Is This The End Of Donald Trump?

In what has been described as the worst week of his campaign so far, Donald Trump, may have soiled his chances of succession of his bid for the White House. Though the candidate has appeared to defy all previous predictions of his demise, has he finally “gone too far”?

This week saw many an obstacle in his path to victory, starting with Trump’s unwillingness to disavow the use of nuclear weapons, not even upon Europe. Trump openly holds his somewhat extreme gender views within the public sphere, supposedly justified by his constant rejection of “political correctness”. He has been called out for his sexist behaviour numerous times, for example calling women he dislikes “fat pigs” or “disgusting animals” or choosing to blame the 26,000 unreported sexual assaults within the US military on “men and women simply serving and living together”.

It is with this out-dated attitude to women that he has appeared to undermine any realistic chance of his presidency. His most recent, and perhaps most damaging, blow to his campaign were his comments this week on abortion – legalised in a supreme court ruling nearly 40 years ago, but still remaining one of the biggest political and moral topics in America.

In a TV interview with MSNBC, Trump stated that women who receive an abortion should suffer “some kind of punishment”. The extremity of this statement is what renders it possibly fatal to his campaign. Though some may believe that those performing the surgical procedure should be prosecuted, even the most evangelical pro-life supporters refuse to advocate punishment for women.

Trump has since, rather uncharacteristically, issued statements to rectify his ‘mistake’, clarifying his position, saying that only doctors would be “held legally responsible, not the women.”

Becoming repellent to women is a certain losing strategy; more women than men are regular voters in the USA, with approximately 4-7 million more females voting than males. Research suggests that less than 1 in 4 women favour Donald Trump, leaving his path to presidency increasing complicated and less likely.

Following floods of criticism on social media for his behaviour, Trump’s position for Tuesday’s Wisconsin Primary has been severely jeopardised. In recent polls, his biggest rival for the state, Ted Cruz, holds an increasing lead.

If Trump loses out on the majority of the 42 Wisconsin delegates, it becomes almost impossible for him to reach the necessary 1,237 delegates to avoid a contested convention against Cruz.

Although, this has the opportunity to go above and beyond Wisconsin – campaign damaged, his chances in the important upcoming primaries is seriously threatened. There’s a possibility of his loss in Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey and perhaps even in his home state of New York. If this is the case, it makes it much easier for the Republican Party to deny his nomination, marking the end of Trump.

Of course, this is all theoretical; there may be a small chance of his victory in Wisconsin on Tuesday, we mustn’t completely rule it out; after all, as I mentioned before, every claim of Trump finally overstepping the line has been proved wrong thus far. Donald Trump has dominated media coverage and ignited enthusiasm within a large contingent of Republican primary voters, yet has never won over anything close to a majority of American electorates.

He’s survived every hindrance to his campaign so far, but his ultimate lack of experience and knowledge, combined with debatable behaviour may mark the end of his chances for the White House.

Christians: A Minority in the UK

News regarding Christianity within the UK has been overshadowed for years because of the declining Christian population. To put things in context, in the 2001 census, 72% of the population identified as being Christian, compared to 60% in 2011. That’s a substantial decrease in a decade, leading some experts to conclude that Christianity will be non-existent within the UK by the end of the century.

Though these figures may be worrying to some, the more significant, and incidentally worse, news is the annual report on church attendance. Even though many identify as Christians within censuses, that doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about the number of practicing Christians in reality. According to The Guardian, less than 2% of the population goes to church at least one a week. These results were obtained through looking at the month of October in 2014, in which the weekly average of 980,000 people attended 16,000 churches across the UK.

However, a figure drawn out of all the statistics which caught my eye was that only 150,000 children a week attended church. That translates as about 1.5% out of an estimated 10.8 million children in the UK. In many ways, despite myself associating as a Christian, this may be a positive sign. Not least because it’s important that any person should independently determine their own faith without coercion on the part of parents or spiritual leaders. So, less church attendance for young children particularly shows that compulsory church is uncommon.

There is, however, a downside to this too. In this modern age, where many children are feeling increasingly self-conscious because of unrealistic images of ‘perfection’ perpetuated by the media, those that identify as Christians may shy away. Though it’s respectable for people to want to keep their religion personal and private, it’s sad that children feel they cannot express themselves without feeling judged by atheistic children.

Take issues relating to the moral teachings of the church. A common criticism of the church, particularly of the Catholic Church, is that it’s backward and incompatible with today’s society in which people accept homosexuality, sex before marriage and so on. It would certainly be a sweeping statement to argue that all Christians agree completely with these teachings, yet this is a sticking point for many atheists. Though, of course, there are exceptions to this as with any group in society, our generation is widely regarded as accepting and tolerant.

So why does this not apply to young Christians? Why do young Christians get asked invasive questions regarding their personal beliefs, when everyone else is let off the hook?

As a Christian, I agree with gay marriage. I couldn’t care less about whether people choose to have sex before marriage. I accept that as long as people consider their actions before committing to a course of action, then they are best placed to make that decision.

The point is that young Christians sometimes feel separate from other young people. Many in this generation are just as tolerant of people’s religion as with their sexuality, but there is a tactless quality to the treatment of young religious people. UK society certainly appears far more secular than it ever has been, but that doesn’t make it ok for people to be brutally critical of those who associate as religious. Young theists are probably questioning their own faith most days, as teenagers question most things in life. Given the percentage of young practicing Christians, they may feel isolated in their own journey of ‘faith seeking understanding’.

Debate between theists, atheists, agnostics and so on should continue. No one should have strong faith in a concept or religion when it is blind or unjustified. But ask yourself when you debate; am I considering the consequences of my questions and critical statements on the other person? If the answer to that question is no, then endeavour to change and employ empathy into your everyday thinking. In an increasingly cosmopolitan society, such as ours, there’s no space for narrow-mindedness and intolerance.

As with any minority group, Christians should be treated with respect. Judgement should only be laid down regarding someone’s moral character, not because of the God they worship or the colour of their skin.

 

 

Facebook, Trump and Freedom of Speech

Whatever your opinion may be of Donald Trump, he has mastered the art of social media. Boasting over 6 million followers on twitter (the most out of any presidential candidate) his account regularly posts incendiary remarks to garner attention from the media and to fire up his supporters. Through a cleverly crafted series of hashtags designed to discredit opponents and pander to voters (#LyingTed, #LowEnergy and of course #MakeAmericaGreatAgain) Trump remains controversial enough to keep himself in the spotlight and entertaining enough to maintain and bolster his followers.

Continue reading “Facebook, Trump and Freedom of Speech”

Why Science Will Never Be Right

Inevitably, those of us within society who aren’t professional scientists have to take the majority of science on dependence. One of the things that makes it so straightforward to trust the generic view of theories such as evolution, in particular, are the unknown specified areas of science, too intricate for the average being.  Continue reading “Why Science Will Never Be Right”