February 2, 2017

Outrage of the moment: Trump talks about "The Apprentice" at the National Prayer Breakfast and jokes about praying for Arnold Schwarzenegger...

... because the ratings for the new "Apprentice" — with Schwarzenegger taking over the Trump role — "went right down the tubes. It has been a disaster."

Here's how CNN covers it:
The comment may have been intended as a joke, but Trump's opening came in sharp contrast to how past presidents have addressed the breakfast.

Schwarzenegger promptly replied via a Twitter video: "Hey Donald. I have a great idea. Why don't we switch jobs? You take over TV, cause you're such an expert in ratings. And I take over your job, so that people can finally sleep comfortably again."
No joking! This is religion here! In the religion space, there will be no joking! You must be somber!

Has CNN ever gone to church? Whenever I've gone to church, there have been jokes in the sermon. It's a normal part of religion — from what I've seen — for people who actually practice it. And there are all sorts of calls to prayer for little things — like football games — that the believers don't really expect God to rig for them.

That's my experience within a fairly narrow range of Protestant Christians — but my range includes Presbyterians, so I've shared Trump's cultural background.

But what CNN — "They're very dishonest people" — nudges people to think is that Trump is disrespectful toward religion. I don't think that will pry religious people away from Trump. I think actual American religious people are completely comfortable with that style of humor within religion and Trump's seeming comfort with it makes him feel more not less like them.

Please compare your reaction to mine. I don't have really have a way of knowing.

109 comments:

Michael said...

Yes, jokes are told in church. Usually lame jokes but they get a laugh anyway. And, no, CNN is not familiar with what happens inside a church unless it is the site of a political rant.

Michael said...

Absolutely! A church without laughter (and babies crying) is a church that's dying. And lots of them aren't dying.

David Begley said...

Agree with Althouse especially the comment that CNN people have not been to church.

Alexander said...

To be fair, most of these jokes are pretty poor, like Trump's joke.

Darrell said...

It's so easy to shock and awe the Left.

rehajm said...

And there are all sorts of calls to prayer for little things — like football games — that the believers don't really expect God to rig for them.

So… the end came suddenly for Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, many years from now. As he approached the pearly gates, St. Peter welcomed him into heaven and informed him that a house had been prepared for him. Walking down one of the heavenly streets paved with gold they came to a lovely, little house that had a Pittsburgh Steelers banner in front of it. Tomlin was pleased until he looked up the road and saw, way at the end of the road, a huge mansion painted green and gold with two enormous Green Bay Packer flags flying outside.

“Wait a minute!” Tomlin said. “Why does Mike McCarthy get such a big house in heaven?”

“That’s not Mike McCarthy’s house,” St. Peter informed him. “That’s God’s house.”


THE THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE
OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

Scripture Reading: Acts 8:26-39

Curious George said...

"Has CNN ever gone to church?"

People go to church. CNN is a corporation. Corporations are not people. According to CNN.

As an aside, I think it would be great if Trump said this everytime he went to board Marine One. Just to teak Awnold.

MayBee said...

Isn't this the anniversary of Obama telling Christians to get off their "High Horse" at the Annual Prayer Breakfast?

I'll save my outrage for that.

Owen said...

Totally agree. Religion is optimistic and confident. That environment welcomes humor, especially the kind of kidding reported here. Entertainers like Trump and Schwarzenegger know how to give and take a tweak like this; or they leave the business. This po-faced sanctimony by the media --posing as "shocked, shocked!"-- is tiresome both because it is fake and because it is so obviously manipulative.

Hunter said...

Having already turned the left into skeptics of overreaching federal government, fans of gridlock and states' rights and ponderers of secession, Trump turns his attention to matters of faith and the left proclaims their devotion to religious customs and norms.

What a transformative presidency this is turning out to be!

rhhardin said...

They're imagining a church of feminists.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, don't make me haul out my priest-and-golf joke set. Many of them would not have been told from the pulpit.

Matthew Sablan said...

Right now, every right of center blogger is searching through Obama's copious speeches to find his jokes about religion.

Michael McClain said...

Humor has been a part of every church service I've attended at my latest church. All three of our ministers use various forms of humor to make a point. Quite often it is self-deprecating humor poking fun at themselves. Other times it may be directed to a popular church member, again to gently make a point.

Certainly God has a sense of humor. He did create us.

Bob Boyd said...

"And I take over your job, so that people can finally sleep comfortably again."

I don't know which people that would be.

I like Arnold, but if he had somehow managed to be elected President, I doubt he'd be getting better treatment form the press, more cooperation from the Democrats or less hysteria from the left in general. He'd be Hitler now instead. And I don't think he'd be able to handle it as well as Trump has so far.

Bob Ellison said...

There was this one priest, though, who had never made the green on the par-3, 200-yard seventh on his home course, over the water hazard.

CJinPA said...

Trump's _______ came in sharp contrast to how past presidents have _____

Writers can probably program their keyboard to type this sentence by simply hitting "Alt+F6." They're going to use it a lot.

That said, I watched the video. It doesn't include the lead up to the 'Apprentice' jibe. It's missing something, and without it it seems like a lame thing to say. It might still have been a stupid topic, but we can't tell here. Someone could ask some audience members I guess, if they feel like committing journalism.

rhhardin said...

Jokes were banned in Sunday School, as I recall.

AprilApple said...

The church of the holy progressive jackass.

robother said...

No Joking Allowed in the sanctuary of the High Church of Progressivism.

Hunter said...

As for Trump, meh. It's Trump being Trump, and not so outrageous for any modern church.

(I particularly enjoyed the pearl-clutching over "hell" being "a swear word". They really think we Christians are as uptight about trivial shit as they are.)

bwebster said...

The stupid, it burns.

If you want to chuckle for a while, do a net search on "J. Golden Kimball". He was a member of the LDS (Mormon) Church leadership about a century ago. He worked a number of 'roughneck' jobs before being called to serve in a high Church position and was never quite able (or willing) to give up his profanity or sharp sense of humor. He's still something of a folk hero among Mormons to this day.

Here's a sample J Golden story. The LDS Church president, Heber J. Grant, had gotten tired enough of Kimball swearing over the pulpit that he wrote out Kimball's talk for an upcoming General Conference (a semi-annual conference in which the top church leaders speak). When it was Kimball's turn to speak, he went up to the the pulpit (in the famous Mormon Tabernacle), looked down at the manuscript for a moment, then turned back to look at Pres. Grant and said, "Hell, Heber, I can't read your handwriting."

Heh.

Steve Uhr said...

What should be the outrage of the moment is that none of the 150 masked rioters in Berkeley last night were arrested.

AprilApple said...

You must worship lies, Meryl Streep, hollywood, CNN, and the holy progressive corruption that they promote and sell as "caring."

Comanche Voter said...

I've been reading Ronald White's excellent biography of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's formal relationship with religion was tenuous--but he was a very religious man. And yes Lincoln told jokes about religion.

In 1862 U.S. Grant, frustrated by illicit cotton trading along the Mississippi, and believing that the proceeds were used to help the Confederacy ordered conductors on railroads in his military department to keep traders off the railroads. Grant's General Order Number Eleven read "The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade issued by the Treasury Department, and also Department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department".

Couldn't have said it better in a Donald Trump executive order on travel bans!

A delegation of Jewish leaders travelled from Paducah Kentucky to protest the travel ban.
Now maybe the order was poorly written--Grant was frustrated with illegal traders and he wanted it stopped. But his order said "Jews".

The leader of the Jewish delegation said Lincoln defused the tension in the room with a "hearwarming, semi-humourous, Biblical exchange".

Lincoln said, "And so the children of Israel were driven from the happy land of Canaan?"

The leader of the delegation replied, "Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham's bosom, asking protection."

Lincoln responded, "And this protection they shall have at once."

Lincoln told Grant that he was revoking the order immediately.

Whether the ninnies at CNN have ever been inside a church or synagogue is open to question.
What is not open to question is that they fail to understand or appreciate this country's long Judaeo-Christian tradition and the impact it has had on our culture.

Religion is a mystery to such people; it doesn't come shrinkwrapped in protective plastic. Jokes are told; songs are sung and while it's difficult for the secular to understand, believers believe. The secular may assume that they can tell people of faith how those people should act. But then that's like assuming that because they are neurosurgeons, they can instruct a plumber how to repair a leaky faucet. Different questions, different skill sets. Folks should usually have some knowledge of a subject before they open their mouths--otherwise they just confirm their ignorance.


Kathryn51 said...

Life-time Presbyterian here as well. Every minister I have listened to (many trained at Princeton Seminary) are careful to sprinkle in a joke or two. I don't recall them specifically praying for a football OR a political outcome (and I bet there are plenty of left-leaning churches in the country that don't avoid the politics except to omit the specific name of a politician).

I'm listening to Varney & Company in the background and it just played a clip from the Breakfast - the one where Trump says that "freedom doesn't come from government, freedom comes from God". Good stuff.

Jake said...

Joking not ok, duh. Jeremiah Wright - "God Damn America", ok.

Bob Boyd said...

So this Baptist minister and a Catholic priests are down by the river fucking an alligator...

holdfast said...

A little humor goes a long way on a hot Saturday morning when the A/C is on the fritz. Or so my old Rabbi thought.

bgates said...

Trump's _______ came in sharp contrast to how past presidents have _____

Unprecedented! And not in a good way, like how everything Obama did was good and unprecedented!

In the imaginary world where a neutral and disinterested press made this the second or third criticism of Trump since he took office, I might be inclined to agree that he shouldn't have made that joke. Here on earth, if polled, I will vouch for this joke as the funniest thing I've ever heard, because f**k CNN.

Comanche Voter said...

Another Lincoln religious joke. Lincoln and his Secretary of War Stanton had a close working relationship. Stanton, an Episcopalian, swore continually. Lincoln swore not at all.

Stanton and Lincoln were riding in a carriage to inspect some military facility. The road was rough and the soldier driving the carriage swore with some vigor and talent.

Finally Lincoln asked the driver, "Are you an Episcopalian?"

The driver responded, "I don't go to church much, but when I do I favor the Methodists".

Lincoln responded, "That's strange. You swear like Secretary Stanton, and he's a church warden."

Jessica said...

Evangelical Christian here. Totally agree with your assessment, Ann.

Rae said...

We forget that the left are the New Puritans. Banning alcohol and cigs, burning witches at the stake, shunning those who reject orthodoxy, and very somber in church.

readering said...

Jokes are fine. Mean jokes that puff oneself up and put someone else down (more than one, he also trashed his former agent) when you are already the most powerful person? That may be some religion, but not Christianity. I would think religious folks in the room cringed at the me-me-me of the president in the context of prayer.

Darrell said...

CNN's Press bus went off a cliff.
What's the bad news?

Richard Dolan said...

"Please compare your reaction to mine. I don't have really have a way of knowing."

Yes, of course, at my church (St Boniface, in downtown Brooklyn), humor and jokes are part of the religious ritual, as are music, very high-level textual analysis, crying babies and personal anecdotes. You con't reach people if you bore them to death (another lesson CNN seems not to understand). The congregation attending St Boniface is very eclectic, and both the music and the sermons take it all into account.

None of that is even slightly surprising, given the objective of the exercise. CNN is not sympathetic to either that objective or the fellow they are targeting.

BJM said...

It's telling that CNN has no idea what goes on in churches.

It's been my experience too, even at funerals, unless the death was the result of a tragedy, or a child, the pastor will leaven the grief with a bit of gentle humor, usually a humorous quirk, or anecdote about the deceased.

Sebastian said...

"I think actual American religious people are completely comfortable with that style of humor within religion and Trump's seeming comfort with it makes him feel more not less like them." It all depends. "Actual American religious people" include the religious left, who will feel "uncomfortable," because Trump. You weren't actually implying that this monstrous TrumpHitler could have a sense of humor, did you?

MikeR said...

"I like Arnold, but if he had somehow managed to be elected President, I doubt he'd be getting better treatment form the press, more cooperation from the Democrats or less hysteria from the left in general. He'd be Hitler now instead. And I don't think he'd be able to handle it as well as Trump has so far." Well, that more-or-less actually happened in California. After his conservative initiatives failed, he folded.

clint said...

I'm not sure religion is the point of the criticism. The story about the Apprentice's ratings is meant to reinforce the meme that Trump is horribly insecure and obsessed with everyone liking him. (I take no stance on whether or not that's true, but it's been a constant refrain on CNN for months.)

Similarly, the whole story about the senate chaplain and Trump's praise of him were related solely so that the writer could get in the line, "To many, especially the religious leaders in the room, "hell" is a swear word."

Together, these are supposed to paint a picture in "sharp contrast to how past presidents have addressed the breakfast."

It's about painting President Trump as a buffoon and a national embarrassment -- and about shaming people who might support him.

It works in the first half -- because his humor is self-aggrandizing rather than self-deprecatory, which is a mistake -- but then later he's making bipartisan noises and praising someone and he's condemned for that too. This undercuts the first half by making it clear the writer would be condemning Trump no matter what he said or how he said it.

buwaya said...

Arnold started aggressive, but quickly folded under pressure.
Not enough of a fighter to serve the needs of his state.

MountainMan said...

Best church with the best minister at which I have been a member told a really good joke just about every sermon. This was in Texas. Prior to our church, he had been the minister at Seabrook Methodist near the Johnson Space Center, which was favored by many in the astronaut corps. Many of his jokes were related to space travel and astronauts, some of which probably came from the astronauts themselves. His office walls were covered with autographed pictures from the astronauts. Ed White was his best friend. He conducted the funeral after the Apollo 1 fire. This was 30 years ago and I haven't been to a church or had a minister I liked as much since then. I have found that good ministers use humor effectively to make a point and create memorable sermons.

The Elder said...

Humor by ministers is usually, I have found, used to remind us of our need to be humble before God and toward one another. The jokes are usually pretty bad, which may be the speaker's way of demonstrating his or her own humility. I think the President knew full well that the joke was pretty bad, but would evoke another outburst from CNN and their like. Ka-ching!

Known Unknown said...

"Jokes are fine. Mean jokes that puff oneself up and put someone else down (more than one, he also trashed his former agent) when you are already the most powerful person? That may be some religion, but not Christianity. I would think religious folks in the room cringed at the me-me-me of the president in the context of prayer."

Oh, fuck off.

Chuck said...

1. I agree very much, that humor is a routine component of sermons just about everywhere that I have worshipped.

2. I also agree that liberal media types are often clueless about what goes on in mainstream American churches. They think that American churches are dark places of conservative political scolding. Actually, nowadays, you have to make a bit of an effort to find churches that aren't scolding social conservatives. (Fred Barnes wrote a wonderful column about how he searched all over Northern Virginia to find an Episcopal church that didn't follow the social-issue political correctness that had overwhelmed most eastern colleges. It's not that he wanted a church that scolded everyone about the evils of homosexuality. He just wanted a church that didn't scold everyone about gay rights.)

3. Church humor is typically modest and self-effacing. Trump's humor is never modest and self-effacing. And THAT is where the disconnect is in this case, Althouse. It is purely a matter of style, I think.



Martin said...

To me the disconnect is that in church one should at least aspire to some measure of humility before God. That allows for humor, but Trump's joke in this case was (to me) grating and wrong because he was glorifying or magnifying himself.

Not a big deal, in itself; this is The Donald we're observing. But that's my take.

Bob Boyd said...

I have a friend who teaches a bible study every Sunday at a Baptist church. He always has an ear open for jokes he can tell.
He works at a saw mill the rest of the week, so a lot of the jokes he hears aren't entirely appropriate for his Sunday audience. Sometimes he tries to clean them up, but usually, when he does that, the jokes aren't funny anymore.

The Elder said...

Humor by ministers is usually, I have found, used to remind us of our need to be humble before God and toward one another. The jokes are usually pretty bad, which may be the speaker's way of demonstrating his or her own humility. I think the President knew full well that the joke was pretty bad, but would evoke another outburst from CNN and their like. Ka-ching!

MayBee said...

CNN has become something other than a news source. It's like a Political Entertainment show.

rcocean said...

I never realized that jokes were verboten at a prayer breakfast. Wanna bet a previous POTUS joked at Prayer Breakfast without any blowback?

rcocean said...

Liberals now reduced to rating Trump jokes.

mockturtle said...

Humor is appropriate in most churches and synagogues. But not, notably, in mosques.

Unknown said...

Ah, J. Golden Kimball. Man, I'm glad the LDS church had him. And I'm really glad it was long ago, before social media, and before much of today's mass media got off the ground: He'd be crucified.

He once said that he thought his purpose in life was to show the "common folk" that if he had a chance at heaven so did they, because he was a common folk person, with everyone else's struggles.

And boy, he was always ready with something. Legend has it he went to a small town and praised them for obviously cleaning it up, particularly mentioning the new coats of paint on the barns. Then, of course, came the "Looks like some of you ladies could use a fresh coat of paint yourselves...."

Said his swearing came from when he was driving cattle teams over the mountains carrying stone for building a temple: Said these were church oxen, so the only thing they feared was being told they were going to hell.

--Vance

Anita said...

The best joke from our priest, who has told his share of lame jokes:

As the crowd gathered around the adulterous woman, Jesus said, "Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her." Just then, a stone flew over their heads from someone at the back of the crowd. The people turned around to see the Blessed Virgin standing there, and Jesus replied, "Very funny, Mom."

ddh said...

The most religious thought that ever entered a CNN journalist's mind was watching Donald Trump at the prayer breakfast pick up his fork, which reminded the journalist of a pitchfork.

Scott said...

Father's a retired Methodist pastor, and yes, jokes are part of all his sermons and most of the sermons I have attended tends to have them. Generally to connect with the audience and lighten the mood.

One of the really key points he tended to stress is that we are intended for joy, theologically and as such need to practice it in our daily lives.Jokes, even bad jokes are part of that.

Speaking of, here's his favorite joke on prayer:

The Texas A&M Football team was having a terrible season. The coach had tried everything, lineup changes, but nothing was working with a rough stretch of games coming up. So he went to his Bible study and heard about the power of prayer the Sunday after a loss.

So, the day before their next game at TCU, he got the team together an hour before the game for a team prayer. Lo and behold, they upset the Horned Frogs 38-35 on a Hail Mary! So the next week, the team started praying two days before going to face Texas Tech. Another miracle play on a double reverse happened and they upset the Red Raiders 21-20! The next game was the big one, the University of Texas. So he got the team together all week and prayed up a storm.

Come halftime, the Aggies were getting massacred 49-0, and the Longhorns had just scored on a pick six for the last play of the half. The A&M Coach trudged out to the 50 yard line looked at the sky and cried out in despair: "Why, God, O Why? You told me if I prayed you would answer my prayers!??!"

Then the thunder rolled, the clouds parted and a voice from above shook the stadium in answer.

"HOOK 'EM HORNS!"

Ficta said...

Raised Adventist. My uncle was a Church of Christ minister. Lame jokes are ever present in church in my experience. Good natured banter of the form: "I'll pray for your obvious flaws" (between relative equals, like two pastors) is semi-common. That CNN doesn't have many evangelicals (or even practicing Protestants) on staff is painfully obvious.

Bob Boyd said...

I think when CNN reporters imagine church people they picture the town elders from 'Footloose'.

Darrell said...

Chuck weighs in.
Can't help himself.

Birt Hilson said...

Probably not typical liturgy. A joke or funny story is still a great way to warm up an audience.

traditionalguy said...

The Body of Christ meets to fellowship over a family meal
And encourage one another. Which is the End, not the
Means. And a good laugh is always welcome at dinner. It is good medicine.

As for doctrine, DJT has it mastered... We Win. That is summed up nicely in the Apostles Creed. Now enjoy life.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I have watched the new one, and it sucks. Arnold comes across as strictly ex-post-facto.

And the women!

Cry cry cry.

Won't make a decision, but once the worm turns, BOOM!, long shanks shanking sharply.

Trump is right this thing is a disaster.

Arnold fired Brook Burke because she didn't make her husband ride bitch while modeling a motorcycle. The bike advertising wizards could get women to buy bikes (men already buy them they say) if Brook told her husband to cut off his balls and GET WITH THE GRRRLS RULE SCHOOL. Meanwhile having a tranny straddle the bike is considered a little to wild but worthy of artistic celebration just not, ya know, motorcycle sales aka the task at hand.

Arnold bragged he would have loved riding bitch, and you know Arnold is rich so "you're terminated."

Trainwreck. Oh, and the plastic surgery on most of these freaks, especially Arnold, reminds me of Escape From L.A.

This is a link showing Arnold's future, the schumck. I don't care if he is worth half a billion dollars or not.

FullMoon said...

Church aside, the Apprentice sucks. Arnold is a "if it was me, I would have" type of guy, or "this is the wonderful thing I did once".
Of course, it was bad with Trump also. Guess it had high ratings, but other stupid shows have high ratings also. Apparently Trump needs to remind everyone he was a *STAR*, or he needs to cut Arnold down to size. Did Arnold disrespect Trump somewhere along the way?

FullMoon said...

Bob Boyd said... [hush]​[hide comment]

So this Baptist minister and a Catholic priests are down by the river fucking an alligator...


......when a Rabbi floated by and....

Prince WillHRH said...

It's always good when Trump reveals his petty vindictive nature, especially in a prayer breakfast.

janetrae said...

RC - and yes, there are jokes in church. So, Ann, your instincts that CNN must not have a single practicing Christian within 10 blocks of their studio, are correct.

Paul Snively said...

You know, it's an interesting question, whether truth can be conveyed through comedy and laughter, and therefore whether Jesus ever laughed. Someone should write a book about that. Set in the Middle Ages, so the question could become a matter of life and death. Maybe in an abbey, remote, secluded, with a vast library that only some of the monks have access to, and suddenly monks start dying, and there's reason to believe it may be because of a mysterious book that may or may not be found in the library...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Has CNN ever gone to church?

No.

When I was lad the Church of Christ in the Christian Union that I attended briefly, with some relatives, had a Christian comedian actually come into the church and give a show. As I recall it was hilarious. Currently a Lutheran, which can be rather staid, and humor is a part of the sermons. Heck, he said, there is even a Lutheran Satire site on youtube.com.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH289KVhx1U

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=christian+comedians&qpvt=christian+comedians&view=detail&mid=120E00868B2573316077120E00868B2573316077&rvsmid=49CC47BDA0BFC4E3B47A49CC47BDA0BFC4E3B47A&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV

rcocean said...

So i went to a mixed religion seminar, The Christian Priest came, laid his hands on my hand and said, “By the will of Jesus Christ, you will walk today!”
I smiled and told him I was not paralyzed.
The Rabbi came, laid his hands on my hand and said, “By the will of God Almighty, you will walk today!
I was less amused when I told him there was nothing wrong with me.
The Mullah came, took my hands and said, “Insha Allah, you will walk today!”
I snapped at him, “There’s nothing wrong with me”
The Buddhist Monk came, held my hands and said, “By the will of The Great Buddha, you will walk today!”
I rudely told him there was nothing wrong with me.
After the sermons, I stepped outside and found my car had been stolen.

Kristian Holvoet said...

He should have just joked about having Arnold audited. That's clearly fine, by precedent.

CJinPA said...

Did anyone actually watch the video? It might help you to decide if this is the kind of humor you usually hear at church.

The way the clip is edited, I can say this is definitely not the kind of humor you hear at church. As edited, it's just a taunt, with the line about praying for Arnold tagged on at the end of the taunt.

I usually defend Trump, and I've probably written more about media bias than anyone here, but unless the full video reveals a different context, this looks like a dumb thing to do at a prayer service, killing the moment for every with internet snark. Maybe more context will help....

Ken B said...

Mine is like yours, and I am an atheist. I think a president who makes jokes is better than one who doesn't. Harder for CNN to portray as Hitler though.

Kansas City said...

Ann clearly is correct that CNN will continue to slant news every day to hurt Trump, and it probably will not hurt him with anyone who does no already hate him. Last night they had six anti-Trump people humorlessly agonizing over an insignificant phone call with the Australian PM.

Kirsten Powers, an honest liberal, had this look on her face like "why am I here?" She got to say about three sentences over two segments (she also now has an unflattering hair style).

There was perfect moment of how left wingers have no self awareness. Don Lemon was mimicking a puppet master when talking about Bannon's relationship with Trump. A guest picked up and started using the word puppet master. Lemon immediately and seriously said "I did not say that." The other guy, to his credit, said yeah, but you were acting it out with your hands.

To some extent, those who like or tolerate Trump have to accept that he is not going to change. It is sort of like letting Reagan be Reagan, although Reagan to me was much more likeable.

Trump is a very imperfect messenger delivering some good things, e.g., stopping Hillary, stopping for now dynastic politics, slowing and perhaps diminishing the power of liberals/big government, saving the Supreme Court from straight liberal orthodoxy on every issue, and hopefully delivering on other issues of importance.

Sebastian said...

Sorry, CNN. The Donald does not do humility. Then again, the only prez of the last half century who had any was, drum roll, W.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Winkleheimer said...

Also, I would like to recommend this book.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_21?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=between+heaven+and+mirth+by+james+martin+s.j&sprefix=between+heaven+and+mi%2Cstripbooks%2C147&crid=17L8PBO9ZJD4N&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Abetween+heaven+and+mirth+by+james+martin+s.j

Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life

Lyle Smith said...

Catholic Priests make jokes too!

The Cracker Emcee said...

"I would think religious folks in the room cringed at the me-me-me of the president in the context of prayer."

After 8 years of Obama I'm pretty sure they're inured to it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

A couple of Sundays ago the priest at the Episcopal congregation I've been attending said, at the 10 am service, "I understand the Cowboys are playing this afternoon. I promise you folks I'll get you home in time for kickoff. It's at 3:40, yes?"

lulz

Happy, healthy congregations meet life with a sense of joy, humor and not taking themselves too seriously. Which, coincidentally enough, does not describe most SJWs.

Fabi said...

"Trump's humor is never modest and self-effacing."

Chuck clearly missed it when Trump let one of the late night hosts ruffle up his hair.

Unexpectedly.

LYNNDH said...

Isn't there a painting of the Laughing Jesus?

Magson said...

In my church the membership are asked to preach periodically. My dad was asked one week, and he started with the old joke about our pastor loving golf but only being able to get a tee time on a Sunday morning. St. Peter complains to God about it and God responds by making the game go better than any game the pastor's ever had. Finally at the 18th hole God makes the ball do a hole-in-one. Peter's livid until God points out "Who's he going to tell?"

What made it funny was that just as my dad got to the punchline, the pastor cut the mike.

My dad was known as a jokester in our congregation, so when one of his friends got asked to speak, he started with the joke "I know you're supposed to open with a joke to soften the audience up, but I'm in construction, so I only know 3 jokes and I can't tell any of them in church. So I went to [my dad] for a joke... (collective groan from the entire congregation due to my dad always telling awful jokes) ... and now I have 4 jokes I can't tell."

Good times....

Limited blogger said...

Moses, Jesus, and Donald Trump walk into a bar.....

CJinPA said...

The Cracker Emcee said...
"I would think religious folks in the room cringed at the me-me-me of the president in the context of prayer."

After 8 years of Obama I'm pretty sure they're inured to it.

++

CNN anticipated that response, and chronicled Obama's Prayer Service remarks calling for religious unity. That's why Muslims aren't killing westerners anymore.

MadisonMan said...

rcocean, that was great. I'm listening to a presentation with others and fought laughter.

Darrell said...

Left-wing blogger wrote: Moses, Jesus, and Donald Trump walk into a bar.....

Jesus asks Trump who he wants to smite. "The Left," says Donald. "Consider them smote." Moses laughs.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"Trump's humor is never modest and self-effacing

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=trump+green+acres+video&view=detail&mid=7C3D31FB2E84F91AB6597C3D31FB2E84F91AB659&FORM=VIRE

Guildofcannonballs said...

Growing up, Father Gary was funny. I was too young except to hear about it but the word was he used to have a beer or two every now and then while out on the town.

Father Bill, I was afraid of, no lie. He made jokes, but of the variety dry. Too young to know, was I. Now though, I'd be slapping my thigh. Unless I up and join The Karate Kid's Cobra Kai.

wildswan said...

"The way the clip is edited, I can say this is definitely not the kind of humor you hear at church. As edited, it's just a taunt, with the line about praying for Arnold tagged on at the end of the taunt."

I watched the video - the keynote by Barry Black and then Trump's section which came immediately after. The speech by Black was great - it included jokes of various kinds, regular church humor and also it mentioned that the Bible shows us God speaking to Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar through prophets. It mentioned the prayer groups on Capitol Hill praying all through the election and how we must remember that God's ways are not our ways.

When Trump got up he mentioned how impressed he was with the speech. And how he wanted Barry Black to stay on and pray for him.

Barry Black's speech included a long section on how to pray which included the idea that we should speak to God as a friend and mention our material needs and wishes, that some blessings do not come unless we ask. In that context, we should place Trump's off-the-cuff remark that we should all pray for Arnold's ratings. Trump was introduced by his former agent who got him on the Apprentice so in that immediate context Arnold's ratings would come to mind as a thing to pray for. But CNN doesn't do off-the-cuff anymore than it does religion.

Then Trump began to speak about how religious Americans are and then about religious persecution, especially by ISIS which is persecuting Muslims, Jews and Christians. And how America is a place of religious liberty. And how our generous immigration policy is being taken advantage of by people who intend to end religious liberty. And how he intends to safeguard religious liberty in America by excluding ISIS and similar groups who intend to persecute Moslems, Jews and Christians for their beliefs. (King Abdullah of Jordan was in the audience.) And that ISIS targets some other very vulnerable people - meaning gays. And as President he will protect them. And that he intends to end the Johnson Amendment.

So ...a lot of interesting things said and done. Reduced by CNN to "Trump is no good." Why pay those "reporters" and analysts those high salaries. A CGI could do it all and probably look better and sound better. Or a homeless person could do it as well and much cheaper.

But what Barry Black said and what Trump said could only be done by those two and it was well worth watching. Even for non-religious because it contains Trump's answer to those accusing him of a "Muslim ban" and it is quite short; and the section also contains true religion in the form of Black's speech. So if you don't want to go to church you could listen since many people have forgotten what true religion is and others never knew.

Karen of Texas said...

And with Trump's cut of Arnold, those on the Left flock to The Apprentice in a show of support and ratings rebound...

Does Trump the producer still have any vested interest in the show? Does Arnold benefit if ratings soar? Are they secretly working together for mutual benefit?

Who knows...

And yes, even in the Catholic church humor is sometimes a part of the homily. Most priests suck at the whole homily thing, though, humor or not.

jimbino said...

And there are all sorts of calls to prayer for little things — like football games — that the believers don't really expect God to rig for them.

Prayer has never been shown to work, except for football games, where it appears to work exactly half the time.

Owen said...

Wild swan: thanks for the summary on what was actually said, rather than what CNN wants us to think was said.

This is a bad joke, all right, but it's by and about the media.

Tari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tari said...

Non-Protestant perspective: homilies in our Greek Orthodox church frequently have humor in them - and Father did wear his Cubs jersey after services right before and after the World Series this year, and told the story about the Greek guy with the goat who cursed the Cubs years ago. Our older son's Jesuit HS has a great priest (also the school's president) who gives very funny and slightly sarcastic homilies, because teenage boys relate to that well. I think he's a riot.

Even Bloomberg radio this AM acknowledged that it was a joke about The Apprentice. God forbid CNN do the same.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

We could put the National Prayer Breakfast in the bucket with the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Traditions which have outlived their time.

roesch/voltaire said...

It is all about Trump and ratings unless it is about Fredrick Douglas who has done an amazing job and doesn't need preys only jokes.

MaxedOutMama said...

My reaction is similar to yours, Ann. I can't believe that many people who are sincerely religious would be offended.

The new CNN puritanism deeply amuses me!!!

Francisco D said...

I am an ELCA Lutheran. We tend to be theologically liberal and politically mixed. That combo works for me.

The problem with Pastors telling jokes from the pulpit are two-fold:

1. With political jokes, they have to make fun of both the right and the left or a significant part of the congregation will be pissed.

2. With non-political jokes, most of the congregation feels obliged to laugh, especially when it is not at all funny.


As an aside, I thought Trump was funny because (like a good punch line) his dig at Ahnold was so unexpected.

Lexington Green said...

More "literally not serioiusly" and more "autistically humorless" from the stoopid media.

Fernandinande said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
"Trump's humor is never modest and self-effacing
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=trump+green+acres+video&view=detail&mid=7C3D31FB2E84F91AB6597C3D31FB2E84F91AB659&FORM=VIRE

(Sings[sic] "Green Acres")

Vince McMahon didn't welsh on his bet like whats-his-name did -
Donald Trump bodyslams, beats and shaves Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania XXIII


Drago said...

MayBee: "CNN has become something other than a news source. It's like a Political Entertainment show."

Yes and "vindictive" is the word the Journolist-ers passed around for all their little parrots to dutifully parrot across the land.

See if you can find the parrot on this blog.

For once, it is not "lifelong republican" Chuck, who is usually quite susceptible to whatever the latest insane lefty anti-Trump and/or lefty anti-Barron Trump meme happens to be.

hombre said...

From my Evangelical pastor during a sermon on Pharisees: "I grew up in a strict Baptist family and I'm lucky to be here. The church discouraged intercourse because it might lead to dancing."

robother said...

Why is there a "National Prayer Breakfast"? Breakfast is the one meal we never even said grace for in a pretty devout Catholic family.

Snark said...

I think some have gotten a bit too coiled waiting to spring to the defence of a president who doesn't really deserve it just because is serves a satisfying narrative about the press. It's not the use of humour, clearly, but the apparent need of the president to always hammer the square peg of his greatness and accomplishments into the round hole of just about anything. No, a prayer breakfast is not the place to brag about yourself and diminish others. Yes, CNN is right to highlight these remarks. His behaviour in this area of repeated self-aggrandizement IS bizarre, for anyone, in almost any context. They're correct in this implication.

human terms said...

Nailed it, Ann. The people in the media bubble continue to "otherize" themselves to mainstream America.

PWS said...

I don't disagree with what you've said about church; that's mostly been my experience too. I think the analysis should include some focus on Trump's behavior too; the media is the media; there are a million different outlets across the political spectrum. They're kind of like a force of nature; they're there; they do what they do. So I'm not sure how interesting it is to keep noticing what they're doing; it's not unexpected.

Maybe a more interesting question: Does Trump act the way he does because it's all calculated or does he happen to be the right person at the right time? Or stated slightly differently, Is he consciously playing a role or is this just who he is?

One thing people are sick of is politicians "acting" etc. Part of Trump's appeal is his supposed "authenticity." Wouldn't it be something if Trump was just the next iteration of a calculating politician?

TheThinMan said...

I've been to all kinds of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish services, and lots of Unitarian ones. The all told jokes, from the most liberal services to the most conservative ones. I remember one Unitarian minister telling a joke about "shit." Also every memorial service mixes laughter with tears. You can't have one without the other.

Jamie said...

PWS, I've been half believing and half hoping that most of Pres. Trump's public persona is performance art. If it is, then he'll presumably bring primarily the force of his decades in the business world (successful and not - failures and missteps have value too) to bear on governing, reserving the persona stuff for the cameras. If it isn't, then we don't really know what we'll get.

I voted for him because I had to vote for somebody, wasn't about to vote for Clinton, and didn't want to protest-vote, but it still rather shocks me to hear, say, and type "President" and "Trump" one right after the other. So far I'm cautiously encouraged by his doing pretty much what he said during his campaign, and I'm thoroughly transfixed by the meltdown on the other side of the aisle and in the media - but I can't stop feeling worried about whether the Left's hand-wringing and wolf-crying and the Right's schadenfreude (including my own) will prevent any as-yet-unseen real concerns from being taken seriously.

Martin said...

Yesterday, Michael Medved said that Trump's comment re The Apprentice came right after he was introduced by his former producer for that show (a producer of religious- and Christian-theme movies and TV), who talked about what a great experience it was working together for 14 years.

So, I would agree Trump's comment was self-glorifying and in that way inappropriate for a religious event, but it's not like he mentioned the Apprentice totally out of the blue. It was a natural segue, tho he didn't have to go all Trump and knock the current show.

But then Schwarzenegger, acting as a typical Hollywood jerk but also a failed Governor, showed that it is impossible for any liberal to not take the bait, and made himself look silly, reminding us all of why he failed in politics. Trump's best assets are the ones who hate him the most, because for all his faults, he looks good compared to them.