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A Biblical Perspective on Armed Self-Defense

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As a Christian, Apostolic Teacher, and former Pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have always been a Second Amendment supporter.  In light of recent National and International Terrorist attacks I have found myself in more open discussions concerning guns. Many of the questions and discussions have centered on whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to use guns in the defense of their lives and the lives of their families, friends, and other innocents.  I have always believed that it is appropriate for a Christian to defend innocent life. Not only is it appropriate, it is their obligation. How that defense happens is perhaps the question of many.

In order to give an apologetic (defense) answer, I feel that I need to define a couple phrases. Almost inevitably, someone asking the question about deadly force in reference to guns, will use the phrase “shoot to kill”. That phrase seems to come with a lot of assumptions and attitude behind it. That negative connotation is expressed, especially when in reference to property and protecting the “stuff” in life (not people).  In  my Concealed Handgun License classes in Florida this was brought up and discussed.  The point is that there are many circumstances surrounding protection of property, and “what if” questions are always abundant. The main point, to me is about the threat and the circumstances around the threat towards yourself and other innocents.

The other phrase though should be more common than deadly force, or shoot to kill is: “shoot to stop the threat”. Shooting to stop the threat is much less ominous, and in fact more appropriate for all cases when you need to react to that threat.  Before continuing remember that all states treat various situations differently (unfortunately), and you need to be completely and fully aware of your state’s (and sometimes even city) laws and eccentricities when it comes to owning, carrying and using a firearm.

  • In Psalm 82:4 (Lexham English Bible) it says that we are to “Rescue the helpless and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
  • Nehemiah 4:14b (LEB) we are told to “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” These passages and others in like contextual reference, show us that we are required by biblical principles to defend innocent life, be it our families or merely the “helpless and needy”.

This defense is especially compelling when it comes to our own household.

  • I Timothy 5:8 (LEB) states that “…if someone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially the members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  In New and Old Testament scriptures we find command in reference to providing for the defense and safety of our loved ones?

Now that we have mentioned defending yourself, loved ones and innocents, how this is accomplished in our fallen world is the next phase. I believe that scripture is clear that we can not only arm ourselves in response to life threatening situations; but skill at arms is presented in a positive light as well. We are expected to have the tools and to acquire the skills needed to fulfill our obligation in protecting innocents from the evil that is loose in the world.  This is clearly demonstrated Psalms:

  • Psalm 144:1 (LEB) “Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, the one who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war—” and again in
  • Psalm 18:34 (LEB) “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

Yes, thee is the context of war, and not self-defense, but he the Lord’s teaching if focused on the training and the center of faith of being prepared in the proper use of arms.

  • Luke 11:21-22 (LEB) tells us that “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his possessions are ⌊safe⌋. But when a stronger man attacks him and conquers him, he takes away his full armor in which he trusted and distributes his plunder.”

This passage of scripture not only allows specifically for armed defense, but serves as a model for what we refer to as the Castle (your home is your “castle”) Doctrine. The peoples of the New Testament were fully aware of our lost and fallen world.  So, for me, stopping the threat is something that is part of my worldview and awareness of what’s around me. The most grand and exotic worldly possessions do not have the value of any human life. I would probably not use deadly force in defense of property, but I would not hesitate to stop the threat, to save the lives of family and innocents. Home invasions are not uncommon and having armed intruders is reason for defense and an attitude of wanting to stop the threat. Make no mistake, malicious people are in the fallen-world these days, in droves.

This “stop the threat” way of thinking is supported by scripture. On the other hand, we see clearly that murder is not permissible, but we should also understand that not all killing is the same as murder. Biblically speaking, we see that if the break-in occurs in light of day, deadly force is not automatically mandated. The point here, as I mentioned previously is that deadly force is not commanded simply to defend property. It shows that in the light of day it is possible to discern whether or not the intent of the malicious person(s) run deeper than mere theft. Today, as in Exodus-Bible-days, thieves who would enter your home under cover of night often have intentions that include violence, home invasions stand out in my mind. In the dark it must be assumed that there is a deeper level of threat and stopping the threat with deadly force can be an acceptable response.

The New Testament affords fewer references to arms and an armed defense. But Jesus does give us some insights into his thoughts on the matter:

  • Luke 22:35–39 (LEB) 35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out without a money bag and a traveler’s bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” And they said, “Nothing.” 36 And he said to them, “But now the one who has a money bag must take it, and likewise a traveler’s bag. And the one who does not have a sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this that is written must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was counted with the criminals.’ For indeed, what is written about me ⌊is being fulfilled⌋.” 38 So they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords!” And he said to them, “It is adequate.” 39 And he went away and proceeded, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed him.

We see that Jesus wished for at least some of the Disciples to be armed, presumably for the purposes of defense. It is Important to note that the sword was the “assault rifle” of the day, so Jesus not only wanted his men armed but well-armed. Even when Jesus allowed himself to be taken by the Pharisees, and stopped his disciples from using their weapons to defend Him, he did not condemn arms.

  • John 18:10–11 (LEB) 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. (Now the name of the slave was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into its sheath! The cup that the Father has given me—shall I not drink it?”

Simon Peter was told to sheath his blade, not to abandon or relinquish it. Armed defense, although appropriate at times, was the path that Jesus wanted to follow at the moment. He had other things to do on our behalf, but that is another story.

Is it appropriate for Christians to keep arms for the purpose of defending innocent life from evil people in this currently, fallen world? It is. God in his infinite wisdom has seen to it that we are cleared to use this option should it be necessary. There is no inconsistency in followers of Christ, while striving for peace, using arms when called upon to do so. The use of deadly force to stop the threat is a tremendous responsibility though. One that should not be entered into in any but the most pressing of circumstances.

There are some home defense points and comments that I would also like to make that are part of the overall relationship in stopping a threat. The first thing I want to say is that whether your state laws require a permit or license and you have had training, owning a firearm does not make you invulnerable. Many times, especially people that choose to legally carry a firearm, tend to think that because they have this tool, that it will somehow keep them from violence. That way of thinking is a false dichotomy and incorrect. Every situation is different and always being aware of your surroundings should always be kept in the forefront of your mind.

Some firearms owners believe that a pistol is only there to help them “fight their way to their rifle or shotgun”. This too, is an incorrect perception of firearms in actual use. The majority of gun fights start and finish in less than 20 seconds. And they’re even more likely to be over in 10 seconds or less. As with any other tool, you should try to master it. Training and practice will help to make every shot count. Train and practice at every opportunity you get.

Training isn’t merely shooting paper targets at the range, though this may be the best available way to practice. Real threats move, and they’re fighting back. Nothing will ever make you 100% prepared for an active threat that needs to be stopped. However, the closer you get to the real thing, the more prepared you’ll be to stop the threat and defend your life and the lives of other innocents.

For firearm owners, there’s talk of something that is referred to as “stopping power”. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, in reality and this fallen and cursed world, there is no such thing as stopping power. It doesn’t really matter the caliber of choice. More often than not, the threat you face, will be on drugs. Illegal/illicit drugs have a way of numbing the mind and senses. There are many stories of drugged up criminals taking over a dozen shots, and still fleeing the scene. With that said, there is something to be said for larger caliber and specially made self-defense ammunition. But the best stopping power is whatever you have that you have trained and practiced with and are not afraid to use to stop the threat.

I really hate to say the next one, but keep in mind your particular neighborhood and where you live. You may want to think about whether you let your children answer the door and at what time of the day. Seriously, most home invasions aren’t initiated by kicking in the door, they generally knock first. And as soon as your child opens the door, they’ve got a hostage… or worse, their first victim. Just something to think about.  Speaking of home invasions, they are not as rare as we might hope. Thinking that it might happen to you isn’t paranoia. There are more than 40,000 of them each year. Just go to Google and type in “home invasions”. The sheer number of stories that pop up will shock you. Again, of course, you will want to know your local area and ascertain your risk or not. The important thing to remember is that your home is your “castle”, and it needs a well-trained, armed, intelligent defender.

What we’re seeing today is not a gun problem; it’s a violence problem, it’s a moral problem; it’s a sin problem. We are witnessing the rapid deterioration of a nation, and Christian worldview. We have lost our moral compass and we have lost the fear of the Lord. When the fear of the Lord decreases, evil increases.  “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both” (Dwight D. Eisenhower).

One of the Scriptures often used to support banning weapon-use (especially for Christians) is found in Proverbs:

  • Proverbs 20:22 (LEB) – “Do not say ‘I will repay evil’; wait for Yahweh and he will deliver you.”

This Scripture is dealing with vengeance and vigilantism, not self-defense. Those who want to do harm will always find a way around the law. Restricting firearms is not the answer. For the Christian, self/personal defense is not about vengeance at all, let alone vigilantism.

Many people, including Christians misapply some scriptures, because they don’t understand that there is a different sphere of understanding when it comes to the authorities versus, or over and against the individual.

  • “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet”. (Robert Winthrop)

As Christians, I believe that we are to seek peace at every turn and not drape the cross with the flag. But what about self-defense and biblical mandates to protect when spouses or children are involved, especially?  The Old Testament offers a plethora of examples, but what about the New Testament?

  • Matthew 26:52 (LEB), Jesus says to Peter, “Put your sword back into its place! For all who take up the sword will die by the sword.”

Interesting scripture, but what you won’t find is Jesus denouncing the sword, instead He clarifies it’s place. When we take premature, emotionally charged action, it may cost us our lives. Then in

  • Luke 22:36 Jesus says, “But now, let him who has a purse take it and also a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his garment and buy one.”

As a Christian, err on the side of peace, but this isn’t always an option. One thing is certain: A sword was for defense. Jesus initially sent them on a peaceful mission trip where they did not need these items, but now Jesus may have been saying, “I was your provision and your safety, and I still am, but I also want you to be prepared … to use wisdom.”

But some may argue, “Didn’t Jesus say to love our enemies, and bless those who curse us, and do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute us?” (Matt. 5:43-48.) Yes. However, these references refer to personal assaults, offenses and character assassinations. It is a quantum leap to believe that Jesus is saying, “Do good to those who are trying to physically harm your family.”

Paul tells Timothy that if “any do not care for their own, and especially for those of their own house, they have denied the faith and are worse than unbelievers” (1 Tim. 5:8). But those who seek to protect their family, which is often a greater responsibility (if not equal), are often labeled war-mongers, violent and accused of misapplying the Scriptures, if they believe in having and training to use a gun.

The Scriptures must be read in their totality. For example, when Jesus was slapped, He didn’t turn the other cheek. He said, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why do you strike me?” (John 18:23). Although we are to err on the side of grace and peace, there is a time and a place for confrontation and protection.  Understand that I’m not advocating violence or aggression; I’m advocating scriptural consistency and continuity. Context is the key factor here. Forgiving is not being passive, and granting grace is not being gullible.

Are we called to guard our families spiritually, emotionally and financially but not physically? This makes no sense. However, my concern with the current gun debate is that we are buying into the fear frenzy. A minimizing of sovereignty is directly related to a magnifying of worry.

  • “Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man” (R.C. Sproul).

Many are prepared militarily but not spiritually, instilling unhealthy fear in their families. We are putting the fear of man into them rather than the fear of God. I hear all about Colt, Glock, Smith and Wesson and Remington, but little about brokenness, surrender to God and humility.  Our gun safes are full, but our prayer closets are empty. This is the real problem—we need to spend less time listening to and watching conservative talking-heads, and more time reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Every time God’s people trusted in their weapons and armies, He called them to repentance. Our protection is in daily submission to Him.

  • Psalm 121:1-3 adds: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.”

Our current trend beckons us to be very careful about who, or what, we “worship.” Who, or what, we place our trust in.

This is an article, which I have taken some literary freedom with, but which I believe is a very timely article for today’s Christian.

The article was written by: Brent Hoefling·Tuesday, December 22, 2015

 

Muslim Woman Issues Chilling Warning to the West about Dangers of Islam

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Not an ISIS type warning.

Not even a threat of any kind.

A Muslim woman from Egypt has written an open letter to the western world warning us of what Islam is really like… and what it does to a society. And yes, it goes beyond the unflattering nature of the burka.

This brave woman, Magda Borham (whose name was changed for purposes of safety), wrote a scathing exposé of life under Islam. Every American should read it:

Islam is not like any other religion. Islam is a supremacist racist political and social ideology wrapped in a thin peel of religious rituals. It seeks domination and supremacy over all other systems and religions. Islam is worse than Nazism and fascism systems combined without any doubt.

Worse than Nazism. Worse. Than. Nazism. And Fascism. COMBINED. That’s like, two really bad things together. Yet the left repeatedly calls this the religion of peace, and pro-life people terrorists. So much for priorities.

She continues,

Muslims are in your country, but they live not to integrate or to be part of your society or at least to be equal with others, but to dominate and to be the only privileged group. Muslims achieve this  by turning you into a second class citizen in your own country.

They immigrate to your countries holding the same belief system that turned their lives into hell on earth. This same belief, same religion made their lives unsupportable in their original societies. It is the same religion that transformed their countries into war zones of endless conflicts. Muslims now homeless want to apply this system and live and apply the same destruction in your own country.

Muslims are not in your country to help build it or to make it prosper.  Many believe this, including politicians. Muslims are in your country to drain its resources and to suck the blood out of society. For example Muslims represent the majority of all your country’s welfare recipients.

Get that now? Magda is saying Muslim immigrants and refugees flooding the West have no desire to become part of our culture. Instead, they want to fundamentally transform our society (doesn’t that sound strangely familiar?) and make second class citizens of Americans. Infidels, the lot of you! Muslims have been slaughtering infidels since long before global warming scientists even started surveying the polar ice caps. True story.

A real Muslim’s loyalty is not and will never be to your countries but to the global Islamic “Umma” (nation) only.

At this point please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that ALL Muslims are bad; but we have no choice but to take care of them all because they ALL believe totally in this evil ideology, but they do ALL believe in an evil man, a warlord, The Prophet of Islam.

There. That’s the key, folks. Of course not all Muslims are evil. BUT, they all believe in an evil ideology invented by an evil man. In case you were wondering, cultures based on Judeo-Christian principles and cultures based on Islamic principles generally…. not good bed-fellows. Which is why the Muslims want to blow us all up. Because tolerance.

Our fundamental beliefs are opposites – because the men who founded each were polar opposites. Allow me to explain

You can read Magda’s letter in its entirety, here: http://louderwithcrowder.com/muslim-woman-issues-chilling-warning-to-the-west-about-dangers-of-islam/#ixzz3oqQ4Ggz3

JESUS VS. MUHAMMAD!! (Qur’an Challenge II)  by StevenCrowder • 1,362,228 views

Coming Attraction for America – If Muslim’s Refugees Are Allowed In

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Here is a letter that every American should take to heart, because unless we stop this mass Muslim immigration into America this will be occurring here within 6 months to a year!

A Female Physician in Munich, Germany sends a message to the world . . . . . .

Yesterday, at the hospital we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals is unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the hospitals.  Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff and, we, women, are refusing to go among those animals, especially from Africa . Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse.

Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units.  Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we, in Europe, do not know how to treat them. If they receive a prescription in the pharmacy, they learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words: “So, cure them here yourselves!” So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also large pharmacies.

Truly we said openly: Where are all those who had welcomed in front of TV cameras, with signs at train stations?! Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them.  Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million. Most of these people are completely unemployable. A bare minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and neglected.

If this continues and German re-opens its borders, I’m going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even double the salary than at home. I went to Germany, not to Africa or the Middle East. Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who for 800 Euros cleans every day for years, and then meets young men in the hallways who just wait with their hand outstretched, want everything for free, and when they don’t get it they throw a fit.

I really don’t need this! But I’m afraid that if I return, that at some point it will be the same in the Czech Republic. If the Germans, with their nature cannot handle this, there in Czechia it would be total chaos. Nobody who has not come in contact with them has no idea what kind of animals they are, especially the ones from Africa , and how Muslims act superior to our staff, regarding their religious accommodation. For now, the local hospital staff has not come down with the diseases they brought here, but, with so many hundreds of patients every day – this is just a question of time.

In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, which they had dragged across half of Europe for three months. The child died in two days, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany. The physician had to undergo surgery and two nurses are laid up in the ICU. Nobody has been punished.  The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we know about it through email.  What would have happened to a German if he had stabbed a doctor and nurses with a knife? Or if he had flung his own syphilis-infected urine into a nurse’s face and so threatened her with infection? At a minimum he’d go straight to jail and later to court. With these people – so far, nothing has happened.

And so I ask, where are all those greeters and receivers from the train stations? Sitting pretty at home, enjoying their non-profits and looking forward to more trains and their next batch of cash from acting like greeters at the stations. If it were up to me I would round up all these greeters and bring them here first to our hospital’s emergency ward, as attendants. Then, into one building with the migrants so they can look after them there themselves, without armed police, without police dogs who today are in every hospital here in Bavaria , and without medical help.

(Added 1/23/16)  Now with the implantation of “Obamacare” in full swing with major penalties for those without health insurance this situation will only become worse.  The Americans without insurance will be penalized by the IRS while Muslims (favored status applied by the Obama Administration) will be given a free pass if they chose not to enroll in the ACA “National Affordable Care Act”.  The title is completely misleading as it is only affordable to those with deep pockets, and which the members of Congress have exempted themselves from having to have and the true hidden agenda of this administration and the Democrats is to make all Americans indentured salves under this Law.  I speak about this from a position of authority as I recently earned my Florida Insurance License to market Health Care Insurance.  The only people who are been majorly traumatized financially are those in the middle class.

 

Can America Afford Another Clinton as President?

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Bill Clinton’s Loving Wife: By Dick Morris former political adviser to President Bill Clinton.

If you happen to see the Bill Clinton 5-minute TV ad for Hillary in which he introduces the commercial by saying he wants to share some things we may not know about Hillary’s background, beware. As I was there for most of their presidency and know them better than just about anyone, I offer a few corrections.

Bill says: “In law school, Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”

  • The facts are: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.

Bill says: “Hillary spent a year after graduation working on a children’s rights project for poor kids.”

  • The facts are: Hillary interned with Bob Truehaft, the head of the California Communist Party. She met Bob when he represented the Panthers and traveled all the way to San Francisco to take an internship with him.

Bill says: “Hillary could have written her own job ticket, but she turned down all the lucrative job offers.”

  • The facts are: She flunked the DC bar exam; yes, flunked. It is a matter of record, and only passed the Arkansas bar. She had no job offers in Arkansas – none – and only got hired by the University of Arkansas Law School at Fayetteville because Bill was already teaching there. She did not join the prestigious Rose Law Firm until Bill became Arkansas Attorney General and was made a partner only after he was elected Arkansas Governor.

Bill says: “President Carter appointed Hillary to the Legal Services Board of Directors and she became its chairman.”

  • The facts are: The appointment was in exchange for Bill’s support for Carter in his 1980 primary against Ted Kennedy. Hillary then became chairman in a coup in which she won a majority away from Carter’s choice to be chairman.

Bill says: “She served on the board of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”

  • The facts are: Yes, she did. But her main board activity, not mentioned by Bill, was to sit on the Walmart board of directors for a substantial fee. She was silent about their labor and health care practices.

Bill says: “Hillary didn’t succeed at getting health care for all Americans in 1994, but she kept working at it and helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides five million children with health insurance.”

  • The facts are: Hillary had nothing to do with creating CHIP. It was included in the budget deal between Clinton and Republican Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott. I know; I helped negotiate the deal. The money came half from the budget deal and half from the Attorney Generals’ tobacco settlement. Hillary had nothing to do with either source of funds.

Bill says: “Hillary was the face of America all over the world.”

  • The facts are: Her visits were part of a program to get her out of town so that Bill would not appear weak by feeding stories that Hillary was running the White House. Her visits abroad were entirely touristic and symbolic and there was no substantive diplomacy on any of them.

Bill says: “Hillary was an excellent Senator who kept fighting for children’s and women’s issues.”

  • The facts are: Other than totally meaningless legislation like changing the names on courthouses and post offices, she has passed only four substantive pieces of legislation. One set up a national park in Puerto Rico . A second provided respite care for family members helping their relatives through Alzheimer’s or other conditions. And two were routine bills to aid 911 victims and responder’s which were sponsored by the entire NY delegation. Presently she is trying to have the US memorialize the Woodstock fiasco of 40 years ago.

Here is what bothers me more than anything else about Hillary Clinton: She has done everything possible to weaken the President and our country (that’s you and me!) when it comes to the war on terror.

1. She wants to close GITMO and move the combatants to the USA where they would have access to our legal system.

2. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of suspected Al Qaeda phone calls to/from the USA .

3. She wants to grant constitutional rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

4. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of money transfers between suspected Al Qaeda cells and supporters in the USA .

5. She wants to eliminate the type of interrogation tactics used by the military & CIA where coercion might be used when questioning known terrorists even though such tactics might save American lives.

One cannot think of a single bill Hillary has introduced or a single comment she has made that would tend to strengthen our country in the War on Terror. But, one can think of a lot of comments she has made that weaken our country and make it a more dangerous situation for all of us. Bottom line: She goes hand in hand with the ACLU on far too many issues where common sense is abandoned.

Share this with every democrat you know. Ask them to prove Dick Morris wrong. Think about it — Dick Morris has said all of this openly, thus if he were not truthful he’d be liable for defamation of character! And you better believe Hillary would sue him.  Is America ready for a woman president?

Perhaps we are, but definitely NOT THIS one.

My personal thoughts on this article: These two believe that anything they say will not be challenged with the truth, because they themselves actually believe that when they tell this “crap” in public that others will not check “the lies” that they are spewing out of their mouths

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