Dear conservatives: The fruit is rotten

When did we forget how to tell good from evil?

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

“By their fruits you will know them.” While not the most commonly-quoted passage from the Gospels, these words echo for almost anyone who grew up in conservative, evangelical circles. Like most of Jesus’s teachings, it’s fairly simple: the only way to tell if something is truly good or bad is to wait and see what it produces. Someone can have “all the best words” and still be wrong if their speech brings about evil.

I thought oranges would be the worst…but no, rotting peaches are way more gross.
The devices were too poorly-constructed to be triggered during the opening process. However, the FBI has confirmed that they are, in fact, real live explosives.
Bowers posted his threats on Gab, a right-wing social media site intended for people who think Facebook and Twitter censor conservatives. Let that sink in.
  • He referred to Jews as a “k*** infestation” and said Jewish support for refugees was “sugar-coated evil”.
  • He claimed the caravan of refugees seeking asylum were “violent” and set on invasion, commenting, “I have noticed a change in people saying ‘illegals’ that now say ‘invaders’. I like this.”
Never mind that applying for political asylum at the border is literally the exact legal process prescribed under federal law (INA § 208.a.2).
Trump has admitted there is no evidence that the group contains any dangerous elements.

“By their fruits you will know them.”

The principle can be misapplied, a point I tried to make (usually without success) at many points during my teen years. If you grew up in a conservative evangelical environment, you probably heard the passage quoted along with others (like “bad company corrupts good character”) to explain why you couldn’t do the thing you wanted to do, even if it didn’t seem problematic in itself. “Sure, you could play video games, but what kind of fruit would they produce? Better not.” “Oh, you can’t believe what that person says; she’s been divorced. You know bad fruit doesn’t come from good trees.”

Imagine if Harry Truman had said there were “good people on both sides” of the Normandy beaches.
  • “He’s only getting the crowd excited.”
  • “Maybe he’s just more blunt than we’re used to.”
  • “A Democrat said something like that, once!”
  • “Some of this stuff is just common sense.”
  • “It’s not racist; it just sounds that way to liberals.”
  • “We can disagree with his words but still support his policies.”

But…by their fruits you will know them.

When does it end? How many bombs have to show up in mailboxes? How many elderly minorities have to be shot to death in their house of prayer? How much hatred and evil and bloodshed must we see before conservatives and evangelicals finally admit that the fruit is not worth it? That Trump is consciously encouraging actual Nazis, and the GOP is simply unwilling to rein him in?

“I tell you the truth, it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth: this defiles a person.”

If your national Republican candidate isn’t willing to stand up to Trump, find someone else to vote for. Look for candidate in the Libertarian Party you agree with…or, heck, someone in the Constitution Party, if that’s where you fall. You can even vote for local candidates and choose not to cast a vote in the national election. Send a message to the GOP that people are more important than power, truth is more important than money, and principles can’t be sacrificed for policy.

I was right. Rotting peaches really are the worst.

Anyone with really good ideas will always be looking for better ones. Writing about law, fundamentalism, and science denial…book to follow.

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