Peace Starts With Me Today; New York City Mayor de Blasio Slated to Attend; Conference Credits Hak Ja Moon for Korean Unification

Today is the big Unification Church evangelistic rally featuring Christian singers Hezekiah Walker, Yolanda Adams, and Israel Houghton. Bishop Noel Jones is supposed to speak as a warm-up for the Daughter of God herself, Hak Jan Han Moon, True Mother and co-savior of the world.

Also speaking today, according to this press release, is Mayor Bill de Blasio.

You can watch the event here.

I suspect the author of Reckless Love never thought it would be sung at a Unification Church evangelistic service.

Family Federation minister Demian Dunkley said 200 churches and houses of worship are represented at the event which is a big “family reunion.”

Bishop Noel Jones said he has studied the Moons’ teaching and has used them with students in his church. This appears to be a pretty clear admission that he has left orthodoxy. The syncretism is strong in his message.

Moon’s message was as promised. She claimed to be the only begotten daughter of God. Then, after some fractured history, she claimed that True Parents are the new opportunity to be born again and the way to receive the blessing and become the children of God.

 

Open Forum: Post Midterm Election Analysis

The big news from last night is a divided Congress with the Democrats taking the House by a wide margin and the Republicans widening their margin in the Senate.

It appears the suburban areas of the country rejected Trump and the rural areas moved a little closer to him.

Trump has already challenged Democrats by suggesting that he controls the Senate.

I don’t think that is going to persuade Democrats not to exercise oversight, do you?

What are your reactions? What are the important races and stories in your opinion?

Discuss in the comments section.

Unification Church Proclaims Christian Era is Over; Next Week Christian Entertainers Open for God’s Daughter

While evangelicals are selling out to politics, the Unification Church is quietly evangelizing the disillusioned. According to their leaders, the Christian era is over and the era of True Parents is here. As an illustration to their followers, Unification leaders use Christian participation in Unification events as a signal that Christian leaders are coming into the Unificationist fold.

Watch Family Federation leader Michael Jenkins talk about Christian ministers who are coming into the Unification movement.

On November 12, Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, and Bishop Noel Jones will open for her Messiahship, the Only Begotten Daughter of God Hak Ja Han Moon, True Mother of all Heaven, Earth and Mankind. The event is called Peace Starts with Me. Curtis Farrow will convene a choir of 5,000 unsuspecting Christians who will move a little closer to another religion.

 

This Migrant Caravan Isn’t The First; Trump is Exploiting This One

For years, caravans of migrants from Central America have traveled through Mexico without a military response from the Trump administration. Like the current movement, refugees flee violence in their home countries and travel in groups to try to make the journey safer.

When the asylum process works some refugees are granted a hearing. Wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet is better than being threatened with violence back home.

Trump and the Republican leadership know that these caravans are not dominated by criminal types. Criminal types prey on the caravans. These are people who seek asylum and want a better life. There is a history of people presenting themselves at points of entry wanting to be vetted. Trump is deliberately obscuring that history by referring to the most recent caravan as an invasion and overreacting by sending troops to the border.

On average, such persons do contribute to the U.S. and benefit the economy and contribute to the social good. Trump’s stereotyping of asylum seekers as murderers and criminals and the recent caravan as a new threat is dishonest.

 

Why Trump’s Anti-Migrant Ad is Terrible but May Work

President Trump has approved an ad which is wrong on so many levels but may work as he hopes. Watch:

The ad uses misinformation and the vivid case of an unrepentant cop-killer to provoke fear. Then the ad offers the protective strategy of voting for Republicans. The ad is terrible because of the misinformation and stereotyping but may work because it gives a strategy to address the fear it creates.

Here are the problems:

Shock! The Ad Isn’t Truthful

The ad claims Democrats let the convicted murderer, Luis Bracamontes, into the country and then let him stay. In fact, he came and went during both Republican and Democrat administrations. Bill Clinton deported him but he came back into the country during George Bush’s presidency. At one point, Trump ally Joe Arpaio had him in his jail but then let him go. It is misinformation to blame Democrats alone for his presence.

Stereotyping through Insensitivity to Sample Bias

Bracamontes isn’t a representative sample of the caravan participants. He is one person who committed horrible crimes. When one actually considers what larger samples of immigrants, documented and undocumented, have done in communities, it is clear that Bracamontes is not representative of them. Crime rates are lower in many of these neighborhoods. Crime rates are not higher in states with large immigrant populations.

The ad seeks to associate Bracamontes with the migrants who seek asylum as a vivid case of a brown skinned person who wants to enter the US. The migrants moving toward the U.S. want to be vetted and want asylum. That is not Bracamontes’ history.

Social psychological research has shown that vivid cases such as Bracamontes persuade people to believe unflattering stereotypes. With this ad, Trump leaves no doubt that he wants voters to fear asylum seekers as dangerous criminals.

Fear Based Appeals Work

Research also shows that fear based appeals are persuasive if a strategy to address the fear is offered. Trump’s fear mongering is for a purpose. He clearly links Bracamontes with the caravan seeking asylum and implies those people will be as terrible as Bracamontes.

This ad is awful in many ways. It is lamentable that it may keep some wavering people in the Trump fold. To me, it is disgusting that the Republicans would condone this ad (anytime) so soon after the Pittsburgh shooting given that the shooter may have been motivated by a perception that Jews were helping the migrants.

Update: A similar ad has been pulled from CNN, FoxNews(!), and Facebook.

Kevin Kruse Dismantles Blexit’s Faulty History

Trump supporter Candace Owens has started something she calls Blexit which stands for Black exit from the Democrat party. It is a movement and a website.

African-Americans haven’t voted in great numbers for a Republican presidential candidate since 1960 but Owens hopes to change that with her movement of Black conservatives. However, she will need to clean up her historical act if she is going to succeed. As Princeton historian Kevin Kruse pointed out today on Twitter, the first three historical claims on her website aren’t accurate.

If you click the tweet, you will get to a thread which debunks the claims made by Owens. A little later in the thread actress Stacey Dash challenges Kruse with a altered photo of Margaret Sanger at a KKK rally.

Kruse then demonstrated that the photo was fake.

Although Dash seemed to offer some respect to Kruse’s efforts, the fake information is still up at Blexit.

On the Blexit website, I did not see any citations or sources for information. Some of claims appear to have originated with David Barton and/or Dinesh D’Souza. Some appear to be deliberate misinformation. It is an insult to the intelligence of the audience OWens and others are trying to reach to put up so much faulty material.

I am thankful that Kevin Kruse is so “informative” to quote Ms. Dash. If only she and others would go a little further and question the rest of the material.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi Acquitted After 8 Years in Prison

Long time readers of this blog will recognize the name Asia Bibi, a Christian women imprisoned in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy against Muhammed. She was on death row for eights years and had one last appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. This morning, it is being reported widely that she was acquitted.

This is of course tremendous news for her and her family. Her cause has been a focus of many groups, religious and non-religious, since her wrongful conviction eight years ago. Many in Pakistan wanted her to be executed for blasphemy. Pakistan’s high court did not find the evidence compelling and acquitted her. There isn’t any news at this point about when she will be release or where she will go. She certainly won’t be safe in Pakistan. She has been offered asylum in France among other places in the world.

Evangelistic Outreach for Unification Messiah True Mother Moon Adds Israel Houghton

The Family Federation for a Heavenly USA (aka the Unification Church) has added worship artist Israel Houghton to the lineup of high profile Christians who will help evangelize New Yorkers for self-described True Mother and the only begotten daughter of God, Hak Ja Han Moon.

In the newest video ad for the November 12 Nassau Coliseum rally Peace Starts with Me, the organizers announced the addition of Grammy award winner Houghton. View the video below:

Houghton joins Hezekiah Walker, Yolanda Adams and Bishop Noel Jones as self-proclaimed Christian performers/speakers at an event which Moon’s followers hope will help establish her as a mainstream religious figure. She and her followers claim that Jesus failed in his mission by being crucified. In the modern era, her husband was the fulfillment of the Messianic promises and she is the daughter of God and only through she and her husband — True Parents — is their hope for reunion with God.

I have heard no response from Adams, Walker or Jones regarding their support for this non-Christian event.

Guest Post by Aaron New: More Citation Problems at the American Association of Christian Counselors

“I started looking because I was curious.  I kept looking because I was suspicious.  I continue looking because I am incredulous.”  I wrote these words over a month ago in the middle of discovering significant number of problems in the writings of Tim Clinton.  But they are still true today – I continue to look and I am still incredulous.

Warren and I have been documenting citation problems in the writing of Tim Clinton and the American Association of Christian Counselors.  My Twitter thread grew long enough, it became nearly impossible to follow without being threaded into a single page.

I refuse to believe this is an unimportant topic.  And so, despite a tepid response initially from many readers, I haven’t let it go.  In fact, I began to wonder if I needed to broaden my search.  Questions began nagging me.  If Dr. Clinton is setting this kind of example, who is following?  Is this a common practice among other leaders (both formal and informal) in the AACC?  Is what I have found reflective of a broader culture within the AACC?  I didn’t like the questions, but I decided they needed answers.  What I have found so far has been disappointing and Warren has been gracious enough to give me space to share some of my discoveries.

Enter Eric Scalise

Eric Scalise has long been involved in the AACC.  For many years, he was the Vice President for Professional Development.  A quick glance at his LinkedIn profile suggests he was heavily involved in leading the AACC.  After that and for some time until very recently, he was the Senior Vice President of the AACC.  His LinkedIn profile does not describe his duties during that time, but it is reasonable to assume they were leadership responsibilities equal to or greater than before.

Since Dr. Scalise appeared to be Dr. Clinton’s right-hand man for many years, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by what I found in some of his writings.  But I was.

In Christian Counseling Today (vol.17, no.1), Eric Scalise and Tim Clinton co-authored an article, “Manifesting Christ: The High Call of Every Christian Counselor.” (click the link for a large picture; a pdf is here.)

The material in yellow shows up word for word (or nearly so) in one article by Eric Scalise here (below highlighted in yellow). And the material in orange shows up word for word (or nearly so) in another article by Eric Scalise here (below in orange circle). Unless I am mistaken, it seems the most likely possibilities are 1) Scalise used large sections of the original article without giving any credit to his co-author, Clinton.  Or, 2) The words in yellow and orange always belonged to Scalise, but Clinton’s name was added to the first article anyway.  Either way, there seems to be a problem of author attribution.

Late Insufficient Citation

Even more notable is an article in Christian Counseling Today (vol.20, no.3) by Eric Scalise, “The Neurobiology of Trauma and Traumatic Relationships.”  It was published in 2014. (A reprint of that article is still available on the AACC website.)  Here are some highlighted excerpts from that article:

While not always in the same order as in the source articles, the material in yellow comes from another source word for word (or nearly so), “Understanding Complex Trauma, Complex Reactions, and Treatment Approaches” by Christine Courtois.  It was published online in 2010. And all the material in pink comes from yet another source word for word (or nearly so), “Complex Trauma in Early Childhood” by Kim Cross.  It was archived online as early as 2008. Excerpts are below for comparison.

It is worth noting that Scalise does make a citation (#1) for a different Courtois source in his article.  I have two observations about that: (1) A significant amount of copied material shows up well before that citation.  (2) Scalise says the “observations are based on the work of Courtois.”  In reality, they are the observations of Courtois.  It appears that he or someone working for him copied the words of Courtois and added the words of Cross to them.

I have discovered other, perhaps less serious infractions (like where Scalise appears to co-opt the words of Jay Neugeboren).  But this is enough for me now to read all of Scalise’s writings with suspicion.

More to Come

In addition to Scalise, I’m on the trail of at least one other AACC insider..  If/when I can complete that research, perhaps Warren will allow me another post to provide an update.  And at some point, it may be also worth re-visiting the story of Les and Leslie Parrott using ResultSource to boost their book sales.

All of this has left me profoundly disappointed.  The AACC certainly is not the only show in town for Christian psychologists and counselors.  But the leaders, speakers, and authors affiliated with the AACC are well-known and influential.  I have a vested interest in the field of Christian counseling and I wish that these questions did not have to be raised concerning AACC. If AACC was an actual professional association where the member voted for leaders, then members could express themselves via election of new officers. However, since AACC is Tim Clinton’s business, the members have no ability to bring change.

As it stands, there is a path forward for those involved and I’m sure they know what it is.  Some semblance of an honest and contrite apology along with a promise and a plan to do better in the future would go a long way to restoring some trust.  Until then, I’m afraid AACC and by association Christian counseling will suffer from the appearance of untrustworthiness.

 

 

Gateway Church Pranked with Alternative Voter Guides

Over the weekend, Gateway Church hoped to guide members in the way they should vote by providing voter guides. After all, who doesn’t need a little political guidance with their spiritual guidance?

Things didn’t go exactly as planned. At some point after many guides had been distributed, someone noticed that the guides were very un-Gateway like. According to a reader, here is what was mixed in with Gateway’s guides:

Below is how Gateway wants members to vote.

This was a pretty elaborate prank. The guides look very similar in these pictures and must have cost a lot to produce. Someone wanted to make a point.

One of the individuals lamenting this turn of events pointed church members to vote.gatewaypeople.com which contains links to the approved Vision America voter guides.

Politicians in Church

Not all Gateway folk are happy with obvious Republican politicking in the church. On a church social media site, two people expressed reservations about the voter guides.

Politicians in church; one can’t escape that at Gateway Church. They even tell you how to vote.

One principle from the page has been violated by the Gateway effort:

Here’s one more point: Don’t align yourself too closely with a political party or a politician. That is unwise because we need to be free to call all political parties and politicians to repentance when they step outside of biblical morality and principle.

It is possible that the anonymous prankster wanted to get across something like this with the alt-voter guide. There is more than one way to look at biblical principles when it comes to politics and policy.