative.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 04:56 pm

    So, demanding Clinton resign for what he did with Monica Lewisnsky... that was a crazy and reckless moral stance that doesn't hold up to the test of time?

  • Zena Renee's picture
    Zena Renee
    Posted: Thu, 02/23/2017 11:36 am

    Well said lexrex.

  • Janet B
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 02:31 pm

    How could anyone who shared a conservative Christian view of sanctity of life and marriage have voted for Hilary Clinton?  How?

    Here is an interesting thing: I can agree with every one of the above comments.  Trump was not the best choice.  He has crass and rough character.  I was pleased with WORLD when they called for him to step away from the election, because they were in keeping with their character. I was liberal in my younger days, and have become more and more conservative (I was a Ted Cruz supporter).

    But, after much prayer, I knew I had to vote against Hilary Clinton. I could not vote for even a good alternate, because I just could not in good conscience help that woman win.  

    I see the election of this (media-reported) crass, overbearing man as an act of God's mercy.  We know what would happen to the country if Hilary had won.  God is in all of this, and His will be done.  Donald Trump is just a pawn in the King's hand.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 05:02 pm

    How can someone who believes in the sanctity of marriage vote for Trump, a three-time adulterer who bragged about his affairs in his autobiography and was caught on tape talking about how he tried to seduce a married woman and frequently grabs women by the crotch?  That's your "pro-marriage" candidate?  Really?

    The church supported an open adulterer over a woman who stayed faithfully married to her unfaithful husband.  Yeah, she was terrible on a lot of other issues.  But in terms of the "sanctity of marriage" Christians gave up a lot of credibility to force through legislation that no one will respect.  Why should the world believe us, now, when we talk about the "sanctity of marriage?"  Clearly it's only for convenient times.

  • Dick Friedrich
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 04:42 pm

    Thought this article was very indicative of observations I've made too. I don't think most of us realize how much more practical thoughtful people often become as they mature. Of course there many exceptions and it isn't inevitable but in general I think this explains the divide you've described so well. The opportunity for Christians is to discuss the issues in a way that we call can grow in maturity with respect to the Lord and his kingdom. It is also an opportunity to live the gospel in the midst of a crooked and depraved world. Sadly, I've seen too little growth in maturity among my Christian brothers and sisters. By the way, I think Christians can be practical and idealistic at the same time when we have the right ideals and practices.    

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 05:13 pm

    I see none of that here.  Was the call to impeach Clinton for his infidelity just a lack of practicality and thoughtfulness on the church's part?  Were people just not mature enough to realize that sometimes we let our leaders get away with things because of the economic good times they bring?

    How is refusing to go along with the crowd in support of an immoral man somehow stupid and impractical?  How is letting fear of the other side driving you into support of a non-conservative somehow "mature?"  Christians can be practical and idealistic.  But there was nothing idealistic about electing a rude crass adulterer, and (I would argue) nothing practical about electing a con man with ridiculous and contradictory promises.  

  • TWH
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 05:20 pm

    Thank you for this balanced analysis. The quote you pulled out should be the takeaway for all of us.

    "How can we unite these people? How? I don’t know. … Maybe we need Christians to step up?”

    We Christians have a great opportunity here to model the kind of behavior that unites rather than divides, even as we may disagree with each other.

    "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."

    "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"

  • CarolinaJay
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 05:52 pm

    World ran an expose on Hillary's performance as Secretary of State, where they showed that Nigeria's "donations" to the Clinton Foundation apparently caused her to look the other way and not call Boko Haram a terrorist group.  For that lapse, we got 200+ schoolgirls kidnapped, and hundreds of deaths.  Oh, but that doesn't matter; it wasn't within our borders.

    Many have said that Hillary is a pathological liar.

    It's also well documented that Hillary indirectly defended her own husband's serial sexual abuse of women (including within the Oval Office!) by viciously attacking the character of the women who accused him.  So please tell me how her character regarding sexual abuse is so high and lofty compared to Trump?

    And of course we know that she wants abortion legal right up until the baby takes its first breath.

    Oh, and when asked about Supreme Court nominations in the third debate, she never mentioned the Constitution; she would nominate justices who were "in tune with the times".

    To tell the truth, Trump was my very last choice among the field of Republican candidates.  But I absolutely could not vote for Hillary.  And it's very frustrating now hearing all the criticism of Trump as if our alternative had been Mother Theresa running on a centrist platform.  If that had been my choice, I might have voted Democrat for the first time in my life - but that most emphatically was NOT the choice.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 06:03 pm

    It might help to look at the recent criticism of Trump in a different light.  As you say yourself, Trump is, objectively, a terrible candidate.  You say that you only voted for him because you couldn't let Hillary win.

    All this is fine, but consider--Hillary is no longer a danger.  We don't need to support Trump against Clinton, we barely need to support Trump against the Democrats.  Trump is in an amazingly powerful position with few actual political opponents in a position to stop him.

    But he is, objectively, a terrible person to be in that position.  Maybe not the worst, but still really bad.

    Given that we no longer need to support him against the evils of Clinton, isn't it now time to work on critiquing and restraining the lesser evil we DID elect?

  • TWH
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 07:35 pm

    "And it's very frustrating now hearing all the criticism of Trump as if our alternative had been Mother Theresa running on a centrist platform."

    As Christians, we know that Trump will make mistakes, including some bad ones. We should praise his good actions and criticize his bad actions.  

  • servantofgood
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 07:37 pm

    What is it about World Magazine, that it cannot cough up the hairball it swallowed when it called on Trump to resign, and he won? No one expects World to be a shill for Trump; but please! Get some humility, cut him some slack and stop the "faux neutral articles" like this one that consistently carry an undercurrent of dislike and criticism of Trump. You don't have to worry about whether you will be perceived as needing to curry favor with Trump; our President got your magazine cover message loud and clear, he will not be granting you any interviews nor skype seats at his press conferences. Get a professional weightlifter, if necessary, to move the monster-sized chip off your shoulder and move on. I've respected World Magazine for years, but if this continues I'm simply going to stop my subscription and move on to journalistic sources with more common sense and cooler heads.

  • TWH
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 08:41 pm

    This article seemed to me to be balanced reporting. Could you point out some examples of "carry[ing] an undercurrent of dislike and criticism of Trump"?

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 02/03/2017 09:45 pm

    Seriously?  You think they called on Trump to resign because they thought he couldn't win?  That they called him out on immorallity for political reasons?  They said he should resign based on his poor moral character.  His character is exactly as poor as its always been.  Him winning the election does not in any way make him a better person.  You're effectively arguing that WORLD should stop criticizing him simply because he won, which is like saying they shouldn't have been critiquing Obama for the last eight years.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Sun, 02/05/2017 12:57 pm

    John, are you a Democrat seeking to sew discord about Trump?  World magazine showed lack of wisdom for calling on Trump to resign a couple weeks before the election!  I understand their dilemma for how could they dare seem to support this sexual perversion when they called it out in Clinton.  Everyone thought that Hillary Clinton had the election so what harm would there be in trashing Trump - they thought.  The fallacy of their thinking was that the Trump words, which were bravado words spoken some 11 years ago, were somehow equivalent to the actual actions that Bill Clinton did with an Intern while he was president. If a government employee did what Bill did with an intern, they would most likely be fired! Certainly everyone acknowledges the words spoken by Trump were disgusting but that in no way proves anything was actually done.  If you are around locker rooms, it is not uncommon to hear such language where men make claims to sexual exploits, where it is all made up to accentuate their supposed manliness. Certainly it is juvenile and ungodly but it is not illegal, nor does it disqualify a person from  the office of president.  So maybe the world magazine leadership were too brainiacs to know about worldly locker rooms and the conversations that go on in them, so maybe we should give them some slack, but damage was done by their lack of wisdom!  And World Magazine keeps dredging this up which edifies nobody and accentuates their own lack of wisdom.  So yes, it is appropriate to drop this subject because Trump apologized and we should move on showing Christian charity to all - including World Magazine.

  • hrh
    Posted: Wed, 02/08/2017 03:10 pm

    Thread winner!

    I still subscribe to World magazine for their international reporting on Christian missions (loved the unicycles in Taiwan story) and for the Hope Awards reporting. I also find some interesting books from their Books Issue and book reviews. And the Technology/Health/Financial sections in the back have some fascinating snippets.

    But about two years ago, I realized their political reporting is EXTREMELY suspect. Beginning when more than one of their reporters used the liberal tactic of omitting the word "illegal" and painting anyone who is for border security and better vetting of immigrants as "anti-immigrant." HUGE red flag there.

    And then World political reporters ABSOLUTE refusal to vet either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz (and there's MUCH to vet about both of these life-long ambitious pols and their political connections, who are nowhere near the "pure as the driven snow politicians that all evangelicals should support" that World makes them out to be.)

    It seems to me that World magazine takes the Republican Establishment party line in its reporting. Paul Ryan, for another example, needs to be defeated. World never vets him either.

    To sum, World magazine has enough value for me to remain a subscriber for all the reasons stated in the first full paragraph, but I've learned to just grit my teeth when reading their political coverage.

     

  • Joe M
    Posted: Sun, 02/05/2017 05:59 pm

    Clinton and Trump are both filthy rich celebrites with huge political backing. Neither share the core values of Evangelicals -- obviously. They are both worldlings, one who follows the muse of political activism, the other following the muse of capitalistic materialism. Clinton had no qualms allowing women frightened by her husband be smeared, and Trump had no problem bragging that women choose to allow weatlhy men to make moves on them. Neither sound like especially nice people if you get right down to it. So what? Is it OK for a Christian to think we need a shrewd dealer and not a moral example for our children? Is it alright to believe that while the Golden Rule is a law of God, it is a law that may apply in very different ways to gargantuan nations versus individuals? Funny how the NT records no hectoring on the part of Jesus or Paul towards a very selfish Roman government. I am thrilled Evangelicals want to help the refuguees. Let them. And let them stop trying to use democracy to spend other people's money or enshrine a "compassionate conservatism" neither conservatives or liberals can afford. The government's budget is a joke. And yet Scripture tells individuals, "Let no dept remain outstanding." LOL, right? Might not that apply to governments if all the good samaritan ideas do as well? Or maybe the "nation with the soul of a church" conversation stops working when people suddenly are less burdened for their immediate neighbors than images of the world. For some voters, Trump seems like the indiviudal who seemed to voice marginally less expansive spending impulses or hard-to-swallow virtue signaling. Which made him less atractive to college political science professors (whose students receive federal aid) and more appealling to many people who have had to try to keep jobs, balance budgets, and endure oppressive media culture about international woes and American failings.

    I should add I thought this was a terrific and instructive piece.

  • Emil Powella
    Posted: Wed, 02/08/2017 10:13 am

    An absolutely outstanding article.

    Tiny issue, you used hone in when I believe it should be home in.

  • Zena Renee's picture
    Zena Renee
    Posted: Thu, 02/23/2017 11:35 am

    I just read this article. I see the divide in people I know. There is a great disconnect in "young" people who are so offended by Trump and yet are able to vote for Hillary Clinton. I could understand better not voting. Hillary's unabashed support for Planned Parenthood is something I would like to hear explained away and there are more issues which made her the worst choice. I did not like attitudes of supporters and Trump in the primaries but I love many of the things Trump has accomplished in the short time as President. The Democrats and Trump opponents are are proving much more disgusting in their protests. Violent even. I understand Millenials I believe since I have several children in that age range and I know thier friends. My concern is that they think they know all there is to know (as we often do, especially in youth) yet they have been exposed to a limited set of facts that are presented in a way to influence thinking. Honestly, World has been the most fair and balanced in this election. Please do continue. I am able to read various sources and determine truth most of the time. Often, time will tell what is truth. In this day, we have instant reaction to the day's story and as time goes it is proven false but few see the correction because the news is on to the next topic. I think with twitter, facebook, comedy shows that have become anti-Trump diatribes and celebrity exposure it is very easy to jump to conclusions. Once conclusions are made people rarely are willing to see they were wrong. We have a world of information but a whole lot more ignorance and lack of discerning wisdom in this day.