Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 12, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 12, 2015 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Dr. Tina Paul

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Marc Garlett

Pat Birdsall (retired)



This week I spent an unseasonably warm evening at church 
listening to kids sing Christmas songs when I suddenly 
found myself tearing up. During an inspired rendition of 
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” I was overwhelmed with a 
sense of gratitude that these children could distract me in 
their sweet, showy innocence from the meanness and insanity of adults.

 For a moment, the pageant cleansed me of the nuclear poison caused by Donald 
Trump. The past weeks have been difficult ones for people who don’t fit easily into any 
tidy political category. I certainly don’t.

 On the one hand, I hate people who take offense at the drop of a hat. It’s ridiculous 
to dance around the fact that the massacre in San Bernardino was executed by a 
radicalized U.S. citizen and his jihadist wife. They were Muslim. 

 On the other hand, the radiologist who fought mightily to save my father’s life three 
decades ago and who cried at his funeral was also Muslim.

 So are many people I call friends.

 So are some arrogant apologists at CAIR.

 So are the soldiers on the ground in the Middle East fighting ISIS.

 So are most of its victims.

 Religion is relevant, then. But it’s not determinative. And the idea that we’re going to 
applaud someone who thinks you can bar an entire group of believers from the United 
States is frightening to me.

 I’m more afraid of the people at Trump rallies who think he’s an immigration and 
Constitutional Scholar, and are willing to draw barbed wire in front of a Muslim seeking 
admission. They parrot talking points they’ve heard on the radio and television, and 
lack any sense of doubt or humility. They call themselves Americans. I’d call them 
something else.

 I remember seven years ago, when Sarah Palin was being ridiculed by liberals for 
being stupid. It was beyond offensive, and showed that progressives like to demean the 
intelligence of their philosophical opponents.

 I vowed then that I would never do that. But I will also not ignore that some people, 
in order to maintain the integrity of their values, will not listen to facts. They will 
integrate opinion into their arguments, and convince themselves that their beliefs are 
objectively true.

 They will also report poll statistics from polls with which they agree, and ignore the 
statistics from those that run counter to their preconceptions. You will try and discuss 
with them, calmly, the issues. They will take offense, and respond with a certitude that 
stuns, or at least cuts off the conversation.

 If you say you can’t exclude an entire group of people based on the way they pray to 
God, regardless of the deformation of their faith by others, you hear “Well 
Roosevelt did it, with the Japanese.” Actually, Roosevelt interned a lot of people, didn’t 
exclude them, but he also refused to accept Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, and set 
up camps for Italian and German Americans as well. This was not based on religion, 
and this was during wartime, but it is now seen as having been the singular dark mark 
on an otherwise admirable political life.

 This is not an example to bolster the righteousness of Trump’s position.

 And still we end up with a low threshold debate about all Muslims being potential 
terrorists so we have to keep them out. And the buffoon with the hairdo gets standings 

 That’s why I had moist eyes at the Christmas concert. Those sweet, high voices were 
inviting me to listen to the message of grace, of welcome, a Christian message of hope. 
And all I could feel was gratitude that these babies weren’t yet old enough to hate the 
stranger more than they loved their neighbor, mixed with regret that they would have 
to grow up, possibly under a President Trump.

 Hence, the tears.


© 2015 Christine Flowers. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia 
Daily News, and can be reached at



Making mistakes is not in the resume of the 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. That was, up 
until now.

 I am not known as Mr. Perfect by any stretch 
of the imagination. If there is a mistake to be 
made, I have already made it or it is on my “Bucket 
List.” I have made a lifetime profession of making 

 Sooner or later, I am going to come to the end 
of this and stop making mistakes. I suppose I will 
have to live as long as Methuselah to achieve that 
goal, and believe me, I do not plan to live that long, 
only long enough to come to the end of all of my 

 I must say I was making progress until this 
past week. Actually, it was not my mistake that 
highlighted the week, which made it remarkable.

 My wife does not make mistakes, but this past 
week she made a blunder of all blunders. Believe 
me; I am not smiling except on the inside where I 
am actually laughing hysterically.

 It is that time of the year when Christmas 
decorations magically appear in our very gracious 
and merry domicile. The procedure along this line 
is that I am to just stay out of her way. It is amazing 
what she can do when I am out of her way!

 I suppose this year she was a little behind 
schedule, which is rather unusual for her and she 
made the blunder of all blunders by asking if I 
could help bring in the Christmas tree.

 I remember the last time I brought in the 
Christmas tree. At this point, I will not give any 
details only to say that somebody had to go out, 
purchase a new Christmas tree and then clean up 
the mess from the old Christmas tree. Enough 
said along that line.

 Whether my wife forgot about that incident in 
the busyness of the season or whether she thought 
I had grown out of that kind of thing.

 What most wives do not understand is that 
every man reaches the height of maturity at the 
age of 15, if lucky. It does not matter how old 
a man gets, he is always 15 in heart and mind, 
particularly mind.

 In the beginning of our marriage journey, we 
had live Christmas trees for Christmas. Through 
the years it became more prudent to buy an 
artificial Christmas tree. And so, the artificial 
Christmas tree was packed away in some corner 
of the garage.

 I say garage, but it is not garage in the typical 
sense of the word. I am not allowed in the garage 
without being supervised. Years ago, my wife 
transformed our garage into her woodworking 
shop with all of the equipment needed for that kind 
of work. Since I do not work with woodworking 
projects, I am not allowed in that area.

 When she supervises my visit in her “workshop,” 
I am not allowed to touch anything. And by 
anything, she means, “Don’t touch anything!” She 
visualizes this instruction by placing both hands 
on her hips and staring at me with one of “those 

 I followed her into that sacred space, “her 
workshop,” to assist her in taking the Christmas 
tree into the living room.

 All was going very well as we extricated 
ourselves from her “workshop,” and navigated 
into the living room. I might mention that the 
Christmas tree was well packaged in a very heavy 
box and I had the heaviest end.

 Then it happened. I am not sure how it 
happened, I just know it happened.

 For some odd reason the Christmas tree box 
decided on its own to jump out of my hands 
and make a dive for the floor. There was a loud 
crashing sound and a lot of yelling on both sides 
of the box. I am not quite sure who was yelling 
louder, my wife or me.

 In the midst of it all I heard my wife scream, 
“Don’t move.”

 When all the screaming died down and the 
dust settled, we were able to examine the damage. 
For one, the box seemed broken beyond repair. 
The Christmas tree inside the box did not seem to 
suffer any damage. That was not the worst of it.

 Neither of us moved until we had examined 
the situation and much to my alarm the box had 
fallen within one half inch of my wife’s foot. At 
this moment, I was sweating profusely.

 Then I heard her softly, almost whisper, say, 
“You can be glad it missed my toe.”

 I was.

 My greatest temptation at the time was to 
laugh. I mean, really laugh out loud. One glance at 
my wife informed me that to laugh out loud at this 
moment was to jeopardize my toe.

 Sometimes the best form of valor is to laugh 
inside without your face knowing you are 

 Later that evening as we were sitting around the 
Christmas tree drinking some eggnog I thought 
of a verse of Scripture. “Whatsoever thy hand 
findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no 
work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in 
the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

 Tis the season to reflect on all the work that 
our hands have found to do during the past year. 
The Christmas tree is just a symbol of working 
together and it is always the outcome that matters 
not the process.


 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 
34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver 
Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or 
e-mail The church website 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
Inc. and reserves the right 
to refuse publication of 
advertisements and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285




HOWARD Hays As I See It

MICHAEL Reagan Making Sense


 “You can’t be a Trump Republican and a Ronald 
Reagan Republican.”

 That’s the tweet I sent to Jeb Bush the other day, 
when virtually the entire planet was united in 
bashing Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban 
on Muslim immigration to the USA.

 I also tweeted another obvious truth, “If the Republican Party doesn’t 
dump Donald Trump, the American people will.

 Trump’s outrageous “Muslims Keep Out” plan – apparently his policy 
answer to last week’s terrorist attack in San Bernadino – is an embarrassment 
to our country and what it stands for.

 It’s also a serious threat to the Republican Party, because it’s being used by 
Hillary, Democrat hacks in Congress and the Big Liberal Media to smear the 
GOP as the party of bigots and idiots.

 Completely shutting down Muslim immigration is the latest – and probably 
the worst -- idea in a series of awful ideas that Trump throws out whenever he 
feels he’s not getting enough media attention.

 He launched his political career by promising he’d “solve” the immigration 
problem by rounding up 11 million Hispanics and other illegals and tossing 
them out of the country.

 Now he’s attacking 1.2 billion Muslims. Who will be his next target? Three 
billion Asians? 

 Trump is awful – for America and for the Republican Party. But we’ve 
known that for months.

 What bothers me even more than the stupid things the billionaire says, 
however, are the cheers I hear from the crowds at his packed events.

I know those hardcore Trump Yahoos are not all Republicans or conservatives. 
But when they go nuts over something as idiotic as Trump’s plan to keep out 
Muslims, it’s scary to me -- very scary.

 Someone needs to tell the Trump Yahoos we’re not in a war against the 
world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.

 We’re in a war against radical Islam and the barbaric terrorists who’ve 
decided that their 8th Century interpretation of their religion gives them the 
duty to declare a bloody holy war on Western Civilization.

 By the way, most Muslims are at war against the radical Islamists, too, 
mainly because they’re the ones who are getting killed by ISIS in the biggest 

 Many Trump Yahoos are just as confused about what conservatism really 

 If one more person comes up to me and says, “I loved your father and I’m 
supporting Donald Trump,” I may hit him.

 Trump is nothing like my father. My father united people. That’s why he 
won elections. Trump doesn’t unite anyone but confused white people.

 Republicans are always the minority party. The only way we ever win a 
general election is by bringing people together – Ronald Reagan Democrats 
and conservative Latinos, blacks, Asians and Muslims.

 Yes, there are conservative Muslims. Or at least there were. In 2000, nearly 
80 percent of American Muslims voted for George W. Bush.

 If the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump, it’s certain that Hillary 
will become the next president and we’ll all lose.

 Trump is in the process of killing what’s left of my father’s GOP. He spends 
most of his time throwing people off the Republican bus, not inviting them 
on it.

 The GOP has to find a way to stop Trump. It has to nominate a real 
Republican, a real conservative, who can unite the party around its core 
principles and show the country that Republicans are nothing like the 

 If the Party of Lincoln can’t dump Trump and go back to its conservative 
roots, by next fall we’ll be hearing my father say from his grave, “I didn’t leave 
the Republican Party, they left me.”


 Copyright ©2015 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President 
Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan 
Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.
com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and Send comments to Reagan@ Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. 

 Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper 
syndicate. For info on using columns contact Sales at

“You know how to make 
America great again? Tell 
Donald Trump to go to hell.”

- Sen. Lindsay Graham 

Questions getting attention 
over this past week have 
been how do we best fight 
ISIS abroad, and prevent 
terrorism here at home? I 
could address them with three words: “I don’t 

 Sometimes it’s easier knowing what not to do. 
You shouldn’t, for instance, advance the goals of 
the enemy – as Donald Trump has been doing.

With positions in Syria and Iraq under attack 
and France, Germany and the U.K. increasingly 
on the offensive, the problem for the Islamic 
State has been recruitment. They’ve dealt with 
unpopularity ranging from 5% approval in Saudi 
Arabia down to 1% among Sunni Muslims in 
Lebanon, according to figures out a year ago 
from the Washington Institute of Near Eastern 

 In its online magazine “Dabiq”, Islamic State 
celebrated the “Charlie Hebdo” attack in Paris 
early this year for advancing its recruitment 
strategy; it “eliminated the grayzone” – one 
of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and 
those who aren’t. It brought “further division 
to the world”, leading to a time when “Muslims 
in the West will soon find themselves between 
one of two choices; either apostatize” or head 
on over to the “Islamic State, and thereby escape 
persecution from the crusader governments and 

 They expressed appreciation for the previous 
administration and its role in boosting Islamic 
State’s recruitment; “Bush spoke the truth when 
he said, ‘Either you are with us or you are with 
the terrorists.’ I.e. either you are with the crusade 
or you are with Islam.” 

 But now, the biggest recruitment booster 
and most effective propagandist for their cause 
is Donald Trump. There was his proposal 
to require Muslims to register in a national 
database; there was talk of surveillance over and 
shutting down of mosques; and now declaring 
“we have no choice” but to ban Muslims from 
entering the country – including the return of 
U.S. citizens travelling abroad and, presumably, 
Muslim members of the U.S. Armed Forces 
stationed overseas.

 Most of us are months away from focusing on 
the presidential race and final decisions. There 
may be issues we’re concerned about, but Trump’s 
celebrity buffoonery remains a sideshow. 

 Elsewhere, it’s different. Throughout Europe, 
Asia and the Gulf States they’re taking Trump’s 
words seriously – and with great alarm. They’re 
alarmed by signs of xenophobic fascism, by 
the betrayal of values long-exemplified by the 
United States. They’re alarmed by gifts of such 
invaluable propaganda given to the Islamic 
State. Most of all, they’re alarmed that Trump 
maintains a significant lead for a major party’s 
nomination to be President of the United States.

Here at home, alarm is bipartisan. House 
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) reminds that “This is 
not conservatism . . . not what this party stands 
for. And more importantly, it’s not what this 
country stands for.” Former V.P. Dick Cheney 
said Trump’s proposal “goes against everything 
we stand for and believe in.” Jeb Bush called 
Trump “unhinged” (though he joined Ben 
Carson and Sen. Ted Crux in suggesting Syrian 
refugees be limited to Christian-only).

 It’s not just politics, values and/or our 
Constitution. Sen. Graham, quoted above, warns 
“This helps the enemy. It puts our soldiers and 
diplomats at risk, it undermines the war effort, 
and it’s ruining the Republican Party.” Pentagon 
spokesman Peter Cook points out, “Anything 
that bolsters ISIL’s narrative and pits the United 
States against the Muslim faith is certainly not 
only contrary to our values but contrary to our 
national security”.

 Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson 
said although he’s tried to stay out of politics, 
“When a leading candidate for office proposes 
something that is irresponsible, probably illegal, 
unconstitutional, and contrary to international 
law, un-American, and will actually hurt our 
efforts at homeland security and national 
security, we have to speak out.”

 Deputy White House National Security 
Advisor Ben Rhodes told CNN, “The fact of 
the matter is ISIL wants to frame this as a war 
between the United States and Islam, and if 
we look like we’re applying religious tests who 
comes into this country, we’re sending a message 
that essentially we’re embracing that frame. 
And that is going to make it very difficult to 
partner with Muslim communities here in the 
United States and around the world to prevent 
this scourge of radicalization that we need to be 
focused on. We should be making it harder for 
ISIL to portray this as a war between the United 
States and Islam, not easier.”

 We know what not to do. The harder question 
is; what do we do?

 Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of our 
Constitution, the power is vested in Congress “To 
declare War”. In France, Germany and the U.K., 
actions against ISIS were preceded by vigorous 
debates in their respective parliaments on costs, 
objectives, strategies, etc. before military action 
was taken.

 White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest 
called for Congress to pass an Authorization 
for Use of Military Force resolution President 
Obama sent it over a year ago, confirm a 
counterterrorism financing chief in the Treasury 
Department, tighten security on the Visa Waiver 
Program and prevent those on the terrorist 
watch list from buying guns. He said Congress’ 
inaction is “wrong, dangerous and falls far short 
of what the America people deserve” and that 
it “must stop using the fact that these issues are 
difficult as an excuse for doing nothing.” 

 The Republican Congress has managed to take 
action on its own priorities: taking healthcare 
away from millions of Americans; enforcing 
government and employer control over women’s 
reproductive decisions and protecting would-
be terrorists from inconveniences in obtaining 
firearms and explosives.

 It would be reassuring to see congress consider 
the fight against ISIS abroad and terrorism here 
at home as priorities, as well – more than just a 
source for campaign talking points.

 But it was nice, anyway, to hear a prominent 
GOP senator tell a purveyor of ISIS propaganda 
where to go.

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of

community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in high 
regard the values 
of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: